The Salty Ingredient Swap You Should Try For Ice Cream Sandwiches

Whether your preference is for classic ice cream sandwiches from your youth or something fancy like Costco's Gelato Macaron Sandwiches, you can't beat the combination of ice cream with cookies or wafers. While a sweet-on-sweet ice cream sandwich has a timeless appeal, adding a salty element might make it even better. Simple, salty, crunchy: Saltine crackers might be the perfect foil for ice cream.

There are several methods to make your own saltine ice cream sandwiches. Perhaps the easiest and neatest is to spread softened ice cream between two layers of plastic wrap in a baking pan. Freeze, uncover, and cut into saltine-sized squares, which you can then sandwich between two saltines. If you're looking for a quick snack for one or two people, put a heaping spoonful of soft ice cream on a saltine and top with another.

While everyone knows that salty and sweet foods taste amazing together, there's actually science behind it. In 2011 research was published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that discovered specific sugar receptors, SGLT1, located on the tongue's sweet taste buds, that are only triggered by the presence of salt. "Salt is a flavor enhancer, and when it's correctly combined with something sweet, it creates flavor layering," pastry chef Malika Ameen told Eater.

These findings help explain why the taste is so irresistible in salty-sweet foods like salted caramel and chocolate-covered potato chips, and why saltine crackers may be the best ingredient for your next batch of ice cream sandwiches.

Saltines make a perfect contrast to ice cream

If saltine crackers sandwiching ice cream sounds amazing, think of all the creative and delectable ways you can customize them. Add a layer of peanut butter, chocolate, or even marshmallow fluff to your saltine cracker. How about brownie ice cream sandwiches? Line the bottom of a pan with the saltines, make your favorite brownie recipe, and pour it over the crackers. Bake according to the recipe's directions. After they cool, layer the ice cream over the brownies and top with saltines. Freeze, and then use a knife to separate them. Dipping the blade in warm water makes it easy to cut through the ice cream.

Who doesn't love rich, buttery toffee? Saltine cracker toffee ice cream sandwiches provide added crunch and salty-sweet flavor while making your sandwiches look sumptuous and extravagant. Made with only five ingredients, saltine cracker toffee brings your ice cream sandwiches to a whole new level. Simply make two batches, scoop the ice cream on top of the first batch, layer the second batch on top, and carefully cut between each sandwich. 

If you want to jazz up your plain saltine crackers, melt some chocolate, dip the saltines, and let it set before adding the ice cream. For a kid-friendly treat, dip the sides of your ice cream sandwiches in different colored sugar or sprinkles. Personalizing your saltine ice cream sandwiches is as easy as adding your favorite ice cream toppings.