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Ice cream sandwiches take NYC by storm

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Hot summer days are made for cool treats! Well forget about the traditional ice cream cone.  This year’s new must-have ice cream treat is the ice cream sandwich. No, these are not your old-school 25-cent vanilla ice cream and chocolate wafer sandwiches. Several new companies dedicated to the ice cream sandwich are pulling in customers and developing quite a fan base with creative and artisan varieties.

Melt NYC is New York’s first ice cream sandwich store located on the Lower East Side. Owner Julian Plyter has re-imagined the ice cream sandwich.

There are 55 different types of sandwiches, ranging from “the classic”—chocolate chip walnut cookies with vanilla ice cream, to the “Thai Fighter,” curried coconut cookies with chocolate chili ice cream. Another crowd-pleaser is the “Elvis” a peanut butter cookie with banana ice cream. Prices run about 4 dollars for each ice cream sandwich.

“Some people ask, ‘do you sell other things, do you do pies, do you do cakes?’ We really chose to focus exclusively on ice cream sandwiches, because we feel it’s what we do best.” Says owner Julian Plyter.

132 Orchard Street Smush.com

The Brooklyn-based bakery The Good Batch, which can be found selling yummy treats at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Flea, also boasts delicious ice cream sandwiches. One of the company’s staples is Stroopwafel.

Steven Hartong explains why they’re special: “When we started our company we made, uh, stroopfwafel, which is a traditional Dutch waffle cookie, with, uh, caramel sauce in the middle. Um, and so we decided to make that into an ice cream sandwich, ‘cause no one has ever done that.”

You can also get a taste of Paris in New York City for your dessert gelato sandwiches from Francois Paynard Bakery and Patisserie. They’re made with sorbet and macarons. A satisfied customer describes his favorite: “Right now I’m really into this ice cream sandwich. It’s pistachio with raspberry pistachio macaron.”

Other flavors include strawberry macaroon with strawberry cheesecake sorbet, mango macaroon with mango coconut sorbet and chocolate macaroon with dark chocolate non-dairy sorbet. These Macaron ice cream sandwiches run 5 dollars a piece are are on sale at all of Payard’s locations.

Finally, Smush in Union Square allows customers to design their own ice cream sandwiches in the style of a typical deli sandwich. For example: French toast and red velvet cookies, vanilla ice cream, potato chips, bananas, caramel, and nutella.

Smush ice cream sandwiches resemble a real deli sandwich. The cookies are baked in a mold so they look like actual slices of bread. Fudge and other toppings are deli sliced to fit the sandwich.

The sandwiches can have as many toppings as you like and cost $6.40 each

44 Union Square East GotSmush.com

Founder and owner Brett Lavender describes this specialty as the “Katz’ Deli” of ice cream sandwiches.

Innovative ice cream sandwiches are a growing trend, and Ron Tanner from the Specialty Food Association says they’re here to stay.

“These aren’t your old school ice cream sandwiches, but, but, some of them are the old school flavors. You know some of the most popular ones are the brownie cookies, chocolate cookies, with a vanilla ice cream in it. But you’re seeing things such as an Elvis ice cream sandwich, which is a peanut butter cookie with banana inside it.”

Tanner says specialty ice cream sandwich stores are popping up all over the country.  Part of their success is that they appeal to all ages.

An adult customer says, “I would even recognize it as an ice cream sandwich. I mean, it’s more like, um, I can still feel adult eating it so I don’t feel too immature eating an ice cream sandwich.”

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