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1. To soak the cashews, add ¼ tablespoon sea salt to a bowl with 1 cup filtered water. Add the cashews, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and allow to soak on the countertop for at least 3 ½ hours. Drain and rinse until the water running off them is clear. Set aside until ready to use.
2. Once you are ready to make the ice cream base, add the coconut milk and coconut cream (or solid coconut milk) to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
3. Transfer the base to a high-powered blender and blend with the other ice cream ingredients for at least 1 minute on high (be careful to watch the lid since you are working with a hot liquid).
4. Move the ice cream mixture to a heat-proof bowl, cover snuggly with a lid or plastic wrap (touching the top of the mixture to prevent it from forming a “skin”), and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to cool. Make sure to chill the freezer bowl for your ice cream machine now too.
5. Once thoroughly chilled, pour the ice cream base into your ice cream machine and churn following the manufacturer’s instructions (keep in mind that nondairy ice cream will freeze much faster).
6. Scoop into a freezer-safe or ice cream container and transfer to the freezer for at least 2 hours to firm up before assembling the sandwiches.
7. Now, let’s make the cookies! Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
8. Add the almond flour, matcha powder and sea salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
9. In a separate bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, Sweet Drops, and stevia maple syrup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine.
10. Roll the dough out to about ¼” thickness between 2 sheets of parchment paper and transfer to the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes (to allow the dough to firm up).
11. Use heart shaped cookie cutters to stamp out as many sets of cookies as you can (gathering and re-rolling the dough as you go).
12. Carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 6-7 minutes or until the edges are just starting to set (the center might puff up a little, but these cookies do not spread).
13. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking pan.
14. Let’s put them all together! Use a cookie scoop to scoop strawberry ice cream onto the bottom of half of your cooled cookies. You can spread it out with an offset spatula or spoon. Top with crushed freeze-dried strawberries and transfer the prepared cookies to the freezer while working on the decorations.
15. Melt the white chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl, in the microwave, in 30-second intervals at 50% power stirring after each set, until smooth.
16. Use a toothpick dipped into the melted chocolate to draw circles for the eyes onto wax paper. Allow to set.
17. Divide the remaining melted white chocolate in half and stir matcha powder and beet juice or red fruit powder into each. Use the matcha powder to create little hearts on the sides of the matcha cookies and to make the frog legs (you can do this on the wax paper to make it easier, and transfer after they dry).
18. Melt the milk or dark chocolate chips the same way you did for the white chocolate and use it to add the pupil to each eye and to draw the frog’s smiles.
19. Once all your decorations are set, you can transfer them onto the cookies using a little more melted chocolate to get them to stick (I find it easiest to use a toothpick to lift and transfer the piece so that I don’t melt them with my hands).
20. Use the melted pink chocolate to add cheeks, decorate with the heart sprinkles, and carefully place each decorated cookie on top of the chilled ice cream cookies. Enjoy!
Assembled ice cream sandwiches should be stored in the freezer. Allow the sandwiches to freeze for 1 hour on a baking tray before individually wrapping them with plastic wrap, or in airtight containers.
You can add an extra tablespoon of the stevia maple syrup to the cookie dough if you need help getting it to stick together.
The ice cream ingredients need to chill for at least 4 hours before churning the ice cream, so you may want to plan to prepare the base the night before you assemble the sandwiches. There will be leftover ice cream!
*Shortbread cookies recipe adapted from Sweet Laurel Bakery.
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