Dear friends, I’ve been hit with the Christmas spirit! Perhaps a little slow on the uptake, this recipe was the absolute magic that knocked me sideways, and it’s better late than never. Especially in this case. To keep this level of deliciousness to myself would be decidedly Scrooge-like indeed.
Two treats come to my mind when I think about Christmas: gingersnaps and eggnog. I thought about just posting a raw vegan egg nog ice cream or just gingersnap cookies, but then I realized that combining these two things would be utterly insane in the best way possible. So I did just that, and the first bite I took actually caused me to laugh out loud. These ice cream sandwiches are so delectable that I beg you to make them.
This ice cream is everything. It’s super rich, creamy, decadent with plenty of warming nutmeg spiciness to conjure up egg nog memories without any egg to speak of. Or cream. Or milk. It’s vegan and raw believe it or not, but you tastebuds won’t know that – they will only thank the dear heavens for being born in a body that gets to eat this gorgeous stuff.
The Gingersnap cookies are also vegan, gluten-free, and delicious on their own, or embracing a giant scoop of egg nog ice cream (obviously). They cleverly employ rolled oats that are turned into flour right in your food processor, creating a satisfyingly-textured treat that I’m sure you will make over and over again. The brown rice syrup is worth finding if you’re into a super crisp cookie, where the barley malt syrup can be used in its place but the results will be chewier.
Because the flavours in this recipe rely heavily on spices, I thought the following reminder would be helpful. Most people assume that spices are just inanimate powders that they can keep forever, but they are actually very delicate creatures that change both flavour-wise and nutritionally over time. Buying spices whole will ensure that they will keep their taste and nutritional potency for up to twelve months, while ground spices will last for only six months. If you’re like my mom and have had the same dusty jar of chile powder kicking around since 1992, do yourself a favour and discard it, buy some fresh, and enjoy. Life is too short for stale spices!
There are times when ground spices are appropriate, especially for convenience sake. Cinnamon, ginger, paprika, cayenne, turmeric, cumin and cardamom are the ones I usually have ground since I go through quite a lot of each of these over the course of half a year. Spices that I always keep whole include nutmeg, clove, allspice, coriander, fenugreek, star anise and peppercorns.
Although it is commonplace for people to store spices next to the stove for easy access, this is not the best place. Spices should be kept away from heat and light and be tightly sealed in a glass or ceramic container. Metal canisters may contain compounds that can interfere with the spices chemically, while plastic containers encourage condensation, which leads to spoilage. Keep spices in a cool, dark place, and put a date label on the jar to remind yourself when to toss any remaining product after it has expired.
The Eggnog Ice Cream recipe calls for nutmeg, which I will implore you to grate fresh, because it is a revelation! Ground nutmeg loses its flavour very quickly that the results of this recipe will be completely different. If pre-ground nutmeg is all you have then you may need to increase the amounts I’ve called for. And in that case, ask for a couple whole nutmegs for Christmas.
Raw Vegan Eggnog Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart / 1 liter
2 heaping cups / 300g cashews
2 ripe bananas
1 vanilla bean
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup / 125ml maple syrup
1 tsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, to taste
1. Soak cashews for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse well and place in a blender (a high-speed blender is recommended) with all other ingredients.
2. Blend on high until completely smooth. Taste and adjust spices to suit your taste.
3. Pour mixture into a metal or glass container and place in the freezer to set, for at least 4 hours. Once frozen, place plastic wrap directly on top of ice cream to prevent it from absorbing any other flavours in the freezer. Let thaw 15-20 minutes before serving so that it is easy to scoop. Enjoy!
Makes 20 cookies
2 1/2 cups / 250g rolled oats
1/2 cup / 75g coconut sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup / 80 ml coconut oil
1/3 cup / 80 ml brown rice syrup or barley malt
2 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.
2. In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, melt coconut oil. Whisk in brown rice syrup, water and vanilla. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. In a food processor blend oats until you have a rough flour. Add to a large bowl with all other dry ingredients. Stir to combine.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and fold to combine.
5. Spoon out dough into balls onto a lined baking sheet – give them plenty of room because they spread a lot! (I use at 2-3 baking sheets to bake the whole batch) Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven, let sit for five minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Store in a tightly sealed container for 5 days.
1. Remove Eggnog Ice Cream from the freezer at least 15-20 minutes before serving.
2. Scoop a generous ball of ice cream and place on top of a cookie. Add another cookie to the top and press to set. Enjoy immediately, or wrap sandwiches in plastic wrap and place in the freezer until ready to eat. Assembled ice cream sandwiches will keep for 1 month in the freezer.
I wish all of you out there a delicious, magical, safe, healthy, and abundant holiday. And I want to thank each and every one of you for your love and support this year in making my dreams a reality. From the blog, to my cookbook and the My New Roots app, your ongoing enthusiasm for what I’m doing really motivates me to keep going. Big love to you all.
Peace, blessings, and happy holidays!
Show me your ice cream sandwiches on Instagram: #MNRicecreamsandwiches