Ample Hills

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I declared my Best Ice Cream In NYC Challenge from Refinery29’s list, and, so it begins. For my first stop, I was off to Ample Hills at their brand new, second location in Gowanus, Brooklyn. 

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Complete with an ample (no pun intended) amount of seating inside, and on their second floor, this new location also includes a rooftop patio with benches and tables to enjoy your ice cream outdoors with a view. They have over a dozen flavors to choose from, and they’re all handcrafted in small batches, using fresh, local, all-natural milk, cream and eggs. 

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And, just like my favorite open kitchen format, they have a glass panel to their kitchen, where you can watch the masters hard at work. 

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I chose their Salted Crack Caramel (salted butter caramel ice cream with pieces of Deb’s famous crack cookies (saltines, butter, sugar, chocolate)) in a Pretzel Cone. Holy $h!t. This was so amazing and delicious. First off, the ice cream is rich and creamy in texture, and the flavor is warm and dynamic, offering the perfect salty and sweet mix. And the pieces of the crack cookies are not just little bits here and there, there are big, generous chunks throughout. And, they’re ridiculous. Also, this homemade pretzel cone is insane, it’s crisp, but has a sort of softness to it, and compliments the ice cream flavor like whoa (that’s a technical term, introduced by Joey Lawrence). And let’s be honest, you have to get a cone anyway, because turning down a cone for a cup is like refusing a free snack. Who does that? Not this girl. 

The Shorts:
Name: Ample Hills
Location: 305 Nevins St., Brooklyn
The Long and Short: Would I go back? No, I hate delicious, scratch-made ice cream that tastes like heaven. Sarcasm. Yes, I’d like to live there.
Would I recommend it? 100% guaranty that you’ll get addicted. And you can sample lots of flavors so you can wish you could order them all.  

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Maria Brigadeiro

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Well, I wrapped up Rio in a nice little sunga and was off to São Paulo. One thing I knew I needed to try at some point during my stay in Brazil, was a Brigadeiro (a chocolate bonbon). Now, you can find them just about anywhere, most cafes and juice spots will have them, but, I was holding out for a place that really looked like they knew what they were doing. Cue, Maria Brigadeiro in Pinheiros in São Paulo. 

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I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover. But this shop was beyond adorable, smelled amazing, and offered one of my most favorite things, a glass window to watch all the magic happen. Voyeuristic, maybe. But amazing, always. 

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They have a number of flavors to choose from, bringing a new dynamic to the brigadeiro. I went for two different flavors, first up was their Salted Caramel. This was a little ball of delight. Not only did it look beautiful with the delicate little coiled shavings, but it was creamy and flavorful with all of its salted caramelly goodness. 

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Then, it was time for the OG, the Traditional Brigadeiro (condensed milk, and cocoa powder). Now, the Salted Caramel was really nice, but I had to give this round to the Traditional. It was so rich and creamy, with precious little chocolate tiles instead of the usual chocolate sprinkles. 

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And can we talk about how delightful and impressive this packaging is? I know, I know, the book cover thing again. But, come on, you just want to pinch its cheeks, right?

The Shorts:
Name: Maria Brigadeiro
Location: Rua Capote Valente, 68 – Pinheiros, São Paulo, Brazil
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure, there are so many more flavors for me to try.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely, its really a full experiences, more than just picking up some candy.