More orange than a University of Texas football jersey and more texturally variegated than a special edition Pokémon card, it’s the latest, greatest Pop-Tarts box filled with peanut butter toaster pastries!!
Yes, people, it’s here.
After a 27-year hiatus, peanut butter is bursting through the wall of Pop-Tarts with more superhero powers than the Powerpuff Girls and Kool-Aid Man combined and, after three trips to Walmart and a narrow escape from a runaway grocery cart, I have attained my box of six golden delights.
No, your eyes aren’t fooling you. That is a gold wrapper you see and, after an in-depth psychological study, I have concluded that golden wrappers are magic.
Every time I open one, I find myself believing I am Charlie Bucket peeling back the winning Wonka wrapper, then I skip into the streets and burst into song (“I’ve got a golden ticket!”).
Apologies to anyone who had the experience of hearing me sing and thank you, Kellogg’s, for providing me with the fulfillment of a childhood dream, even if it’s only in my mind.
All delusions of winning a trip to see an eccentric, semi-crazed candy maker aside, let’s get down to brass tacks: what do these suckers taste like?
If there’s anything the marketing plan at Google has proven, it’s that simple is always best, and these toaster pastries reinforce just that: absent of jelly or honey, these unfrosted Plain Janes allow the simple, beautiful peanut butter to shine. The crust is sweet, slightly salty, and sprinkled with sugar, harkening back to old-school peanut butter cookies.
The peanut butter inside is of the creamy variety, a touch sweeter and gooey-er than my regular Skippy, which makes it just perfect for the filling. It adds the sugary, salty, roasted-peanut creaminess needed to play off the crackly, sucrose-laden crust.
And, indeed, this is one crackly crust. If you’re unfamiliar with the genus of unfrosted Pop-Tarts, you may want to know that this crust is a little more crumbly than what you might find with a frosted Pop-Tart. The grainy casing of this fella will give your pastry-munching experience more of a shortbread/homemade graham cracker feel. Despite its more delicate nature, the crust holds the filling inside it throughout the toasting, never breaking at the seams.
Have I mentioned toasting would be encouraged? It would be. If these taste astounding right out of the wrapper, they taste even better toasted, a feat I thought impossible at this point. The edges of the crust get slightly crisp and the peanut butter filling softens and collects at the bottom, allowing your last bite to be full of all four of the five food groups: crispy, salty, gooey, and sweet.
And these Pop-Tarts give you agency as a creative human. In the absence of jelly or any other filling, you can add whatever you like to make your own Pop-Tarts “sandwich.” Marshmallow, Doritos, ice cream, ranch dressing, whatever. I’m not gonna judge. You want some jelly with yours? Plop a friendly slab on there or, better yet, go get a box of Strawberry Pop-Tarts and eat both Pop-Tarts together. Now that’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
The greatest crime these have committed is that there are only six in a box as opposed to the regular eight. According to a response to a customer on the Pop-Tarts Facebook page, this was done to keep the price level the same as peanut butter is a more expensive ingredient.
(Margaret shakes a blighted fist to the sky!)
Curse you, market of overpriced crushed legumes!!
Number games aside, these are delicious. Up there in my top three, maybe even my top two Pop-Tarts of all time. They are crispy and salty enough to allow me to imagine they’d be perfect for breakfast while being just sweet enough to please the dessert lover in me. Give me a pack of these and some chocolate ice cream and I’m a happy kid. If Pop-Tarts are looking to up their sales, these will make for a growth curve gone vertical in my book.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 60 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 250 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of potassium, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of sugars, and 3 grams of protein.)
Item: Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty! Peanut Butter
Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 1 box/6 pastries
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Gooey, creamy peanut butter. Shortbread cookie crust. Crackly sugar coating. Even better toasted. Cool box. Golden wrappers. One of the best Pop-Tarts experiences I’ve ever had. Most likely formed by powers of Kool-Aid Man and the Powerpuff Girls combined.
Cons: Only 6 per box. Overpriced crushed legumes. Golden wrappers do not earn you trip to eccentric candy maker’s laboratory. Runaway grocery carts in Wal-Mart. Realizing (yet again) that I am not musically inclined.