Gluten Free Ice Cream Sandwiches

As you may have noticed, I read a lot of food blogs. I love reading what others write about the food they love and salivate over beautiful images of food each night as I browse through my favorites and take a spin over to Tastespotting to see what’s new (and hope that one of my posts made the Tastespotting cut). Helene, of Tartelette, has been on my reading list for a long time. Her words are as beautiful as the stunning photos she takes. She’s a photographer, food stylist and pastry chef, so everything she makes looks amazing.  A few months ago Helene began sharing gluten-free recipes, and I’ve bookmarked them all to be made…later. I’ve got a ridiculous folder of dozens of bookmarked posts which I never get around to making.

This recipe was different. I knew from the moment I saw the post, that these ice cream sandwiches would be the next dessert to be made. And looking at Helene’s photos, you’ll see why I couldn’t resist these perfectly packaged confections. I know that my sandwiches lack the delicate beauty of Helene’s, but I bet they taste just as good. The cookies are simple to put together, and they taste almost like an Oreo cookie – but SO much better. The cookies are soft, chocolatey and not too sweet. The cookies pair perfectly with my dairy-free mocha ice cream. I have to c0nfess that only half of the cookies ended up sandwiched with ice cream, and maybe I wasn’t the best at sharing the cookies with Mark – I just couldn’t stop my hand from reaching for the container anytime I passed by! Give these cookies a try – with or without the ice cream.

Note: I’m heading out to the Big Apple to visit dear friends for the weekend, so if I’m slow in approving comments, be patient – I’ll try and check in daily to approve them. Now go make some ice cream sammies!

What’s your favorite ice cream sandwich? Share your love of cookies and cream with a comment below!

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Adapted from Tartelette
Makes 20 3×3″ cookies

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons coconut oil, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup superfine or regular brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup cornstarch (use tapioca flour if allergic to corn)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

  1. In the bowl of a electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, coconut oil and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Lower the speed and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, combine the cocoa powder, all the flours, baking powder, and salt. Still with the mixer on low speed, at the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until the dough starts to come together. Gather the dough into a ball and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  4. On a Silpat or sheet of parchment, roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch thick. I also like to cover the dough with a second sheet   Use a knife to cut the cookies into squares. Once you fill the first sheet, pop it in the fridge while you re-roll the dough scraps to cut the rest of the cookies. Make patterns on the cookies with a fork if desired. Place on lined baking sheet and bake 8 – 10 minutes. Cool completely before sandwiching them with ice cream.
  5. Note: When storing the cookies at room temperature, place a sheet of waxed paper between layers to prevent the cookies from sticking together. Alternately, you can keep the cookies in a bag in the freezer (to keep them out of sight from constant nibbling, if you’re like me).

143 cal/cookie, 60 cal from fat, 6g fat, 30mg cholesterol, 55mg sodium, 80mg potassium, 20g carbs, 1g fiber, 7g sugars, 2g protein

Dairy-Free Mocha Ice Cream
Makes 1 Quart (enough for about 10-12 sandwiches)

2 cans coconut milk (Chaokoh is my favorite brand)
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup good quality dutched cocoa powder
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 T coffee extract (or 1 T instant espresso powder)
1 T vodka
2 egg yolks

  1. Pour 1 can of coconut milk into a large bowl and set aside. Place the egg yolks in a cereal bowl and set aside.
  2. Pour the other can of coconut milk into a small saucepan along with the cocoa powder, salt and sugar. Stir as the mixture heats, to ensure that the cocoa melts into the coconut milk.
  3. When the mixture is warm, but not yet piping hot, temper the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm cocoa/milk mixture into the egg yolks, stirring the whole time. When you’ve combined the yolks and milk, pour it back into the saucepan. Keep the burner on low and stir constantly until the custard thickens a bit, which should take about 3-4 minutes. Because the cocoa mixture is so thick before you add the yolks, the usual “coat the spoon” test doesn’t hold here, so I just warmed the mixture for 3-4 minutes and called it a day.
  4. Pour the custard into the bowl with the other can of coconut milk. Add the coffee extract and vodka, stir it all together, then chill the mixture thoroughly before turning in your ice cream maker.
  5. While the ice cream is churning, place a 1/4 sheet pan (9×12″) in the freezer. Once the ice cream is done churning quickly remove the sheet pan from the freezer, line it with saran wrap (very important), and spoon the ice cream into the lined pan, smoothing it into a layer about an inch thick. It won’t fill the whole pan – maybe about 75%. Get the pan into the freezer quickly to firm up. After a couple of hours, remove the ice cream and use the saran wrap to move the block of ice cream to a large cutting board. Use a long chef’s knife to gently cut the ice cream into blocks the size of your cookies, then wrap each one in a piece of saran wrap. When all the pieces are wrapped, put them in a large freezer bag and pop them back into the freezer until you’re ready for an ice cream sandwich.

216 cal per ice cream square, 14g fat, 50mg cholesterol, 40mg sodium, 17mg potassium, 16g carbs, 14g sugar, 3g protein

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies…Gluten-Free

After years in the gluten-deprivation tank, I’m finally re-learning how to bake. For years, I’ve largely gone without cookies, cakes and bread in our house, and that’s been fine for the most part. I’ve focused on health and weight-loss and having baked goods around predictably works against my health goals. But with the online gluten-free blogger community bursting with talent like Karina, Shauna, Jen, Elizabeth, Betsy, Lisa and Elana posting all of their amazing baking recipes…let’s just say that I’ve been feeling brave.

Almost weekly, I’ve been digging out my little bags of gluten-free flour and stacking them on the counter, scooping them into bowls to be transformed into crusty boules, graham crackers, pumpkin pie, fruit crisps…and now – oatmeal cookies.  Oatmeal cookies make me think of my mom. Not that she made oatmeal cookies all that often, but the warm smell of cinnamon baking in the house is one of those sensory memories that is forever wrapped up with the best things in childhood. I can remember stepping up to the big glass cookie jar on the pantry shelf. The jar that for so long forced me to stand on tippy-toes to unlatch the closure, and I’d tip the jar just a bit so that I could reach down and grab a cookie from the bottom of the jar. I wish I had a photo of the pantry – with that cookie jar and the metal “Charles Chips” cannister full of crispy potato chips perched on the white painted shelf, slightly grubby from heavy use. It was a very good pantry.

Oats. I’ve been a fan for as long as I can remember…in my breakfast bowl, in cookies, granola bars – any way you make them, I’ll be happy to dig in. I am so thankful for all of the gluten-free oats out there now. Our reigning Iron Chef Champion, Emily, is responsible for this particular recipe. Having that oatmeal cookie smell in the house is almost as good as the cookies themselves! The resulting cookies are the stuff of childhood memory – laden with chewy oats, a burst of tart cherry in every bite, and the warmth of cinnamon and vanilla. The perfect cookie, if you ask me.

What’s your favorite way to eat oats? Share the love in the comments below…

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
adapted from Smitten Kitchen, and adapted further from The View from the 32nd Floor
Makes 20 cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup gluten-free all purpose flour (choose one with xanthan gum in it, or add 1/4 tsp xanthan)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup tart dried cherries, chopped coarsely

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until combined. Stir in the oats and raisins.
  3. Chill the dough for 60 minutes.
  4. Scoop by the tablespoon onto the baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a rack to cool.

143 cal per cookie, 60 cal from fat, 6g fat, 25mg cholesterol, 135mg sodium, 5mg potassium, 2g fiber, 5g sugars, 2g protein