REVIEW: Limited Batch Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Crumble Ice Cream

Limited Batch Ben  Jerry s Cherry Crumble Ice Cream Pint

Recently, most new flavors from Vermont’s most famous company have been Topped, Core’d, or brought back from the dead. But Ben & Jerry’s latest was inspired by one of the company’s all-time successes: cherries. While this pint has some major differences from Cherry Garcia, B&J’s second highest selling pint for eight years running, it will no doubt garner interest from folks who enjoy the Grateful Dead-inspired classic. Cherry Crumble switches up the formula from the brand’s more recent decadent offerings and pairs buttery ice cream with cherries and swirls of oat crumble.

I was intrigued by this pint because the container wasn’t screaming at me with mix-ins and because the base was something I don’t recall ever seeing. Described simply as “buttery,” a word often used to denote that something will be delicious, I needed to know how it tastes. Good news: it’s freakin’ awesome. Bad news: it’s kind of hard to describe. Middle news: I’m going to try!

Limited Batch Ben  Jerry s Cherry Crumble Ice Cream Top

The base is rich and decadent in a way I don’t recall ever experiencing from B&J’s sweet cream, which is probably its closest equivalent, but far superior. It has a heavy and luscious mouthfeel with buttery notes, but not nutty like browned butter, more of a clean and deep flavorful sensation, like unsalted butter and sugar on white bread. Like I said, it’s hard to describe, but it’s wonderful and has a density that screams super premium. It’s a really great, nuanced ice cream.

Limited Batch Ben  Jerry s Cherry Crumble Ice Cream Cherries

The cherries are also well executed. There are plenty, and they pop with a lovely bright sweetness and touch of acidity. More importantly, they do so with zero iciness. They provide the perfect balance of sugary and tartness against the rich buttery base. A jam or pie filling swirl might be more faithful to the concept of a crumble, but I enjoy the squishy flavorful chunks of fruit. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting older, but I’ve been having a serious cherry renaissance in the last two years, and I love this simple old-timey mix-in.

Limited Batch Ben  Jerry s Cherry Crumble Ice Cream Swirl

The oat crumble is where this pint could use some improvement. I still really enjoy it, but it reminds me much more of a cinnamon-y graham cracker swirl than a chunky oat crumble. When I read “crumble,” I instantly think of a crunchy, buttery, and salty topping that erupts with flavor, and while this swirl is good, it doesn’t deliver on the punchiness or texture I’m looking for. It has some pleasant grittiness with a touch of spice but no butteriness that can compete with the fantastic base.

While this pint falls a bit short in flawlessly executing a cherry crumble a la mode, it’s a very scoopable flavor that should be in anyone’s cart who enjoys a fruit-driven profile with a rich, buttery foundation.

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: One Pint
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup/140 grams) 350 calories, 21 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 35 grams of sugar, 5 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Blue Bell Chocolate Peanut Butter Overload Ice Cream

Blue Bell Chocolate Peanut Butter Overload Ice Cream Tub

What is Blue Bell Chocolate Peanut Butter Overload Ice Cream?

This new flavor from Blue Bell features milk chocolate ice cream with chocolate-coated peanut butter cups and peanut butter cookie dough pieces. But is it really overloaded? I can’t tell you yet, or you might stop reading.

How is it?

Blue Bell Chocolate Peanut Butter Overload Ice Cream Dig In

It’s awesome, assuming that you like chocolate and peanut butter. The milk chocolate base is creamy and silky, and it’s the perfect complement to its two friends from the peanut butter family, cups and cookie dough pieces. The PB cups are perhaps not quite as peanut buttery as the familiar Reese’s variety, but they are still tasty and deliver a nice firm crunch when you bite down. The cookie dough pieces are quite firm as well, and they contribute a wonderful peanut butter flavor and that almost granular texture of raw dough. The mixture of these three components is certainly not ground-breaking, but it sure is good.

Blue Bell Chocolate Peanut Butter Overload Ice Cream Pieces

Anything else you need to know?

Blue Bell Chocolate Peanut Butter Overload Ice Cream Top

After the satisfying feeling of peeling the top off this and seeing what looked like a sparsely inhabited chocolate terrain, I was skeptical about the “overload” part of its name. But after further excavation, there were plenty of PB cups and PB cookie dough pieces (which are a little hard to see because of their color). So I can confirm that this is deserving of the overload moniker. Let me explain why I can do so with such confidence.

I visit my local frozen yogurt shop quite often. I go enough that I have developed a classification system for my fellow froyo enthusiasts. There’s The Sampler, who must try every flavor…even vanilla, because what could that possibly taste like? Then there’s The Undecided, who barely makes it to the register before their froyo turns to soup because they spent too long agonizing over whether to put Kit Kat or Twix on it. Then there’s my category, The Overloader. I put a modest amount of froyo in a cup (the largest one available, of course), and then at the toppings station, I somehow forget how basic math works and I’m stunned that my pay-per-ounce total comes to something like $16.32. Maybe nine scoops of PB cups were too much, so I know what overloaded is, and this is about as close as you can get from a store-bought product.


I’m not very good at Tetris, but I’m getting ready to play the freezer version of it to see how much space I can free up so that I can stock up on this limited time ice cream. If you like chocolate and peanut butter, you need to try this.

Purchased Price: $6.98
Size: 1/2 Gallon
Purchased at: H-E-B
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 280 calories, 15 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 27 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Halo Top Fruit Sorbets

Halo Top Fruit Sorbet PInts

What are Halo Top Fruit Sorbets?

It’s the brand’s first foray into fruit sorbet pints. They’re made from real fruit and fruit juice and have at least 50 percent less sugar than sorbet from leading brands. There are three flavors — Mango, Strawberry, and Raspberry.

How are they?

They’re what I expected from Halo Top fruit sorbets. The flavors are good, their textures are hard to distinguish from other sorbets if they’re allowed to temper a bit, there’s something a little off about them in the aftertaste, and they have colon-pleasing amounts of fiber.

Halo Top Mango Fruit Sorbet

Mango is delightful and my favorite of the bunch. If a friend did a secret Folgers coffee-like switch of Häagen-Dazs’ Mango Sorbet with this Halo Top one, I’d probably not realize it, and I should probably be wary of this “friend.” Like all the varieties, it uses fruit puree, but this one was the closest to tasting like I’ve taken a bite of the fruit.

Halo Top Strawberry Fruit Sorbet

When I stuffed a spoonful of the strawberry one in my mouth, I instantly thought of strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups or Fruit by the Foot. I enjoyed the flavor, but I find it odd that it tastes like two kids’ treats that don’t have actual strawberries listed in their ingredients.

Halo Top Raspberry Fruit Sorbet

Finally, we have the raspberry one, which doesn’t remind me of another sorbet brand or a sugary treat beloved by middle school children that I have to unravel. Nevertheless, I did like this flavor. It’s a bit tart with a raspberry hit that reminds me of something I’ve had from Jamba Juice. I enjoyed it as much as the strawberry one, which is a little surprising because strawberries are well ahead of raspberries on my internal fruit rankings board.

All three have less than half the sugar of other sorbets in the freezer aisle. For example, a 2/3 cup serving of Häagen-Dazs Mango Sorbet has 44 grams of sugar, while the same serving of Halo Top’s has 17 grams. A combination of sugar and stevia allows that significant drop. While it doesn’t affect the initial flavors that hit my taste buds, the stevia might be the cause of the aftertaste oddness.

Anything else you need to know?

Halo Top Fruit Sorbet Soften

As with Halo Top ice cream pints, the recommendation is to leave it out for a couple of minutes to soften. It does make a difference, so I will create a catchy slogan off the top of my head. “Want your Halo Top with the right texture? Wait a few minutes to dig into your treasure.” Yup, that is the best I can come up with. Totally not a mouthful.

Also, these have no protein, so no gains!

Oh, “Remember to temper!” That’s much better!


Halo Top Fruit Sorbets are off to a good start, and I’d like to use this space to request future flavors — lychee and pineapple.

DISCLOSURE: I received free product samples from Halo Top. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Received from Halo Top
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Mango), 7 out of 10 (Strawberry), 7 out of 10 (Raspberry)
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) Mango – 100 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of fiber, 17 grams of sugar (12 grams of added sugar), 3 grams of sugar alcohol, and 0 grams of protein. Strawberry – 90 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 14 grams of fiber, 14 grams of sugar (13 grams of added sugar), 4 grams of sugar alcohol, and 0 grams of protein. Raspberry – 90 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar (12 grams of added sugar), 2 grams of sugar alcohol, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Jeni’s Powdered Jelly Donut Ice Cream

Jeni s Powdered Jelly Donut Ice Cream Pint

What is Jeni’s Powdered Jelly Donut Ice Cream?

Ever wanted to be able to sneeze while eating a jelly donut without spraying your countertop with powdered sugar? Jeni’s has endeavored to create an allergy season compatible version of the treat with vanilla custard, raspberry jelly, and a brown sugar donut crumble.

How is it?

Jeni s Powdered Jelly Donut Ice Cream Top

From how easily my ice cream scoop glided through the top of the pint, it was clear this was going to have the same heavenly consistency as other Jeni’s ice creams I’ve tried. The custard was thick, creamy, and smooth with a slight chewiness, and there were big pockets of both jam and crumble to keep the texture interesting.

Despite the high quality of the ice cream and mix-ins, I was disappointed with how little it tasted like a powdered jelly donut. Each bite had an unfitting cream cheese-like tang, which I suspect resulted from using a salted custard but may have been from a natural flavor added to mimic the taste of powdered sugar. There was also a noticeable nutmeg flavor that, when combined with the sweet and egg yolky custard, made the ice cream taste like eggnog.

Jeni s Powdered Jelly Donut Ice Cream Scoop

The donut crumble wasn’t quite right either. As far as I know, jelly donuts are usually yeast donuts, but the flavor and texture of the crumble led me to believe more inspiration was taken from cake donuts. The nutmeg flavor throughout strengthened that assumption since I associate the spice with plain cake donuts.

Jelly was spot on, though. So spot on that I wished there was even more of it since it was the only thing making the ice cream taste like a jelly donut.

Anything else you need to know?

This is premium ice cream and priced accordingly. If this flavor doesn’t sound 100% up your alley, it might be a bit too expensive to take a chance on. However, Jeni’s ice cream is so high quality and delicious that it truly is worth splurging on from time to time (I’m particularly fond of its buttermilk frozen yogurts).


Jeni s Powdered Jelly Donut Ice Cream Copy

I’ve still given Jeni’s Powdered Jelly Donut Ice Cream a decent rating because it’s a tasty ice cream that I’ll have no problem finishing. I don’t know that anyone could be unhappy with the flavors in this pint if they tried it name unknown. But, as a powdered jelly donut ice cream, it was unsuccessful. Seems my countertops (and floor, and pants, and…) will continue to live with powdered sugar on them.

Purchased Price: $8.99
Size: One pint (473 mL)
Purchased at: Whole Foods
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 Cup / 123g) 310 calories, 17 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 80 mg of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of total carbohydrates, 33 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Halo Top Chocolate Cake Batter Light Ice Cream

Halo Top Chocolate Cake Batter Pint

What is Halo Top Chocolate Cake Batter Light Ice Cream?

The gold standard of diet ice cream is doubling up on the dessert by infusing (Kind of? Theoretically?) its light ice cream with chocolate cake batter. Or, you know, at least some candy sprinkles. Because those are on cakes. Sometimes.

How is it?

Halo Top Chocolate Cake Batter Top

Thoroughly unnecessary. See, the ice cream is fine. It’s creamy and surprisingly rich for healthy ice cream. Halo Top’s chocolate base is a good one, and the different-than-normal-ice-cream texture almost makes it reminiscent of a frozen chocolate malt concoction you’d get at a baseball game. (Have you ever had one of those things? Comes with a wooden spoon? Those things.)

Halo Top Chocolate Cake Batter Bowl

So, ice cream = good. But for the life of me, I can’t tell what makes this “Chocolate Cake Batter.” Except for the aforementioned sprinkles. And here’s the thing about the sprinkles: there are a lot of them. And they’re, you know, sprinkles. Just little crunchy bits of mostly tasteless confection. They don’t really add anything, unless you’re four years old. In which case, how’d you end up on this website, anyway? That’s pretty weird.

Anything else you need to know?

Probably not surprising, but Wikipedia has a wildly robust page on sprinkles. I was Googling to find out where they are called “jimmies” (it’s a northeast United States thing, and it always makes me laugh), but I also learned that in England — and Australia and New Zealand — they are also popularly referred to as “hundreds and thousands.” I love it, but it’s so wordy! When you go to the ice cream shop, do they actually ask, “An’ would you like ta’ top off yeh Sundae with some ‘undrets an’ thousands, guvnah?” That’s wild!


Regular Halo Top chocolate ice cream is a nice, comparatively healthy frozen dessert treat, and I’d recommend it to just about anyone. I’d only suggest getting the kind with HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS if regular chocolate is out, though. Or you’re four. In which case, again, I ask, “What are you doing here? How are you reading this?”

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Hy-Vee
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (86 grams) 110 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of dietary fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein.