Raw Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich | SheenaScott.com

My husband celebrated his birthday earlier this month, requesting a “chocolate and peanut butter ice cream” cake. Easy enough. But being the culinary nutrition nerd that I am, this special birthday treat couldn’t include your average freezer-aisle fare. Nope, it had to be made from scratch using nourishing whole foods and be out of this world delicious.

I imagined I would start with a brownie base layered with chocolate and nut butter ice cream, adding an extra swirl of nut butter for an extra punch. It would be epic.

walnuts and dateswalnuts

Best Laid Plans

As the big day grew closer, I spent entirely too much time planning and not enough time doing. Before I knew it the day was here and I had a birthday cake to prepare!

I flipped through my Instagram feed (as all procrastinators do in a time of need) and saw a photo of an ice cream sandwich. Bingo! Raw brownie base + nut butter ice cream filling—time to get down to business.

 

Raw Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich | SheenaScott.com

This was one of those perfect moments in culinary brilliance, where a new recipe just comes together effortlessly. As if channeling some sort of ice cream sandwich genius straight from the kitchen gods…or something like that. Needless to say I had success on my very first try.

Okay, so this technically isn’t a birthday cake, but do you think he complained?

Of course I had to make them again, you know, just to be completely sure I had an awesome recipe on my hands to share with all of you. This time I used cashew butter, my favorite, but any nut or seed butter will do. (If you haven’t made your own nut butter from scratch yet, it’s time to start). You can even leave out the nut butter entirely—it will still be delicious.

The best part is that this recipe is totally flexible and caters to the dairy-free, gluten-free, raw, vegan and paleo crowds. Everyone can get in on this action, even if they aren’t the whole foods, healthy eating type. These sandwiches are decadent; rivaling anything you could buy from the freezer section, or that creepy guy circling your neighborhood blaring circus music.

 

Raw Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich | SheenaScott.com

Walnuts on the Mind

The sweetness of dates and maple syrup in this recipe are accompanied by a hefty dose of healthy fats—medium chain saturated fatty acids from the coconut and omega-3 essential fatty acids from the walnuts—which means you will be satisfied eating just one. Walnuts have the unique quality of being high in omega-3 fatty acids—important for healthy eyes and brain function. Ever notice how walnuts look like little brains? Mother Nature has a way of showing us which foods help which parts of the body, called the doctrine of signatures. Pretty cool, huh?

Raw Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich | SheenaScott.com

Buying and Storing

Polyunsaturated fats like omega-3 are very delicate; prone to oxidation and rancidity. With its high omega-3 content walnuts are particularly sensitive to light and heat. Make sure to buy the freshest, raw (avoid roasted) walnuts in a sealed package and store them in the refrigerator. If you’re buying from the bulk bins, take a good sniff and try one (I won’t tell) to make sure they haven’t gone rancid. They should have a light walnut-y smell and flavor – if they taste or smell off, save your money.

I should probably point out that while these are made with nourishing high-vibe ingredients, they are still treats and should be treated as such – saved for special occasions.

 

Raw Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Yield: makes about 8 sandwiches

Raw Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

The brownie base and ice cream are delicious on their own, but make one heck of a decadent combination. The ice cream can also be made sans nut butter for a light vanilla coconut flavor that is still really delicious. I ended up with a little extra ice cream left over. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer to enjoy later!

Ingredients

    Raw Brownie Base
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 2 cups Medjool dates
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • sea salt
  • Nut Butter Swirl Ice Cream
  • 2-13.5 oz cans unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup nut butter of choice, divided (optional)
  • ½ cup maple syrup or raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. Start by making the brownie base. Place the walnuts in a food processor and pulse until they resemble tiny pebbles. Add the cacao powder and salt and pulse to combine.
  2. With the motor running add the dates a few at a time until the mixture starts to clump together.
  3. Remove the lid and give the dough a squeeze. It should hold together nicely. If the mixture is still crumbly add a few more dates until it holds together.
  4. Transfer the dough to a small 9x13 rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press the dough out evenly in a thin layer over the pan, making sure to get the edges and corners. Put the tray in the freezer while preparing the ice cream.
  5. For the Ice Cream
  6. Combine all the ingredients in a blender, reserving half of the nut butter for the swirl if desired. Blend until smooth. Alternatively you can whisk the ingredients in a large bowl or use an immersion blender.
  7. Transfer to an ice cream maker and follow the manufactures directions. Gently fold in the reserved nut butter, careful not to over mix, then transfer to the freezer to firm up a bit more.
  8. Note: If you don’t have an ice cream maker, transfer the mixture to a shallow pan and freeze, stirring every 30min or so until firm. You can also freeze in ice cube trays and blend in a high-speed blender when frozen.
  9. While the ice cream is firming, lift the brownie dough out using the parchment liner and cut out the brownie rounds using a cookie cutter. Push the odd bits back together to make as many rounds as possible (no need to waste). Make smaller rounds if necessary, just make sure you have an even amount – if you have an odd bit left over, enjoy – these brownies are good on their own!
  10. Assemble the sandwiches
  11. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the ice cream on one side, gently press on the brownie top and use a rubber spatula to smooth out the sides. Work fast to prevent the ice cream from getting too soft. If things get melty, just put them back in the freezer for a bit.
  12. Store in a single layer in the freezer or between layers of parchment paper.
http://sheenascott.com/raw-brownie-ice-cream-sandwiches/

 

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