When McConnell's called out peanut butter ice cream lovers they had my attention. "A moment of silence for all other peanut butter based ice creams. Truth is we feel sorry for them," it reads on the side of the pint. Yeah, yeah, yeah, they all say that. The chocolate peanut butter genre is one of the most competitive in the wide world of ice cream. We've all come home with a moose tracks or some such peanut butter themed ice cream only to have our hopes dashed and find our caloric budget squandered.
A peek at the nutrition label for Double Peanut Butter Chip shows that this peanut butter laden heavyweight stands among the richest super premium ice creams around at 320 calories per serving. This pint is described as "rich, creamy, salty peanut butter folded into smooth and indulgent peanut butter ice cream. Then comes the capper. Copious amounts of bittersweet chocolate."
McConnell's nailed this flavor. This is indeed a peanut butter and chocolate lovers' pint. Their process is well documented and transparent. They add melted Guittard bittersweet chocolate and house made peanut butter to semi-frozen peanut butter ice cream base. This results in splinters of chocolate which are entwined with the peanut butter you'll find snaking throughout the pint. The peanut butter base seems to take forever to melt down and bloom, as you'd expect with a flavor as rich as this. Lovers of Jeni's Buckeye State, Haagen Dazs Peanut Butter Pie, and Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup should take notice.
In 2012, two die-hard fans of the Santa Barbara based ice cream brand bought the family owned company. Rather than selling out to a big company, the McConnell's family found a couple committed to maintaining the heritage of the brand. While "French Pot Process" makes a lot of us think of Graeter's, McConnell's has employed their own approach to the technique since the 40's. McConnell's uses quality ingredients and time-honored processes to churn out delicious flavors, and present them in an unpretentious, inclusive way. I've had the privilege of trying several pints and look forward to sharing some thoughts on a few more of my favorites.
In 2013 Double Peanut Butter Chip won a Sofi (specialty outstanding food innovation) Award for best dessert at the Fancy Food Show: http://www.specialtyfood.com/news-trends/featured-articles/article/2013-sofi-awards-double-peanut-butter-chip/
Where Elliot Found It: Straub's Market
Elliot's Grade: A