REVIEW: Milk Bar Gingerbread House Ice Cream

Milk Bar Gingerbread House Ice Cream Pint

What is Milk Bar Gingerbread House Ice Cream?

This festive flavor is an on-brand addition to Milk Bar’s lineup of quirky-but-upscale re-imaginings of nostalgic desserts. Between the chunks of gingerbread cookie, brightly colored candy “gems,” and sweet bits of icing, this gingerbread-flavored ice cream is more filled than Santa’s sleigh.

How is it?

Milk Bar Gingerbread House Ice Cream Cookie

My first bite of pure ice cream was pleasantly milky with a hint of spice — tasty, but not quite something to write to the North Pole about. The cookie that I secured in my next spoonful packed a much stronger punch of ginger flavor, with an interesting consistency more solid than cookie dough but not as firm as an actual cookie (a bit reminiscent of a Ben & Jerry’s mix-in).

Milk Bar Gingerbread House Ice Cream Icing

When I found some icing next (the white color is surprisingly hard to identify in the tannish ice cream), its burst of sugariness was much more flavorful than the bland, just-for-show icing I typically associate with gingerbread cookies. Like the cookie crunch, it also brings a textural surprise — it doesn’t appear in the thick, creamy spirals illustrated on the pint, but rather as a series of squarish shards more similar to pieces of white chocolate.

On their own, these ingredients were tasty though not particularly thrilling. But when I finally scooped up ice cream, icing, and cookie all together, the sweetness of the icing and the spice of the cookie contrasted very nicely, and the rich ice cream was a satisfying backdrop to hold it all together.

Milk Bar Gingerbread House Ice Cream Top

Oh yeah, and I guess the candy gems were there too. They just didn’t add much more than a pop of (admittedly welcome) color.

Anything else you need to know?

In case you missed the banner on the pint saying so four times in a row, this flavor is seasonal, so be sure to grab some before it makes like a Christmas tree and leaves.


Filled with cookies and icing, Milk Bar Gingerbread House Ice Cream’s blend of sugar, spice, and everything ice is sure to end up on the nice list.

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: 14 oz
Purchased at: Whole Foods
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 400 calories, 23 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 38 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte

Dunkin Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte Iced and Hot

My relationship with coffee can best be described as a fairweather friend; when things are light and sweet, I’m the biggest fan, but the second it gets dark and bitter, I’m out of there.

For fellow lovers of milky, sugary, frilly coffees, I’m glad to report that Dunkin’s new Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte is a dream come true. This review was the first time I’ve had both hot and iced variants of a latte simultaneously, and I was pleasantly surprised that their tastes were as distinct as their temperatures.

Dunkin Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte Iced

To celebrate an unseasonably warm day in late fall, I started with the iced version. On a sweetness scale from “plain cold brew” to “milkshake,” it fell solidly at “Frappuccino” level (that is to say, pretty dang sweet). Alongside the pure richness and creaminess of the white chocolate flavor, which was matched by the pure richness and creaminess of the thick, dense whipped cream on top, the “toasted” aspect of the name shined, accentuated by the cinnamon sugar dusting. The drink’s topping also contained a caramel drizzle, but as syrups tend to do, it quickly melted into the whipped cream in an indistinguishable blob, so it didn’t impact the flavor much for me.

As a white chocolate aficionado, I often lament its relegation to seasonal status, but I’ve got to say that this blissful combination of sweet and smokey was as perfect a winter treat as lounging by the fireplace on a snowy day. Bonus points for living up to the image on the poster about as faithfully as possible under the confines of the whipped-cream-smushing lid.

Dunkin Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte Poster

Dunkin Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte Hot

Interestingly, my hot latte was reminiscent of a different iconic winter flavor: gingerbread. After consulting the label to make sure I hadn’t picked up the wrong order, I started to suspect this had to do with the coffee-to-mouth pipeline. Sipping the iced latte from a straw allowed me to skip the whip and get right to the heart of the drink, but since I was swigging the hot latte directly from the opening in the lid, the whipped cream and its accoutrements were the first things that rose to meet me. The heated combination of whipped cream richness, white chocolate toastiness, and the light bite of cinnamon all at once gave the hot version its zesty, cookie-esque character (I found the caramel didn’t make much of a mark in this version, either). Once I slurped past the wintry mix on top, I was met with a beverage as sweet, full-bodied, and comforting as a cup of cocoa.

I couldn’t detect even the faintest hint of acrid coffee taste in either version, which suited me just fine. Ultimately, I might recommend the hot latte over the iced just because it isn’t subject to the same “melting ice diluting the flavor” issue that can plague a cold drink that isn’t chugged quickly enough. But honestly, as long as you don’t mind a serious sugar rush, either variant is so delicious that you just might want to drink it as quickly as possible regardless.

Purchased Price: $4.56
Size: Small
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 300 calories, 11 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium (hot) or 135 milligrams of sodium (iced), 42 grams of total carbohydrates, 38 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Papa John’s Triple Bacon Pizza

Papa John s Triple Bacon Pizza Whole

What’s meatier than a Shaq-a-Roni, more novel than a Papadia, and able to clog three times as many arteries in a single bound? Papa John’s new Triple Bacon Pizza! Its claim to fame is containing three types of bacon: crumbles, julienne-cut pieces of Canadian bacon, and good old-fashioned strips.

At first glance, the strips were the most noticeable part of my pie. The chunky juliennes stood out as well, but were more prone to being submerged under cheese (this often made for a nice mid-bite surprise). The crumbles were the shrinking violets of the trio, with their smaller size, denser texture, and deeper color, making them surprisingly hard to tell apart from the dark dots of cheese. The lattice of varying shapes, textures, and shades of red made the pie look almost like a piece of avant-garde art—so like any good art connoisseur would, I immediately ripped it apart with my teeth.

The strips were, well, typical bacon strips, though I particularly enjoyed the variations in texture, with some bites lean and burnt and others fatty and chewy. On the other hand, the juliennes were consistently thick and tender, and since they were Canadian bacon, they had a slightly sweeter, meatier taste. I’m finding it harder to sum up the crumbles, whose standout feature seemed to be that they were just the strips, only torn into pieces. Papa John’s website specifically describes the crumbles as “smokey,” but for me the bulk of the smokey flavor came from the sheer surface area covered by the strips. While the strips were large enough that each one tended to have representation of both crispness and meatiness (even if they weren’t evenly distributed), each crumble typically only captured one of those flavors, which meant they didn’t contribute distinctly to the overall taste.

Papa John s Triple Bacon Pizza Slice

While I deeply appreciated the audacity of laying down full bacon strips across the entire pie, the flavorful juliennes with their perfectly pluckable shape were my favorite of the three types. Hearty enough to stand alongside the slice instead of just blending in, they had a similar appeal to the classic meatball or sausage pizza toppings, while the thin strips meshed with the cheese and sauce as smoothly as pepperoni. I’m not sure exactly what the advantage of the crumbles was. They felt like they were just tacked on as a cheap way to get a third selling point for this new menu item, and I suspect the two star students would shine better without them.

Papa John s Triple Bacon Pizza Bpx

All in all, the savory saltiness of these three breeds of bacon was a great, if not exactly world-shattering, pairing for Papa John’s dense cheese and sweet sauce. It made me wonder how this classic breakfast topping would hold up on a slice eaten cold the next morning, but my household demolished our box too quickly to tell. Fortunately, this meaty marvel is good enough that I don’t mind having an excuse to get it again some time and find out.

Purchased Price: $13 (that’s for the basic Triple Bacon pie, though I splurged an additional $3 to add stuffed crust)
Size: Large
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Information not available on website.

ANNOUNCEMENT: New Impulsive Buy Reviewer Jenna

My name is Jenna, and junk food has always been special to me. Growing up in a household with six competitive kids where one has to hide their snacks as skillfully as possible lest they be forced to literally fight for them has a way of making those snacks feel precious! Fortunately, the energy that I used to put into securing my stash from my siblings (say that five times fast) can now go towards hunting down new and exotic treats in the wild.

I live in New York City, and while there is something slightly surreal about putting down roots in a place where you can find delicacies from every country in the world but not a single Walmart, the noshing opportunities are certainly rife. Rest assured, though, that while I love a good dollar slice as much as the next New Yorker, I’d never dream of turning up my nose at Domino’s, Pizza Hut, or Little Caesars, and in fact can often be found lamenting the fact that I’ve never encountered a genuine New York pie with the option of stuffed crust.

Throughout the years that I’ve followed The Impulsive Buy, it has encouraged my sense of wonder, cheering me up and comforting me with the knowledge that no matter how stressful or boring my daily responsibilities might become, there will always be some exciting new flavor or product just waiting to be found to bring a smile to my face. It has also encouraged the sense of adventure required for actually getting out to track down said flavor or product!

Plus, the reviews have given me countless laughs at the absurdity of each new innovation, a myriad of knowing nods when I get ahead of junk food trends (okay, inexplicable llama theming, I see you), and endless fascinating topics of conversation with my intrigued-but-slightly-concerned friends and family. Just one glance at the cheeky puns, helpful suggestions, and all-around friendly rapport that can be found in any comments section here makes me feel as warm and fuzzy inside as an especially large meal at Taco Bell. So it’s a delicious dream come true to be able to break out of my shell (taco shell?) and contribute to that myself.

My one caveat is that I’m allergic to chocolate – and fun fact, that allergy comes to me by way of my mom, who is ironically named Coco. So while I’ll have to pass on Hershey’s and friends (aside from white chocolate variants, which I fortunately can and will chow down with gusto), I’m ready to dive into any other foodie challenge I can. Since I’m constantly surrounded by writing in my day job as a textbook editor, I’m excited for this opportunity to delve into it in a way that’s a bit less dry and a bit more sweet… or savory… or salty… whoops, now I’m making myself hungry! I can’t wait to share that hunger with all of you.