1.) Kopp’s Frozen Custard (Greater Milwaukee, WI) – Cookies-n-Cream
One day I will do a full post on the wonder that is Kopp’s Frozen Custard. In the meantime, the teaser is that theirs is the best Cookies-n-Cream I’ve had in my life. The bad news is, like most frozen custard places, they only do vanilla, chocolate and their flavors of the day. So Cookies-n-Cream is only available when it is one of their two special flavors of the day. I recall going to Kopp’s with my family and my aunt’s family in my youth , persuading my parents to let me order a triple scoop, finding chunks of whole Oreos within and my Dad and I being unable to finish it.
2.) Gelati Celesti (Richmond, VA) – Oreo
The bases of cookies and cream ice creams are either white (playing up the “cream” part of the name) or speckled with black cookie dust. Not this flavor, which is pure grey. The reason? The Oreos are blended completely into the base, not simply mixed in to a sweet cream base. Translation: the base tastes like Oreos, not cookies “in” cream. This explains why the flavor isn’t named Cookies-n-Cream…because it’s straight, undiluted Oreo. Gelati Celesti aren't the only ones to have this idea, but they perfected it.
3.) Golden Cow Creamery (Charlotte, NC) – Salted Oreo
I may be a foodie, but I generally find the trend of adding salt to desserts that never needed it before to be bougie nonsense. Sure, a little bit is science, but a lot bit is superfluous. But this flavor, Salted Oreo, made me eat my words and then lick the bowl. Adding salt to this Oreo ice cream created a completely new flavor, one I loved. When I ate at this spot in fall of last year, they had only been open a couple months and didn’t have enough flavors to fill their freezer yet. Once operating at full freezer capacity, I have no doubt, based on this and the others I tried, that their place on the Charlotte foodie map will be staked.
4.) Turkey Hill (grocery store) – Double Dunker
This paragraph previously appeared in “Top 5 Cookie Dough Ice Cream”Years back, Ben & Jerry’s created Milk & Cookies, a mash-up of Cookies-n-Cream and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. It was simple and brilliant, but a combination not represented in grocery stores before then. Turkey Hill came up with their own twist on the idea (“Mocha ice cream swirled with chewy cookie dough and crunchy chocolate cookie swirl”) and created a superior product, which was no small effort given that Milk & Cookies ranks among one of the last of Ben & Jerry’s best flavors of recent years. Suffice to say, when a half gallon of Double Dunker is in the house it isn’t there for long. I consider it one of my Freezer Favorites.
5.) Josh & John’s (Colorado Springs, CO) - Colorado Cookies-n-Cream
A scoop shop of personal legend, I recall eating a Josh & John’s on a snowy winter day in the early 2000’s, marveling at how ice cream is good no matter the temperature and drawing in the snow on the outdoor picnic tables after. But mostly I recall their twist on Cookies-n-Cream. It was the first time I saw the base for a Cookies-n-Cream ice cream be chocolate. And, really, since the base is always ice cream, the “cream” part of cookies-n-cream is up for wider interpretation. The answer was there all along, waiting to be found. I doubt anywhere else refers to Cookies-n-Cream with a chocolate base “Colorado Cookies-n-Cream,” but I did for years because Josh & John’s was so tasty.