These take a little time and effort but are so worth it, and make the perfect treats for children’s parties or play dates in the sunshine.
Vanilla Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches
Vanilla Ice Cream Preparation: 40 minutes
Freezing: 2 hours
For the vanilla ice cream
4 vanilla pods
1 litre whole (full-fat) milk
200ml light whipping cream
150g egg yolks (approximately 7-9 eggs)
150g caster sugar
Split the vanilla pods and scrape out the seeds. Heat the milk, cream, vanilla seeds and pods in a saucepan. When it starts to boil, remove from the heat and cover with clingfilm. Leave to infuse for 30 minutes.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until creamy and pale in colour. Strain the vanilla milk, return it to the saucepan and bring back up to the boil. Gently pour over the egg yolks.
Stir and return to the saucepan over a low heat. Cook the custard, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. It is ready when the custard coats the spoon (83°C with a food thermometer). Transfer the custard into a container, cover with clingfilm and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
Pour the custard into an ice-cream maker and churn for 20-30 minutes. Freeze in an airtight container for 2 hours.
Take two cookies and insert one scoop of ice cream between them with the tops of the cookies facing outwards. Press the cookies to spread the ice cream to the edges.
Chocolate Chip Arthur Cookies
This is the most traditional American cookie. I am dedicating it to Arthur, aged 12, who fought bravely against cancer. He loved simple chocolate chip cookies.
Makes 30 cookies
Preparation: 20 minutes
Baking: 15 minutes
225g slightly salted butter, at room temperature
200g dark or light brown sugar
90g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp bread soda
1 tsp salt
400g plain flour
120g chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Cream the butter and sugars until well blended. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, bicarbonate of soda, salt and flour. Once well combined, stir in the chocolate chips.
Form the dough into balls about the size of a golf ball and space 7cm apart on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Leave the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then allow to cool on a rack.
Extracted from Cookie Love by Jean Hwang Carrant (Hardie Grant, approx €9). Photography © Akiko Ida.