Spicy Sweet Mango & Ginger Ice Cream Sandwiches
The last couple of weeks have been a doozy. I found out some company took one of my photos and was selling it in gift shops without my permission. I nearly cut my finger off while chopping some swiss chard. I came down with a cold. I battled insomnia. I burned my thumb on my lunch.
And now I’m throwing myself a fabulous pity party! Don’t worry, you’re totally invited.
The first (and only) dish at my pity party are these Mango & Ginger Ice Cream Sandwiches. The idea for these has been brewing in my head for a little while. Something about the combination of spicy ginger and creamy mango ice cream was just calling to me.
First, I made mango ice cream. I’m into altulfo mangoes (the little yellow ones) for their creamy sweetness and I’m into coconut milk in a big way lately, so that’s what I used. It’s a creamy, tangy dairy-free, egg-free tropical delight. You do need an ice cream maker to churn it, but it’s not custard based so there’s no cooking required. It literally comes together in minutes in your food processor or blender.
Pro tip: If you’re OCD like me, store your ice cream in a baking pan so that you can use a cookie cutter for perfectly round ice cream sandwiches. Ahhhh symmetry.
While the mango ice cream is good, the cookies were definitely my favorite part. I used a twist on my favorite chewy sugar cookies. I was looking for a good amount of spice so I used 3 kinds of ginger: fresh minced, ground and candied. There’s no molasses in these cookies because I wanted to taste the ginger, not molasses. The cookies are soft, chewy and pleasantly gingery. They’re not as spicy as I had hoped, but they got rave reviews from everyone who tried them! I’ll definitely be making them again.
The next obvious step was to sandwich them together. Creamy mango ice cream between two spicy sweet ginger cookies. I find them very cool and refreshing on a hot day. To appease my yearning for spiciness, I rolled the outside of my ice cream sandwiches in more chopped candied ginger. That added the zing I was hoping for!
Years ago, one of my readers pointed out that I make a LOT of chocolate recipes (naturally) and inquired if I ever made anything with mangoes. Dear reader, this one is for you!
Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Mango Ice Cream
Makes 3-4 cups
This ice cream comes together so fast, it’s almost too easy. The hardest part is cutting the mangoes, which isn’t really hard if you know how to do it. I like to cut mine like an avocado – score the insides, then scoop out with a spoon. Chef Allen Susser demonstrates how to cut a mango in this video.
2 large ripe altulfo mangos (about 1 pound), peeled and chopped
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups full-fat coconut milk
juice from 1 lime
pinch of salt
Puree mangoes in food processor or blender until smooth. Add sugar and puree for 30 seconds to 1 minute. With the processor / blender running, add coconut milk, lime juice, and salt. Blend until combined. Refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours.
Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions.
Spicy Chewy Ginger Cookies
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Makes about 24 cookies
As written, this recipe yields a pleasantly gingery cookie that will make people say, “What was in that?” (in a good way). Next time I think I will double the fresh ginger to get even more of a spicy bite to them.
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar , plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature and cut into 8 small pieces
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter , melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped candied ginger
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.
Combine milk & ginger in a small glass. Heat in microwave for about 20 seconds. Set aside to steep.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ginger. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and cream cheese. Whisk in warm melted butter. Add oil, egg, milk steeped with ginger, and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined. Fold in flour mixture with rubber spatula until incorporated and a soft dough forms. Fold in chopped candied ginger.
(If dough is too soft at this point, refrigerate it for 15-30 minutes until it firms enough to roll into balls.)
Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small bowl. Using a 1 1/2 Tablespoon cookie scoop, portion out 12 dough balls per baking sheet. Roll each dough ball in your hands, then roll in sugar to coat. Space about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
Bake 1 sheet at time at 350°F for 11-13 minutes, until set and just beginning to brown on the bottom. (They might not look done, but don’t over bake!) Cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.