Friday, January 16, 2015

The Real Scoop: Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Half Baked Ice Cream

The year is 2000 and I am in my childhood bedroom at my parents’ house blasting 'N Sync with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked in my hand. The CD is playing, I’ve just recovered from brain freeze in time to sing “Bye Bye Bye” and life is good. I’m thirteen, so this is pretty much as good as it gets and damn it, it’s feeling pretty good. I’m smiling, my belly filled with Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream with Fudge Brownies & Gobs of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

Think about it. In friendship terms, I have “known” this ice cream for fifteen years. Our relationship could nearly drive. It’s our crystal anniversary, which is great because I would love to take this ice cream and dress it up in a beautiful crystal bowl and show it the attention it deserves. All of this time and I’m still in love. And after a decade and a half, Ben & Jerry’s has shaken things up, keeping my relationship fresh and anew.

My friends are awesome and several of them tipped me off in advance that Ben & Jerry’s was coming out with a Peanut butter version of Half Baked, described as Chocolate and Peanut Butter Ice Creams mixed with Gobs of Peanut Butter Cookie Dough & Fudge Brownies. Reading the news, I could bite my computer screen. Yes, gobs.

So let’s get down to it. Here’s the packaging, but who cares about that? I’m posting it so you know what to look for to do yourself a favor. Beyond that, nothing noteworthy. I bought this at Target, who carries it at multiple locations which is surprising because my local grocer doesn’t. I considered sitting at the attached Starbucks with a spoon upon purchase, but I try pretty hard to not let myself go over to the dark side and I thought maybe this was crossing the “Secret Compulsive Eater” line somehow.

Opening the lid, you can see the top of the pint had a significant amount of chocolate ice cream. I sighed at first. Yes, I love Ben & Jerry’s premium chocolate ice cream like the next person with taste buds and a brain, but this is not what the night was supposed to be about. I ate beyond the surface and boy am I glad I did. The chocolate ice cream is traditional for Ben & Jerry’s. It’s velvety and tastes like chocolate mousse. The peanut butter ice cream has a faint peanut butter taste. I have large needs with this flavor, but still – exceptionally good. The brownies were the same as the traditional half baked and I was glad to see each bit in my spoon. No surprises here.

The best part? The peanut butter cookie pieces. Ben & Jerry’s was not cheap in including these and that takes this ice cream from good to great. The dough is peanut buttery, buttery and perhaps a little bit magical. Do yourself a favor. Close your browser, lock your computer and get to Target. If this ice cream is truly “Limited Batch” like the packaging indicated, then your clock is ticking and I am your freezer competition.

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