Kitchn Love Letters

The $8 Bakery-Section Find I Always Buy for Summer BBQs

published May 29, 2022
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reusable grocery bags on the floor in the kitchen filled with groceries
Credit: Joe Lingeman

For years, I’ve hosted a barbecue on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. The weather in New York, where I live, is a crapshoot that time of year. Will it be 80 degrees and sunny, 55 degrees and rainy, or something in between? Your guess is as good as the weathercaster’s. No matter what the sky has in store for that day, though, one thing is for certain: There will be ice cream sandwiches for dessert. But not just any ice cream sandwiches. No, these are true crowd-pleasers that call for one very special bakery-section find from BJ’s Wholesale. I’m talking about their massive chocolate chunk cookies

Wellsley Farms Chocolate Chunk Cookies, $8.29 for 37 ounces at BJ’s Wholesale Club

Roughly three inches in diameter, these cookies are studded with chunks and loaded with chocolaty flavor in each bite. Their heftiness (and chew) makes them the ideal cookie to craft ice cream sandwiches. Plus, I love that they vary in shape just enough to give them a homemade look without causing a messy matching game.

The night before the party, I scoop strips of slightly softened vanilla or chocolate ice cream between two of these generously sized cookies over and over until the clamshell packaging is empty. If I’m being totally honest, I usually eat a cookie sans ice cream at some point in the process. (I recommend microwaving it for five to eight seconds first.) As I go, I place the sandwiches in a large rectangular-shaped plastic container in the freezer to limit meltage. Then, I leave them in there so they can firm up overnight.

One of my absolute favorite things about these desserts is the look on people’s faces when I bring them out. Eyes widen. Mouths gape. Gasps ensue. Even my siblings — who’ve had sneak previews of they’re assemblage — are amazed when the rectangular plastic container lined with rows of these frozen sandwiches stops in front of them. Yes, this dessert is such a stand-out, I don’t even bother plating them on a decorative tray.

If you don’t live near a BJ’s or don’t have a membership to one (or know someone who does), don’t fret. You can still make these two-ingredient sandwiches. Look for similar chocolate chunk cookies in the bakery section of your local bulk warehouse or grocery store.

What grocery store bakery finds are you buying right now? Tell us in the comments below.