It’s been unseasonably hot in Vancouver this summer – in fact, so damn hot we’re under water restrictions and there is yellowish-brown crispy grass everywhere you look.
Shortly before the water restrictions began, we watched a wonderful movie called Young Ones – check it out if you get the chance – about a futuristic time where water is scarce, nobody showers and families ‘wash’ their dishes with dirt.
Not to get all deep and serious on you during Ice Cream Friday, but between the draining BC reservoirs, wildfires and the droughts in California, the notion of running out of water (especially the clean kind) isn’t that farfetched. And I won’t even get into current world water shortages and near-future predictions of scarcity, which will make you completely lose your appetite for gluten-free and vegan mint chip ice cream sandwiches.
I bring this up not to be preachy or judgmental – apparently drought-shaming is a thing now – but as a gentle reminder to be thankful and grateful for the liquid gold that comes out of the tap whenever we want it to.
Anyway, because of this ridiculous heat I haven’t used my oven in weeks and weeks and weeks. But I really wanted to make ice cream sandwiches. But I also didn’t want to fend the dog off for trying to lick my sweat. So I patiently waited until we experienced a wonderful, cool, rainy reprieve and turned on the oven to preheat.
This recipe is a blend and adaptation of two of my favourite recipes – sunflower double chocolate chip cookies and mint chocolate chip ice cream. Mint chocolate is the best and I will always give treats a taste if mint and chocolate are involved.
Of course, if you don’t feel like turning your oven on, you can always make these into raw ice cream sandwiches. Simply freeze the cookies before assembly.
You’ll have more ice cream than you’ll need to fill all the cookies, so there will be leftovers. Somehow, you’ll have to find a way to manage the excess. Hmm. What a pickle.
(Psst – The Academy of Culinary Nutrition, the school I work for, is having a free virtual open house on Wednesday, August 5th. This is a great chance to see two hours of course materials and check out what the program is like. Sign up here.)
- 1 ½ cups sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup cacao powder
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 drop food grade peppermint essential oil
- 2 ½ cups coconut milk
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 2-3 drops peppermint oil
- ⅓ cup cacao nibs or mini dairy-free chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a high-speed blender, food processor or spice grinder, blend the sunflower seeds until broken down into a fine meal.
- Dump the seeds into a bowl and mix in the cacao powder. Mash the coconut oil into the mixture, then add the maple syrup and peppermint oil.
- Mix well.
- Using a tablespoon measure, scoop the cookies onto a baking sheet. With the back of a wet spoon, flatten the cookies to about ½ - ¾ cm thick.
- Bake for 8 minutes, then remove from the oven. Cool completely.
- Pour the coconut milk, maple syrup and peppermint into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the instructions. In the last few minutes, add the cacao nibs.
- Line a plate or pan with parchment paper.
- Working quickly, take a heaping tablespoon of the ice cream and spread it over one cookie, then place another cookie on top. Repeat with remaining ice cream and cookies.
- Freeze until solid, then transfer the sandwiches to a sealed container.
- Makes 8 mini ice cream sandwiches.