REVIEW: JC’s Scoops’ Salted Caramel Fudge Brownie

When I walk into a new scoop shop there are a couple of trigger words that really get my ice cream juices flowin’. Salted caramel, birthday cake, peanut butter, and brownies are among the top attention getters for me, and if you combine any of them into one flavor I’m guaranteed to need to taste it. Although they don’t have any proper shops, JC has once again lured me into their scoops with a tantalizing flavor that hits me right in my trigger spot. Salted Caramel Fudge Brownie combines a savory sweet caramel ice cream with a salted caramel swirl and fudge brownie squares.

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The most interesting aspect to the description of this ice cream is “savory sweet caramel”, and on my first bite in I know exactly what they’re talking about. When I hear “savory” I think about dinner, but what JC really meant here is “salty”, and it’s a damn fine salted caramel base. Maybe they didn’t want to be redundant in their description, but the salted caramel flavor is big and bold, with the base and swirl working together to create a deep savory salted profile that pops with buttery caramel notes and is downright delicious.

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I wish there was more distinction between the swirl and ice cream itself, as I’m not getting much gooey caramel satisfaction, but the two combined are a real winner. Most caramel bases I’ve had from grocery-available brands are fine but pretty lackluster compared to their higher end competition, and this one delivers a much more gourmet depth that I really appreciate.

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The brownie squares are a plenty and tasty – with a rich chewy texture and great chocolate flavor that give sweet reprieve to the double salted aspect of the base and swirl. They taste really high quality, up there with Ben & Jerry’s own notoriously fire Greyston Bakery made brownies, and are a great compliment to everything going on. Some of the brownies have crumbled and integrated themselves into the base, giving a slightly gritty texture to the ice cream like a good cookies and cream. While the chunks are definitely the highlight, it’s nice having little pieces of chocolate in every bite.

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This flavor isn’t pushing any boundaries or playing with unique flavors the way some of JC’s Scoops’ other releases are, but it’s incredibly well executed and isn’t holding back with its wonderfully potent saltiness. For anyone, like myself, who loves that sweet and salty injection into their luscious creamy treats, you definitely don’t want to sleep on seemingly innocent looking paint pail pint.

Rating: 9/10
Found at: Sprouts ($4.99)

REVIEW: JC’s Scoops Taffy Apple

The pumpkin patch will always be one of my favorite nostalgia-laden memories of autumn childhood. The smell of hay, the massive piles and sometimes entire acres of pumpkins, low brow haunted houses, scarecrows, and the crowning jewel of them all – caramel apples. There was one pumpkin patch in particular in Nebraska that was stunningly huge, and had a little goodie shop brimming with varieties of candy dunked and crunchy rolled apples that seemed only outdone by the Main Street shops in Disneyland. While it would be easy enough to melt some caramel and coat apples any time of year, they’re the most delicious and prominent during the harvest season, and the classic combination of tart apple and sweet candy is only second to pumpkin for being the most iconic flavor pairing this time of year.

Pie Pop Pioneers JC’s Scoops have ventured into the pint game with an all new line of premium ice creams, simply dubbed “Scoops”, and one of the launch flavors screams pumpkin patch perfection. Taffy Apple, which is apparently another name for a caramel or candy apple that I had never heard of, combines tart and sweet green apple ice cream with swirls of salted caramel and candy coated peanuts.

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The base game in this pint is on point. Any ice cream claiming to be premium has to deliver with some high fat ultra creamy richness and those elements are on full display with the texture of the green apple ice cream. There’s a bit of tart green apple aroma coming from the pint as well, but only a little bit of apple flavor in the actual bite. I was extremely excited to have an apple based ice cream, since apple is usually added as a mix-in to vanilla or cinnamon bases, and as good as the texture is, I really want more from the overall taste. The initial flavor carries a hint of sweet apple acidity but it quickly fades into more of a slightly tart sweet cream, and the apple gets a bit lost in the sea of fatty dairy. It’s a shame there are no actual apples or apple juice listed in the ingredients, as the ominous “natural flavors” just isn’t doing the glorious fruit its justice.

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I absolutely love nuts in ice cream, especially candied or caramelized, and the execution of the peanuts in this pint is fantastic. Almost all of the candy coating has come off and left little red indentations in the base, leaving mostly naked peanuts that have a wonderful roasted flavor and big satisfying crunch. There’s a hint of sweetness to them but the deep roasted notes prevail overall, and I’m happy with how they function in the scheme of the overall balance of flavors.

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The salted caramel swirl is great, but unfortunately a bit lacking in its density. It’s thick and salty which provides wonderful contrast to the base, but I only got little strands of it throughout and never a fully satisfying punch of gooey sweetness like I would get from biting the outside of a candy apple. What is there is delicious, I just wish I had more, because the bites with ice cream, nuts, and caramel were very limited.

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While this flavor is lacking in the fully tart elements the description promised and needs a bit more swirl to take it over the edge, I still really appreciate JC trying something different that I can legitimately say I’ve never had before. Even though this isn’t a fall seasonal flavor, it’s lined up perfectly with the brands’ launch, and is solid enough that I’m intrigued to try more of their unique flavors.

Rating: 7.5/10
Found at: Sprouts ($4.99)
Quick Nutrition: 1/2 cup (105g) – 270 cal – 15g fat – 8g sat fat – 125mg sodium – 32g carb – 25g sugar – 4g protein

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