Springbrook 4-H Club member Emma Trautmiller imagined an ingenious way to combine two of her favorite things, ice cream and s'mores, and it won her first place in the annual statewide contest to come up with a new flavor sponsored by Cedar Crest Ice Cream.
"I like all the things in s'mores, like graham crackers and marshmallows, so I made them a little bit smaller than a whole s'more so they would be able to fit in ice cream and into one bite. I never tested it, but it seems like it could work. I love s'mores in the summer so that's what I named it, Wisconsin Campfire S'more. I'm pretty excited to taste it," said Trautmiller.
Just for the record, Trautmiller said she never considered making broccoli or asparagus ice cream.
Trautmiller was joined by her mom, a few of her friends and members of the Springbrook 4-H Club and Robert Kohlwey, the Vice President of Sales for Cedar Crest Ice Cream last Thursday, Jan. 10, at Moojo's Coffee and Ice Cream for the surprise announcement.
The annual ice cream flavor contest sponsored by Cedar Crest is open to all 4-Hers across Wisconsin.
The contest has proved to be a popular one with entries statewide increasing every year. Past winners have included flavors like Superior Shores, Udder Delight and Shipwreck.
"We have a couple criteria. It has to have accessible inclusions to do it, meaning we can't inject too many pieces into the ice cream at the same time. I myself reviewed about 225 entries this year. In Emma's case, she had it all written out. There were about 25 finalists and Emma's rose to the top," said Kohlwey.
Contestants are required to describe their ice cream flavor in detail and come up with a name.
Emma's descriptive name, Wisconsin Campfire S'more was a challenge.
"We wanted to shorten it but, we felt that would not have been true to the flavor Emma came up with," said Kohlwey.
Although the new flavor won't be produced in volume until June, just in time for its County Fair debut, the flavor has already been tested by Cedar Crest President and Chief Taste Tester, and Robert's brother, Ken Kohlwey.
Trautmiller and friends will be getting a tour of Cedar Crest to see how her idea comes to life, but in the meantime Kohlwey shared a brief overview of the process.
"Emma's ice cream will be done in a small batch freezer, kind of a limited edition. In her case, the marshmallow has to have a little burnt flavor to it and the graham crackers have to be able to take the abuse of the cream. So the graham crackers will have some kind of coating, probably chocolate, on them so they don't become soggy.
"In our process, it starts with cream coming in. Then you have to get it up to whole milk standards. Then it goes into a 500-gallon vat that will make about 333 tubs of ice cream. It gets held in there for a day before it comes into the flavoring vats. Emma's will use the marshmallow background flavor. It will then go to fruit beaters or fudge pumps that will inject flavors (inclusions) into the ice cream. Finally, it will then get poured into the tubs. We'll do a little bit more on Emma's label than a typical label. We'll add, '4H Flavor of 2018,' and it will include all of her information plus the club's name will be on it," said Kohlwey.
According to Kohlwey, a number of previous 4-H winners have made their way into the cooler as regular flavors.
"Pirate's Bounty, it's called now, was another contest flavor and that has become a top 10 flavor in tubs. It's been a very good flavor for us. Big Muddy, a previous contest winner, is in retail as well," said Kohlwey.
Trautmiller earned a Cedar Crest Ice Cream party for her invention as well as a $300 prize. When the ice cream queen was asked what her favorite flavor was, she hesitated for a moment in thought and replied, "Probably mine."
This might just be the beginning of Trautmiller's story!