Churros and ice cream are nearly complete opposites. Aside from their robust sweetness, I can’t imagine many things in the dessert realm that are more drastically different than each other. One is hot and crispy, while the other is cold and melty.
When I dream up the ideal churro, the first thing that comes to mind is a fried crunch that gives way to soft fluffy dough with a sharp sugary cinnamon bite. When I imagine the perfect pint, I see gooey swirls and chewy chunks in a velvety smooth base. They’re like completely different experiences, right? I’ve had churros in ice cream before and it hasn’t worked, but Ben & Jerry’s is daringly giving it a shot. Churray for Churros! is buttery cinnamon ice cream with churro pieces and crunchy cinnamon swirls.
Bad news first: this pint doesn’t give me much of the satisfaction I associate with a churro, but the good news is it is a really great cinnamon ice cream. The base is delightful. It is absolutely buttery with a smooth texture that gives way to a very prominent but sweet cinnamon flavor that works beautifully with the lush fatty dairy notes. It is a mild flavor that most fans of the spice should find sufficient while not being so intense that it will turn people away who may not love it as much as I do; it is balanced.
The “churro pieces” are really more like a cross between a chewy cookie and cookie dough. They’re very soft and slightly gritty, not nearly as gritty as the classic gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough B&J are known for, but there’s a hint of undone-ness to the chew. They amp up the cinnamon flavor AND the buttery flavor from the base, and it’s like a match made in heaven. Again, these “churro pieces” don’t really remind me of a churro texturally at all, but when I’ve had churro pieces in other ice creams, it has been a disaster. So kudos to the gurus in Vermont for figuring this one out because the cinnamon sugar taste is awesome.
There are a ton of churro pieces in my pint but not so much of the crunchy cinnamon swirls. I don’t notice a big textural shift between bites, and with three cinnamon components, it’s hard to differentiate exactly what’s going on. In fact, that’s the only issue I have with this creation is that while it’s very good, it’s a bit of a one-trick pony. This is the perfect ice cream to have a single scoop of on a cone or to use as the base of a sundae. But on its own, it feels like it’s one component away from being a B&J all-timer.
Perhaps pairing this with churro dipping sauce, like a dulce de leche or fudge swirl, could have taken this to churro spiral city. Churray for Churros! reminds me a lot more of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and snickerdoodle cookie dough than it does churros, but I am a cinnamon fiend, and all of those profiles have a special place in my heart, even if it’s a bit one-note at times.
DISCLOSURE: I received a free product sample from Ben & Jerry’s. Doing so did not influence my review.
Purchased Price: FREE
Size: One Pint
Purchased at: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup, 133g) 380 calories, 23 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 33 grams of total sugars, and 5 grams of protein.