It might be mid-August, but it looks as though summer has finally arrived. In the same way we Angelenos become unglued at the first drop of winter rain, we also start to melt the moment the mercury rises beyond 85 degrees. So what do we do when we want to beat the heat? One option is heading straight to our favorite ice cream sandwich joints; serving up cool, creamy ice cream (and gelato) sandwiched between cookies — whether they're chocolate, oatmeal, ginger, or even Parisian macarons.
The Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwich Truck, founded by former architect Natasha Case, tools its refurbished, pink-and-gray trucks around the streets of Los Angeles, Austin, TX and New York City, selling classic and seasonal varieties of homemade ice cream. Think brown butter with candied bacon, chocolate chipotle, balsamic fig & mascarpone — scooped between a selection of two pure chocolate, chocolate chip, ginger, oatmeal, snickerdoodle, or brioche cookies. And don't worry about taking off the wrapper before you dive in; both the paper and ink are edible.
If you're near UCLA, head to Diddy Riese, a Westwood landmark known for its cookies (we love the M&M and sugar varieties), ice creams, and when school is in session, rather imposing lines. But don't worry, employees are fast, quickly doling out scoops of Dreyer's ice cream into sandwich after sandwich. And priced at a mere $1.50 each, the wait suddenly becomes much more manageable.
West Hollywood's MILK, whose cupcakes were recently featured on Food Network's Cupcake Wars, has another winning dessert in its repertoire: their ice cream sandwiches. Choose from mint, banana, coffee, vanilla and strawberry ice creams, just to name a few. If you really love MILK's ice cream sandwiches then check out the menu's “Ultimate Ice Cream Party,” during which you and fourteen of your closest friends can have a private, DIY ice cream sandwich session for two hours. Making the deal even sweeter: whoever creates the most inspired ice cream sandwich gets to have it featured on MILK's menu for the following week.
Sweet Rose Creamery, from the owners of Rustic Canyon and Huckleberry, is located in the Brentwood Country Mart. While it's a tough choice between their classic floats, shakes, Valrhona fudge pops, and sundaes (strawberries and cream sundae, anyone?), we love their gingerbread ice cream sandwich filled with ginger ice cream. Not a ginger fan? They've also got chocolate mint ice cream between two chocolate cookies, malted chocolate ice cream between vanilla cookies, and the classic combo: vanilla ice cream between chocolate cookies.
While our love for ice cream is undeniable, we have to admit (and try to understand) that not everyone is like us. For those people, we give you Malibu-based ChocolateBox Cafe's gelato-filled macaron sandwiches. Every day, the shop rotates twenty flavors of imported Italian gelato and sorbet, scooping them between Parisian macarons including black currant, raspberry, pistachio, vanilla, and chocolate flavors. Just remember that the sandwiches are on the small side, so you may want to order two. You know, to make sure you really cool down.
Christie Bishop also blogs for PardonMyCrumbs.com.