Probably one of the funniest memories I have is every time my dad mowed the lawn in the summer when I was growing up. Without fail, my dad would start in and my sister and I would run outside to a tree we called mama willow and climb up it. I feel like I need to note that this tree was not by any means a willow tree. But once we were at the tree one of us would sprint across the yard to the garage and steal two mini ice cream sandwiches from the freezer and then run back out to mama willow.
There definitely was a much easier way to do this, such as just going back into the house. But part of the fun was being able to sneak past dad and get the sandwiches.
Looking back now that wasn’t very difficult because this is the man who can walk into an almost completely empty restaurant and still miss his entire family waving at him from five feet away.
And that first sprint was not all. After we finished our first ones, the other would take their turn to run to the freezer and back. This is also probably one of the unhealthiest memories I have. Sometimes the snacks would change. Popsicles. Freezie pops. It really depended on what we had in the freezer at the time. All that really mattered was sprinting back and forth from the garage to the tree, acting like we were secret agents on a mission.
Just because I’m an adult does not mean that I have to give up my beloved secret agent reward. But since I am older, my tastes have become a bit more critical. A lot of the time the artificial sweeteners used in highly processed ice cream sandwiches make it taste weird or fake in a way.
I’m not saying I don’t ever down a pint of coconut ice cream. I just feel better after I’ve eaten a dessert when the ingredients list looks more like a grocery list than part of the periodic table.
With that in mind, I decided to come up with my own ice cream sandwich recipe. And everything is better mini! so why not minify all of the sandwiches as a call back to my childhood days.
But on top of that, I wanted to have the least amount of ingredients I could possibly have. In addition to that, the ingredients I did have I wanted to be solely raw. This way not only can people have their ice cream sandwiches, but they don’t feel terrible afterwards.
I also decided that I wanted to mess with the kind of ‘ice cream’ that was going to go inside. Vanilla is always a classic and a perfect pairing with the chocolate cookie, but I wanted a little something extra. Double chocolate seemed too heavy for a hot day even though it is a clean recipe. But jsut a bit of chocolate sounded just right.
How do you get only a bit of chocolate in an ice cream sandwich you might ask.
With Cookies-n-Cream ice cream. Raw vegan style!
It was an incredibly messy process while I was trying to freeze, thaw, and refreeze the ice cream. However, once I figured it out it was smooth sailing. To avoid this mess, I highly suggest getting not only all of your materials ready beforehand (such as the pan and saran wrap) but also thinking through each step. Trust me! This would have saved me a lot of effort, time, and saran wrap.
- 2 cups cashews, soaked
- 3-4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 7 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
- 4 tablespoons cacao nibs
- 2 cups almonds
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder
- 8 medjool dates
- In a food processor, combine cashews, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla and blend until a thick, smooth consistency is reached. Add in the cacao nibs and blend again until the nibs are broken up slightly and it resembles cookies and cream.
- Take a baking pan and spread the mixture out onto it until it is 1/2 inch thick. Make sure even and then place in freezer until 'ice cream' becomes hard. Remove from freezer and use a glass or circle cookie cutter that is 2-3 in diameter to cut out as many circles as possible.
- Place back into the freezer and let sit until they reharden and cookies are ready.
- In a food processor combine all ingredients for the cookies and blend until a dough begins to form.
- Remove the dough from the food processor and roll out with a rolling pin until 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Use the same glass or cookie cutter as the ice cream to cut out cookies, making sure there are two for each circle of ice cream.
- Remove ice cream discs from the freezer and assemble ice cream sandwiches. Replace the sandwiches into the freezer to harden up one last time. Then remove and enjoy~
- If not eating immediately wrap up each sandwich in saran wrap.