Ice cream sandwiches are great, but when you dip them in chocolate and roll them through toppings, well, they make me so happy I could cry. Despite how casual these might seem, they can actually look quite sleek and trendy lined up on a nice platter, making them work nicely in a dinner party setting.
Technique tip: Let your ice cream sandwiches thaw for about 10 minutes before serving if cookies are too frozen/hard to bite into.
Swap option: If you don't have time to make your own ice cream, use store-bought vegan ice cream of any flavor! I love using mint chip or coffee.
Special equipment: Ice cream maker (optional)
For the chocolate chip cookies:
Preheat oven to 325°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat the margarine, sugar, brown sugar, water and vanilla until fluffy. Stir in the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time and then add chocolate chips.
Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough at a time onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for approximately 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are slightly golden. I like to keep these cookies slightly underdone, so that they are softer to bite into when frozen. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
For the vanilla ice cream:
In a blender, combine cashews, coconut milk, agave, coconut oil, vanilla and salt, and blend on high-speed until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Add xanthan gum and blend again on high-speed to incorporate. Chill in the refrigerator.
Once the ice cream base is chilled, prepare in an ice cream maker according to machine instructions. Store in freezer with plastic wrap pressed tightly against the surface.
To assemble the sandwiches:
Let the ice cream soften in the refrigerator for about 20 to 30 minutes. Sandwich 1 scoop of ice cream between 2 cookies and freeze. Repeat with all remaining cookies.
While the sandwiches firm up in the freezer, melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave. Dip half of each ice cream sandwich in the melted chocolate and roll in desired topping until coated. Refreeze immediately.
* Make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free baking flour.
** If you are not using a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, soak cashews overnight or boil cashews for 10 minutes and drain. This will soften the cashews and ensure a silky smooth cream.