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Hunters Point Ice Cream Shop Debuts Holiday Flavors

HUNTERS POINT — Who says December's too cold for ice cream?

Malu, a mom-and-pop ice cream shop in Long Island City, is capitalizing on the most wonderful time of the year. The store added three holiday-themed flavors to its lineup of homemade ice cream on Tuesday: gingerbread, eggnog chip and candy cane.

"We break up the candy canes — some of it gets put into the ice cream, and some of it gets sprinkled in on the way out," said owner Jennifer Lee Dudek, who opened the Jackson Avenue shop with her husband last year.

Malu offered the same winter treats last year, and Dudek said gingerbread was by far the most popular. And this season, nearby restaurant Alobar is using batches of it to make root beer floats, she said.

Dudek's shop is known for its creatively named and concocted ice cream flavors, many of which are dubbed after neighborhood residents, local business owners and elected officials. Bucky Buckaw's Eggnog Chip is in honor of a chicken farmer and educator who lives in Astoria, and the shop's butter pecan was re-named this week to "The Long Island City Ballet Nutcracker's Butter Pecan" to better promote the local theater company's upcoming show.

"It's fun to make these creative flavors," Dudek said, though her goal is always to keep them kid-friendly. 

Malu also takes flavor suggestions. During the heated presidential debate this fall, they polled customers about what should go in Barack Obama and Mitt Romney-flavored ice creams (the winners: roasted pineapple with chocolate macadamia nuts, and Boston cream pie custard with a fudge ripple and vanilla cake pieces, respectively).

The holiday flavors will be on the menu until Christmas Eve, when Malu will close for a brief hiatus before reopening in mid-January.