The ice cream sandwich grows up

Margarita ice cream sandwiches

Ice cream sandwiches are for kids, right? Not according to several innovative chefs, who have elevated the simple treat with high-end ingredients. While the "food gentrification" trend has been building for several years, the latest twists on this perennial childhood favorite push the envelope in tastes and textures.

An American invention that dates back over a century, the ice cream sandwich has remained popular due to its universal appeal. But the sandwiches' creators might have a tough time understanding some of the newest variations, like the decidedly adult sandwich from Pearl & Ash in Manhattan, which features "ice cream suffused with Campari, vermouth and juniper (to conjure gin). It is a Negroni, transmuted, and tastes frankly medicinal, unmitigated by the trace of orange (the cocktail's garnish) in thin bookends of vanilla cake."

The offerings at A. B. Biagi, a gelato shop also in Manhattan, offers a European-inspired version that encases gelato in an oversized brioche, which is then half-smashed in a panini press, providing an intriguing contrast between the lightly toasted exterior and a cold, smooth core. Other NYC restaurants feature Thai takes with coconut-jackfruit ice cream in a Chinese sweet bun, and crisp waffles topping (what else) maple syrup ice cream.

You don't have to travel to New York to experience unique takes on ice cream sandwiches, as the EYB Library is brimming with recipes. Start with one of these tasty treats:

Gingersnap lemon ice cream sandwiches from Epicurious
Praline ice cream sandwiches from Gourmet Magazine
Waffle ice cream sandwiches with Nutella from National Post
Margarita ice-cream sandwiches from Cooking Light Magazine (pictured at top)
Brioche. coconut and caramel ice-cream sandwiches
from Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine

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