Virtuous Nice Cream Sandwiches (RECIPE!)

Ice cream for breakfast? Heck yeah.  Now imagine:
A sleepy-eyed, messy haired Saturday breakfasttime.  A plump dollop of fluffy ice cream pressed between two sweet, gooey cookies.  Warmed by the morning sun that filters in through the kitchen windows, the ice cream drips out the sides of the cookies and onto your hand.  Lick it off, undeterred, and bite into the ice cream sandwich.  Ice cream oozes between the rips of soft, chewy cookie that stick your mouth together.  Somewhere in the distance, Joan Baez sings your name- okay, just kidding.  But seriously, these are good.

The virtues of these nice cream sandwiches:

Satisfying.  You can really sink your teeth into the chewy, sticky goodness that is these cookies.  Accompany that with a thick, refreshing nice cream, and you'll feel powered up, ready to take on the day.

Nutritious.  They're literally fruit and nuts.  Vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants, protein, healthy fats, etc.  Good stuff.

Plant-based.  As previously mentioned, these are literally just fruit and nuts.  They're even raw, provided you use raw nuts.  Those of you who are dairy-free or vegan (or just like the idea of it) can go for it!

Versatile.  I'm sure the cookies would be good with a puff of cocoa powder, a drop of vanilla extract, maybe a dusting of matcha, or even chunks of chocolate or dried fruit.  In addition, nice cream has tons of variety.  I've used strawberry and just banana nice cream in these sandwiches and both times, it's been delicious.  But you can flavor nice cream almost any way you want- chocolate, peanut butter, matcha, berry, maple... the list goes on and on.  Don't be afraid to try something weird, it could turn out awesome!

Versatile (once more!).  Because the nice cream sandwiches are so nourishing and filling, they can be eaten in many situations: Breakfast.  Lunch.  Save one for a snack.  Theoretically, they could be dinner too, but I'll leave that up to you.

Delicious!  The most important part. ;)  Besides making you feel good, these sandwiches taste sooo good.

Recipe: Virtuous Nice Cream Sandwiches.

1 banana (very ripe, sliced, and frozen for at least 3 hours)
Whatever flavorings you want for your nice cream (I used frozen strawberries, but the possibilities are numerous)
1 cup pitted dates (10-15 dates)
1/2 cup nuts (I used mixed nuts, but I'm sure any kind would work)

Make the nice cream first.  If you find yourself befuddled by "nice cream", read this post.

Line a small cookie tray with parchment paper.

Blend frozen banana and whatever flavorings you want until smooth.  You'll have to scrape down the sides of your blender/food processor with a spatula several times- don't be discouraged.  It's worth it.

Once you have a smooth, thick mixture, scoop blops(for lack of a better word) onto the cookie tray and pat them until they're disc-shaped.  Their surface area will define the size of your cookies.  I made each of mine about the size of the lid on a jar of peanut butter.  Don't agonize over the shape- they'll look pretty once they're in the cookies even if they look kinda gross and gloopy right now.  And they'll taste good regardless of how they look.
Stick that tray in the freezer.  Now it's time to wash your blender/food processor, dry it, and get started on the cookies.

Line another small cookie tray with parchment paper.  Aluminum foil is fine, too, plus you can recycle it.

Blend the dates and nuts in the blender/food processor until both ingredients are equally distributed and are tiny beads.  Take a handful of the mixture and roll it in the palm of your hand until it's a smooth ball.  Now flatten it into a circle- you'll want it pretty thin.  The surface area of the cookie should be the same as that of the ice cream part.  If you're unsure, air on the side of larger rather than smaller cookies.  Once you've flattened one, lay it on the tray.  I like to smooth the edges of each cookie.

In the photos you see here, the balls I rolled were about the size of golf balls, and like I said, I flattened them into peanut-butter-jar-lid sized discs.  I ended up with nine cookies, so I split the ninth into two little ones.
Psst... you don't have to follow my guidelines exactly!  If you want lil' mini sandwiches, plop little dollops of nice cream and squish itty bitty cookies.  If you want one huge nice cream sandwich... good luck.  I would love to see pictures.  In fact, now I kind of want to try it.  I don't think it would be something to eat indoors.

Anywho.  Stick the cookies into the fridge for a few minutes, so that the cookies cool off after being handled with warm hands.  This gives you enough time go to the bathroom, get a glass of water, grab a plate and a napkin, whatever floats your boat.  If you're me, it means preparing a setting, camera, and phone for a food photoshoot.

Now it's time to assembly the nice cream sandwiches.  It's pretty self explanatory:  Pull the cookies out of the fridge and the ice cream out of the freezer.  Take a disc of ice cream(go ahead, use your hands) and put it on a cookie.  Put another cookie on top.  Repeat until you have made as many sandwiches as you would like to consume at this time.

If you're going to save any for later, don't assemble them until you're going to eat them.  The cookies should be kept in the fridge, and the ice cream in the freezer.

I'm not going to tell you how many servings this makes- it's up to you.  The first time I made this recipe, I easily ate the entire batch.  The next time around, I got full with about half the recipe. Everybody's food needs are different.  Listen to your body.  :)

You'll want to make this when you have at least an hour, as it does take a little while and make a some mess, but that's part of the fun.  I rarely make a dish without splattering the kitchen in some kind of brightly colored food.  It's totally worth it for chewy, gooey, virtuous goodness that you can hold in your hands and chomp into with gusto.  I hope you'll find that, too.

A smiling first experiment :)

On another note:  I know at least one of you took action after reading this post.  Thank you.  Throughout the community, people spoke up.  The mayor asked that people please stop calling and emailing her office.  The tree is saved.  There's even a protective fence around it now.  It seems fitting to enter Earth Day tomorrow with this recent victory.

World peace and love,
Heather <3

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