Tag Archives: dessert

For Science!

Occasionally, there arises a question so profound, so maddeningly incisive, that you can’t help but go to all possible lengths to answer it.

Tonight’s question: What cookie makes a better ice cream sandwich?

Before dinner, my favourite lady wondered aloud whether we could build a passable ice cream sandwich with Rocky Road, or whether we’d need to hunt some soft vanilla. It seemed to me that a chunky, lumpy ice cream might require a similarly crevassed cookie. Lumps shift into lumps and it all sort of locks together like a puzzle made of delicious and guilt-induced exercise.

Math. Chunk + (-chunk) = cookie and ice cream harmony.

A simple, flat cookie might result in air pockets, inappropriate chunk distribution, structural failure, and then sadness.

Flat cookie. As you can see, the physics don't work out.

So we set out to decide which would be the best way to go. Fortunately, Natalie’s method of making cookies is such that she makes at least four dozen at a time. On her more liberal days, she makes so many cookies that the universal cookie constant is exceeded, and cookies actually vanish somewhere else in the world to accommodate her production. So there were, fortunately, two types of cookie dough  in the freezer, already sectioned into batches and ready to go.

With two types of cookie ready to rock, there was no doubt. There would be no vanilla. Challenge accepted.

It was time for SCIENCE.

Two batches of cookies. One ice cream. And a head-to-head better than any UFC matchup you could hope for.

The Perennial Champ

Batch #432032 of infinity.

Chunky chocolate chip cookies are a universal fave (and also a strikingly large percentage of the universal cookie constant). The chocolate here was milk chocolate buttons and bittersweet chocolate chips. Very chunky cookies. These would be our lumpy candidates. Packed with chocolate, a bit of crunch with a soft centre, and built like a puzzle.

The Newcomer

See that? That's the face of FLAVOUR.

Banana. Peanut butter. Chocolate chip. Flat, full of strong flavour, and chewy. That’s it. Done description. Commence salivating.

The Experiment

TONS of ice cream sandwiches.

For the head-to-head comparative study, we built two of each sandwich in order to compare and contrast their various qualities. Check it out.

First Category: The Chunkster

You know, it occurred to me as I was putting together these sandwiches that it really made absolutely no difference which cookie we used, since both were flat on the bottom after baking.

So... flat and chunky are all kind of flat. So... yeah.

See? And the Rocky Road wasn’t actually as chunky as we’d initially thought. Seemed like all the stuff was somewhere in the middle of the tub… and we’d already eaten it.

MASSIVE ICE CREAM CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE SANDWICHES. YES THIS REQUIRES CAPSLOCK.

So how did it stack up?

Pros

  • Incredibly chocolatey. Like, almost oppressively so. But really tasty.
  • Crunchiness is pretty awesome. Made for lots of texture variation.
  • Ice cream flavour was very apparent–the vanilla of the cookie balanced the Rocky Road nicely.
Cons
  • Holy crap, those cookies were really large. I had difficulty fitting the sandwich in my mouth, and I have a large mouth.
  • Cookies went tall, not wide, meaning less ice cream could be placed on the sandwich.
Second Category: The Cacophany

Other posible names: The Upstart, The Naughty Metaphor, The Reese+

I was seriously looking forward to this one. Banana? Peanut butter? Chocolate? AND ice cream? How could it possibly lose? It was like the Reese cup found a long-lost lover who then invited a really open-minded friend along.
Pros
  • Flat, wide, great for keeping hold of the ice cream.
  • Chewy texture was fantastic.
Cons
  • The big, bold flavour actually detracted from the experience. The banana flavour of the warm cookie was so strong compared to the other flavours that the cold ice cream was totally lost.
The Takeaway
So the BAM of the banana–or, BAMnana, if you will–meant that what was the clear winner in my head about five minutes before I stuffed the sandwiches in my face slipped to second place. But still:

So.. much.. cookie... just barely too much for us.

It was all totally freaking delicous. And super filling. But amazing.
The takeaway? Science is delicious.
Paddle your own canoe, guys and gals.
-Trevor