We all have those days when a sweet, creamy indulgence is simply in order. Perhaps for cooling off on an active hot summer afternoon, at a celebration with friends and family, savoring on the porch after a light supper, or even winding down with a little reward after a hard week. I found myself having one of those days, and decided to whip up something nostalgic, a little decadent and somewhat childish all at once: dairy-free PB&J ice cream sandwiches.
I thought it only fitting to post the recipe for this extra-special treat on National Peanut Butter Cookie Day! But have no fear my food allergic friends, these PB&J ice cream sandwiches have an SB&J option below, too. Also, they just happen to be vegan, gluten-fee, and soy-free – this wasn’t planned, but it just worked out that way!
Nonetheless, every last morsel of these PB&J ice cream sandwiches is pure, sweet, over-the-top goodness. I started with some oat and peanut butter-based cookies, going for that perfect thickness and wafer-crispy consistency that isn’t hard when frozen. Then, I layered on some So Delicious Dairy Free Simply Strawberry Ice Cream … but I also recommend Oregon Mixed Berry as an amazing PB&J ice cream alternative. Both varieties are creamy berry bliss! Finally, I drizzled the whole thing with a quick, sweet, magical peanut butter shell (from Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook) which sets up like a cocoa-free chocolaty coating in minutes. Boom! Addictive, guilty, delicious.
And don’t let the slight cookie crumbles below mislead. When frozen solid and enjoyed with teeth (not quite soft and with a cookie cutter like in this picture!) we found them easy to eat. Though I can’t promise that the ice cream and coating won’t get wonderfully melty on a hot day!
This post is sponsored by So Delicious Dairy Free, but the desire to make and devour these PB&J ice cream sandwiches was all mine. Every last bight was indulged in our home.
Special Diet Notes: PB&J Ice Cream Sandwiches
For peanut-free PB& J ice cream sandwiches, use SunButter in both the cookies and the coating. Note that it may turn the cookies a slight greenish tinge due to a reaction of the sunflower seeds with the baking soda. This is normal, edible, and does not affect taste. Plus, you can cover up the evidence with the magical SunButter coating!
Unrefined Sugar Option: Please note that I haven’t tested it yet, but because these PB&J ice cream sandwiches are plenty sweet, you shouldn’t have a problem finely grinding coconut sugar and using it as a substitute for the brown sugar in the cookies. When finely ground and then blended into the magical peanut butter shell, it should also work as a sub for the powdered sugar, but will change the flavor and consistency a fair bit. If you are a coconut sugar fan, then it should be fine!
- ¾ cup unsalted creamy natural peanut butter (see post above for peanut-free option)
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup (I use NOW foods Grade B)
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free buttery spread (such as Melt Organic)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup oats (certified gluten-free, if needed)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt (omit if using salted PB)
- 1 pint So Delicious Simply Strawberry or Oregon Mixed Berry Coconut Milk Ice Cream, softened
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Place the peanut butter, sugar, buttery spread, maple syrup and vanilla in a mixing bowl and blend until smooth (about 1 to 2 minutes).
- Place the oats in a spice grinder or small food processor and blend into a flour (about 60 seconds). Add the baking soda and salt and quickly pulse to combine.
- Add the oat mixture to your mixing bowl and stir or mix until combined. It will look crumbly..
- Bring the dough together into 16 cookie balls (about 1½ inches wide each) and flatten onto your prepared baking sheet to your desired shape and thickness - they will puff up slightly but won't spread. Alternately, bring the dough together and roll the dough out and cut into desired shapes. The dough will be crumbly, but does hold together when shaped.
- Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, or until just beginning to darken around the edges. Let cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet then carefully move to a wire wrack to cool completely. They are crumbly when hot, but set up nicely when cool.
- Freeze the cookies for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
- Scoop some of the softened ice cream onto the bottom side of one cookie, place a second cookie on top, lightly pressing down to bring it all together. Smooth and fill-in the edges as needed. Repeat until you have about 8 sandwich cookies.
- Place the sandwich cookies in your freezer (unwrapped is okay) and freeze until solid (about 1 to 2 hours).
- Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and pourable.
- Drizzle the mixture over each ice cream sandwich, one at a time, quickly spreading to drizzle it over the sides. Add as much as you like!
- Eat immediately or freeze until solid. Tightly wrap each PB&J ice cream sandwich in plastic wrap and freeze to store.