Klondike execs may have proliferated the ice cream sandwich, but New Yorkers have kept it alive. The Big Apple is home to ice cream sandwiched between macarons, donuts, waffles, cookies, you name it — so to have one of the best there is a feat. Andrea Jarosh would know. A few years ago, when she was the pastry chef at Chelsea's now-defunct Donatella, the NY Daily News crowned her rainbow cookie ice cream sandwich the best in the city.
Now, Jarosh helms the bakery station at State Bar and Grill, the Empire State Building's sprawling eatery. Until this summer, those award-winning cookie sandwiches were "state secrets," as she liked to joke: "I would just make them for friends and family when they visited or for the staff sometimes." But a summer menu revamp — and a little inspiration from her iconic workplace — gave them a permanent seat at the table once again.
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Let's call it the rainbow cookie ice cream sandwich 2.0: Jarosh's classic version was just that — classic. It had the traditional Italian red, white, and green striped cookies stuffed with plain vanilla ice cream. The ones she serves at State change nearly every day, in conjunction with the Empire State Building's lights. When the tops floors of the skyscraper shine purple, the ice cream sandwich takes on that hue. And when they're red, white, and blue, so is the cookie.
"We're doing a lot of the same thing everyday, so this is a really good opportunity to push myself to be a little more creative," Jarosh said. Her break comes when the building is lit white at night. That's when the kitchen churns out the Kong sandwich, a brownie-banana ice cream combo, plated with bananas foster and peanut brittle. It's not as colorful as other days might be but, honestly, you'll go ape over it.
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