I love it when I am able to make a recipe simpler than originally written with equally delicious results. This recipe is a fine example. Former subscribers of Gourmet magazine may recognize this recipe from the last August issue ever printed (2009). When I received it in the mail, I knew by looking at the cover that this recipe was a must make. Ice cream swirled with a blueberry compote and sandwiched between soft brown sugar cookie layers-- yum! My problem was certainly not with the end result, but it was the actual recipe breakdown. It called for adding lemon juice and zest to vanilla ice cream and then placing the ice cream in a separate pan and swirling the blueberry mixture throughout. I knew immediately that it would turn out too lemony for my taste and the swirling would make for a blueberry mess with extra dishes. Still wanting a tasty frozen treat that looked as good as it tasted, I took matters into my own hands.
First, I omitted the lemon flavorings in the ice cream. Then I swapped out the ice cream for a premium vanilla frozen yogurt. It has a sweet tang and it is lighter than ice cream (better for the swimsuit season!). I made the blueberry compote with lemon juice and lemon zest. I then made the cookie layers with a touch of cinnamon. For assembly, I dolloped half the blueberry compote on one sandwich layer and topped it with the softened frozen yogurt. I dolloped the remaining compote on top of the yogurt layer and then placed the second cookie layer on top. Allow it to freeze for several hours, preferably overnight, so it will slice easily. You'll be rewarded with an incredibly tasty summer treat that is also pleasing to the eye. One bite will send you into blueberry pie à la mode bliss. The one thing I wasn't able to change-- brain freeze!
Frozen Yogurt Sandwiches with Blueberry Swirl
For the Blueberry Compote
2 cups (10 ounces) fresh blueberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
For the Sandwich Layers
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 extra large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 pints premium vanilla frozen yogurt ( I use Häagen-Dazs)
For the Blueberry Compote
In a 12-inch skillet, cook the blueberries, sugar, and lemon zest over medium-high heat, thoroughly crushing the berries with a potato masher or the back of a large fork until the juices have released and the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice and cornstarch. Stir the lemon juice mixture into the blueberry mixture. Bring the entire mixture to a boil, stirring until the mixture is thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (Can be made up to one day in advance).
For the Sandwich Layer
Preheat the oven to 375º F with the rack in the middle. Butter and flour two 8-inch baking pans, then line with parchment paper with sides over hanging for easy release. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Reduce the speed and add the flour mixture in two batches, mixing just until combined. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans, spreading with an offset spatula. Bake until golden brown, but still tender, 10-12 minutes. Cool completely in the pans for least 1 hour.
Keeping one sandwich layer in the pan, dollop half the blueberry compote over the base. Spoon all of the softened frozen yogurt over the blueberry and spread evenly using an offset spatula. Dollop the remaining blueberry compote over the yogurt. Using the parchment overhang, carefully remove the second sandwich layer from the pan. Invert the layer over the blueberry and yogurt, pressing gently to form and even sandwich. Fold parchment overhang over the sandwich and wrap baking pan in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
When ready to serve, remove plastic wrap and unfold parchment. Using parchment, transfer the sandwich to a cutting board. Trim edges if desired, then cut into bars. Ice cream sandwich (before cutting) can be made 1 week in advance wrapped in plastic wrap and then in foil. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Gourmet, August 2009