What is Ben & Jerry’s Limited Batch Totally Unbaked?
Ben & Jerry’s first limited batch release of 2021 is a twist on its #1 flavor — Half Baked. The twist? Unbaking it hence the Totally Unbaked moniker. Instead of chocolate and vanilla ice creams being mixed with the usual cookie dough and fudge brownie gobs, it’s mixed with cookie dough gobs and brownie batter swirls.
How is it?
The classic base flavors were as delicious as expected from the Vermont duo. The ensemble of rich chocolatey notes with a trill of fudge and the bass of familiar vanilla and cookie dough sang in perfect harmony.
I am a texture fiend, though, so I was a little worried that it would lack in that department, especially since the brownie batter swirls look more like subtle ribbons. I wishfully thought they would add some nuance like the way the chocolate pudding swirls do in the Chocolate Therapy flavor, but no dice. However, the cookie dough and mini chocolate chips carried Team Texture just fine while maintaining the usual eat-straight-from-the-pint scoopability.
Anything else you need to know?
I found it more chocolate-forward when comparing head-to-head with its OG counterpart because the brownie batter was dispersed throughout for a fudge-y bite in nearly every spoonful.
Pick it up if you see it! It’s a limited batch flavor – which means it changes 4-6 months – so it’s an excellent way to shake up your ice cream rotation. However, it’s not as novel as its Topped or Core innovations.
Purchased Price: $4.99 Size: One Pint Purchased at: Meijer Rating: 9 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup/142 grams) 380 calories, 20 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 37 grams of sugar, 6 grams of protein.
Full disclosure: This review will be partially about Ben & Jerry’s The Tonight Dough Chunks, but mostly a new product pitch to the folks at Ben & Jerry’s.
But before I present a PowerPoint slide deck of my idea, I should probably get the review out of the way.
If you’re not familiar with the ice cream flavor, it features caramel and chocolate ice creams with chocolate cookie swirls and gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough and peanut butter cookie dough. But the pouch above has a mixture of chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolatey coated peanut butter cookie dough chunks.
Is this two cookie dough chunk combination delicious? Absolutely.
But having had almost every single type of Ben & Jerry’s dough chunks, I have to say there’s nothing that really makes it stand out from the other varieties. The two are pretty much the combination of others but in one pouch.
Yes, if you want to get technical, there’s no chocolatey coated peanut butter cookie dough chunks variety. But the peanut butter chocolate chip dough chunks are basically the same thing. If you like those two, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t like this. Although, when I snacked on this, I popped into my mouth one of each simultaneously, and sometimes there was be a solid nutty punch, and other times it’s hard to notice the peanut butter flavor.
But with that said, as much as I enjoy edible cookie dough, I can’t help but feel myself getting bored of it. Yes, there have been several flavors, but how many more different dough chunks are there left? Maybe it’s time to change things up a little.
Now let me get to that PowerPoint I promised…Wait, this projector only has a VGA port. Seriously. Am I in the 90s? Does someone have a VGA to HDMI adapter? No one? Well then, I guess you won’t be treated to my 85 slides about what I’m about to propose to Ben & Jerry’s. Instead, it’ll be 85 words.
Ben & Jerry’s should sell bags of its edible cookie dough with its non-dough mix-ins. It could be called Mix-In Mashups (feel free to use that, Flavor Gurus). For example, I think it would be great to combine the fudge-covered waffle cone pieces in Americone Dream with the company’s chocolate chip cookie dough chunks. It would be a contrast of textures with the cone’s crunch and the cookie dough’s squish. Or maybe have a bag with cinnamon bun dough and fudge brownies.
I might never get my Mix-In Mashups, so I guess I’ll have to settle for the perfectly fine Ben & Jerry’s The Tonight Dough Chunks and all the others in the edible dough bites line.
Purchased Price: $4.59 Size: 8 oz pouch Purchased at: Target Rating: 6 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2 tbsp/28 grams) 120 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.
I’m going to make this intro short because Ben & Jerry’s new Topped line has SEVEN flavors, and I cover ALL OF THEM below. Here they are in no particular order:
Strawberry Topped Tart
“Sweet cream ice cream with strawberry swirls & pie crust pieces topped with white chocolatey ganache & candy sprinkles.”
Pulling back the lid reveals the prettiest start to a Ben & Jerry’s pint EVER. The red and green candy sprinkles on the white ganache look like gems on snow. It’s a shame I had to destroy it.
Even though those candy sprinkles are basically sugar clots, they’re the pint’s highlight. I can’t get their crunch out of my mind. It’s at a level that I’ve never experienced with a Ben & Jerry’s pint. These need to be in other varieties. They don’t add any real flavor, but I love how their texture contrasts the creamy ice cream.
While the candy sprinkles sparkle in numerous ways, the pie crust pieces are this flavor’s lowlight because they’re really dry. It’s at a level that I’ve never experienced with a Ben & Jerry’s pint. (Yes, I stole the line from the previous paragraph.) They do add a bit of flavor, but it doesn’t enhance the other ingredients.
The strawberry swirls are plentiful and potent enough that I kept thinking this was made with strawberry ice cream instead of sweet cream. The white chocolatey ganache’s flavor reminds me of white chocolate M&M’s. So all the non-pie crust components combined taste like strawberry-flavored white chocolate M&M’s, and the candy sprinkles provide a crunch similar to an M&M’s candy shell.
I want to give this a higher score because I love the flavor and sprinkles’ texture, but the pie crust pieces were a real downer.
Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 350 calories, 19 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 36 grams of sugar (including 31 grams of added sugar), and 5 grams of protein.
“Mint ice cream with chocolate cookie swirls and mint chocolate cookie balls topped with chocolate cookies and chocolatey ganache.”
“OHHHHHHHHH!!! I get it now. It’s somehow a play on Thin Mints,” is what I said out loud after wondering how this flavor got its name for a duration of time I will never admit. My wife followed that up with a “Duh.”
I’m obviously thick in the head.
Do the kids still say that?
If you’re someone who stores Girl Scout Thin Mints in the freezer, then Thick Mint is a flavor you might want to place right next to those frozen minty chocolate cookies. The mint ice cream and mint chocolate cookie balls are roughly the same mintiness as the iconic cookie. The cookie balls’ crispiness is about the same as the popular cookie. Even the ganache will have you thinking about Thin Mints’ chocolatey coating. It takes everything that’s great about Thin Mints and expands it into a pint of ice cream. OHHHHHHHHH!!!! I get it even more now…Thick Mint.
Look, I know Girl Scout Thin Mints have been recreated in frozen treat form numerous times, most notable by Breyers. But, because I avoid Breyers products like I avoid admitting it took me several days to realize it’s a play on Thin Mints (DAMMIT!), I can’t compare this with that. But, because it’s Breyers, I’m pretty sure Thick Mint is a gajillion times better.
Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 420 calories, 26 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 36 grams of sugar (including 31 grams of added sugar), and 5 grams of protein.
Chocolate Caramel Cookie Dough
“Chocolate ice cream with caramel swirls & gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough topped with caramel cups & chocolatey ganache.”
I can’t help but look at the words “Chocolate Caramel Cookie Dough” on the container and think their font sizes don’t represent the individual components’ impact. Because caramel plays a small role in the flavor, while the chocolate is a choco-lot.
Of course, the font sizes are just font sizes, unless Ben & Jerry’s graphics department wants to say otherwise. But I needed some way to make this review seem longer than it really should be because I can sum up this flavor with the following statement: Chocolate Caramel Cookie Dough mostly tastes like what I imagine a Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream would taste like.
Actually, with the ganache layer, it’s more like Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream.
I know what you’re thinking, “But there are caramel swirls and cups.” Oh, the caramel cups on top the ganache are like mini Rolo. I can taste and feel their sweet, buttery innards ooze out when I crack them open with my teeth. But as you can see in the photo above, I didn’t get many. As for the swirls, I see and feel them, but don’t notice any caramel flavor when I’m scooping out anything below the ganache layer into my mouth.
To be honest, I’m happy with having a pint with chocolate ice cream and chocolate chip cookie dough. But I wish the caramel stood out more. Although, not as much as the number of times the word “chocolate” appears in this review.
Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 420 calories, 26 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 36 grams of sugar (including 31 grams of added sugar), and 5 grams of protein.
Salted Caramel Brownie
“Vanilla ice cream with salted caramel swirls & fudge brownies topped with caramel cups & chocolatey ganache.”
If you’re looking at the Chocolate Caramel Cookie Dough one at a store, but think, “I’d like a version of that, except the chocolate ice cream and cookie dough are replaced with vanilla ice cream and brownies,” then shift your eyes a few degrees because there’s a good chance you’ll see this flavor that meets your sweet needs.
The carton describes it as a “sundae in a pint,” and I agree. With the chocolate ganache, fudge brownies, and vanilla ice cream being the most notable components, it reminds me of a hot fudge sundae. The brownies provide a nice fudgy flavor and chewy texture.
Oh, but what about the caramel, you ask?
My experience with it in this pint is almost the same as Chocolate Caramel Cookie Dough. Although this time, the ganache was topped with more caramel cups. But I couldn’t detect the sweet and salty swirls, even though they were in the milder tasting vanilla ice cream.
I hate to give this a 6 out of 10 because I’d eat this 10 out of 10 times if this was the only Topped variety. But it’s not, and out of all of them, this one was the least exciting.
Rating: 6 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 370 calories, 19 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 45 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 37 grams of sugar (including 32 grams of added sugar), and 5 grams of protein.
“Mascarpone ice cream with fudge swirls & shortbread pieces topped with espresso fudge chunks & chocolatey ganache.”
Full disclosure: You’re not going to get a full cross-section of this flavor like with the previous pints because I ate it with reckless abandon. After the first bite, I decided I was gonna tear-mi-sum tiramisu ice cream. And I did. And I went overboard. And now you have to look at a partially eaten cross-section of my gluttony below. But I guess it also shows how much I love this.
It has the Italian dessert’s flavors — coffee, mascarpone, and cocoa. I also notice something that I think could be liquor, but I might be confusing it with the espresso. Although it tastes like the dessert, the coffee isn’t as potent as an actual tiramisu.
You might think once the espresso fudge chunks are gone, then the coffee flavors goes away. Oh no, that’s not the case, my coffee-loving friend. According to the container, there’s “captivating coffee character” in the fudge swirls, and my taste buds do notice it. And my taste buds don’t lie, even though they’re a part of my mouth, which does a lot of lying. But I’m telling the truth when I say this is my favorite of the bunch.
Almost a decade ago, Ben & Jerry’s offered another tiramisu-flavored variety, the Target-exclusive, Volun-tiramisu. It had a simpler combination of coffee mascarpone ice cream with cocoa dusted coffee rum lady finger pieces. But if you tira-miss-su that, this Topped version is an excellent replacement.
Rating: 9 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 370 calories, 21 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 37 grams of sugar (including 31 grams of added sugar), and 5 grams of protein.
“Brown butter bourbon ice cream with blonde brownies & whiskey caramel swirls topped with white chocolatey ganache & white fudge chunks.”
WhistlePig whiskey. WhistlePig whiskey. WhistlePig phiskey. Whistlepistol wuskey. WhasslePss whassy. Sorry, I was trying to say WhistlePig phiskey, I mean, WhistlePig whiskey ten times really fast. What is WhistlePig whiskey? It’s what’s mixed in with the caramel swirls in this pint.
I could give you the long story about who WhistlePig is. But instead, I’ll just tell you it’s a distillery, and it’s located in Vermont. Oh, hey, that’s where Ben & Jerry’s is.
According to the ice cream company, the whiskey used is called PiggyBack Rye, which, according to WhistlePig’s website, has cocoa, cardamom, and cured leather flavors. It also finishes with spices, vanilla, and hints of citrus. I got none of that while eating the caramel swirls, but they taste boozier than what I remember previous whiskey caramel swirls were like. Although that’s might be because it’s combined with the brown butter bourbon base. Oh, I should clarify there’s no alcohol content, so you can’t get tipsy from Whiskey Biz.
The blonde brownies add a slight brown sugary kick and a chewy texture. As for the white chocolatey ganache and white fudge chunks, as lovely as they are, I kind of wish they were omitted. I really love the flavor combination of the ice cream base, brownies, and whiskey caramel swirls, but the toppings, which again reminds me of white chocolate M&M’s, mutes that boozy combo. So I found myself putting the top layer aside and eating it separately.
Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 410 calories, 23 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 38 grams of sugar (including 32 grams of added sugar), and 5 grams of protein.
PB Over the Top
“Chocolate ice cream with peanut butter swirls & peanut butter cups topped with mini peanut butter cups & chocolatey ganache.”
If you look at this flavor, you might think this pint is misnamed because it appears there’s a lot more chocolate than peanut butter. But I assure you peanut butter lovers that, while your eyes see a sea of chocolate, your taste buds will, um, still get a sea of chocolate, but waves of peanut butter will crash into them.
Yes, there’s a lot of chocolate here, but the peanut butter swirls, peanut butter cups on top, and peanut butter cups in the ice cream bring a triple flavor punch. What also helps is that the peanut butter is a bit saltier than what you might taste in a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or any big brand peanut butter, so it stand out a bit more.
There are seven Topped varieties, but this is the only one with the topping on the ganache and in the ice cream itself. This is something I wish occurred in other pints, especially with those candy sprinkles found on the Strawberry Topped Tart one and the caramel cups on top the Salted Caramel Brownie and Chocolate Caramel Cookie Dough varieties.
While I love this flavor, I do wish there was a gooeyness to the peanut butter swirl. But overall, if you’re craving the peanut butter and chocolate combo, this will satisfy you.
Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 410 calories, 23 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 38 grams of sugar (including 32 grams of added sugar), and 5 grams of protein.
DISCLOSURE: I received a free product samples from Ben & Jerry’s. Doing so did not influence my review.
That’s what I want to call Ben & Jerry’s and Netflix’s Limited Batch Punch Line Ice Cream as sort of a callback to Cherry Garcia. Because, according to the pint’s packaging, the flavor has a “chuckle of cherries.” It also has brown butter bourbon and almond ice creams with roasted almonds.
But naming it after Jerry Seinfeld wouldn’t be fair to the zillions of comedians who also have stand-up specials or shows on Netflix. The same can be said if this variety was named Bill Burrbon or Dave Cherryppelle.
Like almost every Ben & Jerry’s flavor and Netflix comedy special, this limited batch offering brings a smile to my face. Although, I have to admit it’s not a huge smile.
Let’s start with the ice cream bases. When I eat the almond-flavored one on its own, I can’t help but think of pistachio. I experienced the same thing with a Magnum flavor that also had almond-flavored ice cream. Not even the almond bits, which were plentiful, do anything to make me think otherwise, but their mild snap does contrast the softer parts in the pint.
The brown butter bourbon base isn’t as alcohol-y as I remember Ben & Jerry’s other bourbon-flavored variety. The ice cream also has a slight butteriness, but overall, the flavor is a bit muted when tasted on its own, which makes it hard to notice among the other ingredients.
The pint’s headliners are the sweet and slightly tart cherries that complement the almond ice cream exceptionally well. I’d be happy if Ben & Jerry’s sold a flavor with that combo and perhaps called it Cherry Galmondcia (yes, I’m available for freelance work, Ben & Jerry’s marketing department). Although the cherries are the headliners, the amount in my pint was lacking. But when my spoon did find one, they tend to almost overwhelm everything else, so much so that, at times, it kind of tastes as if I’m eating a spoonful of Cherry Garcia without fudge flakes.
Look, I dig the combo that the kids from Vermont have put together with this pint, and I’ll dig my way through the entire thing. But it’s not a flavor that makes me want to binge eat the whole container in one night.
While Ben & Jerry’s Punch Line seems like a random combination of components, I think there’s a deeper meaning that ties in with stand-up. The almond-flavored ice cream and roasted almonds represent the nuttiness of comedy, the cherries are the redness in one’s face when laughing too hard, and the brown butter bourbon base is, um, the alcohol served at comedy clubs? I got nothing with the last one.
DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of the product. Thanks, Ben & Jerry’s! Doing so did not influence my review.
Purchased Price: FREE Size: 1 pint Purchased at: Received from Ben & Jerry’s Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 310 calories, 19 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber 25 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein.
Ben & Jerry’s Limited Batch Cinnamon Bun Dough and Gingerbread Cookie Dough Chunks are the first Limited Batch and seasonal extensions of the brand’s snackable dough line that we’ve covered in previous posts.
What’s snackable dough? Well, it’s the gobs of edible dough that you’d find in pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, but without the pesky ice cream in the way. J/k, B&J. I meant to say without the creamy, sweet, tasty, and pesky ice cream in the way.
After opening the pouch of Cinnamon Bun Dough Chunks, my nose was treated to a small cinna-stravaganza. Sadly, sticking one’s nose in the bag is the only way to experience that. I had hoped it would make my office smell as if there was a Cinnabon pop-up in it.
I’m a sucker for large cinnamon rolls, but I’m not willing to regularly suffer the sugar bomb that large cinnamon rolls drive into my gut. So I appreciate being able to get the baked good’s flavor without having to eat one when I pop these dough chunks into my mouth.
These soft, chewy bites capture the cinnamon and tangy cream cheese frosting of the baked good wonderfully. There’s also a slight sugary crunch to them, which I am also a sucker for. But the flavors aren’t consistent between bites. Most times, there will be a strong cinnamon taste. But every so often, a chunk will have a strong frosting flavor. But whatever my mouth ends up with, it wants more.
The Gingerbread Cookie Dough Chunks have a bold and sweet ginger flavor, thanks to the candied ginger. Those who approach ginger gingerly might want to skip these. But it’s not just ginger all the time. There’s a bit of cinnamon, molasses, brown sugar, and cloves to help convince your taste buds they’re eating the holiday treat.
I do wish they were shaped like gingerbread people. But that’s probably asking for too much since they’re so small, not uniform in size, and constructing a production machine just for that is, I imagine, a pain in the gingerbutt to do. But these chunks are pliable enough that one could build or cutout gingerbread people on their own.
I’m partial to the cinnamon bun ones, but both varieties will not last long in my freezer because they taste fantastic. Or maybe they’re already gone and I don’t want to give away that I might’ve eaten them all by pouring them into my mouth as if they were potato chip crumbs at the bottom of a bag.
My only real complaints are that they should come in bigger pouches and the Cinnamon Bun Dough one should be available year-round. With the gingerbread being a holiday flavor, it’s understandable why it’s a limited batch product. But both Ben & Jerry’s original and non-dairy Cinnamon Buns pints are available throughout the year, so why not these dough bites?
If you want to give me a holiday gift this year, Ben & Jerry’s, having the Cinnamon Bun Dough Chunks available permanently would be a gift that keeps on giving. And when I say “giving” I mean giving me the option of avoiding Cinnabon by eating your dough chunks.
DISCLOSURE: I received free samples of the products. (Thanks, Ben & Jerry’s!) Doing so did not influence my review. Although, I can understand how it totally seems like it. But I assure you it did not.
Purchased Price: FREE Size: 8 oz pouches Purchased at: Received from Ben & Jerry’s Rating: 9 out 10 (Cinnamon Bun), 8 out of 10 (Gingerbread) Nutrition Facts: (2 tbsp/28 g) Cinnamon Bun – 120 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. Gingerbread – 110 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 35 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.