Today is August 2

Published 7:24 am Monday, August 2, 2021

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On August 2nd, National Ice Cream Sandwich Day encourages us to cool off with one of our favorite frozen treats. Whether it’s vanilla, strawberry or Neopolitan between two chocolate wafers, the dessert sure will hit the spot on a hot summer day.

The original ice cream sandwich sold for a penny in 1900 from a pushcart in the Bowery neighborhood of New York. Newspapers never identified the name of the vendor in articles that appeared across the country. However, the ice cream sandwiched between milk biscuits became a hit. Soon, pushcarts popped up around the city and country during the summer months selling the portable treats. Early pictures show beachgoers at Atlantic City getting their ice cream sandwichs for 1¢ each.

Once ice cream sandwiches became popular, recipes for home cooks filled the papers. The sandwich layers included everything from angel food and sponge cake to shortbread cookies. Restaurants offered the ice cream sandwich as a decadent dessert for travelers. By 1940, grocers sold sandwiches made with crispy wafers.

One account claims the modern ice cream sandwich with the chocolate wafer was invented in 1945 by Jerry Newberg. The ice cream maker sold his creation at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, PA. At the time, the storied location was home to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers.

If the chocolate brownie wafer doesn’t appeal to you, don’t hesitate to mix it up. All variety of cookies make excellent sandwich parts. Change up the ice cream, too. Around the world, ice cream sandwiches go by a variety of names including the Monaco Bar, Giant Sandwich, Maxibon, Cream Between, Vanilla Slice, and many more.

HOW TO OBSERVE #IceCreamSandwichDay

Enjoy an ice cream sandwich today! Make your own with this recipe or listen for your local ice cream truck. Post on social media using #IceCreamSandwichDay.

If you’re looking for more, we have 7 Summertime Treats to Celebrate Every Day!


National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this summertime celebration.


Ice Cream Sandwich recipe pulled from



Vanilla ice cream

  • 2 cups (454g) whole milk
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (43g) golden syrup or light agave nectar*
  • 2 tablespoons (14g) tapioca starch*
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt*
  • 1 cup (227g) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons (43g) rum (vanilla rum is tasty), brandy, or vodka, optional
*See “tips,” below, for substitutes.

Chocolate cookie bars


  1. To make the ice cream: Whisk together 1/2 cup (113g) of the milk, the sugar, syrup, tapioca starch, and salt in a saucepan. Stir in the remaining milk, and the cream.
  2. Cook and stir the mixture over medium-high heat until bubbles form around the edge and it begins to steam. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a cream sauce; don’t let it boil.
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. For best results, the mixture should be very cold. Make it ahead and refrigerate overnight or for up to a couple of days, if desired. When the mixture is thoroughly chilled, freeze it in your ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s directions.
  4. As soon as it comes out of the ice cream maker, stir in the alcohol, if using. Transfer the ice cream to a storage container, and freeze until solid; it’ll still be soft enough to scoop easily. Store in your refrigerator’s freezer until you’re ready to make the sandwiches.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F, with a rack in the center. Lightly grease a piece of parchment about 12″ x 16″, and place it on a flat work surface.
  6. To make the cookies: Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter, sugars, and vanilla at high speed until well combined and somewhat expanded; the mixture will look a bit grainy, but also fairly creamy.
  8. On low speed, add half the dry ingredients; then the milk; then the remaining dry ingredients, scraping the bowl between additions.
  9. Dollop the batter all over the prepared parchment paper. Use a spatula to spread it to the edges of the parchment, smoothing it as flat as possible. Pick the parchment up, and set it into a half-sheet pan (18″ x 13″), or onto a large cookie sheet.
  10. Bake the cookie slab for about 10 minutes, until it just loses its shine. Remove the pan from the oven, and cool the cookie on the pan for about 5 minutes. Cut it in half crosswise to make two rectangles, each about 8″ x 12″. Trim the edges of each rectangle, if desired; you’ll make neater-looking sandwiches.
  11. Use a fork to prick the top of the cookie slabs in neat rows, like the top of a traditional ice cream sandwich. Place the cookie slabs, with their parchment, on a rack or racks to cool completely. When completely cool, wrap well and place in the freezer. If there’s room, freeze them on a baking sheet; it’s good to have a cold surface to work on when you’re making the sandwiches.
  12. To assemble the ice cream sandwiches: If the ice cream you’ve made is really hard, remove it from the freezer and allow it to soften at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before assembling. Once the ice cream is firm but spreadable, peel the parchment off the backs of the cookie slabs. Place one slab, bottom up, on a cold surface. Spread with ice cream. Top with the second cookie slab, top side up. Press down firmly to distribute the ice cream evenly between the cookie slabs.
  13. Use a sharp knife to trim the edges of the sandwiches, if necessary or desired. If the ice cream has started to melt, place the pan back in the freezer to firm it up. Once it’s firm, cut the slab into 12 squares.
  14. Serve immediately; or wrap squares individually in plastic wrap, and store in the freezer.