Crispy & chewy flourless chocolate cookies encase rich vanilla ice cream in these gluten-free ice cream sandwiches. Easy to make & a real summertime treat!
A Summertime treat
Ice cream sandwiches take me back to childhood.
Memories of softened vanilla ice cream smooshing out between chocolate wafers and dripping down my arm takes me back to when the biggest worry I had was making sure I ate it all before it melted.
Now I can make my own chocolate cookies for homemade ice cream sandwiches, plus I can make the best vanilla ice cream to fill them.
And since National Ice Cream Sandwich Day is August 2nd, now is the time to make some!
First, make the cookies
Rather than having the traditional soft chocolate wafer, I decided to go in a different direction using flourless chocolate cookies. They have a crunchy exterior and a chewy interior that provides a nice texture experience for this gluten-free ice cream sandwich.
My recipe for Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies serves as the base for these ice cream sandwich wafers.
A new-and-improved Gluten-free Ice Cream Sandwich recipe is born!
Quick cookie prep
Flourless chocolate cookies come together quickly. No mixer is needed as there's no butter to cream. Just five ingredients (ok, six if you count the sea-salt garnish).
Separating the eggs is probably the hardest part of the whole process (so not very hard, then). Using an egg separator helps. Don't worry if you get a bit of yolk in with the whites. We're not making meringue here.
To make the batter, whisk the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients, and mix until it comes together. You know the drill.
Portion out two tablespoons of batter using a medium cookie scoop. The batter is runny and should form into a circular shape easily. Give the cookies space to spread on the pan.
Tips for making flourless chocolate cookies
Be sure to use two half sheet baking pans lined with a Silpat silicone mat or parchment paper. If you're using parchment paper, spray it with baking spray to insure the cookies don't stick. Yes, spray the parchment paper!
Like with French Macarons, allowing the batter to dry out on the pan before baking gives them just the right amount of loft needed. If you don't have the 30 to 60 minutes needed, the cookies will be flatter but still useable.
I finished the cookies with a sprinkle of sea salt after the cookies came out of the oven because it would stick more before baking (and I didn’t want to over-salt them). You can decide whether to add salt before or after baking, or even at all.
Let the cookies cool completely on the baking pan before attempting to move them. Otherwise, they might break apart on you. They'll be tasty, but unusable for ice cream sandwiches.
What kind of ice cream can I use?
You can use any flavor ice cream that suits your fancy, but I prefer the traditional combination of chocolate-cookies-and-vanilla-ice-cream.
Using store-bought ice cream is fine. If you'd really like a homemade treat, then make your own ice cream. I believe the best vanilla ice cream comes from your kitchen!
You can even use diary-free ice cream for a gluten-free, dairy-free ice cream sandwich.
Assemble the ice cream sandwiches
Gently spread one scoop (about 1-½ oz or 45g) of softened ice cream on the bottom cookie. Add the top cookie and lightly press down.
Here's a helpful hint for assembling homemade ice cream sandwiches...use plastic wrap.
- Laying the first cookie on plastic wrap means you can wrap the sandwich before moving it
- The wrap helps hold the sandwiches together while the ice cream is still soft while freezing
- The wrap protects the crispy cookie exterior in the freezer
Remember, flourless chocolate cookies are fragile on the outside! Be gentle as you spread the ice cream on the bottom cookie and smoosh the assembled sandwich together.
For a fun & festive look, roll the sandwiches in mini chocolate chips or sprinkles before freezing. Now they're ready for a party!
A hand-held treat
These homemade ice cream sandwiches are creamy, crispy, chewy, chocolatey, all in one! Truly, they're better than what you can get at the market.
The flourless cookies hold everything together without sticking to your hands (which sometimes happens with store-bought sandwiches). Another plus!
It's time to make new summertime memories!
[ ** bites into a gluten-free ice cream sandwich ** ]
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
There are many ways to enjoy a treat if you're on a special diet. Here are a few ideas that are all gluten-free, and I have many more. Have a go!
Gluten-free Ice Cream Sandwiches
- ice cream scoop
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder, natural or dutch-process
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- sea salt flakes, optional
- 1½ cups vanilla ice cream, softened, see Recipe Notes
- In a large bowl, whisk the powdered sugar with the cocoa powder and salt. Add the egg whites and vanilla extract and stir with a spatula just until the batter is moistened (do not overmix or it will stiffen; we’re not trying to whip these egg whites as we would for a meringue).
- Scoop two tablespoons of the batter onto the baking sheets in evenly spaced circles using a medium cookie scoop. If you can spare the time, let the batter rest at room temperature on their trays for 30 to 60 minutes to dry before baking.
- Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat temperature to 325°F.
- Bake the cookies for 20 minutes, until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked; shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through to ensure even baking. Let cookies cool completely before removing from the pan.
- Assemble the ice cream sandwiches: Allow the ice cream to soften at room temperature, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Lay a square of plastic wrap on the counter. Place one cookie upside down so the flat side is facing you. Gently place one ¼-cup scoop of ice cream (about 1½ oz, 45g) in the center of the cookie and use a spreader to smooth the ice cream to the edges. Go slowly and be gentle…these cookies are fragile!
- Place another cookie on top right side up. Wrap the ice cream sandwich with the plastic and gently smoosh the two cookies together. Repeat with the rest of the cookies.
- Place in freezer and freeze until firm, about an hour. Enjoy!