REVIEW: Haagen-Dazs Soft-Dipped Ice Cream Bars

Haagen Dazs Chocolate Soft Dipped Ice Cream Bars

Sometimes gravity sucks.

I’m pretty sure even Issac Newton realized that after the umpteenth apple hit his head.

While he had apples to prove how not awesome gravity can be, we have chocolate-dipped ice cream bars. Taking bites into them causes sweet tectonic plates to crumble, shift, separate, and, thanks to our “friend” gravity, eventually fall to the ground or clothing where the five-second rule is no longer applicable because the melty chocolate adheres itself to whatever it lands on. That causes some of us to let out an expletive or two internally or externally.

But Häagen-Dazs has solved this problem with its new Soft-Dipped Ice Cream Bars.

Haagen Dazs Soft Dipped Ice Cream Bars

They’re available with either vanilla, chocolate, or caramel ice cream, and all feature a soft-dipped chocolate truffle coating.

The ice cream has the typical Häagen-Dazs quality — creamy, sweet, and enjoyable. While the chocolate and vanilla varieties just feature their respective ice cream flavors, the third one also has a caramel swirl. But with the two bars I’ve eaten, there hasn’t been much of any gooey caramel goodness. None of the varieties stand out to me, probably because they’re basic flavors. I like them all equally.

Haagen Dazs Soft Dipped Ice Cream Bars Innard

As for the coating’s flavor, it has a pleasant cocoa taste that, with its slight bitterness, leans more towards dark chocolate. It allows some of the ice cream’s flavor to come through, but it pretty much dominates every bite.

But does the coating allow me to keep my Tide-To-Go Pen unsheathed whenever I eat these bars?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Out of the four bars I’ve eaten so far, I’ve only had a small loose piece fall to the ground with one of them. But that was with my most recent bar, and I think it was my fault because it happened while I was dancing to celebrate about how cool it is that the soft-dipped coating didn’t shatter with each bite. But, to be honest, it feels like it’s going to come apart, but it doesn’t.

Although Häagen-Dazs’ Soft-Dipped Ice Cream Bars have simple flavors, I appreciate the brand’s efforts here with the coating that keeps me clean. It won’t earn the brand a Nobel Peace Prize in physics, but it has won my award for Ice Cream Bar That Will Make Me Swear Less and Does Not Force Me To Pre-Treat My Clothes.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of the product (Thanks Häagen-Dazs). Doing so did not influence my review in any way.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 3-pack
Purchased at: Received from Häagen-Dazs
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bar) Vanilla – 250 calories, 18 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 17 grams of sugar, 14 grams of added sugar, and 3 grams of protein. Chocolate – 260 calories, 18 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, 15 grams of added sugar, and 4 grams of protein. Caramel – 270 calories, 18 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, 18 grams of added sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Haagen-Dazs Trio Limited Edition Ruby Cacao Crackle Ice Cream

Haagen Dazs Trio Limited Edition Ruby Cacao Crackle Ice Cream

I have enjoyed the few varieties of Haagen-Dazs Trio Crispy Layers that I have tried so far. Texturally, they are a pleasure to devour. They also scratch a chocolate itch, that’s for sure. Each one has a variation of ice creams with oodles of chocolate layers throughout the container.

Recently, Haagen-Dazs launched a new flavor for the Trio Crispy Layers line: Ruby Cacao Crackle with Pistachio and Sweet Cream Ice Cream. I had heard of ruby chocolate before this, but have never gotten the chance to try it, so I was very excited to snag this.

The concept with the Ruby Cacao Crackle is similar to the rest of the Trio Crispy Layers line. Pistachio and sweet cream ice creams are stacked on top of each other with shards of ruby cacao in between every two layers.

Haagen Dazs Trio Limited Edition Ruby Cacao Crackle Ice Cream Swirl

The top of the pint has the sweet cream and pistachio ice creams swirled together for a nice aesthetic effect. Once you get past the top, it’s alternating layers of the two.

Haagen Dazs Trio Limited Edition Ruby Cacao Crackle Ice Cream Layers

Upon digging in, the first thing that hits me is the pistachio ice cream. It’s rich and earthy, but still very sweet. Unfortunately, it overpowers the sweet cream ice cream. There was not a single bite throughout the container that didn’t taste like pistachio. It’s not bad at all, but it’s uneven. Both are decadent without being too heavy and are a tad icy. It’s the typical Haagen-Dazs formula.

Haagen Dazs Trio Limited Edition Ruby Cacao Crackle Ice Cream Spoon

The supposed star of the show, the ruby cacao, is certainly interesting. The pistachio kept masking its flavor, so I had to isolate some pieces to really analyze it. It has more of a delicate flavor than I was expecting. It reminds me of white chocolate, but with some berry undertones coming through. There is a touch of tartness to its mild sweetness. Frankly, it’s just not that special. Texturally, the ruby cacao adds the satisfying crunch to the mix that I was hoping for.

All in all, this was a decent near-pint, but I don’t know if I’ll ever purchase it again. The pistachio ice cream completely dominated everything else. I would have preferred a little bit more balance between the flavors. If you like pistachio ice cream, you should definitely try this, though. Personally, I’ll probably stick with any of the other Trio Crispy Layers flavors available.

Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: 14 oz. container
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 340 calories, 23 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 27 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Haagen-Dazs Spirits Collection Ice Cream (U.S.)

Haagen Dazs Spirits Collection Ice Cream

Judging from the length of their corresponding aisles at the grocery store, it’s no secret that Americans love alcohol and ice cream. Despite this, mergers between the two seem rare with mainstream brands.

Befitting of the most drunken-sounding ice cream brand, Haagen-Dazs has risen to fill this void of boozy frozen desserts with the release of its new Spirits Collection. Each pint features a different variety of popular liquor, paired alongside indulgent mix-ins, and Haagen-Dazs’ famously rich ice cream.

Bourbon Vanilla Bean Truffle

Haagen Dazs Spirits Collection Bourbon Vanilla Bean Truffle

Perhaps the most basic of the bunch, this offering blends classic vanilla ice cream with miniature chocolate truffles and a spicy bourbon swirl.

Although that description may sound unexciting when compared to this line’s other offerings, this flavor goes to show that ice cream doesn’t have to be complicated to be good. With a dense, sweet, vanilla bean-flecked base, I found it easy to appreciate this variety’s superb consistency and mouthfeel, and the tiny truffles dotted throughout helped to provide intermittent bursts of crunch and texture.

Rather than finding distinct ribbons of bourbon swirled throughout, I tasted hints of booze in each spoonful and found the alcohol’s slight edge helped to make this flavor seem like an “adult’s only” version of vanilla bean ice cream.

Purchased Price: $4.39
Purchased at: Food Lion
Size: 14 fl. oz.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 340 calories, 20 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 34 grams of total sugars, 29 grams of added sugars, and 4 grams of protein.

Rum Tres Leches

Haagen Dazs Spirits Collection Rum Tres Leches

This flavor swirls a trio of south-of-the-border indulgences — generous chunks of tres leches, dulce de leche, and a rum-infused base.

Don’t speak Spanish? Then I’ll translate for you – this is a white rum ice cream with chunks of cake soaked in sweetened condensed milk and ribbons of gooey caramel sauce. And, yes, it’s as tooth-achingly sweet as it sounds.

Although I like each component individually, they’re too much when together. The alcohol, although detectable, is much more muted than in the Bourbon Vanilla Truffle, and the milk-soaked cake pieces were surprisingly dry and stale. Rather than buying this, I’d recommend heading down to your local Mexican restauranté and drinking a mojito or two alongside a slice of traditionally prepared Tres Leches.

Purchased Price: $4.39
Purchased at: Food Lion
Size: 14 fl. oz.
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 360 calories, 21 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 35 grams of total sugars, 25 grams of added sugars, and 5 grams of protein.

Irish Cream Brownie

Haagen Dazs Spirits Collection Irish Cream Brownie

Voyaging across the Atlantic, this St. Patrick’s Day-approved variety utilizes an Irish cream-flavored base, brownie chunks, and a fudge swirl.

Calling the brownie bits “chunks” is being pretty generous, though, because I got very few fully intact pieces in my pint. Instead, most were obliterated in a brownie crumb explosion that masked whatever pitiful amount of fudge swirl Haagen-Dazs managed to get into this flavor.

I didn’t think the Irish Cream base was anything special, either. It tasted good – all Haagen-Dazs tastes good – but I would have been just as happy to pour some Baileys on top of a scoop of its vanilla ice cream.

Purchased Price: $4.39
?Purchased at: Food Lion
Size: 14 fl. oz.
Rating: 6 out of 10
?Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 360 calories, 21 grams of total fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 25 grams of added sugars, and 5 grams of protein.

Stout Chocolate Pretzel Crunch

Haagen Dazs Spirits Collection Stout Chocolate Pretzel Crunch

Also drawing inspiration from Ireland, this pub-grub-styled dessert features stout-infused chocolate ice cream mixed with chocolate covered pretzels and a fudge swirl.

Similar to the previous flavor, this variety also suffered from having a less than impressive fudge swirl. Even so, I didn’t find myself missing the swirl’s added richness as much here, because I thought the chocolate stout base was plenty satisfying by itself. Although I had initially been concerned about its boozy infusion being covered up by cocoa, my concerns were unjustified, as the two flavors work to complement one another well.

The chocolate covered pretzels were similarly well-executed. I find that most pretzels tend to get soggy in ice cream, but these were pleasantly crunchy and added a needed pop of salt that helped to break through the dessert’s richness.

Purchased Price: $4.39
Purchased at: Food Lion
Size: 14 fl. oz.

Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 360 calories, 19 grams of total fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 32 grams of total sugars, 27 grams of added sugars, and 6 grams of protein.

Conclusion:

Although each of these flavors has minor flaws, Haagen-Dazs is definitely on the right track by expanding its library of desserts to include its Spirits Collection. I only hope other brands will follow its lead because booze-infused ice cream is a trend that I can get behind!

REVIEW: Haagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche Cookie Squares

Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche Cookie Squares jpg

I know winter is supposed to be all fuzzy slippers and hot cocoa and half a metric ton of cinnamon spice, but, as someone known to recite Shakespearean love sonnets to frozen dairy, I need little to entice me that the dead middle of winter is the perfect time for some ice cream. Especially if it involves cookies, chocolate, and caramel, and boom-shackalacka! Haagen-Dazs is delivering just that.

Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche Cookie Squares 2 jpg

If you don’t have soft spot in your heart for gooey, deeply nutty caramel, just turn away ‘cause this bar is ribboned with the stuff. Now, in case you haven’t yet had the near-holy, angels-singing-from-the-sky experience of dulce de leche yet, prepare thyself to be amazed! For dulce de leche is what becomes of sweetened condensed milk after being slowly caramelized, creating an effect that is less sharply sugary than regular caramel and more nutty-sweet.

Here, it serves as a thick, sweetened, gooey, nutty confection that strings out like mad from the surrounding sweeter caramel ice cream, which provided me with enough energy to hurl a monster truck across a football field.

And it doesn’t even stop there, folks. The chocolate coating is snappy, sweet, and drizzled with just a tad bit of semisweet chocolate to yin out the yang of the main milk chocolate base. The Oreo-like cookie wafer has a snap, crumble, chew, and durability that holds up to the weight of the ice cream above. Taken as a whole, the result is crispy, creamy, nutty, crumbly, chocolatey, and other delicious adjectives that end in “y.” It all makes for something so delicious.

Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche Cookie Squares 3 jpg

In this small three-dimensional square, Haagen-Dazs proves that, while it may be winter, dessert doesn’t have to taste like a Gingerbread Man’s spice drawer to be absolutely delicious in a blustery season. Indeed, sometimes, a simple, well-executed square of cookie, ice cream, and chocolate is just the thing to transform a callous-hearted, snowy-sludged humbug into a un-grumpified, semi-regularly-functioning human who has big dreams and has done adult things today and deserves something very, very spectacular.

Like you, dear reader.

You deserve something very, very spectacular. So go get you some! They may not be perfect and hardly toe the line of breaking new ground, but they are delicious. And, for today, delicious is enough.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – 310 calories, 170 calories from fat, 18 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 26 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.34 (on sale)
Size: 1 box/3 bars
Purchased at: Ralph’s
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Nutty, nutty dulce de leche. Milk and semisweet chocolate. Durable, Oreo-like cookie wafer. Enough sugar to hurl a monster truck across a football field.
Cons: Not the best if you’re looking for crazy mix-ins. Callous-hearted, snowy-sludged humbugs.