Hot Pink Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

What a pleasure, the “Barbie” movie came out this summer turning our world into a sea of pink. I love the bright and splashy color, “pink,” and the vibrance which it has added to our universe. A little fantasy and imagination helps balance all the sobering news in our world. To celebrate the Barbie theme, I devised a shortbread ice cream cookie sandwich to share. And, it is delicious. Cherry-infused ice cream filling and bright pink icing make the cookies mighty tasty. I named them “Hot Pink Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches” to avoid any copyright infringment issues with the Mattel folks. It takes several steps to make this dessert, but it is worth it. The shortbread cookies with pink icing can stand alone, but why not add a cherry ice cream filling?

The most common reaction to these cookies is that they look like “Pop-Tarts®.” Hum. Although this was not intentional, I have to admit that my cookie sandwiches sort of resemble “Pop-Tarts®.

“Pop-Tarts® and Barbie dolls do have a similarity. They were were introduced in the same generation. “Pop-Tarts® are toaster pastries with a sweet filling inside two retangular pastries. They were introduced by Kellogg’s in 1964. Usually the tarts are iced. Barbie dolls were introduced on March 9, 1959 by Mattel, Inc, a toy company cofounded by Ruth Handler and her husband, Elliot. Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken, was introduced in 1961. (Barbara and Ken are the names of their children.) So these two consumer products — Barbie/Ken dolls and”Pop-Tarts® – come from the same era. They both fit the “retro” theme.

Recipe Inspiration

The shortbread cookie recipe comes from a little cookbook entitled, simply, “Cookies!” (See Reference.) The recipe book was published in 2007 by two food columnists — one hails from New Zealand and the other from Canada. They met in England and co-authored a number of cookbooks. The recipes in Cookies! certainly show English influence as the ingredients differ subtly from ones commonly used in the United States. For example, confectioner’s sugar is used extensively in the recipes. The collection contains a wide variety of interesting cookies. The recipe which I adapted for the shortbread cookie base shows up several times in the book. I guess I’ve been looking for an excuse to make these cookies.

Shortbread Cookie Recipe

I love shortbread cookies. These cookies are rich — containing butter, flour, confectioner’s sugar, egg yolk and almond flavoring extract. Very simple ingredients. No leavening agents such as baking powder or baking soda are included in recipe. Simple can be decieving, as these cookies are worth making from scratch. They are delicious. Yes, now I have a great British shortbread cookie recipe.

To make the cookies, mix the butter and powdered sugar using an electric mixer until the mixture is soft and creamy. Then beat in the egg yolk and almond extract. Last, mix in 3 cups of flour on very slow speed. The dough may still be a little crumbly. Gently knead together into a ball and refrigerate the dough

I wanted to cut square cookies with beveled corners for my ice cream sandwiches. Very trivial, but rounded corners make a polished cookie. Of course, I had every cookie cutter ever produced but a square cookie cutter with beveled corners. I’ll admit that I’m a perfectionist and also determined. (No time to order something on the internet.) After driving around town, I found a set of cutters at my third stop. Now, I can make construction cookies, too! (If you don’t have this cookie cutter, using a ruler to cut square shapes also works.)

After the cookie dough chills for about 30 minutes, remove from refrigerator and knead on a lightly floured board until the dough is pliable. (I worked with half of the dough at a time.) Roll to slightly less than 1/4″ inch thickness. Re-roll the scraps and cut out more cookies. This 2-1/2″ cutter made 24 cookies. Bake until lightly brown on the bottom.

Ice Cream Filling

These cookies can served just “as is”and topped with glaze and decorating sprinkles. However, I was ambitious and decided to make a cherry-infused ice cream filling. (You could also use flavored, commerical ice cream without mixing in any fruit.)

I love ripe, fresh cherries in the summertime and decided that this would make a tasty ice cream flavor. I hoped that the filling would be pink. However, when blended with the ice cream, the color was a light puprle — not pink. Fortunately, the flavor was great. My cherry “infusion” sauce included fresh cherries, frozen orange juice concentrate, sugar and I added a little cherry extract to boost the flavor. (I located this at Michael’s Craft Store.)

I found some luscious, juicy sweet Michigan cherries in our local Albertsons grocery store. Of course, you must remove the pits and stems. I used a fork to dig into the center of the cherries and pull out the pits.

Then I chopped the cherries, added the other ingredients and cooked on the stove briefly to dissolve the sugar. After the sauce cooled down, I added it to softened vanilla ice cream and let this freeze again until firm. (This step takes several hours and can be prepared a day ahead of time.)


These “Barbie” cookies need pink glaze to capture the spirit of the movie. To make the glaze, I mixed together the confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla extract and several drops of food coloring gel.

For the glaze, you need a thick but slightly pourable mixture. Usually I have to “tweak” the glaze by adding confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time, to get the right consistency. If the glaze is too thick, I add just a teaspoon of milk at a time. Last, add one drop of pink color gel at a time until you get the desired color icing color.

I added glaze to half the cookies and then topped them with colored sprinkles — work quickly before the glaze sets.

To assemble, add a dollop of the cherry ice cream filling onto a plain cookie and top with a decorated one to make the ice cream sandwiches. Freeze again — the ice cream melts quickly! (It is difficult to judge exactly how much ice cream filling you will need — we had extra filling, and just enjoyed a scoop of the filling by itself.)

These “Hot Pink Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches” are as fun for grown ups to eat as well as children. After all, we had Barbie dolls, too. They make another tasty summer ice cream dessert. This dessert is rich and sweet and very “retro.” Enjoy the movie and these shortbread cookie sandwiches!

Hot Pink Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

  • Servings: 12 cookie sandwiches
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients for the brownies:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

For the ice cream filling

  • 1 cup fresh sweet cherries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice concentrate
  • 2 drops cherry flavor extract
  • 2 cups (1 pint) vanilla ice cream, softened

For the glaze*:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar, more as needed
  • 2 Tbsp milk, more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • several drops pink-rose food coloring gel
  • colored decorating spinkles

Method and Steps for the Shortbread Cookies:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the butter and confectioners sugar in large bowl of electric mixer on medium speed until creamy and soft.
  3. Beat in egg yolk and almond extract.
  4. On low speed, slowly beat in the flour and mix to a firm dough.
  5. On a lightly floured board, form dough into a ball.
  6. Wrap dough with plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  7. Working with half of the dough at a time on a lightly floured board, roll the dough out to slightly less than 1/4 inch. Using a square 2-1/2″ cutter, cut out shapes and transfer to the prepared sheets. (May use a small diameter cutter, if desired.)
  8. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden on bottom.
  9. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Method and Steps for Ice Cream layer:

  1. Remove the pits and stems from the fresh cherries. (Use fork to dig into each cherry and remove pit.) Chop cherries. 
  2. Add the chopped cherries, sugar and orange juice concentrate to a medium-sized saucepan.
  3. Stirring frequently, bring to a boil and cook until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Remove from heat, add 2 drops of cherry flavoring extract.
  5. Cool completely. 
  6. Combine cooked cherries with softened vanilla ice cream. (Cherries may sink to the bottom, mix well.)
  7. Place in freezer for 2 to 4 hours until firm

Method and Steps for Glaze:

  1. Place confectioners sugar in a small bowl.
  2. Stir in the milk. Beat until the concistency is smooth and shiny but not too runny. If too thin, add one tablespoon of confectioners sugar at a time. If too thick, add one teaspoon of milk at a time.
  3. Stir in one drop of food color gel at a time until glaze reaches desired color.
  4. Working with one cookie at a time, spread glaze on cookie, sprinkling on colored decorating spinkles. Add glaze and sprinkles to half the cookies; leave the other half of the cookies plain. Work quickly, as glaze hardens quickly.

To finish Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches:

  1. Place one unglazed cookie on a plate, top side down.
  2. Place about 2 Tbsp cherry ice cream filling on top of cookie.
  3. Top with a glazed cookie.
  4. Wrap cookie in plastic wrap. Return to freezer. (Ice cream melts quickly — work quickly.) Repeat with remaining cookies

*NOTE: If preparing 24 glazed shortbread cookies rather than ice cream sandwiches, increase glaze ingredients to: 1-1/2 cup confectioners sugar, 3 Tbsp milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, several drops of pink food coloring gel.


Cookies! by Pippa Cuthbert & Lindsay Cameron Wilson published by GoodBooks 2007

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