An ice cream sandwich is one of the ultimate childhood treats. Honestly, what’s not to like? You unwrap it, try to eat the whole thing before it melts (usually unsuccessfully), and it’s a bar of vanilla ice cream goodness in between two thin cakey cookies.
Just about everyone has eaten an ice cream sandwich at some point in their lives, and most of the time they’re just handed to us by a parent (or teacher or camp counselor) and we don’t give much thought as to who made it. But there are lots of different ice cream sandwich brands out there, and some are much better than others. We tried as many as we could find during a search of all of New York’s major groceries and FreshDirect, and ranked the top 12.
Over the years, the ice cream sandwiches we know and love haven’t changed very much, but plenty of new varieties have cropped up. The ones we’re used to eating are usually store brand, no-frills bars that bring us right back to childhood. But there are also plenty of healthier ones out there (like the ones offered by Skinny Cow), as well as a whole slew of artisan-made ones that sandwich premium ice cream between two full-fledged cookies, like those sold by New York's Coolhaus Ice Cream Truck. For our purposes, we stuck to the ones available in supermarkets, made with vanilla ice cream and chocolate cookies.
We judged these sandwiches in a blind tasting according to a few parameters: How long do they keep their form before beginning to melt? Was the vanilla ice cream creamy and high-quality, and did it actually taste like vanilla? Did the cookies taste like real chocolate, and not dissolve into a mess in your hands?
Round, square, or rectangular, all these ice cream sandwiches had their pros and their cons, and one came out on top.