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Family Central: Valentine’s Day Gelato Sandwiches

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your family with a FRESH twist on ice cream sandwiches: Get the kids to help you make homemade, heart-shaped chocolate sugar cookies, then sandwich them together with your favorite flavor of our house-made gelato.

This recipe is just a little softer and chewier than a traditional rolled sugar cookie, so it holds up better to the rich gelato than a more brittle cookie does.

For the filling? We love the strawberry gelato at FRESH, both for flavor and looks, but really almost any flavor will do. (If you’re making this for teens or adults, try Donatella, the hazelnut-chocolate flavor; it’s to die for.)

Chocolate Sugar-Cookie Gelato Sandwiches

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour, plus more for rolling out
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa (preferably dark-chocolate or Dutch-process)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Optional: Baker’s sugar (larger, decorative crystals, found in baking supplies area)
1 to 2 pints FRESH gelato, your choice of flavor, for sandwiches

In medium size bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until blended.

Slowly, add flour mixture, stirring until well-combined. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour and up to 24 hours.

BAKING: Preheat oven to 350° F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper . Remove dough a few minutes before you want to roll it out. Place about one-third of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll no thinner than about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with heart-shaped cookie cutters and transfer to prepared cookie sheet, at least two inches apart. If desired, sprinkle half of cookies with a bit of baker’s decorative sugar. (These will be the top of the cookie sandwich.)

Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on size and thickness of cookie, until edges begin to look “dry” but the center is still slightly doughy and puffy. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool on wire rack.

TO MAKE SANDWICHES: Let cookies cool completely. Before assembling cookies, pull gelato out of freezer to let it soften slightly, at least 5 minutes and up to 15, depending on temperature of your deep freeze.

Working quickly, place one cookie on a platter or plate, top side down. Place a scoop of softened gelato in center of cookie and gently spread to cover. Do not push too hard or cookies will break. Top with a second cookie, sugar side up. Place completed sandwich in a plastic container or a cookie sheet and repeat with remaining cookies, creating a single layer of completed treats in container. Return to freezer and chill for at least 20 minutes before serving.

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