Sesame Matcha Nice Cream Sandwiches

The best part of spring?  Frozen dessert season is ON!  In between chocolate-dipped soft serve and creamy Italian ices, I'll be chowing down on these vegan Sesame Matcha Nice Cream Sandwiches.  Because: balance.  Get the easy, coincidentally gluten-free recipe here.  

EFEL is NOT the first place you'd go searching for vegan-friendly eats.  I'm an avid meat-eater, proud Master of Beef Advocacy, and full-on dairy FREAK.  Pass the cheese, please!  But preparing treats sans butter and eggs presents somewhat of a challenge, and with a brand-spanking new tin of matcha in my hot little hands, the wheels started turning.  

Matcha is essentially what you're tasting in green tea ice cream, so why not add it to fool-proof frozen bananas, fattened up with a bit of coconut milk?  No reason not to, I assure you. The sweetness is the perfect foil for gingery, slightly savory, sesame-encrusted cookies, that are tasty enough to gobble up all on their own.  

If you're hesitant to try cane-sugar-derived Lyle's Golden Syrup, don't be!  A delicious blend of magic somewhere between light molasses and butterscotch, it really makes these cookies pop. And yes, according to the brand, it's suitable for vegan consumption.  Savor the rest of the jar on treats like scones, pancakes, and in other baking projects.  

 Heavenly. 

Heavenly. 

As for the matcha, do yourself a favor and pick up this handy frother from MatchaDNA.  I recently purchased it as a replacement for the Ikea hand-held milk frother.  So far it works like a charm.  Use it to blend that antioxidant-rich matcha into water or milk, or to simply froth up some warm milk for your morning coffee.  Totally worth the extra two minutes.  

Enjoy these Sesame Matcha Nice Cream Sandwiches within three days of preparation.  Promise they won't last that long!

Sesame Matcha Nice Cream Sandwiches

AUTHOR: NICOLE RODRIGUEZ, RDN, NASM-CPT

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

1 C. oats, ground into flour

1 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 C. tahini, well stirred (I use Joyva)

1/4 C. grapeseed oil

3 T. Lyle's Golden Syrup

1 T. blackstrap molasses 

fresh ginger, about a thumb's worth, passed through Microplane

2 T. crystallized ginger

black and white sesame seeds for rolling, about 1/4 C. each

For the matcha nice cream:

2 medium bananas, frozen *skin should have been brown, not black*

1/4 C. coconut milk (I ONLY use Goya)

1 1/4 tsp. ceremonial-grade matcha (I use Jade Leaf)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Combine ground oats, baking powder, cornstarch, ground ginger, and cinnamon in large bowl.  Sift with fork to combine.  

Whisk together tahini, Lyle's syrup, molasses, and grape seed oil in small bowl or liquid measuring cup.  This mixture will be quite sticky, so use some elbow grease with that whisk!  

Add tahini mixture and fresh ginger to dry ingredients, and use fork to combine.  Add crystallized ginger, stir again to combine.  Dough will be wet.  

Chill dough, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.  

Roll dough into eight equally-sized balls.  Roll each ball in mixture of black and white sesame seeds, and place on cookie sheet.  Flatten each ball into a disc, using your palm.  If using non-stick cookie sheets, there should be no need for extra oil to grease them.

 Roll 'em, roll 'em, roll 'em. 

Roll 'em, roll 'em, roll 'em. 

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until edges are slightly browned.  Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool immediately.  

While cookies are baking, make your nice cream.  Utilizing a high-powered blender (I use the single-serve attachment of the Ninja for pretty much everything), blend bananas, coconut milk, and matcha until smooth, taking care that matcha is well incorporated.  Allow mixture to settle in freezer for 20 minutes before assembling sandwiches.  

 Spring green: no food coloring, no filter. 

Spring green: no food coloring, no filter. 

Divide nice cream evenly among four of the cookies.  Place in freezer on cookie sheet for 20 minutes before topping with remaining cookies.  For best results, allow sandwiches to freeze at least two hours before consuming.  

 Dig in.  

Dig in.  

*The components are so delicious, you're totally justified in skipping the sandwich assembly and dunking the cookies straight into the nice cream.  Your call!*

Enjoy your food!  Enjoy your life!