Squeezed in the Middle

Growing up as I did in a house filled with junk food, I had many options. Cookies lined the shelves, each vying for my attention, screaming "Pick me!"

Passing over crunchy chocolate chip, I would quickly made my way to the sandwich cookies. Nutter Butters were my all-time favorites. So much so that my homemade variety appears on the cover of my upcoming cookbook.

I waited all year for Girl Scout cookie season, particularly for the Do-Si-Dos. I’m not sure if it’s the cookies or the filling that I love more. If I had to choose, I would say it’s those soft, peanut-buttery middles.

Baking cookies from scratch allows you to think outside the cookie box for filling ideas. Of course, there is the classic cream filling (think the “stuff” of Oreos), which you can make at home by creaming three simple ingredients: butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. I love adding citrus zest, espresso powder, cocoa nibs or even peanut butter for a twist. Heck, you can even fold in Cap’n Crunch cereal. The beauty of a filled cookie is there are endless possibilities.

To add a little more fun to your summer barbecues, bring along some sandwiches, of the sweet variety. All you need is either store-bought or homemade cookies and several pints of ice cream in your favorite flavors — then scoop away! Your guests will have as much fun creating different combinations of ice cream sandwiches as they will eating them.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Try making:

Hedy's Key Lime Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches (pictured above)
Food Network Magazine's Praline Ice Cream Sandwiches

Hedy Goldsmith, a 2012 James Beard Award finalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef, is the executive pastry chef for the Genuine Hospitality Group of restaurants including Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami and Grand Cayman, and Harry’s Pizzeria in Miami. Now in her second season of Cooking Channel’s Unique Sweets , Hedy has appeared on Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate and lauded in The New York Times , People , Wine Spectator Bon Appétit , The Huffington Post and Food & Wine magazine. Hedy’s first cookbook,  Baking Out Loud: Fun Desserts with Big Flavors  (Clarkson Potter / Publishers), will be released October 2.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Enhance Girl Scout Cookies with Ice Cream

If you've been eating them straight out of the box, then you've been seriously missing out.

Humidity and Cookies — Fix My Dish

Moisture may be good for your plants or your skin, but not for your cookies. Find out how to keep your cookies fresh this summer.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies — Most Popular Pin of the Week

It's not too early to indulge in fall flavors. Try Food Network's Most Popular Pin of the Week: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

How to Decorate Cookies for Spring

May flowers bring joy — the kind of joy that inspired me to break out my brushes so that I could paint and capture what I saw on ... cookies!

2-Ingredient Banana Cookies (and Neither Is Sugar)

These Banana Cookies are so simple. You mash up two very ripe bananas with old-fashioned oats and bake. That's the whole technique right there. Get the full recipe.

Go-To Ingredients for Grilling Season

What do you really need on hand for quick, easy summer dinners? Here’s our go-to list.

Taste Test: Dairy-Free Ice Cream

These are our picks for the best dairy-free ice cream America’s churning out today

Order This, Not That: Ice Cream Truck

Set limits for the little ones with these better-for-you items to order off the iconic summer ice cream truck.

5 Ways to Make Ice Cream Scooping Simpler

Here are five tips to make scooping easier — and thus make summer better.