CHICAGO — When Graeter’s Manufacturing Co., Cincinnati, starts brainstorming about a new ice cream flavor, inclusion attributes are as important as the quality of the milk, cream and other ingredients that go into the family-owned company’s ice cream.
This past year, the company introduced Cheese Crown ice cream, which is based on the namesake Danish. It is a Cincinnati bakery tradition that is pastry filled with cream cheese and cinnamon streusel.
“This ice cream flavor pays homage to a very popular local baked good,” said Robert Graeter, chief of quality assurance. “We had to get it right. And we did. We created a rich cream cheese base and added premium crunchy cinnamon pastry pieces and fondant icing flakes.”
Inclusions are the basis for the latest frozen dessert creations from Nestle Dreyer’s Ice Cream Co., Oakland, Calif. The company collaborated with Hostess Brands L.L.C., Kansas City, to introduce pints and frozen novelties of Hostess snack cake-inspired treats. Packaging for the new products carry a photo of the snack cake and the slogan “now a tasty frozen treat.”
Twinkies are replicated in both novelty and pint formats. The novelty is a sugar cone filled with Twinkie-flavored frozen dairy and topped with golden sponge cake crumbles. The scoopable format is different, as it includes bite-size sponge cake pieces and sweet frosting swirls in rich, creamy butter cream ice cream.
Two approaches are used to reproduce Sno Balls snack cakes. Inspired by the pink coconut-dusted ball with outer marshmallow layer, the stick frozen treat has a chocolate ice cream center surrounded by vanilla and wrapped in pink coconut flakes. The pints are marshmallow-flavored ice cream with bite-size chocolate cake pieces and whipped pink coconut swirl.
Recreating popular desserts with inclusions has been going on as long as cookies and cream debuted in the ice cream category. It is a concept referred to in the industry as a “twofer,” which is two desserts in one.
Chatsworth, Calif.-based We the Pie People L.L.C., is all about twofers. The four-year-old company made its debut with J.C.’s Pie Pops, named after Jennifer Constantine, founder and president, who created the frozen dairy pie-on-stick concept by accident in her home kitchen. The line debuted in such flavors as Caramel Apple Crumble, which is apple-flavored ice cream dipped in caramel, cinnamon apple pieces and oatmeal cookie crust crumbles, and Caramel Turtle, which is French vanilla ice cream blanketed by caramel, chocolate pecan bits and graham cracker crust chunks.
One of Ms. Constantine’s challenges with creating new flavors is to adhere to her “no G.M.O.s” position, while also keeping ingredient legends as simple — and void of artificial ingredients — as possible. Working with her suppliers, she manages to deliver vibrant colors all achieved through the use of plant-based colorings.
Norwich, N.Y.-based Chobani is similarly discriminating when selecting inclusions to use in its side-by-side packaged Flip brand of Greek yogurt. Earlier this year, the company added three new dessert-flavored options.
Carrot Cake Creation is sweet carrot-flavored low-fat yogurt with a side of cinnamon-glazed cake pieces, walnuts and creamy white chocolate chunks. The flavor contains carrots, pineapple and coconut to replicate the carrot cake flavor. Cinnabun Fun is cinnamon-flavored low-fat yogurt with a side of pastry pieces, chewy caramels and cinnamon-roasted pecans.