What kind of consumer gives up on a whole range of cold snacks just because the temperature drops from a breezy 75 to a chilly 50? Gutless cowards, that's who. No associate of mine, I can tell you. In fact, I increase my consumption of colder foods during the winter in order to promote internal homeostasis. That's science. (Not really, but eating high caloric foods such as ice cream does warm up your body, which is a plus in the winter.)
And that's why I have particular respect and admiration for Molly Moon's. In defiance of prevailing attitudes about cold foods, the local ice creamery unveiled four new flavors deep in the heart of December. I taste-tested them to make sure they weren't poison, and to prevent you from holding up the line while you try everything to figure out which of the new flavors is good, only to ultimately revert back to your go-to flavor, which, in my case, if you're wondering, is coffee with the ground bits in it.
The brand new flavors—concocted by Molly Moon's chefs from all over Seattle—are Rose Milk Tea, Blood Orange RGB Sherbet, Red Velvet, and Vegan Golden Milk.
I will tell you now: the one that sounds the weirdest is the best. The Vegan Golden Milk, created by Alex Strosahl at the U-Village location, tastes exactly like the trendy latte it's named for. Cinnamony, black peppery, coconuty, and almost froth-silky in texture. I've had decent creams that didn't require the suffering of animals, but this one takes the cake.
SPEAKING OF CAKE. I also tried a mint chip ice cream cake from Ice Box. They're selling their wares inside Molly Moon's stores while they look for a more permanent place. I hope they find one, because they make a fine ice cream cake, which is hard to do. Ice Box opts for a denser, almost brownie-like cake, avoiding the sponge-like dryness that can be so pervasive in the genre. The relatively high cake-to-ice cream ratio gives the ice cream a starring role without forcing it to carry the whole show, which is ideal. I don't like a big gloop of refrozen ice cream on a cake cracker, that's for certain. And this isn't that.
Okay, back to the four new flavors.
I also liked Molly Moon's other beverage-inspired ice cream. The Blood Orange RGB Sherbet tasted like an ice cream float made with its namesake soda. It's somehow slightly effervescent, with an orange flavor that makes its argument late into the tasting experience.
Cooks steep rose petals in tea to make the Rose Milk Tea flavor, but it doesn't really taste like roses—at least not initially! As with many tea creams, the flavor is too subtle for me to really differentiate it from the power of the sweet cream base, but after it kinda melts a little the rose flavor asserts itself. The tea flavor becomes more pronounced when trying it alongside other ice creams, so I recommend pairing this flavor with others—maybe the Meyer Lemon—for an optimal rosy tea cream experience.
Though I love red velvet cake, I wasn't the biggest fan of the red velvet ice cream. It tastes like melted cream cheese icing to me, and it also has the semi-sickly-sweet creaminess I detect in cheap strawberry ice creams. Not for me!
You may have noticed that each of these creams contains a color of the sun. Rose, Orange, Red, Golden. That seems to be a coincidence, but it's a happy one. At the tasting, head chef Heather Hodge told me that there's a direct correlation between the emergence of the sun and increased foot traffic at Molly Moon's locations. If the sun comes out, then people in Seattle get ice cream. No matter the time of year. If we get a few sunny days in February, the reduced staff struggles to serve the influx of customers. Conversely, everyone avoids the shop in summer when smoke occludes the sun. With these news flavors, you'll be able to have a scoop of sun whenever you want one. It'll be a cold scoop of sun, but sun nonetheless.
Here's a recipe from Molly Moon's for hot buttered rum. I strongly dislike rum, but I had half a cup of this and enjoyed it immensely.