Summertime, summertime!! Who is ready?? I am! Before I get into this winner recipe, it’s last call for my Healthy Cooking Made Quick & Easy bootcamp, which starts Wednesday, and Entertaining with Ease, which starts Thursday! If you struggle with creating systems so you can pull off cooking healthy meals that everyone will eat as often as you’d like, or knowing the key essentials to stock your kitchen, and lots more – that’s the Quick & Easy bootcamp – my original with hundreds of rave reviews. Use the code EASY100 for $100 off! If you can’t figure out how to have your friends over AND feel relaxed and enjoy yourself, I can help! Use the code EWE100 for $100 off my Entertaining bootcamp!
Ok, back to this deliciousness! I successfully made a vegan and grain-free cookie dough ice cream sandwich that no one knows is one of the healthiest desserts ever. I swear when I ate one of these for breakfast, my blood sugar did not even spike LOL. (Not recommending this as a breakfast food, of course.) I taught these in my online monthly class a few years ago and it was also my summer dessert I served on the regular. No one had any idea they weren’t the “normal” cookie dough and ice cream situation.
This is a two-for-one recipe. But here’s the deal – you can use whatever ice cream you love, you don’t have to make your own. But I know there are people out there that would love to enjoy ice cream and be able to control how much sweetener they use and the quality of the ingredients. Plus, have you noticed how expensive higher quality ice cream is??? Yikes!
I have had this ice cream maker for years and years (see the link below) and I think it’s great. I use it all the time in the summer and for Thanksgiving. It’s also a great conversation starter when friends come over and I churn out fresh ice cream! But we buy ice cream too, of course. Our favorite dairy-free brands are Nada Moo, So Delicious, and Van Leeuwaan. The key to using store-bought ice cream is to soften it enough that you can spread it out over the cookie dough.
There’s a couple ways to you can make these. In this photo, I used a loaf pan which makes a pretty thick cookie dough layer and quite honestly, looks better in photos! But I very often make this in an 11 x 7 pan with a thinner cookie dough layer. You can make these a week or two in advance and they stay great in the freezer. The vegan ice cream does get a bit hard if you store it in a container, but not in the sandwich. You can pull the sandwiches out and eat them straight away.
You can also take the frozen ice cream sandwiches and dip them into melted chocolate on one side for some extra decadence and/or dip the cut sides in sprinkles. This has FUN SUMMER written all over it!
If you make this recipe or any of my recipes, please tag me on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations @pamelasalzman #pamelasalzman!
You can shop the tools I used for this recipe by clicking on the images below:
- Ice Cream:
- 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
- ⅓ cup tapioca flour/starch (this is my secret ingredient for making vegan ice cream not turn into an ice cube.)
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
- ⅔ cup pure maple syrup (you can probably use honey if you prefer)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 ounces (about heaping ⅓ cup) unsweetened 100% cacao chocolate chips or pieces
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Cookie Dough:
- 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
- ¼ cup creamy almond butter or raw cashew butter (I haven't tried it, but tahini might work)
- 2 Tablespoons maple sugar, cane sugar, or brown sugar
- 6 Tablespoons water
- 2 cups fine blanched almond flour (I have not tried any other flour here)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda (optional but makes it taste a little more like cookie dough)
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- Place the bowl of the ice cream maker in the freezer the night before.
- Blend all the ice cream ingredients, except unsweetened chocolate chips and vanilla in a blender until well combined or blend in a medium saucepan with an immersion blender.
- Pour into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring frequently. Do not let this mixture burn! Once it comes to a boil, continue to stir for a few minutes until thick. Remove from heat, add chocolate chips and vanilla, and stir until chocolate is melted. Blend mixture with an immersion blender for 1 minute (or transfer to a blender and blend). You can leave it in the saucepan, transfer it to a bowl or (my preference) transfer it to a large measuring cup with a spout. Cover and place in the refrigerator until completely cool (at least 4 hours).
- Meanwhile, prepare the cookie dough: blend dates, almond butter, sugar, and water in a blender until smooth.
- Transfer the date mixture into a medium-large bowl and stir in the almond flour, salt, baking soda, and chocolate chips until well combined. The mixture will be slightly sticky.
- Line an 8 ½ x 4 ½ or 9 x 5- inch loaf pan or an 11 x 7 baking dish with unbleached parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang along the sides. Press half of the cookie dough mixture at the bottom of the pan, creating an even layer. You can fold in the excess parchment to press against the dough to avoid sticking. Place a second sheet of parchment over the first cookie dough layer and press the remaining cookie dough mixture into an even layer. Place loaf pan with both cookie layers in the freezer. (Alternatively, press the entire mixture into a parchment-lined pan and freeze. Cut in half horizontally before filling with ice cream.)
- Once the ice cream mixture is cool, churn in the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Remove loaf pan from freezer and remove the top cookie dough layer. Spread about 2 cups of ice cream evenly over the first cookie dough layer inside the loaf pan. Gently press the second cookie dough layer over the ice cream to create a sandwich. Place in the freezer until the ice cream firms up a bit so it’s easy to slice. I usually make this the day before I want to serve it, but holds up well after a week or two as long as it’s well wrapped.