Finding all-natural ice cream can be a challenge, so we make our own, using an electric ice cream maker and a simple recipe that combines 2 cups of whipping cream, 1 cup of half-and-half, ¾ cup of sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla. It is much easier than making a custard ice cream base and I think it’s just as good. I usually top ice cream with berries and orange liqueur or some stewed rhubarb. But last weekend, as a birthday treat for our dear friend Allan, I decided to make ice cream sandwiches. I’m not much of a baker, but this recipe from my dog-eared copy of The Canadian Living Barbecue and Summer Foods Cookbook, published 23 years ago, turned out well. The sandwiches were a big hit with Allan and Eileen, our little pool visitors Ben and Sean, and our son and grandchildren Andrew, Thompson and Sarah. I’ll be making these again, although I will likely make the cookies a bit smaller, as the full size makes a very large sandwich. Thanks, Eileen, for taking the photo of the finished product.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredients to look out for in this recipe are the spices, butter, vanilla and chocolate chips. Make sure the spices do not contain colour or anti-caking agents and that the vanilla is a pure extract, not an artificial one. Use butter with a single ingredient: cream. It can be difficult to find additive-free chocolate, but I was delighted to find some in the  grocery store made by Enjoy Life Foods, which makes products without additives and the eight most common allergens.

Place the balls of dough far apart as they spread during baking

The baked cookies are about 4 inches in diameter

Ice cream sandwiches with Allan's birthday candle


2 cups rolled oats

½ tsp baking soda

1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp salt

½ cup butter, softened

¾ cup brown sugar

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

4 cups vanilla ice cream (if it’s in a rectangular carton it’s easier to slice for the sandwiches)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In bowl, combine rolled oats, baking soda, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; mix well.

In separate bowl, cream together butter and brown and granulated sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually blend in dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips.

Shape about 3 tbsp dough at a time into balls (this will produce cookies that are about 4 inches in diameter). Arrange well apart (dough spreads during baking) on baking sheets; press with fingertips into three-inch circles to make 18-20 cookies, about 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Let cool on wire racks.

To assemble sandwiches, cut ice cream into squares about ½ inch thick and sandwich between cookies. Arrange on baking sheet and freeze until solid; then wrap individually in plastic wrap or foil. Makes 9 or 10 sandwiches. Serve within two weeks.

From the Canadian Living Barbecue and Summer Foods Cookbook