Banana Pudding Ice Cream Sandwiches
In honor of the fact that we're getting the heck out of the dreary, chilly San Francisco "summer" weather for a little family vacation this week, I give you these teeny gems. Because they are so cool, so creamy, so dreamy, they are literally like a vacation for your mouth. It's the kind of thing that basically leaves you gobsmacked that you've not been making tiny banana ice cream sandwiches with vanilla wafers your entire life. Brainstorm!
As much as I'd like to think that I could be the type of person who can just have one bite of something sweet and be toooootally satisfied, the truth is that would never, ever happen. I need, like multiple bites. Many bites. An amount of bites that willowy movie stars who call a single square of dark chocolate "dessert" could not possibly comprehend.
But these cute little banana pudding ice cream sandwiches? They are about as close to that movie star brand of self-restraint as I will ever get. Partially because, while teeny, they are actually about three-bite treats. And even if I need two of them (remember--teeny!), totaling six bites, what they really amount to is just two teaspoons of ice cream, two slices of banana, and four piddly little vanilla wafer cookies. And I am indeed satisfied with that. How about that?! Suddenly it's like I've put myself on a diet! Well, I forgot to mention the white chocolate ganache. But that's really more about practicality, as it serves as an adhesive. So psssh.
Besides their adorability factor, there are a few things I simply love, love, love about these little ice cream sandwiches. First, the melting sweetness and the perfect marriage of flavors, obvs. But the texture play here is what really makes the whole thing. Crunch from the wafers, creamy ice cream and icy frozen banana, with a schmear of white chocolate ganache that becomes chewy when frozen. It's a little bit of everything you could ever possibly want in a dessert right about now. Except there is no square of dark chocolate involved. Sorry, movie star types. (More for us regular people!)
Little Banana Pudding Ice Cream Sandwiches Makes 2 dozen sandwiches
While any good vanilla ice cream will work here, I recommend a premium French vanilla with egg yolks in the ingredient, or even better, a frozen custard. The richer ice cream will help to mimic the whole banana pudding vibe we're going for here. I used a tiny, 1-teaspoon-sized ice cream scoop to make things neat and easy.
I used Trader Joe's Ultimate Vanilla Wafers for my sandwiches because I am obsessed with them, but any little vanilla wafer will be delicious.
Freezing the banana slices before assembling the sandwiches keeps everything neat and prevents the layers from sliding around when the top cookies are pressed on.
2 large bananas, each cut into 12 1/4-inch-thick slices 1 tablespoon heavy cream 2 ounces white chocolate, chopped 1 pint French vanilla ice cream or frozen vanilla custard 48 vanilla wafers
Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the banana slices in a single layer on the prepared sheet. Freeze until firm, at least 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour the cream into a small heatproof bowl. Heat in the microwave on high power until very hot and just beginning to bubble, about 40 seconds. Stir in the white chocolate pieces. Cover and let sit for five minutes. Stir until smooth. (You might need to give the ganache a few more 5 to 10-seconds bursts of high power to get the ganache really smooth--just be sure to stir really well after each interval in the microwave, and not let it get too hot so that it spreads nicely onto the cookies.)
To assemble the sandwiches, lay half the wafers bottom side up on a baking sheet. Spread each cookie with a dab of the white chocolate ganache. Place a frozen banana slice on top of the ganache. Top the banana slices with tiny, teaspoon-sized scoops of the ice cream. Top with the remaining wafers, pressing down slightly to adhere. Freeze until firm, at least 30 minutes, before serving.