Two deep-chocolate cookies studded with hazelnuts, white chocolate chips, and raisins and sandwiched around creamy vanilla ice cream, Cookielida is sold at every ice cream cart and corner store in Israel. Here's how to make completely from-scratch, homemade Cookielida - 1000% as delicious and nostalgic as the real deal.Yum
Cookielida, the portmanteau of cookie and glida (ice cream), is Israel's beloved, iconic cookie ice cream sandwich, our version of the Chipwich. (Our iconic traditional-wafer ice cream sandwich is called a Kasata.) But Cookielida is not your average cookie sandwich. No, it has the ultra-Israeli trifecta of hazelnuts, white chocolate, and raisins in that there cookie. How do I know this? Well, for one, I spent a lot of time squinting at the ingredients panel on the Cookielida packaging. For another, one taste and YES. This is it. Total nostalgia.
Is homemade Cookielida a bit of a project? Okay, yes. Is it completely off-the-charts amazing and worth it? Also yes. The recipe makes six sandwiches, which is enough to enjoy the fruits of your labor, without taking forever to assemble or half a freezer's worth of storage space.
Here's how I'd recommend going about this project recipe. Give yourself three days' lead time before you want the sandwiches to be ready. On the first day, you're going to freeze your ice cream maker's canister and make the ice cream base. The canister generally needs 24 hours to freeze, and the ice cream base about 12 (overnight) to get it fully chilled and ready to churn. On the second day, bake the cookies, so that they're completely cool when you sandwich them around the ice cream tomorrow. Also on the second day, churn the ice cream base and spread it out to freeze in a pan in the freezer. On the third day, cut out circles from the well-frozen ice cream and sandwich them in the cookies.
Making the ice cream
The ice cream base is a standard French-style custard, made with 6 egg yolks to 2 cups of cream plus one 1 cup of milk. The six yolks make the finished ice cream luxuriously creamy and it's a great showcase for vanilla bean paste. (If you don't have vanilla bean paste, you can substitute in vanilla extract.) The technique I use here for making the custard is to whisk the yolks with sugar, then temper them by pouring a bit of the warmed cream-milk mixture into them. If you've never made ice cream before, I think this technique is a bit easier than the alternative, heating the cream with sugar and pouring it into straight up yolks. Also, we'll be straining the custard, so any foul-ups will get caught in the mesh. That being said, you can absolutely use store-bought ice cream instead of making your own. Just soften it enough to spread in a pan just like you'd do with freshly churned ice cream.
I used a quarter-sheet pan to spread out the ice cream for cutting into circles, but a large rectangular (9"x13" / 23x33 cm) pan would also work perfectly, lined with parchment paper.
Making Cookielida cookies
Cookielida cookies are an unfussy, one-bowl recipe. Like your standard cookie, they start with creaming softened butter with white and brown sugars. Once you add in the flour, you'll want to avoid overworking the dough; it'll be dry and thick, and you can incorporate the last of the flour while folding in the copious mix-ins. (Hands work well here; it's an obligingly non-sticky dough.)
To scoop out the oversized cookies, you'll want an extra large cookie scoop (4 tablespoons = ¼ cup). You could also use a ¼ cup measuring cup to portion out the dough in twelve generous portions. The cookies don't spread much, so be sure to flatten them with your hand. You can put them fairly close together on the sheet pan.
Assembling a Cookielida sandwich
This is the fun part, guys. Project! You have to work somewhat quickly do the melting factor, but I found the ice cream easy to work with. It cuts cleanly and comes out of the cutter without any fuss. You'll have a bit of extra ice cream left over after cutting out the rounds, which, by the end, should be just soft enough to tuck into a container for storage.
Select a circle cutter just a shade smaller than your cookie, and go ahead and sandwich each one right after you cut the circle from the tray of ice cream. Squish them together a bit and place back into the freezer right away, in a sealed container.
Looking for more nostalgic Israeli treats?
- Homemade Milky, Israel's Pudding Cup - Naturally I had to recreate this iconic Israeli treat.
- Israeli Chocolate Cookie Bites (Kadurei Shokolad) - The favorite of Israeli kids and former kids alike.
- Israeli Coffee Cake - Is it really Shabbat without one of these babies? Rhetorical question alert.
Homemade Cookielida Ice Cream Sandwiches (dairy)
- Ice cream maker
- ½ cup butter - softened - 100 g
- ½ cup granulated sugar - 100 g
- 5 Tbsp brown sugar - packed - 50 g
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour - 180 g
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder - 40 g
- ½ cup chopped hazelnuts - can substitute pecans or macademias - 50 g
- ¼ cup white chocolate chips - 50 g
- ¼ cup raisins
Vanilla ice cream:
- 2 cups cream - 500 ml
- 1 cup milk - 250 ml
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste - can substitute 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 egg yolks
- ¾ cup granulated sugar - 150 g
Make the ice cream:
- In a medium-sized pot heat the cream, milk, and vanilla bean paste until just beginning to steam, a bare simmer.
- In a small bowl, vigorously whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well blended.
- When the cream-milk mixture is steaming, temper the egg yolks by pouring about ⅓ cup of the cream-milk into the egg yolks while whisking.
- Pour the tempered egg yolks into the pot with the remainder of the milk-cream mixture. Bring to a simmer while whisking. Cook until the mixture has slightly thickened, enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5-7 minutes (until the mixture reaches 180F / 82C.
- Set up a fine mesh strainer over a mixing bowl or other large container and strain the ice cream base into the bowl/container. Cover and refrigerate 8-12 hours, until thoroughly chilled. (Place the freezer container of your ice cream maker into the freezer at the same time.)
- The next day, churn the chilled ice cream base in your ice cream maker until thickened, about 20 minutes.
- Line a small (quarter) sheet pan with parchment paper. Pour the ice cream out of the ice cream maker canister into the prepared sheet pan. Smooth the top with a spatula, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and freeze for 8-12 hours.
Make the cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 35°0F / 180°C.
- Begin by pulsing the nuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar, brown sugar, and salt until light, fluffy, and creamy, 3 minutes or so with an electric mixer.
- Scrape down the bowl and add in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Mix until blended.
- To the bowl, add the baking soda, baking powder, and cocoa and mix. Add the flour and mix until just combined. The dough will be thick and dry.
- Fold in the hazelnuts, white chocolate chips, and raisins.
- Using a large cookie scoop (¼ cup), make the dough into six large cookies. Flatten the tops with your hand.
- Bake for about 12-14 minutes, until the cookies are set, but still somewhat soft in the centers.
Assemble the ice cream sandwiches:
- Remove the sheet pan of ice cream from the freezer. Using a circle cutter just about the size of your cookies (about 2 ½" / 7 cm diameter), cut out circles of ice cream. Punch them out of the cutter - they should be easy to work with - and sandwich between two cookies. Working quickly, continue to make the other 5 cookie sandwiches.
- Store in a sealed container in the freezer.