Rumor has it Turkey day is just around the corner, so I thought this would be the perfect time to roll out my new favorite winter dessert recipe: cranberry gingerbread sorbet sandwiches. Technically, I made these for my pre-Turkey day chili cookoff, which you’ll read about soon. But since cranberries only seem to appear in the market from November-December, this is a really great way to enjoy the short but delicious cranberry season.
The recipe and more food porn after the jump!
The idea for this recipe came from my original cranberry sorbet recipe, which I have rocked out for the past three years or so. This isn’t your typical cranberry sorbet. It’s got a bit of tartness, yes, but enough sugar to balance out the flavors. There is a hint of orange and ginger, not so much that you can pick it out in this recipe, but just enough to make the cranberries taste fragrant, almost like a good tea. It churns out a beautiful ruby red color, and with the addition of a little hard liquor, it stays creamy and scoopable for at least a week. I. LOVE. THIS. STUFF.
For the cookie part of the sandwich, I knew I wanted something in the ginger family. I have experimented with MANY different cookie recipes for ice cream/sorbet sandwiches, from thick chocolate chip to homemade slice and bake ginger cookies, but I have found that for a good frozen dessert sandwich, something soft (or that will eventually soften) is best. Wafer cookies work really well, but for some reason, when I used store bought ginger wafer cookies, they did not work well at all. So I turned to the book, A Passion For Ice Cream by Emily Luchetti and Sheri Giblin for a homemade recipe for gingerbread wafers specifically good for ice cream sandwiches. With a little tweaking from me, it turned out to be the perfect recipe! The cookies were crisp at for the first day, but not so crisp that they would push out the filling. By day two, the wafers had softened so the sandwich had the consistency of a true ice cream sandwich.
Be sure to make the sorbet base at least two days in advance, and freeze the base a day in advance to ensure the sorbet is hard enough to scoop onto the sandwiches without melting.
: Leena’s Cranberry sorbet with ginger and orange
- 1 cup fresh cranberries (thawed if frozen)
- 1 cup of water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
- a splash of hard liquor (I used Grand Marnier)
- Heat the sugar and water over medium heat, stirring until the sugar crystals dissolve.
- Add cranberries, orange juice, zest and ginger and let simmer until cranberries start burst and mixture is boiling. Let cool, and then puree in blender.
- Push the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, and reserve liquid. Add a big splash of liquor (just under a T) into the liquid to prevent from freezing solidly, and cool sorbet base in fridge overnight before churning. I prefer churning my sorbet the day it will be served, but you can do it several days in advance. Will yield enough for 12 sandwiches.
: Gingerbread wafer cookies
: Based on a recipe from the book A Passion for Ice Cream, tweaked by me.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons of molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sift together the dry ingredients, stirring in the salt at the end.
- Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter with the brown sugar and 1/4 cup of granulated sugar until the mixture is smooth.
- Slowly mix in the egg until incorporated. Slowly mix in the molasses and vanilla.
- Add in the dry ingredients on the lowest mixer setting until incorporated.
- Refrigerate dough until firm, 2-4 hours.
- Split dough in half, roll into two 9-inch logs, wrap in plastic wrap, and store in freezer for 2-4 hours until dough is firm.
- Preheat oven to 350 F, and line baking sheets with silcone baking sheets or parchment paper.
- Remove dough from freezer, remove plastic wrap, and roll dough in 1/4 cup of sugar. Using a sharp knife, slice cookies 1/2 inch thick. Dip each cookie slice in remaining sugar, then lay on cookie sheet 1 inch apart (will spread). Press out the cookie dough slightly. Bake a tray for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are set and not wet looking. Cookies will firm up as they cool. Should yield 24 cookies or 12 sandwiches.