Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops aren’t as prevalent as McDonald’s restaurants, Starbucks locations, or mattress stores. But if you happen to live within a reasonable driving distance from one, you can try three Scoop Shop-exclusive flavors this summer, all inspired by the candy aisle — Nutty Caramel Swirl, Toffee Break, and Caramel Crisp.
Nutty Caramel Swirl
As you can guess, since this flavor has nougat ice cream, peanuts, fudge flakes, and a salted caramel swirl, Nutty Caramel Swirl honors the iconic Snickers bar.
But it’s not a new variety. It made its debut back in 2013 as a 7-Eleven exclusive. We reviewed it back then, and you can read that review by clicking here. If you want an updated version, please read on.
Packed with peanuts, Nutty Caramel Swirl satisfies. Okay, not as much as an actual Snickers, but this flavor does a good job at paying homage to the candy bar. First off, that nougat-flavored base is spot on. If you want cold nougat in your mouth, you could freeze/refrigerate a Snickers or Milky Way bar, or you could buy a scoop of this ice cream.
The caramel added a gooey texture and a buttery and salty flavor. The peanuts were everywhere in the pint. It was as if Marcellus Gilmore Edson’s lab was in it. The legumes don’t have the same crunch as peanuts in a Snickers bar; they were slightly dull, which was a bummer.
As for the fudge flakes, they were the least impressive component. They didn’t make themselves known too often. With every spoonful, I thought to myself that it could’ve used a little more chocolate flavor to capture the spirit of a Snickers. Overall, I enjoyed it, but I feel as if it could’ve been better.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 scoop/85 grams) 230 calories, 13 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber 19 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.
If you want my recommendation for which of the three flavors you should try, which you might since this is a review site, go with Toffee Break.
When I first tried this and started jotting down my thoughts, that was my opening sentence. It’s now crossed out because after eating a second scoop (and a third), I don’t believe it anymore.
Toffee Break features buttery brown sugar ice cream with almond brittle and a toffee caramel swirl. It tries to capture a Heath Bar in ice cream form. What got me loving this at first was the combination of the buttery flavors with almond peeking out every so often and the super crunch of the brittle. But after dipping my spoon into the pint for a second time, those flavors didn’t seem to pop as much as they did when I first dug into it.
When that happened, I thought maybe it’s not the ice cream. Instead, it’s me. So I rinsed my mouth with water and scraped off whatever build up there was on my tongue. But I still couldn’t recreate the euphoria I had when I initially dug into this flavor.
The buttery brown sugar base tastes more like vanilla, while the caramel still brings the butteriness, but it’s not as intense as before. At times, spoonfuls with just the base and swirl remind me of birthday cake. The almond is still there whenever I bite into a piece of brittle, which has a jaw-shaking crunch that’ll appeal to ice chewers and helps those spoonfuls that have it taste somewhat like a Heath Bar.
Toffee Break is a fine ice cream, but it doesn’t stand out among the other two.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 scoop/85 grams) 220 calories, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.
Finally, we have Caramel Crisp, a flavor that has milk chocolate and caramel ice creams with mini caramel-filled cups and crispy bits. The combination makes it sound as if the pint honors Nestle’s 100 Grand Bar, one of my favorite candy bars.
Like a 100 Grand Bar, my pint was loaded with crispy bits. Unless you have extreme precision with a spoon, there’s no way to NOT get at least one in a spoonful. They provide a crunch that’s slightly better than Rice Krispies. Although, I did get my pint within days of coming out of the factory, so that might contribute to their freshness.
While it’s hard to miss the crispy mix-in, there weren’t a lot of the caramel-filled cups in my pint. It took a lot of digging before I got my first one. It’s an issue because the gooey caramel inside each chocolatey cup is the key to making the flavor similar to my favorite candy bar. The caramel ice cream doesn’t do that for me. When I’m able to get all the ingredients together on one spoon, it’s grand.
There’s a part of me that wishes this came with a caramel swirl instead so that there’s an even distribution of the buttery confection, but I understand why it might not have one since the other two varieties do. So if you do try this flavor at a Scoop Shop, be THAT customer who asks for a scoop that has a lot of caramel cups.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 scoop/85 grams) 230 calories, 13 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 21 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.
I know it might seem like I’m a little down on these, but I really enjoyed all three flavors. They all do a decent to good job at emulating the flavors of their respective candy bars. Which one you choose should really come down to which candy bar you prefer — Snickers, Heath, or 100 Grand.
Are these flavors worth the trip to a Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop?
Well, it’s getting warmer, which means you’re getting warmer, and ice cream is cold, so eating ice cream will make you less warm. That’s physics or thermodynamics or both. I don’t know. I barely passed every science class I took. But if you’re looking for a sweet treat to help you beat the heat for a brief moment, any of these three would be fine.
DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of each flavor from Ben & Jerry’s (Thanks, Ben and Jerry). Doing so did not influence my review in any way.