ginger spice ice cream sandwiches

I can't believe such perfect cookies for ice cream sandwiches came out of my oven. These are super soft and chewy which makes them an ideal ice cream sandwich partner and the sugar coating gives them a nice crunch. I am a sucker for spiced treats in the fall, so I really went for it with the ginger and cinnamon here, but feel free to use at your own discretion. You can freeze these and whip them out at dinner parties for oohs and ahhs.  The cookies are very simple and the ice cream only has two ingredients: bananas and cinnamon. 

soft ginger ice cream cookie sandwiches

put down the phone

All I ask is that when you eat these, please put away all your distractions. Turn off the TV, computer, and phone. Just take the time to only concentrate on this amazing cookie sandwich when you eat it. No one is so busy that they can't take 5 minutes to enjoy a treat, and only do that. I promise it will taste better if you take this advice. Just try it.

This recipe in concept was very heavily inspired by the wonderful folks at the minimalist baker who did an all vegan/gluten free version, and my bible: the cookiepedia by stacy adimando.  

ginger spice ice cream sandwiches

Makes: 4 Dozen Cookies
(or more if you make them tiny like me) 

cookies:
2 1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 sugar (I like the course in the raw!) plus extra for rolling (it will change your life)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark molasses

ice cream:
5 ripe frozen bananas
4 tablespoons of cinnamon

note: you can swap in store bought ice cream. I ensure you these will still taste good! But really, try making banana ice cream, it is good.

instructions:

ice cream
If you are going to make your own banana ice cream, start now. Use bananas that are very ripe because they will taste a whole lot sweeter. Peel and cut the bananas into small pieces and put into a tupperware or wrap in parchment paper, or put into a ziplock bag. Freeze for at least four hours or overnight. After freezing, separate the pieces as much as you can before blending, if the blender stalls, add a little water or milk, or let the bananas thaw slightly. Then add your cinnamon (or get creative). Next put the banana ice cream back into the freezer until hard (probably 2-3 hours depending on your freezer). 

fall spice cookies
Combine all the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and set aside. Cream the sugars and butter together, this works best with a mixer, but by hand will work as well. Add the vanilla and egg and mix well, then add the molasses and mix until combined.  Cover the dough for 15-20 mins in the fridge.  Preheat the oven to 325F. Pour some extra raw sugar into a small bowl, I also added a pinch of sea salt to this mix. Roll the dough into 1/2 inch -1 inch balls and then roll them around in the sugar/salt mix. Bake for 8-10mins at 325 (don't overcook so they stay soft). 

Assemble the cookies by freezing the cookies for about 15min-20min or until completely cold and hard. Let the ice cream soften just slightly. Then scoop and assemble! 
 

 

spicy butternut squash + carrot soup + spooning tips

This is my go-to crowd pleaser butternut squash soup. Very easy to make, versatile and packs so much delicious goodness. My secret is adding in a TON of ginger to make the soup really pop with flavor and spiciness. 

spicy butternut squash soup

I generally always like to keep a butternut squash around. Besides the beautiful big yellow gourd always staring me down, frankly a squash nearby just makes me feel comfortable.  I know people can get hung up on squash because it does take a couple of steps to get to usable chopped segments. However I would say, it is worth it every time, and after a little concerted practice, the peeling de-seeding and chopping can speed up significantly. I recommend a strong vegetable peeler, a sturdy spoon to scrape the inside contents, and a sharp large knife for chopping. 

spooning tip

Do you find it hard to slow down during a meal? Put your spoon down in between bites! Use this pause to help you slow down and finish savoring and tasting your last bite. You can also use this little pause to take a moment to take a deep breath and re-focus on the present moment and your experience of eating. 

butternut squash soup with carrots and ginger

Ingredients
-1 small-medium butternut squash
-1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
- 2 -3 medium carrots
- 3 (or more) tablespoons of finely chopped ginger
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 6 cups vegetable soup stock

Garnish
-blue cheese, sesame seeds, red pepper chili flakes

Instructions
in a large pot simmer the ginger and oil on low heat for 3 minutes, then add the chopped carrots and butternut squash. Let all the ingredients simmer on medium heat for about 30mins or until soft. Make sure the soup stock level is at or slightly above the vegetable pieces. Use an immersion blender to  mix all the ingredients.  Garnish and enjoy!

 

ginger carrot cupcakes + wedding love

 

The best thing about carrot cake is how moist and creamy they turn out compared to other cakes. These little treats have amazing flavor depth and a little texture to keep it interesting. The roasted pecans, take this creation to another level. I've said it before and I'll say it again, roast your nuts friends, it makes all the difference in the world.  

I made for my dear friends' wedding last summer. The test runs all spring kept my friends happy, and my fiance in a near-diabetes state. This was the most professional baking situation I've ever gotten myself into. It turns out that baking 200 cupcakes takes a really long time. My saving grace was that I ended up with an amazing army of helpers that helped me enormously. (I need to give a shout out to the mother of the groom who let me destroy her kitchen for an afternoon)  

Photo Credits: Meg Haley (http://www.meghaleyweddings.com)  You should check out this amazing photographer!  

ginger carrot cupcakes

Serving: makes 25 cupcakes (I'll spare you the 200 serving version)

ingredients
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon (i go heavy)
- 1 tablespoon of very finely shredded ginger (or ground)
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 cups shredded carrots
- 1 cup roasted pecans (mix with a little sugar before roasting for 5 min)
optional: golden raisins

frosting
- 8oz butter
- 8oz cream cheese
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- a little milk to thin if needed

instructions
1. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices into one bowl. Then mix the sugars, oil and eggs in a large bowl until smooth. Then add in the carrots to the sugar mix, then add in the dry mix one half at a time.  
2. Transfer the cupcake mix to greased cupcake tins or use cupcake liners. Bake at 350F for 20-25 min or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
3. Combine all the frosting ingredients, use a little milk if you'd like to thin out the frosting a little. An electric mixer helps here!  Make sure the cupcakes are absolutely, completely, 100% cool before you frost these puppies. My trick is to pop them in the freezer to speed up the process.

design notes: I used an inexpensive frosting bag and tips (you can get these from most big grocery stores) to create the frosting swirls. Also I added little orange food coloring to some of the frosting, and chopped some extra pecans for the garnish!