Thursday, July 21, 2011

Target Archer Farms Monster Cookie
Ice Cream Review

[this was rebuilt as a market pantry flavor] Ok, you are going to have to forgive the following post because I already foresee it being a jumbled mess. What can I say? The weekend wore me out and this crazy heat wave has kept me from recovering. As much as the shoveling and oil bills ruin the fun of winter, at least it's not crazy humid. Ok, grab a fan, grab a pint (take that anyway you like), and let's dig into something that's never been on the blog before.

This is Monster Cookie Ice Cream from Archer Farms. I'm guessing most of you are familiar with Archer Farms as the inhouse "premium food products" brand of Target stores. According to the Target website, there are currently 10 ice cream flavors and 3 sorbet flavors. Now I don't do a ton of food shopping at Target, though they do have good prices and I have tried a few of the Archer Farms products. They use to make this killer potato bread, but let's stick to the frozen stuff right now.

Ok, let's zoom in on the label here. Monster Cookie is billed as sinfully indulgent peanut butter ice cream blended with candy coated chocolate pieces & oatmeal cookies. Mmmmmm, sounds fantastic. Now if you are unfamiliar with monster cookies (like I was), they are oatmeal cookies with M&Ms and chocolate chips in them (and sometimes raisins). You know, I can't wait to bite into those oatmeal cookie chunks....

Hey, wait, where are the giant cookie chunks like you see on the label? Oh don't even tell me you sneaky buggers have tricked me! This is not how you start a relationship people. We need honesty!

Now some of the chocolate chunks are pretty big, but after 3 servings I have yet to find a cookie chunk that's even as big as a pea. The candy coated bits seem a bit thicker than M&Ms and since they are frozen, they are a very solid bite when you come across one every 3 or 4 (or was it 5) spoonfuls. The chunks tend to be small but are pretty frequent as they add little bits of crunchiness here and there.

So does all this heat induced whining mean this stuff is terrible? No no no, my friends, in fact, we have quite the respectable premium ice cream here. The base has a lovely peanut butter flavor that enchants, but does not overpower. The chocolate chunks are fine, as are the candy pieces. It's got a good texture, it's got a nice flavor, and it's filling.

The only real issue I have with this ice cream is the mislabeling. I don't mean to nitpick, but I just always get bothered by these things. If you say oatmeal cookies, I start thinking big chunks, not these tiny little bits. The weird thing is, I didn't even really notice a big texture difference with these little bits flying about. It had to have been there, but it's subtlty was lost on me. Now that I think about it, you really don't see cookie bits used like this ever.

I have no problem telling everyone to give this a try at $3.99 for 1.5 quarts. In fact, I'm surprised they don't pawn this off as like a $1.99 pint. It may not be as perfect as B&J or H-D, but it's got the premium style fat content, so why not go for it? They've also got a chocolate ice cream with peanut butter swirl that looks fantastic.

Verdict?  Well done
Buy Again?  I will definitely try more Archer Farms flavors

Dubba's Note: Now originally this post was going to have me mocking Archer Farms for trying to "discretely" rebrand Blue Bunny's Monster Cookie ice cream, but the truth is, they aren't the same product. Sure at first glance you see the same flavor name and then check the ingredients to see butter in their makeups (something I've only noticed on Blue Bunny products), but dig further and they just don't match up. In fact, the Archer Farms version has twice the fat! Guess I'll just have to do some more investigating (and sampling).

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/2 cup (86g)
Servings Per Container  12

Amount Per Serving
Calories 230from Fat 130
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g22%
- Sat Fat 9g45%
- Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 40mg13%
Sodium 90mg4%
Total Carbohydrate 23g8%
- Dietary Fiber  <1g 4%
- Sugars 20g
Protein 4g

Vitamin A 8%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 10%Iron 0%


Charlotte said...

I really liked the Peanut Butter Chocolate Flavor from Archer Farm. I can't remember the exact name but it was delicious.

Lot-O-Choc said...

Mmmm peanut butter ice cream, im so jealous of the flavours you get in the US. I hate it though when youre expecting big cookie chunks and are severely let down!

Anonymous said...

man i really wish it had a different ice cream flavor base... guess i'll still with ben and jerry's oatmeal cookie!

Unknown said...

Target no longer carries Archer Farms Ice Cream -- only there poorer quality in-house brand. I can't understand why they would discontinue a very successful product.

Anonymous said...

Blue Bunny(out of Sioux City, Iowa) makes a monster cookie icecream that really does have chunks of cookies in it. It's delicious!