In its new City Sweets collection, Haagen-Dazs pairs some of its beloved ice cream flavors with classic city snacks and desserts you might eat with one hand while strolling around town. Available in Dulce De Leche Churro, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel, Summer Berry Cake Pop, Coffee Chocolate Brownie, and Black & White Cookie, it’s pretty clear right away that some of these flavors make more sense than others.
Black & White cookies are an iconic New York treat, and churros and pretzels are things I’d associate with grabbing from a street cart on the corner, but cake pops seem to have made their way into the lineup solely by virtue of being on a stick. I guess they have them at Starbucks, and it’s hard to walk around a city without bumping into thirty of those. Maybe San Antonio or Atlanta is known for their cake pop culture and I wasn’t aware? Coffee could certainly be something you’d walk around with, and a brownie is handheld, but that one doesn’t exactly scream “city” to me either. That being said, I’ve never been one to turn down a brownie regardless of its credibility as street fare, so let’s find out if these pints deserve a place in my bodega’s freezer.
Black & White Cookie
Black & White Cookie combines “vanilla bean ice cream with soft cookie pieces and ripples of chocolate frosting.” Beneath this description, they encourage us to “Forget the cookie and grab your spoon,” and I agree with Haagen-Dazs here. I prefer this flavor in ice cream format more than any Black & White cookie I’ve ever eaten.
There are a very generous number of cookie pieces throughout the pint, and they mimic the soft texture of a Black & White cookie surprisingly well without ending up soggy. There are actually so many pieces that I think I got at least one in just about every bite. While you don’t really notice them tasting lemony, I did see lemon oil in the ingredients list, which I think is often typical of the cookie base in these treats. Points for authenticity, Haagen-Dazs. The frosting ripple tastes and feels like actual frosting and not just a generic chocolate sauce. I anticipated this pint being fairly boring, but it ended up being my favorite of the bunch.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 410 calories, 24 grams of total fat, 16 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 100 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 42 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 36 grams of total sugars, 28 grams of added sugars, 6 grams of protein
Coffee Chocolate Brownie
Coffee Chocolate Brownie features “classic coffee ice cream, gooey brownies, rich espresso chocolate sauce, and crunchy cocoa nibs.” I’ve had better coffee ice creams, but I still like the base here, and while it’s not as present as some of the swirls in the other flavors, the espresso chocolate sauce does give a nice coffee flavor boost when you get some.
I have two main issues with this flavor. First, it seems that most of the cocoa nibs have been pulverized, so instead of getting a crunchy bit here and there, a lot of spoonfuls are kind of gritty (is this the city tie-in?). The other problem is the brownie pieces in my pint were almost nonexistent. For as many cookie pieces as there were in Black & White, I had to go digging to find any brownies, and when I did, they were too small to be anything but the suggestion that possibly a brownie had once been nearby. There weren’t any chunks large enough to have a gooey texture, and if brownie wasn’t in the name of the ice cream, I couldn’t have told you this contained brownies.
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 360 calories, 20 grams of total fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 31 grams of total sugars, 25 grams of added sugars, 6 grams of protein
Dulce De Leche Churro
In Dulce De Leche Churro, “cinnamon churro ice cream and thick, gooey dulce de leche sauce” get paired up with “crispy, cinnamon-y churro pieces.” This ice cream stands out to me as creamier than some of the others, and the base does taste like cinnamon churros and not just cinnamon. I really like it. The dulce de leche ribbon is thick and gooey as advertised. The churro pieces themselves are plentiful, but unfortunately, they fall into two categories. Some are crispy, almost surprisingly so, more reminiscent of crunchy cereal pieces than the crispy outside of fried dough. There’s an audible crunch to them, and my first few bites had only these pieces.
It came as a different sort of surprise when I ran across one of the non-crispy pieces. They look the same as the crispy ones but bloated, like whatever they were coated in failed to keep the ice cream from saturating the interiors. These pieces have a chewy (not in a good way), waxy texture to them, and I was tempted to spit them out. They seem like maybe they’re not supposed to be in there, like part of the cardboard container somehow ended up getting mixed in. If you can avoid or overlook these pieces, this flavor might be the best one, but that’ll take some careful eating because there are a lot of them.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 390 calories, 23 grams of total fat, 16 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 gram of dietary fiber, 37 grams of total sugars, 30 grams of added sugars, 5 grams of protein
Summer Berry Cake Pop
In Summer Berry Cake Pop, we’re given the duo of strawberry ice cream and sweet cream ice cream with “perfect, fluffy cake pieces” finished with “tangy raspberry sauce.” I like the strawberry ice cream, and the sweet cream flavor, while not particularly noticeable as sweet cream, is fine enough. When it comes to the cake, though, this is another instance of the mix-in being a dud. There are more cake chunks than there were brownies, and the cake pieces don’t detract from my enjoyment like the weird churro ones did. Instead, they’re just kind of there. They don’t really taste like anything, and there’s definitely nothing fluffy about them. Are cake pops ever fluffy? They’re kind of an underwhelming dessert to begin with. When you take fluffy cake, tear and smoosh it to pieces, then smash those pieces back together, you’re left with a denser and arguably less enjoyable product than you started with. So if you take this into account, the cake pieces here probably do taste like what you might expect from a cake pop. The best feature of this pint is the raspberry sauce thickly swirled throughout, and it delivers the tanginess it claims.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 320 calories, 20 grams of total fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 100 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 29 grams of total sugars, 23 grams of added sugars, 5 grams of protein
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel
For Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel, Haagen-Dazs says, “our incredible chocolate ice cream and thick, creamy peanut butter are complemented by crunchy, lightly salted pretzel pieces.” As a huge pretzel person, I was eager to dig into this one but immediately realized I’d have to exercise some patience. It was clear upon opening that it needed some time to soften up, and even after a few minutes when I tried to spoon some out, I basically picked the top third of the pint up in a solid piece revealing the peanut butter to be totally in the center, more like what you’d find in a pint with a “core” than one with peanut butter dispersed throughout. This core is solid, and I had to hack at it to distribute it throughout a serving. Otherwise, it’s all chocolate ice cream with no peanut butter flavor.
The pretzel pieces are individually coated in chocolate which keeps them enjoyably crunchy and adds a deeper chocolate flavor than the ice cream alone. There are a lot of them, and you’re likely to have one in each spoonful, so you know this is a pretzel ice cream. While not mentioned in the description, there are also fudgy chocolate pieces that don’t have pretzel centers. When I’m getting sad that I don’t taste any peanut butter, one of these fudgy pieces shows up to make me forget I’m missing a component.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 450 calories, 30 grams of total fat, 16 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 gram of dietary fiber, 28 grams of total sugars, 21 grams of added sugars, 9 grams of protein
There was potential with this series, but most of the flavors missed the mark. Black & White Cookie does its namesake proud and is way worth picking up, but most of them melted under the bright lights. I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to get the others, but none of them are so bad that you’ll drop them in the park for the pigeons…except maybe those soggy churro pieces you set aside.
Purchased Price: $4.79 each
Size: 14 oz
Purchased at: Jewel-Osco