Saturday, June 19, 2010

two cool cookies know ice cream and cookie combos best

Oreo cookies have their charm, as do whoopie pies, but when it comes to dessert sandwiches, nothing trumps the classic ice-cream variety.

The ice cream sandwich — invented sometime around the 1890s — has long pleased tastebuds, far before the Chipwich attempted to steal the show.

However, even spanning a century's time, ice cream has not been left out of the sandwich trend, and local residents Jessica Viscusi and Marisa McLaughlin have reestablished the icy sugared squares via their organic and local ice cream and cookies' business, Two Cool Cookies.
The bakers and ice cream makers, both raised in Phoenixville, "have shared endless memories and countless scoops of ice cream and cookies" over the years, beginning when they met at age 14, during the summer at a local field hockey camp.

From classmates and great friends, to business partners and now mothers, Viscusi and McLaughlin decided two years back to provide the local community with delicious and good-for-you desserts that wouldn't compromise the sweet treats' taste.

"Everybody loves cookies and ice cream," said McLaughlin. "People are looking for healthier alternatives that are also organic, and we are a green indulgence."

The crafty ladies, McLaughlin of Chester Springs and Viscusi of Eagleville, conceptualized Two Cool Cookies from scratch, both the cookies and the ice cream blends, using all-natural, simple ingredients combined with the best produce of the local area.

With strawberry season on the brinks, the females recently visited Willow Creek Orchards of Collegeville to purchase pounds of berries to swirl within their organic milk blend, one that uses Seven Stars' Farm's heavy cream.

"We use all organic products and as much local as we can, too," said Viscusi. "We like to feature what's in season, so we rotate our combinations to keep up with what is fresh."

Renting a certified kitchen in Berwyn, Two Cool Cookies, with the assistance of several ice cream makers, sculpt their rectangular ice cream squares from scratch as they freshly prepare for their stand at the Phoenixville Farmers' Market.

The sandwiches aren't stamped out either, but instead hand-shaped and baked, with the founders putting each sandwich individually together themselves. From shortbread and graham cracker, to chocolate and chocolate chip, the food-loving females case their sleek rectangular cookies outside of a generous amount of homemade ice cream.

"We found that the sandwich construction was kind of like crafting," said McLaughlin.

Two years ago, the duo premiered their concoctions at the local market, taking a year off last year until they reemerged this summer, with their first day back on Sat., June 12.

"We were well-received," she continued. "We saw a lot of familiar faces from years ago, even the regulars came back and it was nice to see them."

With a fresh strawberry and strawberry cheesecake creamy ice in tow, Two Cool Cookies will now, besides offering their beloved ice cream sandwiches, also be selling eight ounce containers of their blends.

Several of their ice cream flavors that are worth a mention include their apple pie, lemon mascarpone, peanut butter, orange cream, mint chocolate chip, pumpkin, black raspberry, and of course, classic vanilla and chocolate.

Two Cool Cookies will appear at the Phoenixville Farmers' Market on select weekends, and at least once a month. The deliciously-minded duo also invites the area community to request special orders for parties and functions.

And, while their ice cream and cookie combinations are sweet, savory and endless, the important question is why such a moniker as "Two Cool Cookies": "We are doing a sandwich made of two cookies that are cooled by ice cream — it just works for us. Also, there are two of us," concluded McLaughlin.