This post is part of the Food Writer’s Diary.
Did you know that for the past month and a half you could walk into a Baskin-Robbins and order an ice cream sandwich made with four different kinds of warm cookie (dark chocolate chunk, double fudge, white chocolate macadamia or peanut butter chocolate)?
Neither did I, and it’s my job to know these things.
Normally you'd expect a big announcement about something like this, and commercials with sensual food shots and probably a mic drop. But for reasons of its own, the Dunkin’ Brands subsidiary rolled out these warm, melty gems with pretty much no fanfare, or even a press release as far as I can tell.
I learned about them at a recent media day at Dunkin’ Brands’ Canton, Mass., headquarters, where I spent the day decorating ice cream cakes and tasting new menu items with mommy bloggers and regional TV personalities and the like. We even developed our own ice cream flavor, which I think we called Salted Chocolate Cheesecake: A three-to-one mix of Baskin-Robbins chocolate and vanilla ice cream base with added chunks of brownie and cheesecake and a salted pretzel ribbon.
Here I am managing the ribbon squirting with San Antonio nutritionist Kristen Garcia, who posted this picture on her Instagram feed.
Had an awesome time creating ice cream flavors at @baskinrobbins today! Glad we could compromise on a flavor @foodwriterdiary. #behindthebrscoop # #baskinrobbins #flavor #creation #chocolate #cheesecake #brownie #salted #creative #decisionsdecisions #instasweet #instayum #foodie #foodblogger #foodislove #KISSinthekitchen #satxbloggers #texasblogger #KISSblog
Apart from the ice cream sandwiches, which Baskin-Robbins is now augmenting with a new “candy cookie” containing unbranded candy-coated chocolate pieces that definitely don’t have an ‘m’ printed on them, we saw what else the company has in the works for the coming months.
And they have a lot.
This is being reprised after having been out of the loop for decades. It’s soft-baked 9-inch chocolate chip or fudge brownie crust topped with ice cream instead of sauce and cheese, and candy, cookies and other sweet toppings instead of pepperoni or mushrooms or whatever. A guy on the R&D team told me it was discontinued because their manufacturer stopped making the crust. But there are more cookie makers out there now, so it’s possible that the Polar Pizza will be here to stay once it’s rolled out this summer.
• Donut ice cream sandwiches: What’s the point of being sister companies with Dunkin’ Donuts if you can’t use their stuff. This item was tested in Las Vegas and parts of Maryland and is currently being analyzed to determine whether to roll it out nationally. It’s a powdered sugar doughnut — the same kind used for jelly doughnuts — split, and filled with a scoop of ice cream and a squirt of hot fudge.
• Berry Fruitful Greek Frozen Yogurt: The research & development team said this was sort of a deconstructed smoothie, and contains things that don’t normally occur in dessert. It’s half sorbet, made with berries and pears, but also beets and sweet potato, with bits of granola mixed in. That’s swirled with frozen Greek yogurt. It’s going to be introduced later this season as an optional rotating flavor.
• Made with Milky Way Bars: Yes, that’s its name, and it's supposed to taste like a Milky Way bar, which it does in my opinion. It’s nougat ice cream mixed with Milky Way pieces, milk chocolate pieces and a salted caramel ribbon. It will be the flavor of the month in June — also available as a milkshake, made by mixing the ice cream with milk and simple syrup.
• Oreo Birthday Cake: This will be the flavor of the month in July. It’s chocolate cake-flavored ice cream with Birthday Cake Oreo pieces mixed in, along with frosting bits and a candy confetti ribbon.
• Ancho Mango Sunrise: This crazy thing is an ice cream flavored with mango and Chamoy — a salty-sour-fruity condiment popular in Mexico. It’s mixed with mango pieces and an ancho Chamoy ribbon, so it’s kind of spicy. It will be available as a seasonal option this summer.
So now we’re all caught up with Baskin-Robbins, assuming they don’t try to sneak something else past us.