REVIEW: Pillsbury Grands Limited Edition S’mores Rolls

Pillsbury Grands Limited Edition S'mores Rolls

The Pillsbury Doughboy is back at it again but this time on the s’mores bandwagon and he’s totally woo-hooing for the wrong team! Like most bandwagoners, it’s not entirely his fault. He’ll soon realize that s’mores-flavored products are quickly joining the ranks of other craze-du-jour-flavored products. Cue the lineup of failed Pumpkin Spice, Red Velvet, Apple-flavored products because it’s all hype & poor execution, buddy!

I’m sad to share that the Limited Edition Pillsbury Grands S’mores Rolls are no exception. To sum up the experience: shaky start, better second half but ultimately still couldn’t deliver.

Here’s the play-by-play:

After the satisfying Pillsbury packaging pop, a pungent chocolate-esque smell creeps its way into my olfactory receptors. I say chocolate-esque because it smells like most artificial packaged chocolate smells: sickeningly sweet and nothing like what real chocolate smells like. Offensive foul for the Doughboy.

As the dough oozes its way out of the popped container, I am geeking out a little bit about the icing packaging. I was wondering how Pillsbury would fit icing in their neat cylindrical package. While it does mean I’m one roll short, the icing itself is packaged like it’s a part of the dough roll – in a small, plastic cylindrical container at the end. Clever!

Of course, I can’t help but try the white icing goop. It unfortunately and fortunately doesn’t taste like anything. I say unfortunately because if this is supposed to be the marshmallow part, it fails miserably like an airball. I also say fortunately because I’ve been known to eat all icing before it actually makes it onto the baked good.

The naked, uneven dough plops look really unappetizing on the baking sheet. They’re different sizes because it was hard to rip apart evenly. Sloppy pass here, Pillsbury.

The packaging says to bake for 23 – 29 minutes so I set my oven timer for 26 minutes – middle ground is safe right?! While the rolls were baking, the chocolate filling actually started to smell like my favorite thing in the world: fresh baked cookies! I could smell the chocolate filling warming up from artificial chocolate to rich deliciousness.

Pillsbury Grands Limited Edition S'mores Rolls 2

After some risin’ and golden brownin’, the rolls come out looking way better than how they looked going in. However, I immediately notice that it’s a little crispy on the outside. This could absolutely be user error, but this never happens with the biscuits!

Before I begin the daunting task of icing the 350 degree Fahrenheit swirls, I try the roll sans icing. Gnawing my way through the sweet chocolate filling, I notice that there’s a slight savoriness to the dough itself – very reminiscent of Pillsbury biscuits. That biscuit-like savoriness proves to be the saving grace for the tasteless icing. When I do canvas on the icing, like Durant and Westbrook, the icing and more-savory dough work real well together.

Pillsbury Grands Limited Edition S'mores Rolls 3

However, the icing to roll ratio is completely off; I only got through about three rolls before I ran out of icing. When I ran out, I turned to ice cream instead. I’m all about textures and temperatures and ice cream is the perfect complement. Icing, schmicing!

Pillsbury Grands Limited Edition S'mores Rolls 4

While Pillsbury has a strong overall record, the Limited Edition Pillsbury Grands S’mores Rolls just can’t pull off the W. The dough itself is hard to work with and over bakes way too easily. Its teammates – chocolate filling and icing – can’t make up for the dough’s overpowering oafishness. As Limited Edition S’mores Rolls fades into irrelevance, I’ll be posted up at Cinnabon. Better luck next limited edition season!

(Nutrition Facts – 1 Roll with Icing – 300 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 540 milligrams of sodium, 54 grams of carbohydrates, 22 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 17.5 oz.
Purchased at: Vons
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Rolls come out looking & smelling way better baked. Smells like fresh baked cookies! Savory dough works well.
Cons: Artificial chocolate = offensive foul for the Doughboy. Naked, uneven dough plops. Icing, schmicing!

REVIEW: Pillsbury Melts S’more Sensation Filled Cookies

Pillsbury Melts S’more Sensation Filled Cookies

The Pillsbury Doughboy sat back in his recliner, grimaced, and with his finger placed on the trans-fat laden rolls on his triple chin, proceeded to take up a position of pondering. It had not been a very promising summer in the mass-produced, ready-to-bake sweets business.

Not only had his brother, the Michelin Man, begun a diet eschewing Grands biscuits and cinnamon rolls in favor of Eggo S’mores, pancakes, and Krave S’mores cereal, but preliminary second quarter reports showed a bottoming out of his cookie sales, with the culprit identified as a new cookie flavor developed by those damn elves at Keebler.

If that weren’t bad enough, he had spent the last month with a nonsensical ditty stuck in his head, something about “some more for you and some more for me,” that managed to give him an inexplicable urge to get some ice cream.

That was when it occurred to him; he, master of sweets and lover of all things giggly and ticklish, was late to the party. Suddenly seized with the same innovative spirit of Dr. Emmett Brown following a nasty spill on the toilet seat, he set off to develop a s’mores-inspired treat that would outdo any packaged Keebler cookie or Dairy Queen Blizzard with an annoyingly melodic theme song.

Pillsbury Melts S’more Sensation Filled Cookies Before

I speak, of course, of the new Pillsbury Melts S’more Sensation Filled Cookies. Some people look down upon ready-to-bake cookies, but I am not one of those people. Like any Pinterest browsing cookie fanatic who has never quite mastered the creaming method, I appreciate the dummy-proof nature of a 350 degree oven and 11 to 15 minutes of my time. I also get off on breaking rules like “Do Not Eat Raw Cookie Dough,” but that’s a completely different and much more frightening story.

Pillsbury Melts S’more Sensation Filled Cookies Baked

In any case, the adorable, square-ish cookies are delicious. There’s little to no graham flavor to speak of, but you’ll hardly notice thanks to the winning combination of that classic chocolate chip cookie taste and the oooey-gooey marshmallow filling, which bursts out in an abundant river obstructed only by crunchy semi-sweet chocolate chips and a light, brown-sugar crumb that’s altogether crispy on the cookie’s edges. It’s this winning texture of crunchy edges and super-moist filling which makes eating a single cookie a mathematical impossibility, while a liberal dose of the hyper-sweet chocolate icing provides an extra punch of cocoa flavor reminiscent of Hershey’s syrup.

Pillsbury Melts S’more Sensation Filled Cookies Closeup

Complaints are minor; the icing is more chocolate syrup than ganache, while the cookies’ unique filling makes them extra soft when pulling from the oven. There are no instructions for baking over an actual open flame and nine cookies per package seems like an odd number for all those not living in a mixed family with the last name of Brady. All can be forgiven, however, thanks to the marshmallow crème filling, which remains admirably gooey even a day after baking and still provides the needed burst of unabashed sweetness to compliment the eggy and toasted cookie flavor.

Pillsbury Melts S’more Sensation Filled Cookies Sexy Sexy

The Pillsbury man need not fret over his business prospects for the second half of 2014, because the S’more Sensation Filled Cookies are a worthy addition to the ever-growing array of campfire-inspired sweets that arrive this time each year. With a more enjoyable crust than the ubiquitous S’mores Pop-Tart and a fresher, more authentic s’mores flavor than cereal or prepackaged cookies, you might even be able to pass them off as homemade.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cookie with icing – 150 calories, 50 calories from fat, 6grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 14 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Pillsbury Melts S’more Sensation Filled Cookies
Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 11.5 ounces (9 cookies)
Purchased at: Harris Teeter
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Like eating a chocolate syrup and marshmallow panini inside a chocolate chip cookie. Oooey-gooey filling, even when cooled. No stand mixer required. One of the few Pillsbury ready-to-bake products not containing partially hydrogenated oil.
Cons: Graham flavor is lackluster. Could have a richer chocolate coating. The ever-present temptation of eating raw cookie dough.

QUICK REVIEW: Limited Edition Pillsbury Caramel Apple Toaster Strudel

Limited Edition Pillsbury Caramel Apple Toaster Strudel

Purchased Price: $2.00 (on sale)
Size: 6 pastries
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Sweet caramel icing prevents this Toaster Strudel from headin’ on down to Blandville. Gooey filling and icing. Crispy, flaky, and slightly buttery exterior when toasted properly. Being able to sign your name on a Toaster Strudel with an icing packet.
Cons: Apple filing was light on flavor. Caramel icing has more flavor than the apple filling. Apple filling doesn’t have tiny bits of apple to add a bit more texture. Takes longer to prepare in the toaster than Pop-Tarts. Made with hydrogenated oil.

Limited Edition Pillsbury Caramel Apple Toaster Strudel Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 1 pastry with icing – 170 calories, 50 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat*, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 2 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein.

*made with hydrogenated oil which adds a small amount of trans fat.

QUICK REVIEW: Pillsbury Heat-N-Go! Blueberry Mini Pancakes

Pillsbury Heat-N-Go! Blueberry Mini Pancakes

Purchased Price: $1.49
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Comes in a microwaveable pouch. Can be eaten straight out of the pouch with your hands. Frozen to ready in 75 seconds. Fluffy-ish 2-inch pancakes make Bisquick pancakes seem awesome. Can be found for a dollar or less. Getting some sausage patties and making breakfast sliders with these mini pancakes.
Cons: Blueberry flavor is too light. Not sweet enough for my tastes. If you send your child out into the world with only this as their breakfast, they’ll probably get hungry within an hour after finishing it. Having to wake up for school. Being woken up by a finger poking your belly button, making you giggle.

Pillsbury Heat-N-Go! Blueberry Mini Pancakes Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 180 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 3 grams of monounsaturated fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 330 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pillsbury Sausage & Cheese Grands! Biscuit Sandwiches

Pillsbury Sausage & Cheese Grands! Biscuit Sandwiches

I hate the Albino 3D Gingerbreadbaker, or as he’s more commonly known as, the Pillsbury Doughboy. Look at him smiling and being shielded by the Pillsbury logo on the box of his new Pillsbury Sausage & Cheese Grands! Biscuit Sandwiches.

He better hide behind that logo because I want to throw one of his new breakfast biscuits at him…frozen. Why frozen? Because I’m pretty sure throwing a heated one at the Doughboy as a projectile is as unsatisfying as eating one.

Each box comes with two sandwiches, which are individually wrapped and split into two halves. Depending on how powerful your microwave oven is, preparing a biscuit sandwich takes anywhere from one minute and 15 seconds to two minutes and 15 seconds. Sadly, for those of you who don’t like the convenience of a microwave oven, there are no conventional or toaster oven instructions.

Pillsbury Sausage & Cheese Grands! Biscuit Sandwiches Closeup 2

Look, Pillsbury knows how to make dough and produce commercials that make you want to poke other peoples’ bellies to see if they giggle, but the eggs, cheese sauce, and sausage in the Pillsbury Sausage & Cheese Grands! Biscuit Sandwiches are things they don’t know how to do well. All of the ingredients in the middle of the sandwich get lost in the flavor of the somewhat tasty buttermilk biscuit, which was a little chewy in places and slightly fragile.

I can understand the eggs not providing much flavor, because with a lot of frozen breakfast items, the eggs usually just give everything a little color, some protein, and jack up the amount of cholesterol the product has. However, it’s disappointing the sausage and cheese sauce didn’t have strong flavors because look at the photo above. It looks like the buttermilk biscuit was caught in the middle of a pork hail and cheese rain storm. It’s covered in both, but it doesn’t make a difference in terms of flavor.

Pillsbury Sausage & Cheese Grands! Biscuit Sandwiches Closeup 1

The only way a three inch wide and 1.5 inch tall Pillsbury Sausage & Cheese Grands! Biscuit Sandwich could be satisfying is if I could strap the Pillsbury Doughboy to one as I microwave it and listen to him plead for forgiveness as he’s pounded by microwave radiation.

Of course, it would only be satisfying for me.

For the Pillsbury Doughboy, not so much.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 sandwich – 280 calories, 140 calories from fat, 16 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat*, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 730 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, 9 grams of protein, 2% vitamin A, 6% calcium, and 8% iron.)

*Uses partially hydrogenated oil

Item: Pillsbury Sausage & Cheese Grands! Biscuit Sandwiches
Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 2 sandwiches
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Decent tasting buttermilk biscuit. Getting to bake the Pillsbury Doughboy. Lots of sausage and cheese sauce.
Cons: Hard to detect the cheese sauce and sausage. Eggs don’t provide any flavor. Kind of small. Pricey for two sandwiches. Biscuit was chewy in some places. Uses partially hydrogenated oil. No conventional or toaster oven instructions.

REVIEW: Pillsbury Savorings Mini Crescent Dogs

Pillsbury Savorings Mini Crescent Dogs

The Pillsbury Savorings Mini Crescent Dogs look like trailer trash cuisine that involved snapping into a Slim Jim and then snapping into the Pillsbury Doughboy.

Other Savorings flavors sound a lot classier, like artichoke and spinach, cream cheese and jalapeno, and cheese and spinach. With those high quality varieties, I didn’t think Pillsbury would attempt to make an upscaled version of pigs in a blanket and take the Savorings line down to the level of Boy Scout meeting grub.

Just look at the Pillsbury Doughboy on the front of the box smiling like he’s offering us the greatest Canadian microwaveable product of all time. How can he be smiling? He’s offering us something he wouldn’t eat himself, because doing so would be cannibalism to him.

You know who shouldn’t be smiling? People who buy the Pillsbury Savorings Mini Crescent Dogs and Canadians. Why Canadians? Because, as Cybele from Candy Blog pointed out after I posted the photo above on Flickr, if it’s from Canada, shouldn’t it be spelled Savourings?

A box of this Savorings variety contains ten pieces which are made up of “soft pastry wrapped around a miniature smoky sausage.” The pieces are small, so if you’re planning to take some to a Boy Scout meeting, you should buy several boxes, unless you’re bringing the snack to one of the world’s smallest Boy Scout troops, which consist of just two fervent preteens who will become Eagle Scouts before they even kiss a girl.

Pillsbury Savorings Mini Crescent Dogs 2

To prepare a serving, place five pieces on a plate as if they’re the points to create the Star of Sodium and Saturated Fat, and then microwave for one minute. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MICROWAVE JUST ONE UNLESS YOU WISH TO TURN THE SAUSAGE INTO ASH AND HAVE YOUR MICROWAVE SMELL LIKE CARNAGE FOR SEVERAL DAYS, OR IF YOU WISH TO WIPE THAT SMILE OFF THE PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY’S FACE.

WHEN I PREPARED…OH WAIT, I’M SORRY. When I prepared them properly, the pastry wasn’t very soft, was awfully dry and bland tasting. Also, the mini pork, chicken and beef sausages were a bit too salty and had me yearning for the unnatural red color and normal saltiness of hot dogs.

If you’re trying to convince Boy Scouts or anyone else into thinking you made them fresh, you won’t. Although if you’re willing to admit you really suck at cooking, because Pillsbury Savorings Mini Crescent Dogs aren’t very good, you might get away with it. But either way, you’ll be breaking the trustworthiness part of the Scout Law.

(Nutrition Facts – 5 pieces/85 grams – 290 calories, 150 calories of fat, 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat*, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 1000 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, 7 grams of protein and 8% iron.)

*made with partially hydrogenated soybean oil

Item: Pillsbury Savorings Mini Crescent Dogs
Price: $4.29
Size: 10 dogs
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Quick to prepare. Hot dogs. Other Savorings flavors. Pigs in a blanket. Watching the Pillsbury Doughboy eat bread.
Cons: Dough came out not soft, dry and bland. Sausage was a bit too salty. Excellent source of sodium and saturated fat. Contains only two servings. Sausage looks like Slim Jim pieces. Can’t microwave in smaller amounts than what’s in the instructions. Becoming Eagle Scout before kissing a girl.