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Vanilla Bean Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches

Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches

It’s the little things lately that fuel me up. The details. Paying attention. So much is out my hands that it’s all in the little things. Maybe it’s the renewed warmth of Spring doing that to me with very much intensity. Maybe it’s the rhythm of the work days that intensified lately. It makes me crave finding my grounds, keeping them and taking care of us.

Food is naturally part of that equilibrium. Roasted chicken and mixed greens enjoyed with friends during a lazy Sunday lunch. A simple salad of heirloom tomatoes shared with B. in between his classes and his music. A classic nosh of French cheeses and pate downtown at a new favorite hang out. A simple plate of lentils and kale topped with a friend egg on a weeknight. Simple. Details. Seasonings. Spices. Balance.

Vanilla Ice Cream

When it comes to dessert, you can bet I am right around the corner with a big plate and large smile! I rarely want a slice of cake or a dozen cookies. Fresh. Seasonal. Textures. Aromas. These words resonate strongly when it comes to picking desserts. There are things I can’t have anymore and ingredients I need to pay attention to so desserts need to pack a punch in a few bites. They need to make me weak in the knees or I’ll pass. I am a gourmande. I’d like to enjoy that for a while and not feel worse because I am not keeping tabs of what I do.

Most nights dessert is a bowl of strawberries or raspberries and a dollop of whipped cream (my absolute weakness), a handful of cherries, a baked apple. Simple. Then there are the simple but planned out desserts we enjoy a couple of times a week. The ones I come to tell you about here. The ones which flavors dance in my head long before I actually make them.

Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches

Like these Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches. They were not just good. They were simple. They were made from scratch with good stuff like homemade vanilla ice cream. And they were gluten free. I know! You’re thinking "Stop the healthy stuff Helen or we’re going to throw you a cookie." "Ice cream! Portable! Yes!".

I could fit one in my hand without a problem. I could do a 3 bite dance just as easily. I could also carry one in my pocket. I am sure the pups would follow me to the end of the earth with such a trick, ahahah! B. simply loved the taste of the wafers which always make me happy as I bake more and more gluten free that he can’t point out the switch. He grabbed a handful of plain wafers on his way out earlier. Just like that.

Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches

I took the cookie recipe used on a job last week and modified to be gluten free and I was really pleased to see the end products behaved the same while being prepared, baked and stacked. The original recipe called for margarine which I subbed for half butter and half coconut oil (see reasons and how to’s in recipe section here) but feel free to use all butter. For the ice cream, I kept it pretty simple and did an eggless base loaded with good vanilla seeds.

Here’s what I like about making ice cream sandwiches from scratch beside the obvious "they’re better for us": it gives me an excuse to make fresh ice cream for some other night of the week. I don’t have to fill all the cookies at once and can do so as we please since they too can be kept in the freezer and I can keep some cookies plain on the side when a chocolate cravings comes knocking at midnight. As it is now….

Why is the freezer door this loud this time of night when everyone is asleep but me? Ha!
One more thing before I go: If you are curious to read about more about the whys/whats/wheres of this blog, check out an interview I just completed on Bizymoms by going here. Thanks!

– milk bottle and various plates: ebay
– flatware and straws: Kikkerland on
– paper straws: Bake It Pretty (I hear Anthropologie also has them)
– "Ice Cream Parlor" cup (2nd picture): cup outfitted with a DIY pattern from Eat Drink Chic.

Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches:

Makes twelve 3-inch square sandwiches

– you can use 2 cups all purpose flour instead of all the combined gluten free flours (sweet rice through cornstarch)

– for the dotted look on the sandwiches, I used one of the tools comprised in this set that I received as a gift years ago.

For the cookies:
4 tablespoons (55gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons coconut oil (55gr), at room temperature
1 cup sucanat (organic cane sugar) muscovado or brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup superfine or regular sweet rice flour
1/2 cup superfine or regular brown rice flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup cornstarch (use tapioca flour if allergic to corn)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Prepare the cookies:
In the bowl of a electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butterm coconut oil and muscovado sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Lower the speed and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
In a separate medium bowl, combine the cocoa powder, all the flours, baking powder, and salt. Still with the mixer on low speed, at the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until the dough starts to come together. Gather the dough into a ball and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
On a lightly floured surface or a Silpat, roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch thick. Use your preferred cookie cutter to cut out as many pieces as you can. Gather and re-roll the scraps if necessary. Make patters on cookie with a fork or other tool (see notes) if desired. Place on lined baking sheet and bake 8 – 10 minutes. Cool completely before sandwiching them with ice cream.

For the vanilla ice cream:
1 cups (250ml) heavy cream
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
1 cup (250ml) whole coconut milk
1/2 cup (125gr) mild honey
1/2 vanilla bean, split open and scraped – seeds set aside

Prepare the ice cream:
In a large saucepan set over medium low heat, bring the cream, milk, coconut milk, honey and vanilla bean seeds to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Refrigerate, preferably overnight.
Process the mixture into your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s intructions.
Once the ice cream has reached soft serve consistency, pour about half into a 9×9 freeze proof dish lined with plastic wrap (try to get about 1 to 1.5 inch thickness for the ice cream to sandwich later on) and the other half into a freezable container. Freeze until firm.
No ice cream maker? No problem! Pour the cream into a freeze proof container and freeze for a couple of hours. Take it out and whip it with an electric mixer or immersion blender, freeze it again, whip it again….do that four or five times. The mixture won’t be quite the same but pretty darn close.

With the same cookie cutter, cut through the ice cream that was poured into the 9×9 inch pan and sandwich in between two cookies. Keep frozen. The cookies will keep well wrapped in the freezer for up to 3 months.

I’ll upload the recipe in French either tonight or Wednesday – ran out of steam tonight!

La recette en Francais ce soir ou demain au plus tard. Le boulot ca fatigue – ahahahah!

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Rosa's Yummy Yums April 20, 2010 um 7:17 am

Those ice cream sandwiches look so pretty and perfect! A wonderful creation.



Jaime April 20, 2010 um 7:20 am

Ooooh, thanks for posting this. Ice cream just makes me happy, especially when you photograph it, Helen.

It is pure pastel bliss.

Cherine April 20, 2010 um 8:00 am

I LOVE those ice cream sandwiches!! They look fantastic!

Lilly Higgins April 20, 2010 um 8:37 am

These looks so gorgeous and nostalgic! I can't believe you made the ice cream yourself too. I love the ice cream cup, Thanks for listing where you get your props, You could open a Prop Shop!
Beautiful as always!x

Simo April 20, 2010 um 8:52 am

…che meraviglia…………..

Jessica @ How Sweet April 20, 2010 um 10:21 am

These are just beautiful! And they look delicious, too.

Paula April 20, 2010 um 11:27 am

I love such tiny "cookies" πŸ™‚

Courtney April 20, 2010 um 1:30 pm

Well aren't these just little works of ART! So impressive!

nikole April 20, 2010 um 1:34 pm

beautiful! i love the second photo especially, the textures of the ice cream, the cheese cloth and the blue under, pretty darn perfect.

Kieran April 20, 2010 um 1:34 pm

Those look absolutely stunning! I love the wrapping. I think I'll have to give those a try! Mmmm.

DessertForTwo April 20, 2010 um 1:42 pm

Thanks for admitting you eat dessert every night…we do too. But healthy stuff (berries and fruit), and then twice a week, we have something decadent. Now I don't feel so guilty! πŸ™‚

Maria April 20, 2010 um 1:55 pm

I am so excited for the warmer weather and frozen desserts:) Love your ice cream sandwiches!

shaz April 20, 2010 um 2:34 pm

Thank you for the recipe! As usual, the photos are fabulous.

m April 20, 2010 um 3:44 pm


SMITH BITES April 20, 2010 um 5:19 pm

Simple. Beautiful. Delicious. Inspired. I love your site – thank you for sharing your life with the rest of us.

Sunshinemom April 20, 2010 um 5:51 pm

Beautiful as always. I love the casual fall of the spoon, the light and the browns!!

ice cream freaks April 20, 2010 um 6:32 pm

Very nicely done! Looks delicious and I like how you decorated the ice cream sandwiches too.

Cookie April 20, 2010 um 7:02 pm

THANK YOU for all the wonderful gluten free recipes!!! I have chosen to eat gluten free because it simply makes me feel better. I don't have to eat this way….it is my choice. And, you make the choice so much easier for me with all of your wonderful recipes!! Thank you for your love of good and beautiful food, and for sharing it with all of us!!!

Unknown April 20, 2010 um 7:16 pm

These look those tempting. I'll try them this weekend. πŸ™‚

Alessandra April 20, 2010 um 7:22 pm

Very cute! I am partial to ice cream sandwiches, and I love your presentation!


Unknown April 20, 2010 um 7:40 pm

I love the cookies, I will try this recipe as soon as possible!


Kersten April 20, 2010 um 8:03 pm

Those look great — quick question, though. Does the coconut milk in the ice cream give it the taste of coconut? I've used c.milk for making rice and there's always a subtle flavor later. Thanks in advance!

Anonymous April 20, 2010 um 8:17 pm

I think that I'm in love! I make ice cream cookie sandwiches to celebrate the end of school. My girls will be so excited to see "real" ice cream sandwiches this year! I better "test" this once or twice before then….


Anonymous April 20, 2010 um 11:22 pm

I really like these Ice Cream Sandwiches. I'm going to have to try this out!

Helene April 21, 2010 um 12:01 am

Lilly Higgins: I have my mother to thank for helping out a lot with props from France or some extra cash here and there!!

Jo April 21, 2010 um 12:28 am

These are real cool treats. We have a different version here in Singapore sold by street ice-cream vendors. You can have your ice-cream sandwiched between biscuit wafers or wrapped in a slice of soft coloured bread. You'll probably think the bread version is strange and most visitors here do too.

Abby April 21, 2010 um 2:05 am

Gorgeous! I love everything about this post. Ice-cream sandwiches were one of my fave childhood treats!

Evan April 21, 2010 um 2:07 am

What does the 2 cups of all purpose flour replace? I figured 2 cups of flour would replace 2 cups of gluten free flours but there seems to be 1/2 cup of gluten free flour left over. Thanks!

Anonymous April 21, 2010 um 2:45 am

I like your gluten free recipes, Helen. It reminds me that it doesn't have to be "traditional" to be good! I admire that you found a way to have the things you love in a way that does not hurt you. I love reading your blog. Thank you so much.

Thechattymom April 21, 2010 um 2:47 am

It's been awhile since I was able to stop by…I am so glad that I did! These are absolutely adorable and will be such fun this summer for my girls.

Helene April 21, 2010 um 2:48 am

Evan: the two cups of all purpose flour replace 1/2 cup sweet rice flour, 1/2 brown rice flour, 1/2 cup millet flour and 1/2 cup cornstarch or tapioca flour. No 1/2 cup leftover but I did add "sweet rice through cornstarch" in the notes. Cornstarch/tapioca flour is part of most flour blends in gf baking but I realize it might be new to some.

Anonymous April 21, 2010 um 3:14 am

I like to try the cookies but can I leave out the Xanthan gum?

Helene April 21, 2010 um 3:27 am

Anonymous: I can't say yes or no as I have not tried without so I can't tell you what the results would be for sure. Let me know how you did without!

Truly Smitten April 21, 2010 um 4:45 am

oh my goodness…is there anything you cannot make? My weakness is ice cream sandwich!~ YUM!

Active Foodie April 21, 2010 um 5:05 am

These are just beautiful! I have to admit, ice cream sandwiches are one of my all time favorite desserts, they remind me of being a kid each time a take a sweet bite πŸ™‚ Thank you for the recipe!

Tara Barker April 21, 2010 um 5:43 am

Oooh, these look delicious! Thanks for reminding me about coconut oil – there's some in my pantry I've been meaning to play with.

And I, too, love egg-less vanilla ice cream – it reminds me of the ice creams we'd make all summer when I was a kid. (I sometimes feel like less of a "foodie" for admitting a preference for non-custard-based ice cream, but there you have it.)

gfs April 21, 2010 um 6:40 am

yum and I was just lamenting the loss of my favourite chocolate ice-cream sandwiches the other day due to being celiac – you have made my week!

Lucie April 21, 2010 um 7:17 am

I've been planning on making ice cream sandwiches when I go to the US for the summer and the weather gets nice and warm–one of my favorite treats! I'll be bookmarking your recipe, mille mercis!

kristina April 21, 2010 um 1:57 pm

Now Helen, I am wondering if my ice cream sammich would melt before I got it untied?!?! Or is it edible string?

Helene April 21, 2010 um 2:02 pm

Kersten: the taste of coconut is not strong at all with most store bought coconut milk. Well at least we did not say "wow, taste the coconut" πŸ™‚ Hope that helps!

Kristina: do what we do and slide the tie down πŸ™‚

Unknown April 21, 2010 um 3:10 pm

Oh wow! Looking at your photography is like looking at a chameleon. Always so varied, so fresh. Never boring!
Love the sandwiches!

Carole Poirot April 21, 2010 um 9:14 pm

Beautifully retro-style photos, love them! Well, and the food sounds delicious. Love from London x

jacqueline April 22, 2010 um 1:41 am

So very happy to have found your lovely inspiring space! I am in love with this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing. Something for me to make over the weekend on a warn day here in Malaysia. Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!

Patty April 22, 2010 um 3:04 am

I love your photography and blog. The ice cream looks divine.

MemΓ³ria April 22, 2010 um 4:21 am

I've been looking for a recipe for the "bread" of ice cream sandwiches aside from regular cookies. These fit the bill. Lovely photos as usual.

Spicy Green Mango April 22, 2010 um 6:01 am

You are soo creative and whimsical with your baking and presentation. Love the vintage red straws and the little milk bottles. Yes, detail, details. They really do leave a lasting (and sweet) impression! Wonderful!

my little expat kitchen April 22, 2010 um 10:37 am

Ice cream sandwiches always bring me back to when I was little. My mother used to buy me one every Sunday during our summer vacation at our house near the sea. I wish I had an ice cream maker so I could make my own. They look amazing!
Thanks for dropping by my blog πŸ™‚

J2Kfm (Malaysian Food Blog) April 22, 2010 um 12:18 pm

Very nice, PORTABLE ice-cream! Ingenious creation. Though I can imagine the kids holding more than one in hand. πŸ™‚

Weekend Cowgirl April 22, 2010 um 2:53 pm

I am going to try these although not sure mine will be as pretty! Hopefully, it will all be about the taste!

Romero April 22, 2010 um 3:39 pm

me ha encantado tu blog!..lo postee en el mio con un enlace hacia el tuyo!!!

Kitchen Butterfly April 22, 2010 um 5:28 pm

Those grasshoppers rock!!!!!!!!!! Love the photos too. Its amazing how different homemade ice-cream tastes compared to store-bought. True, you can't keep it long but the difference is 7UP (clear!)

Punctuation Mark April 22, 2010 um 5:44 pm

yum!!! delicious!!!

The Short (dis)Order Cook April 22, 2010 um 6:00 pm

As I'm beginnign to realize more and more that my husband really needs to be on a gluten-free diet, I am coming to appreciate these quality gluten-free goods. I never liked those ice-cream sandwiches they used to sell at school or in the ice cream truck, but I'd eat these in a minute- gluten free or not.

Eileen April 22, 2010 um 6:18 pm

It would be a good thing having my freezer full of these this summer!

Andre@Cocoa Sensations April 22, 2010 um 11:27 pm

I love the photography as well as the vanilla ice cream! I like the idea of making the ice cream as filling and it's really inviting. What I like the most is that it's a gluten-free food. Thanks for sharing.

Carole Poirot April 23, 2010 um 7:46 am

Bonjour Helen, please stop by at my blog to pick up a little something as a thank-you for all those lovely pictures and gorgeous food… Love from London x

Sue April 23, 2010 um 3:16 pm

I would be happy to frame these photos, hang them up, and stare at them all day:) Love it!

A April 23, 2010 um 5:57 pm

I have been wanting to make proper ice cream sandwiches forever. Thanks so much! Is the xanthan gum necessary?

toontz April 23, 2010 um 11:02 pm

Too pretty to eat…almost, lol.

If you are replacing the gf flours with ap…do you need the 1/2 tsp xanthan gum?

I just might have to make these this weekend, thanks, Helen!

Pink Blog Girl April 24, 2010 um 6:08 am

These look divine πŸ™‚

Sarah April 24, 2010 um 1:40 pm

I just found out about your blog through a RT on Twitter. It is amazing, I love the photography and writing, let alone the recipes! I made the chocolate cookies on their own, I just changed sweet rice flour for tapioca as sweet rice flour is impossible to find in London. They are amazing. Thank you so much!

Elaine from Cookware Help April 25, 2010 um 2:10 pm

These look so cute and sounds tasty! I wonder if I can make the cookies and ice cream filling ahead of time, store them, and just assemble them on the day they are needed?

I'm new to this blog and I'm loving it to be here.

Helene April 25, 2010 um 2:18 pm

a: I don't know if you are familiar with the role played by the gum so if you are forget what I am going to say:
the gum pretty much replaces the strands of gluten that are present in all purpose flour but not in GF flours so "necessary" may not be the term to focus on here but more "texture".
Without the gum the dough will be crumbly and difficult to roll without cracking a lot on you as you start to roll thin. Having the gum is a lifesaver when rolling dough or trying to duplicate the pliability of regular gluten baked goods.

So, basically, the choice is yours to see which way you'd rather go. Hope that helps.

COLARGOL April 26, 2010 um 8:52 pm

ohh quelles merveille, ils sonttellement parfaits !! J'adore !

Maris April 26, 2010 um 9:15 pm

I shouldn't read blogs during the "afternoon slump" because now ALL I WANT is an ice cream sandwich. I'll have to settle instead for a diet coke πŸ˜‰

Ashley April 26, 2010 um 9:56 pm

Oh my goodness you are my favorite. These look so perfect! I want 6.

Kate April 27, 2010 um 1:37 am

hi, these look absolutely delicious! Is it possible to make these sugar free?

Helene April 27, 2010 um 2:00 am

Hot Flash: you mean without sugar? I don't think it would have much flavor without sugar but if you try let me know how it turns out.

Kate April 27, 2010 um 2:07 am

Yeah my friend's a diabetic, but he really can't resist these. I'm thinking a sugar substitute perhaps? Either way, can't wait to make them!

Helene April 27, 2010 um 3:18 am

Hot Flash: I don't believe in sugar substitutes so I'll be the last one to steer you in this direction but you could certainly reduce the sugar. The honey and the sucanat are already better on the glycemic index than regular sugar so you could try to reduce those if you wish.

home based businesses April 27, 2010 um 10:54 am

They're perfect. I can feel my mouth watering.

Unknown April 29, 2010 um 3:46 pm

I LOVE ice cream sandwiches. These look amazing!!!

alice April 29, 2010 um 7:26 pm

yummy! would make a great gift to bring over to someone's house.

Tebonin April 30, 2010 um 1:50 am cute they are…such a good idea.
I don't care about diet anymore.
I will make it for my bf tonight.
Thank you for sharing really really nice piece.

United Studies April 30, 2010 um 8:17 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe! I have my dough in the refridgerator now…if they turn out, I will post pictures! I know my daughter and husband will be very happy, they haven't had an ice cream sandwich in three years!!

United Studies May 1, 2010 um 2:23 am

Oh Tartlette, I just made these and we ate them for dessert. You have made one 5-year old girl extremely happy tonight! I barely had enough time to assemble them before my daughter was eating hers. They are delicious!

Thank you once again for posting this recipe. I am very impressed at how easy they are to make! I had to chill my dough for about 2 hours, and didn't have sweet rice flour (I am all out), and so regular white rice flour worked just as well. The dough even rolls beautifully!

Meisha May 10, 2010 um 4:39 am

Where ever did you find that precious polka-dotted spoon? I have been looking for flatware just like that for ages!!

Helene May 10, 2010 um 4:55 am

Meisha: my mom bought about a dozen at a store in Toulouse, France a couple of years ago.

Amy (Bubbles and Blush) May 15, 2010 um 11:45 pm

Experiencing a wierd type of nostalgia.. wierd because while they feel so traditional, I've actually never eaten an ice cream sandwich before! I think it's very American.. we don't really have them down here! BUT I'm definitely keen to try them out one day!

Love your photos too, reposted one on my blog.. couldn't resist πŸ™‚

a greener apple August 15, 2010 um 4:22 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I made them twice last night–using a mixture of gluten free flours–because they are so charming, soft and pillowy as whoopie pies, thin and sweet as ice cream sandwich wafers. Thanks! September 11, 2010 um 9:25 pm

These look so good!!

I'm always so amazed at the gorgeous photos you take of your food.

I wanted to mention you on my blog with some pictures of this post and wanted to ask if that is ok?
Id link back of course so more people can see your great work.

Baking is my Zen…sweet nibbles for the soul September 27, 2010 um 3:42 pm

Simply Lovely…


Rachele October 29, 2010 um 9:49 pm

These were a miracle. My daughter recently began her GFCF diet and it's not been an easy transition for her but the results are more than worth it. Anyway, the kids at school were having ice cream sandwiches today after lunch and she knew she couldn't have any. I'm determined to find quality, tasty substitues and these were perfect!! I followed your directions for the cookies and they were perfect. I used a ghost and pumpkin cookie cutters (front/reverse to have nice sides). When I picked her up from school, she said she LOVED them. Thank you, thank you.

Sanja February 3, 2011 um 1:13 pm

Perfect, just what I was looking for! I'm making them as a Valentine's day gift for my boyfriend, only heart-shaped πŸ™‚ Thank You so very much!

Elsa February 4, 2011 um 8:17 pm

Can the coconut oil be replaced?

SharonEsq March 12, 2011 um 10:27 pm

This looks great!!! I am a B Ca Survivor and try to add the healthy ingredients whenever I can. Coconut oil is one! So if i use regular flour, do i have to use the "xanthan gum"? i was looking for your email address and decided to just post my question as a comment, since i wanted to thank you for the recipe also.

The GlutenFREE MaMa August 17, 2011 um 2:59 am

These look amazing!!!! I just recently got my celiac diagnoses but was lucky enough to be an experienced baker already who was experimenting with gluten free and vegan baking as a new challenge. It's all still new tho and I had a question could I sub out the coconut oil for anything else? Another oil perhaps? I know it has a different consistency than regular oils but we dont use it in my house.

Helene August 17, 2011 um 3:39 am

I guess butter could work or leaf lard but I have not tried them this way so I can't vouch for the results being the same.

Rosa Rivero May 26, 2014 um 11:42 pm

these look incredible! one question, do you use coconut milk that comes in a can or in a tetrapak container? I know it says whole, and i thought that when it comes in tetrapak is reduced fat, but I am not sure. I would love to make this ice cream

Helene May 27, 2014 um 11:07 pm

Rosa: I used the one that comes in the can – full fat.

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