In case you think that I’m so virtuous and never eat treats, this blog will prove otherwise. I know the weather is getting chilly…but it’s always ice cream season for me. And I love this treat so much that I didn’t want to wait until spring to share.
This particular recipe actually started with an experiment. I was making my regular chocolate-chocolate chip cookies (which I tell you how to do at the end) and decided to see what happens if I replace half of the margarine (which I know isn’t so healthy) with peanut butter. I loved the flavor, but the cookies were too delicate and crumbly. Instead, I turned them into ice cream sandwiches. For this purpose, these cookies were even better than regular cookies. The delicateness of these cookies meant that they didn’t overpower the icy treat in between…it was easier to bite (biting through two frozen cookies is a lot more work than biting through the typical cakey outside of a store-bought ice cream sandwich).
Of course, with my dairy sensitivity, it’s been quite a while since I’ve had real ice cream. Coconut Bliss has become a worthy substitute—lots of great flavors and nice mouth feel so I don’t feel deprived…and most of them are sweetened with agave instead of cane sugar (my strongest food sensitivity). Their Cherry Amaretto, in particular, makes me not miss ice cream.
I adapted the cookie part of this recipe from the “Deep Dark Chocolate Drops” recipe in The Cookie Cookbook (now out-of-print). But since I’ve replaced the majority of ingredients with my food-sensitivity-friendly alternatives, I feel like I own it now! This recipe makes about 15 sandwiches.
For the cookies:
- ½ cup almond flour
- ½ cup oat flour
- ¼ cup corn flour
- ½ teaspoon xantham gum
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips (I use chips from Davis Chocolates because they are sweetened with coconut sugar)
- ½ stick (1/4 cup) margarine (I use Earth Balance’s soy free sticks)
- ¼ cup natural peanut butter
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- 1½ teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer plus 2 Tablespoons warm water (or use one egg)
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened almond or coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 pint “Naked Coconut” Coconut Bliss (or pick your favorite flavor of ice cream or nondairy substitute).
Directions for Cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut parchment paper to fit cookie sheet(s). (These cookies are too delicate to bake right on the tray.)
- Place chocolate chips in a small microwaveable bowl. Microwave 30 seconds; stir. Microwave at additional intervals of 15 seconds until chips are melted and smooth.
- Combine flours, xantham gum, cocoa and baking soda in a medium bowl.
- In a separate bowl, beat margarine and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add melted chocolate, egg replacer and water, milk and vanilla. Beat until well blended.
- Add flour mixture one-quarter cup at a time, beating on a low speed until just blended.
- Let batter rest about 10 minutes.
- Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls on a cookie sheet. No more than 12 per sheet—these really flatten out
- Bake 11 minutes.
- Cool at least 5 minutes to ensure cookies won’t lose shape or break when you transfer to a cooling rack. Even better, after cooling, carefully slide the parchment paper to the cooling rack with the cookies still on.
- Let cookies cool completely before assembling the sandwiches
Directions to Assemble the Sandwiches:
- Take Coconut Bliss (or whatever frozen treat you’re using) out of the freezer to soften to a spreadable, icing-like consistency, about one hour. (Stir periodically to help move along the softening process, mixing the meltier top layer with the more frozen layer below.)
- Cover a baking tray with wax or parchment paper.
- Match cookies by shape and size so sandwiches have a clean edge.
- Using a spreading knife or small spatula, gently spread melty Coconut Bliss onto the flat (bottom) side of a cookie. Gently place another cookie on top, carefully squeezing to ensure the Bliss fills to the edges of the cookies but without crumbling the cookie. You’ll want about a quarter-inch of frozen treat between the two cookies once the two sides are properly pressed together.
- Continue until all cookies are “sandwiched.”
- Place the tray in the freezer to harden.
- If you’re not serving that day, place each sandwich in a wax paper bag, folding in half and then half again. The wax bags make handy holders when you eat them later. Then place bagged sandwiches in a zipper freezer bag or container. And, of course, store in the freezer. I don’t know if these last more than two weeks because we always eat them within that time.
A final note: If you simply want really yummy Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies that are gluten-free, egg-free and dairy-free, use one stick of margarine and eliminate the peanut butter. Mix in another ¾ cup chocolate chips to the batter at the end. Baking time is still about 11 minutes. Maybe I’ve been baking this way too long, but I truly don’t miss the wheat…or the eggs…or the butter! Makes about 3 dozen cookies. Let me know what YOU think!