I can’t believe January has come and gone in 2018. But here we are, right in the swing of things with February. And wouldn’t you know it, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! I’ve teamed up with my friends over at Arctic Zero to bring you a Valentine’s dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth, but in true My Engineered Nutrition fashion, will still keep you on track with your nutrition goals!
I have been a supporter of Arctic Zero for quite some time. It is my go-to dessert when I have a sweet tooth for ice cream but don’t want something that will derail my nutrition. This has been especially true during times of figure prep and cutting weight for a weightlifting meet. Even though I’m not training for any specific contest right now, I still want to keep my nutrition in check and opt for lighter alternatives when it comes to desserts.
In my mind, Valentine’s Day is everyone’s “Treat Yo Self Day” (where my Parks and Rec fans at?), and if you ask me there is no better treat yo self pairing than chocolate and cherries. When I was thinking about what Valentine’s treat I could make with Arctic Zero I IMMEDIATELY knew I wanted to use the Chocolate Cherry Chunk. This flavor is hands down the best, with chunks of cherry and chocolate swirled throughout. Added bonus? Only 4 grams of fat in the entire pint! Wowza! Not only did Arctic Zero provide me with some delicious frozen desserts, they also challenged me to include their secret ingredients of chocolate chips and cherry preserves. It was all too perfect to pass up.
When I was thinking about what to create, my mind kept coming back to ice cream sandwiches. Not the fancy gourmet kind with large chewy cookies. No, the ones you ate in the summer time as a kid with the thin chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream, wrapped in a bit of wax paper. The kind that stuck to your fingers while you at them and you got to lick the chocolate off your fingers at the end. Yes, those.
Now, those obviously weren’t the healthiest of sandwiches, which is why I knew I could make them better. I created chocolate cherry protein brownies to pair with the chocolate cherry chunk Arctic Zero. These take a little extra time in assembly but the result is so worth it. You bake two separate pans of brownies and then after they are cool, you spread a layer of the ice cream over top of the first layer of brownie and then sandwich this with the other layer on top. Just a little extra time to freeze together and voila! Ice cream sandwiches!
Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream Sandwiches
Prep Time: 1 hour
Bake Time: 10-15 minutes
Servings: 9 sandwiches
- 1 pint Cherry Chocolate Chunk Arctic Zero
- 1/4 cup chocolate pea protein powder
- 1/4 cup gluten free flour blend (I used Bob’s 1-to-1 GF flour)
- 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup vanilla Icelandic yogurt (skyr)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup cherry preserves
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- Two 8x8 aluminum baking pans
- Parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare two baking pans by lining with parchment paper, set aside.
- In a mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients: pea protein powder, flour, sugar, cocoa and salt. Whisk to combine.
- In a smaller bowl combine all wet ingredients: eggs, applesauce, yogurt and vanilla. Mix these wet ingredients into the larger mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Whisk to combine.
- Fold in cherry preserves and chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly between the two prepared baking pans. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove brownies from the oven and allow to cool completely. While the brownies are cooling, remove the pint of Arctic Zero from the freezer and set on countertop to thaw for at about 15 minutes.
- To assemble the sandwiches: Once the Arctic Zero has thawed completely and can be easily scooped and spread, layer on top of one of the brownies while still in the pan with the parchment paper. After the Arctic Zero is in an even layer, remove the remaining brownie from its pan and parchment paper and place on top of the ice cream. Replace the remaining parchment paper back on top of the top layer brownie and place the second baking tin on top. Press down slightly and place into the freezer to allow the sandwiches to set. When ready to serve slice sandwiches into 9 equal pieces and enjoy!