I grew up in the smack dab middle of Oklahoma. And Oklahoma summers are HOT. And Windy. And LONG. We often experienced over a month or two straight of days exceeding 100 degrees! The only cure for those days is a body of water, air conditioning, and ICE CREAM. Or just ice. Lots of ice ice baby.
Unfortunately I did not grow up around any body of water nor a creek (pronounced crick). Instead of lakes or ‘cricks’ or rivers….I grew up running in and out of a water sprinkler attached to our water hose in our front yard. I would jump over and over and over the stream as it sprayed into my face. The only thing that would make me stop the water dance was when the homemade ice cream machine would finally stop churning. I would inhale fresh ice cream with it dripping all over my face as the sprinkler water quickly evaporated from my hair and swimsuit. By the time I had devoured my ice cream, I was bone dry and ready for another round of the great water sprinkler dance.
Even though I’m older (much), my priorities of summer remain the same. But sometimes, waiting for fresh churned ice cream is not possible…also, my butt loves to hoard it. Stupid butt. So in order to deny my butt the pleasure of hoarding all of the ice cream AND to cut down on time to prepare homemade ice cream, I came up with a BRILLIANT ice cream sandwich that is gluten free, grain free, dairy free, paleo-friendly. Bonus…they taste like the classic ice cream sandwich (or even better in my opinion).
My criteria for this recipe were: (1) simple to make; (2) gluten free and dairy free; and (3) the cookies couldn’t be rock hard. There is nothing worse in my opinion than biting into an ice cream sandwich and having all of the ice cream squeeeeeze out the sides and into my lap and floor and face and shoes and toes and other odd crevices. UGH. Or is that just me?
I’m serious…these puppies are amazing. I woke up in the middle of the night with this idea. I would patent the crap out of these if I could. I’m THAT excited about it. Pretty sad, huh? My little sister was in town for the weekend and once I proclaimed my amazing recipe idea to her, she immediately replied “LET’S DO IT”. Such conviction! I love it.
The “ice cream” is just 5 to 6 frozen bananas that have been pureed into an amazing banana sorbet. Simple. One ingredient. Then the banana ice cream is sandwiched between two simple chocolate-nut butter cookie-cakey layers. I have made the cookie layer using peanut butter and almond butter.
So first things first, go peel and chop up a crap-ton of bananas and throw them into the freezer. I always have a huge gallon bag of frozen bananas ready to go. Anytime one is nearing the “great for banana bread stage” I just chop it up and add it to the ziplock freezer bag. Insta- banana ice cream whenever I want!
Paleo Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Sandwich
- 1 cup of creamy nut butter (almond butter or peanut butter)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 5 to 6 sliced frozen bananas
- Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the almond butter, honey, and egg until combined. Stir in the baking soda, salt, vanilla, and cocoa powder until well mixed. Spread cookie mixture with a spatula onto prepared pan evenly to 1/4-inch thick. The batter will be thick like dough. Keep pressing it until it evenly covers the bottom of the pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes (times vary between ovens) or until edges appear done and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. I placed the cookie sheet into the freezer while I made the banana ice cream.
- Once cookie is cooled, make the banana ice cream. For the banana ice cream, place the sliced bananas into the bowl of a good food processor or into a blender. Blend on high or process for a few minutes. Bananas will turn into a creamy sorbet.
- Using a serrated knife, cut the cookie in half crosswise. Use a spatula and spoon out the banana ice cream and place onto one side of the cookie. Spread evenly. Then carefully lift and place the other side of the cookie (flat side up) on top of the ice cream-covered side. Smooth sides and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, unwrap the ice cream sandwich. Using a serrated knife, cut into 12 rectangles. Freeze leftovers wrapped in plastic wrap.