Conceptually, the idea of Little Debbie Ice Cream is pretty wonderful. You take everyone’s favorite low-rent snack cake, deconstruct it into nuggets or swirls, and commingle it with a complimentary ice cream flavor from Hudsonville Ice Cream. Unfortunately, the execution just isn’t always there. The “icing” from the Zebra Cake variety, for example— which I think is the same stuff from the belly of the Strawberry Shortcake Roll— assumes a strange and unpleasant consistency when married with the ice cream; the rainbow sprinkles from the Cosmic Brownies become insufferably hard, a veritable cracked molar waiting to happen.
The fact of the matter is, as much as I want to love these things — especially at a $2.74 Walmart price-point — the only one I’ve ever felt compelled to buy more than once is Star Crunch. For whatever reason, I find that one to be heavenly, so good, in fact, that I have to force myself to refrain from consuming an entire pint in one sitting.
Will any of the three new flavors buck the trend of general disappointment?
Hudsonville Ice Cream’s website describes it as follows: “Brownie batter flavored ice cream with brownie dough and crushed peanuts throughout, finished with a caramel swirl.” Look, I’m not gonna lie: I’m not entirely sure how this ice cream was “brownie batter flavored” as opposed to just, you know, chocolate. There was a very small amount of tasty brownie dough (it tastes like they use actual Little Debbie brownie, in fact) interspersed throughout, and… maybe a few peanuts? I couldn’t find many at all. Ditto for the “caramel swirl.” This could have used more of both. And because it needed a little more everything, this one came up a bit short.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 230 calories, 10 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 20 grams of sugar (17 grams of added sugar), and 4 grams of protein.
Apple Fruit Pies
Here’s the thing — I don’t even know if I’ve ever had a Little Debbie apple fruit pie. (Or any of her fruit pies, for that matter.) I was always a wax-papered Hostess hand-pie guy. So I didn’t really know what to expect here. Hudsonville says this one is “Cinnamon vanilla ice cream with an apple pie filling swirl and pie crumbs throughout.”
My first few bites garnered nothing but ice cream, which, let me say this — the ice cream in these has always impressed me, particularly at this price. It’s creamy and thick and is pretty damn good, frankly. This was no different. But it took a bit for me to find any apple pie filling swirl or the pie crumbs. But when I did, I was pleased. The apple swirl was requisitely apple pie filling-like, both in taste and texture, and the pie crumbs were thick, with a bit of a crunch and a subtle graham flavor. The only thing keeping this from being elevated into the stratosphere of “I’m clearing space in the freezer for six more of these” was the sorrowful lack of mix-in. Even still, it was a winner.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 220 calories, 10 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 23 grams of sugar (17 grams of added sugar), and 4 grams of protein.
Chocolate Chip Creme Pie
Like the Apple Fruit Pie, I’ve never had a Chocolate Chip Creme Pie from The Debster. The fact of the matter is, if I’m gonna consume a circular El Deb pie with a “creme” component, it’s going to be of the Oatmeal Creme variety, OR its chocolate sister, the Fudge Round. I may need to branch out after having this revelatory ice cream, however. Described as “Vanilla creme flavored ice cream filled with chocolate chip cookie pieces,” it was my favorite of the three. The “chocolate chip cookie pieces” were plentiful. There were a LOT of chocolate chips throughout, a few hundred, at least. Really, this just ended up tasting like chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream with a bonus creme component, which was very enjoyable.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 240 calories, 11 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 24 grams of sugar (20 grams of added sugar), and 4 grams of protein.