Pure Magic dazzles palates and bulbus oculi alike with flash-frozen ice cream created fresh in front of its customers. Cream cravers commence their culinary quest by selecting one of five base flavors, including vanilla and honey cinnamon. Next, dessert sculptors can draft either three or unlimited toss-ins, such as butterscotch, cookie dough, and coconut ($5/three, $6/unlimited). The ice cream is then flash frozen with the fifth major food group—liquid nitrogen—to create a smooth and creamy texture that tantalizes taste-happy tongues. Like epicurean compasses and pocket-size Ouija boards, Pure Magic's popular-combinations list helps steer choice-smothered consumers toward a smile-inducing synergy of flavors, sporting treat titles such as cinnamon and pecans, Almond Joy, and raspberry fudge.
The Cookie Jar’s dessert-crafting doyens handcraft an array of freshly baked confections daily, as well as prepare salads, sandwiches, and other fresh lunch fare. Choose from a variety of cookie flavors ($5.50/12, offerings may vary) lovingly made according to in-house recipes and deciphered cave paintings. Nibble on a yo-yo chocolate-chip-cookie sandwich, fluffy buttercream pressed betweenthe undisputed world champion of cookies ($1.35), or treat taste buds to equally delectable flavors of yellow cake topped in a cream-cheese frosting and pecans in the Ooey Gooey bar ($1.75). A dozen standard cupcakes ($13.20) satisfy the sweet teeth of houseguests and the sweet mandibles of extraterrestrial visitors. A chicken-salad lunch box muffles midday stomach moans with a chicken-salad sandwich, a pair of cookies, a bag of chips, and a drink ($7.95)
Ben & Jerry’s shops offer a variety of frozen concoctions, from classic triple scoops ($4–5), sundaes ($5–7), and milk shakes ($5–7) to fair-trade-certified coffee drinks. Swirl spoons around scoops of the famous original flavors at Ben & Jerry’s, such as Cherry Garcia, Imagine Whirled Peace, Triple Caramel Chunk, Chunky Monkey, Chocolate Therapy, Milk & Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and New York Super Fudge Chunk. Every flavor of ice cream can also be cocooned in the crispy blanket of a waffle cone or transformed into a thick, sippable milk shake, and low-fat, fat-free, and dairy-free flavors are also available for the figure-conscious or those still suffering from butterfat-related night terrors.
From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers’ exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location’s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
Displays of delectable delights strut their sugary stuff behind the glass encasements at Kilwin's, where handcrafted treats tempt taste buds with fresh ingredients and a variety of flavors. The confectionary craftsmen coax reclusive sweet teeth from their enamel shells with crisp apples coated and preserved on-site or sliced servings of turtle fudge swirled with pecans and homemade caramel. Traditionalists can tantalize their tongues with the classic chocolate fudge and cut corners during jelly droughts by building creamy peanut-butter-and-fudge sandwiches. And, since fudge doesn't melt, 1-pound slabs make excellent gifts for sauna-hopping houseguests or first dates with shy charcoal grills. Call ahead for availability.