I refused to leave the water, only to be bribed out with the promise of an ice cream bar or a Happy Meal.
My grandma had a diving board and my brother, sister and I (along with our friends, who were always over) would spend hours swimming, diving, belly-flopping and splashing, often having diving and flipping contests. After my grandma’s stories were over, she would bring out tall cookie dough ice cream cones and greet us poolside after our grueling competition of who had the best backflip.
However, one of my favorite treats was more rare to be presented to us poolside, and those were Its-Its. Its-Its are a local treat made in San Francisco that I would always beg for, but that we’d never get since there are only 3 to a pack and they were usually more expensive. (Also, grandma was known for buying the cheaper versions of ice cream bars; the kinds that snap off and break before your tongue even touches it, so a $5 3-pack of sandwiches was equal to a trillion sub-par popsicles and in her mind, popsicles won). But when my begging was successful — oh boy. I was in ice cream heaven.
Its-Its are a messy, glorified ice cream sandwich made with chewy oatmeal cookies, a thick layer of vanilla ice cream, and coated entirely in chocolate. They also have mint versions, but nothing beats the original, irresistible combination of cold, vanilla ice cream smooshed between those hearty, cinnamon-spiced oatmeal cookies. We’d all eat them with our feet dangling in the water, ice cream dripping down our hands and chocolate on our fingertips, but every bite was so good that no one cared about making a drippy mess. We’d all swim it off anyway.
I’d made Its-Its before, but the pictures in the post were terrible and frankly, I wanted to redo it for ya since the post didn’t do them justice. I also tweaked the cookie recipe — this one is on the thinner side which is more like the actual Its-Its, and has a very similar texture and flavor. If you’ve never had an Its-It before, you’re in for a real treat! And if you have, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how similar these sammies taste to the real deal!
*cookie recipe from my Oatmeal Creme Pies
- 1 & ¼ cup [2 & ½ sticks] butter, softened
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
- Pinch salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 9 cups vanilla ice cream (homemade, or your favorite store-bought is fine)
- 1 pkg chocolate Candiquik
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking pans with silicone liners or spray lightly with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar with the paddle attachment until creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Add in the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves until combined. Lastly, stir in the oats.
- Drop cookie dough by rounded Tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheets, about 1-2" apart. Bake for approx. 10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure they're evenly baked. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes before very carefully transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cookies are cool, take a cookie and place a huge ½ cup-sized dollop of vanilla ice cream onto one half of the cookie; sandwich with another cookie. Allow the sandwiched cookies to freeze for about 30 minutes to firm up.
- Prepare Candiquik according to package directions. Dip half of each sandwich into the Candiquik and return to the prepared sheet to allow the chocolate to set. Store leftovers in the freezer, wrapped up.
What I love about Its-Its are their flavor (obviously) but how simple they are, too — not only to whip up, but simple in that they’re just three components that work SO well together! Feel free to experiment using mint chip ice cream (as they’re known for their mint flavor, too!) or even Dulce de Leche ice cream, cookies ‘n cream, chocolate, or cookie dough!
Have a fantastical day!