What sweet does a pastry chef crave in her non-sweet surround off-hours? Ice cream! Better yet, ice cream sandwiches. Housemade ice cream on freshly baked cookies is the ultimate summertime treat. There are a few ice cream mavens churning up the cold, creamy goods in the Valley, this battle between Sweet Republic and Churn was a tough one. The requirements were housemade ice cream on housemade cookies.
The Setup: Sweet Republic is well-known for its small-batch artisan ice cream made with local, all-natural ingredients. The funky modern design of the shop puts an updated twist on the old-time ice cream parlor. Pick up housemade marshmallows, sea salt caramels, or bacon brittle by the bag-full.
The Good: With a plethora of sophisticated and interesting flavors, your ice cream sandwich can take a unique turn, slathering on one of Sweet Republics funky fun flavors like honey blue cheese or Earl Grey tea between your cookies. We chose the peanut butter chip ice cream with slow-churned peanuts from Virginia and flakes of chocolate, and placed it between chocolate chip cookies. Super-creamy, rich with peanut butter flavor and hints of chocolate flakes, makes for an incredibly well-balanced ice cream.
The Bad: There were only two cookie choices, and the slightly thicker cookies were more expensive for our sandwich. We opted for the cheaper version, seeing as our sandwich was already ringing up at $4.85. The chocolate chip cookie was too crunchy and very thin, and we were hoping for a big fat chewy cookie to complement the peanut butter chip ice cream. Wrapped in a piece of parchment paper and placed on a paper plate, the ice cream sandwich looked a little sad, and small.
In The Other Corner: Churn
The Setup: Churn is newer to the ice cream block in Phoenix, turning out nostalgic childhood flavor favorites like bubble gum or cotton candy. They boast a variety of throwback candy and toys, as well as the world's best gummy bears.
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The Good: We chose cookies-and-mint ice cream on a chocolate mint chip cookie. With many cookie flavor options, it was a tough decision. Presented were two thick cookies with a hefty scoop of ice cream smushed inside. The flavors and texture rocked on both ice cream and cookie, with large chunks of Oreo cookie and mint chips, in the respective components. This ice cream sandwich felt massive, even though the cookies were the same diameter as Sweet Republic's. Churn's ice cream sandwich rolled in at the price of $4.33.
The Bad: The cookies were double the thickness of Sweet Republic's, but they were still a little on the crunchy side, where as we were looking for chewy cookie with our ice cream treat.
And the winner is...Churn. While Sweet Republic's ice cream is insanely delicious, we think that Churn's multiple cookie/ice cream options, thicker cookies, and lower price tag, offer more for the ice cream sandwich enthusiast's sweet tooth.