Seven amazing ice cream sandwiches to eat right now

By Tejal Rao, Bloomberg

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If you’ve ever unwrapped a giant vanilla from Good Humor, you're familiar with the basic joys of the ice cream sandwich: a sweet bar of ice cream packed for your convenience between soft, yielding wafers. New York’s parlors have taken the classic form to new heights, using compelling ice cream flavors and replacing the wafers with fresh cake doughnuts, warm waffles, and buttery, layered pastries. Here are seven masterpieces you should really get to know.
 
A. B. Biagi
 Antonio Biagi was inspired by sweet panettone-like treats that get warmed to order in Italy when he introduced these ice cream sandwiches to his Soho gelato shop. The barely sweet, buttery brioche bun—heated in a waffle-iron-like device prior to serving—is from Bien Cuit, in your choice of chocolate or plain. Whichever way you go, may we suggest the wonderfully subtle mint chocolate ice cream, which tastes herbaceous and fresh, run through with tiny pieces of dark chocolate. $8, abbiagi.com

Photographer: Corey Olsen
  
Melt Bakery
 The ice cream sandwich you picture when you hear the words “ice cream sandwich?” That's what Melt makes: cute, colorful, four-bite beauties. The vanilla “meltcake,” somewhere between a cookie and a cake, with strawberry ice cream is a lovely summery pairing. Other flavors of note include the Big Deb (oatmeal cookies with butter cream ice cream) and the Cinnamax (snickerdoodles sandwiching cinnamon ice cream). $5, meltbakery.com

Photographer: Corey Olsen
 
Mikey Likes It
 Michael Cole's exuberant ice creams are delicious on their own (looking at you, candied rose petal), but when enormous scoops of the stuff are stuffed between two warm, crisp waffles, they're even more delightful. Go for the strawberry ice cream, with a twinkle of acidity and black pepper, or the coconut with caramelized pineapple. $7, mikeylikesiticecream.com

Photographer: Corey Olsen/
 
Ample Hills + Baked
 A big, glossy black-and-white cookie with sticky icing is messy and delicious on its own—and genius in a sandwich. This one from Brooklyn’s Baked is massive, big enough to feed two, especially when it's loaded with malted vanilla ice cream from nearby creamery Ample Hills. The best part? The crunchy, malted chocolate Rice Krispies all along the sides. $7, amplehills.com and bakednyc.com

Photographer: Corey Olsen
 
 
Luca & Bosco
 Look for Ruthie Vishlitzky and Catherine Oddenino's ice cream cart in Manhattan's Essex Street Market, where they serve a dozen or so flavors at a time (including the sublime honey-lavender). The Drunk & Salty caramel is definitely meant for adults: rich and creamy, with a touch of bourbon and a complex sweetness. Squashed between two chewy, slightly bittersweet brownie slices, it becomes something else. $5, lucaandbosco.com

Photographer: Corey Olsen
 
 
Underwest Donuts
 Turns out a freshly baked doughnut is the perfect vehicle for ice cream, especially when it's a coco-raspberry cake doughnut from Manhattan's newest shop to know, Underwest. These rings have a delicate sweetness and a super tender crumb. Split in half and filled with chocolate ice cream, the doughnut becomes an indisputably glorious sub-in for a cookie. $5, underwestdonuts.com 

Photographer: Corey Olsen
 
 
Dominique Ansel Bakery
 The French pastry chef Dominique Ansel may be best known for his croissant-doughnut hybrid (yes, that Cronut), but his off-the-menu take on the ice cream sandwich is a superstar, too. Instead of a cookie, Ansel slices a caramel-crusted Kouign-Amann in two, then fills the soft, buttery, mutlilayered pastry from Breton with ice cream. Plain old vanilla works like a dream. $7, dominiqueansel.com

Photographer: Corey Olsen

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