REVIEW: Dreyer’s Limited Edition Toll House Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Dreyer's Limited Edition Toll House Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Light ice cream. Some people shiver and cringe at the very notion. Some people praise it and buy it all the time. Me? I’m somewhere in the middle.

Light ice cream takes up that middle space in between Halo Top and super premium pints or trips to the scoop shop. I appreciate it for what it is, go in with real expectations, and enjoy.

I don’t follow too closely to what Dreyer’s Slow Churned line is up to, but when they announced a Peanut Butter Cookie Dough flavor that would clock in at 120 calories and only four grams of fat per serving I was intrigued and had to put my PB-expertise to the test. The limited edition Nestle Toll House-branded flavor combines sweet cream light ice cream with peanut butter cookie dough pieces and a peanut butter swirl.

Dreyer's Limited Edition Toll House Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream 2

The sweet cream ice cream base is generally unremarkable. It’s soft and creamy with a blanketed nondescript sweetness that acts much more as a texture than a flavor. No buttery notes, vanilla, or rich cream flavor can be found, but for a light ice cream it definitely holds its end of the bargain being a smooth and melty backdrop to the container’s mix-ins.

Dreyer's Limited Edition Toll House Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream 3

Fortunately for the ice cream, it doesn’t need to work too hard because there is more peanut butter swirl than I expected and the nut butter fiend in me is definitely satisfied. Although the ribbons themselves are thin, there is a solid amount of peanut butter laced throughout every bite, occasionally even coming across a massive hardened chunk of PB that explodes with salty smoothness.

Dreyer's Limited Edition Toll House Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream 4

The peanut butter itself is sweet and creamy, much like JIF or Skippy, and combines really well with the sweet cream to create a fluffy peanut-y experience that is much better than what I anticipated from a Slow Churned product.

The biggest issue with this flavor, unsurprisingly, is the cookie dough itself. While the taste of the dough is actually pretty good, with a unique deep fatty roasted peanut flavor and solid dough grittiness, there isn’t nearly enough of it and the pieces are quite small. Throughout the course of eating around a half of the container and digging around to try and find more, I came across less than 15 pieces of dough, which hardly lives up to its prominent placement in the flavor’s title.

Due to the low calorie count of the Slow Churned line I kind of expected this since the description and macros just seemed too good to be true. If they had to sacrifice somewhere the dough makes the most sense because if they had pulled back on the peanut butter swirl itself the flavor wouldn’t have come together at all.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup (63g) – 120 calories, 35 calories from fat, 4 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 1.5 qts.
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Surprising amount of peanut butter swirl for a light ice cream. Fluffy creamy base. tasty nutty robust dough pieces. Solid nutritional tradeoff.
Cons: Not enough cookie dough pieces. Very basic nondescript sweet flavor in the ice cream base.

REVIEW: KFC Georgia Gold Chicken

KFC Georgia Gold Chicken

Recently, I’ve been referring to KFC as Kan’t Figure (out the) Colonel because of its revolving door of portrayals that started off as confusing and is now weirdly entertaining. The latest Colonel Sanders made his debut along with the chicken chain’s new Georgia Gold Honey Mustard BBQ Chicken.

Let me preface by saying I’m a connoisseur of anything honey mustard-flavored. Amongst the fast food landscape there is the full gamut of choices, from Chick-fil-A’s non-creamy offering to Papa John’s liquid euphoria that I would very much like to bathe in.

That’s the thing about honey mustard and its flavor profile, it’s all over the place. As Forrest Gump’s mom would say, “Honey mustard is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Is it cream based? What’s the honey-to-mustard ratio? How seedy is it? Let’s see where Georgia Gold lies.

(Side note – KFC, how bout Tom Hanks as the next colonel? I BET HE WOULD CRUSH IT.)

KFC Georgia Gold Chicken 2

The chicken tenders I got came in an order of three in their own little container with some pickles for good measure. While I do love a good pickle, I’m not a huge fan when they are hot as they lose some of their gratifying crunch. They were marginal at best. I ate them first just so I could move quickly on to the stars of the dish, the tenders themselves, which were fantastic.

KFC Georgia Gold Chicken 3

The meat inside was juicy, like insanely juicy, which I definitely was not expecting. The breading was, as I like to call it, Goldilocks-style. Not too crunchy or too mushy, it was juuuuuussssssst right.

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With the perfect meat and breading I was excited for some intense flavor. However, it never materialized. It was hard to distinguish any flavor at all actually. As I looked to the bottom of the container, I saw what had happened. It had all pooled to the bottom grooves of the container so I decided to scoop up the concoction with my spork.

Once in my mouth, I got all the flavors I was hoping for. Hints of mustard and honey, a slight BBQ essence, even a little bit of heat towards the end, and all surprisingly well balanced. All notes could have been a bit stronger and I wish it was more of a smooth sauce rather than being slightly clumpy and oily, but regardless it was tasty!

I remedied the rest of my meal by adding the mixture right on top of the remaining tenders. After I was finished, forget my fingers, I wanted to lick those grooves. Yum, this was CONTAINER LICKIN’ GOOD!

(Nutrition Facts – 3 Tenders – 410 calories, 22 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 940 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 29 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Goldilocks-style breading. Insanely juicy white meat chicken. Tom Hanks as the new Colonel. A bathtub full of your favorite condiment.
Cons: Trying out a new honey mustard = taste bud Russian roulette. Georgia Gold sauce fleeing the tenders for the safety of the container grooves.

REVIEW: Malt-O-Meal Cookies and Cream Cereal

Malt-O-Meal Cookies and Cream Cereal

In the late 90s, I can remember watching The New Addams Family on Fox Kids on summer afternoons, and there were lots of Oreo O’s commercials with Bessie the cow. Until last summer, it was the only cereal I ever knew of that had a Fourth of July version. But then, as you likely know, the cereal was discontinued in the States, and everyone was sad.

Luckily, Malt-O-Meal has brought it back! Except now it’s called Cookies and Cream.

One of the requirements for reviewing this cereal was that I had to miss Oreo O’s. In full disclosure, I missed Oreo O’s before it went away. After it had been out a few years, they decided to add marshmallows to it. Even as a chubby adolescent who cared nothing about nutrition, I thought that was too much sweetness.

Thankfully, this doesn’t have any marshmallows. When I first tasted a piece dry, it totally seemed familiar, as if I’d just had Oreo O’s last week. In reality it’s been nearly two decades. So, if you miss Oreo O’s, rejoice! This is as close as it’s going to get.

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Pouring milk over them is really the way to eat it, and it tastes just like I remember. It’s one of those cereals where I feel like I could eat bowl after bowl. At the same time, though, there’s something not completely satisfying about it. Maybe it’s because it’s so airy and has giant holes in the middle, so it’s not terribly filling.

Malt-O-Meal Cookies and Cream Cereal 3

The leftover milk looks like cookies and cream ice cream and has a sweetness to it, but not the same level of chocolatiness you’d get from Cocoa Puffs or Count Chocula.

When I brushed my teeth immediately after eating the cereal, my toothpaste spittle also looked like cookies and cream ice cream. (I was going to include a picture but decided not to. You’re welcome.)

So if you want the Oreo O’s experience again, definitely pick this up. It’s a worthy replacement.

If, however, you’ve never had Oreo O’s, it’s less important for you to try this. It’s a tasty, passable cereal, but don’t expect it to be like other chocolate cereals. It’s basically cookie-flavored Froot Loops. Does it taste like Oreos? I don’t think so, but it is reminiscent of them. And one cup of cereal still has fewer calories than two Oreo cookies.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup (30 grams) – 120 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 45 milligrams of potassium, 26 grams of total carbohydrates, less than one gram of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein..)

Purchased Price: $5.48
Size: 34 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Tastes like Oreo O’s. No marshmallows. Leftover milk looks like cookies and cream ice cream. Fewer calories than actual Oreos. 90s nostalgia.
Cons: Not very filling. Rough on the roof of my mouth. More sugar than most name-brand cereals. Doesn’t taste like actual Oreo cookies.

REVIEW: Lay’s Poppables (White Cheddar and Sea Salt)

Lay's Poppables

In between its flavor experiments (long live the cappuccino chip!), Lay’s has decided to try switching up the form factor on the beloved potato chip for its next innovation. The results are named Poppables for their popped up 3D shape that can easily be popped into your mouth.

Before you read any further please take note, though, that these are high class potato snacks.

Exhibit A – the eye catching design on the top of the bags as Harper’s Bazaar tells me that polka dots are recently back on trend.

Exhibit B – the o in Poppables needs a dot below it, which the internet tells me is a diacritic mark, whatever that is. Do you pronounce it differently? No clue.

Exhibit C (and if you weren’t already convinced this is the dead giveaway) – notice that the two featured flavors are not just cheddar but white cheddar and not just original but sea salt.

Lay's Poppables 2

I’m surprised they didn’t go further with possibly aged white cheddar or pink Himalayan salt or something. I, myself, alternate between drip coffee and espresso, so I do like to think of myself as highbrow every now and then meaning I was very, very excited to try out these bite-sized snacks.

Lay's Poppables 3

Their shape looks like a lattice cut potato chip and an M&M had a beautiful snack baby. A very hollow but starchy one. Each is about the size of a quarter and significantly puffed out towards the center. The crunchiness is definitely a highlight as there are so many layers to bite through from the unique shape.

After the crunching gives way, the flavors definitely make their arrival. The sea salt ones have a tiny bit too much saltiness to them as it increases the more you chew. The white cheddar, though, have a nice crunch followed by intense cheesy flavor that then transforms into your classic potato chip profile. I found myself continually popping these into my mouth as they are a lot lighter than expected and not heavy at all (until you have eaten half the bag, though).

Lay's Poppables 4

To wrap up on these Poppables, out of the two eatable flavors available, and while this could be debatable, I did think that the white cheddar was more desirable and capable of tingling my excitable taste buds even though both, while perishable and potentially breakable, were portable, delectable, and very satiable potato snacks.

(Nutrition Facts – White Cheddar – about 28 pieces – 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Sea Salt – about 30 pieces – 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.49 each
Size: 5 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10 (White Cheddar)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Sea Salt)
Pros: On trend packaging design. Potato chips and M&M’s falling in love and procreating. Crunchiness and lightness all in one.
Cons: Overuse of the suffix -able. Aged White Cheddar and Pink Himalayan Salt getting the shaft.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Hostess Twinkies Ice Cream

Limited Edition Hostess Twinkies Ice Cream

Just in time for me dusting off the last of my White Peppermint Twinkies, Hostess is breaking down the freezer aisle doors with Limited Edition Twinkies Ice Cream. Combining a sweet butter cream ice cream with sponge cake pieces and a frosting swirl, the chubby 12-year-old in me can hardly contain his excitement.

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It should go without saying that this isn’t a super premium ice cream, but it isn’t a “diet” ice cream either, and the lower fat, higher air ratio here actually works to convey the desired flavors well. It scoops effortlessly, folding over on itself and exposing wonderful ripples of aggressively churned dairy. The base flavor is rich and buttery with caramel notes that hint towards the golden outside of Hostess’ sponge cake.

Limited Edition Hostess Twinkies Ice Cream 3

Texturally what it lacks in decadent density it makes up for with a light and fluffy whipped presence that melts with ease and reminds me of Twinkie creme. The frosting swirl is more predominantly mixed in with the base than standing out on its own, but when eating you can taste two distinct flavors. Some bites are pure sweet butter cream ice cream and others pop with a creme filling frosting surprise that is a touch greasy and extra sweet.

Limited Edition Hostess Twinkies Ice Cream 4

The sponge pieces are perfect. Although not huge, they are pretty evenly sprinkled throughout and make their way pleasantly into every couple of bites. They’ve held their shape well and are chewy like cake that has been served on a plate with ice cream that has melted its way onto the slice. The texture is spot on Twinkie, with the exception that there’s no risk of them being dry because they’re drowning in deliciously sweet ice cream instead of sitting for an unknown amount of time in a cellophane wrapper.

Overall this is an extremely well-executed ice cream version of eating a Twinkie. The buttery, slightly greasy mouthfeel and melty creamy textures all harken back to the experience of eating the classic Hostess cake – but perhaps even better.

Limited Edition Hostess Twinkies Ice Cream 5

It’s no secret that eating Twinkies can be extremely hit or miss, and this ice cream takes care of the quality issues that can happen when you buy cake at a gas station. It’s not going to flip the gourmet ice cream universe on its head, but it’s fun and tasty, and for what it is, it’s pretty damn good.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup (65g) – 160 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 grams sat fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 17 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 1.5 qts
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Nice buttery sweet base with caramel notes. Tastes just like a Twinkie put into a blender. Tasty sponge cake, no risk of dryness.
Cons: A Twinkie ice cream that tastes better than an actual Twinkie = high risk of overdose.