Guide to Yogurt Topping Bars

Here’s an interesting read from about three different fro-yo brands, Yogurtland, 16 handles and Pinkberry. The author looks at the topping arrangements and how they affect the consumer.

Take a peek HERE

My perennial favorite fro-yo place Orange Leaf has a relatively simple topping structure. From left to right: toppings go fruit, candy, Bermuda triangle. I personally always forget about the liquid toppings are at the end in the pumps. They always cause me to go a little overboard, I mean liquid peanut butter? How can you resist!

Häagen-Dazs Peppermint Bark Ice Cream

Haggen-Daz Peppermint Bark Ice Cream Review

Thanksgiving is only 4 days away! Which means Christmas festivities started, oh 3 weeks ago lol.

Yesterday, I went and picked out our Christmas tree! We go to the same place every year. We get there at the crack of dawn with flashlight in hand.

Christmas Tree

Ok, back to ice cream. Decided to pick up some Häagen-Dazs Peppermint Bark for some seasonal flavor. Of course the purple limited edition carton caught my eye, as well as the delectable looking peppermint bark on the cover. Nothing says Christmas more than candy cane strips and chocolate.

Haggen-Daz Peppermint Bark Ice Cream Review

Overall the ice cream was good, not great. It had the clean, creamy taste of most Häagen-Dazs ice creams. I loved the white chocolate base but was a little underwhelmed by the mix-ins.

The “crunchy chocolaty peppermint bark” tasted more like simple chocolate chunks and the peppermint pieces were little small for my taste. I couldn’t get a mix-in in every bite, I had to do a bit of rooting around to get good spoonfuls.

Haggen-Daz Peppermint Bark Ice Cream Review

It’s a good seasonal flavor, but not one that I would get more than once a year. Can’t wait to try some more seasonal flavors!

Delish Ice Cream- S’mores Swirl

Delish-S'mores Swirl

It’s dark out by 5:30 now. Oh the joys of daylight savings time. It’s now officially that time of year. To commemorate the consistent darkness I bought some ‘Delish’ ice cream by Walgreens. I’ve been seeing these all black tubs for awhile now and figured the smores would be a good choice on this cold blustery night.

Delish-S'mores Swirl

I was literally shocked by this ice cream. I expected a lame off brand ice cream experience with little taste and little add-ins. I was delightedly surprised! The base was a ying yang of types of ice cream. Chocolate creamy ice cream with a fudgy flavor. The dual side is a sweet marshmallow flavor with sizable chocolate chunks and a very interesting graham cracker smear. The swirl tasted  like if you mixed straight sugar, graham cracker & butter and added a dollop to this ice cream. DELICIOUS!! No need to hunt to find a good bite in this ice cream, it’s everywhere!!!!!



Delish-S'mores Swirl

I polished off this pint, which I never do. I can’t wait for my next pint!

Favorite Orange Leaf Combination!

Orange Leaf is my favorite fro-yo shop in the Midwest. It’s modeled after many other frozen yogurt places like Yogurtland & Pinkberry. Right now in Des Moines the main chains are Orange Leaf, Menchie’s, & CherryBerry. They’re all similar except CherryBerry doesn’t base pricing on weight anymore.

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt

I returned to Orange Leaf after a Fall-hiatus, which I assumed they’d retired my favorite seasonal flavor- coconut! However, it was still there! Here’s my recipe for an ‘almond joy’ at Orange Leaf.

Orange Leaf Coconut Frozen Yogurt

Add  3/4 coconut frozen yogurt & 1/4 brownie batter fro-yo. Orange Leaf Almond Joy Frozen Yogurt

Add 1 large scoop graham cracker, 1 large scoop mini-chocolate chips, 1 small scoop almonds and 2 pumps hot fudge.

Best orange leaf combo ever!

While I was there I tried their two season flavors, pumpkin pie & cinnamon roll.

Orange Leaf Pumpkin Pie Frozen Yogurt

Orange Leaf Pumpkin Pie Frozen Yogurt

I was surprised to see pumpkin pie without the obligatory ‘spice.’ It was super sweet, but not an overpowering pumpkin.

Orange Leaf Cinnamon Roll Frozen Yogurt

Eeek, kinda blurry photo. Cinnamon roll was delish, but more like cream cheese frosting more than a rich cinnamon flavor.

Caramel, Caramel, Caramel!

Haagen-Daz Caramel Ice Cream

Haagen-Daz, like the rest of the ice cream world, has gone crazy for caramel!

Haagen-Daz Caramel Ice Creams

Three different Haagen-Daz caramels, three different tastes.

Haagen-Daz Ice CreamHaagen-Daz Caramel Cone

While this was the least ‘caramel’ flavor. It was more sweet cream than caramel. However, I loved the chocolate coated cone pieces and thick syrupy, sweet caramel swirls. The ice cream was a bit icy for my taste, but the add-ins saved it!

Haagen-Daz Sea Salt Caramel Gelato

Compared to the others the gelato came out softer and creamier than the others. The ice cream was  The salted caramel swirl had real POW with a hint of maple in the background! The salt was seamlessly ingrained into the thick almost candy-like caramel swirl. Decadent in every form of the word!

Haagen-Daz Dulce de Leche Caramel

This was a pretty standard caramel ice cream. Rich and thick sweet ice cream with a sizable dollop of caramel swirled throughout. Perfect no frills caramel ice cream.

What’s the difference between caramel and dulce de leche? Caramel is made from sugar, while dulce de leche is made from a milk-based syrup.




Kemp’s Donut Ice Cream

Kemps Donut Ice Cream

After Steve’s NOLA coffee & donut ice cream, I was interested to see how this one would stack up. It had the interesting combination of honey ice cream with cinnamon sugar donut pieces.

Kemps Mini-Donut Ice Cream

I loved the concept of this ice cream. Flavored base ice cream, cinnamon chips, (you know how I feel about cinnamon) and along with pieces of mini donuts.

Kemps Donut Ice Cream

Apparently this flavor combo was in strict competition with Rhubarb in the Hometown Favorites Contest or Minnesota State Fairgoers. While I love that Kemps opens up this opportunity for it’s state’s residents, the winner of the competition wasn’t necessarily a winner in my book.

Kemps Mini-Donut Ice Cream

The cloying sweetness hit your tongue like a ton of bricks, but I appreciated the intensity. The honey complemented the cinnamon well. It added some much needed pizzazz, because the cinnamon, sugar donuts were lacking in both flavor and quantity.  The little bits of donuts were more fried tasting than cake-tasting. Overall, I think it needs to be re-cast as honey churro ice cream and more mix-ins!

Overall: B-









#TBT Ample Hills Creamery

“I too lived Brooklyn of Ample Hills was mine…” Walt Whitman, 1856

Ample Hills Creamery

“Once upon a time, there were cows in Brooklyn. And these cows grazed on Brooklyn’s lush ample hills. Although the cows are gone and the grassy hills have made ways for rows of brownstones and buildings, the pastoral small-town spirit of old Brooklyn lives on at our neighborhood ice cream shops in Brooklyn,” according to the Ample Hills Creamery website.

Ample Hills Brooklyn


Ample Hills

I tried their award-winning salted crack caramel ice cream. Review to come.

Ample HIlls Ice Cream

I also tried some of their other signature flavors: Munchies & Peppermint Pattie. Review to come.

Ample  Hills Build a Sundae

Overall a really cool shop. Poster on the walls explained their ice cream making process and some of the history behind the shop. A child’s play area has ice cream cone toys scattered in back. Ample seating inside and out, make this a definite stop on a NYC ice cream crawl.

Review and more photos of the ice cream to come!