Ice cream sandwiches have come along way since they first appeared one hot summer on the streets of New York around the turn of the twentieth century. At that time, for the price of a penny, street vendors sold what they referred to as “hokey pokeys” which were slabs of ice cream between sheets of paper. As they were sold on the street, the sandwiches tended to cater more towards working-class individuals, however, the appeal quickly caught on and they soon became a hit with Wall Street workers alike.
Although the Food Network tells of the earliest known recipe for an ice cream sandwich using two slices of sponge cake, the frozen treat we are more familiar with today is ice cream sandwiched between either cookies or crispy wafers. Since my first introduction to the ice cream and cookie combo, I have never looked back. I had originally thought that plant-based eating would mean saying farewell to such decadence, however, it seems not! With nice cream, a tasty frozen filling, sandwiched between a couple of vegan chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, the treat lives on!
Recipe for Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches
As the popularity of the ice cream sandwich increased, they began to be mass produced and, unfortunately, they are now considered a highly processed food full of fats and sugars. However, this version of the ice cream sandwich is relatively easy to put together and is full of whole ingredients making it a healthier alternative to the traditional treat. The cookies used for this recipe are chocolate chip oatmeal and they can be enjoyed either on their own or made into these delicious ice cream sandwiches filled with frozen bananas mixed with the gooey caramel-like flavour of medjool dates.
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies:
- 1 1/4 cups (125g) old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup (75g) whole wheat flour (can replace with an all-purpose gluten free flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup smooth almond butter (or peanut butter)
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup maple syrup (depending on preferred sweetness)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup (60g) dairy-free chocolate chips
Banana Ice Cream Filling:
- 3 (about 300g) frozen bananas
- 4 medjool dates, pitted
- splash of oat milk if needed
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- To make the cookies: preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix together oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and set aside.
- Melt the coconut oil and mix with the almond/peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla until well combined.
- Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and then fold in the chocolate chips.
- The total mixture is just over 450g in weight. For evenly sized cookies, measure out portions of about 37 g (this should make about 12 cookies). Roll each portion into a ball and place on the baking sheet and then flatten into cookie shapes with a lid or the back of a spoon.
- Bake the cookies in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until edges are golden, then let them cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
- Once the cookies are completely cool, place them in the freezer for at least 10 to 20 minutes which helps to keep the cookies firm.
- To make the ice cream: add chopped pieces of frozen banana to the food processor and blend. Soak the dates in hot water for about 30 mins to soften and then chop and add to food processor. When blending the ice cream, don’t worry if the dates don’t break all the way down as they make tasty chunks in the ice cream filling. If needed, add a splash of oat milk to assist with blending.
- To make the ice cream sandwich: place a large scoop of ice cream on the bottom side of a cookie and then gently press down a second cookie on top and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer.
- To serve: take ice cream sandwich out of the freezer for 5-10 minutes before serving.
National ice cream sandwich day is August 2nd and these ice creams would definitely be a tasty treat during the long hot days of summer. However, as summer feels a long way away right now, especially as it is likely the coldest week of the year, I find it just as pleasing to enjoy them when cocooning inside by a toasty fire watching the snow fall outside. After all, ice cream is ice cream and my feeling is that these frozen treats make a great snack at any time of the day, and any time of the year. It is always good to be prepared for anything and once made, these goodies can be happily stored in the freezer until such time as they might call your name!
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