REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Keep Caramel and Cookie On Ice Cream

Ben  Jerry s Keep Caramel and Cookie On Ice Cream

I hold a very special place in my heart for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. My most memorable Valentine’s Day as a single gal included takeout from my favorite local spot, German grapefruit beer, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, and binge-watching Suits on USA. (A shameless plug: The show comes back on July 12 and I can’t wait. You’ll thank me later.)

Anyway, I told my now-husband about that when we were dating, so for our first Valentine’s Day, he recreated it, right down to the same Ben & Jerry’s pint I had savored. My waistline thanked me that year, considering we split it instead of me face planting into the entire thing.

I tell you this story because you need to understand my enthusiasm for Ben & Jerry’s. Now that this is established, I must also share my enthusiasm for Target. So: My favorite brand of ice cream has an exclusive flavor at my favorite store. Done deal, had to have it.

Ben  Jerry s Keep Caramel and Cookie On Ice Cream 2

Ben & Jerry’s Keep Caramel and Cookie On is described as “Caramel Malt Ice Cream with Shortbread Cookies, Fudge Flakes & Caramel Swirls.” The first thing I noticed about this ice cream was how incredibly smooth it is. Like “goes down way too easy let me keep digging into this pint” smooth. The smoothness could be attributed to the malt, which, based on my research, can add to the creamy texture.

While I loved the smoothness of the ice cream, the downfall was the actual caramel flavor. It was slightly underwhelming. That being said, the ice cream was not bad, just not as caramel-y as I was expecting. It seems as though the focus was more on the add-ins and the ice cream was a bit overlooked. I definitely got more of a caramel note from the caramel swirls. I’m glad the swirls were there; otherwise, I would have been seriously missing some caramel flavor. #swirlpower

The fudge flakes are more than flakes – they’re basically glorified chocolate chips. Which was a nice surprise, considering I usually think of flakes as shavings or something not as prevalent. They were a nice add-in.

Ben  Jerry s Keep Caramel and Cookie On Ice Cream 3

But let me tell you about the shortbread. You guys, the shortbread cookies totally made this ice cream. Why have I not had shortbread with ice cream before? It was soft, not crunchy (from being embedded in the ice cream), and not overly sweet. It was such a nice addition without overpowering the rest of the flavors. Did I tell you I loved the shortbread?

All in all, this is a super solid Ben & Jerry’s flavor that gets my seal of approval. It left me wanting more…in a good way, not an unsatisfied way. I’m thinking some kind of ice cream float is in my future with the rest of this puppy.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 270 calories, 130 calories from fat, 14 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 25 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.49
Size: One pint
Purchased at: Target (Exclusive Flavor)
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Shortbread in your ice cream. I repeat, shortbread.
Cons: Not enough caramel to live up to the name.

REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Limited Batch Bob Marley’s One Love Ice Cream

Ben  Jerry s Limited Batch Bob Marley s One Love Ice Cream

For some people, when reggae plays, they skank.

When I hear reggae, I sleep.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike reggae. But its mellow beat is musical melatonin to me. At first, I’ll bob my head to it, but then that bobbing turns into nodding off.

The genre is big here on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I heard a lot of Bob Marley throughout high school, which might explain why I had a hard time staying awake during my teen years.

Ben & Jerry’s has a flavor that honors the great sandman (to me) Bob Marley — One Love. It made its debut in the U.K. last year and it’s now popping up in the U.S. for a limited time at retailers and Scoop Shops. The flavor features banana ice cream, caramel and graham cracker swirls, and fudge peace signs.

Ben  Jerry s Limited Batch Bob Marley s One Love Ice Cream 2

Because I like to scrape away the top layer with my spoon after first opening a pint, I got only the ice cream and swirls for my first few spoonfuls. Just those three ingredients created a combination that made me sing, “We’re jammin’, we’re jammin’, And I hope you like jammin’ too.”

Being a fan of banana-flavored anything, I love the ice cream base. Its flavor is mild and it works well with the buttery caramel and graham cracker swirls. Actually, the gooey caramel, gritty graham cracker swirl, and creamy banana ice cream brought back memories of Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding. Although One Love is less natural tasting than the popular dessert.

As I mowed through the top layer, I kept thinking this could be the best Ben & Jerry’s flavor I’ve had and could replace Americone Dream as my new favorite flavor.

But then I hit a very small speed bump.

Or “peace bump” might be more appropriate.

Ben  Jerry s Limited Batch Bob Marley s One Love Ice Cream 3

I finally dug out a fudge peace sign and thought if just the ice cream and swirls are that awesome, then the addition of fudge pieces would take it to the next level. Except I didn’t expect that next level to be one down.

Now let me say that it’s really good with the fudge peace signs, but I think it tastes better without them. I just want to be alone with the ice cream and swirls and not have fudge popping up on us every so often to make sure we aren’t getting into trouble. I mean, the fudge pieces are fine. They’re similar in flavor with the fudge flakes they use in seemingly EVERY SINGLE FLAVOR. But I’ve been digging around them instead digging them up like I usually do.

With that said, Ben & Jerry’s Limited Batch Bob Marley’s One Love Ice Cream is definitely near the top of my list of favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavors. It’s a flavor that makes me want to skank.

DISCLOSURE: I received this pint for free from Ben & Jerry’s. I was not asked to review it, but I do think they expect me to post a photo on Instagram. Receiving a free sample did not influence my review in any way, although it probably reads like it did. But I assure you it did not.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 290 calories, 140 calories from fat, 15 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 29 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: One Pint
Purchased at: Received from Ben & Jerry’s
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Really good with the fudge peace signs. Wonderful without the fudge peace signs. Makes me want to skank.
Cons: Slightly not as good with the fudge peace signs. Limited edition. Reggae makes me sleepy. Banana ice cream might not appeal to some.

VIDEO REVIEW: Magnum Cookies & Cream Ice Cream Bars

Purchased Price: $6.99
Size: 3-pack
Purchased at: Safeway
Nutrition Facts: (1 bar) 280 calories, 150 calories from fat, 17 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 23 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

NOTE: If you want to watch the video without sound, video captions are available. Just click the CC button on the player.

REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Cereal Splashback Ice Cream

Ben  Jerry s Cereal Splashback Ice Cream

If you think about it, cereal and ice cream are like kindred spirits. They’re both eaten in bowls with spoons, they’re satisfying while watching cartoons or high, they aren’t as good if they sit in a bowl for too long, and they both have the letter C, two E’s, an A, and an R.

Ben & Jerry’s Cereal Splashback Ice Cream pays tribute to childhood cereal favorites. Of course, not MY childhood cereal favorites, like Banana Frosted Flakes, Waffelos, C-3PO’s, and Rainbow Brite Cereal. They’re currently Scoop Shop exclusives and the idea is to recreate cereal and milk with ice cream and Ben & Jerry’s magic.

The three Cereal Splashback flavors are:

Froot Loot — cereal milk ice cream with a crisp fruity cereal swirl.

Frozen Flakes — cereal milk ice cream with a crisp cereal swirl.

Cocoa Loco — chocolate cereal milk ice cream with a crisp chocolate cereal swirl.

Ben  Jerry s Cereal Splashback Froot Loot Ice Cream

The only one that really tastes like its cereal counterpart is Froot Loot. Every time I eat it, its aftertaste reminds me of Froot Loops. But it’s a bit odd that it doesn’t happen once I put it in my mouth.

As for the other two, the Frozen Flakes swirl has a sweetened corn flakes vibe to it, but it doesn’t make me think of Frosted Flakes. And while Cocoa Loco has a nice malt flavor that goes well with the chocolate ice cream, it doesn’t taste like Cocoa Puffs, Cocoa Krispies, or Cocoa Pebbles. This disappoints me because chocolate cereals are my favorite.

Ben  Jerry s Cereal Splashback Cocoa Loco Ice Cream

With that said, these flavors do please my palate. Well, to be more exact, the swirls bring me joy. The cereal milk-flavored ice cream tastes like a sweeter, richer vanilla ice cream and the chocolate cereal milk one is like a slightly toned down chocolate ice cream. They’re good, but not great. But also, let’s be real, they’re there to complement the swirl.

The cereal swirls are gritty like a cookie butter swirl. There aren’t any whole cereal pieces, but when you scoop out a portion of the swirl and chew on it, it crunches like a cereal piece. And depending on the spoonful, you’ll get one of two textures, either slightly soggy cereal or crispy cereal. That is some crazy Ben & Jerry’s voodoo.

Ben  Jerry s Cereal Splashback Frozen Flakes Ice Cream

If I had to rank the three Ben & Jerry’s Cereal Splashback flavors, I’d put Froot Loot number one, Frozen Flakes would come next, and Cocoa Loco would be last.

While two out of the three didn’t truly taste like the cereals they’re trying to emulate, because they’re all really sweet, all three did something else for me as I ate them.

They took me back to what I like to call The Golden Age of Breakfast Cereals. A time when cereals were super sweet and they probably had as much sugar as a candy bar. A time when cereals with movie tie-ins weren’t all oat pieces with marshmallows. A time when cereals came in shapes like Gremlins, Batman signs, Nerds candy, ice cream cones, and something Mr. T would wear around his neck. A time when a dog and cat kibble maker also made human kibble, but called it cereal. A time when cereals were, as Tony the Tiger says, gr-r-reat.

Disclosure: I received samples of all three Cereal Splashback flavors from Ben & Jerry’s. It was not required by Ben & Jerry’s to write a review and receiving free samples did not influence my review in any way.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 scoop – Cocoa Loco – 230 calories, 120 calories from fat, 13 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein. Frozen Flakes – 230 calories, 120 calories from fat, 13 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein. Froot Loot – 240 calories, 140 calories from fat, 15 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Froot Loot)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Frozen Flakes)
Rating: 6 ouf of 10 (Cocoa Loco)
Pros: Froot Loot’s aftertaste taste like Froot Loops. Frozen Flakes comes close to tasting like Frosted Flakes. The different textures of the swirl. Ben & Jerry’s magic. Banana Frosted Flakes. Reminds me of The Golden Age of Breakfast Cereals.
Cons: Cocoa Loco not tasting like any chocolatey cereal. Disappointing for those who like a lot of mix-ins. Available only at Scoop Shops. Banana Frosted Flakes being discontinued.

REVIEW: Hostess Ding Dongs Frozen Dairy Dessert Sandwiches

Hostess Ding Dongs Frozen Dairy Dessert Sandwiches

In preparation for my wedding in May, I’ve been on a self-proclaimed dessert detox. There are some exceptions of course… like writing reviews for the lovely readers of the Impulsive Buy. Because it’s all in the name of research!

So imagine my excitement when I unwrapped one of the Hostess Ding Dongs Frozen Dairy Dessert Sandwiches. Oh glory, my first sweet in about two weeks! I was hungry, ready and so pumped, and I’m pleased to report that I was not disappointed.

Each sandwich is individually packaged, and on first glance, it’s about the size and thickness of a hockey puck. It does, in fact, look the ice cream version of a regular Ding Dong.

Hostess Ding Dongs Frozen Dairy Dessert Sandwiches 2

Now, if you’re looking for a neat and tidy eating experience, this is not for you. I cut open the Ding Dong, and the chocolate outer layer did not hold together well. Nor did the chocolate stay together as I ate each half. But I was impressed with how well the ice cream stayed solid and did not melt.

Hostess Ding Dongs Frozen Dairy Dessert Sandwiches 3

Cutting apart the Ding Dong revealed two things: 1) A glorious, pretty thick chocolate coating and 2) A crunchy, cookie-esque layer between the chocolate coating and ice cream that I was not expecting and It. Was. Epic. Best way to describe the Ding Dong is having the crunch of a Thin Mint with the taste of a Klondike Bar.

There really isn’t anything special to report about the vanilla frozen dairy dessert. The chocolate was so prevalent that it was hard to taste it on its own. The frozen dairy dessert was good, just nothing to write home about. I loved all the chocolate – it was rich and melted in my mouth.

The other thing I appreciated was the portion size and nutritional information. At under 200 calories a serving, this is a perfect dessert for when you want something quick and not too heavy. Basically, it truly is the frozen version of a beloved Hostess snack cake.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 sandwich – 180 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 5-pack
Purchased at: Giant Eagle
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Cookie crunch and plenty of chocolate to please my sweet tooth.
Cons: Kind of messy to eat. Kind of messy to eat. Normal frozen dairy dessert.