Top Pick Of The Week

July 7, 2009

. .

Cookie Dough Ice Cream

If this ice cream looks different, it’s because each flavor is paired with the corresponding cookie dough used to make one of Ruby et Violette’s 100-plus varieties. This is no ordinary cookie dough—it has chunks of dark or white Callebaut Belgian chocolate. The texture and flavor of the ice cream are wonderfully different from any frozen delight we’ve ever had.

WHAT IT IS: Gourmet ice cream with a special flair.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Gourmet ice cream with big chunks of cake-like cookie dough (not like other cookie dough ice creams) and generous amounts of large chocolate chips.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Wonderful flavors, great combination of textures, exciting to eat. True “luxury” ice cream.
WHERE TO BUY IT: Telephone 1.718.728.6250, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time. At this point, you can’t order directly from the website, but will be able to do so in the future. Order some brownies while you’re at it...and the Seduction Cookies, too.
CONGRATULATIONS: Ruby et Violette is the only company to be chosen four times by THE NIBBLE as a Top Pick Of The Week.

Ruby Et Violette: The Best Cookie Dough Ice Cream

CAPSULE REPORT: Forget other cookie dough ice creams. As alluring as they might once have been, they pale in comparison to Ruby et Violette’s. Even if you’ve never cared for cookie dough ice cream, Ruby et Violette raises the bar to the point where you feel like you’re eating ice cream cake—no raw dough flavor, but the taste of the actual cookie. (When you mix a cookie into ice cream, it looses its crunchiness and becomes cakelike.) We ate six pints of Ruby et Violette’s ice cream and went back for more, thinking it was cookie in those pints and not cookie dough.

Some history: The business was born as a specialty chocolate chip cookie baker, making 100 different flavors (about 20 at any given time). Ingredients are primo: excellent Belgian chocolate chips from premium chocolatier Callebaut, plus the finest French fruit and nut pastes and other ingredients (fine dried strawberries for the Super Strawberry chocolate chip cookie, for example). The chocolate chip cookies were a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week in 2005. In 2007 the founder retired, and the new owners brought new ideas, including the ice cream and some of the best brownies we’ve ever had. They were a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week in 2008, followed by the Seduction Cookies line, which debuted just in time for Valentine’s Day 2009 (and are our favorite of all 100+ cookies).

The ice cream is equally memorable, leveraging the brand heritage of chocolate chip cookies. Each flavor is made with lots of chocolate chip cookie dough—the same dough from which the cookies are baked, minus the raw egg—plus a generous extra handful of Callebaut’s callets, a word which means “bits” (as in chocolate bits) but which you can interpret as “large chocolate chips.”

The result of this ice cream alchemy: creative flavors that are bursting with natural taste and amazing texture—creamy, rich ice cream, huge mouthfuls of cake-like cookie dough and as many crunchy chocolate chips as one’s heart could desire. Ruby et Violette is certainly the best in the Cookie Dough Ice Cream category, and once you dig in to a few flavors, you can decide where else to bestow superlatives. Read the full review below. And, since it's National Ice Cream Month, indulge!

THE NIBBLE does not sell the foods we review
or receive fees from manufacturers for recommending them.

Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.


More Worth Screaming For

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The History Of Ice Cream. From 2000 B.C.E. to now, see how the world’s favorite frozen dessert evolved from syrup-flavored snow. Read the History Of Ice Cream. Ice Cream Glossary. Ice cream, French ice cream, glace, gelato, frozen custard— what’s the difference? Find out in our Glossary Of Frozen Desserts. Ice Cream Trivia Quiz. Four fun questions and answers that will make you the trivia king (or queen) of ice cream. Take the Ice Cream Trivia Quiz.

Ruby Et Violette: The Best Ice Cream


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We’ve got to admit it: Ice cream is our single most favorite food. Beyond that, we can’t think of anything more wonderful than ice cream and cake. If we were in a group scheduled to be shot at sunrise, let the rest of the crew chow down on porterhouse steaks, white truffles and Mouton Rothschild. We’d eat every flavor of ice cream with appropriate garnishes (cake, cookies, hot fudge, whipped cream—hold the cherry, unless it’s one of natural, great-tasting maraschino cherries from Tillen Farms).

As one might guess, we’ve tried every brand of ice cream that has crossed our path. These include supermarket brands to gourmet store brands to artisan creameries that ship to artisan creameries that don’t. One example of the latter is the amazing Bi Rite Creamery in San Francisco—so incredible that we skipped dinner at Gary Danko to go there one more time before we left town, in order to have absolutely every precious flavor. Note  to Bi Rite: It is simply cruel that you do not ship your ice cream to the needy nationwide.

But should we complain, when we live 22 blocks from Ruby et Violette? No, because we can pick up a pint (or six) of Ruby et Violette ice cream in person. And everyone who can’t get there easily can place an order by phone and have it delivered the next day.


Chocolate Ice Cream
You don’t have to wait for Monday Night Football to serve Touchdown (at top), Peanut butter ice cream packed with Ruby et Violette’s Monday Night Football cookie dough (peanuts and dark chocolate) with more dark chocolate chips. In front, Perfectly Chocolate, rich chocolate ice cream with R&V’s Perfect cookie dough (their version of chocolate chip) plus more chocolate chips. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

Here’s a tiny operation, much smaller than Bi Rite Creamery, whose owners understand what it is to yearn for something wonderful. They don’t have e-commerce, but they’ll gladly take a phone call and ship you what you want, hand-packed, with the name of the flavor handwritten on the lid. These small business owners care about the ice cream lover, and want to share their superb product with anyone who wants to try it.

So how good is it? A few days ago, one of our colleagues had a birthday party. His favorite flavor is coffee, so we pulled out all the stops and acquired every coffee and espresso ice cream that would fit into our freezer. The winner by a mile: Ruby et Violette’s Double Shot: espresso ice cream, espresso chocolate chip cookie dough and enough extra chocolate chips to make him forget about turning 40. Read about more fab flavors on the next page.

By the way, the question often arises: Who invented cookie dough ice cream?

Cookie dough ice cream was first mass-marketed in 1991 by Ben & Jerry’s. The flavor was suggested by a customer, whose idea was to add clumps of raw chocolate chip cookie dough into vanilla ice cream. Whether the woman had tasted it at an artisan creamery or made it herself is not known for certain; however, snacking on raw cookie dough was very popular at the time and more than a few people used it to decorate ice cream, sundae-style; some specialty ice cream parlors had it as a mix-in option.

— Karen Hochman

Continue To Page 2: Varieties Of Ruby Et Violette Gourmet Ice Cream

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