The temperatures may not feel like it, but today, Labor Day, marks the end of the summer (albeit unofficially) for many. After the heat and humidity we’ve had this summer I say bring on Fall and the lower temperatures. The trees in my yard have been suffering from what I have coined “summer foliage.” The leaves are turning brown and falling due to a combination of a lack of rain and the heat. How can so many people really think that climate change doesn’t exist? Anyhoo… If you are looking to hold on to summer a bit longer and all the cold treats that come with it, then whip up a batch of these super simple Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches to enjoy on those days that are still unbearably warm.
While you could use your favorite brownie recipe to make these, I opted to use a box mix. Ideally you would like two 9-inch square pans to make these so that after you prep your brownie batter you can divide it amongst the two pans to bake. But, if you only have 1, after you prepare your batter divide it in half and bake the first half and let it cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before removing it to bake the other half. Either way, allow the brownie layers to cool completely before moving on to the next step.
Once the brownie layers had cooled, I lined one of the 9-inch square pans with plastic wrap leaving an overhang on all sides. I placed one of the brownie layers in the pan with the top side facing down and then spread ice cream over it in an even layer and then topped it with the other brownie layer, top side facing up. I covered it with plastic wrap and placed it in the freezer overnight. Truthfully, you only need to freeze it for a minimum of two hours.
The next day I inverted it onto a cutting board, removed the plastic wrap and sliced it into 9 brownie ice cream sandwiches with a serrated knife. To make slicing it easier, I ran the knife under hot water prior to slicing. Once they were sliced, I had to work fast as the ice cream was starting to melt a little. I decided to leave three of them as is, topped three of them with chocolate syrup and chopped walnuts and the last three I coated with sprinkles around the sides. I placed them on a baking sheet and put them back in the freezer for about 20 minutes so they could firm up.
And finally, I wrapped each in plastic wrap to store in my freezer to enjoy for the warmer days that I am sure will still come!
Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
1 18 to 18.75 oz box brownie mix
1 qt. vanilla ice cream (or any flavor of ice cream, gelato or sorbet you like)
Chocolate Syrup, optional for decorating
Chopped Walnuts, optional for decorating
Rainbow Sprinkles, optional for decorating
Preheat the oven to the temperature on your brownie mix.
Prepare the brownie batter per the directions on the box and divide in half. Bake in two 9-inch square pans or bake one half and then the other. If using only one pan, let the first brownie layer cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely and then bake the other half. If using two pans, allow the brownie layers to cool completely in the pans before removing. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until the edges are set and a tester inserted in the center comes out with crumbs.
Line a 9-inch square pan with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang on all sides. Place one of the brownie layers in the pan with the top side facing down. Spread the ice cream over the brownie and then top with the other brownie layer with the top side facing up. Gently press down the top brownie layer. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours.
Invert onto a large cutting board and remove the plastic wrap. Use a serrated knife to cut into 9 ice cream sandwiches. To make slicing easier, run the knife under hot water.
To top the brownies with walnuts, spread a teaspoon or two of the chocolate syrup on the top of the brownies and then sprinkle with some of the chopped walnuts, pressing them down lightly to adhere.
To add sprinkles to the sides, pour some sprinkles onto a plate and then press each side of the ice cream sandwich into the sprinkles.
Once the brownie ice cream sandwiches have been decorated (or just sliced if you are not decorating) place them on a baking sheet and back in the freezer for 15-20 minutes so they can set. Remove from the freezer and wrap each in plastic wrap and store in the freezer until ready to enjoy!