Two become One

Posted by Toni Washington on 04/05/2017

I don’t remember when the love affair actually began but it has continued for decades now.  I am in love with the edible magic combination that is Cookies and Cream.  Bring me all of the versions of it, but my first love is the duo in its frozen state.

Oreos have always been my favorite variety of packaged cookies.  Before Double-Stuffed hit the aisles, I would combine the cream fillings of two cookies and toss the extra wafers in the trash.  I was a kid. Wasteful was my middle name.  I would swirl these delicious confections in milk until they softened to my liking, mushy by most people’s standards.  Once strategically dipped, chocolate bits would float to the top of my glass of milk.  I would grab a spoon and begin excavating my treasure.  I soon learned that if I froze my mushy cookie milk, a heavenly bite would await me. (Perhaps Wikipedia’s claim that the ice cream flavor was created in 1976 is incorrect and I am the true inventor. Is there a lawyer in the house?)  After consistently making my own rendition of Cookies and Cream ice cream, I began seeking out the real thing.  I remember visiting Marble Slab Creamery at its height of popularity and having my very first taste of the flavor, Sweet Cream.  I’d only known vanilla as a base flavor for my concoctions, but Sweet Cream blew my mind.  I found the key to a great milkshake was the right combination of this slightly sweeter vanilla and a heaping sprinkle of Oreos.

In my restaurant adoration, I will admit, fast food even has its brief moments for me. (I do turn my nose up at a few popular places, I’m STILL a little snobbish)  This brings me to the illustrious shake.  It is my friend. It brings me joy.  I would like to break down three factors of the perfect merger between cookies, ice cream, and milk.

1)      Balance – I do not like triple chocolate things. *Gasp* I know, one is to never turn away chocolate, but there IS such a thing as too much richness.  The chocolate to vanilla ratio is paramount to a good experience. Vanilla or Sweet Cream ice cream and regular Oreos only, with a few exceptions.  I once had a shake with a thin mint cookie that made me gasp at the horror that someone had the audacity to create it.  I’ve also had a shake with an Uh-Oh Oreo…that is an atrocity as well.

2)      Flavor – Please note that just because I'm highlighting fast food *gasp, again*, does not mean flavor should be compromised.  Everything should taste ‘real.’  I would rather spend a little extra to ensure that the ice cream is from a quality brand and the cookies are true Oreos than be disappointed by ‘fake ice cream taste.’

3)      Texture – One must never have a watery shake.  You must also be able to slurp the thick and tasty treat through a straw.  A proper milkshake aficionado, no matter flavor combo, knows how to make this happen.  If you are purchasing a shake from a restaurant and notice any sort of insecurity in preparation, stop them immediately and get a more experienced employee.  I made the mistake of letting the process continue with a novice and was terribly disappointed.  A slight crunch is acceptable; however, I do not like chewing excessively on my milkshakes, so the cookies should be broken up prior to adding them to the blender.  This is a very subjective observation of the perfect shake; feel free to crunch away on your own textural combination.

The number of shakes I make for myself is an embarrassing amount.

In all of this critique, here are my favorite fast-food purveyors of Cookies and Cream shakes in no particular order:

  • Smashburger
    • They use Haagen-Daaz for crying out loud. This is a place where you need an experienced maker.
  • Braums/Chic-fil-la
    • They do not use Oreos, which docks them points in flavor but their blending abilities make great texture.
  • Cold Stone Creamery
    • Sweet Cream, enough said.

I do enjoy frozen custard shakes from time to time, so I’ll give an honorable mention to Andy’s Frozen Custard for their version.

I have a recipe for Fauxreos and Sweet Cream from culinary school that is sublime mixed with Kahlua.  I like to keep it tucked away in my secret treasure chest for special occasions.

I’m a gal who is serious about her shakes, let me know your favorites!

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