Monday, April 8, 2013

Haagen-Dazs Limited Edition Peanut Butter Pie (An Ice Cream Review)

Continuing to expand my ice cream repertoire, I resisted the urge to go with a familiar flavor of Ben & Jerry’s at Giant yesterday. Instead, I glanced to the right, where another little purple not-quite-pint taunted me. Yes, another limited edition Haagen-Dazs flavor, and I just can’t resist limited edition unless it’s something totally abhorrent.

Peanut Butter Pie? Definitely not abhorrent! Although weirdly enough, I’m not a huge fan of peanut butter and ice cream, and even more weirdly, I haven’t been eating peanut butter recently. So maybe it’s time to start! Haagen-Dazs describes this flavor as “made with ribbons of smooth peanut butter and soft chocolate cookie pieces folded into creamy peanut butter ice cream.”

You would not believe the smell off of this thing. As soon as you break the seal (yes, the pint is sealed under the lid!), you’re overwhelmed with this hugely peanut buttery odor. It’s almost meaty, but being a vegetarian I may not be the best judge of that. Anyway, the point is, you’re not left in any doubt that there’s plenty of flavor packed in there!

The mix-ins are absolutely everywhere! There’s no way to take a spoonful of just the base, so it’s hard to get a reading on the actual ice cream. All I can say is that it’s milder than the peanut butter swirls, which isn’t saying very much because those are like eating peanut butter straight out of the jar. The chocolate cookies look just like Oreos, but they’re soft and gritty in texture. Sort of like an Oreo soaked in milk for a very long time. None were crunchy, which made them seem even more like pie crust. They weren’t just mashed-up crumbs, either: I came across a few quarter-cookies, and these larger ones were slightly less soft (but still not crunchy).

The peanut butter swirls were abundant, fairly solid, and smooth--just like peanut butter from the jar that’s cold. Their flavor pervades everything, and I’m pretty sure they’re the source of the smell. I was cutting through piles of pure peanut butter with my spoon as I ate. That said, I still think Ben & Jerry’s What a Cluster was more peanut buttery.

This ice cream is pretty easy to scoop, which is surprising considering the density and the consistency of the peanut butter swirls. It melts relatively fast, making it even creamier without all the wait of Ben & Jerry’s. The cookies seem to occur more frequently than the peanut butter and give the ice cream an overall gritty texture underneath it all, but the effect of the chocolate is overtaken by all that peanut butter flavor. If you’re a peanut butter lover, this one’s for you!
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