Thursday, October 4, 2012
REVIEW: Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Previously blinded by cartons of Ben & Jerry's, my constantly-refining palate has began to pay more attention to the elegant offerings from Häagen-Dazs. Despite the lack of eccentric artwork on the outside, it's what's on the inside that counts. I recently covered Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavors from both Ben & Jerry's and Blue Bell, so I was interested to see how Häagen-Dazs could measure up against the stiff competition.
I always seize the opportunity to sample a super-premium vanilla, but add nuggets of buttery cookie dough and sweet chocolaty chips and I'm all in. Häagen-Dazs utilizes a unique approach, banishing the chocolate chips out of the cookie, and instead, leaving them to fend for themselves in the vanilla ice cream. While Ben & Jerry's and Blue Bell's versions had chocolate chips inside the cookie dough, as well as on the outside, Häagen-Dazs gives us full-sized cookie dough balls with no filler. Peeling back the seal reveals a first layer with signs of more mix-ins than I was expecting.
My first taste of the signature vanilla from Häagen-Dazs is as can be expected. The consistency is dense and the taste, complex. The richness of the additional butterfat, coupled with the bourbon notes of fine Madagascar vanilla, create a vanilla that's capable of pulling along underachieving mix-ins. But these mix-ins aren't underachieving. The fudge flakes are small in stature, but big in taste. Because of their size they never become a hinderance, which is a real problem in some flavors that showcase chocolate chunks. Straying towards the darker side, the chocolate chunks have a strong aftertaste that announces their non-milk chocolate status.
Granted the vanilla and chocolate chips are up to par, the highlight of this pint was bound to be the balls of cookie dough. More abundant than the typical amount of mix-ins you see from Häagen-Dazs, these buttery cookie dough bites show up early and often. After analyzing the first few, I can't get over how soft and chewy these are. Bursting with butter and sugar, and opting for more dough over chocolate chips, these take some serious chewing before they break down. They lack the overly-granular feel of other cookie dough options, but still pack a similar sweetness.
After enjoying my brush up on the basics with Ben & Jerry's, I've started off on the right foot with Häagen-Dazs. Displaying their expertise when it comes to size and frequency of their mix-ins, they've included the ideal amount of additions to their signature vanilla to create a real competitor in the category. Allowing customers to savor the cookie dough and chocolate chips separately was a risky strategy, but ended up paying off in the long run. All the cookie dough options I've mentioned are good, but this one is great.
Where I Found It: Super Wal-Mart
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