Blue Bell Seasonals

Blue Bell gifts us with merrymaking noms

Reviewed by Mick Vann, Fri., Dec. 9, 2011

Spiced-pumpkin pecan
Spiced-pumpkin pecan

It's the holiday season, and that means Blue Bell Ice Cream has rolled out its seasonal flavors. This season offers a couple of returning stars – spiced-pumpkin pecan and peppermint flavors – plus a couple of newbies: banana-nut bread and Christmas cookies ice creams.

Banana-nut bread offers a pale yellow, creamy banana ice cream with banana-nut bread chunks, roasted walnuts, and a cream-cheese frosting swirl. The base has enough banana flavor, and the bits of banana bread are not as grainy as BB's ice creams done in this style can be, but the frosting swirl pulls it all together. Much better than I expected.

Christmas cookies (chocolate chip, Snickerdoodle, and sugar-cookie bits in a faintly sugar-cookie-flavored ice cream, with red candy sprinkles and a green icing swirl) is less successful. If Blue Bell would follow the success of chocolate-chip-cookie dough ice cream and sub cookie doughs for the actual cookies, they'd hit it out of the park.

Spiced-pumpkin pecan is a delightful silky and richly spiced pumpkin ice cream combined with crunchy sugar-coated pecans (with an elusive touch of salt) and swirls of a rich cinnamon-honey-praline sauce. It is by far the best of the holiday lot. Have a scoop on top of a warm slice of pumpkin pie or perhaps make an ice cream float with it, using some eggnog and a shot of Cruzan Single Barrel Estate rum to push it into the stratosphere.

For all the mint fans out there, peppermint is a pink, pepperminty ice cream with bits of peppermint candy. Could it stand to be a little richer and more minty? Yes it could. Should we be glad that Blue Bell is not that far out on Highway 290 East? Definitely!

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