These tasty little treats are like the perfect fusion of summer and fall.
Ice cream = summer.
Pumpkin = fall.
Chocolate = year round.
Aren’t you relieved to have me here to outline those intricate equations? To be perfectly honest, I actually inhale pumpkin and ice cream all year round, too, so you can just disregard everything I’ve typed up to this point.
Any way you look at it, these delightful chocolate pumpkin cookies smashed together with vanilla ice cream are yummy. Really yummy. The cookies are unbelievably soft and although they firm up a bit in the freezer, they never get to the break-your-teeth-off point which is a bonus for an ice cream sandwich that needs to be eaten straight from the freezer.
I love the slight hint of cocoa in the pumpkin cookies and I don’t know why, but mini chocolate chips make everything a heck of a lot cuter than should be possibly allowed. Plus, how can you go wrong with an ice cream sandwich dotted with chilly chocolate bits? So if you are like me – digging in your heels and hanging on to the last glimpses of summer while still secretly yearning for your favorite season of fall, then these ice cream sandwiches will be the best of both worlds.
The original recipe called for roasting the pumpkin puree (spreading it out on a greased, foil-lined baking sheet) for 20 minutes. I wanted to simplify so I left out that step but if you are looking for a more concentrated pumpkin flavor and have the time, go ahead and roast it and then let it cool before proceeding with the recipe. Also, it probably goes without saying but this recipe is easily halved.
- 1 (15-ounce) can solid pack pumpkin (not pie filling)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (see below for a homemade version)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 to 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- Quart of good-quality vanilla ice cream (may not use it all)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, butter, granulated and brown sugar. Beat with an electric mixer (or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer) on medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in the flour mixture until combined.
- Drop the cookie batter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lined (with silpat or parchment) baking sheets. Bake 14-15 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and press down on them while they are still hot with a flat-bottomed glass until they are about 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely and repeat with the remaining dough.
- Once the cookies have cooled completely, place the mini chocolate chips in a shallow dish or bowl. Place a heaping spoonful (about 3 tablespoons or so) of ice cream on the bottom of a cookie. Press the flat side of another cookie into the ice cream. Quickly, so the ice cream doesn't melt too much, roll the edge of the ice cream sandwich in the mini chocolate chips (this is messy and if the chocolate chips are falling off, try pressing them into the sides with your fingers). Immediately place in the freezer while you proceed with the remaining cookies and ice cream.
- Freeze for at least 2-3 hours or overnight. If desired, wrap each cookie in plastic wrap for longer storage.
- If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, use the following combination: 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon cloves. Mix together and you have 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.
Recipe Source: adapted from a recipe sent to me by a longtime reader, Melissa H, recipe is originally from a Family Circle magazine (10/2009) – I increased the recipe to use a full can of pumpkin, changed up the method a little bit, subbed some of the white sugar for brown, etc.