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! 
 

 

chocolate almond crunch bites + how to eat a cookie well

These puppies are pretty amazing. Every texture you could imagine is packed into this salty sweet and crunchy treat. It combines my absolute favorite peanut butter cookie recipe with a beautiful coconut chocolate coating and salty oven-roasted almonds. No one told me until much too late in my life that roasting nuts for a couple of minutes in the oven make them taste 500% better! I also use raw sugar and coarse sea salt to coat the cookies giving them a really wonderful crunchiness. The cookies are under-baked slightly so they and super soft and creamy in the middle.  I will not allow you to eat these with any guilt, just pure joy. 

how to eat a treat = stop feeling guilty 

Let's face it, eating sweet treats is both wonderful and can bring up a lot of mixed emotions. In addition to excitement and joy you might feel: guilt, anxiety about gaining weight, shame , the works! My opinion is that chocolates, cakes, cookies, fruits are the essence of celebration and its a huge shame that we (especially Americans) tend to wast the experience with all this baggage!

The secret  I've found is that if you learn to eat mindfully, slow down and bring your full awareness to eating sweets, with no judgment, you tend to be satisfied with less. And you are much less likely to over-do it or binge. Here are my quick tips for eating a cookie well:

  • Leave room! Really things taste so much better when you are actually still hungry
  • Wait before you eat! This is so hard with a tempting cookie in front of you. But taking a couple of deep breathes will help you center and keep your attention on the goods!
  • Take small bites, usually foods like these are so rich, that every tiny bite has an amazing amount of flavor. The bonus here is that your cookie will last so much longer = your pleasure it eating it will too! 

1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar (in the raw is best!)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Coating
8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1/2 cup almonds (oven roasted for about 5 mins and chopped finely)
Extra raw sugar + a rough sea salt for coating

Preheat the over to 375F. Cream the butter and sugar together, add the egg and vanilla, add the peanut butter. Combine all the dry ingredients separately, then combine them with the butter/sugar mix. Before baking your cookies coat with a healthy dose of the raw sugar/sea salt mix. This adds so much texture! Drop even spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet (that have been lightly greased or use parchment paper)  Use a fork to lightly flatten the balls and bake for about 10 mins ( don't over cook these guys!)

Combine your chocolate and coconut oil and microwave unit just soft. Make sure the cookies completely cool. Dip each one into the chocolate coating and then sprinkle the almonds on top. I also added a little sea salt to the almond mix it brings out the flavor of the chocolate. I recommend using parchment paper here for ease of cleaning up!