It’s shaping up as the summer of the ice cream sandwich.
We’ve seen it before with cupcakes, whoopie pies, and donuts. Now ice cream sandwiches are the latest humble, familiar snack to get the upscale treatment.
The classic slab of vanilla between chocolate cookies is merely a jumping off point. How about lemon cookies filled with honey-lavender ice cream, strawberry-rose petal ice cream between two almond French-style macaroons, or brown butter-candied bacon ice cream within butterscotch cookies? Flavor combinations are limited by nothing more than the creator’s imagination and the eater’s willingness (Pekin duck sandwiched between oatmeal cookies, anyone?). Any baked good, sweet or savory, is fair game. We’ve seen red velvet cake, Rice Krispie Treats, delicate tuille cookies, toasted brioche, and waffles.
No conversation about contemporary ice cream sandwiches is complete without a shout-out to CoolHaus.
Founded in 2009 as a Barbie-pink tricked-out postal truck, it roves the streets of Los Angeles dispensing made-to-order ice cream sandwiches, using twitter instead of a jangly tune to announce the truck’s arrival. The CoolHaus name is a doubled, double entendre that reflects the founders’ training as architects: a nod to Bauhaus, the early 20th century modernist design movement; an homage to the influential architect Rem Koolhaas; and a little wordplay for the ice cream-selling ‘cool house.’ Today the ever-expanding CoolHaus universe includes trucks in LA, New York, Miami, Austin, and Dallas; its first bricks-and-mortar scoop shop; and a retail line of packaged ice cream treats. Its freshly-baked cookies, organic, small-batch ice cream, and daring flavor combinations launched the trend we see today in food trucks, upscale restaurants, and grocery cases.
Bon Appetit visited city streets, restaurants, and grocer freezer cases from coast to coast to locate 8 Ice Cream Sandwiches to Try Now.