vegan chocolate chunk cookie ice cream
In my hometown, there was once a little ice cream shop called Thomas Sweet, and it carried the most wonderful ice cream flavor: Chocolate Chip Cookie. While one might expect that such an ice cream would be imbued with chunks of actual cookie, Thomas Sweet's emulated the mellow, vanilla-kissed flavor of chocolate chip cookie dough in the cream and mixed in a generous amount of delicious dark chocolate chips. It was my favorite ice cream flavor (of course, given my obsession with chocolate chip cookies and all things that taste like them). Sadly, Thomas Sweet closed years ago, and I have yet to see this flavor elsewhere, especially within the small (but growing!) vegan ice cream universe. With some tinkering in my kitchen (a.k.a. vegan ice cream laboratory), I was able to recreate my old favorite flavor... and I am so thrilled to share it with you.
The key to capturing the brown sugar-infused flavor of chocolate chip cookies in this recipe while keeping the glycemic load low is by utilizing dark agave nectar, which has a deeper, more molasses-like taste than its light counterpart. (Unlike most of my sweet recipes, where stevia is offered as an alternative sweetener choice, this is one case where utilizing the agave is crucial to achieving the yummiest outcome.)
Finally, in the interest of both maximizing the chocolate factor and in keeping the sugar to a minimum, I recommend doing as I have done here and cutting up your own chocolate chunks. As I have reflected before... why settle for measly chips when hearty, delicious chunks are an option?
RECIPE: Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookie Ice Cream
(makes approximately four servings)
- 1 can (13.5 ounces) of coconut milk + the cream from a second 13.5 ounce can (refrigerate the coconut milk for at least 24 hours and scoop the solidified cream from the top)
- 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews (soak for at least three hours if you have a weak blender)
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon dark agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon melted cacao butter
- 2 1/2 teaspoons liquid vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon powder (optional but delicious)
- 3.5 ounces chopped, low-sugar dark chocolate chunks (aim for 5 grams or less of sugar per serving -- I used Lindt 90% Cocoa here) OR cacao nibs
- In a high-speed blender, process all ingredients from the coconut milk and cream to the cinnamon until a creamy, silky smooth "custard" has formed.
- Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker. Churn until slightly softer than soft serve.
- Once this "extra-soft serve" texture has been reached, pour in the chocolate chunks.
- Churn until desired thickness is reached; I like to let it get fairly "hard."
- Enjoy immediately, or freeze for an hour or more for a more traditional ice cream texture.
Serve with love.