REVIEW: Baskin Robbins Candy Bar Mashup

This review is a big one for me, as it marks the one year anniversary of Sean’s Skillet. While the actual day isn’t until the end of the month, this blog began on October 30, 2016 with a review of Baskin Robbins’ Treat Oreo Treat Dark, and since then writing about the Flavor of the Month has been the only constant recurring series I’ve done – a true labor of love. Although BR are the biggest scoop shop chain in the world, they get largely overlooked by real ice cream aficionados, and a lot of the folks that I observe frequenting the shop stick to the classics or one of the 30-40 varieties that are familiar in the dip case.

I love Baskin Robbins, I grew up going there and have always been fascinated by the limited flavors and some of the incredible seasonal’s like America’s Birthday Cake. For years my October would truly feel real at the sight of Oreo’s with orange creme, and they are put to no better use than in the Baskin staple Trick Oreo Treat. Much like last year, BR are keeping the original TOT as a seasonal offering and bringing us an all new Halloween themed scoop to welcome the spookiest time of year. Candy Bar Mashup combines Snickers, Milky Way, and Twix in chocolate ice cream swirled with a caramel ribbon.

image1

The chocolate base is very standard in terms of its flavor, but immediately jumps out at me as feeling lighter than what I’m used to. It has a mellow, creamy chocolate presence that isn’t very exciting or offensive, but the lighter texture is a bit distracting. While I would never consider BR to be super premium, I am used to them being fairly close to the density of Ben & Jerry’s, at around 15 grams of fat per serving, and this is inching closer towards Dreyers territory (but not nearly that thin, and not gummy at all). Baskin Robbins do offer some amazing chocolate in Mississippi Mud and Superfudge Truffle, but this base is incredibly basic, and unfortunately, boring.

image2

The mix-ins bring a bit of halloween flair, but let’s be honest, where are the peanut butter cups? The Twix pieces are exactly the same as this years’ Made with Twix, which utilized separate pieces of the shortbread cookie covered in chocolate with no caramel. These pieces are the most prominent mix-in, at least in my scoop, and have the wonderful buttery crumbly crunch of the Twix cookies that add a little bit of intrigue to the relatively flat chocolate. The caramel swirl is minimal but present with the occasional gooey sweet highlight that naturally compliments the cookie very well.

image3

Snickers and Milky Way are definitely the co-stars here, and make only a few appearances in my cup. The pieces are significantly smaller than the Twix, and the Milky Way are only identifiable by their oddly hardened nougat-caramel combination and don’t really stand out against the already present chocolate and caramel. The baby chunks of Snickers bring a slight fatty peanut pop, which is great, but leaves me asking again – WHERE are the PB cups?

image4

While Candy Bar Mashup isn’t a failure by any means, it feels pretty safe, uninspired, and lacking in any true spooky holiday whimsy. I wish Baskin Robbins had brought back Trick Oreo Treat Dark, who’s dark fudge ribbon really set the flavor off to indulgent depths that this mashup only wishes it could touch.

Rating: 7/10
Found at: Baskin Robbins ($2.99)
Quick Nutrition: 290 cal – 15g fat – 9g sat fat – 150mg sodium – 35g carbs – 1g fiber – 28g sugar – 5g protein

image5

Advertisements

REVIEW: Little G X MdoughW Cinnamon Caramel Churro

Collaborations are one of the greatest elements of hip hop, but they can be pretty damn cool in the food world too.  Usually reserved for big brands like Taco Bell teaming up with Doritos, Baskin Robbins with Oreo, and recently, Pop Tarts with Jolly Rancher, it’s much less common that smaller independent companies collide to release a joint product – but today that narrative is straight shook.  Gourmet ice cream goddess Little G and cookie cup titans MdoughW have joined forces to release a limited edition run of cookie and brownie (“doughie”) loaded pints of indulgence decadence.  Utilizing MdoughW’s signature doughies, aka wildly soft cookie cups stuffed with delicious fillings, and Little G’s super premium ice cream bases and swirls, the two combined to churn out six epic flavors, and today we take a first dive into Cinnamon Caramel Churro, which is cinnamon ice cream with MdoughW churro pieces and a salted caramel swirl.

image1
The cinnamon ice cream is absolutely spot on.  It has a giant, robust, and spicy cinnamon flavor that has the cinna-slut in me satisfied in ways not many ice creams have done before.  There is a genuine spice-heavy, almost floral zing that tastes like freshly ground cinnamon was dumped generously onto a sweet cream base and it is absolutely magical.  Visually the base is studded with brown flecks that translate the cinnamon flawlessly.  It should go without saying that the ice cream itself is incredibly rich and creamy with a succulent melty mouthfeel that is divine.

image2

image3
The churro pieces are incredibly soft with a nice salty pop that register much more like dough than they do the crispy fried stick I associate them with.  The pieces are of generous size and have upheld their dense chew well in the sea of cream, but without any sort of crispy crunch they could easily be cinnamon bun pieces or snickerdoodle cookies and I’m not sure I would be able to tell the difference.  Imagining the way the dairy would soak into the fried exterior of a churro to create a crispy squish has me wishing there was more, but the cinnamon-heavy, almost grainy base helps emulate that experience to a degree.

image4
The biggest element that’s a bit of a miss for me in this pint is the salted caramel swirl.  I know what Little G is capable of when it comes to swirls (the best in the game up there with Salt & Straw), and with this flavor the swirl is more subtly incorporated into the base than standing out on its own in big gooey puddles of deliciousness.  Every so often I’ll get a bite that has a sweeter, smoother punch to it, and that is where the caramel comes into play, but I miss having thick succulent ribbons that deliver a deeply sweet, salty, and caramelized flavor.

image5
This is a great flavor of ice cream for cinnamon lovers, but it doesn’t really hit the mark completely when it comes to what I know and love to be a churro.  Although it has one of the best cinnamon bases I have ever had, some crunch is really needed to drive the desired flavor into full effect, and I really wish I had some serious caramel to send it to the heights I know Little G can ascend to.

Rating: 9/10
Found at: http://www.goldbely.com (use code seanpancake0 for $25 off your first order!)