We all scream for ice cream. Ice cream is certainly one of my many weaknesses. I always have a pint on hand so I can have a bite or two (or three or four) for a little pick-me-up. Though most Texans are born and bred with Blue Bell bias, I'm a Ben & Jerry's kinda girl.
By the middle of rush week last year, we were all in a panic, that kind of panic that only a pint of ice cream shared by three spoons could fix. So, I brought home Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk and Chocolate Fudge Brownie to stock up our freezer with $5 pints of chocolate therapy.
As we ate our feelings, conversation struck as to what flavors we had had of this Vermont-churned ice cream and which ones made our favorites list. And thus the brain child was born: 2A's Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Challenge, otherwise known as the "fast track to the freshman fifteen." We were going to try all 53 flavors by the year's end.
We went through about two flavors per week, always aiming to switch things up from chocolate to vanilla, from fruity to nutty, and from the simpler to the crazier concoctions. Word of the challenge reached the rumor mill at Hardin and soon we had guests at our freezer asking to participate and put in their two cents. So, we created a rating chart.
Interesting themes came about, as you'll see here:
*though it's one of the, if not the most popular flavor, we ixnayed Cherry Garcia, because we all agreed cherries belong in pies not ice cream.
The cream of the crop usually had cookie pieces, a peanut butter ingredient, or chocolate. Here are the perfect tens, according to 2A standards:
Chubby Hubby - Fudge Covered Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels in Vanilla Malt Ice Cream Rippled with Fudge & Peanut Butter
Milk and Cookies - Vanilla Ice Cream with a Chocolate Cookie Swirl, Chocolate Chip & Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oatmeal Cookie Chunk - Sweet Cream Cinnamon Ice Cream with Chunks of Oatmeal Cookies & Fudge
What a Cluster - Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Caramel Cluster Pieces, Peanut Butter & Marshmallow Swirls
Half Baked - Chocolate & Vanilla Ice Creams with Fudge Brownies & Gobs of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Chocolate Therapy - Chocolate ice cream with chocolate cookies & swirls of chocolate pudding ice cream
Chocolate Nougat Crunch - Sweet Cream Ice Cream with Fudge Covered Wafer Cookies & a Chocolate Nougat Swirl
Now presenting the 9s. These were close to gold standards, but we didn't finish in one sitting, like the ones above.
Cinnamon Buns - Caramel Ice Cream with Cinnamon Bun Dough & a Cinnamon Streusel Swirl
Dublin Mudslide - Irish Cream Liqueur Ice Cream with Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies and a Coffee Fudge Swirl
Imagine Whirled Peace - Caramel & Sweet Cream Ice Creams Swirled with Fudge Peace Signs & Toffee Cookie Pieces
Mint Chocolate Chunk - Mint Ice Cream with Fudge Chunks
Mint Chocolate Cookie - Peppermint Ice Cream with Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Peanut Butter Cup - Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Cups
S'mores - Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream with a Toasted Marshmallow Swirl & Fudge Covered Almonds
Triple Caramel Chunk - Caramel Ice Cream with a Swirl of Caramel & Fudge Covered Caramel Chunks
Rocky Road-ish - Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream with a Toasted Marshmallow Swirl & Fudge Covered Almonds
And here were the weakest links. Anything involving cheesecake, rum balls, or custard usually made it to the bottom of the barrel. Several of these were thrown away with only a couple bites skimmed from the top. Boston Cream Pie left such a bad aftertaste that it received a whopping zero.
Creme Brulée - Sweet Custard Ice Cream with a Caramelized Sugar Swirl
Pistachio Pistachio - Pistachio Ice Cream with Lightly Roasted Pistachios
Red Velvet Cake - Red Velvet Cake Batter Ice Cream with Red Velvet Cake Pieces & a Cream Cheese Frosting Swirl
Schweddy Balls - Vanilla Ice Cream with a Hint of Rum & Loaded with Fudge Covered Rum & Malt Balls
Strawberry Cheesecake - Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream with Strawberries & a Thick Graham
Caramel Swirl - Caramel Ice Cream with a Swirl of Caramel & Fudge Covered Caramel Chunks
Boston Cream Pie - Boston Cream Pie Ice Cream with Yellow Cake Pieces, Fudge Flakes & Swirls of Pastry Cream
Towards the end of the year, we went to the 24 hour grocery store after midnight and snagged six of our favorite flavors, one for each girl in our suite. It was definitely a "YOLO" moment that I don't regret. This challenge made for an easy excuse to indulge since not completing it would be giving up, and we were determined to not be quitters. I hope this serves as a helpful guide the next time you peruse the frozen aisle at the grocery store and can't choose from ice cream sandwiches, Dibs, or a pint of classic vanilla. Go with Chubby Hubby or Milk and Cookies, and your taste buds will be pleased with your decision.