If you like the store-bought version, you’ll go bananas for these peanut butter “nice” cream sandwiches that are big on nostalgia but with a modern nutritional appeal. No ice cream maker required. If desired, you can replace peanuts and peanut butter with almonds and almond butter. For a dairy-free centre, whipping cream can be swapped out for coconut cream. And for a lower calorie treat, you can simply scoop some ice cream on a single cookie base for a cool twist on an open-faced sandwich.
1 cup (250 mL) pitted dates
3/4 cup (180 mL) unsalted roasted peanuts
3/4 cup (180 mL) rolled oats
1/4 cup (60 mL) ground flaxseed
1/4 cup (60 mL) cocoa powder
2 Tbsp (30 mL) honey
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
3 large ripe bananas, peeled, cut, and frozen
1/4 cup (60 mL) natural peanut butter
1/3 cup (80 mL) whipping cream or coconut cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
In small bowl, place dates and cover with warm water; let soak for 15 minutes.
In food processor container, place peanuts and oats, and grind until mixture looks like coarse sand. Drain dates and pat dry with paper towel. Add dates, flaxseed, cocoa, honey, and salt to the container. Process until mixture sticks together when pinched between your fingers.
Form dough into 12 equal-sized balls. Place on parchment paper- or silicone-lined baking sheet and press down on balls to form flat discs. If using a smaller baking sheet, you can form and freeze discs in batches. Place sheet in freezer for at least 1 hour. Lift cookie discs from sheet and store in airtight container in freezer until ready to serve.
In food processor, place frozen banana chunks; turn machine on and let it run until banana is reduced to the size of small pebbles. Scrape down sides of bowl, add peanut butter, whipping or coconut cream, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt, and continue blending until creamy.
Be careful not to overblend to the point at which bananas begin to melt. If not using immediately in the sandwiches, transfer mixture to airtight container and freeze.
To assemble ice cream sandwiches, scoop some ice cream onto a cookie disc and top with another disc. Press down gently to slightly flatten.
Tip: if frozen (for up to 1 month), peanut butter mixture will need to sit at room temperature for several minutes to soften up, or blend it again in a food processor until it once again takes on a creamy texture.