I realized earlier this summer that it had been years since I have had an ice cream sandwich. While working an event, I came across a food truck that specialized in just ice cream sandwiches and they actually had a gluten-free and dairy-free option for someone like me. YAY! It was delicious, messy and probably loaded with sugar and lots of other stuff I prefer not to eat. It immediately got the gears turning in my head. I wanted to make a healthy ice cream sandwich myself and I of course just needed to find the time to actually play with some recipe ideas.
I know we have all seen the one or two ingredient banana ice cream that has been making it’s rounds all over the internet for the last two years. If you haven’t tried it yet, you must. Stop what you are doing right now, put those bananas in the freezer and make some yummy healthy ice cream. It is simple to make and sooo surprisingly creamy and delicious. I realized it would make the perfect ice cream sandwich filling since it is creamy, simple to make and literally has nothing more than bananas in it. A great compliment to some grain-free dairy-free cookies!
I am sharing the cookie recipe over on Free People today as part of my ongoing Restricted Diets series with them and so I expanded on the recipe to make this a two-for-one deal; a cookie recipe and a bonus ice cream sandwich recipe! Plus, we had our friends Dan and Debbie over earlier this week to celebrate Dan’s birthday, so I wanted to make something special for him that we could all enjoy. Debbie is experimenting with a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, so I am pretty sure her mind was blown that these were OK for her to eat! They were a hit, I don’t think anyone believed me that the filling was just bananas and the cookies were totally grain-free!! I love recipes like that.
You could have some fun with these, adding some mini chocolate chips to the outside of the ice cream, adding cocoa to the banana mixture to make chocolate ice cream, swirling some almond butter in with the bananas, etc. Get creative.
[print_this]Grain-free Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies – Gluten-free + Dairy-free
Makes 12-18 cookies
- 1 cup creamy unsweetened, unsalted almond butter (if you are allergic to nuts, try sunflower seed butter)
- 1 local farm fresh egg
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (raw sugar or brown sugar would also work)
- 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup mini dairy-free chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life brand)
Preheat oven to 350º F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, or the bowl of your standup mixer, add the almond butter, egg, coconut sugar, honey (or maple syrup), ground flaxseed, vanilla, baking soda and salt. Beat until smooth and creamy; approximately 2 to 3 minutes. You may have to stop it once or twice to scrape down the sides. Fold in the mini chocolate chips with a spatula.
Drop rounded tablespoons of the dough onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies turn a slight golden brown; they will be slightly puffy but they go down as they cool! Cool the cookies right on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. They are quite fragile when they first come out, so don’t rush moving them, give them the full 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining dough. Makes 12-18 cookies, depending on the size you make your cookies.
*I used local raw honey, in its liquid state.[/print_this]
This cookie recipe was originally shared on the Free People blog BLDG 25.
- 8 to 12 (of the above) grain-free almond butter chocolate chip cookies
- 4 frozen organic bananas, peel them before freezing*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Once the cookies are fully cooled, take the ones you will be turning into ice cream sandwiches and place them in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet or cooling rack, into the freezer, I would suggest leaving them there 15 – 30 minutes, if you can. Meanwhile cut the frozen bananas into 3 or 4-inch pieces, they will blend up easier this way. Place frozen banana pieces into the bowl of your food processor with the vanilla extract. Pulse, on high, until the bananas are broken down a bit and then let it process until it is smooth and creamy, but still frozen, don’t process it too long or it will turn into a smoothie. You can add a splash or two of non-dairy milk or water if the mixture is having a hard time getting started.
Take the cookies out of the freezer. To form the ice cream sandwiches take one cookie and top the flat side (the bottom of the cookie) with your desired amount of banana ice cream, then place the second cookie on top and gently, very gently, press down until the ice cream has spread to the edges of the cookies and you have an ice cream sandwich. You may want to scrape, with your finger or a knife, any ice cream that squeezes out the sides too far and drips down. At this point, I liked to put them back in the freezer to let them fully set up. At least 30 – 45 minutes. You can freeze them overnight if you wish, just be sure to wrap them individually in parchment paper, freezer wrap, foil, etc.
*I suggest freezing the bananas overnight so they are fully frozen but you can freeze them as little as a few hours. [/print_this]