{Vegan} Cookie Dough Pops

{Vegan} Cookie Dough Pops

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School’s out and summer’s here! Just in time for the festivities, I’ve got some cookie dough pops for you.

We’ve had a whirlwind two weeks. My husband wrapped up his finals last Thursday, and began his summer internship this Monday. Did I mention that he’s working in Detroit? So yeah, we drove to Detroit last weekend to drop him off. 15 hours, no big deal.

The longer we live in the South, the more I’ve come to appreciate long drives. Our little city starts feeling claustrophobic and isolated every few months, and we just get in the car and leave. So far we’ve been to Atlanta, Charleston, Tampa, the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, Nashville, and now Michigan (and have at least driven through Ohio and Kentucky). This is a huge departure from our life in Seattle, from which we only had to drive three hours to get to Canada, Portland, or our favorite camping spots in Eastern Washington. There was so much to see and do where we lived, there was no need to venture further afield. These days, though, we’ve broadened our radius of acceptable car trips to roughly 1,000 miles. Driving 925 miles to drop my husband off in Detroit seemed reasonable, as long as I got to fly back.

I realized when I got home that for the first time in eight years, I’m functionally single for the next twelve weeks. What’s a girl to do?

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So far, I’m living the dream. Popsicles for breakfast? Check. Bonding with the cat? Check. Reading books instead of making conversation? Check. I love my husband, but the second I found myself in the house alone, I breathed a sigh of relief. It’s the introvert “vacation” I needed.

 

 For the rest of the summer, my culinary pursuits will be minimally ambitious. The sauna weather arrived this week, so I’m going to use the oven sparingly between now and late September. Plus, with just myself to cook for, the pressure to make “real meals” is off. The focus these next few months is going to be on frozen treats and lettuce-free salads chock full of chopped veggies, grains, and legumes. You down?

These popsicles came to my attention when a friend posted a recipe for cookie dough pops the other day. Initially, I wasn’t impressed. The idea of licking a ball of frozen dough on a stick was…pretty gross. But looking over the ingredients, I couldn’t help but connect the recipe to these raw cookie dough bites that I’m crazy for. Could I combine the two somehow?

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As you’ve probably guessed, the answer is yes. Cookie dough pops can exist. They do exist, in fact, and they’re delicious. My goals in creating this recipe were to make a creamy bar with a bit of that cookie dough texture. I used shaved chocolate curls instead of chips for a few reasons: First, because I don’t like crunching through hard, frozen chips in my ice cream, and second, because I didn’t want them all to sink to the bottom. The chocolate curls suspend perfectly in the thick base and melt at the same rate as the rest of the popsicle as you’re licking away. No crunching involved, even chocolate distribution throughout.

Taste, texture, and aesthetics aside, I also wanted these to be relatively healthy, and preferably vegan. The combination of oats, almonds, and coconut milk produce a lightly sweet base that only needs a small nudge of sweetener. To sweeten the pops, I chose plump medjool dates for their deep brown sugar-like flavor, and just a teaspoon of stevia powder. A splash of vanilla completes that butterscotch flavor of a just-baked cookie.

The end result is decadent, like cookie dough ice cream on a stick. Even though it’s just me eating them, these are going fast around here.

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{Vegan} Cookie Dough Pops
Yields 10
Dairy-free and sugar-free, these embody cookie dough ice cream on a stick! If the prospect of skinning the almonds sounds tedious, used blanched almonds instead. I don't really mind the process--it takes a few minutes but creates a creamier, prettier end product.
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 c. old-fashioned oatmeal*
  2. 1/2 c. almonds
  3. 4 large medjool dates, pitted and chopped roughly
  4. 1 14-oz. can coconut milk
  5. 1 tsp. vanilla
  6. 1 tsp. stevia powder
  7. 1/4 tsp. salt
  8. 2.5 oz. dark chocolate (check the label for dairy)
Instructions
  1. Get your popsicle mold ready and set aside.
  2. Pour oats into a bowl and cover with water. Put almonds in another bowl and cover with water as well. Refrigerate both bowls at least 4 hours or overnight to allow oats and nuts to soften.
  3. Drain oats in a seive and pour into your blender. (They'll be quite mushy.)
  4. Drain almonds. (Skip this next step if using blanched almonds.) Set a kettle on to boil and put almonds back in their bowl. When water is boiling, pour over almonds and allow to stand 5 minutes until just warm. Skin almonds by breaking skin gently with your fingernail and squeezing out the nut.
  5. Add almonds, dates, coconut milk, vanilla, stevia, and salt to blender. Blend ingredients for 2 minutes until creamy, scraping down sides occasionally with a spatula. Pour in chocolate shavings and mix with a spatula to distribute evenly.
  6. Pour mixture into prepared molds. Push in sticks and freeze according to manufacturer's directions, at least 4 hours.
  7. Invert mold and run under or dip in warm water to loosen popsicles. Store in freezer for up to a week.
Notes
  1. Use gluten-free oats if you're preparing these for someone with celiac disease. Oats themselves do not contain gluten, but standard processing involves cross-contamination with wheat. Bob's Red Mill is my go-to brand for certified gluten-free oats.
Wooden Spoon Baking http://www.woodenspoonbaking.com/