Like many a Brooklynite, my ice cream intake went from habit to obsession as the borough’s artisan ice cream boom exploded over the past few years. Personally, I’ve never seen a reason to cut back on ice cream just because it’s getting cold outside, but I have found that a fair number of people tend to look at you like you’re crazy if you suggest going out for ice cream when it’s below freezing.
Fortunately, several local creameries have developed ice cream varieties particularly designed for wintertime enjoyment. So you don’t have to put down the pints just because it might be snowing outside. Eat that, winter ice cream haters.
1. Warm Banana Split — SkyIce
This combination Thai restaurant/organic ice cream shop in Park Slope has an extensive menu of warming winter treats, including fried ice cream and molten chocolate cake with salted-caramel ice cream. But my favorite is the coconut ice cream drizzled in hot syrup, served with slivered almonds and bananas. 63 Fifth Ave., skyicenyc.com
2. Super Bowl Ice Cream — Ample Hills
Prospect Heights’ cracked-out creamery drew sell-out crowds when it opened this spring, but it’s not toning things down for winter. In fact, AH will debut two new far-out flavors this week to celebrate the upcoming Giants-Patriots Super Bowl. Boston Cream Pie, in honor of the Pats, will involve a vanilla custard-and-chocolate-ganache cake swirled into vanilla ice cream. The Giants, meanwhile, are honored with a red-and-blue Apple Blueberry Crumble flavor (a fruit crisp made of oatmeal topping, brown sugar and cinnamon, broken up and mixed into sweet cream ice cream). Both flavors will be available starting this weekend, through the big game on February 5. 623 Vanderbilt Ave., amplehills.com
3. Bourbon Egg Nog Ice Cream — Van Leeuwen
In addition to new winter flavors like coffee-toffee and pumpkin, VL is using up the seasonal supply of nog in a new ice cream that spices up a creamy base with freshly ground nutmeg and allspice, finished with Maker’s Mark bourbon. Available at both of VL’s brick-and-mortar Brooklyn shops, in Boerum Hill and Greenpoint. 81 Bergen St. and 632 Manhattan Ave, vanleeuwenicecream.com
4. Crepes and Cream — The Candy Rush
Crown Heights’ new ice cream parlor/candy shop is serving up nutella crepes topped with Blue Marble vanilla ice cream as a winter special. Also new on the menu: peppermint stick ice cream with hot fudge. 733 Franklin Ave., thecandyrushnyc.com
5. Hot Chocolate Alamode, Pagoto
This Williamsburg shop, open every day but Tuesday during winter, is welcoming the cold season with heaping cups of hot chocolate topped off with a scoop of any flavor ice cream. 201 Bedford Ave., pagoto.biz
6. Ginger Nog Float, Brooklyn Farmacy
The borough’s best old-style soda fountain recently added this seasonal specialty, which tops gingerbread with egg nog ice cream, caramel sauce, fresh whipped cream and ginger snap cookie crumbles. Brooklyn Farmacy is currently taking a few weeks off, but will reopen February 2. 513 Henry St., brooklynfarmacy.blogspot.com