Category Archives: Frozen Week

Frozen (long) Week(end): An Ode to the Ice Cream Sandwich

IMG_4572[Ed. note: It’s a baren’t. We are all on the same page on this.]

It is the last day of summer and I would like to take a moment to celebrate the goddamn ice cream sandwich.

It … it is a perfect dessert.

On the surface, it seems kinda dumb, right? The cookie is a poor excuse for a wafer, much less a cookie, and the ice cream is best for describing a watered-down way of playing defense.

But holy hell if the combination of the two isn’t the damn definition of “better than the sum of their parts”.

And you notice more when there’s less to notice.

The silent thp from the first bite when the cookies are fresh and crisp. The almost-fuzzy remnants on your thumbs when you’re done and it isn’t. The wax-paper wrapper and that everyone knows exactly what that is when you hand them one. The way on a July day that the ice cream squishes out the side and drips on your towel. The understanding that no, this isn’t traditionally a breakfast food, but fk it that is exactly what is about to happen.

The ice cream sammie is a portable piece of summer. Until next year, friend-o.

[Ed. note: /until next Tuesday, because who are we kidding here.]

[Ed. note 2: And get out of here, neapolitan. You can come on back in when you can commit to something.]

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Frozen Week: Reese’s Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cup

IMG_4570All I was expecting out of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cup was some peanut butter ice cream surrounded by a cup-shaped chocolate shell.

Which would have been outstanding.

But upon first bite [Ed. note: /or upon first reading of the box, had that been something I’d done], I discovered that there was also a thin ribbon of actual peanut butter dispersed throughout the ice cream bar.

Game done changed.

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Peanut butter ribbon visible on the right side of the cup.

Nah, game the same; it just got more fierce.

This is a simple, subtle and altogether wonderful ice cream novelty for anybody who’s a fan of peanut butter ribbons.

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Frozen Week: Buncha (Ice Cream) Crunch

IMG_4557Buncha Crunch is my favorite movie candy. Eminently shareable, couples well with popcorn, easy to gobble.

I have fond memories of my mom shooting me dirty looks in the middle of Remember the Titans for how loudly I was eating them [Ed. note: They come in a loud-ass box.] and falala not caring at all.

The Nestle Dibs is essentially the ice cream bar version of the Buncha Crunch. They come in a little tin, they’re eminently shareable, easy to gobble and may or may not couple well with popcorn. I’ve never had them at a movie, but I did buy them once at a One Direction concert while receiving looks for an entirely different reason and falala didn’t care at all.

IMG_4558The extra surface area allows for more chocolate in the ice-cream-to-puffed-rice-to-chocolate balance (as opposed to a full-length bar, and man, is it a refreshing treat. Big fan.

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Frozen Week: You trippin, Starburst

IMG_4561Yo, Starburst.

You can call it a sorbet bar. You can slap your brand on there, too. You can even not put a joke on the stick.

But at the end of the day, you’re pretty much just a square popsicle.

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Frozen Week: Good job, good effort, Twix Ice Cream Bar

IMG_4554Not a bold statement: The defining trait of a Twix bar is the cookie.

There’s chocolate, caramel and/or peanut butter going on there, for sure, but that’s not why you buy a Twix.

You buy a Twix because of the crunch from that sweet-ass cookie.

[Ed. note: Alternatively, you very well buy a Twix because there are two of them because you love to eat things in prime numbers or you are a mother/father of two young children who do NOT need to eat a whole candy bar right now.]

With that basic Twix principle understood, one would think that when developing a Twix ice cream bar, the ice cream bar developers would make sure they nailed the cookie part.

#nope.

The Twix Ice Cream Bar is very similar to the Snickers Ice Cream Bar [Ed. note: ICB will be the preferred term here on out, in the proper sense], with a few key differences:

  • The ice cream filling is straight-up vanilla. Not some tan/caramel/gently chocolate facsimile (as featured in Snickers ICB). Polar-bear/first-communion/most-useless-crayon-in-the-box white vanilla.
  • In lieu of the peanut, the Twix ICB features small bites of the aforementioned sweet-ass cookie interspersed atop its caramel-sauce layer.
  • The Twix ICB is slightly narrower.

Otherwise, though, the bars are the same: thin outer chocolate layer, caramel sauce, made of ice cream.

Those differences, ahem, make all the difference.

Focusing first on the cookie bites, because, duh: Man, do they ever leave you wanting more. Continue reading

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Frozen Week: Bask in the glory of the Snickers Ice Cream bar

IMG_4550Unpopular opinion: I think Snickers are just OK.

I really have nothing bad to say about the bar. The Snickers is one of the most well-constructed candy bars of all time. It has balance, flavor, mouthfeel and can cure a case of the grumpies.

It’s just never done it for me. I like to eat them, but I have just never understood their unanimous coronation as Most Perfect Candy Bar Of All Time.

I’d rather have a Butterfinger. #sorrybro

Snickers Ice Cream bars, on the other hand? Swapping the chewy nougat and caramel for a smoother ice cream and caramel sauce?? Staying so cold the chocolate shell crisps in your mouth every time you bite into it, dawg??? Being just the right size that it is a satisfying dessert without leaving you overstuffed????

That’s a treat so deserving in praise that it should have a scholarship named after it.

This is the king of ice cream candy bars, the standard by which all others are judged.

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Google Search that Brought Traffic to BOaP of the Day

“night court bulls door way”

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Frozen Week: Celebrating the last week of summer with an objective taste-test

IMG_4490So, um, Labor Day’s next week.

Summer’s always too short! You turn around and it’s gone! However did this happen? #lovesummer

As a chronic sweater and autumn’s #1 fan, I’ve never felt particularly aligned with the widespread sadness that comes the end of the 3-4 hottest months of the year. But, as I’ve gotten older and better understood the despair that comes along with hoofing it to work on a 3-degree day in March, I’ve grown to appreciate the various joys of summer.

Beer gardens. The smell of sunscreen. Shorts, tank tops, sundresses and seersucker. Iced coffee. One of my two annual dental checkups.

Frozen candy bars.

They really aren’t as satisfying during the rest of the year, are they? I have fond memories of gnawing on frozen Snickers bars with my dad while playing golf on family vacation, or of throwing melting, near-death Reese’s from the freezer and not waiting for them to thaw. That shit doesn’t fly in November.

To celebrate the last week of summer, I’m throwing [Ed. note: Holding? Declaring? Embarking upon?] Breaking Off A Piece’s newest theme week: Frozen Week.

Let’s let it go, guys.

To kick things off, I wanted to take a serious damn look at frozen candy bars. Earlier in the month, one of my favorite Twitter follows — Grantland’s Bill Barnwell — posed a great question.

I replied to him, but given my self-assigned authority on the subject, I felt pretty silly not having a more scienticically informed answer.

I asked Abby and Alex Bar to help me fix that.

We met for dinner at Honey Butter Fried Chicken, them bringing their smiles and me bringing a large, insulated bag with frozen and room-temperatured versions of the five most popular answers to Barnwell’s question.

After the meal [Ed. note: Splendid, always. If you’re in Chicago, pay them a visit.], I laid out my wares on our pic-a-nic table and took the picture you see at the top of this post. As a brisk wind picked up and we drew a small amount of attention (Alex/Abby: “She wants to give you money for your basketball team.), we decided to pack things up and head back to the #BSMT (my small, garden-level den of an apartment) for the actual taste-test, which would feature a bite of room-temp candy bar and then a bite of frozen, to determine:

1) Which candy bar improved the most in its frozen state?
2) Which candy bar tasted the best frozen?

Up first …

IMG_4491Charleston Chew Minis
[Ed. note: I fully intended to buy full-sized Charleston Chews, but the closest Walgreens, CVS and grocery stores didn’t carry it and I wasn’t going to drive to the next town. If that makes me a half-assed candy bar blogger than so be it.]

Room temperature

Abby: “These have the texture of deflated packing peanuts. Or deflated marshmallows.”

Alex: “There is … very little flavor.”

Me: I’d grown up enjoying Charleston Chews, but only when frozen (bias revealed and admitted). The minis are a more palatable eating experience, but at room temperature both the full- and mini-sized are … laborious to chew.

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Frozen Charleston Chews what?

Frozen

Alex: “Hmm … There’s a pop that’s pretty deliberate, then it sort of melts into a gummi.” “It crunches, then it sticks to your teeth.”

Abby: [Ed. note: Unintelligible notes holy wow my handwriting is bad. Sorry, Abby.] … “These melt; the others didn’t.”

Me: Damn, that crunch makes all the difference. They’re definitely a little blander than I remember, but the stark difference from frozen to room temperature is so welcome. They almost shatter upon first bite, then melt into a comfortable chewiness until only the last remnants stick to your teeth. I’m a fan.

Preference

Alex: Room temperature
Abby: Neither
Me: Frozen Continue reading

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