Taste of Home
On a hot day, is there any sound more beautiful than an ice cream truck making its way up the street? As a major ice cream lover, I’d say definitely not. While these trucks are full of fun novelties and popsicles (check out these homemade ones), I love a good, old-fashioned ice cream sandwich. Who can deny that perfect vanilla-chocolate combo? Of course, I don’t rely on the ice cream truck alone to deliver these treats. In fact, I keep a stock of them right in my fridge all summer long.
However, if you’re going to indulge in these treats regularly like me, you want to be sure they’re top notch. So I grabbed a handful of brands to put them to the test. Which ice cream sandwich will reign supreme this summer? A few testers and myself had to know, so we tried 365 Everyday Value (a Whole Foods brand), Blue Bunny, Dean’s, Great Value (a Walmart brand), Kemp’s, Market Pantry (from Target) and Nestlé. Check out which ice creams soared to the top.
Honorable Mention: Nestlé
For that classic ice cream sandwich—you know, the kind served at school picnics and kids’ parties—turn to Nestlé. Testers loved the nostalgic feel of this ice cream sandwich brand—the gooey, sticky cookie and the super-sweet ice cream. We happy finished our bite-sized samples of Nestlé sandwiches, but we also realized that the ice cream didn’t quite have as much vanilla flavor as the others on our roster. We’d be pleased to snack on one of these on a hot summer day, but we’d likely opt for our top two contenders when shopping for ourselves.
If you’re headed out to the supermarket to grab ice cream sandwiches and other essentials, be sure to check out these shopping tricks.
Jumping up a few points in the rankings was dairy classic Dean’s. These ice cream sandwiches had great flavor—both in terms of cookies and ice cream. We appreciated the authentic vanilla look (that very pale butter yellow) and flavor. It tasted like the vanilla ice cream you’d grab at your local ice cream shop, and we just couldn’t resist that! The cookie was also pretty tasty—lots of good cocoa flavor (in fact, a few of these chocolate cookie recipes came to mind!). However, what cost Dean’s the top spot (but just by a smidge) was that the cookies were just a touch too soft, making this sandwich a bit messier than our first place winner.
Best in Show: Market Pantry
Coming in at the top with our highest taste test score ever (ever!) is Target’s Market Pantry ice cream sandwiches. Score sheets for this treat were filled with comments like, “really nice overall,” “great vanilla, great cookies,” and, of course, “just perfect.” But what it is about these ice cream sandwiches that made them so perfect?
Well, let’s start with the heart of this dessert: the ice cream. We found that the ice cream had the perfect texture: creamy yet firm (it stayed in place as we chowed down). Of course, it also had impeccable flavor—real vanilla without any sort of artificial aftertaste. And this ice cream didn’t scrimp on vanilla either; we found that it was full flavored, rich and really held its own against the cookies in this sandwich.
Speaking of, the cookies on this sandwich were equally delicious. They were perfectly fudgy and—this is important to ice cream sandwich aficianados—they did not stick to the wrapper! That means you get to enjoy every last bit of this ice cream treat. And with a score of 9.7, you can bet we all enjoyed every last morsel.
In this test, it’s pretty safe to say there were some big winners. I’d recommend grabbing our top brand to keep them in your freezer as the temperatures climb. However, there’s a certain satisfaction in making a treat from scratch, and making ice cream sandwiches at home is pretty easy (and extremely tasty). We’ve got a great tutorial show you how.