Almond Joy Ice Cream Sandwiches

Happy Halloween!

In honor of the 8 million treats already headed your way today, I give you, possibly the most decadent treat to date.  As you know, I spent part of my summer working on ice cream recipes.  God bless my family because they all got on the flavor train, which was really great because I had a lot of flavor profiles to work with and you guys are going to be getting all the benefits.

How this recipe came to be is a bit of a hodge-podge.

Have you ever had Trader Joe’s Brownie Cookies?  I only buy them twice a year.  The two nights I host my neighborhood book club because they are that addicting.  I could and would eat an entire bag in one sitting.  Well, earlier this year, they stopped carrying them.  I was really bummed, but I knew I had to find a way to make something similar.  Enter one of my favorite candy bars – Almond Joy.  Right about the time I was recipe testing this idea, my cousin Annie mentioned coconut ice cream to me.  The wheels were a turning.

Let’s hammer out the cookie first.  I say this for several reasons.  They are so freaking easy, they taste amazing on their own, and if you go all in on the sandwiches you need to make them ahead anyway.

To start, melt butter and coconut oil, add in the sugar.

Add the eggs, and almond extract.

Add in sifted flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

Once combined, add unsweetened coconut flakes.

Divide up onto parchment lined backing sheets.  I use a one inch cookie dropper.  I won’t lie, if you bake a lot of cookies, it’s key, but not necessary.  Dropping cookies with tablespoons has stood the test of time.  You just want them to be about the same size.

Once out of the oven, let them cool for a few minutes off of the sheet pan.  I just drag the parchment paper right off onto the cooling rack.  They can be eaten pretty much immediately. And you will want to.  BUT! Stash away some for the sandwiches!  This batch makes 24 cookies.  Thus far, I have been able to stash away sixteen cookies, and I have made this three times in the last month. Baker beware of grubby hands.

To make the ice cream sandwiches, the cookies need to be frozen. I leave them on a sheet tray for about 30 minutes or three days🤔, and then wrap them in parchment paper until the ice cream is ready.

Should we ice cream?

Bring coconut cream, heavy cream, sugar and unsweetened coconut flakes to just a simmer.

Remove from the heat for thirty minutes. Combine six egg yolks and the remaining sugar.

Temper the cream mixture into the eggs, one ladle at a time, whisking constantly.

After adding two or three ladles into the eggs pour the egg mixture, whisking constantly, back in to the pot.  Before returning to the heat, switch your whisk for a wooden spoon.

Returning the pot to medium heat, stirring constantly and watching the clock for five full minutes. At the five minute mark, test the back of the spoon, and remove from the heat.

Strain the mixture, add one small pinch of salt and let cool for one hour.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of eight hours.

When you are ready, follow the directions of your ice cream maker. Churn and freeze. Let the ice cream set for four hours.

Now, assemble.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  And place one half of the cookies face down.

Carefully scoop as much or as little ice cream as you would like on one half of the cookies.

Cover with the remaining cookies.  (You can gently use your palm to press them together, just be mindful not to break the frozen cookie.)

Let freeze for 15 minutes or more.  ENJOY!

If you are lucky to have leftovers, wrap in parchment paper and hide behind the vodka, that you hide behind the frozen vegetables because you know no one will touch anything green in your house, ever.

Almond Joy Brownie Cookies
Makes 24 cookies
1/2 c butter, melted
1/2 c coconut oil, melted
1 c sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp almond extract
1 c flour, sifted
2/3 c cocao powder
1 t baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 c unsweetened, shredded coconut flakes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

In a large mixing bowl, using a whisk, mix the butter, coconut milk, and sugar.  Add in the eggs and almond extract. Hand beat until combined and smooth. Add in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  Mix just until combined. Add the coconut flakes, and stir them in. 

Using a cookie dropper or two tablespoons, drop rounded mounds onto the cookie sheets.  The cookies will spread and I recommend 9 per pan to give them room. 

Bake for ten minutes, turn and flip the pans and bake for four more minutes.  

Keeping the cookies on the parchment paper, slide from the pan onto a wire rack to cool. 

Once cooled to the touch, enjoy, or let them cool to room temperature and freeze for several hours to make ice cream sandwiches.

Coconut Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
13.5 oz can coconut cream (note, not coconut milk)
2 c heavy cream (do not use ultra pasteurized)
1/2 c sugar, divided
1/2 c shredded, unsweetened coconut flakes
6 egg yolks
pinch of salt

In a large sauce pot on medium heat, bring to just a simmer the coconut cream, heavy cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and the unsweetened coconut flakes.  Remove from the heat for thirty minutes.

Combine 6 egg yolks and 1/4 c sugar.

Using a whisk, temper the cream mixture with the eggs, one ladle at a time, whisking constantly.  Add two or three ladles total.  Once mixed, return the mixture to the sauce pot.  Before retuning to the heat, switch to a wooden spoon.  On medium heat, stir the mixture, with a wooden spoon, constantly, for five minutes.  At five minutes, the custard will stick to the back of the spoon and you should be able to run your finger on the back of the spoon without it dripping.

Strain the mixture thru a fine mesh sieve.  Add one pinch of salt and mix.  Let stand at room temperature for one hour before covering and putting in the fridge to chill for at least eight hours.

Once chilled, follow the directions on your ice cream maker and churn.  Let set in the freezer for at least four hours.

Putting It All Together!
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and put one half of the frozen cookies face side down.  Scoop as much or as little ice cream as you would like onto each cookie.  Top with the remaining cookies.  Let freeze for 15 minutes to set.  Enjoy!  Wrap leftovers (I know what you are thinking) in parchment paper for another time. These will keep for five days. 

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