Before there was cookie dough ice cream (which is to say, back in the 90s), you used to just scarf down as much cookie dough as you could, cut straight from the salami-shaped package before mom got wise. Building on that collective sense memory, cookie dough became a trendy ice cream flavor (apparently originating with Ben & Jerry’s, which makes sense).
Long story short, cookie dough ice cream is way past a fad these days. Now it’s ubiquitous – you can’t go to an ice cream shop or freezer section without encountering some variety of hard-ish frozen globules of chocolate chip and doughy delight mixed into your ice cream.
The ubiquity of this flavor means the work I’m doing here today offers a vital service to our frozen treat-crazed society, which surely cannot navigate the cookie dough ice cream-ridden aisles of the most remote convenience stores and markets without a heaping dose of sage wisdom from a self-proclaimed snack expert. You’re welcome.
A Note On Methodology:
For this blind taste test, a scoop of each ice cream was tasted blindfolded. Knee-jerk reactions were recorded via voice recorder on antiquated technology purchased off eBay.
Part One: The Tasting
First taste is a little cinnamon or gingerbready on the cookie dough. Ice cream is a little artificial tasting. It’s creamy, has a good texture, good mouth feel, just a little off-putting on the aftertaste.
It is a little artificial vanilla-y — just not great.
Really smooth, cold, and creamy. Not really getting any cookie dough, but good flavor. Nothing off-putting, reminds me a little bit of froyo. Really cold, really icy a little bit but yeah creamy good.
No chunks though, none at all.
Really cookie crumbly delicious. Vanilla delicious. Yeah, this one’s really good…and tasty.
This one has little formed chunks of cookie, last was crumbly. This one’s a little artificial with the cookie dough flavor. Ice cream is fine, tastes pretty standard. Not great quality, but decent.
There’s a chocolate chip cookie flake that’s not too high-quality chocolate but still good.
Cookie has almost a sourdough-like flavor. Really good cookie with a really deep finish on the cookie too. Ice cream is super creamy… yeah this is really good. Has a caramel taste even.
Got the chocolatey flake of the chip, ice cream is decent. Cookie dough is again in the globule format, which is fine. I like the more crumbly cookie dough better, but this is solid.
This is another globule version of the cookie dough ice cream, which is getting to be all too familiar. Decent though, this one doesn’t have anything off-putting. Pretty straightforward cookie dough, chocolate… uhh little chocolate doodads, what are they called? Yeah, these are good.
I mean this is like a store brand, you can tell, nothing too fancy. Pretty low-quality ingredients in general.
Not really feeling too hot. The taste isn’t that bad. Has a little sour milk flavor to it almost, like buttermilk. Cookie dough is not bad, chocolate chip is not bad, just don’t love the overall flavor of the ice cream, it’s a little off-putting.
Pretty straightforward, the ice cream is not sour like the last one, but something is different and missing about it.
#10 has cookie dough the way I like it, where it’s really spread out. Pretty decent, yeah this is a pretty good one.
This one’s got a caramelly outside. Cookie dough is good, it’s a globule a little bit, but higher quality. Ice cream is nice and creamy. Has a nice caramel-ness to it.
Another globule situation got me wanting a little bit more. This is good, yeah. Nice and creamy, a little bit on the lighter side but still really good.
That one, didn’t love the ice cream. Tastes light or has something different about it, don’t love it. Choco is alright, actually seems like a higher quality choco than some of those grocery store-tasting ones or low-quality ingredient ones.
Overall not awful but didn’t love the ice cream part.
This is really good. Good cookie, it’s very crumbly cookie, a big chunk. Chocolate is a weird kind of coconut flake-style chocolate. Has a pudding-ish aftertaste. The cookie was really good.
This one has definitely a weird taste to it. Chocolate’s pretty good. It’s the ice cream itself, the base, that has the taste shenanigans. It’s creamy, it’s just weird tasting — a little bit odd, though I’m struggling to articulate why.
This one had a very chocolatey, Hershey’s-ish flavor on the back end. The chocolate flake in there is solid. Solid as far as texture. It’s crunchy, and a little thick.
Good chew to it, not bad.
This one tastes like birthday cake. Definitely a lighter ice cream base. Chocolate’s good.
Big-time globule situation. Pretty artificial tasting overall. On every element. Yeah, I don’t think I’m going to be able to finish this one. Not my fave.
This one has a weird flavor. Don’t like this one too much. It’s like smoked or almost savory? Not sure if it’s a really deep caramel beyond my flavor palate, my simple, mundane palate.
That’s a big-time cookie dough ribbon. Ice cream kind of felt like an afterthought, there’s so much cookie. Ice cream’s fine. Yeah, it’s alright, not the top of the heap.
Ice cream itself was standard but good. Cookie – non-controversial, good. Chocolate, fine. Yeah, a decent one.
This does not taste like cookie dough to me. This has a ribbon of chocolate, ooey gooey. It’s very chocolatey, more chocolate-forward. There’s something almost sandy, minerally in there. I don’t know what it is. Brown butter, or brown sugar.
Didn’t really feel like a classic cookie dough, not my #1.
My phone is covered in ice cream, I’m getting sticky. My hands are sticky. Let’s wrap it up here. This one, the ice cream is good, cookie has an interesting aftertaste. Not bad, but just a little bit different. Can’t really pick up what that flavor is. Almost like a meringue aftertaste. It was decent overall.
Not one of the tops, not one of the bottoms. Right in the middle.
23. Nada Moo – Taste 18
Nada Moo claims to be the “original coconut milk frozen dessert,” so we are clear immediately on what is about to happen. The taste of Nada Moo’s base reminds me of vanilla icing, the chocolate chips are perfectly chippy and the cookie dough is little niblets throughout the base. It’s not fully the taste of ice cream, but Nada Moo does the trick with its creaminess, texture, chocolate factor and the light dough quotient.
Nada Moo’s packaging is both old-timey and illustration-based, some little cookies, a couple choco chunks and some very basic but clean font and design work. Nada Moo wins the award for most interesting ingredient with its inclusion of agave syrup. Nada Moo also wins the awards for most badges on a pint with a record six, including a cheeky but giggly one that says “Keep Frozen, Unless You Enjoy Dessert Soup” – such an Easter egg for the thorough packaging inspector!
Nada Moo probably isn’t going to replace your dairy dessert any time soon, unless you need or want an alternative. While it has all of the elements to make a great ice cream, it’s simply a different product.
22. Edy’s – Taste 20
It’s comical that Edy’s lid on their 1.5 quart cylinder says to “dig in” because you could only actually eat out of their container with a plastic sand toy or garden shovel. Garden or beach, Edy’s makes a chocolate chip cookie dough that can satisfy in many different locales. The light vanilla is smooth and sweet, but not super flavorful. The chocolate flake is a darker variety but still has a full sweet note, while the cookie dough spheres measure up to most of the competition with their chewy soft texture and solid flavor.
Classic Edy’s packaging with the tan, cream, and brown motif. Flying cookie dough bites and chocolate shards decorate the lid. There’s a hero single scoop cone shot on the actual pint – with highlighted text noting this is actually light ice cream, so there’s naturally less fat and calories from the full-bodied version. But this is Edy’s Slow Churned and the powers that be want to be clear that this is a “reimagined way to delight your whole family.”
Edy’s certainly isn’t the best but, especially for a “healthier” alternative, it isn’t terrible either.
21. Aldi – Taste 15
“Sundae Shoppe” is one of those generically-named sub-brands from Swedish market behemoth Aldi, specifically their ice cream line. Say what you will about Aldi and its kooky ways and minimalist merchandising, and basically ripping off major brands with a lot of their products, their cookie dough ice cream is a solid rendition that will surely satisfy their cult-like faithful and newbs alike. The ice cream is a classic vanilla base, chunks of chocolate, dough bits — you know the recipe, and Sundae Shoppe executes in more than mediocre fashion.
They want you to know there’s no high fructose corn syrup and they put a small badge on the carton, just to share that nugget. There is also a description stating that the ice cream contains “chocolaty chunks and chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough,” also known as double chunk funk in many circles. Just a heads up Aldi, “chocolaty” is not a word. Ask Alexa. And I look forward to seeing the revised tubs in the markets in the near future. Doing the work for the people.
There’s no secret about the artificial flavors added here, it says it on the packaging in 16-point font, which must be a requirement from legal because no company wants legalese to be that big. Oh yeah, there is a lovely glamour shot of the ice cream sidled by chocolate bars and cookie bits set against a purple atmospheric backdrop.
I’m down to go to the Sundae Shoppe any time. But still not fully sold on Aldi.
20. Brave Robot – Taste 14
The name Brave Robot alone invites questioning — who is this robot and what makes him brave? What do they have to do with my non-dairy frozen dessert sampling?
Whatever OS Brave Robot is running on, it is purring pretty smoothly. Their non-dairy product does not really skip a beat as far as hitting a nice vanilla note and being smooth and creamy. The chocolate flake is more of a dark chocolate which stands up nicely to how sweet the vanilla is, which is a little bit one-note sweet (as vanilla can be). The cookie dough bites are as good as anyone’s.
The top has a bright attention-getting pink “lactose free” lid. The top itself has a “window” into the product inside, which apparently makes me a “climate hero” to enjoy, as if trying a new frozen treat wasn’t a sufficient reward here. “Sustainable Forest Initiative” stamp spied for the first time and catalogued mentally. Berkeley hq address noted.
Despite its wonky name and lack of explanation, we’ll trust that we are saving the planet by eating Brave Robot just because the pint says so. And regardless if we are, or are not, Brave Robot’s non-dairy alternative to chocolate chip cookie dough is an excellent play for anyone not eating dairy or anyone else just looking to try new things.
19. Enlightened – Taste 17
Enlightened is a brand spotted in every Whole Foods and natural foods store in the past five or more years now that I never had a reason to try before now. The honorable and stomach-compromising quest to blind taste test and rank 23 brands of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream has led to the first sampling of Enlightened and it’s really very good. There are two cookies at play here, which is a little unfair to stack against the others with just the singular cookie dough, but the sandwich cookies are not an unwelcome addition. The blue color is fun but sans purpose, the base is creamy icey vanilla and all together it is a lighter but tasty alternative to other choco cookie dough options.
The light blue package wallpapered with animations of cookies both oreo-esque and cookie chip, signify this may not be just one type of cookie, cookie dough. Also the blue coloring serves as a preview for the blue ice cream, which also has 75% less sugar than regular ice cream. It’s not 75% less delicious.
When you have the ice cream blues and need something lighter to choose, Enlightened’s Kookie Dough can get you through.
18 . Alden’s – Taste 22
Alden’s is an organic ice cream brand from Oregon whose cookie dough fudge flavor has been nicknamed “Dough Yeah.” And it’s true, fudge is heavily featured in this pint, as is cookie dough. Big swatches of cookie dough and gooey fudgy swirls. The ice cream base is good too, a full-bodied vanilla that is also creamy, but the fudge and cookie dough really steal the spotlight here.
The lid says “Dough Better” and tries to get cute with some phrasing there. The design is plain and simple maroon with yellow accents with a scoop of ice cream depicted. Double stamp for non-GMO and USDA Organic, plus a litany of crap they don’t put in their ice cream but competitors do. The crunchy folks at Alden’s also want you to know “We believe in doing life together,” which is not a t-shirt slogan I’ve seen before, nor am I sure if that’s grammatically correct.
Alden’s flip on cookie dough is not the typical, fudge and cookie dough heavy rigamarole, although this still makes for a great ice cream, it is too different to take one of the highest spots against some of the more traditional takes.
17. McConnell’s – Taste 8
McConnell’s is a Cali ice cream brand based in the beach side utopia known as Santa Barbara. And their concept here is different, but not sure it fully converts in a great way. “Sea Salt Cream & Cookies” is off because although the sea salt is a fun take on the typical vanilla base, the saltiness favors those who fancy a savory aftertaste from their sweet treats. The cookie dough may be one of the best in the entire mix. The described chunks come in various sizes, all crumbly, and tiny fudgy gobs dot the sea salt cream base.
McConnell’s packaging has that classic ice cream shoppe feel, with their simple design and no flavor specific imagery or info besides the flavor written on the pint and the slight description which notes a drool-inducing “Guttard chocolate chunk cookie.” Interestingly as well, despite claiming Santa Barbara, their HQ is in the less sexy town of Oxnard, perhaps known more for being the home of the beat konducta himself, Madlib. A McConnell’s x Madlib flavor collab needs to happen. In any case, with over 70 years in the cream game, you have to respect what McConnell’s is doing regardless of how they fare in the cookie dough gauntlet.
McConnell’s makes a bold entry into the chocolate chip cookie dough category and succeeds… mostly. Although the sea salt base is not a fave, the flavor still delivers on the cookie dough promise and creates something that probably does not exist elsewhere. So although not at the top of the list, McConnell’s “Sea Salt Cream & Cookies” is still recommended.
16. Breyer’s – Taste 13
Breyer’s was always in the freezer as a kid because there were only five brands as is and Haagen Daz only came in pints at the time. Plus Breyer’s was cheaper and still solid. Not much has changed in 2022. Breyer’s still has the classic script logo with the green leaf, which probably will never change. Hate all you want, Breyer’s still makes a totally edible product. The fluffy vanilla base still retains a guiltless creaminess, the chocolate flakes are chocolatey and dough balls are what you’d expect from any respectable cookie dough ice cream.
A Unilever product today, the tub shows the brand has been churning since the mid 1800s. Not only that but they’re using ingredients from natural sources these days. They even have a rainforest alliance stamp, are abiding by kashrut (they got the official K stamp) for their “frozen dairy dessert.” Is it still ice cream?
Breyer’s is still not a bad move in today’s congested freezer case.
15. Planet Oat – Taste 9
This oat stuff is really pretty good. It’s not milk ice cream but it’s still creamy and hits all the notes. Planet Oat has possibly the best chocolate product in any brand tasted and some generous hunks of it too boot. The cookie dough is standard nugget style. The base itself is almost more cream than vanilla in its aftertaste, but doesn’t detract from the overall triumph here.
The pint design has an autumnal feel, incorporating multiple shades of falling leaf color and accented in orange on the lid. There is also the requisite scoop of ice cream portraiture, but interestingly this scoop not only sits in metal cup, but also has a metal cup sitting on top of the scoop, similar to a kippah (and yet there is no kosher stamp on this ice cream, fully nixing any potential connection to be made).
Planet Oat’s self-proclaimed “cookiepalooza” is sure to please oat-loving farm animals and hipsters alike, and anyone else looking for an alternative to a lactose version of this classic flavor.
14. Cool Haus – Taste 7
Cool Haus may be a little too cool to haus. Though easy to eat and overall very good, Cool Haus is in the middle of the pack because of its base, and nothing more. Instead of the traditional flake, they use mini choco chips. And instead of chocolate chip cookie dough, they flout convention by using plain cookie dough, presumably because there’s already chips in the ice cream. Nothing wrong with these slight tweaks, but the vanilla base has a hint of sourness, which gives it a tinge of yogurtyness, or taste of buttermilk. Neither of which is better than traditional vanilla for a chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, by any sober objective standards.
Give it up to Cool Haus on their design; the silver, white and pink colorway juxtaposes nicely with the drippiness of the graphics. Typical LA overachievers, Cool Haus pint bears six stamps of flair. Highlights include a pink W for being Women Founded & Led, an unwrapped chocolate bar for equal partner & organic chocolate and an animated cow depiction to demonstrate the lack of bovine growth hormones. Pretty soon ice cream pints are going to start looking like Nascar outfits. Oh, and they want you to lick the spoon (are there people that don’t do that?).
Cool Haus makes a solid foray into cookie dough territory with their unique spin.
13. Talenti – Taste 2
It’s hard to judge Talenti against the rest when it’s a gelato, not ice cream. But then there are also plenty of non-dairy competitors, so where do you draw the line? Maybe you don’t and you just do your best not to draw any lines at all. Talenti’s version of chocolate chip cookie dough has a fudge swirl instead of chunks, flakes or shards, and it’s a welcome departure and finish on the palate. The cookie dough is standard mini balls and the gelato itself is light, airy, and icey with a sweet richness.
Talenti’s packaging is a bit of a cop out. Transparent works for their mix-ins line, where seven layer dip-esque, toppings-heavy creations resemble a science project slash ant farm. For a flavor like chocolate chip cookie dough, the visual reveal is lot less compelling. Then you realize Unilever is behind the brand (it’s on the pint) and you understand why Talenti is all about simplicity.
Measuring Talenti against the rest is easy because despite it being gelato, the cookie dough remains a constant and Talenti’s fudge swirl is a fun twist, making Talenti a worthy pickup when you have that cookie dough jones.
12. Nick’s – Taste 1
If you’ve never had Swedish ice cream before, you’re not alone. Well not until now, because after sampling Nick’s, it seems like an acquired taste. The initial flavor of the base is a bit unusual because it has such a vanilla pudding-forward flavor to it. The cookie dough is ball style like most others, but the chocolate is a chocolate syrupy tasting streak through the ice cream. It all oddly balances out, making you go back for more, even though it may really just be the novelty of something so different.
Nick’s simplistic pint design is fun and quirky i- an upside down I in the brand name, animated topping sludge and Swedish cookies on the package. Color me curious. There is a short anecdote about Swedish cookies that culminates with a jab at all of us who do not have Swedish momma’s in our life and didn’t have the pastoral joy of churning our own butter as a wee lad, as if my self esteem wasn’t already low enough after eating 23 brands of cookie dough ice cream in one sitting. Shame on you Nick’s from El Segundo, CA making Swedish Ice Cream in LA and making us feel bad about ourselves.
Nick’s is not your Grandma’s ice cream, unless you grew up in Sweden. Then it’s literally hers. For the rest of us Nick’s is an interesting and tasty alternative to the average chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. Nick’s checks off the list of key elements to create a slightly new cookie dough experience.
11. Wegman’s Regular – Taste 23
Wegman’s again? Yep two spots on the list is sort of unfair, but it was interesting to see how Wegman’s would stack up against itself. Certainly the Regular ice cream is more mid than the Premium, but it’s still pretty dern good. The chocolate is chips this time, and the cookie doodads may be the best in this sampling, offering a decadent finish on the palate. No surprise with Wegman’s being the cookie kings and all. The vanilla ice cream base itself is the biggest minus here, with a very slightly off-putting aftertaste that doesn’t really take away from the overall enjoyment, but is more noticeable when tasted without the other components.
Wegman’s regular ice cream comes in tub format and the design is plain blue with greatly enlarged pictures of cookie dough ice cream (there is a legal disclaimer that makes sure you know) and suggestive text like “delectable” and “let’s dig in.” Jeez, Wegman’s can sure be pushy. Since the Wegman’s Family “only offers products they love” according to their tub verbiage, its curious they make two versions of chocolate cookie dough ice cream. But, maybe there is enough love in the Wegman’s Family to unconditionally support two types of the same flavor (*eyebrow raise*).
Wegman’s Regular doesn’t stack up to its Premium cousin, but it’s still a solid market grab if you’re more into the economy-sized ice cream offerings.
10. Häagen Dazs – Taste 4
Standard classic traditional delicious Häagen Dazs — there’s not a whole lot to say because these are the pros. Coffee Haagen Dazs is my day one number one, so the texture and taste of the vanilla base here is nostalgic, even though it’s not coffee. Who hasn’t had Häagen Dazs classic vanilla? The cookie dough gobs and chocolate flake here satisfy both elements tastefully and tastily. There is no misstep or halfstep, and Häagen Dazs seems to backup its claim of increased dough dotting the vanilla – it’s everywhere!
Häagen Dazs packaging is classic: logo slap, ingredient portraiture, light abstract art. There is an announcement about more cookie dough (20% the lid says) and chocolate chips than ever, which will no one will protest about at Dreyer’s Oakland HQ in any version of the future. And in case you need to QR Code everything in your path, there is one on the top of the lid AND next to the ingredients.
When you need a friend that has 20% extra cookie dough than in the past and was already great before that, Häagen Dazs is there. We all need a friend like that from time to time.
9. Wegman’s Premium – Taste 16
Wegman’s Premium ice cream line bears the promise of simply being better than the regular version they sell. Does the purveyor deliver on this promise?
The chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream you get is pretty on par and slightly premo – the high quality ice cream base has a richness that warrants pudding comparisons, the chocolate pieces are creamy, and the cookie dough bits have a nice brown butteryness to them.
Wegman Premium packaging is a little more fun than Wegman’s Regular, bearing a funky font and chocolate flakes suspended in the ether – this is how Wegman’s celebrates “Food You Should Feel Good About,” though “good” is rarely the adjective used after eating a large serving of ice cream. Otherwise, it’s of note that there’s 16% butterfat in this indulgence, which is apparently a higher percentage than humans are used to. There is no stamp here, but there is a note about a “bioengineered food product ingredient,” and nothing further, which seems a little suspicious.
A sum of its premium parts, Wegman’s hits all the right notes with its higher-tier chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream product.
8. Salt & Straw – Taste 19
Salt &Straw is one of those exciting ice cream companies pushing the boundaries of ingredients and flavors, directly from the culinary hipster haven of Portland, Oregon. And innovation is definitely in motion here as instead of the standard chocolate flake/shard iteration most cookie dough ice creams opt for, here we have fudgy chocolatey splotches throughout the base (which is smooth and rich vanilla) as well as dough in similar splotch-like fashion. The splotches are a nice texture and it all works, coalescing into a viable competitor in the crowded chocolate cookie dough pantheon.
The packaging for Salt & Straw pints is old-fashioned in its color and design simplicity. Salt & Straw twirls their moustache at other brands with their silly scoop photos, their PR-written origin stories, their boasts and badges of superiority. The only thing cookie dough-centric about their entire pint is the script written onto every Salt & Straw — this time specifying Salted, Malted Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough plainly.
This may not be your Uncle’s cookie dough, but it is your cousin’s who started growing their own plants during the pandemic in a shipping container in the industrial part of town. And there’s nothing wrong if you like it too.
7. Friendly’s – Taste 21
From lunch and fish-a-majigs at the mall with grandparents as a kid, to high school late nights annoying the waitstaff (there was definitely a dine-n-dash moment, if you must know) to family time spent with sundaes and coloring books, Friendly’s has always been in the mix. But their supermarket product always seemed a bit “lesser than,” maybe because it’s not as fresh as the brick and mortar. Maybe because it needs a minute to temper before it de-ices and reaches its creamy peak. Regardless, this previous perception was immediately debunked and nullified by the chocolate chip cookie dough variety of Friendly’s, which has great pieces of chocolate flake and perfect size cookie dough balls amidst the sea of creamy vanilla ice cream.
One of Friendly’s biggest brags is their tenure, originating in 1935, and it doesn’t seem like their red motif and retro logo have changed since those days. Not that anyone needs more than a basic design and a photo of a bowl of cookie dough ice cream, showing what it looks like when you’re three scoops into your munchie spiral. Don’t act like you haven’t been there. The gallon packaging also chronicles the wholesome Blake family story (they started Friendly’s as a sort of ice cream “Cheers” for families) in paragraph format and a small esoteric stamp that’s only text is “bioengineered.” Oh good.
Despite the gallon size, there is nothing lacking in Friendly’s very good version of cookie dough ice cream.
6. Ample Hills – Taste 6
Ample Hills entry into the chocolate chip cookie dough category is a bit of a cheat in its proximity to the top here. Not only does Ample Hills integrate a ribbon of cookie dough into the vanilla base, it also has actual baked cookies in the ice cream — hence the cutesy name “baked/unbaked,” which has nothing to do with cannibanoids, thankfully. It’s a hipstery and highbrow concept, but the execution works.
Can it really be considered a competitor in the rich cookie dough category despite it’s non-traditional composition? Who cares? If there’s cookie dough in the ice cream, we’re counting it!
The packaging is cheerfully animated with assorted animal characters and beloved items such as a dart board, record player and Rubik’s cube – clearly Ample Hills know how to set the mood for their treats. It also lists Ample Hills HQ’s address, which is aptly listed as being on Beard Street in Brooklyn.
Ample Hills has created a chocolate chip cookie dough that is way more than sufficient. It’s actually exemplary, of what chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream can be with a little extra fun.
5. Stop N Shop – Taste 3
“He really has a lot of chutzpah” they may say about it, for putting a grocery store brand land in the top five. “They use artificial flavors.” Yeah, it’s true, but it’s not cloyingly obvious and doesn’t diminish from the overall tastiness of this frozen delight. The cream is creamy, the vanilla does its thing, and the chocolate flake and cookie doughs are textbook. Blind taste don’t lie.
Packaging is no frills, a grey wooden panel in the back to give you that ole retro cabin feel for no real reason. It’s distributed by Foodhold USA LLC, and if you can’t take comfort from that, they use “FSC Mix packaging” and have a good ole stamp to show for their troubles. Supermarket simplicity at its finest.
Better than the brands you had in your market growing up (unless, of course, you did grow up with Stop N Shop), Stop N Shop is doing its customers right with their quality yet economical cookie dough ice cream offering.
4. Tillamook – Taste 6
The ‘Mook is a special place that will live fondly in my dairy-loving heart for a long time. Full disclosure, I took a trip there and spent some time with some of the fine folks in their R&D division. This had no bearing on their ranking (I was blindfolded, after all) — their chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream is just that good. Some of the creamiest ice cream sampled, possibly the creamiest (the packaging does say “really creamy,” so warning taken), replete with chocolate flake in proportion, as well as chocolate chip cookie dough globules abounding.
The packaging tells you immediately that Tillamook is doing it right – cage-free eggs, cows not given growth hormones, farmer-owned, more cream than their savvy competitors, B-corp stamp; the list goes on. The design features their signature clean blue motif with a portrait of the cookie dough by itself, as well as on a baking spoon, both primed for consumption.
Tillamook is creamier than your boutique pint-only ice cream brand (maybe the more compact and tightly packed size makes the product a harder texture) and softer than all of the big boy gallon-selling brands. Every other element meets the textbook standard, culminating in Oregon’s finest being one of our top five picks.
3. Turkey Hill – Taste 11
Ice cream brands can’t compete with the airy creaminess that Turkey Hill creates with their “premium” line. Full disclosure, I can’t count how many gallons of their Chocolate Marshmallow flavor have been polished off on a late night stomachache-inducing ice cream bender (not the whole gallon in one sitting though).
Their cookie dough variety is no less of a godsend for the family and gallon o’ scream-buying set – deliciously creamy yet somehow cloud-like vanilla ice cream, crumbly patches of cookie dough and little pieces of chocolate in consistent proportion. Turkey Hill’s packaging touts their “farm fresh milk and cream,” along with a delightful farmscape appointed with a barn and silos and a large cone of the good stuff, double scooped and ready.
It’s no mistake that Turkey Hill is close to the top here. They don’t cut any corners in delivering a premium product. I’m still bummed that a TH creamery visit was cut from the itinerary on a recent family trip to the land of buttery pastries and Amish delights in Pennsylvania.
2. Ben & Jerry’s – Taste 10
Celebrated as the originators of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, you have to give it up to the guys who now have their own Nike Dunk, but probably are only marginally involved in the day to day of the Vermont hippie-branded ice cream behemoth. Whoever at B&J thought of putting cookie dough in ice cream was clearly a genius (looking at you, anonymous mailroom worker). Their version has large chunks (almost streaks) of chocolate chip cookie dough and the rich chocolate flake element that almost every cookie dough ice cream has these days – and Ben & Jerry’s is still better than almost every one. Oh yeah, the vanilla base is super creamy.
B&J’s pint spells out a major flex, inventing the cookie dough flavor in 1984 along with a URL where you can check more in-depth company and product info — and lest we forget, the highly-sought after Fairtrade stamp right on the lid. The package is enrobed in Ben & Jerry’s signature whimsical cloudy skyscape, part trippy gigantic ice cream mounds chillin’ on a hillside, part child-friendly barnyard illustration.
When you’re the original, convention is almost offensive.
1. Graeter’s – Taste 12
Graeter’s has been a favorite since its introduction. Their chocolate is tippy top notch. They make ice cream in single pots. One. At. A. Time. They make seasonal flavors like Peach in the summer, which has ridiculously large juicy frozen peach chunks in a light, but rich and creamy peach base.
Oh this is about cookie dough ice cream? Their cookie dough may be the best had in a container, ever. The base is perfection, creamy and dreamy. The cookie dough-and-chocolate-to-base ratio is the best out there — it’s almost 1:1, ensuring every bite is incendiary.
Graeter’s packaging follows the template of the greater Graeter’s line (sorry, had to — big logo slap, big ups to the company being around forever, French Pot in the house, vivid portrait of the tasty main ingredients, and history lesson about the brand slow-making their special product 2.5 gallons at a time, for five generations in Cincinnati, for more than the last 150 years.
A taste of Graeter’s chocolate chip cookie dough involves eyes-closing bliss moment and subsequent servings to alleviate potential future cravings. Yeah, it’s problem.