We're big fans of Coolhaus here on Serious Eats, and with eight trucks serving five cities and a brick and mortar Los Angeles storefront, we're definitely not alone. The draw? The oversized ice cream sandwiches that come in inventive flavors (think Cinnamon Toast Crunch cookies and Chocolate Chipotle BBQ Jack Daniels ice cream).
So I was pretty excited to try their new line of pre-packaged ice cream sandwiches, which will be sold at various supermarkets nationwide including Whole Foods and Sprouts. There are currently five flavors available, which seems a near impossible choice given the long menu of rotating flavors. How'd they choose?
"Flavors were chosen based on the data we received from our customers at the trucks," explains Coolhauser Dan Fishman. "We blended the best sellers with some more "unique" options to create an initial mix that we intend to grow over time."
For now, those five flavors are Cara-Mia Lehrer (Snickerdoodle cookie + Salted Caramel ice cream), Louis Ba-Kahn (Chocolate Chip cookie + Brown Butter Candied Bacon ice cream), Mies Vanilla Rohe (classic combo of Chocolate Chip cookie + Tahitian Vanilla Bean ice cream), Mintimalism (Double Chocolate Chip cookie + Dirty Mint Chip ice cream) and Renzo Apple Pie-ano (Oatmeal Raisin cookie + Baked Apple ice cream).
For me, the thing that secures Coolhaus in ice cream stardom is equal parts flavor and texture. A good ice cream sandwich, especially one made with a chocolate chip cookie, should be easy to bite through—no hard, teeth-cracking, frozen cookies—but not so easily melted that ice cream gushes out the sides. Coolhaus manages to achieve near perfect texture at their trucks: flexible, even soft cookies with creamy yet structurally sound ice cream. I feared how this would translate to a sandwich that was forced to sit in the freezer aisle.
Spoiler alert: They nailed it. Even after spending a few days in my own freezer, which verges on too cold, the packaged cookies had a perfect texture. Our teeth glided through every cookie without a crunch, the mammoth layers of ice cream never once fell out the sides. "How do they do it?" a fellow taster asked. I wish I had the answer. For thoughts on how the flavors fared, click through the slideshow above.
You can find sandwich retailers on the Coolhaus homepage.