"Have you ever done anything with peanut butter and bananas?" Erin asked me. And I had to answer no. Peanut butter? Sure thing. Bananas? You bet. But together? Not so much. And that admission turned into something of a small obsession: I had to try this right now.
Enter the banana peanut butter ice cream sandwich: banana ice cream smooshed between soft but rich peanut butter and oat cookies.
This ice cream may be my new favorite banana treatment, a simple reformulation of a standard ice cream base where bananas take the place of eggs. In a way the bananas are better than eggs, because you can toss them with raw sugar and bake them for half an hour until they melt into a banana caramel sauce, and you could frankly stop the recipe right there as you lick it all up with a spoon.
Or you could blend the bananas with dairy, chill, and churn. No judgements either way.
The peanut butter cookies aren't much harder. They're a loose adaptation of Smitten Kitchen's peanut butter cookies, which are themselves an adaptation of Magnolia bakery's rendition. Since the cookies are destined for ice cream sandwiches, they should be cakey and soft to keep their ice cream payload safe inside, so I use more brown sugar, more eggs, and cake flour for a soft, puffy crumb. I also add oats for chewiness, and enough peanut butter to make these very satisfying cookies in their own right. But do yourself a favor and serve them with the ice cream. They beat the pants off an Elvis sandwich.
- 3 ripe medium bananas, sliced into coins (about 12 ounces)
- 3/4 cup raw (turbinado) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 cups cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1 batch (18) peanut butter oat cookies
Heat oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle. In a baking dish, toss bananas with raw sugar. Bake until bananas are fall-apart tender and thick stacks of sugar syrup bubble on top of each other, about 30 minutes.
Transfer bananas to blender or food processor and add salt, lemon juice, cream, and milk. Blend on high until very well combined, about 30 seconds. Chill carafe in refrigerator until mixture is very cold, about 3 hours, then churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to airtight container and firm up freezer for 3 to 4 hours before serving.
For ice cream sandwiches: Scoop 3 to 4 tablespoons of ice cream onto the bottom of one cookie. Top with another cookie and squeeze flat with the palms of your hands. Serve immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and chill in freezer. Recipe makes 9 ice cream sandwiches with additional ice cream left over.
ice cream maker, blender or food processor