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Sink your fangs into sweet shaved snow at the Vampire Penguin

By Ashley Stilson Daily Herald - | Oct 3, 2019
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An owner adds almonds on top of the Tuxedo classic dessert with chocolate snow, strawberries, marshmallows and chocolate sauce on Monday, September 30, 2019. If you've ever wished snowflakes were just a bit more flavorful, you simply must try the shaved snow desserts at the Vampire Penguin in American Fork.

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An owner adds chocolate syrup on top of the S'moreos classic dessert with cookies and cream snow, graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows and chunks of Oreo at Vampire Penguin in American Fork on Monday, September 30, 2019. 

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The Orange Dreamscapade classic dessert at Vampire Penguin in American Fork has orange snow, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and graham cracker crumbs on Monday, September 30, 2019. 

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The S'moreos classic dessert at Vampire Penguin in American Fork has cookies and cream snow, graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, chocolate sauce and Oreo chunks on Monday, September 30, 2019.

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An owner decorates the Banana Cream Pie classic dessert with caramel syrup, graham cracker crumbs, banana slices and whipped cream at Vampire Penguin in American Fork on Monday, September 30, 2019.

Remember all those times you stepped outside during a winter snowstorm and caught falling snowflakes on your tongue? For me, eating frozen sky crystals with an aftertaste of air pollution is not really my idea of a tasty treat.

If you’ve ever wished snowflakes were just a bit more flavorful, you simply must try the shaved snow desserts at the Vampire Penguin in American Fork.

Think colorful snowballs topped with marshmallows and sprinkles and fruit and syrups. Think shaved ice, but with ice cream flavors and the smooth consistency of snow.

Think of the scene in the animated film “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” when the characters wake up to find chocolate and strawberry and vanilla and mint and orange ice cream has fallen from the sky, and they spend the day making snow angels and having snowball fights with literal ice cream.

That’s the kind of heaven on earth you’ll find at the Vampire Penguin.

Right now, the Vampire Penguin shop at 356 N. 750 West is decked out in Halloween decorations with cobwebs, pumpkins, bats and spiders. True to name, there is also a cute stuffed penguin sitting on the edge of the kitchen pass-through.

The company started in 2013, and the owners of the American Fork shop opened with a slow start three months ago. But the word is finally spreading and handfuls of couples and families slowly wandered in and out during our visit there.

My friends and I tried six different classic masterpieces late Monday night and the best part (other than actually eating the dessert) was watching one of the owners decorate the treat with garnishes and syrup.

The presentations are beautiful and even though we were originally thinking of getting all six desserts to go, we decided to eat two of the desserts in the shop just to see the mouth-watering topping decorations.

All the desserts are served on plates kept cold in a freezer and the owners were absolutely lovely in answering all our questions, accommodating our order changes and staying friendly and happy even near closing time.

One of my favorites was the Sweet Tooth, a blend of cotton candy-flavored snow, graham crackers, whipped cream, marshmallows and rainbow sprinkles. Or the Banana Cream Pie, with banana-flavored snow, sliced bananas, whipped cream, graham crackers and caramel syrup.

The all-time favorite among my friends was the Orange Dreamscapade which tastes like a familiar orange sherbet product or the Halo-Halo with taro snow, sweetened red and white beans, jack fruit, coconut strings, flan and condensed milk.

I was also pleasantly surprised with the Mexican Candy that features a weird and unique combination of mango snow, watermelon, caramel, chamoy and chili powder.

The small sizes cost around $6-$7 and the large scoops are $8-$9, and total calories range from 100 to 370 with most flavors averaging around 180 calories per 12-ounce dessert. Catering is also available.

Customers also can create their own scrumptious snowball of deliciousness and choose from snow flavors like root beer, coconut, coffee, taro, peanut butter chocolate and other classic flavors.

Even after ordering way too many desserts and arriving home to splurge on all of them, we all agreed that the snow didn’t sit in your stomach like ice cream or give you a sugar rush like the syrup on shaved ice.

The Vampire Penguin desserts were lighter, fluffier and prettier than other cold desserts. If you go on the website, you can even find an angsty vampire story about a little penguin who stars as the face of the shop.

All in all, the Vampire Penguin fulfills the sweet craving fantasy of eating snow and feeling happy about it. Despite the oncoming winter, I think I’d be willing to trek through the middle of a snowstorm to taste the delicious desserts again.

VAMPIRE PENGUIN

Where: 356 N. 750 West Suite D-7, American Fork

Hours: Noon to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; noon to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday; closed Sunday

Prices: $6-$9

Info: (434) 386-1986, https://www.vampirepenguin.com/

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