Important peak summer reminder: Russ & Daughters serves up Babka Ice Cream Sandwiches during this godforsaken season, and it's the perfect take on the staple mash-up. Why? Because often the Ice Cream Sandwich looks like it was created in an attempt to one-up the competitor by adding More Stuff (we call this Bloody Mary Syndrome), making it nearly impossible to eat. But the Russ & Daughters version (babka on the outside, babka ice cream on the inside) is easy to devour... gracefully, even.

Let's go around the corner from the original Russ & Daughters and back in time over 100 years: Back in 1899, "an unknown pushcart peddler in the Bowery neighborhood" began slinging an early version (perhaps the first in these parts) of the Ice Cream Sandwich, according to A History of Ice Cream Making by Jeri Quinzio. At the time, the New York Tribune wrote about the man, saying: "The ice cream sandwich man, who sells quarter-inch layers of alleged ice cream between tiny slabs of water wafers, did big business during the hot spell... He made the sandwiches quickly in a tin mold, and was kept so busy that he could not make change, but insisted on receiving the actual price for each ice cream sandwich — 1 cent." (Prior to the Sandwich form, just slabs of ice cream were sold, called Hokey-Pokeys.)

Sometime between then and now those wafers have gotten bigger, taking the spotlight away from the ice cream altogether, and the simple treat has too often become one that you'd need a knife and fork to dig into. By far, the most common form in these parts is the oft-cumbersome cookie sandwich, an overwhelming treat that can be difficult to eat. And that is why the Babka Ice Cream Sandwich is the most perfect of the genre—it's not too big, the outside doesn't overpower the inside (it compliments it), it's got an absorbent bread-like sandwich exterior, and you can probably finish it before it melts all over your hands and lands on the sidewalk. Sure, they could have gone with a Black & White Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich, but thankfully they created this for their customers, not for the 'gram (though it looks good there, too).

The Babka Ice Cream Sandwiches (which are homemade, including the ice cream) are now available at the Russ & Daughters shop at 179 E Houston Street, and at the Navy Yard, for $7. You'll also find them after 5:30 p.m. on the dinner menu at the Cafe (127 Orchard Street), for $9.