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Ice cream sandwiches

Makes 10 to 15 sandwiches

Cookbook author Nancy Baggett figured out how to make real ice cream sandwiches. In ''The All-American Cookie Book" she offers this recipe, which produces rectangular chocolate cookies, just like the store-bought variety.

2 1/4 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
2 tablespoons canola oil
Generous 1 1/3 cups sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon coffee or water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Canola oil (for the fork)
1 quart vanilla ice cream
1. In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking powder; set aside.2. In an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter, oil, and sugar until blended. Turn to medium and beat until lightened and fluffy. Add the egg, coffee or water, vanilla, and salt. Beat until well blended and smooth.3. Beat in the flour just until incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and let the dough stand for 10 to 15 minutes or until it firms up slightly.4. Divide the dough in half. Place each portion between large sheets of wax paper. Roll each out to a scant 1/4-inch thickness; check the underside of the dough and smooth out any wrinkles that form. Stack the rolled doughs -- still in their papers -- on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 45 minutes or freeze for about 20 minutes, until chilled and firm but not hard. 5. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Grease 2 baking sheets.6. Working with one portion of dough at a time (leave the other piece in the refrigerator), gently peel away one piece of the paper, then pat it back in place. Flip the dough over. Peel off and discard the second sheet. Use a long sharp knife to cut the dough into 1 1/2-by-4-inch rectangles. If the dough seems soft, chill it again.7. With a metal spatula, carefully transfer the rectangles to the baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Dip the tines of a fork into the oil and make deep marks all the way down the rectangles in even rows. Use the knife to score the cookies lightly along the middle (so you can break them in half later).8. Continue cutting cookies until all the dough is used.9. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven for 8 to 11 minutes or until just firm when pressed. Reverse the position of the sheet from back to front halfway through baking. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies firm for 1 to 2 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.10. To make sandwiches (the ice cream should not be too firm), spread 1/4 to 1/2 cup of ice cream on the underside of one cookie. Top with a second cookie about the same size. Press down lightly so the ice cream comes to the edges. Pack the sandwiches in individual plastic bags and seal tightly. Freeze for at least 3 hours or for up to 1 week.

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