There’s nothing wrong with having a few cookies every now and then. You can quote me on that, as those are definitely words to live by. It’s free advice I’m willing to part with. Free of charge, just for you. I’m not keeping track of how many cookies I’m eating, though, let alone how many you’re eating, because that sounds like the worst possible idea ever. No one needs to know how many cookies you and I are eating in one sitting. That’s embarrassing (aka confidential) information we should be sweeping under the rug, if you know what I mean. I don’t even want to talk about how the number of cookies I devour goes up whenever there’s ice cream involved. Ice cream sandwiches are the best and the worst thing that can ever possibly happen to us. On one hand they’re pretty amazing because it’s the best of both worlds. Two cookies filled with an obscene amount of ice cream. And on the other hand they’re evil because one is never enough. We know they’re in the fridge just tempting us so we can’t get any work done until all of the ice cream sandwiches are eaten. All of them.
So here I go being the jerk that I am, bringing you an ultimate ice cream sandwich. Two peanut butter cookies filled with homemade banana ice cream and then if that wasn’t enough I decided to entice you even more with a fountain of melted dark chocolate and chopped nut topping, just like on sundaes. It’s everything you never knew you wanted, all wrapped up into a single dessert. It’s a good thing I knew you wanted it though because if it wasn’t for me, you’d be deprived of such simple pleasures in life.
This isn’t the time to second guess everything and waste time contemplating whether or not you should make these sandwiches. This is the time to drop everything you’re doing right this very moment, and get into that kitchen of yours and make some people happy. Even if some people only means yourself. That’s the most important person anyway. So go ahead and make everyone (yourself) some peanut butter cookies and while you’re at it, go ahead and sandwich them with homemade banana ice cream because you deserve it. YOU DESERVE IT. And because you’re not made of stone, you might as well dip them in dark chocolate and roll them around in nuts. It’s the only option you have.
We’re going to start by making the banana ice cream for our sandwiches. I think that’s a great place to start because it’s what takes the longest. The great thing about this recipe though is that if you don’t feel like getting all Martha Stewart on these sandwiches, then you can just go ahead and use store bought ice cream! (If you decide to go route, then you can skip ahead to the cooking making steps).
**Tip: It’s best if you make the ice cream the night before you plan on assembling and eating the ice cream sandwiches themselves, that way the ice cream will have plenty of time to freeze properly.**
Heat the half and half in a medium saucepan. Pour in the granulated sugar and salt, and whisk until dissolved. The next thing we’re going to do is the most important step to our ice cream base, so pay close attention. We’re going to temper our eggs.
**Tip: If you were to add the hot half and half right into the eggs, or pour the eggs right into the half and half all at once, you’ll end up scrambling the eggs. I hope you like scrambled egg ice cream because that’s what will happen. Don’t get scared though. Tempering the eggs will save your life (and ice cream). Tempering is just a fancy term for whisking in a bit of the hot milk mixture into the eggs to get them to become the same temperature.**
Pour a small amount of the hot half and half into the eggs, all the while whisking. Then pour the egg/half and half mixture back into the pot, again, while whisking. I might’ve just confused us all but I hope I didn’t.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened into a custard. It should coat the back of a spoon.
**Note: Don’t leave this unattended because crazy things will happen, like it’ll curdle and the eggs will begin to scramble. You don’t want that.**
Once thickened, remove from heat and immediately place in an ice bath to cool down rapidly.
**Tip: Make an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water!**
When the custard has cooled, you can stir in the heavy cream, evaporated milk and vanilla extract.
Strain the mixture into a large bowl, through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps or bits of curdled custard that may have formed.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Allow to chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
**Tip: You want the custard to be super cold because it’ll make the ice cream churning step a lot easier and it’ll churn faster because of the temperature.**
Once cold and you’re ready to churn the ice cream, stir in the mashed bananas into the custard and pour into your ice cream maker and spin according to the manufacturer’s directions. The ice cream should be thick and have the same consistency as soft serve.
**Note: Don’t stir in the bananas until right before churning the ice cream, because you don’t want the bananas to turn brown while the custard chills in the fridge.**
Pour the ice cream into airtight containers and freeze for at least 4 hours, or overnight. You want the ice cream to be completely solid before scooping and using.
Let’s make some cookies now, shall we? We need something to eat this ice cream with.
The Whole Wheat Peanut Butter cookies I’ve decided to use for this dessert comes from a great new book from a fellow food blogger! Seven Spoons by Tara O’Brady (from the blog of the same name) is such a great book. The recipes are easy to make, yet delicious and complex. You’ll love it. If you don’t already have it, you can find it here!
Let’s start by mixing together the dry ingredients. Set them to the side and forget about them (just for a bit though).
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, peanut butter and honey until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat on high for about 3 minutes longer.
Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix until well incorporated. You might have to stop the mixer to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl at this point.
Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Try not to over-mix the dough at this stage because you’ll end up with dry tough cookies if you dough.
Divide the dough into equal sized balls onto a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Roll them in between the palm of your hands to smooth them out. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 10 minutes to allow them to firm up a bit before baking.
**Note: The dough will be somewhat soft while rolling them in your palms, but don’t worry the freezer will fix that.**
Using damp hands, press down lightly on the cookies to flatten them out somewhat. Not too much, we’re not making pancakes here. Then dip a fork into warm water and make a criss cross pattern on top of each cookie.
Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for about 16 minutes, turning halfway through baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Allow to cool completely before sandwiching between the ice cream.
**Tip: I prefer making the cookies the night before I’m going to make the ice cream sandwiches, and keeping them in the freezer until then. Peanut butter cookies tend to be really soft in general so freezing them before sandwiching will firm them up a bit and keep them from breaking.**
So you’ve made both the banana ice cream and the peanut butter cookies the night before and they’re fully frozen and now you really want an ice cream sandwich or else someone will gravely pay. Does that sound pretty accurate? If that’s the case, then you can start assembling the ice cream sandwiches.
Place a giant scoop of our homemade banana ice cream (or any store bought ice cream flavor you choose, I won’t judge, but maybe just a little) onto half of the cookies.
Sandwich together with the remaining half of the cookies and press lightly but firmly until the ice cream sort of reaches the edges of the cookies. Then place them on a baking sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes.
While the cookie sandwiches are firm up again in the freezer, you can make the chocolate ganache.
**Note: I just heated about half a cup of heavy cream in a saucepan until hot and then poured it over dark chocolate chips. Leave it alone for like 5 minutes and then whisk until glossy and smooth.**
Dip the ice cream sandwiches, halfway, into the chocolate ganache and then sprinkle with chopped nuts. Feel free to use almonds, pecans, walnuts or peanuts for this!
Place them back in the freezer to allow the ganache to harden before eating. I mean, you can definitely eat them now at this point but it might be a bit messy because of the chocolate. If you’re up for the challenge though, then by all means dig right in.
If you’re going to eat them all at once (well not all of them by yourself, although if you do I’m not going to say anything, but I mean if you’re having a party and people are going to eat them all at once) then you’re good to go. But if you have leftovers, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store in the freezer.
**Note: If you store them in the freezer unwrapped, they’ll get freezer burn and weird tasting, so just make sure you wrap them up with plastic wrap. Each one on their own.**
Like I said earlier, these are great to make ahead of time. You can bake the cookies and make the ice cream the night before and keep those two components in the freezer overnight. Then on the day of assemblage, you can make the chocolate ganache, sandwich them, dip them, roll them in nuts and place in the freezer until ready to eat.
I won’t be completely mad if you omit the chocolate dipping and nut sprinkling part of these sandwiches. The cookies and ice cream are just as good by themselves. I just wanted to take them to the next level because chocolate should always be involved in every dessert.
This is a long post (I won’t lie) but at least the great thing about this post is that you can decide to make the cookies just as a treat by themselves, or you can make the ice cream by itself because it’s just as good all on its own. So if you really think about it, it’s two recipes for the price of one. And if you just so wish to combine them together into these ultimate Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches, well then, you’ll be my favorite. Enjoy!
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup chunky natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- banana ice cream (recipe follows)
- 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup chopped nuts
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, peanut butter, and honey until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add in the brown and granulated sugars and beat on high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the egg and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to evenly incorporate. Add in the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not over-mix.
- Scoop out the dough into even balls (using a small ice cream scoop) and roll gently between the palms of your hands to smooth out. You'll need to do this with damp hands. Place on prepared baking sheets and freeze for about 10 minutes to firm up a bit. Using damp hands, gently press down on the cookies. Dip a fork into warm water and create a criss cross pattern on top of the cookies.
- Bake for about 16 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking, or until lightly golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool down on baking sheets for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make chocolate ganache, heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until just scalded. Pour into a bowl, over the chocolate chips. Allow to sit, untouched, for about 5 minutes. Whisk until glossy and smooth.
- Scoop the banana ice cream onto half of the cookies and then sandwich with the remaining cookies. Place on baking sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes. Dip the sandwiches, halfway, into the dark chocolate ganache and roll around in the chopped nuts. Return to freezer for another 30 minutes before eating. Wrap any leftover sandwiches individually in plastic wrap and keep in freezer for up to 5 days. Enjoy!
- yields: 8 sandwiches
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup evaporated milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 to 3 medium bananas)
- In a large saucepan, heat the half and half until warmed through and just scalded. Whisk in the granulated sugar and salt. Cook and stir until dissolved. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl and add about 1/2 a cup of the heated half and half while whisking. Then pour back into the pot with the remaining half and half, again, whisking the entire time while you slowly pour. Cook, while whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened into a custard.
- Remove from heat and immediately place the pot over an ice bath to cool down. Whisk in the heavy cream, evaporated milk and vanilla extract. Pour into a bowl, through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps, and then cover with plastic wrap. Chill in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Mash bananas and stir into the chilled custard. Pour into ice cream machine and churn according to manufacture's directions. Transfer into airtight containers and place in freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight. Can be stored in fridge for several weeks. Enjoy!
- yields: about 3 pints