Did you guys know that buns come in more things than just butts and cinnamon? Personally, my bun rankings go a little something like this: 1) Butts, 2) Cinnamon Buns, 3) Sticky Buns. Before you get on your high horse, allow me to get on mine. Sticky buns are not the same thing as cinnamon buns; at least they shouldn’t be. Not only does the preparation method vary, but the recipes have key differences in the quantity of ingredients including the thickness of the dough. The most obvious difference is that cinnamon buns are finished with a white icing after baking, and sticky buns are baked with a sticky concoction such as a caramel sauce, brown sugar sauce, maple syrup, or honey. (Source: I’m fat.)
Why do I highlight the distinction between the two? Because Ben & Jerry’s Pecan Sticky Buns was just released as the latest limited batch, Walmart-exclusive flavor, and we have serious cause for excitement. Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns, for those unaware, is a top-notch favor that has received high praise in the industry. It’s one of my personal favorites as well, and today I get to see how Ben & Jerry’s Pecan Sticky Buns measures up. The mere thought of a Ben & Jerry’s flavor that’s superior to Cinnamon Buns has me a bit sticky myself, if you know what I mean…
Ben & Jerry’s Pecan Sticky Buns features a buttery brown sugar ice cream, pecans, pieces of sticky bun dough (not cinnamon bun dough), and a swirl of cream cheese frosting. The buttery brown sugar base is the same one you’ll find in the Target-exclusive Blondie Ambition – a flavor that I have no ambitions to try again. A common theme to many Ben & Jerry’s flavors, the base underwhelms in highlighting the advertised flavor. Granted that brown sugar in its raw form is pretty generic sweetness, there’s not much else going on here. What I did pick out more was that “buttery” descriptor – there’s a very light tinge of silky butteriness to this ice cream. But all is not lost, because this base does an excellent job of letting the stars shine bright and fat:
I might have a new favorite mix-in, and it’s the sticky bun dough in Ben & Jerry’s Pecan Sticky Buns. Kill me now. I’ve never made snickerdoodle cookies from scratch, but this is what I expect snickerdoodle cookie dough to taste like on Christmas Eve. There’s a huge cinnamon sugar flavor unleashed from each piece, and they have the gluttonous grit of any homemade cookie dough. The dough pieces are adequately sized, evenly distributed, and just plain marvelous. The sweet buttery brown sugar base is a great backdrop to highlight the cinnamon spice in the dough. I’d also like to give a huge shoutout to Ben & Jerry’s pecan farmer, because these pecans taste so much better than the ones I buy. They’re enormous, plentiful, and fresh as hell. Given the abundance of pecans and sticky bun dough, every spoonful of Ben & Jerry’s Pecan Sticky Buns is going to have something special.
What’s going to be missing from nearly every spoonful is the cream cheese frosting. An expert eye might be able to spot trace amounts of it against the similarly colored base, but you’re not going to taste much of it. At times I thought I tasted a really tepid cream cheese tang, but even that was soon steamrolled by more delicious pecans and sticky bun dough pieces. Can’t really complain too hard about that one. I’ve never had a pecan sticky bun with cream cheese anyway, so I can and will overlook this.
Did I enjoy Ben & Jerry’s Pecan Sticky Buns? Hell yes. Did I enjoy it as much as Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns? No, I didn’t. That’s because the cinnamon streusel swirl in Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns was crafted by God himself. It runs laps around the cream cheese swirl, which you won’t really pick out in Ben & Jerry’s Pecan Sticky Buns. The caramel ice cream base in the Cinnamon Buns also carries more flavor than the buttery brown sugar base in Pecan Sticky Buns. But by featuring the incredible sticky bun dough mix-in and pecans that are superior to most, Ben & Jerry’s Pecan Sticky Buns impressed me thoroughly. This one just edges Ben & Jerry’s Bourbon Pecan Pie for me, so enjoy this Walmart exclusive while it lasts.
How Much Ben & Jerry’s Pecan Farmer Deserves a Raise Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Dat Bun Dough Rating: 10 out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 out of 10
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