Lisa Erickson mug

The below zero temps are putting me over the edge. I was enjoying the winter and getting used to the cold. Then, BAM, the “It hurts to be outside,” weather arrived in full force.

Last week, I was helping unload a truckload of Tillamook ice cream into the cooler at Crystal Ball Farms. When I went into the cooler, I thought the motor had gone out because it felt warm. Nope. Thermometers indicated normal. When it’s -13 degrees with a strong wind outside, 32 degrees feels warm! The only thing I like about the super cold temps is it gives me an excuse to bake. 

Baking things I normally make during the summer is my way of saying, “Take that, Winter!”  I made tropical coconut cookie ice cream sandwiches last weekend and served them after my favorite summer meal—Fish Tacos. After the blinds were closed, and some Bossa Nova music was playing in the background, we didn’t even think about how cold it was.

Ice cream sandwiches are the perfect summer treat, but they taste good anytime! There are so many different flavor combinations you can make by changing the type of cookies and ice cream. I’ve had ginger cookies with peach ice cream and white chocolate chip cookies with dark cherry ice cream—any combination is good

Under bake the cookies, baking them until they are just set. Let them cool completely before transferring to a cooling rack. They are much easier to bite into when they are frozen. I also freeze the cookies before I put the ice cream in the middle. It helps keep the ice cream from melting too fast before serving or if I refreeze them. 

Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches 

Makes 6 dozen cookies or 36 ice cream sandwiches

2 ¼ cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup butter, use the best quality

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

¾ cup sugar

3 cups shredded coconut, lightly packed

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. almond flavoring

1 half-gallon, best quality vanilla ice cream like Tillamook 

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in coconut; set aside. 

In another large bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until creamy with a mixer at a medium speed; about 3-4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined. Add vanilla and almond extracts and mix until combined. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture, stirring only until there are no more streaks of flour.

Drop by teaspoonsful onto the baking sheets. Bake for 7-8 minutes until set, but not brown. Allow cookies to cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough.

To assemble: Freeze cooled cookies. Place one scoop of ice cream between two cookies and press until ice cream reaches the edges of the cookies. Serve immediately or keep ice cream cookie sandwiches frozen until ready to eat.

Lisa Erickson is a food columnist who loves adventure and food. You can find more recipes at or email her at

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