After being exposed to so many amazing ice cream flavors at all of these trendy ice cream shops in New York City, I don’t know if I can have plain, “normal” ice cream ever again.
Ample Hills Creamery is right up there as one of the city’s most famous ice cream places along with Big Gay Ice Cream, Morgenstern’s and Luca & Bosco, and they have their own collection of insane flavors–Ooey Gooey Butter Cake (creamy vanilla with St. Louis-style Ooey Gooey Butter Cake pieces); Snap, Mallow, Pop (a “deconstructed rice krispie treat” made with marshmallow ice cream and buttery Rice Krispie clusters); The Munchies (pretzel-infused ice cream with ritz crackers, potato chips, pretzels, and mini M&Ms); Peppermint Pattie (peppermint ice cream with homemade dark chocolate covered peppermint patties); and Sweet as Honey (made with pieces of homemade honeycomb candy). Those are just some of their classic options in their ever-changing menu, and samples are encouraged. Really, I sampled like six of them. How could I not with flavors like those?!
Their most famous flavor is probably Salted Crack Caramel, which is a salted butter caramel ice cream with Deb’s Famous Crack Cookies, saltine crackers coated with butter, sugar, and chocolate, and that’s what I got. Go big or go home! Another fun thing about Ample Hills is that even their cone options are unique. Besides traditional cones and waffle cones, you can get things like a chocolate chip cookie cone or a pretzel cone. Why should ice cream flavors get to have all the fun? Chocolate chip cookie cone for me please!
The Salted Crack Caramel flavor is truly something else. My friend described it pretty well when she said the caramel has more of a burnt undertone, but this isn’t to say the ice cream tastes bad. It’s just a completely different take on caramel than what you normally get. It’s incredibly flavorful, but beware, it’s pretty rich and my one scoop was more than enough. If I were to have a list of the most memorable ice cream experiences in my life, eating this would be number 1.
Besides their crazy creations, another thing that makes Ample Hills unique is the fact that they make all of their ice cream from start to finish. Most places have a mix of milk, cream, sugar, and eggs that’s already pasteurized, but Ample Hills does that all by themselves, which actually classifies them as a registered dairy plant if you can believe it. This is part of the reason why they can come up with all these insane flavors. They’re involved in the ice cream making process every step of the way, making the possibilities endless, and in my opinion, making their flavors so rich.
How about we end with a little poetry? The name Ample Hills comes from Walt Whitman’s poem “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” in which he writes:
“What is it, then, between us?
What is the count of the scores or hundreds of years between us?
Whatever it is, it avails not-Distance avails not and place avails not. I too lived-Brooklyn of Ample Hills, was mine.”
Although the “ample hills” of Brooklyn have since been replaced by streets of brownstones and commercial buildings, Ample Hills Creamery preserves the small-town feel of old Brooklyn through their shop. But man, those flavors are anything but old school.
623 Vanderbilt Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
* the one in Gowanus has a cool rooftop deck!