Monday, May 31, 2010

Praline Ice Cream Sandwiches

It's always challenging to try to photograph ice cream in 80 degree weather! Almost as challenging as eating ice cream in 80 degree weather. You have to do both very quickly!
But this recipe sounded so delicious that I just had to give it a try. It's from the June 2006 issue of Gourmet Magazine and it's my June submission to Gourmet Unbound.
With summer fast approaching, ice cream is one of those cool refreshing treats that everyone loves and these praline ice cream sandwiches are the best!
Every reviewer loved this recipe. It's kind of a grown up version of the kid's treat. The praline adds not only a perfect crunch but a wonderful rich buttery flavor. Using a good quality vanilla ice cream allows the sandwich to take center stage and not be overpowered by the ice cream flavor. I did halve the recipe because it would be dangerous to have too many of these in the house..I'm sure you know what I mean!

It is not at all difficult to make but there are several steps you need to do.
I would suggest, once you've assembled the sandwiches with the ice cream, to wrap and freeze them but once frozen, I would cut them into individual sandwiches and rewrap. This way, you can just reach into the freezer and grab one without having to cut them apart each time. Just a suggestion!

The first step is to make the praline. Place the pecans into a small bowl with the salt and stir.
Place a sheet of foil onto your work surface.
Cook the sugar in a skillet, undisturbed, til it begins to melt.
Continue to cook on moderate heat, stirring occasionally, til sugar melts and the mixture takes on a nice caramel color.

Dump in your pecan/salt mixture and stir to coat pecans.

Then spread the mixture out onto your foil. and let it cool completely. You need to work fast as the mixture will harden up as it cools. (If any has stuck to the pan too much just put the pan back over the heat to soften it enough to scoop out.)

To make the sandwich layer, whisk the dry ingredients and set aside.
Place the brown sugar and butter in a medium bowl and using an electric beater, beat 3 minutes, or til pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
Add in the dry ingredients in 2 batches.
Spread the batter into your prepared pan.

Sprinkle the chopped pralines over top and bake for 10 minutes.

Or til it gets a nice golden color.
Let it cool.

Once you've allowed time to let it cool, spread a layer of softened vanilla ice cream onto half the layer, then top with the other half to make a sandwich. Wrap in plastic and place into freezer an hour.

Praline Ice Cream Sandwiches ( from Gourmet Magazine June 2006 issue)

Makes 24 sandwiches

1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. salt ( I used 1 tsp.)
1 cup granulated sugar
Sandwich layer:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp. Plus a little more for greasing the pan.
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

2 pints of store bought vanilla ice cream
To make praline:
1. Stir pecans and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Put a sheet of foil on a work surface.
3. Cook sugar in a heavy 10" skillet over moderate heat, undisturbed, til it begins to melt.
4. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, til sugar melts into a golden caramel.
5. Add salted pecans, stirring til coated well.
6. Spread onto the foil . Let it cool completely, about 15 minutes.
7. Peel praline off foil and chop praline coarsely ( some reviewers suggested the fine chop Gourmet recommended was too fine).
Sandwich layer:
Preheat oven to 375. Draw a large X with butter onto 2 baking pans, 15 1/2" x 10 1/2" x 3/4" deep each. (Basically a jelly roll pan) Press parchment paper onto butter X to hold in place. Leave a 1" overhang on outer side edges.
1. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Beat butter and brown sugar in another bowl with electric mixer at medium speed til pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Beat in the vanilla.
5. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 2 batches. Mix til just incorporated.
6. Divide batter between 2 pans, ( if using full recipe), spread a thin layer, using an offset spatula.
7. Sprinkle chopped praline over top.
8. Bake, switching pans halfway through the baking, til golden but still tender, about 10 minutes.
9. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then transfer with the parchment paper to wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Line a clean pan with fresh parchment, leaving a 1" overhang, and invert sandwich layers onto work surface and carefully peel off and discard parchment. ( Ok, I have a hard time throwing away perfectly good, barely used parchment paper! I just turned over the parchment paper I used to bake the sandwiches on. I did halve the recipe, however, so this may not be as easy with the full amount.)
To assemble:
Transfer one layer of the sandwich, praline side down and spread the ice cream over top. Then place the other layer on top of this to make a sandwich. (They suggest you trim the edges, to make it nice and neat, I suppose, but I didn't think this step was necessary.)Gently press and wrap in plastic and freeze for at least one hour. * See my notes above about making individual servings*.


  1. Yum! What a great recipe to kickoff summer!

  2. Since Pralines and Cream is my favorite ice cream, this works for me!



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