Summertime is fast approaching, which in my hometown means it will be blazing hot in just a matter of weeks. That warm summertime sun means it’s time for my favorite way to cool down–ice cream! It’s the best way to get relief from those super hot sun rays, and I love it all different ways– in a bowl, on a cone, in a milkshake, and especially sandwiched between two cookies. (Hey, that rhymed! Summer time poems, y’all…) Today I’m sharing an ultra-decadent way to enjoy this summer treat with my Caramel Cream Cheese Stuffed Churro Ice Cream Sandwiches, with help from Smart & Final‘s First Street Ice Cream.
In my hometown, not only does summertime mean it’s hot, it also means it’s time for one of the biggest events of the year–our yearly Fair! I have such great memories of visiting our fair each year– I’ve been going for over 20 years now. I love the atmosphere: the games, the rides, the concerts (we’ve had Maroon 5, Gavin DeGraw, Journey, and all kinds of country acts recently), the competitions, the animals, and especially the food.
Ask anyone in town about our fair, and I guarantee they’ll list the food as one of the best parts. We wait all year for some of our favorite fair treats to make their return. I could literally eat my way through it–the tacos, the grilled corn, the BBQ, the cotton candy, the pepper bellies, the Sioux burgers, nachos, and most importantly–the churros!
Being from California, Mexican food has been a huge influence on our traditions around here. Churros are just one of those things that I can’t go to a fair and NOT have. The crispy dough, coated in delicious cinnamon-y sugar has to be one of my all-time favorite treats.
Because summertime and fair time are pretty synonymous wherever in the country you go, Smart & Final and their First Street Ice Cream brand are getting in on all the fun. Starting May 14th, Smart and Final will be hosting a “Cowdown” contest on their Facebook page, pitting your favorite ice creams against each other. (I mean, what’s a good State Fair without some good competition?) Each day two flavors will battle it out, and you can win an iPad or a Kindle Fire!
Smart & Final makes shopping easy for my family. We love that it’s a cross between a warehouse store and a regular grocery store–without the club membership card and all that fuss. The items we need in bulk are available, but I don’t have to buy 40 avocados or hamburger buns that I don’t need either. It’s the perfect combination for grocery shopping.
In honor of Smart & Final’s State Fair “Cowdown,” I thought it would be amazing to come up with a State Fair-inspired ice cream sandwich, using Smart & Final’s First Street ice cream, and my favorite fair food–the churro. I combined easy churro-inspired cookies with ice cream for a fair-inspired treat that is truly out of this world.
The cookies are made from pie crust, stuffed with a vanilla cream cheese filling and caramel sundae syrup, then brushed with butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar.
Then, I sandwiched a big scoop of First Street’s Vanilla Bean Ice Cream between two cookies and rolled it in some more cinnamon sugar.
These taste just like churros, and I love that the cookie shape lets me add the ice cream so easily. The cream cheese and caramel filling just makes them even more amazing, and I guarantee you’ll love them!
Caramel Cream Cheese Stuffed Churro Ice Cream Sandwiches
Makes 12 Sandwiches
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 refrigerated pie crusts, defrosted
- 4 tablespoons caramel sundae syrup
- 2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 carton Smart & Final First Street Vanilla Bean ice cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, trimmed to fit.
In a bowl, combine cream cheese, vanilla, and 1/2 cup sugar.
2. Unroll one pie crust onto a flat surface. Divide the cream cheese mixture in half, and spread onto the crust.
3. Top the cream cheese with the caramel, drizzling it to cover all the crust.
4. Place the other pie crust on top. Using a cookie cutter, or the mouth of a mason jar, cut out circles (or another shape) from the dough, and place on the prepared cookie sheets.
5. With the tines of a fork, lightly seal the edges of each cookie to prevent the cream cheese from leaking out.
Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until cookies are firm and golden. Let cool.
6. While cookies are baking, combine the rest of the sugar with the cinnamon in a bowl. Brush the cooled cookies with the melted butter, then coat thoroughly with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
7. Repeat this process for the other two pie crusts.
8. Place a medium scoop of the vanilla bean ice cream on half the cookies, then top with the remaining cookies.
Roll the sides of the ice cream sandwich in the remaining cinnamon sugar.
These cookies are so super easy and just as delicious–I know you will love them! They’ll bring back memories of State Fair blue ribbons and ferris wheels.
For more recipes and ideas like this, visit the Smart & Final social circular, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter. Don’t forget to visit their Facebook page starting May 14th for the First Street Ice Cream “Cowdown” contest and your chance to win an iPad or Kindle Fire!