A classic pairing, reminiscent of the childhood favorite Chipwich.
We achieved perfect rounds by slicing very firm pints of ice cream into horizontal slabs – ½- to ¾-inch is a good thickness – and punching out circles with a cookie or biscuit cutter (use the scraps in shakes or for snacking). This is much easier with ice cream packed in cardboard cartons that can first be peeled off or cut away.
A slightly messier option: Scoop slightly softened ice cream to press between the cookies.
The cake’s mild-tasting canvas provides another opportunity for showcasing your favorite flavor of ice cream, though you can’t go wrong with a good chocolate ice cream.
Quickly searing the cake in a grill pan firms it up and adds toasty flavor. The cake will not completely harden in the freezer, but the contrast between that and the firmer ice cream makes this a winner. Trim the edges for a neat appearance.
Few frozen treats are as beloved as the ice cream sandwich. You know the kind: rectangular, wrapped in paper, a simple combination of stick-to-your-fingers chocolate wafers and vanilla ice cream.
But while it’s easy enough to grab a box of them at the grocery store, why not try building your own using all the other ready-to-eat components at your fingertips? DIY ice cream sandwiches are customizable, not to mention fun and a perfect outlet for culinary creativity.
Want to sandwich Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food between halved Entenmann’s chocolate-frosted doughnuts? Go for it. Or maybe you’re feeling like Häagen-Dazs Sweet Cream Coffee Caramel between Pepperidge Farm’s lacy, chocolate sandwich Brussels cookies. We’re not judging you. In fact, we’re applauding you.
Pastry chef Meredith Tomason, owner of Washington bakery RareSweets, suggests a few things to think about as you roam the supermarket aisles. Make sure your cookie and ice cream flavors complement each other and that one doesn’t wash out the other.
“It’s like romance,” she says. “You have to find the right balance.”
She emphasizes texture. Will your exterior get too soggy and fall apart? Or will you crack a tooth on the mix-ins of the ice cream?
She also recommends making the sandwiches well in advance (check that your freezer is at its coldest setting!). After playing around with our own creations, we agree.
That way you can enjoy your party, too, non-squishy ice cream sandwich in hand. Place them on a small baking sheet and freeze until firm, then wrap them individually in wax paper, label and freeze in airtight containers rather than zip-top bags; this will help the sandwiches retain their shape.
Here are nine flavor combinations to get you started, along with lessons we learned.