Vanilla Ice-Cream (“Nice”-Cream) Sandwiches

It’s been a while since I had an ice-cream sandwich (4 years to be precise), basically since around the time I went vegan. Now, I was always a huge fan of ice-cream (who couldn’t love that creamy goodness?), but ice-cream sandwiches were more of a rarity for me. I’d had them before, the pre-made versions, but I’d never got around to trying my hand at making them from scratch.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I had a hankering for something creamy, but I wanted a snack that was more on the healthy side… that’s when “nice”-cream popped into my mind. I’ve made it plenty of times in the past, but I had the idea of combining it with a couple of homemade cookies to make an ice-cream (or “nice”-cream) sandwich!). I was so excited about this!!

I wanted this dessert to be gluten-free and vegan, so I looked up on the line (anyone seen The Internship? 😉 ), a.k.a online, for the-best-vegan-and-chocolate-chip-cookies-ever!! And came across this recipe by Making Thyme for Health! Safe to say, they weren’t lying. They’re boss. And they pair so well with the vanilla bean flavoured “nice”-cream I made (I grabbed the recipe from Forks Over Knives). The result… heaven in the form of food 😉 (I can hear the angles chorusing now, haha).

Cookies and nice-cream…. a match made in heaven.

This dessert is honestly a match made in heaven, and a healthier spin on the famous ‘ice-cream sandwich’. Guys, I am SO forking excited about how good these turned out! They’re everything you want in an ice-cream sandwich:

  • Creamy
  • Slightly chewy/gooey
  • Sweet
  • Soft
  • Spot-on vanilla-choc chip flavour combo
  • Satisfies any sweet food craving
  • & Just about perfect

Actually… scratch that last point. They’re absolutely perfect!

I love under-baking my cookies so they’re more chewy than crispy.

And when you bite into them?! Oh. My. Gosh! The cookie texture is moist, slightly gooey/chewy, and the “nice”-cream melts in your mouth – nothing but creaminess. I intentionally under-baked the cookies just a little so they would be extra soft and more chewy-like than crunchy when biting into, especially when frozen (no one wants a rock-hard ice-cream sandwich, right?!). However, if you’d prefer a crunchier/crispier texture to your cookies, bake them for a little longer, (another 1-2 minutes or so). Either way, the flavour will “have you at hello” (loving the movie quotes? 😉 ).

These babies are a must-try! Aaaaaaaand… if you do give them a whirl, tag #simplynaturalnessa on Instagram! I would absolutely love, love, LOVE to see them!

Anyway, enough of my rambles. Let’s get baking!

You can mix up the flavours too; maybe switch the choc chip cookies for double choc? Or the nice-cream for a more tropical, or coconut cream flavour?!

Vanilla Choc Chip “Nice”-Cream Sandwiches

Prepared to have your life completely changed!!!

Ingredients:

Cookies –

  • 1/3 cup solidified coconut oil*
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 cup almond flour (not almond meal)
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (make sure they’re dairy-free – I usually go for over 80%)

Ice-cream (or “nice”-cream) –

  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 5 medium bananas, peeled, sliced, and frozen
  • 1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened plant-based milk (I used coconut)

To make:

Cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F), then line baking tray with parchment paper or reusable silicon sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, combine coconut oil and coconut sugar. Mix on high for 1 minute then add vanilla extract and almond milk. Continue to mix for another 30 seconds.
  3. With mixer running, add in almond flour first. Next, add in rice flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Continue to mix for about 20 seconds, or until a dough forms.
  4. Using a spatula, scrape down sides and bottom of bowl in between mixing to ensure all ingredients are combined. If the dough appears dry and crumbly, try allowing it to mix for longer. If it’s still crumbly, try adding a tablespoon of milk. Stir in chocolate chips at the end with a spatula.
  5. Using a spoon, scoop out about 1 1/2 tbsp of dough at a time. Arrange them on the baking sheet with about 2 inches in between each. Bake in oven for 12-13 minutes, or until edges are light golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool completely before using them to make the sandwiches (otherwise the ice-cream will melt faster). Note: They will continue to firm up as they cool (so if you want more of a soft, gooey cookie, remove them from the oven a little earlier). Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. While the cookies are cooling, it’s time to get started on the “nice”-cream.

Notes:

*If your coconut oil is rock solid, microwave it (without the lid) for 10 seconds, or until just soft enough to scoop. If it starts to get liquid-like then you will have to refrigerate until solid again. It’s very important that coconut oil is solid for the recipe to work properly.

Let the cookies cool completely before adding the nice-cream on top.

“Nice”-cream:

  1. Using a small sharp knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine vanilla, frozen bananas, and 1/4 cup of milk. Cover and process until smooth, adding as much of the remaining milk as needed (I use less milk to make the “nice”-cream thicker).
  3. Serve immediately for a soft-serve ice cream, or freeze at least 4 hours for a scoopable ice cream. Can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 week.
What happens when you put nice-cream onto cookies that are still just a little too warm… (I always freeze my nice-cream sandwiches for 5-10 minutes before eating them, to prevent them melting so quickly).

Ice-cream sandwich:

  1. Grab two cookies, and using a spoon, scoop the “nice”-cream on to one of the cookies, then place the other on top. Do this for each pair of cookies, and once finished, pop in the freezer to set momentarily.
  2. Will keep in the freezer in freezer bag or container for up to a couple weeks, though best within the first several days.
  3. To eat, let them set out for 5-10 minutes to soften. Oh my word, you’ll love ’em!

A healthy spin on the famous ice-cream sandwiches!! You can pop them in the freezer to set for a few minutes before enjoying them as a nice treat!

For a live run-through tutorial of how to make these nice-cream sandwiches, see my video tutorial below:

Have you made nice-cream sandwiches before? Do you prefer using nice-cream or ice-cream?? Share your favourite recipe below! We love getting your suggestions on recipes to try!

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa