I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful it has been to meet other expats in this city. And I'm surprised that it took me so long! It's great to share experiences and pass on tips (not to mention receive them!). In recent weeks, for the first time since I left New York over a year ago, I've stayed up talking with friends into the morning hours...and I actually understand all of the conversations. It feels good to laugh at jokes again instead of asking for the translation.
When K invited us over for a super delish cornbread salad this weekend, I thought it would be totally fun to take individually wrapped ice cream sandwiches. I tried to wrap the sandwiches in wax paper (and also tried parchment paper) and wanted to tie a string around each but it just turned out to be impossible to wrap a melting sandwich like a Christmas present. No matter, I stacked them up in tupperwear with wax paper in between each layer - fancy, I know.
Ice Cream Sandwiches or Alfajores Helados
Chocolate Wafers from Smitten Kitchen
- 1 1/2 c. flour
- 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 c. + 2 T. sugar
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/4 t. baking soda
- 196 g. (14 T.) slightly softened butter
- 3 T. whole milk (I just used the 2% that was in my fridge)
- 1 t. vanilla extract
Slice 1/4 inch thick or smaller. Some of the commenters had problems making small slices (due to the crumbly nature of the dough) and suggested using a very sharp knife and applying pressure to both ends. I didn't have big problems but the slices are delicate and I carefully transfered each to a parchment lined baking sheet - leaving an inch of space between them, as they spread when baking. I ended up with nearly 30 slices, though I may have eaten some uncooked.
The baking process is pretty specific. Place oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat to 180C (350F) and bake on top rack for 6 minutes then rotate the sheet and finish on the bottom for another 6 minutes. (This is the time that mine took but total cooking time could be 12-15 minutes). Cool completely before assembling sandwiches with ice cream, then freeze immediately, do not allow cookies to touch. If you leave them in the freezer in an air-tight container for a few hours or overnight, the cookies will soften just enough to bite through, but still have a wafer crunch.
This is the perfect place to make these. When you have amazing helado available to you in a multitude of delicious flavors, there's just no reason to hold back. I decided on cookies & cream, mascarpone with berries, and dulce de leche split - a half kilo was more than enough for 12 sandwiches.
After I had already finished the assembly, Guille suggested adding coconut around the ice cream rim - perhaps next time. This is going to be the summer of the alfajor helado.