vegan ginger citrus ice cream sandwiches


When you're knee-deep in the vegan ice cream making world, it's only a matter of time until ice cream sandwiches arrive on the scene. I have dreams of different ice cream/cookie combos all the time. It can get really weird in the best possible way.

This combination daydreams usually begin with the ice cream flavor. To me, this makes sense. After the flavor is fully formed in my mind, I then ask myself: what kind of cookie would go with this? When it comes to a fresh ginger ice cream with a zingy dash of grapefruit zest, the obvious answer to me was a chewy molasses ginger cookie. You thought the same thing, right?

For this recipe, you'll need:

For the ice cream:

2 15-ounce cans organic coconut milk (full fat is best!)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons freshly grated grapefruit zest*
2-3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger root
1 teaspoon ground ginger, optional (for a little extra bite)
1 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot

For the cookies:

1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
2 cups whole wheat all-purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

*When it comes to zest, it makes the most sense to reach for organic citrus if possible. The rind is where a lot of the yucky stuff hides and nobody wants to fill their perfectly good ice cream with yucky stuff. Also, if you're not a grapefruit girl (for shame, but it's cool), I have no doubt that orange or lemon zest would be just as tasty.

In a medium stockpot, add your coconut milk and sugar. Grate in your citrus zest and fresh ginger. If using, add your ground ginger. Thoroughly whisk together and bring this mixture to a light simmer over medium heat.

Put a few tablespoons (two to three) of your warm ice cream base into a small bowl. Add your arrowroot and whisk together until completely smooth, eliminating all lumps. Add the arrowroot mixture back to your base and whisk together for about one minute more. Remove from heat.

Transfer your ice cream base to a large bowl and refrigerate for about 3-4 hours or up to overnight. At this point, you can make your cookies and have them ready-to-go for sandwich assembly. Or they can be made the day of if you don't trust yourself to maintain an equal cookie ratio. Hand raised.

Whenever you decide to make the cookies, start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together your oil, sugar, molasses and milk. Add your vanilla extract and whisk well.

Sift in your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Fold together until it forms a sticky dough. Roll the dough into tablespoon size balls (this batter will spread out quite a bit, so go easy) and transfer to your baking sheets, flattening slightly. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly darker on the bottoms. Let cool for about 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. 

Once your ice cream base has completely chilled, it's time to churn: add to your ice cream maker of choice and follow the given instructions for your appliance. (If you're using the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker attachment, like me, the churning will take about 15-20 minutes on a medium speed.) When your ice cream has churned to the correct texture (think soft-serve), transfer to a freezer safe container and store in the very back of your freezer to harden completely. This should take about 4-6 hours, depending on the coldness of your freezer.

And now assembly! Place a 1/4-1/2 cup size scoop of ice cream on the underside of one cookie and press together using another cookie for leverage. You can even out the sizes with the back of a spoon or you can leave them rough around the edges - no judgement here. Transfer back to the freezer on a parchment lined baking sheet to refreeze, about 10-20 minutes. 

This flavor combo is not subtle at all - oddly warm, if that's even a workable description for a frozen food, sweet and spicy. A winner!

Want more ice cream and cookies?