Third Trimester Ice Cream Quest

The third trimester feels like one, violent craving for chocolate ice cream.

It also feels tired, cranky, out of breath and sore. But muchly chocolate ice cream. Chocolate shakes, most specifically, but chocolate ice cream will typically do.

“How do you make a chocolate shake?” I asked Jake.

“I think it’s just ice cream and milk.”

“That can’t be it,” I said.

When I got home, I Googled chocolate milkshake recipes and they were actually just milk and ice cream.

Here are the chocolate ice creams I’ve enjoyed most recently – I guess I’ll have to keep trying them all until I find the perfect one.

Wendy’s Chocolate Frosty
The Wendy’s Frosty is one of the most satisfying and convenient chocolate shake treat around. Unlike McDonald’s, the Wendy’s Frosty machine is never broken. You can order it morning, noon, and night.

In fact, you can even swap it into your breakfast sandwich combo without any judgement. I did.

“Would you like to upgrade the small to a medium,” she asked.

“Yes.” And I was glad I did.

The shake is aerated and so it’s easy to enjoy the leftovers later.

Haagen-Dazs Crispy Trio Layers – White & Milk Chocolate
Price at Lunds: $3.99 on sale, around $5.25 regular

This had me at “crispy layers.” I didn’t look at the package too carefully and hoped some of the layers were cookies or wafers – they are actually made out of chocolate.

There should be more layers.

Of course the ice cream quality is good. I liked that the dark chocolate layers added texture. Some of them were so thick I could hardly break them with a spoon. I pounded at one layer with all my might until a chunk would break. Not that I’m complaining about eating big chunks of chocolate.

Not bad, but I’ll wait for the Viennetta ice cream cake to come back.

Izzy’s Chocolate Ice Cream  -A  local brand
Price at Lunds:  $4.99 (on sale), Around $7 regular

This locally-made ice cream is made with Guittard Cocoa Powder. “Forget the mix-ins. Ditch the toppings. Izzy’s chocolate can stand triumphantly on its own. . . ” the description boasts.

I had to Google Guittard Cocoa Powder. From what I can tell, it’s a high quality Dutch-process cocoa professional chefs like to bake with?

The ice cream has a pleasant, creamy texture. Just soft enough to spoon out. The flavor tastes like a chocolate ice cream made with cocoa powder – gently milk chocolatey, but left me wanting a more intense chocolate flavor.

Treats MN – Cereal-themed ice cream treats
Shakes – $7.50 each. 

Treats MN is a unique shop nearby that serves boba tea drinks + cereal themed sweets such as waffles and ice creams.

They also deliver through DoorDash. My search for delivery milkshakes is how I found them, as there aren’t many options. Of course you can also order ahead and pick-up.

We ordered two shakes to share on a cold day.

  • Bananagram – Honey Bunches of Oats, Honey Nut Cheerios, Banana & Nutella, topped with Teddy Grahams.
  • Super Crunch Brothers – Cap N Crunch, Rice Krispies Treats, & Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Ordering cereal shakes for delivery means that some of the cereal isn’t going to be as crisp as if you ate it right away from the store. The Super Crunch Brothers tasted like Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal milk. The Bananagram tasted like hint of banana and included lots of cheerios. The Teddy Grahams stayed crisp. I wanted more banana and nutella.

The cereals inside in the shakes surely added to the flavor but became indistinguishably soft (except for tje cheerios). We liked that the shakes seem to be made with a soft-serve type of ice cream, so they are light and refreshing. And not too sweet. I could easily down one in a single sitting without much discomfort.

Grand Ole Creamery – Malt, St. Paul, MN
Price: $6.05

Jake and I remember our families taking us to Grand Ole Creamery since we were kids. For many of us, visits are family traditions. It’s been serving ice cream since 1984. Even Barack Obama visited the ice cream shop when he visited the Twin Cities in 2014.

In the summers (pre-pandemic), the ice cream shop is packed. The ice cream here is very rich and the serving sizes for the smallest of cones are comically huge.  I’ve never in my life been able to finish a small cone. You can also order pizza, gyros, and other sandwiches from the adjoining restaurant.

I ordered a malt for pick-up – a sign out front features a number to call for curbside delivery. You can order a malt or shake flavor from a list of around 30 ice creams. I chose Chocolate Malt Banana and it was creamy, rich and delicious as I expected.

Delivery is available through BiteSquad for a jarring number of fees compared to other delivery services. 

Coolhaus – Chocolate Molten Cake
Price at Whole Foods: $5.99

I’ve always enjoyed Coolhaus’s Dirty Mint Chip ice cream – the mint flavor comes from fresh mint leaves. This  chocolate ice cream hit the spot for me. The ice cream texture is denser from the freezer than the others, and richer.

Thin ribbons of chocolate frosting and small pieces of chocolate cake truffle run through the pint. They taste similar, but add textural contrast and more chocolate. I like this one a lot.

J. Selby’s Vegan Shake

The other night we ordered takeout from J. Selby’s, a popular, local vegan restaurant, and noticed they had a two-for-one special on orange dreamsicle shakes. We added them to our order-  they were made with vanilla  “ice cream,” organic orange juice, oat milk and turmeric. These shakes were so refreshing and delicious. Better than an orange julius – just as satisfying as any dairy shake I’ve ever had. Would absolutely add a shake to my order from now on.

I don’t currently see the orange shakes on the menu, but notice they offer various shake specials. You can also order fruit-flavored “soyclone” shakes every day.

The ice cream tasting will continue!

These first selections are limited to recent grocery trips to places closest to home where staff and customers consistently wear masks, + winter weather limitations. More to come. 

1 Comment

  1. Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

    Now I’m hungry for ice cream… I actually craved ice cream with my first pregnancy and my go to was a hand-spun chocolate shake from Hardee’s. My personal favorite chocolate ice cream that you should try is Kwik Trip’s Nature Touch’s Chocolate Dream!

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