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!

 

 

Splendid Table – Jeni’s Ice Cream

Today I was listening to Splendid Table on Soundcloud and happened upon an interview with Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Ice Cream.

In the podcast, she explains why water is the enemy of ice cream and how cream cheese made it into her ice cream base recipe!

Listen HERE to hear the great talk!

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

Check out my Jeni’s Ice Cream review of Milk Chocolate Bombay, Salty Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Wildberry Lavender, Pineapple Upside Down Cake Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt, & Sweet Cream Biscuits & Peach Jam.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

Blue Bunny’s Monster Cookie Review

It’s a dark and stormy night as I write this. Perfect for discussing monsters. Well monster cookie ice cream.

Blue Bunny Monster Cookie Ice Cream Review

The ice cream appears to be part of their “cookie creations” line which also includes their White Chocolate Macadamia Nut.

Blue Bunny Monster Cookie Ice Cream Review

This ice cream was a real winner in my book. The standouts were the flavorful yet not overpowering peanut butter ice cream and the soft oatmeal cookie pieces.

Blue Bunny Monster Cookie Ice Cream Review

The peanut butter ice cream took me by surprise. I expected vanilla ice cream base with cookie pieces.  The peanut butter was unexpected and delightful. Blue Bunny also  took it to the next level with a fudge ribbon swirl. Even if you didn’t get a cookie bite, the chocolate/peanut butter combo worked flawlessly together.

Blue Bunny Monster Cookie Ice Cream Review

Bad lighting!

Now down to the cookies. First kudos to Blue Bunny for the all the cookie pieces. Sometimes I have issue with lack of mix-ins with Blue Bunny, but this one had abundant cookies! They came in both chunks and smears of cookie mixtures. They were well dispersed throughout the tub. The cookies had little faux M&Ms in them that added little beacons of color to search for in the ice cream. Each cookie bite immediately resonated as oatmeal cookie. Sometimes, cookie dough in ice cream comes across as just gritty and sugary, but the oatmeal cookie stayed true to it’s roots and was soft and chewy.

Overall: A

UFOs & Moon Pies

IMG_6279

These Unidentified Frozen Objects have been hovering around my stratosphere for a few years now. I’d first tried this delectable frozen confection from a Los Angeles ice cream truck. Whenever I visit LA, I stock up and eat 5 on each trip. On my most recent trip to NYC,  I scanned every ice cream truck in site for a glimpse of the UFO symbol. But no luck.

Right after I’d gotten back, they had a special section at our local grocery, Hyvee. I literally bought about 15 of these NorthStar Treats.

NorthStar UFO Ice Cream Sandwiches

For those unfamiliar, UFO’s have vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two graham crackers and dipped in milk chocolate.

NorthStar UFO Ice Cream Sandwiches

The North Star Moonpie which may sound more familiar is the same thing, except marshmallow ice cream. I’ve tried both, and they are really similar.

NorthStar UFO Ice Cream Sandwiches

The best part about this dessert is the chocolate and graham cracker combination with the absence of marshmallow. I love smores and marshmallows, but I find artificial versions lack the toasted flavor aspect. The quality chocolate shell set this ice cream sandwich apart from the rest. The shell is thin enough to crackle in the right spots for easy eating, but thick enough to give each bite creamy chocolate flavor. The graham cracker was tender and not to dry. The chocolate shell hold in the ice cream and cookie without spilling out and creating a mess.

Hope to see these stick around!