These Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches feature cinnamon-infused homemade horchata ice cream sandwiched between ginger and molasses cookies. They’re a warmly spiced and creative treat you can enjoy during summer and fall!
⭐ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
What do you get when you sandwich homemade cinnamon ice cream between two ginger molasses chewy cookies? The best late summer or fall dessert ever! These Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches are made with soft and chewy ginger molasses cookies and a homemade horchata ice cream.
The ginger molasses cookies are pleasantly chewy, sweet, and spiced, while the horchata ice cream is creamy, smooth, and delightfully cinnamony. The cookies and ice cream are incredible on their own but become a delicious handheld dessert when sandwiched together. These warmly spiced ice cream sandwiches are best served on warm fall days or to finish the Thanksgiving meal.
❓ What is horchata?
Horchata is a traditional Mexican beverage made from soaked rice, cinnamon, and sugar. The flavor is similar to rice pudding, while the consistency is smooth and creamy. This ice cream recipe captures the essence of a traditional Mexican horchata in a rich, custard-like homemade ice cream.
Cookie Consistency in Ice Cream Sandwiches
Have you ever bit into an ice cream sandwich, and the cookie is so hard that it nearly cracks your teeth?! Me too. The secret to making the perfect ice cream sandwich has to do with the cookie's texture due to the ingredients used to make your cookie.
This extra thin, chewy ginger molasses cookie is the perfect addition to an ice cream sandwich as it remains chewy even after it has been placed in the freezer.
Horchata ice cream requires a relatively slow, gentle, heated infusion. This means that throughout a one-hour period, your heated ice cream base will slowly coax out the cinnamon flavors from your cinnamon sticks.
Once the cinnamon sticks have been removed, you're left with incredibly intense cinnamon flavors and aromas. Try not to skip this process! The entire hour of time spent infusing your ice cream base will help you to get the best results - you'll never want vanilla ice cream again!
- Baking basics - You’ll need the basics, like all purpose flour, baking soda, egg, and salt to build the soft but stable structure of your cookies.
- Warm spices - A combination of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg enriches the cookies with a warming flavor.
- Molasses - Use quality “original” molasses with a deep, golden brown color. I wouldn’t use blackstrap molasses here because it’s pretty bitter and better in savory recipes.
- Whole milk - No substitutions here. The fat in whole milk makes lavish and indulgent homemade ice cream.
- Cinnamon sticks - Choosing the right cinnamon sticks is important. Mexican cinnamon sticks are sweeter than most and are the optimal choice. You should be able to find some at your local Hispanic grocery store.
- Dairy free heavy whipping cream - Horchata is typically made with dairy free ingredients, but you can use regular heavy whipping cream here as well.
- Egg yolks - The yolks help develop an old-fashioned, custard-style ice cream.
📖 Step by Step Instructions
While the ginger cookies are easy to make, the horchata ice cream needs a little extra love. The effort is well worth it to achieve that beautiful cinnamon flavor! Here’s how it’s all done:
To make the ginger and molasses cookies:
Step 1: Make the cookie dough. Whisk dry and wet mixtures in separate bowls. Mix the wet into the dry ingredients slowly until everything is fully incorporated in a large bowl. Place the cookie dough in the fridge to help it firm up.
Step 2: Shape the dough and coat in sugar. Roll the chilled cookie dough into 1-inch balls and roll each one in granulated sugar. Place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Step 6: Bake the cookies. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake until they’re cracked and crinkled. Let them cool on a wire rack while you make the ice cream.
To make horchata ice cream:
Step 1: Make the cinnamon-infused milk. Add the milk, vanilla extract, sugar, salt, cinnamon sticks, and half of the whipping cream to a saucepan. Bring it up to a simmer, then take it off the heat. Cover with a lid to let the flavors mingle for a while, then rewarm it over medium heat.
Step 2: Mix with egg yolks. Whisk the yolks in a bowl. Strain the cinnamon milk over the bowl with the eggs while mixing everything together. Pour the milk and yolk mixture back into the saucepan and warm until it thickens.
Step 3: Combine with cream. Add the other half of the whipping cream to another bowl and then strain the thickened mixture into the bowl.
Step 4: Let the ice cream cool. Submerge the bowl of ice cream in an ice bath to cool before refrigerating for 4 hours.
Step 5. Churn or freeze. From here, you can either churn the ice cream in an ice cream maker or transfer it straight to the freezer.
To assemble the ice cream cookie sandwiches:
Step 1: Make ice cream sandwiches. Place half of the cookies top side down on a baking tray and grab your ice cream scoop. Scoop the slightly softened cinnamon ice cream on top. Top with the other cookie and gently press everything together.
Step 2: Chill. Immediately transfer the tray to the freezer to chill. Enjoy once they’re solid or freeze for later.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
- The secret to the best ice cream cookie sandwiches - Is to use a cookie that stays chewy after being placed in the freezer, like ginger molasses cookies! Chocolate chip, double chocolate, and macadamia nut cookies could also work.
- Don’t skip the cinnamon infusion - Making the horchata ice cream takes a bit of patience, but it’s well worth it. Letting the cinnamon sticks steep in the ice cream base for at least 1 hour infuses intense cinnamon flavor and aroma.
❄️ Storing and freezing
Storing unbaked cookie dough: The cookie dough doesn’t need to be baked right away. You can keep it in the freezer and then thaw it overnight in the fridge when you’re ready to bake. Bring the dough to room temperature before rolling the cookie balls and coating with sugar.
Storing ice cream: Freeze the homemade ice cream in an airtight container and enjoy it within 2 to 3 weeks.
Storing homemade ice cream sandwiches: Wrap each frozen sandwich individually in plastic wrap and store them in the freezer for up to 1 month.
💭 Recipe FAQs
Original, light, or regular molasses is best in molasses cookies and most baked goods as it lends an intense but pleasantly sweet flavor. Blackstrap molasses is too strong and bitter for cookies.
The closest substitute is dark corn syrup. You can also use maple syrup and honey, although the flavor won’t be quite as robust.
Nope! You can either churn your ice cream in a standing mixer or food processor and stick it right in the freezer instead of using an ice cream machine.
Hungry for more chilled sweet treats?
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Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Tablespoon or Cookie Scoop
- Cookie Cutter
Ginger Molasses Cookies
- 2 Cups + 2 Tbsp (270 g) All-Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 2 teaspoon Ginger
- 2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Cloves
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
- ¾ Cup (170 g) Unsalted Butter , Room Temperature
- ½ Cup (100 g) Granulated Sugar
- ½ Cup (110 g) Brown Sugar, packed
- 1 Egg, room temperature
- 4 tablespoon (85 g) Molasses
- Granulated Sugar, to coat cookies
Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Whisk together your dry ingredients – the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, sea salt and nutmeg in a bowl and set aside.2 Cups + 2 tablespoon All-Purpose Flour, 2 teaspoon Baking Soda, 2 teaspoon Ginger, 2 teaspoon Cinnamon, ½ teaspoon Cloves, ½ teaspoon Salt, ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
- Place the butter and sugars in your mixing bowl and using the paddle attachment, cream until you reach a fluffy, rather pale color. Make sure to take a second to scrape down the bowl before then adding your egg, then adding the molasses.¾ Cup Unsalted Butter, ½ Cup Granulated Sugar, ½ Cup Brown Sugar, 1 Egg, 4 tablespoon Molasses
- Slowly add the dry ingredients in three separate stages, mixing until your ingredients have fully combined.
- At this point the dough will seem quite sticky! Place into an airtight container let the dough rest in the fridge for an hour or so until firm and chilled.
- Before getting ready to scoop each cookie, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your baking tray with parchment paper.
- Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, roll your chilled dough into small balls. Pour some granulated sugar into a small bowl, and one by one, coat each cookie completely in sugar.Granulated Sugar
- Place your preferred number of cookies onto a baking sheet and bake for about 9 minutes. Remove from the oven once you start to see some slight cracks on top and let cookies sit undisturbed for 3-5 minutes. Then, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
- If you don’t end up baking off all your cookies at once, place your scooped and sugar-coated extras in a ziplock bag and throw them into the freezer. Bake them fresh as desired!
Horchata Ice Cream
- Place the milk, vanilla extract, sugar, salt, cinnamon sticks and half of your almond heavy cream (250 ml) into a large saucepan and warm gently at medium heat. Once the mixture starts to simmer, give it a quick stir and remove from heat and cover, letting the cinnamon infuse with the ingredients for one hour.Granulated Sugar, 1 Cup Whole Milk, 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract, ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar, Pinch Salt, 2 Cups Almond Heavy Whipping Cream, 10 Canela Cinnamon Sticks
- After the infusion period is complete, turn the heat to medium again to gently heat up your cinnamon mixture. Place the egg yolks into a large bowl and whisk them together. Then set a strainer on top of your bowl.5 Egg Yolks
- Pour the warmed, not hot, cinnamon mixture through the prepared strainer into the egg yolks, allowing the strainer to catch any cinnamon bark bits. Make sure to whisk throughout this step so that the egg yolks do not get overheated by the milk mixture and start to cook!
- Pour everything back into the saucepan and heat on medium-high while stirring constantly with a spatula. The mixture should start to thicken over the next 5 minutes or so until it coats the back of your spatula.
- Using the strainer once again, pour the mixture into your leftover 250 ml of almond whipping cream. Cool by placing your bowl of prepared ice cream mixture into an ice bath, then place in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Then it’s up to you – you can churn using the ice cream maker of your choice or place it straight into the freezer.
Assembling the Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Grab one ginger molasses cookie and place top down on a small baking tray or plate.
- Place two scoops of slightly thawed ice cream on top of the bottom cookie.
- Complete the sandwich by placing another cookie on top. Gently push the top cookie down to flatter and immediately place in the freezer to chill.
- Once chilled, remove the sandwiches from the freezer. Using a circular cookie cutter, cut through the cookies and ice cream to ensure a perfect circle and even sides!