Milk Bar ice creams are confusing. Although I never formally reviewed it here, Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow was my favorite grocery ice cream “pint” (only 14 ounces, HD style) of 2021, but it took two attempts to get it right. The first time around I had zero marshmallow. And conversely, the Birthday Cake container I got, which others raved about, to me, was awful — and I love birthday cake pints. Quality control has been all over the place — missing components and iffy base textures at times, but when they get it right, they really get it right. The latest addition to Milk’s permanent lineup is right up my alley, all the way down to its pretty purple packaging; and guess what — it’s confusing! Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Crush is peanut butter chocolate ice cream with peanut butter cookie crumbs and fudge chocolate cookie batter.
Bases with two flavors tend to be problematic because they can be indecisive, and that’s exactly how this peanut butter chocolate ice cream tastes. It’s more chocolate than it is peanut butter, the PB is definitely there; but it doesn’t taste incredibly authentic. It reminds me of a chocolate ice cream with peanut butter flavoring, almost like powdered peanut butter, as opposed to the true rich fattiness of a nut butter. And that peanut butter essence pulls back on the more intense notes of the cocoa as well — I just don’t love the way they work together. The texture is awesome though. No doubt a premium ice cream with a respectable creaminess and density that you can tell is made with some of the best ingredients of the grocery store brands.
The mix-ins are what make this pint really unique, both in terms of concept and execution. The fudge chocolate cookie batter is my favorite of the two. It’s like a hybrid between a gritty Oreo swirl and cake batter, with some moister thinner bits that carry a fudge-like quality. It has a deep bittersweet chocolate flavor that’s absolutely addictive and there’s plenty of it throughout. It is truly hard to stop eating. Milk Bar has slowly become one of the textural masters of store brand swirls and it’s special.
The peanut butter cookie “crumbs” as you can see in all of the pictures, are really more a swirl as well, and it isn’t really crumbled throughout as much as it pops up in sheets. I love the gritty texture akin to graham crackers and the hints of saltiness that come through but I’m still searching for more peanut butter. I get a buttery flavor with just a touch of peanut butter and I can’t help but think about how, despite the creativity of this crumb, I wish it was straight up peanut butter.
This is a flawed “pint” but it is not a bad one. Sometimes creativity can be our own undoing, and while I appreciate how this ice cream wanted to do something different, I can’t help but feel like a straight ahead chocolate base with that amazing fudge chocolate cookie batter and a peanut butter swirl would have been so much more satisfying than this inventive but muted foray into the chocolate peanut butter universe.
Found at: Whole Foods ($6.99)