“All I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.” Laurence Fishburn (as Morpheus) (in a super rad trenchcoat) said that. I didn’t. I don’t even have a trenchcoat. But I’m saying it now.
I have neither a real solution, nor anything particularly constructive to offer. All I have is the truth: Ice cream sandwiches are a stupid food and the concept is fucked from jump street and anyone who eats and/or serves them is complicit in the greatest lie we’ve ever told ourselves regarding ice cream and cookies.
Also, puppies are stupid (they’re just short dogs) and rainbows (color air) too. But mainly the ice cream sandwich thing.
Cookies are best enjoyed warm. Ice cream is best enjoyed cold. In case you didn’t know that, the word “ice” is right there in the name. It’s almost like ice cream is telling you, “Hey, I would really like to stay at the temperature I’m at, please don’t smash me between two warm things, that would be a decidedly bad thing for both of us.” But you do it anyways because you’ve been a poor listener your whole life and why stop now?
Double up on the fun. Create your Warm Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich with your favorite cookies and ice cream. pic.twitter.com/YVtJ6lm78X
— Baskin-Robbins (@BaskinRobbins) August 25, 2016
Even if you’re not using fresh-out-the-oven cookies—which means you’re already not letting cookies live up to their full potential, but whatever—ice cream sandwiches are still garbage.
A room temp cookie is either going to dry out and get crispy, making the cookie shatter after your first bite, ruining the structural integrity of the sandwich, insofar as an ice cream cookie sandwich can have integrity at all because it’s pure, conceptually flawed trash.
Or, on the off chance the cookie does stay chewy at room temp—Diddy Riese makes it happen by serving their cookies either medium-rare or straight up raw, which is totally admirable—it’s going to seize up from the coldness of the ice cream and become inconveniently al dente. Remember what Mrs. Batten told you in eighth grade science (assuming we all had the same teacher) about molecules vibrating at a lower frequency when a system’s temperature drops?
That means you have to apply more pressure when you bite through the cookie which is going to make the ice cream squirt out the back end of the sandwich so comically fast it makes that “sluwooop” sound (you’ve seen cartoons) and then someone has to hose you down because you’re covered in ice cream stickiness and ice cream stickiness is the worst. Science is screaming at you not to put ice cream between cookies. Listen.
There’s one more option. One last-ditch effort to save this completely unsaveable idea with the best of intentions but the worst execution: Shove the whole thing in the freezer. Which… come on, just stop. You’re so hell bent on ice cream sandwiches that you’re going to take raw cookie dough, cook it to perfect softness, then freeze it until it’s so hard all you can do is scrape at it with your front teeth, ruining all the things that are good about cookies.
To try and solve one problem you have to create a whole new set of problems, which means you’re playing an unwinnable game.
You’re sitting there right now like, “Hey man, I love ice cream sandwiches. I ate them all the time when I was a kid.” Exactly. You were a kid. You were probably eating either Chipwiches, Toll House Sandwiches, or those Good Humor Giant brand ones with the thin chocolate cracker things on both ends that exist in no context outside of ice cream sandwiches.
And those are fantastic because they have science on their side. The prepackaged stuff has emulsifiers and stabilizers everywhere (mono and diglycerides for the win!) to make sure the ice cream doesn’t melt prematurely and the cookies stay immortally soft.
The fact that ice cream sandwiches were a childhood favorite for damn near everyone is the reason so many chefs have put ice cream cookie sandwiches on the menu. (Well, that and CoolHaus does a million chef collabs a year.) So much of today’s food is based on nostalgia—elevated cupcakes, elevated grilled cheese, elevated Pop-Tarts, elevated mac and cheese, elevated fluffernutters—but ice cream sandwiches, specifically, expose the fallacy. Everyone wants to make artisanal food at artisanal prices but fail to realize that the entire appeal of some foods is rooted—down to the molecular level—in non-artisanality.
Are you a bad person for liking ice cream sandwiches? I mean, yeah, probably. What else could you have possibly gleaned from the past 700 words? But that doesn’t matter. Ice cream sandwiches are going to die out à la red velvet cupcakes sometime in the next 6-8 months, and then we can start from scratch with whatever equally nostalgic and unwieldy and complaint-worthy thing takes its place. I’m ready to fire up the artisanal Choco Taco revolution if you are.