I really cannot believe it’s July already! Strawberry season is already coming to a close and because it was our first year growing strawberries, I wanted to give our beloved berries one last hurrah. So I made these. And by these, I mean: decadent, rich, creamy, gooey frozen bundles of strawberry chocolate delight.
I had always wanted to try my hand at a homemade ice cream sandwich, but I still don’t own an ice cream maker and they always just seemed like so much work. But faced with mountains of gorgeous ripe strawberries to use up, I was reminded that strawberry sorbet is actually dead easy to make. Because strawberries are naturally fleshy and high in pectin, you don’t even need an ice cream maker to get a perfectly creamy and smooth strawberry sorbet. Plus, if your strawberries are ripe and delicious enough, you barely need to add any sugar.
So I whipped up a batch of sorbet and then these brownie cookies just kind of happened. Because in my world, if you add chocolate to an already good thing, you usually end up with a divine thing.
It’s been such a pleasure growing our own strawberries. And also a challenge because we are doing it organically and still learning how best to manage pests, mold, weeds, irrigation, and soil fertility.
But for our first year, we were incredibly impressed with the size, quality, and amount of strawberries we got.
Growing and providing our local community with organic strawberries is very important to us because they are one of the worst crops for pesticide residues. Did you know that 45 different types of pesticide residues have been found on conventionally-grown strawberry by the USDA Pesticide Data Program? Many of them are carcinogens and hormone disruptors. I realize we can’t all always afford to buy organic, but if there’s one thing I always always recommend buying organically, it’s strawberries.
A few notes about my sorbet recipe. I use ground chia seeds because I find they improve the texture of sorbet. They also deliver a nice omega 3 and nutrient punch. No one will ever realize they’re there, they don’t leave a taste and you can’t see them. Also, I use sugar very sparingly because the berries are already very ripe and sweet. Beautifully ripe strawberries are essential for achieving a delicious sorbet! And finally, a tablespoon of vodka will give your sorbet a lovely texture because it lowers its freezing point and prevents it from getting too hard.
So if you’re also looking to celebrate what a wonderful strawberry season it’s been this year, I encourage you to make these rich and refreshing morsels of goodness. Or at the very least, a nice easy batch of strawberry sorbet. Enjoy!
Strawberry Sorbet Brownie Sandwiches
- For the Strawberry Sorbet:
- 6 cups chopped organic strawberries (about 1.5 pound)
- 1/3 cup cane sugar (add a bit more if your berries are not sweet enough)
- 2 Tbsp finely ground chia seed (optional)
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice (optional)
- 1 Tbsp vodka (optional)
- 1 pinch of salt
- For the Chocolate Brownie Cookies (adapted from Pure and Yummy):
- 1/2 cup butter
- 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 8 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- For the Strawberry Sorbet: Place all the sorbet ingredients in a food processor and process until creamy. Strain out the strawberry seeds if you wish (optional), for a smoother sorbet. Pour into a shallow container and freeze for about 3 to 4 hours. Break the frozen mixture into chunks, let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, and then put it all back into the food processor. Puree until smooth and lighter in color. You may need to stop and start the food processor to move the chunks around a bit so the processor can break them all down.
- Once the sorbet is creamy and smooth, you can use it right away to make your cookies sandwiches, or if you find it's too soft, it may need about 20 more minutes in the freezer. You can also leave it in the freezer and use it at a later time. If it's been in the freezer for a while, it will likely need about 15 minutes of thawing out before being 'scoopable' and ready to spread on the cookies. If it's been a few days or weeks in the freezer, you may need to cut it into chunks again and throw it in the food processor again until it has a smooth consistency.
- For the Chocolate Brownie Cookies: Melt the butter and chocolate on very low heat in a small saucepan. Stir often and remove from heat as soon as melted. Let the mixture cool.
- Beat the egg, sugar, and vanilla on high speed for about 3 minutes, until lighter in color and fluffy. Add the cooled butter and chocolate and mix well.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Gently add these dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, mixing by hand until a soft and uniform batter is reached. It will feel more like a cake batter than cookie dough, this is normal. Scoop the dough onto parchment paper-covered baking sheets, leaving 1 inch between the cookies. The cookies won't spread out much in the oven.
- You can make the cookies as big or small as you want your sandwiches to be. For a nice palm-sized sorbet sandwich, I like to drop about 3 Tbsp of cookie batter and I use the back of a spoon or spatula to flatten and round out the cookies slightly so they are about 3 to 4 inch circles, and about 1/2 inch thick.
- Bake the cookies for about 35 minutes at 350F. Cool them on the cookie sheets for about 5 to 10 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks.
- For Assembly: Make sure the cookies are completely cooled down before making your sorbet sandwich, otherwise the sorbet will melt.
- Your sorbet should be nice and 'scoopable', if it is too hard, thaw it out on your counter for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Place the amount of sorbet you'd like (I use about 1/4 cup of sorbet per cookie) on the bottom-side of a cookie, spread it out gently and top with another cookie. You can serve the cookies right away or freeze them and serve later. If they have been frozen for some time, they will benefit from thawing out for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Yield: Makes about 1 dozen sorbet sandwiches
Aube Giroux is a food writer and filmmaker who shares her love of cooking on her farm-to-table blog, Kitchen Vignettes.
Aube is a passionate organic gardener and home cook who likes to share the stories of how food gets to our dinner plates. Her work has been shown on television and at international film festivals. Her web series was nominated for a 2014 James Beard Award. In 2012, she was the recipient of Saveur Magazine’s Best Food Blog award in the video category.