Potential Sandwich: Kouign Amann Hot Pressed Ice Cream Sandwich
I know what you’re thinking. It has ‘sandwich’ in the name, how is there a question here? The short answer is a resounding yes, definitely a sandwich. Go about your day, there are more pressing matters that demand your attention.
If you’re still reading, you are probably like me and know that there is something about the ice cream sandwich in general that a quick affirmation of confirmed sandwich-ness leaves out something important. It bears the sandwich name and does the name justice, but the ice cream sandwich lives in a category of its own with a branch as diverse as any other on the sandwich family tree. There are the Blue Bunny classic ice cream sandwiches from the ice cream trucks (chocolate wafer sticking to fingers is a requirement), the Toll House cookie version, Fat Boys, Tofuti Cuties, dozens of store brand versions, and even a stepped up, fresh baked ice cream sandwich from the Bay Area legends of CREAM (Cookies Rule Everything Around Me) and Anthony’s Cookies. What they all have in common is that each has a cookie or cookie-adjacent baked good for a handle and ice cream in the middle.
For the “Is it a sandwich?” question, I’m focusing specifically on the kouign amann ice cream sandwich from little Larkspur’s creamery powerhouse Posie. It is important before I get too deep in this sandwich that I address the elephant in the room: kouign amann is a total pain in the ass to say. I don’t knock the person who, when ordering this treat, wants to avoid the mess of vowels and hard consonants jammed together and rather elects to point to an area of the pastry case and play a game of hot and cold with the employee. There are also those that just go for it and ask for a “koo-gun” or “kweeg” or even “kwee-gin” and I respect this strategy the most. My approach with most French words as a non-native speaker is to just pretend that certain letters aren’t there (in this case, it’s the g), which leaves something akin to ‘qween’ which, if said quickly enough and emphasizing the much more gracious ‘amann’, usually averts both confusion and correction. But I digress.
Posie’s treat feels like something new has been added to the standards set by the previously mentioned ice cream sandwiches, and I think that has to do with the inclusion of the kouign amann. A gourmet ice cream sandwich is nothing new, but Posie’s ice cream is on another level of tasty and the sliced kouign amann from the nearby bakery M.H. Bread and Butter makes this treat special. They are not the only bakery to offer this French pastry, and maybe because their version was my introduction, the kouign amann from M.H. is the best I’ve had.
It feels as though this combination should have been made ages ago, and yet, simultaneously, it should never have happened in the first place. These deserts are so nearly perfect on their own that any change or remix would be unnecessary and disrupt their achievement of the Platonic ideal of tasty. Yet, who can possibly pass up the chance to make a sandwich when potential sandwich ingredients present themselves? Hot pressing the assembled sandwich so the end product gets to that non-Newtonian level of gooey without being melty is just over the top and not to be missed.
Go get this sandwich next time it’s available! You’ll be glad you did.