As we find ourselves trapped in the dog days of summer, we once again turn to our good friend ice cream for solace during these humid times. But we don't want just any ol' ice cream piled into a lackluster bowl. We want our cold friend sandwiched between two chocolaty homemade cookies.
In One Corner: Sweet Republic, 9160 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale 480-248-6979
The Set-up: The artisan creamery makes its home in a Scottsdale strip mall just east of the 101 next to the heavenly smelling Jade Palace behind the BofA. The ice cream sandwiches are pre-made and waiting for you in a case next to the register. Choose from Belgian Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, Mint Chip, or Peanut Butter. We kept it basic with Vanilla Bean. Crispy, buttery cookies with strategically placed over-sized chocolate chips make for a great presentation. The addition of more chocolate on the underside of the cookie was also a nice touch.
Since the sandwiches come out of a freezer, the ice cream doesn't taste fresh. You can taste the ice crystals, which is no bueno.The thin cookie also didn't have much give, which caused the Squish Syndrome to happen (that's when all the ice cream squishes out the sides of the cookies).
In the Other Corner: Churn
The Set-up: From the people that brought you Postino, this hip sweets shop sits next door to the trendy Windsor restaurant. Choose from any of the cookies resting peacefully under their glass domes and then pick from eight flavors of ice cream. To keep things fair, we went with chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream.
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Pros: OMG. The vanilla ice cream was perfectly rich and creamy. We could have eaten an entire bowl of the stuff. The cookies were hearty and had that nice homemade look to them.
Cons: Unfortunately, the cookies were rock hard. Rock hard cookies = Squish Syndrome. It was nearly impossible to eat as a sandwich -- which is probably why they put it =in a bowl.
The Verdict: If we get the craving for an ice cream sandwich, we'll be heading to Churn. We love Sweet Republic's creative ice cream flavors and they get an A+ for presentation, but the uniform sandwiches fell short in the flavor department. Churn's cookies were rock hard but the freshly scooped ice cream more then made up for it.