We may be in the dog days of summer, but the good news is that we’re also in the golden age of ice cream sandwich innovation. It’s true. People are thinking way, way outside the grocery-store freezer box and concocting methods of serving ice cream between two sandwich-type baked goods that are so creative, you won’t be sure whether you should eat them or frame them. To rev up your dairy-coveting engines, we’ve found nine of the most craveworthy.
1. Churro Ice Cream Sandwich
Nope, we swear you’re not dreaming. Churro ice cream sandwiches are an actual thing at the tapas bar at La Sirena at the Maritime Hotel in New York City. The most cinnamon-dusted hybrid of all time is a summer exclusive that comes in three flavors—coffee/dulce de leche with cacao nibs, mango sorbetto and vanilla gelato with sea salt, and a rotating third option to keep palates guessing. Oh, and because life is just that good, you can order a flight to taste all three.
2. Peace Pie
Utterly torn between an ice cream sandwich and a slice of pie? (We feel your pain.) The easy answer is both—if you’re at Peace Pie, which has five locations along the East coast from New Jersey to Florida. These miracle-workers put pie filling IN their ice cream sandwiches. Basically shortbread cookie + ice cream + delicious pie innards = frozen happiness. And what better way to say, “Fall, we see you creeping in…” than with a pecan pie ice cream sandwich?
3. Fruity Pebbles Ice Cream Sandwich
Looking for a little color on your chilly delicacy (and possibly on your Instagram food brags)? Find the shiny new Conniption truck in Chicago and get your paws on a Fruity Pebbles ice cream sandwich—which is really more of a full-on slab than just a mere sandwich. Or if you feel like indulging not your inner kid but your inner toddler, there's also a Cheerios option…
4. Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich
Let’s be real—chicken and waffles is kind of played out. Waffles and ice cream is clearly where it’s at. Specifically, the waffle ice cream sandwich at Mikey Likes It in New York City. Devotees can’t get enough of the Daddy Mac with…wait for it…a red velvet waffle with a choice of ice cream flavors like Foxy Brown (mocha with chocolate wafer cookies and sea salt caramel swirl) or Truffle Shuffle (chocolate with chocolate chips and chocolate-covered marshmallows).
5. Babka Ice Cream Sandwich
We all know you can’t beat a babka. But turning said babka into a babka ice cream sandwich is coming pretty damn close. The straight-up geniuses at NYC's Russ & Daughters Café are taking slices of their beloved chocolate babka and filling them with their chocolate babka ice cream (which is packed with even more chunks of the good stuff). So, it’s basically babka inception, and we’re not complaining one bit.
6. Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich
The Milk Shop in Los Angeles knows exactly what the people want—ice cream sandwiches that are almost too pretty to eat. Enter the giant macaron. Flavors vary daily (almost as much as the bright color combos), but you’ll always find a selection of macaron ice cream sandwiches that can be dipped or rolled in various extra awesomeness (think melted chocolate or Froot Loops) to really take things over the delicious top.
7. Ice Cream Burger
Fact: Only true dessert magic can turn an ice cream sandwich into a “burger.” At Wu Kong in NYC’s Chinatown, they’ll serve you up an ice cream burger made to order. The bun is basically a firm, hollowed-out crepe, the patty is your favorite ice cream flavor, and the toppings are whatever sugary delights strike your fancy. The undeniable cuteness of the end product certainly makes up for the also-undeniable messiness.
8. Funnel Cake Ice Cream Sandwich
We’ve always said that nothing pairs better with a porterhouse than funnel cake. And FINALLY someone heeded our advice. The Tribeca location of American Cut in NYC is frying/scooping up peak summer dessert with its funnel cake ice cream sandwich. Cracker Jack, Funfetti, and Brownie Chip (alert—chocolate chip funnel cake exists!) have been dished out to diners who want to add a little state fair to their steakhouse.
9. Ice Cream Donut Sandwich
When is it socially acceptable to eat gelato for breakfast? When it comes on an ice cream donut sandwich, natch. Chicago’s Firecakes Donuts is taking sweet hybrids to the next level by slicing a honey-glazed donut and cramming it full of Valrhona dark chocolate or vanilla bean gelato, then topping it off with chocolate or caramel sauce and cocoa nibs. The sandwich is even placed into a coffee sleeve to keep the glaze on your taste buds and off your fingers. Oh, and they’ve also got a peach cobbler version—which means you’re basically eating fruit, which totally makes it a healthy. Right?
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