Tuesday, August 2, is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, just in time for the start of summer's sweltering heat. There's no better way to keep cool than by enjoying a big scoop of ice cream squished between two tasty cookies, so why not celebrate the "holiday" by throwing the ultimate ice cream sandwich party? For tips on planning the sweetest soirée, we tapped Daniel Holzman, chef and owner of renowned N.Y.C. eatery The Meatball Shop, whose impressive dessert menu allows diners to mix and match a variety of ice creams and homemade cookies. Read on below for Holzman's two scoops.
Keep Things Cool
"Dry ice is actually a great tool and something that people don’t realize is fairly easy to get," says Holzman. "You can find dry ice in any big city, or have it delivered to your house. Because it's so cold and cool air falls, if you put the ice cream on top of the dry ice, it will keep it frozen without turning it into an ice block." If you can't get your hands on dry ice, Holzman suggests mixing standard ice with salt: "It actually makes it colder," he says, "so what you can do is get a bag of ice and bury your ice cream containers in there, and then put a bunch of salt over the ice."
Choose Three Combos
"The classics are the classics," Holzman says. "A chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream, or snickerdoodle with chocolate chunk, are the most popular combinations. When you introduce the cookie to the ice cream, you’re already creating an impactful flavor experience—you want to make sure that you stay on the good side of creativity. It’s easy to get too creative with something like honey-lavender ice cream, which maybe doesn’t have a place at the ice cream cookie buffet," explains Holzman. "I would also have some salted caramel ice cream on hand, which is one of the most popular flavors out there right now, and goes well with most cookies."
Serve it Up
For a DIY bar (as opposed to making the sandwiches beforehand), Holzman recommends slicing into pints of ice cream with a sharp knife to create perfectly-sized discs, which will eliminate any messy scooping or melt-y cartons.
Don't Forget the Toppings
For toppings, Holzman advises using, "Sprinkles, broken-up cookies, or any kind of crushed candy bar, like a Heath bar or Score bar, which are great for rolling the cookie in. If you want to take it to the next level, you could dip the sandwich in melted chocolate and then roll it in the toppings."