REVIEW: Keebler Limited Batch Lemon Cream Pie Fudge Stripes

Keebler Limited Batch Lemon Cream Pie Fudge Stripes

The three essential steps to enjoying Keebler’s new Lemon Cream Pie Fudge Stripes:

  • Do not decapitate any woodland humanoids.
  • Buy a bouquet of flowers for our country’s dying circus industry.
  • Have a questionable taste in Starburst.

See what I did there? I opened this review with a deviously BuzzFeedian listicle that practically begs you to read the whole thing for comprehension.

Though I’m sure you were going to read anyway, because this latest elven attack in the Great Oreo–Fudge Stripe War is a doozy. Sure, Oreo has been churning out countless milk-dunked slam dunks, and Ernie the Keebler Elf probably doesn’t even know what a slam dunk is. But that hasn’t stopped him from firing back with new disc-shaped Fudge Stripes faster than a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toy fires plastic pizzas.

Case in point: these new Lemon Cream Pie Fudge Stripes. Coming hot off the heels of Cinnamon Roll Fudge Stripes and just before Keebler’s upcoming Strawberry Cheesecake Fudge Stripes, Lemon Cream Pie hopes to beat over milk’s favorite cookie aisle behemoth with odd specificity. See, Oreo has had Lemon and Lemon Twist varieties, but it’s never put its money where its pie-hole is.

But enough talk: let’s put some Fudge Stripes where my pie hole is.

Keebler Limited Batch Lemon Cream Pie Fudge Stripes 2

In my eagerness, I totally guillotined poor Ernie getting my Fudge Stripes open. This ultimately worked against me, as I now have no way of storing my rapidly staling cookies. Good thing I could eat the whole package in a sitting, because these are seriously good.

The delightful shortbread base may look like cross-sectioned lasagna noodles, but it tastes like the brown butter-smacked lovechild of a Nilla Wafer and a Barnum’s Animal Cracker. And given that the real Barnum’s circus just closed down, those crackers need to procreate if we want to preserve their nostalgic legacy.

All school lunch classics aside, these Fudges Stripes’ airy crumble, cozy lattice print, and pleasant twist of oily sweetened flour remind me of every cookie I ever bought from a church bake sale. And I’ll say “amen” to that.

Keebler Limited Batch Lemon Cream Pie Fudge Stripes 3

As for the lemon, it’s far more subtly sweet than sinisterly citrusy. Meanwhile, the pristinely white dip and drizzle has all the hyper-sugared, slightly fatty vanilla sweetness of half-and-half mixed with marshmallow fluff. Taken together, the whole cookie tastes a lot like the Turkish Delights my 3rd grade teacher made while we read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which is fitting, because I’d happily betray Narnia for these Fudge Stripes, just like Edmund.

Though perhaps “Yellow Starburst smothered in whipped cream” is a more fitting analogy, because your love of Yellow Starburst will be a good litmus test to determine if you’ll enjoy Lemon Cream Pie Fudge Stripes. Yellow is tied for my favorite alongside Pink, so I loved these cookies. But since I’ve been fiendishly mocked and pelted with hard candy morsels since childhood for this opinion, I know there are many Red Starburst diehards out there who will sour on these Stripes.

Keebler Limited Batch Lemon Cream Pie Fudge Stripes 4

Ignoring the haters, I think these Fudge Stripes have more than earned their stripes. They’re light, accurate to their namesake pie, and have a crispy-creamy combo that’s irresistibly snack-able. They’re not memorable enough to topple any Oreo Empires, but I can’t think of a Fudge Stripe that could.

Can’t the two sides just sign a peace treaty and produce Oreo cookies with Fudge Stripes instead of wafers?

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 11.5 oz. package
Purchased at: Meijer
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Church-approved cracker-wafer marriage. A Yellow Starburst Sundae that Pinterest probably has a recipe for. Bisected pasta dinners. Cookies > Aslan.
Cons: Divisive, bully-angering candy flavor. Nabisco’s unchallenged cookie aisle monopoly. Out of touch—and now lobotomized—elder Elves. Cookie-bait headlines.

REVIEW: Maltesers

Maltesers

If you live in England or some other countries, you might be asking yourself, “Why is The Impulsive Buy reviewing Maltesers?” Presumably you’re asking yourself this question with an accent that those of us who live in the United States find utterly charming.

Well, my far-off friends, us Americans have just been gifted with the arrival of Maltesers, having had to settle for Whoppers to soothe our chocolate and malt-craving sweet tooth during movie viewings. Unless you’d prefer Raisinets, in which case, go sit in another aisle.

It’s impossible to eat these Maltesers without comparing them to Whoppers, so I just went ahead and did that.

First off, Maltesers, a name that gets weirder every time I type it, are made by the Mars Co. I was surprised to find “Made in Great Britain” on the package. Mars isn’t making them in the US, they’re just importing them here now. Whoppers are produced by Hershey’s, the great rival to Mars.

Maltesers 4

As you can see, Whoppers are smaller and have a matte finish, while Maltesers are quite a bit larger and have a shiny, waxy finish to them.

Maltesers 5

While Maltesers are bigger on the outside, they are decidedly less dense than Whoppers on the inside. Having been a Whopper consumer all my life, eating a mouthful for the purposes of comparison was a familiar sensation – weak chocolate flavor and a texture that briefly feels like it’s going to break your teeth before the inside breaks apart, gumming up but giving you that strong malt flavor.

Maltesers 3

Despite both being chocolate-covered malted milk treats, Maltesers are basically the opposite. I popped a few in my mouth and there was little resistance when I chomped down – these candies are just as light and airy as they look. And, like their texture, the malt flavor is also light and airy.

The inside dissolves quickly, leaving you with more of a chocolate taste than anything. But, because this is chocolate made in Great Britain, the quality of it is much higher than that of Whoppers.

So, now you’ve got two malted milk chocolate candy options. Which one you choose is really up to you. I loved the light inner texture of Maltesers and the quality of the chocolate, but they were pretty light on the malt flavor, due to the filling dissolving so quickly. But it’s that airiness that makes them so poppable.

Maltesers 2

When it comes down to it, Maltesers is simply a higher-quality product than Whoppers. It’s got good chocolate and a great texture, although it is light on the malt flavor. But, despite the name, the package doesn’t really play up the maltiness of the candy – it calls them “chocolatey candies” and their trademark is “playful crunch, chocolately delight.” So if that was the goal, Maltesers has delivered hands-down. I blew threw this single-serve bag in an alarmingly short amount of time. They’re dangerously good.

I’ll leave you with a fun fact from Wikipedia: “In the 1930s, advertisements claimed that the Maltesers honeycomb centre is seven times less fattening than ordinary chocolate centres; this led marketers to claim it was beneficial for weight loss.”

Cocaine used to be advertised for weight loss, too! I’d argue it had better results, though. (Just kidding, kids – don’t do drugs!)

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pack – 190 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 0 gram of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, 8% calcium, 4% iron..)

Purchased Price: $1.49
Size: 1.30 oz. package
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Excellent chocolate quality. Light and airy filling. Doesn’t gum up in your mouth. Cocaine (Just kidding, again!)
Cons: Lacking the malted milk flavor of Whoppers. Silly 1930s weight loss campaigns. I’m no longer sure I’m spelling Maltesers right anymore.

REVIEW: Butterfinger Peanut Butter Crisp Bar

Nestle Butterfinger Peanut Butter Crisp Bar

If Bart Simpson were still slanging Butterfingers today, he’d most definitely say, “Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger…Peanut Butter Crisp Bar!”

C’mon, you didn’t expect a Butterfinger review without a mention of Bart Simpson, right?!

But Nestle has moved on from Bart Simpson to Backstreet Boys covers with the Peanut Butter Crisp Bar.

Speaking of throwbacks like BSB, the latest version of this Butterfinger innovation is apparently a relaunch with “even more dose of Butterfinger” – whatever that means. However, they’ve added crunchy toffee pieces with the wafer layers and Butterfinger crème.

I think it’s interesting they’re now highlighting peanut butter on-pack because all Butterfingers have peanut butter in the first place. They now also tout that there are no artificial flavors or colors and that added colors are from natural sources. Well then, I don’t want to know what was in my Crisp Bar back in the day.

Nestle Butterfinger Peanut Butter Crisp Bar 2

I bought the Fun Size pack because I was greedy and raiding the Easter chocolate section. I also thought Fun Size would be a good way to portion control. But, I ate three Fun Size Crisp Bars in record time, so I really should have just purchased one 2-ounce package because it comes with three pieces anyway. Ugh.

Nestle Butterfinger Peanut Butter Crisp Bar 4

Visually, my borderline-OCD-self appreciated the perfect machine-laid layers of the wafer and crème. You can see the toffee only sits on the top, so as expected, it doesn’t really translate like it does when eating a non-Crisp Bar. Overall, there’s less crunchety (aka no toffee bits stuck in your teeth) than a regular Butterfinger but there’s still a satisfying crispiness as you can hear loud and clear in the BSB cover video.

Nestle Butterfinger Peanut Butter Crisp Bar 3

It tastes really similar to the Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups – maintaining that trademark Butterfinger taste but with a smoother finish. The last flavor is the creamy, sweet chocolate coating. But I think it’s less sweet because of the wafer addition and the lack of crystalized toffee sugar-bomb bits. I personally don’t like my chocolate leaving a sickly sweet back-of-throat aftertaste, so I was totally into the chocolate on the bar!

I didn’t expect to, but I really enjoyed these. I even thought to myself – if I was a kid at trick-or-treating age, I’d love to have a jack-o-lantern full of these. Wrong time of year, I know, but that’s how much I enjoyed them.

My only request though: I’d love for Nestle to make a 2 lb Butterfinger Peanut Butter Crisp Bar so I can indulge in my sweet-tooth-Butterfinger dreams. Who’s with me?!

(Nutrition Facts – 2 bars – 200 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 17 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.00
Size: 11 oz. Fun Size bag
Purchased at: Kroger
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Perfect machine-laid layers of wafer and Butterfinger crème. Less crunchety but still satisfying. Less sweet than regular Butterfingers.
Cons: Where’s Bart Simpson at? Toffee doesn’t really translate.

REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Oat of this Swirled Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's Oat of this Swirled Ice Cream

Many people know Ben & Jerry’s for their clever flavor names. Take a commonly used phrase, change a word or syllable into an ingredient’s name, and BAM, a new ice cream flavor name is born.

Empower MINT.

Clusterfluff.

Cake My Day.

Americone Dream.

Karamel Sutra Core.

Oh, I could spend all day listing them and confusing my computer’s spell check.

But the brand has done it again with Oats of this Swirled Ice Cream. So is this ice cream out of this world? Let’s find oat.

The flavor features buttery brown sugar ice cream with fudge flakes and oatmeal cinnamon cookie swirls.

Ben & Jerry's Oat of this Swirled Ice Cream 2

The ice cream base has a mild buttery flavor, but it was hard to taste the butteriness by itself because it seemed like cinnamon permeated through the ice cream. That reads like a complaint, but I assure you it’s not. Cinnamon and butter is a combination I love seeing together, like Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. I would buy the ice cream base without anything else, if Ben & Jerry’s sold it.

While the ice cream itself is great, what makes this flavor wonderful is the oatmeal cinnamon cookie swirls. It has a fine gritty texture that’s a pleasant contrast to the creamy ice cream. However, its flavor makes me think more of a snickerdoodle than an oatmeal cinnamon cookie. Again, that reads like a complaint, but I assure you it’s not because I love this swirl. But if you can taste the oats, let me know because I don’t taste or see them.

Of course, seeing oats is a good thing and a bad thing. I don’t want to see the oats because that’ll mean dealing with the chewy texture of the oats, but at the same time seeing them will help justify in my mind that maybe I’m getting some benefit from eating ice cream with half my daily saturated fat in one serving.

As for the fudge flakes, their snap added a third texture to the ice cream and there were a lot of them. When I got a spoonful with the buttery ice cream base, cinnamon swirl, and the fudge, I thought it tasted more like a spiceless Mexican hot chocolate than any cookie. Once again, that reads like a complaint, but I assure you it’s not because this pint is wonderful and really hard to put down.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 310 calories, 180 calories from fat, 20 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 70 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 28 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Ice cream base and swirl taste more like a snickerdoodle than cinnamon oatmeal cookie. All three parts taste more like a spiceless Mexican hot chocolate. Clever name. Hard flavor to put down.
Cons: Don’t get the oats. Doesn’t bring an cinnamon oatmeal cookie to mind. Having to teach my computer’s spell check Ben & Jerry’s flavor names.

REVIEW: Coca-Cola Plus Ginger (Japan)

Coca-Cola Plus Ginger (Japan)

For most of my life I’ve thought of ginger as more of a medicine than an ingredient.

When I felt nauseous playing DOOM, I sucked on ginger candy. When I felt something funny in my tummy while watching someone play DOOM, I drank ginger ale. And when it felt like the room was spinning around every time I closed my eyes after playing DOOM, I hung out next to the toilet.

While ginger ale is quite possibly the most popular beverage with ginger, more drinks are being offered with it, like ginger beers, ginger kombucha, and, last year, Pepsi put some into their wonderful 1893 Ginger Cola.

Because of my love for Pepsi’s craft ginger cola, the first thing I sought out during my Japan trip was the new Coca-Cola Plus Ginger.

While Pepsi Japan comes out annually with limited edition soda flavors you’ve never seen in a PETE plastic soda bottle, Coca-Cola Japan keeps it simple by just adding a bit of flavor to the standard Coke and does it at an Olympics-like frequency. About three years ago, Coca-Cola Japan sold a delicious orange-flavored Coke.

It’s funny that the Pepsi Japan flavors are like ideas from a cocaine binge (cucumber, baobab, cherry blossom), while the cola that once had actual cocaine in it ends up being tame.

Much like the amount of orange flavoring in the last limited edition Japanese Coke I had, this soda had the right amount of ginger flavor. You can’t miss it, but it doesn’t overwhelm the cola. To be honest, it tastes right at home with the cola spices. Also, it didn’t burn, like it does with ginger beer. Coca-Cola Plus Ginger is such a great tasting soda that I bought two more bottles at the end of my trip.

If you enjoyed Pepsi’s ginger cola, you’ll like this, if you get your hands on it. It’s only available in Japan for a limited time (it was available in Australia in 2016) or from an online Japanese snack seller. If you think you’ll be able to replicate it by mixing Coca-Cola with Seagram’s Ginger Ale, you won’t because I tried using various ratios and none of them tasted anything close.

I really hope Coca-Cola Plus Ginger ends up in the United States, or at least be an option on a Coke Freestyle machine.

(Nutrition Facts – 100 ml – 44 kcal, 0 grams of fat, 11 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sodium, and 0 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: 130 Japanese Yen
Size: 500 ml
Purchased at: Lawson Station
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: If you’re a fan of Pepsi’s 1893 Ginger Cola, you’ll like this. Right amount of ginger flavor. Ginger complements the cola spices. Doesn’t have ginger burn.
Cons: Not available in the U.S., but might be available through online Japanese snack sellers. The nauseous feeling I got when playing DOOM.