That’s a big part of parenting some times. Stashing the good times away in a memory bank somewhere, to draw on when you need them. And you need them a lot when you kids hit their teens – just sayin’ 😉
What’s a better way to make great memories than to bake something delicious with your kids? My girls know their way around the kitchen, and we’ve whipped up some great things over the years. Desserts are a favourite, and I can always coax them in to the kitchen to help if I have something sweet on the go.
This is one holiday favourite I made the other day with my youngest – a stacked mini-ice cream cake. We love making it because it’s made up of simple components, but you can change it up easily by varying the ice cream or cookie flavours, so you can have a different dessert every time. And it’s a festive recipe that’s also fun to make.
We also love it because it’s a healthier dessert. The chocolate fudge cookies I use here are the most delicious you will ever taste, yet they are flour-free, gluten-free, fat-free, and contain healthier sweeteners. The “ice-cream” I use contains only bananas. The whipped cream is a bit of a splurge, but that part is entirely optional. So this dessert doesn’t break the bank health-wise, and that’s a big bonus this time of year.
And if you feel up to the challenge, you can substitute whipped coconut cream for the regular whipped cream – it is supposed to be delicious. I did actually try to make that for this recipe, but I didn’t have any success with the brand of coconut milk I used. I’ll be trying it again at some point, because the health benefits are worth it.
Isabel and I started this dessert by debating our flavor choices. We decided to go with the chocolate fudge-banana combination, but you can vary the dessert by choosing a different flavor of ice cream. Banana-based ice cream can be flavoured with things like peanut butter, instant coffee, cocoa powder, or nutella, or you can use regular ice cream in any flavor you wish.
The first thing you need to do is make the cookies. I’ve made these chocolate fudge cookies before – it’s a quick and easy recipe. This time I baked them in a mini muffin tin to make sure they were all the same size. I buttered the tins well, and cut out a small circle of parchment paper to place in the bottom of each tin. This cookie recipe is fat-free, so they tend to stick if you don’t butter the pan and use buttered parchment paper.
I made the banana ice cream using my Yonanas dessert maker, but it turns out great in a food processor as well. To assemble the mini-cake, I pressed a spoonful of ice cream on the top of a cookie, and left it in the freezer for about 15 minutes to harden. Then I evened out the shape of the ice cream layer using a knife, and placed a second cookie on top. I topped with fresh whipped cream, and I was done!
You can freeze these on a serving dish so they’re all ready to go when you need them. Just take them out to thaw 10 minutes before serving.
Do you have a family holiday recipe that everyone should try? Take the #BetterFoodForAll Challenge with Sobeys and you could win $1,000 in groceries! Or follow the #BetterFoodForAll hashtag on Twitter and Instagram for more holiday recipe inspiration from Canadians.
Mini Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Cakes
makes 12 mini cakes, with leftover cookies
1 cup coconut sugar
1 cup natural cane sugar (or regular sugar)
1 cup cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt
4 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla
Banana Ice Cream:
1 ripe banana
1 cup whipping cream
1 ½ tbsp sugar
1. For cookies, butter 2 mini muffin tins. Cut small circles out of parchment paper that fit into the bottom of each tin. Butter and place 1 in each tin. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Mix all cookie ingredients in a mixing bowl until blended. Place 1 tsp of cookie batter into each cookie tin. If there is leftover dough, place buttered parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spoon batter on to the sheet, in mounds 2 inches apart.
3. Bake 10 minutes at 350°. The cookies should be chewy.
4. For the banana ice cream, slice the frozen banana into small pieces and place in a food processor. Process until the banana is smooth and creamy, without any lumps. Freeze 15 minutes until it firms up.
5. Beat cream in a mixer with the whisk attachment, or by hand with a whisk, until very soft peaks form. Add sugar and beat until incorporated and peaks are firmer. Do not over beat.
6. To assemble the cakes, place about 1 tbsp of ice cream on 1 cookie, and freeze 15 minutes until firm. Smooth edges and top of ice cream with a knife, and place another cookie on top.
5. Top with whipped cream and decorative sprinkles.
6. Freeze on serving tray if possible so that mini cakes are ready to serve when you need them. Before serving, thaw 10 minutes.