I’ve got some fond memories of the ice cream sandwich in my childhood. Who doesn’t remember the generic sandwiches in wax paper from the Good Humor truck, the soft, chewy chocolate cookies housing creamy, cold vanilla ice cream? The simplicity of the original ice cream sandwich was only bested by the purchase of a ChipWich, the ice cream sandwich that replaced the chocolate wafers with chocolate chip cookies. How awesome was that when you were eight?! The modern version of the ice cream sandwich was conceived in 1945 at Forbes Field, Pittsburgh–it kind of amazes me that it took that long for the idea of putting ice cream in between two cookies like a sandwich took that long!
Nowadays, you’ll find almost all of your favorite flavors at any given ice cream shop to be offered in sandwich form, from Carvel’s soft-serve to the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck’s famous chocolate-and-bacon combination (don’t knock it till you tried it!) Some stores, like Melt Bakery in the Lower East Side, sell only ice cream sandwiches, choosing to mix together their love of baking cookies with their love of ice cream and make something special and wonderful. And then, sometimes you get a team-up of cookie and ice cream that will rival any savory sandwich you can throw at it. One Girl Cookie sells that kind of lightning in a bottle, pairing the cookie bakery’s bite-sized whoopie pies with Il Laboratorio’s rich, creamy gelato for a texture and flavor combination that’s tough to beat. The gelato is always vanilla ricotta, giving the ice cream an unusual added bite to its taste, and you can choose between a chocolate or a pumpkin flavored whoopie pie for the “bun.” I’d definitely try out the pumpkin if I were you: the spices in the pumpkin flavored whoopie pie mix so well with the creamy ricotta ice cream. The only downside to these whoopie sandwiches is that they’re small, just as whoopie pies are. But that also means you don’t have to choose between your favorite sandwich flavor–you can buy both and feel guilt-free about the portion size 😉
One Girl Cookies
68 Dean St (between Boerum Pl & Smith St), Boerum Hill
“The sandwiches at this charming BoCoCa bakery are lilliputian to say the least. Combine One Girl Cookie’s popular whoopie pies—a meltingly tender half-cookie, half-cake creation in your choice of pumpkin or chocolate—with a tidy scoop of Il Laboratorio’s ricotta gelato and you’ve found yourself the most unusual and surprisingly delicious combination yet. Bonus points for the adorable, hard candy-esque parchment wrapper—every little thought counts.”–Serious Eats
“Adapted from their popular whoopie pies, these three-bite confections are also available in the same two flavors: chocolate and pumpkin. Go for the latter. Sure, cloves, cinnamon and squash conjure up a cooler time of year, but the chilly Il Laboratorio del Gelato ricotta gelato in the middle will snap you back into the sweaty present.”–MetroMix
“The tiniest, and the best of the bunch. One Girl spackles its cakey pumpkin or chocolate “whoopie” cookies with no less than Il Laboratorio del Gelato ricotta gelato.”–New York Magazine
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“The bf had one of their ice cream whoopie pie sandwiches, with vanilla ricotta ice cream between chocolate whoopie pie, as it was a hot summer afternoon. The ice cream sandwich was premade, packaged and frozen – however it was amazing because the whoopie pie cake somehow managed to stay very soft and pillowy. I’m not sure how they do it, but it’s freaking awesome!”–Cecilia Z.
“The day felt like Summer and tasted like Fall. I love pumpkin and for once my ice cream sandwich wasn’t all about something chocolate. It was a grown up cookie/sandwich. And small? Naw, it was just right.”–Rachel A.
But to really get that nostalgic feeling, you’ve got to get your ice cream sandwich from the back of an ice cream truck. And this is definitely the renaissance of the food truck here in New York! We’ve got a ton of trucks that serve any food delicacy you’re jonesing for, from lobster bisque to Belgian waffles and everything in between. And we’ve also got a brand new ice cream truck that specializes in ice cream sandwiches. The Coolhaus Ice Cream Trucks started in Los Angeles, but a truck or two have found there way across the U.S. to Manhattan’s streets, where they can commonly be found milling about the Museum of Natural History. But this is definitely not Mister Softee: Coolhaus is known for having very adult flavors of ice cream, ranging from the sinfully rich (bananas foster, Nutella almond) to the bright and tangy (strawberry mojito sorbet, mango saffron) and even flavors you would never expect from ice cream (beer & pretzels? candied bacon? And what’s with all the Scorpion Mezcal in your mix??) Their cookies are also top-notch, baked daily and made from organic, seasonal ingredients. You can even have an actual ice cream sandwich with their brioche bread. All of their flavors are mix and match, but they’ve highlighted a few of their favorite combinations and given them architectural monikers (playing off the architect Koolhaas’ name): “Frank Berry” is strawberry ice cream on a snickerdoodle cookie, while the “Mies Vanilla Rohe” is the supreme ice cream sandwich classic, vanilla ice cream on chocolate chip cookies. That’s the best part about Coolhaus: you have the ability to go completely balls-to-the-wall with your choice of dessert, or something refined and classic and altogether delicious. My choice? I say stalk the damn truck–following them via Twitter is the easiest way–and order one of every combination!
Coolhaus Ice Cream Truck
“I enjoy the combination of sweet and spicy, so I ordered chocolate chipotle ice cream and got it on snickerdoodle cookies. Licking the ice cream first, it was a deep, rich chocolate with the flavor of the spicy chipotle pepper coming through clearly. A sweet and spicy dessert that’s also cold is a very interesting sensation, and I mean that in the best way possible. My favorite type of chocolate is dark, and this tasted much closer to dark than milk chocolate.”–CBS New York
“First pick your supersoft cookies from 14 flavors, then choose your ice cream from more than 50 flavors like fried chicken-and-waffles or candied bacon. You have the choice of a one-story sammy for $6 or a two-story for $10. Choose wisely as the scoops are massive. And while a thin rice paper wrapping helps to hold the sandwiches together, expect a trip to the dry cleaner after attempting to take down one of these plus-size goodies.”–New York Daily News
“My ice cream sandwich cravings tend to hit without warning, and I think the red and white Coolhaus trucks around the city definitely induce a Pavlovian response. These are ice cream sandwiches to unhinge your jaw, shove your face into, and revel in the melty cream that drips down your fingers. They’re messy and easy to love, and I’m thankful for that.”–Serious Eats
“The pair is dedicated to using only the best organic ingredients, and they use seasonable ingredients to come-up with some very interesting flavor combinations like Olive Rosemary ice cream on a Brioche cookie. And yet the truck’s treats get even cooler with an edible wrapper, meaning that there is no waste when consuming this delicious snack! You can mix and match cookies and ice cream to create the perfect summer relief just for you. But if you can’t decide, go with some seasonable — most of the local ingredients and toppings used for the NYC trucks can’t be found at any of their other locations.”–Inhabitat
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“Their ice cream flavors are always interesting; I’ve had chocolate banana truffle (a big winner in my book) and something even as exotic as candied fried chicken (how does this even belong in ice cream, much less in ice cream between two cookies?! But it was amazing) – but everything tastes great. The cookies are certainly softer than I previously remember them being, but they’re delicious as well. The snickerdoodle especially has an intense ginger-y taste, and the chocolate chip is dough-y – which is a nice match when you pair it with ice cream.”–Asuka N.
“This California import serves marvelously malleable cookies sandwiching ice cream of perfect consistency, whether at the beginning or end of service that day. Snickerdoodles and cinnamon ice cream? Somehow not a sugar overload. Edible wrapping proves prudent: their sandwiches are ready to disintegrate in your hands by the time your reach the end. But that’s what I’m often looking for… Something that evolves as you eat it, makes you appreciate the passage of time, quickens your pulse as you realize you have to finish it before it transforms irrevocably.”–Lawrence C.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!