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Wandersups: Sod the diet. Make ice cream-filled cookies instead

“I am here to tell you: our time here is short, life is to be enjoyed - eat the damn cookie. Even better, eat two cookies with ice cream sandwiched between them.” Velvet’s Hannah Gregory shares a recipe guaranteed to boost the January mood

WanderSups - Ice Cream Cookie Sarnies
WanderSups - Ice Cream Cookie Sarnies

I’ve never really been one for “new year, new me”. Those who read my column on the reg will know I tend to go the opposite way in January - if society tells me I should be good, I will do everything in my power to be bad. Why on earth should we feel guilt or shame for indulging in comfort food and edible treats during one of the bleakest months of the year?

This notion was further cemented when I was discussing consumer trends with a fellow chef recently. We were chewing the fat on why (at time of writing) restaurants seemed to be empty, supper club tickets weren’t selling etc. I mused, “Just that time of year, I guess.” To which he responded, he wasn’t buying that because if you go with that theory, consumers will never be spending/eating.

January everyone is watching the pennies, then a couple of months’ respite. But come May, people are on a health kick ready for summer holidays, then come actual summer holidays and before you know it we are back in the autumn months where people are watching the purse strings in the lead up to Christmas.

The same can be said for diet culture, my most loathed of all the cultures. If we are to lean into this ridiculous notion that come January we should be detoxing and dieting post-Christmas. . . it then trickles into spring and getting ‘beach body ready’ (reminder all bodies are beach bodies). . . which then trickles into summer and being on holiday. . . then winter is on the horizon and so begins the ludicrous sentiment of “Oh, I shouldn’t, Christmas is coming”. Insert eye-rolling emoji here.

I am here to tell you: our time here is short, life is to be enjoyed - eat the damn cookie. Even better, eat two cookies with ice cream sandwiched between them, drizzled in chocolate. And do it in January whilst you stick a proverbial middle finger up to the plethora of diet-plan ads and green juice recommendations that are thrust upon us. I promise you, not only is this good for your taste buds, it’s good for your soul.

Rant over, on to the recipe in question. The beauty of this recipe is that no ice cream maker is needed; in fact, you don’t even need to manually churn it every half an hour - you just need a food processor. It is so simple to make, it takes minutes. MINUTES! The addition of tahini to the banana ice cream instantly adds a layer of sophistication and grown-up-ness, the subtle bitterness providing a welcome contrast to the sweet bananas. The cookies, full of honey and oats, offer the perfect structure to book-end the creamy filling. It truly is a masterpiece, if I do say so myself.

And, if you insist on being one of those health nuts, I’m sure there is some research out there to say that tahini, oats and bananas are full of goodness. Just maybe skip the research on cream, sugar and butter.

WanderSups - Ice Cream Cookie Sarnies
WanderSups - Ice Cream Cookie Sarnies

No-churn banana, tahini and oat ice cream sandwiches

Makes 12 sandwiches

What you need:

For the ice cream:

● 4 ripe bananas

● 200ml double cream

● 2 tablespoons tahini

For the cookies:

● 75g plain flour

● 1 teaspoon baking powder

● 75g oats

● 50g golden caster sugar

● 75g butter

● 2 tablespoons honey

● 2 tablespoons milk

● 100g dark chocolate

How you do it:

1. The day before you want to make your sandwiches, slice your bananas and pop in a freezer bag and place in the freezer to harden.

2. To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet with greaseproof.

3. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.

4. Melt the butter, honey and milk together and stir to combine.

5. Add the melted ingredients to the dry and stir well to combine.

6. Dollop a teaspoon of the oat mix onto the baking sheet and repeat until all used up. Make sure to leave space between each dollop as they will spread (you might need two sheets).

7. Bake for 13 minutes until golden brown.

8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

9. Add your frozen banana pieces and half the cream to a powerful food processor and blend. Once combined, trickle in the remaining cream and blitz until creamy.

10. Add the tahini and blitz once more till combined.

11. Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (or in a microwave) and then either decant into a piping bag, or if you can’t be bothered with that faff, leave as is and use a teaspoon for drizzling.

12. To make the sandwiches, carefully spoon ice cream on to a cookie, place a second on top and gently squeeze to create your sandwich.

13. Drizzle with chocolate and then pop into the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.

A former BBC MasterChef quarter finalist, Hannah hosts WanderSups supper clubs, “serving meals created with love, inspired by journeys around the world, dished up on home turf”. Her ethos is simple - have fun, enjoy it, make it an occasion. To find out more follow @WanderSups or visit wandersups.com.

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