This recipe makes more cookies and date caramel than needed but both last well beyond the sandwich. Any leftover caramel will keep refrigerated for up to a week.
6 chai tea bags
1 litre vanilla ice-cream, softened
Salted date caramel
1 cup dates, pitted
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp malt extract
generous pinch salt
110g castor sugar
110g brown sugar
60g piece of fresh ginger, finely grated using a microplane
330g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda dissolved in 1 tbsp water
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1. To make the ice-cream, add the teabags to a small bowl with just enough boiling water to cover. Set aside for 10 minutes for the tea to infuse. Strain the tea into a larger bowl with the softened ice-cream and stir to combine thoroughly. Return to freezer until ready to assemble the sandwiches.
2. To make the caramel, place the dates in a heat-proof bowl, pour over boiling water to cover and set aside for 5 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid and place the dates with the remaining caramel ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If the milk solids coagulate and the caramel becomes flecked, pour into a saucepan over low heat and warm through for about 3 minutes or until dissolved. Place in the fridge until completely cooled.
3. For the cookies, preheat oven to 170C.
4. Beat the butter, sugars and honey with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the egg and beat again, scraping down the sides. Add the fresh ginger and dry ingredients and stir to combine. If you don't like the fur-like texture of freshly grated ginger, simply squeeze as much juice as you can from the grated ginger into the dough, and discard the solids.
5. Roll heaped tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls, flatten slightly, and place on oven trays lined with baking paper, leaving 5cm between each to allow for spread. Bake, swapping trays halfway to cook evenly, until dark golden around the edges (10 to 12 minutes). Cool on trays, then store in an airtight container until required. Cookies will keep for 5 days.
6. Place a cookie on a flat surface, place a scoop of ice-cream on top. Dollop on a teaspoon of caramel then sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies, ice-cream and caramel.