Can you believe that until I made these manuka honey coconut ice cream sandwiches I hadn't had an ice cream sandwich since I was about 13 years old?! That's nearly twenty years - unacceptable! I'm not sure why, I guess they just haven't really been on my radar; which is a shame because after making these ones I was reminded of just how good they are, and how much fun they are to eat. I promise not to leave it so long this time before I make them again.
The ice cream is really simple and easy to make and contains very few ingredients - just coconut milk, manuka honey, cornflour to thicken and a dash of salt and vanilla. Despite the lack of dairy it is really rich and creamy and the manuka honey lends a wonderful flavour, and also means that it is positively good for you!
I use manuka honey a lot - a spoonful in a hot toddy if I feel a cold coming on, drizzled on my porridge, or even rubbed onto burns or small cuts to help them heal. Not all manuka honey is created equal however, and it can be difficult to tell whether you are getting the real deal. To ensure that the Manuka honey you are buying is authentic New Zealand honey, look out for the UMF® quality trademark, as only honey that meets it's strict standards is licensed to use the mark. Comvita has been producing world-renowned UMF® Mānuka honey since 1974 in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty, and because it is certified by the UMF® quality mark, you know that it is authentic and full of nature's goodness.
The ice cream is excellent all by itself, but it is even better when it is sandwiched between two chewy, dairy free, honey oatmeal raisin cookies. They are a really easy, one-bowl affair, which replace the usual butter with coconut oil so that they, as well as the ice cream, are free from dairy products. I do prefer to let the dough sit in the fridge overnight before portioning it out and baking, as that way it becomes firm enough to shape by hand (it is quite a soft dough at first), but it can be baked straight away if you are short on time. (Although you do ideally need to make the ice cream base the day before churning it so you might as well make the cookie dough in advance too, it is a matter of minutes to whip up).
Manuka Honey Coconut Ice Cream Sandwiches
Manuka Honey Coconut Ice Cream:
- 2 400ml cans full fat coconut milk
- 150 g (½ cup) manuka honey
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- 110 g (3.9oz) coconut oil melted
- 80 g (4tbsp) honey
- 1 large egg
- 100 g (1 cup + 2tbsp)) porridge oats
- 75 g (⅔ cup) wholemeal self-raising flour
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 100 g (3.5 oz) coconut sugar (or use granulated sugar)
- 75 g (2.6oz) raisins
- Set aside about 120ml (½ cup) of the coconut milk. Place the rest in a saucepan with the honey and salt. Heat gently, stirring often, until the honey has dissolved.
- Gradually whisk the reserved coconut milk into the cornflour then whisk it in to the mixture in the pan.
- Stir constantly and heat until it is just simmering and the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about five minutes.
- Whisk in the vanilla extract then transfer to a bowl, cover and chill until completely cold.
- Give the cold custard a quick whisk until it is smooth again then churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions.
- Meanwhile, line an approx 18x28cm rectangular tin with clingfilm. Spread the churned ice cream out in the tin, cover the top with a sheet of baking parchment and press so that that it is level.
- Place the tray in the freezer for at least a couple of hours, until firm.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies:
- Place the melted coconut oil in a bowl and whisk in the honey and egg.
- Stir in the oats, flour, coconut sugar and cinnamon until well combined then stir in the raisins.
- Place the bowl in the fridge, ideally overnight but 30 minutes will do if you don't have time.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
- If you have chilled the dough overnight then it should be firm enough to roll into balls, if you have only chilled it for a little while then you will need to scoop it instead.
- Use about a tablespoon of dough per cookie, I weighed mine to get them all the same - 25g per cookie, I got 23 cookies. Roll each portion into a ball and place them well spaced apart on the baking sheets - they will spread. Flatten each ball slightly with your fingers.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden and they no longer look 'wet' on top. Leave to cool on the trays for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Use an 6cm round cookie cutter to stamp out rounds from the sheet of ice cream; if it is very firm then you may need to let it soften at room temperature for a few minutes. (If your cookies are a different size to mine then you may need a different sized cutter)
- Sandwich together two cookies with a round of ice cream and either eat straight away or return them to the freezer until needed.
This post is sponsored by Comvita, thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to continue doing what I love - playing with food and making a mess of my kitchen.