This could have also been named “Giant Cinnamon Caramel Apple Pie Frozen Yogurt Sandwich”, but I prefer my titles to fit on one line of text, and also prefer your heads not to explode. While Marissa and I were brainstorming the perfect dessert for our friend Amanda’s birthday, this is what we came up with — a unique combination of all of Amanda’s favorite flavors (besides mocha of course, which was the star of last year’s treat). Before I even go into details here, I just want to say that these photos do NOT do justice to how great this tasted, the monochromatic cookie and plain looking fro-yo might look boring, but the taste was INCREDIBLE.
The cookie portion is a simplified version of my go-to oatmeal cookie recipe. Normally I use some sort of mix-in (craisins and white chocolate or mini peanut butter cups), but here we kept it simple and only added some ground cinnamon. The cookie layers get kind of soggy when you initially build the sandwich, but once its returned to the freezer, they harden up again and wind up infused with some delicious vanilla-caramel flavor from the fro-yo. The texture in the end was perfect — firm, but not too crunchy, and soft enough to easily cut into like a cake. Our layers ended up a bit thicker than we had envisioned, so I would suggest not using the whole cookie recipe for the sandwich, and just make some extra little cookies on the side.
The frozen yogurt is Marissa’s brainchild — she’s an expert on healthy cooking and I wanted her help in making a frozen yogurt that didn’t taste too yogurt-y. Amanda loves frozen yogurt, but I didn’t want the yogurt flavor to be too predominant. One of Marissa’s secrets is using gelatin in the recipe, and I’ll send you over to her blog for the recipe: Salted Caramel Frozen Yogurt. Remember that homemade frozen yogurt tends to get really hard when frozen, although this recipe wasn’t as dramatic as my non-gelatin recipe experiences, I’d still suggest to plan to take out the cookie sandwich about 10 minutes before serving.
The cookies were baked in 9-inch cake pans and we assembled the sandwich in a 9″ springform pan so that the ice cream would take the same shape as the cookies and the pan could be easily removed. We made the cookies ahead of time and simply poured the frozen yogurt over the bottom cookie right when it was done in the ice cream machine. The apple topping can also be made ahead of time and warmed up in the microwave right before serving. If you’re serving this to a large party, consider layering the apples with the frozen yogurt so it’s a part of the sandwich (not a good idea if you plan on saving and freezing a part of the cake since biting into frozen apple slices won’t be too fun).
Inside-Out Apple Pie a la Mode
For the Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies:
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cup rolled oats
– In the bowl of an electric mixer, on medium speed beat together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy
– Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each until well combined. Add the vanilla.
– In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon
– Add a little at a time of the dry mixture to the wet, until just incorporated
– Using a spatula, mix in the oats until uniform
– Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour
– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
– Grease 2 9-inch cake pans well (we also lined them with foil so that it hung over the sides to ensure easily removal)
– Divide the dough into the 2 pans and bake for 20-25 minutes, until cookies are slightly browned around the edges
– Allow the cookies to cool completely before assembling the sandwich
For the Caramel Swirl Frozen-Yogurt and Cinnamon Apple Topping:
Recipes at Get Off Your Tush and Cook
– Prepare the cookies ahead of time. Place one in the bottom of a 9″ Springform pan
– When the frozen yogurt is done in the ice cream machine and the caramel is mixed in, layer the frozen yogurt on top of the cookie in the Springform pan, using a spatula to make an even layer that touches all sides of the pan
– Place the 2nd cookie on top of the frozen yogurt layer, cover with foil, and place in the freezer for at least an hour
– Either prepare the apple topping right before serving or ahead of time and simply store it in the fridge and heat it up in the microwave before serving.
– Spoon the apple topping over each piece and enjoy!
Happy Birthday Amanda!