What happens when you wake up one day and all you want is a doughnut? And some ice cream. Sure, you can go by one of the many joint Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins shops and fulfill both cravings. Or, you can go to Holey Cream – the Manhattan version of Brooklyn’s Peter Pan Bakery. Holey Cream is home to the doughnut ice cream sandwich – a ridiculously rich, sugary, calorie-laden treat. The process through which this super indulgent breakfast/dessert item is produced is simple, and the final product is highly customizable.
First, you select a cake doughnut – chocolate or plain. Next, you pick your ice cream. Holey Cream offers a large selection of ice creams, soft serves, frozen yogurts, and sorbets. Once you pick an ice cream, they cut your doughnut in half and place two heaping scoops of the ice cream on one half – meaning that you can pick two different flavors if that floats your boat (because, really, a doughnut filled with only one kind of ice cream just isn’t enough). Then, you choose an icing for the top half of the doughnut. Finally, you select a topping for the icing covered doughnut to be dipped in. The man (or woman) behind the counter then puts your two halves together to create one delectable whole and sends you on your merry way to enter into insulin shock.
For those of you who don’t like sugary treats, or are on a diet, I’d stop reading now…
I went to Holey Cream on a Friday night and, while it was by no means packed, there was a steady stream of customers – some coming in for the ice cream sandwich, others just getting ice cream or doughnuts. It can seem a bit busier than it actually is because the store is very small and narrow. The man behind the counter was very friendly and accommodated my request to sample numerous flavors of ice cream. Ultimately, I selected the chocolate peanut butter cup. It is very rich and creamy with strong chocolate and peanut butter flavors and sizeable chunks of peanut butter cups – all of which sounds pretty standard for this type of ice cream, that is, until you realize that this one is fat-free and has about 100 calories per serving (yes, even though you are here for a doughnut ice cream sandwich, you shouldn’t go crazy. come on guys…). So, not only was this the best flavor that I sampled, but it was also the healthiest. The base wasn’t watery or icy, nor did they scrimp on the peanut butter cups. It tasted, at least to me, like real ice cream.
To complement my ice cream selection, I went with a chocolate doughnut, chocolate icing, and – although they had a peanut butter cup topping – an Oreo cooking topping (I didn’t want there to be too much peanut butter).
During the five or so block walk back to my friend’s apartment, the ice cream started melting (if I haven’t made it clear in earlier posts, it’s super hot in New York). We stuck our treats in the freezer for a few minutes once we arrived home to re-freeze it.
Once I took it out of the freezer and started to eat it, I realized that my expectations might have been a little too high. The doughnut was incredibly hard, and I really don’t think its five-minute stay in the freezer could have accomplished that. It tasted like and had the texture of a doughnut that had sat out all day, like the kind you buy at 2am from the Krispy Kreme bin at the gas station. The sandwich was also nearly impossible to eat. Two scoops of ice cream were excessive for this relatively small doughnut, and it was melting out all over the place. One scoop would have stayed within the bounds of the two halves of the doughnut much better. The ice cream itself was simply wonderful. If I am in Midtown West anytime soon, I may just go back and get this ice cream. I ended up removing one half of my doughnut and just eating the ice cream on the base.
For $5, I don’t think that this mega dessert was a good value. I’d rather go to the aforementioned Dunkin Donuts/Basking Robbins shop and ask them to make me something comparable – or, perhaps I’ll try Peter Pan Bakery (which apparently makes the same thing for $3.50). However, this ice cream sandwich is so novel that Holey Cream might be a good place to bring a friend from out of town.