UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In the world of sweets, few unions are as blissful as the one between ice cream and cookies.
Officiating this tasty partnership in Happy Valley are the maestros of deliciousness — the Penn State Berkey Creamery and the Penn State Bakery. They have teamed up to create various new ice cream cookie sandwiches that can be shipped to most states in the U.S.
“The traditional ice cream cookie sandwiches always have been popular in our retail store,” said Jim Brown, creamery sales and marketing manager. “But when the pandemic hit, and we were limited to serving prepackaged items, they really took off. That’s when we decided to work with the Penn State Bakery to develop some new twists to this creamery favorite.”
He contacted Heather Luse, executive pastry chef for the bakery, to discuss new cookie and ice cream combinations and how they could be tied to a specific holiday or season. Their brainstorming sessions resulted in 12 ice cream cookie pairings that were given the seal of approval by creamery and bakery staff.
“With all of the pairings possible, the process wasn’t easy, but it sure was fun,” Brown said. “After all, there was no way we could lose when bringing together our delicious ice cream with the bakery’s fantastic cookies. And uniting two Penn State food icons — the creamery and the bakery — was a perfect match, too.”
These flavor combinations include a Birthday Bash ice cream/rainbow sprinkle cookie sandwich to add sparkle to July, a Pumpkin Pie ice cream/gingersnap cookie sandwich to celebrate autumn’s bounty in November, and a Peppermint Stick ice cream/chocolate with white chocolate chunk cookie sandwich to warm hearts in December. The “flavor of the month” is announced on the creamery’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
The monthly flavor promotions will complement the always available traditional favorites — the Vanilla Bean ice cream candied cookie and the Chocolate ice cream candied cookie sandwiches — that have been a staple on the creamery’s menu.
To sweeten the pot — or cookie jar, so to speak — the creamery, with the help of Penn State Housing and Food Services, now is distributing the ice cream cookie sandwiches to University dining commons and to Commonwealth Campus stores. Ice cream cookie sandwich packs also are available for purchase on the creamery’s website and can be shipped anywhere in the continental U.S.
“This partnership has helped to expand the Penn State Bakery product portfolio,” said Luse, who added that the bakery makes 1.4 million cookies each year in addition to bread, rolls, muffins, cakes and breakfast pastries. “The Penn State Berkey Creamery is a nationally known brand. We have been working to create that same atmosphere at the bakery, and the creamery is helping us to grow our reach.”
Penn State’s Berkey Creamery, the largest university creamery in the United States, produces ice cream, cheese, milk, yogurt and sour cream, as well as a variety of other products, such as juices, lemonade and iced teas, made for sale and distribution to the University community. Cows from Penn State’s dairy herd provide milk for the creamery’s fresh dairy products, averaging about four days from cow to creamery treat. More information can be found online at creamery.psu.edu.
The Penn State Bakery has been bringing delicious baked goods and desserts to the University community since 1947. Its gourmet bakery provides baked goods to more than 30 locations throughout the Penn State community, including Commonwealth Campus locations across the state. Bakery products can be found at Berkey Creamery, the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center, the Bryce Jordan Center and campus dining. More information is available online at pennstatebakery.com.
–Amy Duke, Penn State University