Some people find that receiving mail is a nuisance but I love shredding through whatever I find in our mailbox even if it’s just unnecessary auto insurance information addressed to “resident.” I’m all over it. So the other day when a small box that actually had my name inscribed on the front flap arrived, I tore into it with the force of a starved raccoon. Guess what was inside? Tiny Mexican limes! There were only a few inside but the fragrance was deafening. That’s right. The scent was so delightfully strong that I ceased to hear anything around me. For example, our obese and hungry cat sharply announcing his arrival for an evening meal normally elicits from me a distinctly negative guttural exclamation. Not this time for I was shrouded in an angelic sound cloud of citrus scent. Cry on cat, I’m immune to you.
Now, let’s talk limes. I was told these tiny yellow fruits are like key limes which have a thinner rind and a brighter, more acidic taste than the green limes we’re all used to seeing. I felt like homage to the key lime pie should be paid so I made a coconut key lime ice cream! But there’s more. I also made some wholly wicked gingersnaps and made ice cream sandwiches!
There’s kind of a lot going on here, so let me break it down. First, I know the proportions of this sandwich are insane and you would probably dislocate your jaw trying to get this in the gullet. I froze my ice cream in what seemed like an innocently shallow layer in a rectangular dish. To make the sandwich, I thought I’d cut the ice cream out with a 3″ cookie cutter which was approximately the diameter of my gingersnaps to get a perfect sandwich but when I got the ice cream out it was actually a laughably wide slice. If you elect to use this method, I recommend freezing the ice cream in a 9×9″ square baking pan.
Next, the ice cream. Along with the juice from my yellow limes, I used sweetened condensed milk, light coconut milk, vanilla extract and… AVOCADO! The avocado boosts the creamy texture of the ice cream and adds a bit of green color. I started with just half an avocado which didn’t make any contribution to the flavor, but then I added the other half because I did want a hint of its taste. It might sound weird to be putting avocado in ice cream but I have never been more serious when I say please. do. it. Do it today!
Now, the cookies. I find that there is a real divide between people who like chewy gingersnaps, and those who like them crunchy. I enjoy both but I prefer my crunchy gingersnaps to be super spicy. These cookies are not crunchy. They are chewy and awesome. They are also topped with some chopped pistachio. Just ‘cuz.
Tweaked a tad from Cherry Tea Cakes
Makes about 30 cookies
5 T Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1 C Granulated Sugar
½ C Brown Sugar
½ C Molasses
1 T White Vinegar
1 T Vanilla Extract
3 ¼ C All Purpose Flour
1 T Baking Soda
pinch of salt
2 tsp Ground Ginger
½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Ground Cloves
½ tsp Ground Cardamom
1/3 C Chopped Pistachios
Directions: Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, mix the butter and sugars at low speed until well combined. Add in the eggs, molasses, vinegar, and vanilla extract.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Refrigerate dough until firm (at least 1-2 hours.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and arrange racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with a silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Remove dough from fridge. Scoop balls about the size of 2 tablespoons from the bowl. Roll with your hands into a firm ball and place on baking sheet, pressing down slightly on the dough. Press a few chopped nuts into the dough. Repeat until all dough has been used. Bake cookies for 11 minutes, rotating cookies from top to bottom rack (and vice versa) halfway through. Let cool on sheet 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack.
Coconut Key Lime Ice Cream
1/3 C Freshly Squeezed Key Lime Juice (From about 5 small lies)
1 14oz. Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 14oz Can Light Coconut Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
½ of One Ripe Avocado
Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions, then transfer to a 9×9” baking dish, smoothing the ice cream with a rubber spatula. Freeze in freezer until completely solid.
When cookies have cooled and ice cream is frozen, either scoop ice cream onto cookies with an ice cream scoop or cut ice cream with a 3″ cookie cutter and place on cookie. Cover ice cream with a second cookie. Munch!