Monday, July 13, 2015

How to Stay Cool During Summer (Through Your Mouth)

Living in Southern California, in an area where summer means you could vacation on the Equator to cool off, we’ve made it a family tradition to take a trip to Northern CA every June to visit Mrs. Dude’s sister and her family. The sisters have fun, the cousins get to play and we all cool off. This summer, however, things were a tad different.

Sure, we made the trek and everyone had a good time, but this visit was as hot and humid as a bonfire in a sauna. And they don’t have air-conditioning, like most homes in the area, because it never gets hot up there. (Except when it does.) So I took it upon myself to figure out alternative method for cooling the gang off.

California is in a drought so running through the sprinkler is off-limits.

Taking an ice bath sounds cool, but I imagine hypothermia isn’t too much fun either.

Creating a vision board with images of igloos and glaciers could help with mind over matter, but I 
doubt that would satisfy my scorching inner core. 

As I sat there contemplating options, I heard an alarm go off in my brain with the perfect solution. Well, actually it wasn’t an alarm as much as a cacophony of annoying rhythmic earworms designed to draw children out of their homes by that fellow every parent hates, AKA the Ice Cream Man.

Thankfully my kids are not yet fully aware of or attuned to his jingle-jangle but I had an idea, so I headed to their local grocery store for A) a few precious moments in free air-conditioning and B) some cool delicious treats.

I’d heard that Klondike recently added some heavy hitters to their classic brand of ice-cream bars, but I wanted to find out for myself. Thankfully with 4 adults and 4 kids staying under one hot tin roof, I had the perfect sample size to not feel guilty about trying out a smorgasbord of Klondike’s newest creations.
I was impressed by the options I discovered, as I was previously only really familiar with the old-school Klondike chocolate-on-vanilla variety. After looking over their lineup, with choices like Heath Bar and Rocky Road, which took up almost its own section in the freezer aisle, I settled on a quartet of diverse options for every palate in the house. Also, I didn’t rush my decision as the A/C felt as amazing as the ice cream options looked. 

I’d heard about Klondike’s new Kandy Bar lineup and was tempted by the Cookies and Cream option, which is my 5 year old’s favorite flavor, but wasn’t sure if he’d be down with the white chocolate shell. Luckily there is an Oreo option in the regular collection which made for a great alternative for my picky eater. On the flipside, I debated the Mint Chocolate Chip classic-shaped variety, but opted to give the Kandy Bars’ Mint Fudge Cookie a shot because it had a few extra bells and whistles to nom. Peanut Butter anything has long been my jam, so Reese’s was a no-brainer for the cart. Cookie Dough is another one of my favorites, as it is for pretty much everyone I know.

My choices waiting in the freezer.
After dinner that night I opened up the freezer and the sampling began. With three 6-packs and one 4-pack (the Kandy Bars), we had at least 22 opportunities to try things out without anyone having to share. To make sure everyone got to try everything, however, we did some slicing and dicing of the bars, quartering them to afford everyone ample chance without over committing.  

I immediately jumped into the Reese’s bar and that classic PB flavor did not disappoint. Rich and creamy peanut butter is always the perfect answer, no matter the question. Next I decided to give the brand new Cookie Dough bar a whirl, since cookie dough has long been one of my go-to ice cream choices. I like my cookie dough ice cream to be full of chunks and, when I unwrapped it I was disappointed to see that unfortunately that wasn’t the case with these, which contained “ribbons” of cookie dough, per the wrapper. I wanted to like this one, I really did, but to be honest, it tasted like Vanilla ice cream with just a miniscule hint of cookie-dough flavoring that only an ice cream sommelier (if there is such a thing) could sniff out.
I wish the Cookie Dough had been a little more doughy. 
The Little Dude is an Oreo aficionado, so we split one of those next. It was definitely a good choice, like a classic Cookies and Cream kicked up a notch. Definitely a solid selection.

Mint Fudge Cookie is the way to go. 
Finally I dove into the brand spankin’ new Mint Fudge Cookie choice from the Kandy Bars collection. These deviate from the classic Klondike square shape and are shaped like, you guessed it, (rectangular) candy bars. This one was nails. The mint ice cream was light enough to be the perfect balance for the rich layer of fudge lying atop it. The dark chocolate crunch-filled outer shell really made this the best of the 4 options we tried. I only wish it came in a 6-pack, rather than 4, because these went like hotcakes, which would definitely NOT be a good flavor for Klondike to expand into.

Overall, I was impressed by the diversity of Klondike’s 12 different options, especially since I was previously unaware that they made anything beyond their original classic chocolate shell on vanilla ice cream style. I give them credit for trying to mix things up with some new varieties, even if they weren’t all my cup of tea.

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Klondike. I received free product coupons to facilitate my review as well as compensation for my participation.

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