Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tea Time with Brandy: Ice Cream Sandwiches and Nielsen-Massey Giveaway!

There certainly are a lot of silly food holidays about these days.  Treats like pancakes, hot dogs, and even yams have their very own holidays, as do cocktails like margaritas, mojitos, and negronis.  While it's easy to grin and bare these tasty celebrations, there is one food holiday so serious that it gets an entire month's worth of celebration.  July, for those of you who may not be in the know, is National Ice Cream Month, and for Brandy (who needs no excuse to eat more ice cream), this particular celebration might be her favorite thing about summer.  "I don't trust anyone who says they don't like ice cream," Brandy says, "It's like saying you don't like the color of the sky or fish swimming in the ocean annoy you.  There are things in this world that are just naturally beautiful, and ice cream is one of those things."

One way of gilding the lily, so to speak, is the glorious creation that is the ice cream sandwich.  The inability to eat an ice cream sandwich without getting at least a little messy is one of those things that brings us all together as a species.  It is no wonder then that when Nielsen-Massey, purveyors of fine extracts and flavorings, came to Brandy with the idea of putting together an ice cream sandwich in celebration of National Ice Cream Month, she was more than happy to oblige.  Using a brilliant base recipe from Nielsen-Massey, Brandy crossed the humble ice cream sandwich with another of her favorite desserts, blueberry cheesecake, for a treat that is chewy, gooey, and oh so sinfully delicious!  Nielsen-Massey also agreed to give away one of their signature Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Pastes to one of our lucky fans so that they can get a head start on whipping up some of these delights yourselves!

To enter the giveaway, just leave us a comment below this post, on our Facebook page, or tweet us your favorite flavor of ice cream (and make sure to use the hashtag #NMVIceCream).  A winner will be chosen at random and notified next Wednesday, July 9th before noon CST.***  And please do let us know if you try out these delicious ice cream sandwiches for yourselves!

Congratulations to Joann B. for her entry on Facebook!  Please email us at with your address so we can send you your prize from Nielsen-Massey!

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwiches** 

Blueberry Graham Sandwich Cookies
(Makes about 3 Dozen) 
2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1¼ sticks) butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1½ tablespoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 egg
¼ cup unsulphured original molasses 
1 quart fresh blueberries
¼ sugar to dip glass bottom

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 light-colored heavy baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. 
In a large bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, cardamom, and salt, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, add butter, powdered sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and chocolate extracts; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in egg. Add molasses; beat until combined. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients in three batches, beating after each addition until combined. 
Roll 1-inch balls and place on cookie sheets. Using the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar, lightly press each cookie flat. Bake one sheet pan at a time on center rack until done, about 8-10 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Ice Cream (Yield 1½ Quarts) 
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract
¼ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Lemon Extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
1 block of cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon of Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Bean Paste

In a 4 quart glass measuring cup add 3/4 of the sugar, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and salt. Smash with a potato masher; stir in cream and milk; set aside. 
In a smaller bowl, mix the cream cheese, the rest of the sugar, and the vanilla bean paste.  Set aside.

Assemble ice cream maker. Turn ice cream maker on and pour ice cream mixture into *frozen container. Let mix until ice cream thickens, about 20 minutes. 

Transfer ice cream into an air tight container, swirling in the cream cheese mixture to create a ribbon effect; freeze for several hours, or for a firmer ice cream, freeze overnight. Scoop ice cream, place between 2 cookies and gently press.

Or, for a prefect ice cream round; line a 9x13-inch pan with foil then evenly spread ice cream with a rubber spatula; cover and freeze overnight. Then use a cookie cutter to cut desired diameter of ice cream rounds and place between 2 cookies. 
*Follow manufactures directions for freezing container, 24 hours or longer is ideal.
**Original recipe courtesy of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas with alterations by
***Products provided by Nielsen Massey to the writers of this blog for the purposes of this post


  1. Strawberry. Very traditional

  2. Sue E. - Favorite ice cream flavor - dark bittersweet chocolate. #NMVIceCream
    Orchids are my favorite flower and I appreciate Nielsen-Massey's finished product from the Vanilla orchid. Why use an imitation vanilla in dishes? It has NO vanilla in it! Only the real thing for my kitchen creations!

  3. Favorite Ice Cream= Chocolate-Cherry ;)

  4. My favorite ice cream flavor is French Vanilla
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net