There's a time and place for chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and snickerdoodles, but take the ice cream sandwich road less traveled with these versions that use other alternative baked treats as the "bread." Get the scoop on where to find the cool delights that are heating up the summer.
When the French gave us macarons, they likely didn't intend for us to triple the size and stuff them with ice cream, but that hasn't stopped L.A.'s Coolhaus. Its salted caramel macarons make a perfect base for any of the spot's innovative flavors (Cuban cigar, anyone?). Or go all cereal with whiskey Lucky Charms ice cream sandwiched between colorful Fruity Pebble marshmallow treats. Chocolate lovers will delight further down the coast at The Baked Bear in San Diego, where they're doling out hefty scoops of ice cream between fudgy brownies.
Doughnut and waffle ice cream sandwiches at Underwest Donuts and Mikey Likes It
Fried chicken had its moment, but waffles are moving on—just ask anyone in the long lines at New York's Mikey Likes It. The Mac Daddy, which is half a waffle filled with any of the shop's fun flavors, is taking the city's Instagram feed by storm. Try the praline-pecan pie Southern Hospitality between two red velvet waffles for the ultimate Southern stunner. And Jersey-based WaffleMan Co. takes its waffle ice cream sandwiches across the country, providing frozen goods to everyone from the crop-top crowds at Coachella to small backyard parties.
Go for the car wash and stay for the desserts at Underwest Donuts, where doughnut ice cream sandwiches are pumped out to order with scoops of Il Laboratorio del Gelato. Choose from fried dough favorites like coconut lime or espresso bean, pick an ice cream flavor and sit back in double-dessert bliss. The rest of the country is aboard the doughnut train as well: Chicago's Firecakes has a seasonal doughnut sandwich up and running, and B Sweet Desserts in L.A. serves a hot-pressed glazed delight.
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Perhaps the best ice cream sandwich we've had of late comes from the joyful yellow storefront of New York's A.B. Biagi, where you're likely to be greeted with sweet wafts of toasting brioche. That would be the shop's Pain Gelato, a sandwich that defies the odds by proving gelato tastes best after a run through a panini press. Go for any of the exquisite gelato flavors, like Nutella swirl and stracciatella—the indecisive can opt for W.T.F. ("what's the flavor"). Nearby hotspot GENUINE Superette is stuffing OddFellows' Sam Mason's ice cream inside brioche, with irresistible combos like chocolate chunk with hot fudge and toasted coconut, or extra-virgin olive oil with balsamic caramel and strawberry jam.
Fire up your waffle maker or try your hand at homemade doughnuts to bring these tasty summer treats into your own kitchen. Our personal favorite involves taking "sandwich" as literally as possible and breaking out a loaf of bread for ice cream toast. The ice cream instantly starts to melt, seeping into the toast's crackled exterior for sweet perfection.
Say your farewells to avocado toast—ice cream toast is the new lunch of 2015.
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