Review: New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream & The Age Old Debate: French Fries vs. Onion Rings

Junk Food Nation! What’s. Up. For those on the East Coast, how’s the weather out there? Has the salt done its job on the roads? And why the hell can’t the buildings next to me shovel their damn sidewalks? IT’S THE LAW, MORONS.

Anyways, yesterday was a snow day here in DC, and of course I spent way too many hours of it watching food shows on Travel and Food Network. And it got me thinking about a question I posed to my co-workers recently: all things being equal, what’s better – French Fries or Onion Rings?

I feel like the easy answer is French Fries. Most people grow up eating French Fries first, and it’s clearly listed as the FIRST side item over any Onion Rings which are usually pushed to a corner of the menu along with baked vegetables or mashed potatoes. Plus, McDonald’s French Fries are damn good. BK’s too.

But then you think….man, how many times have you had BAD French Fries? To me, French Fries are NOT like pizza – it is NOT always good. I’m sorry, Shake Shack, BUT I HATE CRINKLE CUT FRIES. What am I, in grade school? Plus, getting waterlogged, oil-soaked fries is disappointing (I’m looking at you, Five Guys. Sometimes you’re awesome, sometimes you’re an oil bomb. DECIDE WHAT YOU ARE.)

As you get older, you might slip into an Onion Ring phase. Onions, in general, have more flavor than potatoes. Restaurants add more seasoning to the onion ring batter. A Bloomin’ Onion at Outback may be something like 4000 calories, but who cares when it’s drenched in seasoned dip? Plus, onion rings have that awesome crunch of breading that you don’t get with french fries.

But how many times have you had BAD onion rings?? Those are the worst. Breading falling off or not fully cooked. Onion cut too thick.  Oil bomb, again.

Still, I think the argument is closer we all think. And it’s tough for me – there’s nothing I like more than a salty potato – but a breaded onion??? C’mon, that’s pretty awesome too.

Or maybe I’m crazy to think the argument is close. So tell me in the comments below, JFNation – what’s better, onion rings or french fries? Where do your favorite of each come from (which place, etc.?) And give me good arguments – maybe I’ll be swayed. Great, now I’m starving.


So, JFNation, as you might have heard from our recent Nosh Show episode, Häagen-Dazs has come out with a new line of ice cream for 2015, pairing with local bakery/food artisans to create awesome new flavors. At my local Target, I found these:

New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ice Cream

New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Chocolate Caramelized Oat Ice Cream and New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Tres Leches Brigadeiro Ice Cream were the first two flavors I spotted. I mean, they just look awesome.  On Second Scoop has a good review of the Tres Leches one already – sounds BALLER.

New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ice Cream

The next two flavors of the New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ice Cream I spotted were the Spiced Pecan Turtle Ice Cream and the Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream. I said on the show, and I’ll say it again – the Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream was the one I wanted most of all. How would it compare to the long gone Festivus Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream? We’ll see.

(PS: No sign of the Banana Rum Jam Variety. BOOO. I blame Dubba at On Second Scoop.)

Anyways, like I said in my Turkey Hill Gelato review, I usually just head over to On Second Scoop for my ice cream reviews, and I’m sure he will be hitting up all these flavors, but I couldn’t let these go by without at least trying ONE. So, without further delay…

Today’s junk food: New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream!!

New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream: The Money Shot

New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream is made with cookies from The Good Batch, a Brooklyn based bakery started by Ms. Anna Gordon. And she grew up in Silver Spring, MD!  HOLLA DMV REGION.

New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream

New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream: The Other Money Shot

The Good Batch Ginger Molasses Cookies used as part of this New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream can be bought off the Good Batch site – one dozen for $16. That’s pricey, but nothing compared to the price of a Starbucks cookie. HOW IS THE PRICE OF A FROSTED SNOWMAN COOKIE $2.25 STARBUCKS??? HOW. Gimme Good Batch any day of the week.

New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream

New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream is made by mixing these cookies with vanilla cinnamon ice cream. Festivus Ice Cream had both brown sugar ice cream and a ginger caramel swirl…mmmm caramel swirl. Just from the description, this H-D ice cream seems like it is a bit more refined/restrained than the B&J ice cream. Not sure if that’s a good thing yet.

New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream

New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream has 280 calories per 1/2 cup (oof)…

New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream

…but contains just some good natural ingredients. Cloves? Nutmeg? BUTTER? I can get down with that.

New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream

I opened up this New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream, and sniffed. A Nice light vanilla aroma with good notes of cinnamon came wafting out. I wasn’t hard to smell the spice on this ice cream – the nutmeg and cinnamon aroma muddled together, but you get the point.

I scraped the top with my spoon, and tasted the ice cream by itself. Sweet, creamy, almost like a French vanilla (not a vanilla bean flavor). The cinnamon added good flavor, and was noticeable. The ice cream, quite frankly, was sort of like a light snickerdoodle ice cream. It was lovely – not over the top, but not too subtle.

New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream

I needed to dig just slightly deeper before the cookies in this New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream began popping out everywhere. There was a decent amount of cookies in here – not as voluminous as, say, Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Half Baked Ice Cream, but I’d say each spoonful I had contained maybe one small cookie bit, and some spoonfuls had three or four. Decent coverage.

New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream

The flavor of the ginger molasses cookies were truly the star in this New Häagen-Dazs Artisan Collection Ginger Molasses Cookie Ice Cream. The cookies, small and rounded, were SUPER light and crunched surprisingly in my mouth. Like, they felt so fresh and crunchy that it almost felt like the cookies POPPED in my mouth. And the flavor was, at times, SUPER strong – a nice snap of ginger with LOTS of spicy feeling on my tongue. At other times, the cookie was just nice, sweet, and gingery. But yeah – the moments when the cookie crunched, popped, and blasted me with ginger? Those were the highlight bites.

All in all, a VERY VERY good ice cream. I missed the ginger caramel swirl of Festivus, but this was a tasty, more refined ice cream. The cookies and the snickerdoodle-ish ice cream blended very well. Might be one of my favorites of late, only because it’s the only gingerbread-like ice cream that exists right now that actually popped me with bits of ginger. Nice job, Good Batch. Good on ya.

If you liked Festivus, this doesn’t go quite as far – but it’s still very tasty. I’d recommend it.

PURCHASED AT: Target, Germantown, MD

COST: $4.04 

Thoughts? Please comment below or hit me up on Twitter @junkfoodguy or LIKE my Facebook Page and message me there. I also have Google+!! Let’s hang out.


Junk Food Guy

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Discuss - 38 Comments

  1. Jessica says:

    Snow day and you’re testing ice cream 🙂

    Onions are one of those foods I never liked. So no matter how good or bad, I will always be Team French Fries. No, I don’t use ketchup. That’s another one of those foods (although that traces back to a food poisoning incident that turned me off of a lot of foods for a lifetime)

  2. MP says:

    Wow, war starting words going on here! You hate crinkle cut?? What about Arby’s curly fries? You know who has terrible fries? Wendy’s. Wow. They used to be my favorite. Now they’re too salty, have a strange earthy dirt taste, almost no interior fluff & or either soggy or overdone. Seriously underrated fries? Popeye’s battered cajun fries. I really like White Castle’s crinkle cut fries. Steak n Shake & Smashburger’s tooth pick fries – meh.
    As for onion rings, the frozen kind Ore-Ida is what I like best. BK’s are pretty bland but their fries are okay. The worst? Easily my own. I cannot make tasty onion rings worth a shit. Always tastes like oil.
    And yes – McDonald’s fries – vastly overrated.

    • junkfoodguy says:

      @MP: Curly fries are THE BEST. But for some reason, in my head, I wasn’t counting those. HHMMMMMM might have to recalibrate some of my comparisons if those are involved.

  3. Jamie says:

    Depends on the onion! If it’s sweet like walla walla- yummy onion ring! I had a cool thing from sonics: tater tots and they threw in one onion ring lol! That was really enough for me.

  4. Sarah says:

    It was always hard decision when I was growing up….pick the fries or the onion rings?? Now if I want both, I order both! I love BK fries and onion rings. Hate McDonald’s fires….I know, unpopular opinion! The best onion rings are from Cracker Barrel when they offer the sweet Vidalia onion rings. Yes, old man river sweet potato fries are like no other….and Arby’s curly fries are always a favorite too!

  5. Marc P says:

    1. Sweet Potato Tater Tots (Alexia makes the best frozen verstion)
    2. Onion Rings (was #1 until TJs discontinued theirs)
    3. Waffle Fries
    4. Regular Fries
    7. Curly Fries

    A vote that is towards onion rings is the old Rodeo Cheeseburger that BK used to have. Diet staple during grad school.

  6. MKC says:

    I mostly get french fries as a side. My daughter usually gets onion rings so we trade some of mine for some of hers – Magic!!! Why can’t the powers that be offer a side of 1/2 half fries and 1/2 half onion rings????? Especially beer-battered onion rings – they’re the bomb! My favorite fries come from Culver’s. Crinkle cut but always hot and crisp.

  7. Mike P says:

    If we include curly fries in the french fry category, I think we have to include steak fries too, and that brings up far too many memories of flaccid wedges of undercooked baked potato. With a range from those to curly fries and McDonald’s-esq sticks of salty glory, the category as a whole is just too variable. Onion rings for me.

    On another note, as a Minnesotan, it’s weird to not be the epicenter of snowfall. Unbearable cold, check, but looks like all of the snow has missed us.

  8. Mike N. says:

    Yes, I can’t understand crinckle cut fries. Maybe if they’re perfect they’re good, but I’ve never had them…. I have to say, though, that I’ve had more horrible onion rings than fries. The big problem with onion rings, other than the grease bombs, is biting in and pulling out an entire almost-raw onion; I prefer the ‘fake’ BK-style onion rings to that.

  9. JohnnyP says:

    I don’t like onion rings. Pulling out a raw onion (yuck!) too many times ruined it for me, though I like sauteed/caramelized onions. As far as fries, my favorites are the thick cut steak fries type. I used to love KFC potato wedges but haven’t had them for a long time.

  10. Sascha says:

    I agree that fries are more consistently good, you are much more likely to find bad onion rings than bad fries. But good onion rings kick a fry’s ass every day of the week. The only competition might be at Arby’s, where the rings are great, but so are the fries. However, I think the best rings (at least in fast food) are at Long John’s, and they’re better than all fries.

    • junkfoodguy says:

      @Sascha – I concur with your analysis. And I’ve actually NEVER had onion rings at Long John Silvers! Might need to rectify that

  11. Elisa says:

    I like french fries too! I get mine unsalted/unseasoned.

    If you go to Five Guys, you have to split the small fries with someone. They really stuff the thing!
    I’ve read Shake Shack will be opening a location in Baltimore fairly soon.

  12. Kaitlyn says:

    no.. mcd’s fries are not as good as they used to be! i always loved them growing up, then they changed the oil. i hadn’t had them in a long time, and i was craving them a couple months ago so i got some – NO. they are not good anymore! okay.. they’re alright, but not worth it to me. anyway, i’ve always like onion rings better – but not fast food ones – sit down restaurant ones only, lol.

    that ice cream looks SO GOOD.

  13. Indigo says:

    I have a freezer full of tater tots right now. Technically Spud Puppies by Cascadian Farms. They heat up perfectly in the toaster oven….nice and crunchy. LOVE. I have gone though onion ring phases in the past, but you’re right, a bad onion ring is worse than a bad fry.

    You have me wanting that Festivus ice cream so bad I could cry. Will they ever make it again??? There aren’t enough ice creams with those sorts of flavors.

  14. ruckus says:

    Here’s a little love for hash browns from Waffle House. nomnomnom

  15. Jaime says:

    anytime I see onion rings as a side, i get them. It’s been that way for me since I was a kid. The best ones, hands down that goes to Popeye’s. It’s not the same recipe as it was before they removed them and then put them back on the menu, but they are soooooo good.

  16. DeannaR says:

    Far too often, onion rings end up drenched in grease and muted in taste. Done correctly, they can be a wonderful addition to a meal. Unfortunately, these experiences have not been the norm.

    I love sweet potato fries. Also, curly fries were a big hit at the lunch table during school years. Something about that spicy seasoning and fun shape made them so much more enjoyable–similar to the way fun-shaped macaroni and cheese seems to taste better than regular macaroni and cheese. Maybe it is due to the ability of the curly fry to hold more sauce?

  17. Anne Sutton says:

    McCain smiley face french fries lol….what’s not to like about a fried potato in the shape of a creepy face looking back at ya?! I say fries are pretty classic. I have to agree that the older I get, the more I prefer onion rings though. It’s a toss up. Johnny Rocket’s actually has a 1/2 ring, 1/2 fry plate on their menu. Can’t beat that!

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Marvo knows what's on shelves before anyone. ANYONE. Our trusty leader on The Nosh Show.

Ryan is the fast food guru. His soft dulcet tones will make you want to eat french fries, immediately.

Dubba is an ice cream wizard. He's got two spoons and he's not afraid to use them. Unless it's something spicy.

Chris is an IG god, and knows his stuff. Plus, he's from Maryland. What's not to like?