Honey Walnut Ice Cream Sandwiches

I’m a fan of the homemade ice cream sandwich. Although I love those made with chocolate wafers, why wouldn’t you make them out of chewy chocolate chip cookies? Especially the kind studded with walnuts. Why not? They’re easy to mix, drop and bake – once frozen, it’s easy to thickly spread softened ice cream between two cookies. It doesn’t even have to be vanilla. It’s better than a cone when you want to eat ice cream with your hands. Perfect for summer parties – for kids or grown-ups.

For a chocolate cookie dough, swap 3/4 cup of the flour with 3/4 cup cocoa. To get fancy, pat chopped walnuts, shaved chocolate, toasted coconut, mini M&Ms or sprinkles onto the sides of the sandwiches. (It’s easy to do this by filling a shallow bowl with your chosen ingredient and dipping the edge in, rolling it through like a wheel.)

If you want to get a head start – these sandwiches are great for kids’ parties, by the way – the chocolate-walnut cookies can be baked in advance and kept in an air-tight container for three days or in the freezer for up to two weeks. They’ll be easier to shape into sandwiches when frozen, anyway.

Honey Walnut Ice Cream Sandwiches

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
1-3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups California walnut pieces, toasted
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
Ice cream

Toasting Walnuts: In large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast walnuts, stirring occasionally, until lightly brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar together with a hand mixer, about 2 minutes. Add honey and egg, beat to incorporate.

Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir to combine. Mix in walnut pieces and chocolate chips.

Evenly place 1 Tbsp portions of cookie dough 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Let cool. (If you like, freeze them until firm.)

Place a scoop of ice cream on the bottom cookie, then gently top the ice cream with a second cookie. Repeat process with remaining cookies and ice cream. Serve immediately or wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in freezer for up to two weeks.

Makes 1 – 1 1/2 dozen sandwiches.

Per sandwich: about 308 cal, 5 g pro, 18 g fat (7 g sat. fat), 35 g carb, 1 g fibre, 59 mg chol, 79 mg sodium. %RDI: 8% calcium, 5% iron, 6% vit A.

Recipe and photo courtesy of walnutinfo.com

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