The Guilty Pleasure: The Cookie Cup
Where to Get It: Fatty Daddy's
What it Really Costs: A spike in your blood glucose levels, followed by a period of post-ice cream ennui.
Desserts, like hairstyles and fashion, are often subject to brief but intense periods of mass popularity. There was the gourmet cupcake trend of the early 2000s, which spawned more basic cable TV shows than you could shake a whisk at. Then there was the Pinkberry-led, self-serve fro-yo revolution. These days, it seems, we are in the grips of a collective doughnut and waffle obsession.
But somewhere between cupcakes and doughnuts, the French macaron exploded in popularity, making it hard to find a high-end bakery without a glass case beaming with neat rows of the airy, pastel-colored cookies.
Sweet. light, and supremely photogenic, a well-made macaron can be a hard thing to resist. And it's even harder to resist when it's glued together with hefty scoopfuls of gourmet ice cream.
Macaron ice cream sandwiches are not new to the Valley. You'll find thick macaron ice cream sandwiches, made with Eastern ingredients like taro and panang, flying out of the freezers at Pho 43 in West Phoenix. But there may not be another place in town making macaron ice cream treats exactly like the ones at Fatty Daddy's, an ice cream parlor that opened recently in south Scottsdale.
The small, brightly painted parlor, which is tucked away in the Eldorado Park neighborhood near Scottsdale and McDowell roads, is decorated with local art and furnished with vintage soda shop chairs purchased from the salvage unit at Disneyland Park in Anaheim.
Fatty Daddy owners Brian Ayala, Domenico Nolletti, and David Wesley, who met while working together in the sales department at Internet hosting giant Go Daddy, are serious about selling quality ice cream. Ayala comes up with many of the ice cream flavors, and takes the recipes to Superstition Farm in Mesa, which produces all the small batch ice creams sold in the parlor. The shop sources most of its other ingredients locally as well, including its macaron cookies, which are made by Scottsdale's Twelve Cakes Bakery.
Behind the counter, you'll find 24 ice cream flavors, many unique to Fatty Daddy's. There are classics like vanilla bean and chocolate, but also more exotic, cheekily named flavors like Gettin' Figgy with It, a velvety blend of figs and ricotta. There's also mangoneada, a sweet-and-tangy ice cream patterned after the popular chamoy-spiked Mexican frozen treat.
If you like your ice cream with a hint of childhood nostalgia, you'll find several cereal-inspired blends. Fruity Pebbles and Cinnamon Toasted Crunch varieties are remarkably true to the original source, which is to say they taste like creamy versions of your favorite sugary breakfast cereals.
For a more adult-oriented treat, the guys at Fatty Daddy's have collaborated with Papago Brewery to produce a seasonal ice cream based on the brewery's popular Orange Blossom Ale. The alcohol has been boiled out, but the creamy, floral essence of the beer has been deliciously embedded into the vanilla blend.
Along with ice cream, the shop carries ice cream shakes and cake pops. But you'll come for the signature treat, a mix-and-match, cookie-and-cream confection known as a Cookie Cup. The custom-made treat is prepared according to your specifications (If you can't decide on an ice cream and cookie flavor combo, staff will be happy to suggest popular flavor pairings), and part of the fun is watching as your cup is put together behind the counter.
The bottom of the cup is layered with your chosen ice cream, then topped with a macaron ice cream sandwich pasted together with yet more ice cream. You can add a topping, if you wish, with options including graham cracker crumbs, nuts and sprinkles, among others. The crowning touch is a big fluffy marshmallow, which is charred and slightly melted by an employee behind the counter using a small butane kitchen torch.
The final product is pretty irresistible, a gooey, lush treat that delivers the airy crunch of a good cookie with the soft yet dense quality of good ice cream. The hardest part is figuring out whether to pick at it daintily with your plastic spoon, or just stuff the whole messy, drippy and decadent treat into your mouth. Either way, it's good.
Will the Cookie Cup become the latest dessert trend? With something this sweet and indulgent, we don't care if it becomes hugely popular, as long as we can keep them coming.