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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Nice Cream Sandwiches (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Grain-Free)


You know how they say after a break-up, when time has gone by and you're far along in the healing process, that you eventually gain clarity as to why that person wasn't right for you? Well, I have been able to relate to that for the past few weeks... except replace that with food. I didn't post a recipe last week because all of my ideas fell through. It's true, there are usually more setbacks than successes in my kitchen, especially being a self-taught home-cook. I was so aggravated and down at the time that nothing worked out and that I'd have nothing to post for y'all and that all of those ingredients (and money) had gone down the drain... wasted. I'd get attached, really wanting it to work out because the idea was so great. Then, to make matters worse, leftover was a mountain of dishes piled up waiting to be cleaned after the setback (not calling it a failure because nothing ever is if you learn from it) and it was just like another dagger, a "walk of shame", if you will. But after the dust settles and some time goes by, you pick yourself back up with the strength you gained from falling down and you create something else, maybe this time a little more cautiously; then, you realize why those others didn't work out... because there was something better waiting in the wings.

In truth, I was stuck. I had no idea what to make next. I was scared of wasting more $ingredients$ and time and being let down again (man, this really does correlate with "failed" relationships!). But I kept pushing on because I knew how it felt to find a winner and how worth it it was to get there. So, I browsed Pinterest for inspiration and came across these homemade ice cream sandwiches that I knew I could make gluten-free vegan style, so I set off to try again even though I knew there was a chance it may not work out, but was still open to the possibility.

Sometimes we can't control what happens in our lives but we can control how we feel about what happens and how we want to respond to it thereafter. We can decide to move forward, stay stuck or go backwards in any given moment. Trying to be perfect and successful every single time does not build character or resilience; oftentimes it makes a person more rigid. After overcoming a fair share obstacles, you begin to relax and just enjoy the ride and trust that no matter what happens, you can always pick yourself back up and continue to create.

So, with that said, I present to you, these divine chocolate chip cookie nice cream sandwiches. The crispy but soft-in-the-center, chocolaty cookie married with the soft, creamy vegan ice cream will steal your heart and your taste buds! If you're looking to impress your family and friends with a healthier vegan & gluten-free dessert, I can assure you they won't be able to tell the difference between these and the less-than-healthy traditional kind. Actually, I'd bet they'd think they taste better. I know they'd feel better afterwards, too.

One more thing... I launched an Amazon store where you can shop all of my essential kitchen tools & appliances, must-have food products, fitness products, beauty/bath products, vitamins & supplements, cookbooks and other life-changing books. You can find my store at the top of my blog; just click "Shop My Store." :-)


Above: Cookie dough.



Left: Cookie dough before baking. Right: Cookies after baking.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Nice Cream Sandwiches
YIELD: 12 cookies; 6 nice cream sandwiches
Inspired by Pure Ella's recipe
Cookies adapted from Elana's Pantry's recipe

INGREDIENTS
• 2 cups almond flour*
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp fine sea salt*
• 1 flax egg (1 Tbs ground flaxseed + 3 Tbs warm water)
• 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted*
• 1/4 cup raw coconut nectar or pure maple syrup*
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or a dark chocolate bar cut into small chunks (I used the Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips because it was all I had but I'd recommend using this dark chocolate bar from Whole Foods because it doesn't have evaporated cane juice in it)
• Vegan ice cream (I used Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss Pineapple Coconut from Whole Foods - not crazy about the agave syrup but it's just an occasional treat).

* denotes products that you can find on my Amazon store, which you can access at the top of my blog; just click "Shop My Store."

DIRECTIONS
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat* or grease with coconut oil.
2. Mix the flax egg ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside for at least 10 minutes.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (almond flour, baking soda, sea salt).
4. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (coconut nectar, coconut oil, vanilla extract).
5. Add the wet ingredients, including the flax egg, to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Then, fold in the chocolate chips. I use my hands to incorporate the chocolate chips into the dough.
6. Using a tablespoon measuring spoon, scoop 2 tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheet to make 1 cookie. Form into a ball then push down with your fingers.
7. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes.
8. Scoop your choice of vegan ice cream onto a cooled cookie then put another cookie on top. Gently (because the cookies will be soft) push the sandwich together and repeat for the next 5. Place them in a container or on a plate then put in the freezer for at least 20 minutes to firm up. 
*Store leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer.

...and yes, I had one for breakfast this morning. ;-)

"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor." English Proverb

2 comments:

  1. Claire these look delicious!! I am happy to hear you had a baking success at last :) I've totally had those weeks too where it seems like nothing I make comes out quite right!!

    Love how these are just made with almond flour! So healthy!! And totally acceptable for breakfast haha ;)

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