Earlier this year, I won the incredible #FantasyFlavorScoopOff contest hosted by ice cream royalty Häagen-Dazs! As part of my winnings, I received a year’s worth (24) of free ice cream coupons, some awesome HD swag, AND 15 pints of my new custom ice cream flavor, Chocolate Liquor Coffee & Salted Caramel. I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions expressed here are my own.
For those of you who know me, you’ll know that I’m as obsessed with ice cream as the 1990s were obsessed with Beanie Babies and the Backstreet Boys. When I sleep, I dream of ice cream. When I wake, I rack up electricity bills opening and closing my freezer ten times a day in search of ice cream. Someday my wedding cake will be made of layers upon layers of glorious ice cream, and every day I consider the feasibility of living in an ice cream castle.
And then, on National Ice Cream Day 2020, Häagen-Dazs kicked off the Fantasy Flavor Scoop Off Contest that would change my life forever.
Photos courtesy of @haagendazs_us Instagram
I first heard about the Scoop Off while browsing National Ice Cream Day promos from various articles like Food & Wine‘s, who described Häagen-Dazs’s contest as a chance to “share your flavor idea” and win “15 handmade cartons of the winning flavor, 24 coupons for a year’s worth of ice cream, and Häagen-Dazs items like ice cream scoops.”
Since I had just joked with a friend earlier that day about stockpiling emergency ice cream (because, you know, #2020), I headed over to Häagen-Dazs’s Instagram post and decided to amuse myself with a fun–if somewhat frivolous–submission that I aptly dubbed “The 2020 Buster”:
At this point, I showed Wallflour Boy my entry and we had a good laugh about the whole thing (“salty” salted caramel–oh, the wittiness!), and then we ate some ice cream and forgot about it. Forgot, that is, until five days later, when I opened my Instagram DMs to find…a message from Häagen-Dazs informing me my flavor had made it into the Fantasy Flavor Scoop Off!
If only you could’ve heard the ice cream choirs singing.
Over the course of the following week, my newly rebranded flavor–officially known as “Chocolate Liquor Coffee & Salted Caramel”–faced off against seven other ice cream flavor hopefuls, from fellow coffee contenders like Coffee Orange Cardamom to culinarily exalted combinations like Crème Fraîche Lemon Thyme. Here’s what the starting brackets looked like:
Every day, Häagen-Dazs would post a new bracket pitting the winning flavors against one another in a series of Instagram polls. Every day, my parents and I would watch the votes come in and conduct bi-hourly powwows about how the voting was going, and sometimes my mom would make little comments like “Oh, only 33% ahead–getting too close!” in a tone that was oddly reminiscent of being asked in grade school why I’d gotten an A- instead of an A+:
Round 1 Voting
And every day, I would bombard my friends on social media with photos of me eating ice cream (like the ones pictured below–unsurprisingly, my phone contains no shortage of these) and exhorting them with unbounded exuberance to vote, vote, vote.
Even my parents, who have never come within a swimming pool’s distance of Instagram, insisted on creating their own individual Instagram accounts so that they could join in on the fun and claim that they’d contributed. And while I doubt that my social network carried even a fraction of the votes that ended up flooding into the Fantasy Scoop Off, there was something indescribably exhilarating about all of us embarking on this dessert-driven adventure together:
In the end, Chocolate Liquor Coffee & Salted Caramel won the final round by a fair margin and that day, my parents and I hugged each other as we jumped up and down in the kitchen shouting, “WE WON THE ICE CREAM! WE WON THE ICE CREAM!” with all the grace of a flatulent hippopotamus.
In the days that followed, I received an outpouring of the most amazing messages from friends, family, and my fellow bloggy friends (shoutout to my lovely ladies from That Skinny Chick Can Bake, A Classic Twist, and Gotta Get Baked!) who had only the kindest things to say about this amazing opportunity:
And as it turns out, Häagen-Dazs’s custom rendition of Chocolate Liquor Coffee & Salted Caramel Ice Cream, which arrived on my doorstep in a cooler packed with dry ice just a few days before Christmas, is one of the best things that’s ever happened to 2020. In true Häagen-Dazs fashion, their developers created the perfect harmony of ingredients: the creamy, smoky taste of coffee plays perfectly off the rich ribbons of salted caramel, balances out the subtly-bourbon-infused chunks of chocolate, and finds the perfect finish with toffee bits that leave a honey-sweet taste in your mouth long after you’ve finished (a surprise touch that we hadn’t expected!).
In short, it is hands down one of the best ice cream flavors we have ever tasted, and I nearly cried when my parents told me they both “liked” it (in Asian-parent-speak, this roughly translates to: “This is the best thing that’s ever happened to us”). My dad even called it the “highlight of the year” which, given everything that’s happened this year so far, would not be far from the truth at all:
Complete with these extremely nifty custom containers and descriptions!
So that, my friends, is how this exciting adventure came to be. We are (as you can probably imagine) absolutely overjoyed with how things turned out and savoring every moment these days with our new ice cream, which is the best holiday present a girl could ask for! And while the flavor won’t be available in stores anytime soon, we’d definitely be the first in line to buy it if it was and we know you all would be, too. So here’s to hoping!❤️
Until then, our freezers are full and our hearts are filled with appreciation for the mighty folks at Häagen-Dazs, who wrought a true miracle just in time for the holidays this year. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be sitting under our Christmas tree cradling thirteen pounds of custom-made ice cream with my name printed on the containers…but it just goes to show that life is full of surprises, as well as some very hardworking people behind the scenes who have made this lifelong Häagen-Dazs fan’s dreams come true. Thank you a million times over for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, HD crew!
In the meantime, sending all you readers my love and warmest Christmas wishes (coupled with a side of frosty ice cream, of course). Happy holidays!
Would you try this Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Liquor Coffee & Salted Caramel Ice Cream?