Birthday Sandwiches

In spite of the fact that my culinary tastes and taste buds have evolved over the years to a more nutritional focus, my love for a fabulous chocolate chip cookie remains solid and steady. Never wavering. Full disclosure: I have never met a chocolate chip cookie I didn't love. Even bad ones are still pretty good.

As a certified and self-diagnosed chocaholic, I have made dozens of different healthy chocolate chip cookie recipes and shared a handful of the best ones with you. Whether using almond butter (2014 version A and version B), almond flour (2103) or seed butter (2015) these recipes are simple and produce an excellent cookie every time. Some call for more coconut sugar or chocolate chips than others--today's recipe definitely uses the least of both and I really like that.

But sometimes all it takes to elevate the chocolate chip cookie to new heights is a slight tweaking to the process. Thanks to the Tasty Yummies blog, I was entranced with her paleo chocolate chip cookie sandwich I caught a glimpse of on Instagram. The major difference with her recipe? The addition of a hand-held or stand-up mixer for a few minutes to make the batter creamy and aerated.

I had every intention of making these paleo and gluten-free ice cream sandwiches for the 4th of July party we hosted (proving my love for wholesome chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches, I made these ice cream sandwiches for my birthday in 2011), but when my guests offered to bring dessert, I graciously welcomed their help and put this recipe aside for another day.

Naturally, as always happens with me, when I don't make something I want to eat, I can't get that food off my mind. Until I make it. Which drives me crazy. For my recent birthday, I made this vegan strawberry cheesecake which was surprisingly good, but I am not sure I'd make it again.

Fortunately, one of my dearest friends (and two of the guests who joined us for the 4th of July fiesta) and I celebrate summer birthdays that are two weeks apart. Our tradition is that we and our husbands gather for a deluxe dinner at one of our favorite restaurants making this a perfect occasion for these ice cream sandwiches to make their appearance. Since my girlfriend went gluten-free earlier this year, at my encouragement, I knew this dessert would be a healthy, fun and still very special way to honor another completed revolution around the sun for us.

And I was so right! No one could believe the cookies were paleo and gluten-free. David claimed it was spectacular and my girlfriend, her husband and our waiter enthusiastically concurred stating it was a "superb ice cream sandwich." Just like we loved when we were younger, but better for you and absolutely magic.

Traditionally, I bring a whole pie (key lime or something similar) which we share with the wait staff and, this time, I only made three ice cream sandwiches because David and I agreed we wanted to share one and, I was in such a hurry, I totally spaced on making an make extra ice cream sandwich to share with our crew.

When our waiter delivered the beautifully plated surprise desserts to the table, everyone was delighted by my sweet co-birthday treat.

"Where's mine?," decried our amiable waiter who frequently takes care of us and knows I always have plenty of homemade dessert to share with the staff. As I heard him speak this truth, my heart skipped a beat and, he was right, I was not even thinking when I only brought three sandwiches. Rather, I was in a hurry to make them and get them in the freezer in time to harden enough so they would not melt completely in the scorching 102 degree temperature as we drove the 10-mile stretch to the restaurant in the hottest time of the day.

To try and reprieve myself, I pinched off a third of my half sandwich to which he happily accepted the sample and skipped towards the kitchen so he could savor this homemade version of a favorite childhood summer treat. Shortly thereafter, he blissfully strutted back to the table with a major smile on his face and tossing me a high-five claiming the ice cream sandwich was fabulous!

Five happy hearts, another year behind us and this fabulous, paleo and gluten-free chocolate chip cookie (sandwich) recipe that will make the next 365 days of our lives that much more magical.

Buen provecho!
Superb Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches
The Cowgirl Gourmet adapted this recipe from Tasty Yummies

The author of Tasty Yummies asked me to provide you, dear readers, with a direct link to her blog for the recipe.

Please note that I used maple syrup as the sweetener (as opposed to the honey she uses) and had to bake the cookies longer than the Tasty Yummies blog indicates. Other than that, I found her recipe to be super delicious.


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