As a lifelong West Coast Cali boy, black and white cookies aren’t too prevalent in my sweet treat catalog. I’ve had a couple of them over the course of 20 years and thought they were fine, but recently had one that really won me over. It was a cake-y, buttery, cookie-adjacent experience that gripped me so much I ate three in three days and then sought out others to try. The ones that followed weren’t as convincing as to their legendary status on the East Coast, but they’re officially part of my preferred cookie-sphere now…and I want more. All the time.
Which brought me to another “pint” from the Haagen-Dazs City Sweets Collection, which thus far has underperformed; but how could I pass up the chance to see if my new found love for this regionally beloved baked good translates into ice cream? The aptly titled Black and White Cookie is vanilla bean ice cream with soft cookie pieces and ripples of chocolate frosting.
As the age old optimistic adage goes, the third time’s a charm, and I finally struck gold (or maybe silver) with this new Haagen-Dazs flavor. The vanilla bean ice cream is what I expect from HD. It’s rich and creamy with a genuinely round and fragrant floral vanilla taste that has the intense, sharper presence of extract as well as the more earthy-tasting vanilla bean speckled throughout. It has a smooth and milky finish that lays a perfect foundation for the two mix-ins.
The cookie pieces are abundant and soft with a cake-like chew that gets even gentler the longer the ice cream tempers. Texturally they’re perfect, but the flavor leaves a bit to be desired. They aren’t bad by any means, just a touch boring. The sizable cookie chunks don’t have any notably buttery or salty essence to compete with the strength and sweetness of the base, so they exist more than they impress.
But the fudge ripple makes up a lot of the ground that the cookies leave uncovered, not only with a delightful bittersweet chocolate taste but with perfect thick and sticky fudge texture. The dense fudge against the creamy vanilla is a tried and true combination that instantly triggers memories of vintage scoop shop and McDonald’s sundae’s in the best way.
While the taste of the cookie chunks fall a bit short of making this experience mesmerizing, it is absolutely an ice cream worth picking up if you see it in the grocery store, especially if it’s on sale. Not to mention the strong vanilla base with chocolate accents makes the perfect foundation for building your own sundae at home — my current favorite is topping it with Peanut Butter Chex: sensational.
Found at: Safeway ($3.49 on sale)