Donuts and ice cream are two of the greatest foods on Earth. You have a warm donut, the perfect sweet treat to start a day, then ice cream, a cold, creamy dessert that can put a smile on the greatest of grumps. Put the two together and you have the undisputed king of indulgences.
While reading Flipboard this week I stumbled upon this article about the Halo Pressed Ice Cream Sandwich from B Sweet Dessert Bar in Los Angeles. B Sweet will take ice creams including mint chip, chocolate malted crunch, and vanilla and stuff them into a warm, glazed donut. Yeah. Amazing.
In 2009 I was working in a glass-framed office building in downtown Austin doing political consulting. My office had a perfect view of Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, where my Texas Longhorns played. They were good then, losing to Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game only after our star quarterback was knocked out with a shoulder injury.
As someone who went to school in Austin, I was well acquainted with Ken’s Donuts, this little donut shop right near the University of Texas campus. It was the place you’d grab a donut on the way to class or a dozen of them for your friends tailgating at an early football game. They didn’t do anything wild like you’ll find these days at VooDoo Donuts, but Ken’s does the classics really well.
Just down the street from Ken’s is Amy’s Ice Cream. An Austin institution that now has locations throughout the Lone Star State, Amy’s is a fantastically quirky shop with everything from Mexican Vanilla to Guinness ice cream. You can get “mix-ins” of M&Ms, Oreos, Gummy Bears, and a million other things smashed into the ice cream of your choice. It makes for a nearly endless combination of custom ice cream flavors.
Knowing that these two places were just a few blocks away, and loving what each of them produces, a friend and I decided to spend one spring day in 2009 bringing these two perfect foods together.
We began at Ken’s by picking up a mixed dozen that included chocolate glazed, blueberry, chocolate, powdered, and some plain cake donuts. Then we packed them up, drove down the street to Amy’s and ordered a few different ice creams to fill the donuts. We went with Mexican Vanilla, apple pie, and coffee with chocolate chips.
We played around with the combinations of donuts and ice cream at settled on a few real winners. The blueberry donut with the apple pie ice cream was amazing. Combining cold apple pie ice cream and the warm, frosted, sweet blueberry donut was surprisingly perfect. I wasn’t sure it was going to work, but in the end it was an Americana sandwich of awesome.
The next success was the chocolate-covered donut with the coffee chocolate chip ice cream. You got an extra pop from the crunch of the chocolate chips in the ice cream. It was like having your coffee and donut breakfast, but as a dessert. Home run!
Finally, the simplest of the combinations: the rich chocolate donut with the spice of a Mexican Vanilla ice cream. The warm donut melted the vanilla ice cream which then got soaked up back into the donut, making it moist, luxurious, and the perfect mouthful. It wasn’t as flashy as a blueberry-apple pie combo, but boy was it amazing.
I don’t remember finishing all those donut-ice cream sandwiches. Sadly, I don’t think I had the stomach for it. Frankly, it’s amazing I didn’t end up in a diabetic coma as a result of the whole indulgent affair, but looking back at that day eight years ago, it is still one of my fondest food memories.
These days with a wife, kids, a gym membership, and now no gallbladder, I think my days of homemade donut-ice cream sandwiches are probably behind me. That being said, next time I’m in Los Angles, you can bet I’m going to get a Halo Pressed Ice Cream Sandwich from B Sweet Dessert Bar.
Hmmm, I wonder if Southwest is running any specials between Austin and Los Angeles…