Man oh man, have I been excited to tell you about these oh-so-decadent frozen treats.
I’ve been sitting on this recipe for about a month now. And before that, I was sitting on the idea since last summer. Yup, I’ve been holding out on you.
Here’s the thing: I wanted to tell you guys about ice cream sandwiches when it was seasonally appropriate. Let’s face it. Ice cream in August is way more appropriate than in February. Not that I’m one to turn my nose up at it in February, either, but you know what I mean.
And then, once I actually started developing the recipe and testing things out, I wanted to make sure it was perfect before I told you guys about it. And lucky for you guys, my due diligence paid off. In spades.
These ice cream sammies are super fun. The coconut macaroon cookies get marvelously chewier and slightly denser when frozen, but not in a break-your-teeth way. They’re soft, chewy, and completely delicious. The perfect vessel for ice cream! They add an awesome texture to the situation. I was on the fence with how well an egg-white-based cookie would work once frozen, and these exceeded my expectations by a mile.
Plus, aren’t they just the cutest?! They’re so frilly and dainty. Even if you aren’t up for making ice cream sandwiches, these cookies are perfectly delish on their own. I could see them on a brunch spread or as an unexpected dessert at your next dinner party. They’re fabulous.
I have always had a soft spot for coconut macaroon cookies. Well, for shredded, sweet coconut in general. Come Halloween, I was always more than happy to trade a Snickers for a Mounds bar, much to my younger sisters’ delight (I, along with my mother, was the lone coconut fan back in those days). There’s something about that shredded, sticky, slightly chewy coconut texture that just gets me. I love it. So, as one might imagine, coconut macaroon cookies are totally one of my faves.
The idea of using them as the base for an ice cream sandwich was one I could not ignore. Even back in February. It kind of gnawed away at me. And I just kept telling myself “come summer, these are so happening.”
I really think just about any type of ice cream would work with these. The coconut lends that tropical, fun taste to everything. The possibilities are endless! Chocolate, vanilla, raspberry, even pistachio. And in my case: MANGO.
Gah. You guys. I found mango ice cream at the store when shopping for this recipe, and I am completely in love. I am a huge fruit sorbet fan, and I almost always go for the fruity flavored stuff over the chocolate (I know. I’m weird). So, I went to the store with mango sorbet in mind. I thought it would work perfectly with the coconut. And while I was so right on that one, the mango ICE CREAM stole the show for me.
Creamy and sweet. Fruity and bright. Sandwiched between two honkin’ coconut cookies. Yessss.
It’s pretty much heaven on earth for me.
The only thing that could possibly make these better is a drizzle (or generous dunk) of melted chocolate. Let me “take one for the team” and test that out for you all.
I’ll report back.
1 (14-oz) bag sweetened shredded coconut
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
2 large eggs whites
Pinch of fine salt
Ice cream or sorbet, for sandwiching between cookies (See NOTE below)
Preheat the oven to 325°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.
While the egg whites are beating, stir together the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla until well combined.
Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture. It will be a sticky batter.
Using two large spoons, scoop out 2-tablespoon mounds onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Gently flatten the tops of the formed cookies (this just ensures a better shape for ice cream sandwiches). I was able to get 16 cookies (for 8 ice cream sandwiches) out of this recipe.
Bake for 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, or until the tops of the cookies are golden and the edges are a deeply golden brown.
Allow the cookies to cool on the sheets for a couple minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Make sure the cookies are completely cool before attempting to fill them with ice cream.
About 5-10 minutes before you assemble the sandwiches, allow the ice cream to soften a little bit at room temperature.
Match up the cookies by size, pairing together the most similar sized cookies. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop out ice cream and place on the flat side of half of the cookies. Working quickly, create sandwiches by topping the ice cream with the remaining cookies and pressing down just slightly.
Place formed ice cream sandwiches on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes so that the ice cream firms up again. Serve immediately or transfer to a resealable bag and keep in the freezer for a week or two.
(Optional step: I actually softened my ice cream and scooped it into a muffin tin and let it freeze again in the tin before assembling the sandwiches. This just made for an easier, less messy assembly and is totally not necessary.)
For the ice cream, I like to use 2-3 different flavors for variety. I used vanilla bean, chocolate, mango ice cream, and mango sorbet. The mango flavors were killer with the coconut! I also think pineapple or raspberry sorbet would be fabulous here.
Macaroons very lightly adapted from here.