In episode 19 learn how to make old fashioned copycat gluten-free ice cream sandwiches that taste even better than the originals! Prepare the thick chocolate cookie wafer in minutes with this one-bowl recipe, and then press into a baking sheet. No rolling, cutting, or expert baking experience is required! Join Melissa, gluten-free cookbook and website author (Mamagourmand), as she shares many easy, pro tips to make this audio recipe for gluten-free ice cream bars and you won’t have to miss out any longer!
Recipes and Resources Mentioned
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Hey everyone. I’m Melissa Erdelac, host of the Gluten-Free Recipe Challenge podcast and creator behind the gluten-free website, Mamagourmand. Here we take beloved recipes you thought you never enjoy again and transform them into easy copycat versions, just as good as the originals.
I have never been more excited about finishing a recipe testing session than this. I’m about a hundred gluten-free ice cream sandwiches deep in my freezer, and I’m calling it. The recipe is magic, and it’s time for you to now enjoy a more reasonable amount.
Even though the recipe turned out to be really easy and straightforward, there was a few things that tripped me up. First of all, I didn’t want to roll out the dough. I wanted something that you could just press into a baking pan because making homemade ice cream sandwiches is impressive enough and we don’t need to be some sort of baking hero that’s also rolling out and hand- cutting dough. No one’s got time for that.
I also wanted a nice fudgy texture, but I wanted it kind of to be halfway between a brownie and a cookie. So like those old school ice cream sandwiches have, they’re almost like a wafer top, but they’re not a crunchy cookie. They have a soft bite to it.
I wanted it to resemble that. And to do that, I used a combination of melted butter and chocolate chips with the gluten-free flour and unsweetened cocoa. But when I mix that all together, the fats wouldn’t absorb into the gluten-free starches. So the cookies had like this sheen of grease on top after they were baked.
Not that my kids cared. They still ate ’em, which their palates continue to disappoint me, but I’m better than that.
So anyway, cutting back on the butter and adding some additional cocoa powder helped fix that problem. Then there was the matter of execution, how to get the ice cream perfectly softened to spread on, the timeline for freezing, how to slice the bars easily because otherwise you’ll be dropping some F-bombs when you’re cutting these things. But it all finally came to fruition. It’s time to share the magic formula.
First of all, you’re gonna preheat your oven to 350. These bake on a regular half sheet baking sheet, which is 13 by 18 inches, and you want to place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the baking sheet and to get it to lay flat so you can press the dough on top. What you’re gonna do is you’re gonna crumple the parchment paper first, make sure it’s slightly larger than your baking sheet.
Crumple it up, unfold it, and then press it down on the baking sheet. The crumbling just makes it lie down flatter so it doesn’t curl up around the edges. And then once it’s on your baking sheet, then fold around the edges so the paper fits snugly in your pan. So you kind of just wanna crease along the edges so you have a nice flat bottom to press the dough on.
Now once that’s done, then you can start making your cookie wafers. In a medium sauce pan, all the batter goes together in this sauce pan. So it’s one bowl, melt together eight tablespoons of butter with one cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and you do that over low heat. Once they’re about 80% melted, remove it from the heat, and then continue stirring it until it’s fully melted. And the reason why I do this is because if you continue to stir it and melt it on the heat until everything’s fully melted, you risk overheating the mixture. Melt it until it’s about 80%. Stir it up and then the rest will melt as you stir.
Let that mixture cool slightly about 10 minutes, and then you’re gonna whisk in two room temperature eggs, a third of a cup of granulated sugar, a third of a cup brown sugar, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract.
And remember, if you forget to set your eggs out to make ’em room temperature, just stick ’em in a bowl of hot water for five minutes first. To the sauce pan add one in one half cups of gluten-free flour, one half cup of unsweetened baking cocoa, a half a teaspoon of baking powder, and a fourth of a teaspoon of salt. Stir it to combine.
The mixture will be very thick at this point, so since it’s so thick and you need to spread it in the pan, what I do is I take spoonfuls and I just dollop it all over the baking sheet.
Once you have everything on your baking sheet, then use an offset spatula to spread it as best as you can. It’s still going to be very thick and kind of hard to spread. So then at this point, I just use my fingers and press the mixture evenly in the pan. I don’t find the mixture to stick to my fingers at all, because there’s enough butter in there. Press the mixture evenly in the pan going all the way to the edges. And then once it’s pressed, just kind of flatten it out with your hand to make sure it’s an even layer. So you have uniform thickness throughout .
Place the bars in the oven. And once you do that, you’re going to take your ice cream, move it from the freezer to the fridge, and this just softens the ice cream, so it’s easy to spread on the bars later. The reason I don’t put the ice cream at room temperature to soften is because then the outer edges get liquidy while the inside is still hard as a rock.
If you move your ice cream to the fridge to soften, it softens throughout the mixture and makes it easier to spread. Bake the bars for 12 to 13 minutes and you wanna rotate the pan halfway through. It’ll be done when the bars kind of lose their glossiness, it will look like it it has like a dry finish on top and you could also insert a toothpick in the middle and when it comes out clean, it’s done.
Leave the bars in the pan. Cool ’em at room temperature for about 20 minutes, and then you’re going to cut halfway down the middle, so you have two halves. Each half will be nine by 13 inches. Just leave them cut and in the pan and place the whole pan in the freezer until it’s solid, which will take about 30 minutes.
In the meantime, your ice cream is still softening in the fridge. It could sit in the fridge for about an hour.
After the bars have frozen, take the ice cream from the refrigerator and transfer it to a large bowl, and then stir it up so it’s a uniform softened mixture, and this just makes it easier to spread on the bars. If you have some sections that are more frozen than others, then it makes it one uniform consistency.
Take the bars from the freezer and take one half and flip it over. So the top is now facing down . Evenly spread the ice cream on the one half using your offset spatula going all the way to the edge, and then place the second half on top. Then return that to the freezer for one to two hours because you want the ice cream to resolidified and freeze.
That’s the entire process for making the ice cream bars, even though there’s some time involved with cooling and freezing, it’s pretty straightforward and easy. You mix everything together in one bowl, spread it on, freeze it, and you’re done.
Cutting the bars is actually the toughest part of the recipe. To do this easily, what you wanna do is run your faucet, so the tap water is really, really hot, as hot as it can go, use a large ass knife, the biggest fucking knife that you have, and run the knife through the hot water. Once the knife is hot, then wipe it dry with a towel, and then cut the bars. The hot knife slices through the bars easier, so you don’t have to like feel like you just finished a CrossFit workout, and just keep doing that, running the knife through the hot water, wiping it dry as you cut it.
And one important thing that I wanna add is before I start cutting the bars, I score the lines first. So this makes 12 ice cream sandwiches, you’re gonna wanna score, make little lines on the top of it, so you have 12 four inch by one and three quarter inch bars.
If you wanna get out your ruler, go ahead, but you should be able to figure it out without it. Just make a four by three grid and you’re good to go.
If you’re not gonna serve these right away, I wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap and then just stick them in a Ziploc freezer bag and freeze them into your ready to serve.
Every time I made them, I did something different. Here are some other options of how you could snaze it up. You could use softened vanilla ice cream and then stir in crush gluten-free Oreos for cookies and cream.
Um, I’ve used other ice cream flavors such as mint chocolate chip, strawberry. You could do butter pecan or peanut butter cup. Just make sure if you’re choosing other ice cream flavors that you read the label before and make sure that it is gluten-free ice cream.
You could also do chocolate dipped ice cream bars. Prepare the recipe just as I directed. You would freeze the bars after they’ve been cut until they’re solid, and then melt together two cups of chocolate chips with two and a half tablespoons of oil, and use a fork to dip the frozen ice cream sandwiches into the chocolate, and then just place them on a parchment- line baking sheet. But that’s like next level stuff and I’ll be super impressed if you do that.
And then the other thing you could do is , you could use the same technique to make gluten-free chocolate chip cookie sandwiches. So you would make the gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, and I have a recipe I could link to on the show notes, freeze the cookies, and then spread on the softened ice cream, and then freeze again until it’s solid.
So remember you could always find the full printable recipe on the show notes page, and to get to that, just click on the link provided in whatever podcast app you’re listening on, or you could go to my recipe website, which is mamagourmand.com, and click on the podcast tab and then the show notes page will include the full recipe along with any tips and recommended ingredients or equipment that I’ve mentioned.