March 28, 2014 09:18 AM

Getty; Inset: Michael Simon/Startraks

Can an ice cream sandwich actually be made with healthful ingredients?

The answer is a lip-smacking yes, thanks to Kristin Cavallari, who posted a delectable batch of cookie sandwiches on Instagram.

“Just made ice cream sandwiches with coconut bliss ice cream,” the actress/fashion designer wrote. “The cookies are vegan and gluten free but taste amazing.”

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Cavallari — who’s pregnant with baby number two and clearly making smart food choices — followed a trusty recipe from Erin McKenna at BabyCakes, a vegan bakery in NYC. Instead of using butter and eggs to make the cookies, the recipe calls for applesauce, a favorite trick of health-conscious bakers. It also nixes white flour for a gluten-free, vegan version and throws in some fiber-rich flax meal for texture.

The final smart substitution goes between the baked cookies: Coconut Bliss, which has the rich taste of ice cream but since it’s made with coconut milk, has absolutely no dairy, soy or gluten.

If you wrap each sandwich individually before freezing, you’ll always have dessert on hand!

Gluten-Free Chocolate-Chip Cookie Sandwiches

1 cup coconut oil

6 tbsp. applesauce

1 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. pure vanilla extract

1¼ cups evaporated cane sugar

2 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour

¼ cup flax meal

1 tsp. baking soda

1½ tsp. xanthan gum

1 cup vegan chocolate chips

1 pint dairy-free ice cream, such as Coconut Bliss

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, applesauce, salt, vanilla and sugar. In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, flax meal, baking soda and xanthan gum.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until a grainy dough is formed. Gently fold in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

4. Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the portions 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies on the center rack for 15 minutes, rotating the sheets 180 degrees after 9 minutes. The finished cookies will be crisp on the edges and soft in the center.

5. Let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack before putting a scoop of ice cream in between two cookies.

6. Wrap sandwiches individually in plastic wrap before putting in the freezer.

—Nancy Mattia

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