Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches

“Give way to your worst impulse.”

“This is going to be an interesting day,” she muses, followed by, “what IS my worst impulse, anyway?”  She’s acted on a few impulses lately, primarily bad ones, in retrospect.  She’s uneasy imagining where her absolute worst could push her.

Created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt in 1975, Oblique Strategies is a technique for cultivating seeds of innovative creativity.  Originally in the form of printed cards, each strategy, like “Give way to your worst impulse,” offers a challenging constraint intended to help artists (particularly musicians) penetrate creative blocks. The cards contain a suggestion, aphorism, or remark which can be used to break dilemmas in creativity. Some are specific to music composition; others are more general, but all can be used to break through any creative dilemma. The cards are now available on an app which she recently downloaded. Strategies include:

  • Disciplined self-indulgence
  • Make a blank valuable by putting it in an exquisite frame
  • Go slowly all the way round the outside
  • What are you really thinking about just now? Incorporate

Forever struggling with her elusive impetus to write, she is on a continuous lookout for tools to ease her tortured (or non-existent) process.   Downloading the strategies onto her phone, she concluded, in addition to helping her write, would make a great tool for breaking through her quotidian life blocks as well. And so begins her dilemma on surviving a day when her directive is to give way to her worst impulse. 

She would have preferred, “Imagine the art as a set of disconnected events.”  Disconnected – yes – like this introduction and the recipe below.  That’s something she’s extremely familiar with.

Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches

  • Servings: 9 Sandwiches
  • Print

Classic chewy oatmeal cookies bookend rounds of vanilla ice cream rolled in mini-chips.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 ½ quarts ice cream in a square tub, such as Breyers
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 375⁰ F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or Silpat liners. Whisk together flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.
  2. Brown butter by melting in a small skillet over medium-high heat, stirring and scraping bottom of pan until milk solids are dark golden and butter has a nutty aroma. Stir in cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cinnamon butter, sugars, and oil and whisk to combine. Add egg, yolk, and vanilla and whisk until mixture is smooth. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until combined. Add oats and stir until evenly distributed.
  4. Divide dough into 18 portions (I use a small ice cream scoop). Arrange dough balls 2” apart on prepared sheets. Using damp hands, press each ball into a 2 ½-inch disk.
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes until cookie edges are set and centers are still soft, but not wet. Let cookies set on sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Cut cardboard from ice cream and slice into 1” thick slices. Using a 3 ½-inch cookie cutter, cut 2 rounds from each slice, 9 slices total. Sandwich ice cream between two cookies, and roll in mini chocolate chips. Freeze until ready to serve.

*Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Classic Chewy Oatmeal Cookies


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