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Root Beer Popcorn Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Root beer popcorn cookie sandwiches

An ice cream sandwich that shows why popcorn belongs in a cookie.

These root beer popcorn cookie ice cream sandwiches by Browned Butter Blondie‘s Heather Mubarak, author of cookbook Stuffed: The Sandwich Cookie Book, take a bit more time to make than most. But, according to Mubarak, “they’re also a lot of fun, and the end result is nothing short of totally addictive.”


Yield:12-14 ice cream sandwiches
  • Root Beer Popcorn
  • 2 cups root beer
  • 4 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • ____________________________
  • Cookies
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ____________________________
  • Slow-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, cold
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold
  • Tools:medium saucepan, small bowl, baking sheet, large bowl, small saucepan, large spoon, stand mixer with paddle attachment, electric ice cream maker, 9x13 in baking dish


In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, simmer the root beer until reduced to 1⁄2 cup [120 ml]. This will take about 25 minutes. Once reduced, remove from the heat and transfer the root beer to a small bowl to cool slightly.

Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 325°F [165°C]. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Place the air-popped popcorn in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, add the brown sugar and cook, stirring, until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken. Continue stirring for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the color deepens. Stir in the reduced root beer and bring it to near boiling. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens significantly, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt. Allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour the root beer mixture over the popcorn and use a large spoon or spatula to stir it together until all the popcorn is coated evenly.

Transfer the popcorn to the prepared baking sheet. Use the spoon or spatula to gently spread it evenly across the baking sheet.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed into the popcorn, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Remove the popcorn from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before adding to the cookie dough. The popcorn will be soft at first but will become crunchy as it cools. Once cool, use your hands to break up any large pieces.

To store the popcorn to use later, place it in a large plastic storage bag for up to 5 days.

To Make the CookiesPreheat the oven to 350°F [180°C] and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg followed by the vanilla, and mix until well combined. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Stop when there are only a few streaks of flour remaining.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the root beer popcorn. Do not overmix.

Cover the bowl and chill the dough for 10 minutes.

Use a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 in [5 cm] between each cookie.

Bake for 10 to 11 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are just barely golden brown and the centers are set but not overbaked. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before using a spatula to carefully transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

To Assemble the Ice Cream SandwichesUse a cookie cutter the same size as the cookies to cut out rounds of vanilla ice cream from the pan. Place an ice cream round on the flat side of one cookie and top with a second cookie, flat-side down. Gently press together to form a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining cookies and ice cream. Place the sandwiches in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.

Store the cookies (without ice cream) in an aiight container for up to 4 days. Once the ice cream sandwiches are assembled, keep tightly wrapped in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Slow-Churn Vanilla Ice CreamIn a large bowl, combine the milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt and mix with a hand mixer on medium-high speed to combine well. Add the heavy cream and mix for 1 minute. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

Stir the mixture and then churn it in an electric ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. The ice cream will be soft and creamy.

Line a 9 by 13 in [23 by 33 cm] baking dish with wax paper.

Once churned, transfer the ice cream to the prepared baking dish. Use a spatula to spread the ice cream into the corners of the pan and level the top.

Freeze overnight or until solid.

Store tightly covered in the freezer and use within 2 months.

For AssemblySlow-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream or 1 1⁄2 qt store-bought vanilla ice cream

NOTEIf using store-bought ice cream, prepare it ahead of time: Soften the ice cream at room temperature and use a large spatula to spread it into a parchment-lined 9 by 13 in [23 by 33 cm] baking pan. Use an offset spatula to level the top, working quickly so that the ice cream doesn’t melt completely. Freeze overnight.

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