Category Archives: Ice Cream

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwich from Coolhaus

Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwich from Coolhaus – Photo Courtesy of Coolhaus

How can you go wrong with Ice Cream Sandwiches?  These frozen treats combine two great desserts – Ice Cream and Cookies.  While I remember scarfing down Ice Cream Sandwiches as a kid, I have fond memories of the Chipwich, which burst on the dessert scene in New York in 1981.  It consisted of Vanilla Ice Cream sandwiched between two Chocolate Chip cookies.  And I think the edges of the Ice Cream were rolled in Chocolate Chips.  (I don’t remember if a Chocolate Ice Cream version was available.)

While Chipwiches were quite good, Ice Cream Sandwiches have come a long way.  The number of flavors and varieties available now is staggering.

Ice Cream Sandwiches from Melt Bakery - Photo Courtesy of Melt Bakery (New York City)

Ice Cream Sandwiches from Melt Bakery – Photo Courtesy of Melt Bakery (New York City)

Among the whimsically named flavor combinations on New York-based Melt Bakery’s menu: the Lovelet (Red Velvet Meltcakes + Cream Cheese Ice Cream); the Mortician (Crackly Chocolate Cookies + Malted Chocolate Rum Ice Cream); and the Elvis (Peanut Butter Cookies + Banana Ice Cream).  And the most popular flavor?  The Classic (Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies + Vanilla Ice Cream).  There are seasonal specials each month; August is heralding the arrival of Corn Ice Cream.

Sweet Wheels' Salted Oatmeal Cookie with Coconut Ice Cream - Photo Courtesy of Sweet Wheels (Seattle, WA)

Sweet Wheels’ Salted Oatmeal Cookies with Coconut Ice Cream – Photo Courtesy of Sweet Wheels (Seattle, WA)

Seattle-based Sweet Wheels is a food truck specializing in handmade Ice Cream Sandwiches.  Standard Ice Cream Sandwiches include a Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookie with Vanilla Ice Cream; an Espresso/Chocolate Shortbread Cookie with White Coffee Ice Cream; and a Salted Oatmeal Cookie with Coconut Ice Cream.  And you can create Custom Sandwiches by combining these Cookies with different Ice Cream flavors.  Sweet Wheels’ Ron said “When people read the menu without having had our Ice Cream Sandwiches, they often choose Sandwiches with Chocolate Chip Macadamia Cookies.  However, when people are returning customers, with some experience eating our Sandwiches, then the Salted Oatmeal Cookie with Coconut Ice Cream is first.”  (Also see the Dessert Surveillance posting on Oatmeal Cookies.)

Whiskey Lucky Charms Ice Cream & Snickerdoodle Cookies

Whiskey Lucky Charms Ice Cream & Snickerdoodle Cookies from Coolhaus – Photo Courtesy of Coolhaus

Coolhaus, with a national fleet of Ice Cream trucks and two storefronts in Southern California, is known for its architecturally inspired gourmet ice cream sandwiches.  Co-founders Natasha Case and Freya Estreller began naming their Ice Cream Sandwiches after architects and architectural movements that inspired them.  Interesting Ice Cream flavors abound.  How about Balsamic Fig & Mascarpone? Or Bourbon Pecan Pie? Or Chocolate Chipotle? Or Root Beer Float? And Cookie choices include Chocolate Chunk Pretzel; Double Chocolate with Sea Salt; Gluten-Free Coconut Almond; Potato Chip & Butterscotch; and S’mores.

These are Natasha Case’s answers to my questions:

Of the many flavor combinations you offer, which is the most popular?
Our most popular Ice Cream Sandwiches are twists on classics, like Mintimalism (Dirty Mint Chip Ice Cream with fresh mint and brown sugar + Double Chocolate Chip Cookies) and Im Pei-nut Butter (Peanut Butter Ice Cream + Double Chocolate Chip Cookies)…but also really innovative ones like…. Lucky Charms Ice Cream & Snickerdoodle Cookies.

Will any new flavors be added?
We’re always creating new Ice Cream flavors and brainstorming unique Sandwich combinations.  I don’t think we’ll ever stop adding new flavors.

Can Coolhaus share any Ice Cream Sandwich trends with us?
Ice Cream Sandwiches in general are becoming a bigger trend this year.  I read an Entrepreneur article late last year where they predicted Cupcakes and Donuts would be out and Ice Cream Sandwiches would be in….Beyond that, I’ve seen people get really innovative with Cookies, like Churro [deep-fried dough] Cookies for example and unique types of macaroons.  There are also a lot of Ice Creams using Asian ingredients with high acidity right now, i.e., yuzu [a sour citrus fruit].”

I’m ready for an Ice Cream Sandwich!

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Happy National Ice Cream Month!

a trio of ice cream cones

July is National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday in July (this year it’s July 21) is National Ice Cream Day.  In 1984 President Reagan designated these holidays.  I’m still smarting over forgetting National Doughnut Day, but I digress.

We sure like our ice cream.  Better Homes & Gardens reports that 24 pounds is the amount of ice cream an average American eats each year. And according to research conducted by MarketLine and reported by the International Dairy Association, the U.S. ice cream industry generated revenue of $10 billion in 2010. 

What flavors are we enjoying?  These are the top five:

● Vanilla

● Chocolate

● Cookies & Cream

● Strawberry

●Chocolate Chip Mint

Peanut butter ice cream is becoming more popular.  A “Death by Peanut Butter” ice cream was voted best new flavor at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association Annual Meeting.  In a list of fast growing ice cream flavors, compiled by Dataessential MenuTrends and reported by Nation’s Restaurant News, peanut butter was number one.  While I haven’t noticed peanut butter ice cream, a number of ice cream producers are offering peanut butter flavors:

● Graeter’s: Peanut Butter Chip

● Haagen-Dazs: Peanut Butter Pie; Chocolate Peanut Butter

● Three Twins Ice Cream: Chocolate Peanut Butter

● Edy’s: Slow Churned Peanut Butter Cup; Grand Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Sundae

Trivia Note: Edy’s Ice Cream is marketed as Dreyer’s Ice Cream west of the Rockies and in Texas.  The two brand names honor both founders, William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

● Talenti: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup (this is gelato, not ice cream)

And since we brought up gelato, this might be a good time to define “ice cream” and “gelato.”

Ice Cream: A mixture of dairy ingredients and ingredients for sweetening and flavoring.  By federal law, ice cream must contain at least 10% milkfat.

Gelato:  An Italian­-style ice cream that typically uses milk instead of cream and has less air and milkfat than traditional ice cream.  That’s why gelato is dense and intensely flavored.

One of my favorite ice cream flavors was Carob (manufactured by Haagen-Dazs).   Sadly, Carob was retired, but I’m consoled by the incredible variety of high-quality ice cream available now.

Hope everyone enjoys ice cream in July (and throughout the year for that matter)!ice cream cone with nuts and chocolate