REVIEW: Limited Edition Peach Cheerios Cereal

Peach Cheerios Cereal

Do you stay up at night wondering what the next new flavor of Cheerios might be? I certainly don’t, but if I did it would take me many, many nights before I’d guess peach as the next flavor of the iconic oat cereal.

Not that there’s anything wrong with peaches. Despite being the only fruit honored in a state nickname (Georgia, for those who didn’t pay attention in geography class), peaches don’t get much love when it comes to cereals.

There are plenty of options with apples and a plethora of berries (including two of my favorites, Boo and Franken). But if peaches are your thing, there haven’t been many options, save for a few with peaches in a supporting role. That is until now with the introduction of Peach Cheerios.

The Cheerios folks have already covered the obvious flavors with fruit variants including apple, banana, strawberry, very berry and “fruity,” plus the ubiquitous chocolate, peanut butter and cinnamon. The makers of Cheerios have even been a little daring and gone outside of the cereal box, so to speak, with Dulce de Leche Cheerios, a flavor similar to caramel. And of course, Honey Nut Cheerios has been a popular flavor for many years. Even though Cheerios had pretty much tapped all the major cereal-friendly fruits, the choice of peach still seemed a little odd to me, but after tasting it, also a pretty brilliant one.

Peach Cheerios Cereal 2

Some cereals pack a flavor punch that hits you right in the face, but Peach Cheerios provide a much subtler taste, almost a sweet kiss on the cheek. It’s not overpowering at all, but there’s just enough flavor to add a pleasant hint of peaches, along with a nice peachy aroma.

If you find regular Cheerios to be a little too oaty (or oatey; spellcheck is not giving me a thumbs up on either one so I’m making up words, I guess) and a bit too bland, then you might really like this slightly sweetened version. It’s certainly not a dramatic departure from regular Cheerios with a slightly pinker color and a light glaze of peachiness, but the latter makes all the difference.

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My only disappointment is that the addition of milk didn’t produce the peaches and cream taste I thought it might, but instead it seemed to almost wash away a bit of the peach flavor. It was still good with milk, just not quite as good as eating them naked. To be clear, I am referring to the Peach Cheerios being naked, not me. At least as far as you know.

And here’s a random tidbit: It turns out Honey Nut Cheerios don’t contain nuts, but the name isn’t a complete lie as they do contain honey. So, does Peach Cheerios contain peaches? Well, if you consider “peach puree concentrate” to be peaches, then yes. It’s also “flavored with other natural flavors,” whatever that means. The bottom line is that it’s a solid addition to the Cheerios family.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 110 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 120 milligrams of potassium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.87
Size: 23.2 oz. box
Purchased at: H-E-B
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Nice sweetness and taste without being overpowering. You can eat them naked.
Cons: Doesn’t provide a peaches and cream flavor with milk, although it might if you used actual cream. Only here for a limited time.

REVIEW: Dreyer’s-Edy’s DC Comics Ice Cream

Dreyer s Edy s DC Comics Ice Cream

Remember when ordering “Superman” ice cream meant that you were:

1) Between the ages of four and ten years old.
2) Going to get a scoop of generic red/blue/yellow ice cream that tasted like tooty-fruity vanilla?

Those days are long over! Since America’s officially comic book crazy right now, you can get your hands on superhero-themed anything — shirts, binders, socks, gummies. Just name it! Up until now, though, there hasn’t been an officially licensed superhero-themed ice cream.

Rising to duty’s call, Edy’s/Dreyer’s has partnered with DC Comics to come up with not one, not two, but THREE official DC-inspired ice creams, just in time to save civilians everywhere from the sweltering summer heat!

Edy’s/Dreyer’s decided to represent DC Comics’s three most iconic superheroes with their light ice cream offerings: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Aquaman, being the least popular of the Super Friends, wasn’t good enough to make the cut, I suppose. In any case, I decided to try all three flavors.

Krypton Cookie Dough

Dreyer s Edy s DC Comics Ice Cream Krypton 2

After removing the lid from this Superman-inspired ice cream, I realized that this is a far cry from the Superman ice cream that I remember eating as a kid. Instead of using an eye-catching rainbow swirl, Edy’s/Dreyer’s went in the exact opposite direction by making this quart a single boring shade of vanilla, with a few pale chunks to break up the monotony.

What’s the deal with everyone being so scared of color? It seems like everything that I’ve bought lately has just had the color bleached out of it. Would putting a little more dye into the mix-ins really cost Edy’s/Dreyer’s that much more money?

The taste of this stuff is about as plain as it looks. Unlike its tooty-fruity step-brother, this Superman ice cream is the kind of vanilla that only works well as a canvas for crazy swirls and jam-packed mix-ins. The problem is, this flavor doesn’t have either of those things. The blue sprinkles don’t taste any different from the ice cream’s base, and the red and yellow cookie dough pieces are so sparse that I only found three of them in my entire bowl.

Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts (1/2 cup): 120 calories, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 14 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein)

Dark Knight Brownie Bite

Dreyer s Edy s DC Comics Ice Cream Dark Knight Brownie Bite 2

I gotta say that this Batman-inspired flavor surprised me. Upon first glance, it may not be the prettiest ice cream ever, but it more than makes up for its lack of visual appeal in taste.

Digging in, it’s got that soft, whipped texture that pretty much all light ice creams have, and it actually works pretty well here. It keeps the chocolate from being too dense and heavy, and the overall effect makes the ice cream feel like a sort of frozen chocolate mousse or something. The downside to that is that the ice cream melts pretty fast, but I found myself not really minding too much.

Edy’s/Dreyer’s decided to get creative with the chunks in this flavor by shaping them into miniature bats. They’re cute, and they give a nice crunch to the base. There still aren’t nearly enough brownie pieces, but the ones that I could find were pretty yummy, and they reminded me of frozen Cosmic Brownies. The fudge swirl is nearly absent, but I found that the brownie chunks and the chocolate bats were enough to keep my taste buds entertained.

Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts (1/2 cup): 130 calories, 3.5 grams of total fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 17 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein)

Golden Lasso Twirl

Dreyer s Edy s DC Comics Ice Cream Golden Lasso 2

Last up is an ice cream designed for the ladies!

Honestly, this one doesn’t look too different from Krypton Cookie Dough. The base is a little tanner, and the chunks changed color from blue to gold, but that’s about it. Chowing down, it doesn’t really even taste much different from Krypton Cookie Dough, either. The ice cream is almost identical, using the same plain ol’ vanilla to showcase the mix-ins and swirl.

Most of the caramel flavor comes from the chunks. There’s plenty of chunks to go around here, but I don’t think that they’re enough to carry the caramel flavor by themselves. The graham cracker “swirl” is similarly plentiful and tasty, but I don’t know that I’d really call it a swirl. In my opinion, swirls are supposed to be somewhere in-between gooey and semisolid, and these are definitely solid graham cracker pieces.

I’m a sucker for anything with graham crackers, so this was probably my favorite of the three, and I wouldn’t mind buying this flavor again. Next time, I’ll just make sure to buy extra caramel sauce to put on top.

Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts (1/2 cup): 130 calories, 4.5 grams of total fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 15 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein)

Overall, I feel that all three DC-inspired ice creams were pretty standard for something that would come from Edy’s/Dreyer’s light offerings. No single flavor was spectacular, and all of them had points that they could improve on, but the packaging on them is fun, and any of the flavors would make for a cheap and yummy way to cool off on a hot day. Besides, what kid wouldn’t love getting to eat superhero-themed ice cream?

Now, if only Marvel would team up with Breyer’s to make Avenger-inspired flavors!

Purchased Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 1.5 quarts
Purchased at: Kroger
Pros: Super-fun art on the carton. Cheap and yummy way to cool off on a hot day. Fun mix-ins. Official, licensed, superhero-inspired flavors.
Cons: Not as visually appealing as generic “Superman” ice cream. Not enough mix-ins overall. Missing swirls. Nothing all that unique taste-wise from Edy’s/Dreyer’s other light ice cream offerings.

QUICK REVIEW: Krispy Kreme Nutter Butter Twist and Chips Ahoy Cookie Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme Nutter Butter Twist and Chips Ahoy Cookie Doughnuts

What are they?

The Chips Ahoy! Cookie Doughnut is an unglazed shell filled with cookie dough Kreme, dipped in dark chocolate, topped with cookie pieces and a mini Chips Ahoy! Cookie. The Nutter Butter Cookie Twist is an original glazed twist dipped in peanut butter icing, topped with Nutter Butter cookie pieces, and drizzled with peanut butter icing.

How are they?

Krispy Kreme Nutter Butter Twist and Chips Ahoy Cookie Doughnuts 2

The Chips Ahoy! Cookie Doughnut is a slightly modified version of one of my favorite Krispy Kreme staples, the chocolate iced kreme filled, and it’s pretty damn tasty.

Krispy Kreme Nutter Butter Twist and Chips Ahoy Cookie Doughnuts 3

The cookie dough kreme is very similar to the usual white kreme but with a lovely brown sugar flavor and gritty crunch to emulate one of America’s favorite ice cream mix-ins. Somehow the brown sugar presence makes the kreme overall less sweet and when combined with the dark chocolate icing makes for a delicious and well-balanced bite.

The cookie crumbles on top were pretty much a non-factor – only giving a tiny bit of crumbly boost without much flavor. I’ve never been a big fan of chewy Chips Ahoy! And unfortunately, the mini cookie on top, which should be crunchy, got a bit soft from exposure to the air.

Krispy Kreme Nutter Butter Twist and Chips Ahoy Cookie Doughnuts 4

The Nutter Butter Cookie Twist feels like a bit of a missed opportunity – it isn’t filled with peanut butter. Since we already know KK can whip up a great PB Kreme from last year’s Reese’s doughnut, I can’t help but feel a bit let down by the lack of peanut butter pop.

Krispy Kreme Nutter Butter Twist and Chips Ahoy Cookie Doughnuts 5

The glaze on the twist combined with the cookie crumbles makes the overall profile super sweet, and any salty nuance gets lost in the shuffle. It’s still a decent doughnut but it tastes like a sugary crunchy version of the original glazed that veers too much into sugar coma territory – nothing special.

Is there anything else I need to know?

This is pure junk food/fast food fun at its best. The shape of the twist cleverly emulates the shape of Nutter Butter cookies and the Chips Ahoy actually comes with a cookie. Taking childhood cookie staples and transforming them into fresh doughnuts is great, and hopefully the Caramel Tim Tam Krispy Kreme isn’t too far around the corner.

Conclusion:

While neither of these doughnuts completely nail the cookie they’re going for, there’s no doubt that the Chips Ahoy one is a tasty remix of one of KK’s best offerings, while the Nutter Butter is forgettable.

Purchased Price: $1.89 each
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Chips Ahoy)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Nutter Butter)
Nutrition Facts: (Chips Ahoy) 400 calories, 22 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 120 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein. (Nutter Butter) 310 calories, 14 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 27 grams of sugar, and 4grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Little Debbie Mother’s Day Cakes (Strawberry and Lemon)

Little Debbie Mother s Day Cakes  Strawberry and Lemon

What is it?

These are Little Debbie’s attempt to corner the market on treats made specifically for Mother’s Day. They come in strawberry and lemon, and lemon is the only lemon-flavored product available from Little Debbie. I’m not sure what strawberry and lemon have to do with Mother’s Day, but at least the cakes don’t taste like Mom.

Little Debbie Mother s Day Cakes  Strawberry and Lemon 2

How is it?

These have the same textures as most Little Debbie products: cheap, plasticky coating; a super-sweet, oily filling; and dry-ish cake.

Little Debbie Mother s Day Cakes  Strawberry and Lemon 3

The lemon variety has a powerful scent when I open it; the strawberry is less pronounced, but it still has a fruity smell. I really can’t tell what part of the cake is flavored, whether it’s the filling or the cake. The lemon has a nice citrusy taste, but it’s not spectacular — Little Debbie played it safe. The strawberry has more of an artificial flavor, but I actually like it better. If they were bite-sized, I could mindlessly eat 500 calories worth. Again, not spectacular, but it is yummy.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Since these are marketed for Mother’s Day, I had to get the opinions of mothers. My sister agreed with my take on both flavors. My mom agreed with my take on the lemon, but she thought the strawberry was equal to it, not better.

Conclusion:

These are typical Little Debbie fare with fun new flavors. They should not be your only Mother’s Day gifts, but they would be an acceptable supplement. If you’re Cinderella or Snow White and all you have is a wicked stepmother, they would be more than generous.

DISCLOSURE: I received these cakes for free from Little Debbie, but that did not affect my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 12.01 oz. box
Purchased at: Received from Little Debbie
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Lemon)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Strawberry)
Nutrition Facts: (1 cake) Lemon – 200 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 15 milligrams of potassium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. Strawberry – 200 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 15 milligrams of potassium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Hershey’s Kisses Flavor of Hawaii Pineapple Coconut

Hershey s Kisses Flavor of Hawaii Pineapple Coconut

This time last year, Hershey’s launched its “Flavors of America” campaign. I thought this was a genius way to introduce new flavors – appeal to our national spirit and highlight the diverse agriculture and local/regional culinary specialties of our fair country.

While I had issues with the Flavor of New York Cherry Cheesecake bar, for the most part I enjoyed the products that came out of this promotion – Orange Creme Pop and Key Lime Pie Twizzlers, Strawberry Kit Kat, etc.
 
I thought the Flavor of Hawaii Coconut Almond Hershey’s Kisses were the standout of the bunch. They were superbly light and the enrobed almonds added a nice crunch. I nearly ate a whole bag in one sitting.
 
When I heard that Hershey was retreading these Kisses as Pineapple Coconut, I was excited but confused. I didn’t understand why it was having another go at Hawaii when there were plenty of other flavors and states it hadn’t hit yet. I love pineapple, though, so I definitely wanted to try them.
 
On breaking open the bag, I inhaled a lung-ful of suntan lotion. It smelled like whatever tropical-fruit-scented concoction I was slathering on my translucent skin during my family’s summer 1987 vacation to Honolulu. In that sense, it was definitely a flavor of Hawaii for me. But a food-scented lotion is more appealing than a lotion-flavored food. My hopes were starting to deflate like a pool float with a slow leak.

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While last year’s Coconut Almond Kisses were a subtle affair with a classy coconut and a smart almond textural bump, Pineapple Coconut were like 12-year-old me in Hawaii – frizzy, permed hair, Jamz shorts in a seizure-inducing pattern and geometrically abstract sunburn lines. Just wrong.
 
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The same lovely coconut remained, but these Kisses were mostly pineapple. Not an authentic “I just came from the Dole Plantation tour” flavor, but more of a “Check out these gummies I found at It’s Sugar.” I’m not against fake-fruit flavors – I prefer fake watermelon to the real thing – but in this case, the artificiality didn’t mesh well with the low-key coconut. I wouldn’t even say I disliked the pineapple on its own merits – I think it would have been great as a Twizzler.

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These Kisses also lacked a nut filling, which I really missed. I decided to make some of my go-to crafty snacks – I call them Flying Saucers. One round pretzel, one Hershey’s Kiss, bake at 250F for 3 minutes exactly, press one M&M into the center to flatten it out.  

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For me, the pretzels fixed the flavor imbalance and gave it texture. I had more appreciation for the Coconut Pineapple afterwards.

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Overall, these weren’t bad and would be a nice treat for a luau-themed patio party this summer, but if the Coconut Almond Kisses are available – choose them instead.
 
Now, can we PLEASE move on to some other states’ great flavors? How about Vermont Maple Kisses? New Mexico Chili Chocolate Kisses? Massachusetts Cranberry? Louisiana Bananas Foster?

(Nutrition Facts – 7 kisses – 170 calories, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 35 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of total sugars, 13 grams of added sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.75
Size: 10 oz. bag
Purchased at: Hershey’s Chocolate World
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Same light, lovely coconut flavor as last year’s model.
Cons: Pineapple that isn’t in tune with the coconut. Why are we going to Hawaii again? This kiss needs nuts (or pretzels or something crunchy and savory)!