Y’all – summer is here and that means ice cream is a legit choice any time of day. I don’t know about you, but I love a good ice cream sandwich with cookies. This recipe is a copycat “IT’S-IT” and obviously, my version is gluten-free! If you live anywhere outside the state of California, you might have no idea what I’m taking about. “IT’S-ITs” are an ice cream sandwich comprised of a scoop of vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies. Then the whole thing is dunked in dark chocolate.Jump to Recipe
Any cookie makes a good ice cream sandwich, but a GREAT ice cream sandwich is made with oatmeal cookies. Hear me out – I know that most people think that chocolate chip > oatmeal when it comes to cookies. But there is something about the slightly chewy/salty/earthy oatmeal cookies that makes an ice cream sandwich deeply satisfying. And yes, it’s an oatmeal cookie with much-maligned raisins too. What?
Why is it called an IT’S-IT? Where did IT’S-IT originate?
The story goes that in 1928, a fellow named George Whitney made the prototype by placing a scoop of vanilla ice cream between two freshly baked large oatmeal cookies. Then he dipped it in chocolate. His creation was so delicious everyone declared it to be IT. For the following 48 years, the “IT’S-IT” Ice Cream Sandwich was served at San Francisco’s Playland. After Playland was demolished in the 70’s, the family began selling their ice cream sandwiches at a small shop in San Francisco. It wasn’t until the 80’s that their magical ice cream sandwich reached a wider, nationwide audience.
Is an IT’S-IT ice cream good?
In my humble opinion, it’s the best ice cream sandwich around. It’s super flavorful, has the perfect texture and the chocolate coating is crunchy and rich. The only drawback is that it’s extremely difficult to eat with any sort of dignity. Almost immediately, the chocolate coating begins to melt so it’s best eaten quickly, and with a lot of napkins.
How many IT’S-IT flavors are there?
There are several unique It’s-It flavors – the original is vanilla ice cream, but they also have ice cream sandwiches filled with strawberry, chocolate, mint, cappuccino, and seasonally, pumpkin!
Is IT’S-IT ice cream gluten free?
Well the ice cream is technically gluten free, but the oatmeal cookie is NOT. And that’s why we are here. We gluten free humans cannot eat an It’s It – unless we make a copycat version ourselves. It’s a fun, messy, and delicious process. Let’s go!
How to make a homemade IT’S-IT ice cream:
There are three main steps to making a homemade IT’S-IT:
- Make (and cool) gluten free oatmeal cookies.
- Fill them with vanilla ice cream and freeze until solid.
- Coat them in chocolate.
The perfect homemade gluten free oatmeal cookies for an ice cream sandwich!
The perfect oatmeal cookies for an ice cream sandwich are thin, with crispy edges. They are subtly spiced with a hint of cinnamon, plus they have a touch of salt to balance out the sweetness. They also have raisins. Look, I know that you probably think you don’t like raisins in your oatmeal cookies. But trust me on this one. In this cookie, the raisins are chopped up. So you aren’t getting a big hunk of dried fruit, it’s just a subtle sweet/tart punch of flavor that really adds to the whole thing. Plus the original IT’S-IT cookies have raisins in them too.
Here’s what you need to make the cookies:
- All purpose gluten free flour blend. I prefer my own or Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1.
- Gluten free oatmeal. Be sure to check that the oats you use are certified gluten free. Oats can have cross contamination with wheat and barely crops.
- Salted butter. I almost always use salted butter when I bake because it makes everything taste better. Trust.
- Dark brown sugar. It’s just richer in flavor.
- Baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- A large egg
- Chopped raisins. Again, trust.
How to make chocolate shell ice cream topping
This is basically homemade Magic Shell and it is the perfect topping for a bowl of ice cream and also the perfect chocolate coating for an ice cream sandwich with cookies. The original It’s Its ice creams are fully coated with chocolate. But I’m not that much of a chocolate fan (I know…), so I only dipped mine halfway. But you can give yours a full dunk if you want. The coating only has two ingredients and is the easiest thing to make ever…ready?
- One bag of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 cup of refined coconut oil. I choose refined because it tastes less coconutty – but you do you.
Put the chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in thirty second increments, stirring well between each. When most of the chips are melted, it’s done. Keep stirring until the mixture is completely smooth. In my microwave it took a minute. Yours could take up to 90 seconds, depending on how strong your microwave is.
This gluten free version of the classic IT’S-IT Ice Cream is just as good as I remember (or even better)! The cookies stay crispy, the chocolate coating is so rich and delicious. It’s an amazing flavor combination that I know you’ll love!
Here are some more frozen gluten free desserts to try:
- Blueberry + Lemon Gluten Free Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Super Easy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe
- Homemade Gluten-Free Ice Cream Cones
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The Best Gluten Free Ice Cream Sandwiches (IT’S-IT)
For the Cookies:
- 1/2 cup salted butter softened
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour blend
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups certified gluten free oats
- 1/4 cup chopped raisins optional (but not really)
For the Chocolate Coating:
For the Sandwiches:
- 2 2/3 cups vanilla ice cream
- Make the cookies. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment.
- Beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder and salt and mix well. Stir in the oats and raisins until evenly distributed.
- Scoop the cookies into 1 1/2 inch balls (or use a cookie scoop) and place a few inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely on cooling racks.
- Assemble the sandwiches. Scoop about 1/3 cup of ice cream and place on the bottom of one cooled cookie. Put another cookie on top and press gently to make a sandwich. Place it on a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat until all of the cookies are used. The recipe will make 7-8 ice cream sandwiches. Freeze until solid, about 30 minutes.
- Make the chocolate coating. Place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe container. Melt in 30 second increments, stirring between each until the chips are melted. It will take about 1 to 1 minute and 30 seconds to melt. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool a bit.
- When the cookie sandwiches are frozen, remove from the freezer and dip half (or the whole thing depending on your preference) into the chocolate coating and return to the parchment lined baking sheet. When all sandwiches are coated with chocolate, return to the freezer and freeze until solid, about 15 minutes more. Serve immediately, or wrap each sandwich in plastic and store for up to 3 months.
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