Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bobtail Year: Flavor Battle: Peanut Butter

December is month seven of my Bobtail Year, two pints of Bobtail Homemade Ice Cream a month for donating to Oracle Theatre. 

Ever since I tasted Bobtail's flavor Sloth, I've craved more of their peanut butter ice cream. Bobtail's regular ice cream menu features two unusual flavors that center around peanut butter: Peanut Butter Chip and White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup. But which is better?

Peanut Butter Chip (left)
Here we have a peanut butter ice cream base with chocolate flakes. The base overcomes the issue of many peanut ice creams: they are so stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth that they forget to be dessert. This one is simultaneously feeling viscous and light, all while being addictively sweet. The flakes are generously distributed throughout, but like pretty much any flavor that features Bobtail's chocolate chips flakes, they are not strong enough to effect the flavor in a big way. The flakes add a delicate brittleness, but the chocolate flavor doesn't really permeate into consciousness until after the mouth warms back up, adding a nice touch of semisweet to the aftertaste. Best to take a break between spoonfuls to get the full effect.

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup (right)
Like the Peanut Butter Chip, this flavor overcomes a common issue: most chocolate candy ice creams use a vanilla or sweet cream base, when a chocolate base would be far more sensible. Curiously, Bobtail chose to have a white chocolate base instead of chocolate. And a wise choice it was, providing more fullness of flavor than one typically finds in Bobtail's chocolate base. It also complements the peanut butter cups well, a mix-in that brings toothsome chunkiness to each bite in which they appear. Together, the base and mix-in balance one another perfectly. The only issue is the inconsistency in which the cups appear; while there were plenty of bites with more than one cup, there were far too many bites with no cups, especially as I neared the bottom of my pint.

Verdict: You can't lose...but you are more than a winner--a peanut butter champion!--if you get a scoop of each.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Chicago's Twelve Doughnuts of Christmas

Endgrain's holiday doughnuts (r-l): Peppermint (Best!), Mint Chocolate, Gingerbread
'Twas the holiday season and fryers did fry
Colorful, tasty and festive delights!
There's no better way than to cap off the year
With doughnuts resplendent with holiday cheer!
Do-Rite's Hot Chocolate.
Also on their holiday menu:
Chocolate Candy Cane,
Gingerbread Old Fashioned
and Christmas Cookie

I first dash to Do-Rite, whose works I admired.
The best was Hot Chocolate, so rich and inspired!
Choc-o-late Candy Cane also had zeal.
(Christmas cookie and gingerbread had less appeal.)

Endgrain had gingerbread, too--just okay--
Plus two tasty doughnuts with peppermint glaze.
The one topped with chocolate got all of the press,
But I liked the one with red sugar the best.

Then over to Doughnut Vault, teeming with hype,
But they had sold out, which did cause me to gripe.
No chocolate peppermint doughnut for me
Nor gingerbread doughnuts, sold by the three.
Holiday Cookie doughnut from Firecakes.
Also on their holiday menu: Eggnog
and Chocolate Peppermint Bark.

At Firecakes I ended my wintry sojourn.
Their choc-o-late peppermint bark I did scorn
And their custard-y eggnog did drive me away,
But their holiday cookie gave reason to stay.

Twelve holiday doughnuts--so tempting to buy--
But these three wise doughnuts you simply must try:
Number three is Doughnut Vault's Gingerbread Stack.
They have it year round and I've meant to go back!

Endgrain's Peppermint gets second place.
So airy and sweet with a candy cane taste!
But the toasted marshmallow with choc'late so yummy
Made Do-Rite's Hot Chocolate the best in my tummy!

Like Santa, my stomach was giant and round.
So many doughnuts will pack on some pounds!
As I waddled down Hubbard Street, I yelled 'neath my cap,
"Thanks for the doughnuts! Now I need a nap."