Double Chocolate Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Double Chocolate Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

 

These double chocolate ice cream cookie sandwiches have been on my to-do list forever!

I’ve seen so many mouthwatering versions on social media that I was inspired to create my own Swoon Food version, i.e. dairy, gluten/grain free, and low in sugars.

After trialling a spiced cookie version on Christmas day I decided chocolate cookies were definitely the way to go. If you’re going to do it, you might as well go the full way – right?!

I based the chocolate cookies off my Oreo cookie recipe from many moons ago. They’re a delicious, dark chocolate flavoured cookie, that stays nice and flat after baking,  so are perfect for sandwiching ice cream together.

This new version, however, is much lower in sugars and uses raw cacao powder instead of dutch process cocoa. The reason I used dutch process cocoa in the original Oreo cookie recipe was the achieve the classic, dark Oreo colour. Unfortunately,  dutch process cocoa powder loses much of it’s nutrients in the processing, so raw cacao powder is the healthier choice. To read more about why raw cacao is so good for you, check out this raw chocolate brownie mousse cake post.

Raw cacao does creates quite a rich, decadent cookie though, so if you’re making these for kiddies either sub out some of the raw cacao powder for more flour, or use regular cocoa powder instead.

 

 

There’s a trick to making ice cream cookie sandwiches that don’t immediately melt in your hand – which I learnt the hard way!

Instead of scooping ice cream straight from the tub and squishing between cookies (unless you uber messy is your thing!), the best way is to prep your ice cream ahead of time. 

All you need to do is allow a tub of ice cream to soften, spread it into a brownie pan and allow to set. When firm, cut rounds using the same cookie cutter as your cookies, sandwich the ice cream round between two cookies and return to the freezer to allow it to set. The key is to make sure the chocolate cookie is the same temperature as the ice cream so that the ice cream doesn’t melt before you get a chance to eat it!

 

 

And that’s it! Super easy.

You could, of course, get all fancy and roll the sides of the ice cream cookie sandwiches in toppings such a coconut, chocolate chips or freeze dried raspberries. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably want to eat them well before any of that!

And because these double chocolate ice cream cookie sandwiches are stored in the freezer, there’s a chance you might just forget about them. This means one day when you’re looking for a sweet treat you’ll find a happy surprise waiting for you…

Ok, who am I kidding. These are seriously good so you’re going probably going to eat them in one sitting, but they’re worth it!

 


If you make these double chocolate ice cream cookie sandwiches, let me know!

Leave a comment below, and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or facebook. Enjoy!

 

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM COOKIE SANDWICHES

Makes: Approximately 10 medium or 16 small ice cream cookie sandwiches
Prep time: 30 minutes

Chocolate Cookies

100g coconut oil, melted
120g coconut sugar
60g ground almonds/almond meal
60g buckwheat flour (or rice flour)
60g raw cacao powder (dutch cocoa powder for a milder flavour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
pinch pink Himalayan salt
1 egg or egg substitute/flax egg 
1 Tbsp rice syrup or pure maple syrup

Ice Cream

A tub or two of your favourite ice cream (I used Duck Island’s Salted Chocolate Brownie & Little Islands Coconut Caramel – both dairy free/vegan)

 

To get the best looking ice cream sandwiches that don’t melt in your hand, you need to prep the ice cream first. Leave it out at room temperature for 20 minutes or so until soft, then spread it into a lined brownie tray. You want it to be quite thick, around 1 inch, then place in the freezer to set. Once set, use a cookie cutter to cut out rounds of ice cream, place them on a tray then back in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. The ice cream off cuts can either be refrozen and used to make more rounds, or put back in the tub for another day.

To make the cookies, place all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre and add the egg, vanilla and cooled, melted coconut oil. Stir well to combine.

You’ll have quite a sticky dough so place it between two sheets of baking paper and roll it out to approximately 5mm thickness. Place in the fridge to chill 10 mins or so, until firm.

Preheat your oven to 180ºC fan bake.

Remove the sheet of dough from the fridge and peel off the top paper. Use a cookie cutter to cut out circles and place them on a lined baking sheet. If the cut cookies start to get too soft place them in the fridge to firm up again before baking.

Bake the cookies in the centre of the oven for 8 minutes, or until cookies are just firm to touch. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the tray before transferring to a sealed container if you doh’t plan to use them straight away.

To assemble the cookie sandwiches:

Remove the ice cream round from the freezer and sandwich a chocolate cookie on either side. Place the ice cream cookie sandwiches back on the tray and into the freezer to set again. When the cookies are chilled they’re ready to be served.

 

 

 

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

 

Continuing with my pumpkin theme of late, I created these pumpkin pancakes in my quest for more sugar free, paleo style, sweet recipes.

But unlike many “sugar free” recipes pout there, these pancakes truly don’t contain any added sweetener because they’re sweetened solely with pumpkin!

Despite the lack of sugar, they have an unbelievably soft texture and beautiful caramel flavour which is a happy result of the cooking process. The secret is to cook them in coconut oil which causes the pumpkin to take on an amazing, caramel-like quality. Add a little cinnamon and ginger to the mix and these pancakes turn into a seriously addictive pumpkin pie breakfast that will fast become a favourite!

Like these Pumpkin Pie Brownies from last week, I actually used butternut squash for this recipe as it has a lovely light flavour and is much easier to cut than some of the larger varieties of pumpkin. But there really isn’t much difference between a squash and a pumpkin so you can make these with either or, depending on what’s more readily available to you.

These pancakes are dairy, grain and sugar free. They’re also especially good for anyone who doesn’t like bananas or can’t eat any other type of fruit sweetened pancakes.

They do, however, contain eggs so these pumpkin pancakes aren’t a  great option for vegans. Likewise, they also contain ground almonds so anyone with a nut allergy simply swap out the almonds for a flour you can eat.

Now without further ado, here’s the recipe for these miraculous pumpkin pancakes. I have a feeling once you try these little hotcakes they will become a firm favourite!

Enjoy x

 

Any questions or comments about the recipe? Leave me a comment in the section below – I love to hear from you!

 

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

Serves: 2
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes (plus 30 minutes to cook the pumpkin beforehand)

150g pumpkin puree
1/4 cup plant milk
2 eggs
pinch Himalayan pink salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup ground almonds (almond meal)

Coconut oil for cooking

To cook your own pumpkin, preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake. Cut the pumpkin or butternut squash into quarters and place cut side down on a lined tray. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until you can easily slice through the skin of the pumpkin with a butter knife.

Remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and puree the pumpkin flesh. Measure out 150g of pumpkin puree and store any leftovers in the fridge for the next batch of pancakes, Pumpkin Pie Brownies or Pumpkin Pie Fudge.

Place the 150g measure of pumpkin in a bowl and combine with the plant milk and eggs, and stir well to combine. Next add the dry ingredients: salt, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder and ground almonds and mix well.

Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a heavy based, non-stick fry pan. When hot, add spoonfuls of pancake mix, shaping into round pancakes.

Cook each pancake for a couple of minutes until bubbles start to appear, then flip them over to cook the other side.

Serve the pancakes hot, sandwhiched with coconut yoghurt, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

 

Pumpkin Pancakes

Homemade Spicy Chai Syrup

Homemade Spicy Chai Syrup

Homemade Spicy Chai Syrup

 

Almond milk chai lattes are my weakness.

I love a good amount of creamy froth on top (not for everyone I know), so I should probably call my latte’s something more like “froth-a-chino’s” but I don’t think anyone would know what I’m talking about. I definitely prefer the spicy style chai as opposed to the sweet mild ones, and the type of almond milk is of course important too!

There’s one particular organic brand that uses activated almonds and only has a small amount of rice syrup added for sweetness. It has a lovely mild almond flavour and steams up beautifully to make a thick creamy milk. Fresh almond milk is amazing too if you have the time or inclination.

After reading the ingredients of all the chai syrups on the market I found the second ingredient is invariably refined sugar. This gave me great incentive to try and make my own healthier version.

My first few attempts didn’t turn out so well. They lacked the full flavour I was after which I’m pretty sure this was due to the alternative sweeteners I was trying to use.

My incentive to create my own chai syrup increased significantly after I was advised to avoid caffeine for a while. Despite not drinking coffee or black tea, I hadn’t considered chai syrup as a source of caffeine despite it containing black tea.

Determined not to give up my beloved chai lattes, I set about creating an amazing chai recipe without black tea or too much sweetener!

 

 

Homemade Spicy Chai Syrup

The winning chai syrup recipe is not overly sweet because it only contains a small amount of raw cane sugar. I ended up using raw cane sugar because the alternative sweeteners I tried didn’t match up flavour-wise. If you don’t want to use cane sugar then definitely feel free to substitute a sweetener of your choice. Raw honey or pure maple syrup would also be delicious.

The secret to the rich flavour of this chai syrup is the fresh ginger, cracked pepper and a pinch of cayenne. If you’re not into spicy, don’t let those ingredients put you off. This recipe isn’t one of those crazy, super spicy chai’s. The pepper and cayenne merely complement the other flavours. And of course, you can control how spicy you make your latte by the amount of chai syrup you add to your cup.

If you’re a traditionalist and don’t care about the caffeine, then by all means add the black tea. I’ve included this as an option in the recipe below.

This spicy chai syrup can be used for warm or iced drinks, and is delicious as a flavouring in baking and desserts.

Enjoy!

 

Homemade Spicy Chai Syrup

Makes: Approximately 750ml
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes

5 cups filtered water
1/2 cup raw cane sugar (or sweetener of choice e.g. raw honey)
10 cm piece fresh ginger, sliced thinly
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
6 cardamon pods, cracked open
2 tsp whole cloves
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
pinch cayenne pepper

4 black tea bags (optional)

Place all the ingredients into a medium sized pan and bring to the boil (note if you’re using raw honey leave this out and add at the end when you take it off the heat). When the mixture starts to boil, turn the heat down and let simmer for 30 minutes or so – totally cooking time should be about 45 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and if using the tea bags place them in at this point. When the syrup is cool enough to handle, strain it through a piece of muslin, nut milk bag or fine sieve. Pour the chai syrup into a bottle, seal and store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.

The leftover spices can be used to make a second batch of chai syrup, simply add them to another 5 cups of water and 1/2 cup raw sugar. If it looks like you lost a lot of the ground spices in the sieving process simply add some more of these, and follow the cooking instructions above.

To serve hot: place approximately 30ml of chai syrup into a mug and top with heated/steamed milk of your choice.

To serve cold: place 40ml chai syrup into a blender jug with a handful of ice and 1 cup of milk of your choice, blend until smooth.

 

Homemade Spicy Chai Syrup

 

Super Green Smoothie

Super Green Smoothie

Super Green Smoothie

 

Smoothies are a fantastic way to get a lot of nutrients into you in one go, simply due to the volume of fruits and vegetables you are able to consume this way. Take a green smoothie for example, you can literally pack an entire salad or plate of greens into one glass, yet it’s easy to finish and you don’t feel overly full afterwards. The reason for this is the smoothie ingredients and their nutrients are partially broken down by the blender blades, which means they are more readily digested and absorbed by your body. This in turn means your body doesn’t have to put as much time and energy into digestion and can turn its attention to other important processes such as detoxification and healing.

The other great thing about smoothies is the ingredients are entirely raw so all the nutrients are in their original, unprocessed state. All the antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals remain intact, along with the foods inherent living enzymes which are often killed by heat. These living enzymes assist in the absorption of the nutrients which also helps to take some of the load off your digestive system. So by eating raw food in the form of a smoothie, you can maximise your nutrient intake in a very easy way.

One thing to keep in mind when choosing food that you’ll be eating raw is to consider buying organic, spray-free produce. Or an even better, much more affordable option is to grown your own if you can. The reason for this is produce that is covered in pesticides creates more work for your digestive system and liver, which essentially defeats the purpose of eating raw (easily digestible) food.

Making your own smoothies is much more cost effective than buying them and allows you to control the quality of ingredients and flavour combinations. One important thing to look out for if you are buying a smoothie (especially the pre-packaged type from the supermarket) is to check the label for added sugar. This can often be disguised as “fruit juice” or “juice concentrate” which is essentially fruit that has been stripped of it’s fibre and nutrients leaving a high concentration of fructose and not much else. Fructose can’t be used for energy by the body and can only be metabolised by the liver, which turns it into fat and stores it in the body. Alternatively by using whole fruit in a smoothie, the fibre and nutrients act to slow down the fructose absorption and the benefits of the vitamins, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and minerals far out weigh out any negative effects from fructose. Therefore if you are going to buy a smoothie, the best places to do so are those where you know the smoothie is being made from scratch using whole, raw fruit and vegetables, such as quality cafes, raw food eateries or smoothie bars.

If you are new to green smoothies you may prefer to ease yourself into them by starting off with a fruit base, rather than going straight to an entirely green vegetable smoothie which can be an acquired taste. A good way to start is by adding a little fruit like a pear, a small handful of fresh pineapple or half a banana.

The following minty green smoothie recipe is one of my favourites and is a nice mild option to start with. It’s a mix of greens, tropical fruit and coconut water. It tastes best when chilled, so one of my top tips is to chop up a bunch of fruit and store it in your freezer. That way your smoothies will always come out chilled, even after high speed blending, and you will always have a stash of frozen fruit ready for the next one!

Use this green smoothie recipe as a base, swapping in different fruits and greens to create your own favourite smoothie combinations. Enjoy!

 

Super Green Smoothie
 

Green Smoothie

Makes: 1 large smoothie
Prep time: 10 minutes

1 cup of coconut water or filtered drinking water
1 cup of spinach or kale, washed
1 2inch/6cm piece cucumber
1 cup of pineapple, chopped, preferably frozen
1 kiwifruit, peeled, chopped, preferably frozen
1/2 frozen banana
1 handful of fresh mint
1 handful ice
squeeze of lemon or lime

Place all the ingredients in the blender and slowly work up to maximum speed. You may have to stop the blender and give the ingredients a stir if you’re using frozen fruit, or use the blender stirring stick. Blend until smooth, pour into a tall glass and drink immediately. Alternatively this smoothie can be stored in the fridge in a sealed bottle for up to 2 days.

Note: This makes quite a thick, icy green smoothie. For a more liquid version just add extra coconut water or filtered drinking water, or leave out the ice.

 

Raw White Chocolate with Almonds and Raspberries

Raw White Chocolate with Almonds and Raspberries

Raw White Chocolate with Almonds & Raspberries

 

Happy new year! I hope you had a fabulous Christmas holiday and are feeling refreshed and ready to take on 2016.

At the start of each new year I like to review the most popular recipes on Swoon Food to get an idea of what you guys are loving te most.

I was pretty surprised to see the most popular recipe to date is my Almond, Pistachio & Cranberry Chocolate Fudge, which was also the very first recipe I ever posted.

Following closely behind is Crunchy Maple Banana GranolaRaw Chocolate Avocado Mousse, and fourth place is one of my personal favourites Banana & Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes.

Once again breakfasts and sweet treats seem to be where it’s at, which is lucky because I just happened to be working on a raw chocolate “fudge” before Christmas, but somehow it got lost amongst all the Christmas Spice Cookies and Festive Granola.

 

Raw White Chocolate with Almonds & Raspberries

 

The best way to describe this raw white chocolate fudge is like the inside of a Lindt Lindor ball.

It’s smooth and creamy with a melt in your mouth quality that combines beautifully with the crunch of the almonds and tartness of the raspberries.

In truth, it’s really more of a chocolate than a fudge so I ended up adjusting the name to reflect that.

This recipe differs from the winning chocolate fudge above in that it’s completely raw (if you don’t toast the almonds) and contains no refined sugar. It’s also a little more tricky to make as it involves some beating and setting, but the effort is worth it I promise!

I hope you love this raw white chocolate and if you post any of your creations to social media I would love to see them, tag @swoon.food #swoonfood.

Enjoy x

 

Raw White Chocolate with Almonds and Raspberries

125g cacao butter
125g coconut oil
125g pure maple syrup
125g cashew butter
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
250g raw almonds
15g freeze dried raspberries

If you prefer your chocolate to be completely raw, simply chop the raw almonds into pieces. Alternatively, to toast the almonds preheat an oven to 160ºC fan bake and place the almonds on a baking tray in the centre of the oven. Toast until their centres turn a light brown colour, approximately 10 minutes. Allow to cool and then roughly chop into pieces.

Line a small slice tin e.g. 20cm x 20cm or 18 x 30cm with baking paper.

Place the cacao butter and coconut oil in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of steaming water with the heat turned off. This ensures the ingredients won’t go above 42ºC and will remain in their raw state.

When they are completely melted add the maple syrup and whisk to combine. Add the cashew butter and salt and whisk to combine. At this point the mixture will be a warm, caramel coloured, thin liquid. To speed up the setting process place the entire bowl in the freezer and check every 5 minutes. When it starts to set around the edges remove from the freezer and use an electric hand whisk to beat it. The mixture should start to thicken after a few minutes and turn a pale cream colour. If not, return to the freezer for another 5 minutes.

When the mixture has turned into a thick pale cream, fold in the chopped almonds. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and spread out evenly. Crush the freeze dried raspberries a little in your hand and sprinkle evenly over the top, pressing them in where needed. Place the chocolate in the fridge to continue to set.

When the chocolate is set, remove from the fridge, place on a chopping board and cut into slices. Store the chocolate in a sealed container in the fridge where it will last a couple of weeks.

 

Raw White Chocolate with Almonds & Raspberries