Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream Sandwiches- jeez, that was a mouthful. It's definitely the longest title I've had to use for a post, but in this case, it was totally necessary, as the title perfectly describes exactly what you see in front of you: an ice cream sandwich that has the classic chocolate chip cookie exterior updated (although in this case, let's say "upgraded") to a chocolate chunk cookie made with peanut butter and banana. Two of these soft cookies get a a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, a quick roll around some sprinkles, and then a trip to the freezer to firm up. After a couple of hours of chilling, you'll have so much yummy goodness waiting for you...
I wish I could say that these ice cream sandwiches were the result of a quest to cool off on a hot summer's day, but I would be lying to you. The weather we've been having in New York as of late has been pretty miserable. I mean, it's been nothing terrible; it's been gray, overcast, rainy, windy, and chilly for the past week, so the weather has been very out of season. The weather just hasn't been its usual pre-summer self. Despite whatever has been going on with Mother Nature, these ice cream sandwiches were created nevertheless, because I wanted them to exist.
That's right. I had a craving for homemade ice cream sandwiches and I was gonna have one, even if the weather refused to cooperate with me...so that's exactly what I did.
I knew I wanted a classic ice cream sandwich. It had to have plain, good old-fashioned vanilla ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, and lots of sprinkles. I had to change it up a little though, because let's be serious, even classics can use a little bit of tweaking now and again. Peanut butter seemed to be a good way of going about this. Pairing peanut butter and chocolate is a classic combination in its own right, and the pairing peanut butter and banana also results in a well-loved flavor combination. To be honest, peanut butter isn't really one of my favorite snacks, but I do enjoy it every now and then (have you ever had a grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich??? If you haven't, I suggest you go make yourself one ASAP). I've recently started liking peanut butter and chocolate together, so sticking some peanut butter inside a regular batch of chocolate chip cookies seemed to be a good move. Adding some mashed banana to the mix only made things taste even better, trust me.
I decided to use chocolate chunks for these cookies instead of chocolate chips. I personally like using chunks more often than chips in a recipe, because I like having bigger pockets of melted chocolate in my cookies. Instead of just buying a pre-packaged bag of chocolate chunks though, I also prefer to buy blocks of chocolate and just coarsly chop it up itnto chunks myself. By doing this step myself, I not only get the larger chunks of chocolate that I like so much, but I also end up getting lots of thin chocolate shards to incorporate into the cookie dough. I find that by using chocolate chunks and chocolate shards, the texture of the cookie is much nicer, and there is more chocolate throughout the entire cookie itself. You take a bite out of it, and you can get a hint of chocolate from the shards, and in the next bite you take, you can get a nice, big chocolate chunk to really satisfy your chocolate cravings. I like chocolate chunks, but if you prefer to use chocolate chips, go right ahead!
These cookies are really something special. They have a delicious banana flavor to them that isn't overwhelming, but definitely lets you know that the bananas are definitely inside the cookie. The banana also changes up the texture of the cookie to make it incredibly soft, so these cookies are perfect for snacking on as they are, if you choose not to make the ice cream sandwiches. But then again...why wouldn't you want to make an ice cream sandwich? Cookies are good, but ice cream sandwiches...now that's what I'm talking about!
Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches
cookie recipe from How Sweet It Is
For the Cookies
2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, melted and cooled
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 ripe medium bananas (I measured a generous 1/2 cup from the bananas I used)
1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chunks/chips
ice cream, any flavor (I used vanilla)
chocolate/colored sprinkles (optional)
To prepare the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, and position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Grease or line baking sheets with silicone liners/parchment paper.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda to combine, and set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together the cooled peanut butter and butter with both the brown sugar and white sugar until combined (mixture will be thick). Whisk in the egg yolk and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the mashed banana to the mixture, and stir to combine (the mixture will be lumpy, this is ok!). Gradually add the dry ingredients to the bowl, and mix with a wooden spoon, until everything has just been incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chunks, distributing evenly.
Drop tablespoonfuls of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies in the oven until the edges are golden and the centers have puffed up, about 17 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheets before transfering to wire racks to cool completely.
Once the cookies have cooled completely, begin to create the ice cream sandwiches. Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the bottom side of one cookie, and press another cookie, right side up, over the ice cream. Roll the edges of the ice cream sandwich in sprinkles, if desired. Place the finished ice cream sandwich in the freezer until firm before enjoying.
Makes 32 cookies (when dropped by tablespoonfuls), enough for 16 ice cream sandwiches.