Some people can fall right into vacation mode. They simply finish up work, walk out the door and haven’t a care in the world.
I’m not one of those people. Not even close.
Since the 4th of July fell on a Wednesday this year, I went crazy and took a 5-day weekend. Look out for this girl, I know. The boy and I decided to spend the vacation at his dad’s place in Wisconsin. It’s secluded within a bunch of tree-covered bluffs, has a creek the weaves throughout the property, and it’s also one of the few places where my phone absolutely refuses to work. So, to summarize, it’s pretty great.
On our first day of vacation, Wisconsin set a heat record (brace yourselves, here I go complaining about heat again), so, with the exception of an hour sitting in the creek with a beer in my hand, the outdoors was off-limits. No structure and no outdoors? My thumbs started to twiddle, my toes started dancing up, down, around…I needed to do something to settle into vacation mode. Naturally, this “something” became a baking project. I’m so predictable.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches
- 1 cup butter
- 2/3 cup peanut butter
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups self-rising flour (This is what I had on hand. Use all-purpose if you want, just add a bit of salt and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder to the dough)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped dry roasted peanuts
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Vanilla ice cream
Peanut Butter Drizzle Sauce
Courtesy of Pinch of Yum.
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350.
Let’s brown that butter, shall we? Simmer it in a smallish sauce pan, whisking constantly, until you see little brown specks form on the bottom. Remove from the heat, and continue to whisk for 30 seconds or so.
Give your butter a few minutes to cool itself off as you get the dry ingredients together. It won’t be completely cool, but do you really care? Probably not.
Mix the peanut butter into the butter, then add the sugars, and then the eggs, one at a time. Pour in the extract and give it one last mix.
Side note: At the boy’s dad’s house there was no hand mixer. Never one to give up, the boy fashioned this for me.
It worked like a charm.
Slowly add the dry ingredients, using a spatula to push down any batter that tries to escape on the sides. Then add the chopped peanuts and chocolate chips, making sure to incorporate fully.
Grab a big ‘ol handful of the dough, form a ball, and press down lightly (this helps then bake more evenly). I wanted large ice cream sandwiches, so I went big. You can do what feels right.
Mine took about 11 minutes to bake. I wanted them juuuust slightly underdone.
While they’re baking, heat the corn syrup, sugar, vanilla, and butter over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the peanut butter until melted, then remove from heat.
To assemble, take one cookie and place it belly-up on a plate, scoop on some ice cream, top with another cookie, and then drizzle with peanut butter sauce.
You can be fancy about it if you want…
No matter its appearance, when you get a bite of the soft cookie and warm peanut butter drizzle mixed with the WHAM cold, creamy vanilla bean ice cream…it’s.absolute.heaven.
Are these a bit gluttonous? Eh, maybe…
You can always share one though! That’s totally what we did this weekend…most of the time.
Another option? Make the cookies a normal size and bake for 9 minutes instead of 11. They’ll look way less badass, but you know, if it makes you feel better…
Really all that matters is that you get to eat this. Because this is great.
After drizzling the last bit of peanut butter sauce onto my photo shoot sandwich, I breathed a sigh of relief and felt myself turning the corner into vacation-dom. I realized that I had absolutely nothing I needed to do for 5 days, and that was a good thing. Plus, I had giant ice cream sandwiches to keep me company inside, away from the scorching heat. Not a bad deal.