These fancy-pants French Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches are the perfect addition to breezy summer evenings, sparkling wine, and weekend entertaining. Conveniently packaged as their own personal treats, these hand-helds are begging to be enjoyed poolside all season long. The shells have a delicate almond flavor with a perfectly chewy texture, meaning the ice cream won’t squish out the sides with every bite.
Think French macarons are a bit on the fussy side? The no-churn ice cream filling definitely keeps the labour involved nice and balanced. I love giving classic pastries a contemporary twist, and these macaron ice cream sandwiches are every bit delightful and whimsical as they are impressive. Feel free to switch up the colors, swap in your favorite ice cream, and get creative with your toppings!
Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches
yields 10 to 12 sandwiches
For the Shells
200 grams ground almond flour
200 grams powdered sugar
200 grams granulated sugar
50 grams water
140 grams egg whites (from about 4 large eggs)
gel food coloring of choice
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick silicon mats and set aside.
Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar together in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Place the granulated sugar and water in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until the mixtures registers 238 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and let rest for about 30 seconds.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs whites with an electric mixer until medium-soft peaks. If using a stand mixer, begin whisking on high when the sugar mixture hits about 210 degrees.
Once the sugar mixture is hot and the eggs are whipped, keep the mixer running on high speed and carefully pour in the sugar. Pour in the sugar slowly and try to keep it from hitting the whisk to prevent hot sugar splatters. Continue to mix on high until the outside of the mixer bowl returns to room temperature (about 8 minutes). During the last minute or so, add in the gel food coloring, if desired.
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Using a large, rubber spatula, begin folding in the meringue mixture into the almond flour mixture in three batches. Use large, deliberate folds – turning the dry ingredients from the bottom of the bowl up to the top. Continue to fold and smooth out the batter until it falls like thick lava off of the spatula – not too stiff and not too runny. Rotate the bowl as you fold and smear the mixture against the sides of the bowl with spatula to smooth. Do not over-mix.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a medium-large round piping tip with the macaron batter. Pipe out large, flat dollops of the batter, about 3-inches in diameter, on the prepared baking sheets. When done, rap the bottoms of the baking sheets a few times against a safe work surface to knock out any air bubbles.
Allow the piped macarons to rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes or until the tops feel dry to the touch and are not too sticky. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. When done, the tops of the macarons should “jiggle” slightly but still feel attached to the base. Cool the macarons on the baking sheet for at least 5 to 10 minutes before carefully pealing them off the parchment paper or baking mat. Once cool, place the macarons shells in zip-top plastic bag and freeze.
For the No-Churn Ice Cream
2 cups cold heavy cream
½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
Add the vanilla been seeds to the cold cream and beat on high until medium-soft peaks. Gradually add in the condensed milk and continue to mix with a whisk until combine and airy. Spread the cream mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet and cover with a piece of wax or parchment paper. Freeze until set.
chopped chocolate or mini chips (optional)
Using a round cookie or biscuit cutter with the same diameter as the macaron shells, cut out disks of the frozen ice cream. Working one at a time, fill a matching pair of macaron shells with the ice cream, very gently sandwich them together, and partially roll in the sprinkles or chocolate (if using). Place the sandwiches back in the freezer until serving.
To ensure that the shells are similar in size, trace a biscuit cutter or drinking glass on a piece of parchment paper, flip upside down, and use as a template to pipe the macaron batter.
Macaron shells are pretty delicate. Use a gentle hand when sandwiching them together with the firm ice cream and transferring to the freezer.
Feel free to flavor the ice cream base or just use store-bought. Let the pre-made ice cream softened a bit, then spread into the rimmed baking pan and re-freeze. Alternatively, regular scoops of ice would work too!