Swap Cookies For Macarons When Making Bite-Sized Ice Cream Sandwiches

Macarons, the beloved French treat with the chewy meringue shell and indulgent ganache or buttercream filling, get the ultimate upgrade when they are swapped in for cookies and filled with ice cream to make mini sandwiches. While traditional cookies can get soggy once the ice cream center begins to melt, macarons will keep their texture. And with their bite-sized shape, they're great for kids to enjoy without making a mess and can stand out at parties, too.

Not to be confused with macaroons, the French dessert is made with a blend of egg whites, sugar, and ground almonds. Plain varieties have a subtle nutty note, but most types include extracts added for taste. You can find macarons for purchase at French bakeries and specialty grocery stores. Pick your favorite flavor or color, and you're halfway there! 

Just separate the shells and remove the filling, then they're ready to be stuffed with your preferred ice cream. Macarons are traditionally filled with buttercream, jam, or chocolate ganache. You can easily recreate these taste profiles by choosing a fun ice cream filling like strawberry, butter pecan, or chocolate fudge. 

Or, go the homemade route by baking your own macaron shells for custom flavors. Adding a little bit of dry ingredients is the easiest way to do this. Consider a pinch of powdered citrus peel, warm spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, or floral herbs like finely ground lavender and rosemary. 

How to make macaron ice cream sandwiches

When creating macaron ice cream sandwiches at home, you can either make the shell yourself (and skip the filling to save some time), or grab a package of pre-made macarons and simply remove the filling before swapping in ice cream. The latter will save you some effort, though you'll be limited to the flavors available in stores. 

When you're ready to sandwich the macarons with a scoop of slightly thawed ice cream, do so by first leaving the frozen treat out at room temperature for 10 to 30 minutes. One pint will be enough to create 30 small macaron sandwiches with 1 tablespoon each of ice cream filling.

You can also upgrade your store-bought ice cream while it's in the middle of thawing. The soft texture means it's easy to blend in flavor-boosting ingredients like crushed cookies, fresh fruit, crumbled pie crust, or even some eyebrow-raising options like olive oil and sea salt.

Mixing and matching can result in delicious flavor combinations, too. Try earl grey shells with lavender ice cream, strawberry shells with vanilla and chocolate swirl (to recreate a Neapolitan), or chocolate shells and espresso ice cream. The options are nearly limitless!