Everyone thinks that Holiday Desserts should be warm and cozy, but these frozen gingerbread men sandwiches can be a refreshing treat following a heavy winter meal. We made an Orange Frozen Custard to fill ours. The citrus flavor brightens the spicy cookies.
To make these icy treats, simply make small to medium sized gingerbread men and frozen custard (recipes below.) After making your custard in your ice cream maker, while it’s still in the soft serve stage, spread it on a foil lined baking pan. It can be a thick layer or thin, depending on how “stuffed” you want your finished gingerbread men to be.
Cover the baking pan with plastic wrap, keeping the top as smooth as possible, and freeze overnight till it’s frozen solid. Using the same cookie cutter that you used for your gingerbread men, cut out “ice cream gingerbread men.” Assemble the cookies with the cut out ice cream shape between two cookies (flat side of cookies facing inward.)
Work quickly, of course so that the frozen filling keeps its shape, and keep assembled cookie sandwiches in the freezer till ready to serve. The cookies and frozen custard can be made ahead of time, but it’s best to assemble them right before serving so that the cookies don’t get too soft.
(If you don’t have time to make your own ice cream/custard filling, purchase ice cream from the store, allow to soften, and spread in baking pan according to above directions.)
HARD GINGER BREAD
(from The Presidential Cookbook, 1896)
“Stir to a cream one cupful of butter and a half a cupful of brown sugar; add to this two cupfuls of cooking molasses, a cupful of sweet milk, a tablespoonful of ginger, a teaspoonful of ground cinnamon; beat all thoroughly together. Beat into this two cups of sifted flour, then a teaspoonful of soda, dissolved in a spoonful of water, and last, two more cupfuls of sifted flour.”
Roll to a thickness of ¼” on a lightly floured surface. Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes.
ORANGE FROZEN CUSTARD
(This recipe uses raw eggs. Pregnant women, the elderly, children and those with compromised immune systems should use all safety precautions.)
2 C milk
1 C sugar
½ t salt
2 C heavy Cream
¼ C orange juice
zest of two oranges
In room temperature medium saucepan, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, honey and salt. Slowly heat to no more than 155. Eggs begin to curdle at 160-170 and the trick is to get them right up to this point, but no further. Cool quickly by setting pain in ice water. (We do this in the sink.) Whisk in cream and orange juice. Do not add zest. Chill for several hours. Freeze according to the directions on your ice cream maker. Add the zest in the last minutes of churning so that it doesn’t clump at the bottom.
Spread soft serve mixture in foil lined baking pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze.