Take Me Out To The Ball Game…

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Last Sunday we celebrated a big birthday.

My mom turned 65 years old (information that I’m not sure if she wants to be public knowledge…sorry Mom), but in so many ways she turned 65 going on 25.

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My beautiful mom when she was a twenty-something!

Coming from a large family with seven brothers and sisters, moving to California from Peru at the age of 20, and living life with a deep sense of passion, faith, and fierce positivity pretty much sums up my mom in a nutshell. She’s amazing.

So with such a big birthday, how would my mom choose to spend it?

At a Dodger game of course!

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While this girl does love a Dodger dog and beer, my sister and I thought we should treat my mom to something a little bit more special. “Special” as in bacon-wrapped hotdogs with grilled onions, bell peppers, cilantro, and jalapeños! My sister also made a killer potato salad that was served alongside Srirachi flavored chips (can you tell my family loves spicy???).

In addition to all this delicious Dodger pre-game madness, I decided to make ice-cream sandwiches instead of  your typical birthday cake. Birthday cakes are always a treat, but knowing that my mom loves ice cream AND chocolate chip cookies, how could I not?

Now, with ice cream sandwiches, there’s definitely room to keep things simple or go way decadent. I decided to go halfway down the middle! I think homemade ice cream is fantastic, but I also think that  ice cream you can buy at the store is just as yummy…even maybe fantastic-er! Yup, that’s a word.

That being said, I made basic chocolate chip cookies (Toll House recipe or whichever is your fave) and decided to throw in some fun baseball game inspired treats into the ice cream!

Ball Park Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookies (already baked and cooled)
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Caramel Sauce (I used a salted caramel sauce that I found)
  •  Dry Roasted Peanuts made with Sea Salt
  • Mini Chocolate Chips

Tools:

  • Electric Mixer
  • Pyrex with lid (or any airtight container)
  • Wax Paper
  • Tool for crushing peanuts (meat tenderizer, food processor)

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First let’s talk about the ice cream since this was the most “labor intensive” portion of the recipe.

I started with store bought ice cream that I let sit on the counter for at least ten or fifteen minutes to soften.

After, I literally dumped the ice cream into my mixing bowl and gave it a few spins with the mixer to even out the texture.

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Next, get your add-ins prepped! As you can see, I crushed up some roasted and salted peanuts to toss in. I love sweet and salty combos.

I should mention that the ingredients that were tossed in for this recipe were all suggested by my dear friend Suze (an amazing chef, friend, and conissouer of ball park food). Thinking along the lines of baseball food,she suggested adding peanuts and caramel to mimmic Cracker Jacks. Genius!

After adding the crushed peanuts to the softened ice cream, I added gobs of that divine salted caramel sauce! In fact, that caramel was so intoxicating that I was a doofus and forgot to take a picture of it!

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So, this is what my ice cream mixture looked like after I mixed everything in. I know that it  is probably not the most appealing picture, but believe me that after a quick taste test, it was amazing! In the future, I might not mix up the caramel quite so much because I love seeing the ribbons of caramel in the ice cream, but that just gives me another reason to make these again!

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After I mixed in all of the ingredients, I poured the mixture into a pyrex pan to even out the ice cream for easy scooping later. Then, before I put the lid on the pyrex, I lightly smooshed a piece of wax paper right on the surface of the ice cream to create a seal. I’ve noticed in the past, that dairy easily picks up other flavors of food that are in the freezer and with my precious ice cream mixture being sandwiched between my frozen chili reserves and frozen biscuits I thought I shouldn’t take my chances. So after placing the wax paper and lid to my pyrex, I set the ice cream in the freezer for a good three hours to refreeze.

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Assembly time! Get your cookies and ice cream and start making your sammies! In each ice cream sandwich, I scooped about two heaping scoops of ice cream and smooshed the cookies down to let the ice cream slightly spill out the sides. This part is essential for rolling the sandwiches in the miniature chocolate chips. The miniature chocolate chips are of course optional, but knowing my mom, skipping them was not an option!

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When you’re all done, you’re product should look something like this! (Don’t worry…chances are that yours will turn out looking muuuuch nicer!)

Since the assembly of the ice cream sandwiches does take some time, chances are that you might need to refreeze them. If this is the case, just wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap and pop them back in the freezer. Nothing will make you happier later than opening up your freezer to some homemade ice cream sandwiches!

I know that most daughters feel that their mothers are the most beautiful people they know, but I especially do. Aside from my mom being the rock in our family, she also happens to have the best laugh, cooking skills, dance moves, and most positive attitude about life (in my opinion at least). Our relationship hasn’t always been the stuff that Hallmark cards are made of, but maybe that’s why I love what we have even more.

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This is my favorite picture from childhood…just the gals 😉

Mom, I love you and hope that the next 65 years are a home run!

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