Tim Tam Ice Cream Sandwiches (Chocolate Malt Ice Cream #51)

28 02 2013

My friends Pete and Bec are heading back home to Australia!  Pete and I first met in 2005 when he was in Vancouver for a year on a work visa.  He was one of my rock climbing BFFs that summer and I was sad to see him go at the end of the year.  Luckily, our paths crossed again in 2008 in Paris, where we had a fantastic day exploring the city and drinking cheap wine on the banks of the Seine.  Last year, when I heard that he and his new wife were planning a five-month visit to Vancouver, I was absolutely thrilled.  Those months have flown by, and yesterday, we had a celebratory goodbye-for-now dinner.  And what better way to end a dinner with the Aussies than with a dessert inspired by Tim Tams.

For the uninitiated, Tim Tams are an extremely popular brand of biscuits that originated in Australia in the 1960s.  A Tim Tam is a sandwich cookie comprised of two chocolate and malt flavoured biscuits, a light chocolate cream filling, and a textured chocolate coating.  They are considered an Australian cultural icon.  The hit the West Coast market in Canada about 10 to 15 years ago.

Tim Tams

Tim Tam biscuits — an Australian cultural icon!

Tim Tam biscuit

The inside of a Tim Tam biscuit: a light chocolate cream filling sandwiched between two chocolate malt biscuits, all dipped in chocolate.

Since this was a celebratory dinner, I thought a bit of extra effort was in order.  Vanilla ice cream topped with a couple of Tim Tams wasn’t going to cut it.  But homemade Tim Tam Ice Cream sandwiches — two homemade chocolate malt biscuits with a chocolate malt ice cream filling — now we’re talking!  (I decided against the dipped chocolate coating – I figured the ice cream sandwiches would be sweet and rich enough as is.)

If the idea of making ice cream sandwiches sounds like a bit too much effort, I can assure you, it’s not.  One little trick I’ve learned is to use a cookie cutter to cut out perfect rounds of ice cream to sandwich between two cookies (rather than scooping ice cream, squishing it between two cookies, and risking cookie breakage).

Still not convinced?  You have a few other options to achieve chocolate-malt Tim Tam goodness:

  • Option B: Crumble your homemade chocolate malt cookies and churn them into your chocolate-malt ice cream (a deconstructed Tim Tam Ice Cream sandwich!)
  • Option C: Feeling cookie lazy?  Chop up some store-bought Tim Tams and churn them into your chocolate malt ice cream.
  • Option D: Just make the chocolate malt ice cream!

Which malted milk powder to use, you ask?  You will probably have three options: Horlicks, Ovaltine, and Milo.  Horlicks has the most malty and least chocolatey taste, while Milo has the least malty and most chocolatey taste.  Ovaltine is somewhere in between.  Since I was already adding cocoa powder to both the cookie dough and the ice cream, I opted for Horlicks to maximize the malt flavour.  Horlicks also has the fewest weird ingredients (e.g. modified palm oil, oligofructose)

I used half of the ice cream for ice cream sandwiches, and churned cookie bits into the other half.  Results?  Both were incredible!  The ice cream has a toasty chocolately flavour, and the ice cream sandwiches — individually wrapped in parchment paper– were super cute and fun to serve for dessert.

If you are freezing the ice cream sandwiches overnight or longer, I would suggest taking them out of the freezer for 5 minutes prior to serving.  That way, the cookies will have a chance to soften up every so slightly.

Tim Tam Ice Cream Sandwiches

For the Chocolate Malt Cookies – slightly adapted from Martha Stewart’s Chocolate-Malt Sandwiches recipe

(Makes about 40 single cookies.  If you are making sandwiches, you will have some leftover cookies)

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup malted milk powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup half-and-half cream
3 tablespoons hot water

For the Chocolate Malt Ice Cream (Makes about 1.25 L)

1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 cup malted milk powder
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
3 cups half-and-half cream
Pinch of sea salt

For the Cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, malted milk powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy.  Mix in the egg, vanilla, half-and-half cream, and hot water.
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture.
  5. Space heaping tablespoon-sized balls of dough 3 1/2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  Flatten slightly.  Bake until just firm, 10 to 11 minutes.  Let cool slightly before transferring onto wire racks to let cool completely.

For the Ice Cream:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine the cocoa powder, malted milk powder, and sugar.
  2. Whisk in the eggs.
  3. Very slowly, whisk in 2 cups of the half-and-half, about half a cup at a time.  Make sure the cocoa powder and malted milk powder are thoroughly combined with the liquid.  No lumps!!
  4. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
  5. Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining 1 cup of the half-and-half to stop the cooking.  Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.
  6. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  7. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

To Finish – Option A: Tim Tam Ice Cream Sandwiches:

  1. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish or baking sheet with plastic wrap and spread the ice cream evenly.   Press another sheet of plastic wrap on top, pressing it onto the surface of the ice cream.  Freeze the ice cream until it is very firm (ideally overnight).
  2. Remove the ice cream from the freezer.  Working quickly, use a round cookie or biscuit cutter the same size as cookies, cut rounds from your sheet of ice cream.  Peel each round of ice cream off the plastic sheet, place onto the flat side of a cookie, and sandwich with a second cookie.  Return each ice cream sandwich immediately to the freezer to firm up.
  3. The leftover “ice cream scraps” can be reused.  Repeat Step #1 using a smaller baking dish or baking sheet.  Since the scraps will still be quite firm, the ice cream should be firm enough to cut into rounds after 10 or 15 minutes in the freezer.
  4. To store the ice cream sandwiches, wrap each sandwich individually in a piece of parchment or plastic wrap and place in an air tight container.

    Tim Tam Ice Cream Sandwiches

    Option A: Tim Tam Ice Cream Sandwiches.  Pete, the Official Guest Taster, says: “You reckon you could do a Tim Tam Slam with this?”

To Finish – Option B: Chocolate-Malt Ice Cream with Tim Tam Cookie Bits (Deconstructed Tim Tam Ice Cream Sandwiches)

  1. Crumble enough of your homemade Tim Tam cookies to yield 1.5 cup of coarse cookie pieces.  (You will have lots of leftover cookies to enjoy later; or make just half a recipe.)
  2. In the final stages of churning, add the cookie pieces to the ice cream and churn to distribute evenly through the ice cream.
  3. Chill to desired serving consistency, scoop into chilled serving dishes, and garnish with an additional cookie.
Chocolate malt ice cream, Tim Tam ice cream

Option B: Chocolate Malt Ice Cream with crumbled chocolate malt cookies, garnished with a Tim Tam biscuit.  The Official Taster says: “This would be good in an ice cream sandwich!”

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