Downtown on the 4th of July

by Whitney Frykman, Tastemaker in Residence

The Fourth of July in Minneapolis is quite a special time and has quickly become one of my favorite holiday traditions. Combine condo view overlooking the Mississippi River fireworks, a significant other with a knack for hosting, and a dozen close friends – and this makes for a special night. 

Last year was the first annual holiday “cook out”. One of the downfalls of hosting in a condo building is the patio grilling restrictions hindering any type of burgers and brats options. We improvised by pulling together a build your own burrito bar complete with choices of grilled steak or chicken, guacamole, beans, cheese, and any accompaniment you can name.

For dessert just before the fireworks show, I presented potentially my first successful Pinterest win! Using a cookie-sandwich pan, I crafted a variety of ice cream sandwiches full of Fourth of July Spirit!

Directions below – these are easy to modify for what suits you! For the cookies, either use a cookie-sandwich mold similar to one here from Wilton or your own favorite cookie recipe and ensure that they are as flat as possible. I used traditional sugar cookies, but any flavor combination would work. This summer my plans are chocolate chip, yum! 

Fun Flavor Combos:

Dark Chocolate Cookies + Cherry Ice Cream

Snicker-doodle Cookies + Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Oatmeal Cookies + Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream

I make my cookies a day in advance; regardless, ensure they are completely cooled. This part can get messy and I imagine even more so if working with warm sandwich cookies. Feel free to make your own ice cream if that is in your wheelhouse. I used my favorite local brand Izzy’s for a true Minnesotan treat. Place one scoop of ice cream on one cookie and press down a little. Stack a cookie on the top of the sandwich and freeze immediately! Get creative with the flavor combinations and presentation and lastly, don’t forget the sprinkles! I individually wrapped mine using clear snack bags wrapped with patriotic ribbon. It was a festive ending to a great meal and fireworks show.