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 Tam biscuits — an Australian cultural icon!
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
3 cups half-and-half cream
Pinch of sea salt Read the rest of this entry »