Thin Chocolate Cookies + Ice Cream Sandwiches

I’ve been thinking lately: One of the worst parts about being far away from people is missing out on the everyday stuff of their lives, you know? The funny stories about coworkers, the play-by-play of awkward conversations, the new recipes, the introductions, the disappointments, all those ordinary humdrum things that make up our days. I remember feeling it after college, when my friends lived in other states and e-mail and phone calls could only help so much. Then there was last summer, when the friend I’d worked with for three years got a new job (and shortly thereafter, I became self-employed) and we stopped seeing each other every afternoon.

It’s life. People get married, friends move away, there are job transitions and new cities and all kinds of change. We should expect it.

And for me, lately, it’s been the transition of my own leaving—moving from almost everyone I know to live in a different city, to be with a different person, eight hours away from where I was—and along with it, the unintended but accompanying blog break, where I’m barely eeking out a weekly post. Where did that come from?

thin chocolate cookies

It seems these things can kind of sneak up on us. I mean, one day, you’re spending a casual Thursday chatting with your friend at the office; the next, you’re sitting at your roommate’s dining room table, eating avocado on toast in the middle of Tennessee. It’s life. It’s change. I may always be amazed by it.

And I think, in all these transitions, there are moments when you miss things—say, your family, your streets, the ability to run to Whole Foods with your brother at 9:30 PM—but, the longer you hang on and stick with it, seeing all the new, good things in your life along with what can seem to be bad, things keep feeling more normal. You grow with the change, and you adapt.

Also, you work really hard at staying in touch with the people you love because then you probably can. I hope.

More thin chocolate cookies

So that’s what this post is all about: you and me, staying in touch. A lot has happened since that chicken soup debacle, for example, and you ought to be updated: Tim and I went home for a few days to surprise my mom for her birthday (and it worked!); I got over being sick; I tried chewy, charred Neapolitan-style pizza at City House; I met an old coworker for coffee/lunch and we bonded over a love for warmer weather in the South. I’ve even got a real bed now, and it was approximately $50 cheaper than what I’d expected to pay.

ice cream sandwiches

Beyond that, as you’d expect, there has been some cooking.

When I have a little down time, I usually think of cookies—because some things don’t change at all—and after a few experiments last week, I was still on the hunt for a good chocolate cookie.

ice cream on cookies

Ideally, I was looking for a chocolate cookie with some crunch—a gingersnap but made of chocolate—and while these aren’t exactly that, they are a good find just the same.

ice cream spread on cookies

Plus, being that they’re adapted from an Oreo recipe at Smitten Kitchen, it was an obvious next step to turn them into sandwiches of some kind, which is exactly what we did Tuesday afternoon with Ben & Jerry’s vanilla.

chocolate cookie ice cream sandwich

Oh my goodness, people. It was really good that there were only four cookies left when the ice cream sandwich idea happened—just enough for two—because otherwise I literally wouldn’t have been able to stop making them.

Prepare yourself: These are no joke. I like to think of them as a byproduct of the move—along with changing addresses and learning new things and missing people—because in that way, things really seem pretty great.

Thin Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Confession time: I am that person who almost never lets the butter get to room temperature before baking her cookies. With a recipe with this one, it’s a problem because if the butter isn’t soft, the batter will be VERY dry and difficult. So let it come to room temperature–or, if you’re like me, wash your hands very well and start kneading.

1 1/4 cups flour (I used white spelt)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup sugar (I used Sucanat)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg

With two racks set in the middle of the oven, preheat it to 375°F.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and Sucanat in a bowl, using a stand mixer, a hand mixer, or a food processor. Add the room-temperature butter, and then add the egg. Continue mixing until the dough comes together in a mass (See above note about mixing).

Place rounded teaspoons of batter on a parchment-lined baking sheet, setting them approximately two inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

TO MAKE THE SANDWICHES: Just add ice cream between two cookies, and then prepare to have your socks knocked off.


  1. says

    Oh my gosh, I’m famous!!!! 😉 Thanks for the shoutout!

    This is such a great post–love what you said about life changing and sneaking up on you. I can relate!

  2. Amanda says

    And it’s a good thing this is a blog post b/c I feel like consuming about five of those right this minute!! Ah, change…trying to make peace with it myself.

  3. Kendra says

    Sooooo, when I come see you in Nashvegas, will you make these for me? Awesomethanks.

  4. says

    I’m swooning over these pictures. And hey, you know what the nice thing about the South is? You can eat ice cream sandwiches there in February with much more legitimacy than you could in Chicago. Yay for that!

  5. says

    Rachel, You commented on the blog! And you were the first on this post! Way to make my day. Hope we meet up again sometime soon. : )

    Amanda, HA! I so know what you mean about wanting about five. Seriously. And you and your new family of FIVE look beautiful.

    Kendra, You come to Nashville and it’s done. Just like that. BAM.

    Allison, Me too!

    Maddie, So true. i mean, we may be undergoing a tornado at this moment (whaat?) but it’s also in the 50s. LOVE.

  6. says

    Aww, have been missing you! I had no idea there was so much change going on for you right now…phew, girl, if we only lived closer we could get together and really bond about these things. But it sounds like things are falling into place a bit? It sure does take a heck of a long time, doesn’t it? And hey, once a week on the blog is nothing to sneeze at…I have trouble with that too these days! Happy weekend, xox.

  7. says

    Hi Shanna –
    This was a really great post – I totally understand the new city feeling. Some times it’s wonderful and adventurous, and other times it’s just kinda blue without your friends and the everyday normalcy. – Keep writing and reflecting! It’s good stuff.
    Also, love the name of the coffee shop; it looks like a fun place.

  8. says

    Ok, first of all. I want all of these cookies. In my mouth. Right now. And also, I completely feel you when you talk about the little things that you miss when you move away. I live an ocean away from my family and my college friends and there are so many little details you miss out on. But on the other hand, you get to carve out some pretty badass experiences yourself. Enjoy the move and the transition…also, the cookies. oh, the cookies.

  9. says

    I don’t bake much, but those look great. I think I will have to make those later this spring. Thanks for the recipe. Good luck with the transition.

  10. Elizabeth says

    Hi, Shanna! These look fantastic, the baby wants a whole bunch of these, thanks for recipe

  11. says

    What a great post. I’m glad your move went well, and you seem to be settling nicely in Tennessee. So happy for you as you embrace the transition…and the cookies.

  12. says

    Megan, I feel homesick for you even though we’ve never met–is that weird? I wish we really could sit down and chat about moves and businesses and pies that get swapped for other wares at farmers markets. You would be so much fun to talk to!

    Katie, Man, if anyone understands the new-city feeling, it’s you! You’ve moved so much over the last few years, I know, and I honestly have a new respect for what comes with that. It’s all new to me!

    Emily, HA! You sound like a kindred spirit–and not just because of the cookies. Thanks for that comment!

    City Share, I hope you do!

    Tim, They WERE! I want more, too!

    Elizabeth, “Baby wants some” has got to be the best eating excuse EVER. Love it! Hope you’re feeling well!

    Kim, Thanks, friend! : )

  13. says

    Hey you. It’s nice to “hear” your voice here again. Glad you’re settling in OK, with yummy cookies and all.

  14. says

    Oh, these are like a hug on a plate, and exactly what I need right now with my husband away for two weeks and me fretting about writing and house moves… Thank you : )

  15. Vicki says

    Those cookies look sooo good! I’ve been continuing my project to assign myself recipes from the magazine clippings/e-mail in box/your blog. Last week I tried Self magazine’s cook once eat healthy all week. In about two hours I made five dinners. If you haven’t already, check out the photos I posted on Facebook. My food shots aren’t as good as yours but I think you might like the before and after shots I took of the sink!

  16. says

    jacqui, I was thinking today that I miss being able to see you for a weekend lunch. I knew I would. But I’m glad, at least, that we still have blogging. Can’t wait to hear about your honeymoon!

    Lynne, Oh, my heart goes out to you! Transitions are exciting but also terrifying. Hope these cookies are just the plate of comfort you need!

    Anne, : ) I like that positive thinking!

    Candy, Me too!

    Vicki, Five dinners in two hours? Nice work!

    Melinda, Ha! It’s coming, it’s coming! I’m glad the kitchen helps bridge the seasons for us. : )

  17. says

    These cookies are so wrong. I want to eat my screen. Hang tight – home is where you love and live… even if it’s so much farther from the nest.

    “And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there.” 1 Corinthians 7:17, The Message

  18. says

    again, we’re living parallel lives, or at least thoughts! my house gets packed up this weekend and these thoughts you’re having are constantly running through my head. they are good tears, but still, it’s hard! it sounds like we’ll both be more than ok, though :).

  19. says

    Ginger, That was such a perfect message for me to hear. I am right where God wants me to be. Thank you for that!

    Heather, Indeed! It’s nice to know someone else is in the midst of moving, too, though. : )


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