An Oatmeal Chocolate Chip ice cream cookie sandwich is high on the list of ‘perfect summertime treats.’
One of my fondest memories of my high school days in Virginia Beach was when we would leave a day at the beach and swing by the local 7-11 and pick up a Big Wheel ice cream cookie sandwich. In case you didn’t have a 7-11 where you grew up, Big Wheels were head and shoulders above your standard ice cream cookie sandwich with a cookie that you would swear was just baked that morning and ice cream that was not your typical ‘convenience store’ ice cream.
Fast forward a few years, a marriage, a move to Nashville, TN (where, shockingly, there were no 7-11s) and the birth of our two children. The whole ‘absence makes your heart grow fonder’ thing probably played a part my vocal and heartfelt pining for a Big Wheel and the vivid and mouth-watering image I built up in my children’s minds about the Big Wheel.
I reinforced the place that the Big Wheel held as the holy grail of ice cream sandwiches on one of our road trips back to Virginia Beach to visit my parents and promised my kids a pilgrimage to 7-11 so that they would finally know of what I spoke.
But…for reasons that I still find inexplicable, 7-11 stopped selling Big Wheels! Needless to say, my children were disappointed, but I was (and still am) heartbroken.
We really want our children to experience the joys of our childhood. To that end, we’ve taken them back to Terry’s old neighborhood in Columbus, to football games at both of our alma maters and to my school and favorite restaurants from my youth in Hawaii. All that is fine and well, yet I will never be able to share the bliss of a 7-11 Big Wheel with my children.?
It is in trying to fill that hole in my heart that I endeavored to re-create the Big Wheel at home…and came pretty darn close with this Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich recipe.
And in case you are wondering, yes…I do seem to have an ‘ice cream’ thing going on this summer…but don’t worry, I think I’m about done with it now. And truthfully, you do have to admit…ice cream…summer…I mean, can’t blame a girl, can you?
If you want an ice cream cookie sandwich with cookies that are soft and pose zero resistance to your teeth, then the secret is to make them and immediately eat them…bypassing the freezer. Freezing will make the cookies harder (thinking that the ones at 7-11 probably had some chemical to prevent fully freezing…but that was before my label reading days).
But I wanted to be able to freeze my ice cream cookie sandwiches, so I did a little research on making the cookies as soft as possible even when frozen.
There are a couple tips to make a chewy cookie that will still give a little even when frozen.
For the Chocolate Chip Cookies
Preheat oven to 350'
Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mat
Cream butter and both sugars on high for 3 minutes until light and fluffy
Add in vanilla and eggs and mix until just combined
Mix flour, baking soda and salt in separate bowl and then add to the butter mixture until just combined.
Add chocolate chips and oats and mix until just combined
For this recipe, I used a large cookie scoop so that my cookies were of the same shape and size. Space your dough scoops about 2-3 inches apart on your mat
Bake for 13-14 minutes until just browning on the edges but still soft in the center.
Let cool on wire rack
To Assemble the Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches
Once the ice cream was frozen, I was able to cut it into 6 slices. Then I refroze another 'can' of ice cream and cut it. If you want to do it all at once, then use 2 empty cans. You may need to pop your sliced ice cream rounds back in the freezer if they start to melt.
It was then just a matter of making the sandwiches and rolling them in the mini chocolate chips.
ey are practically perfect in every way when eaten now...but if you do need to freeze them, they can sit at room temperature for 5 minutes without melting and then the cookie is just that much softer.
Freezing the ice cream in a clean can and then slicing the ‘tube’ of ice cream was an easy way to get uniform, round slices of ice cream that were the perfect size for my cookies. I used the large OXO cookie scoop for my 3-3.5″ cookies.
So, while I’ve never quite forgiven 7-11 for discontinuing their Big Wheels (and in researching the demise of this tasty treat I discovered that I am not alone), I do feel that I finally have a ice cream cookie sandwich substitute that I can make at home so that I can finally have the enjoyment of watching my kiddos bite into these simple but soul-nourishing treats.
If you too feel the loss of the 7-11 Big Wheel, I hope that this ice cream cookie sandwich recipe provides some consolation. Bookmark or pin it for your future reference.
And if you are looking for other ice cream desserts, consider the following:
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