Sometimes we hear about a new eye-catching, clickbaity food creation that makes us say, "What were they thinking?" (Go home, ramen burrito, you're drunk.) Then there are times when, despite our hard-earned skepticism and eye-rolling, we are won over.
Hello, Upwich. You are welcome here.
"Like with so many things, it started off as a joke," Donnie Simpson Jr. said of the muffin-top ice cream sandwich he's now selling at Uprising Muffin, his muffin shop in Shaw. (In case your mind is already drifting to other breakfast-ice cream mashups, yes, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken plans to bring back its doughnut ice cream sandwich this season.)
Simpson said he had been trying to think of "cool, creative ways to use what we specialize in," especially with the imminent approach of summer.
He thought maybe he could use the tops of leftover muffins in ice cream sandwiches at the end of the day, but realized the supply would be hard to predict. Plus, there'd still be half the muffin left.
No, Simpson decided to continue donating the surplus muffins to a women's shelter. He turned to the Internet for guidance and discovered the now-ubiquitous muffin top pan.
"It's got just the right amount of thickness," Simpson said of the muffin tops. "It's a good bite."
We agree. The muffin rounds, studded with mini chocolate chips, are sturdy but soft. And large, too -- we found the sandwiches a bit daunting for one person.
Unwilling to put another demand on his busy kitchen by asking it to make ice cream, Simpson settled on Blue Bunny vanilla for the center. Other brands he tested melted too quickly.
With Blue Bunny, "You could enjoy the whole sandwich without having the ice cream run down your arm," he said.
For now, Uprising is focused on the basic, Chipwich-like chocolate chip sandwich. A double chocolate chip option is under consideration, as is white chocolate macadamia and snickerdoodle.
One thing's for sure: The Upwich is most likely here to stay year-round.
"In my experience, people drink iced coffee in the winter," Simpson said. "I figure they'll probably be eating ice cream sandwiches in the winter too."
$4.99 at Uprising Muffin Company, 1817 Seventh St. NW. 202-290-1196. uprisingmuffins.com.