REVIEW: Special K Pastry Crisps (Chocolatey Delight and Brown Sugar Cinnamon)

Special K Pastry Crisps (Chocolatey Delight and Brown Sugar Cinnamon)

I’m not going to lie. Being a 23-year-old dude does come with a certain amount of biological advantages. Chief among these, of course, is a metabolism fast enough it outrace the Millennium Falcon on the Kessel Run and still have time for a bathroom stop. Twelve parsecs? Please. I burn through Twinkies in ten.

Having said metabolism affords me quite a few liberties when wandering through Walmart. Endcaps and register lanes offering 99-cent fruit pies and bagged chips are child’s play for my appetite, which instead often leads me to entire family-size bags of potato chips and cookies. Now, I realize these little jaunts into junk food bliss will eventually take their toll on me, and in an effort to stave off the advent of full man-boobage development and male pattern baldness, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to at least peek into what any future “diet” might entail.

There are, of course, many options. The Paleo Diet and Atkins Diet are especially attractive to my inner sense of wannabe-machismo, but who am I kidding, I could never give up on the worthless carbs of packaged snacks. That brings up the intriguing option of Fiber One, if only for the shameful premise that eating 7,000 percent of my daily RDA in fake fiber wouldn’t endear me to my co-workers. With these options crossed off the list, I rounded the cereal aisle at Walmart thinking that my experiment in semi-healthy eating wasn’t going to happen. That’s when they hit me. Or rather, I hit them, thanks to dodging an aisle clearing drag race of old people in electric scooters. That’s right friends, Special K.

I have no idea what the “K” stands for in Special K (potassium?), and after more than a decade of eschewing their products, I still have no idea what makes them so special. But when finding myself suddenly facing the new Chocolatey Delight and Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pastry Crisps, I decided to take a little trip into the future and see if the coming years of man-boobage can be staved off with a little help from what looked to be a Pop-Tart in disguise.

I have good news and I have bad news. The bad news is I’m probably going to get man-boobs no matter what. The good news is that the new Special K Pastry Crisps will help me slow that ineluctable fate one portion controlled wrapper at a time.

Special K Chocolatey Delight Pastry Crisps Outtards

The Chocolatey Delight crisps taste somewhere between a chocolate fudge Pop-Tart and a Keebler Fudge Stripe cookie. There’s a pronounced shortbread crisp which lacks the heavy and dull wheat snack bread like crusts of a Pop-Tart, while a lickable portion of chocolatey “icing” provides added sweetness and pronounced cocoa flavor. Is it chocolate? I don’t know for sure, but it’s chocolatey, and hey, we’re not eating for man boobs, remember?

Special K Chocolatey Delight Pastry Crisps Innards

In any case, there’s enough of the sweet glycerin-based filling to keep each bite interesting and moist, and despite the relatively small size, I find myself preferring the crumbly morsels and sweet “crisp” to any ambiguously flavored chocolate Pop-Tart I’ve had in the past. My only complaint is that each wrapper contains two very small pastries. We’re talking slightly larger than a baseball card here and less than a half ounce each, so probably no more than a few man-chomps for a crisp.

Special K Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pastry Crisps Innards

The Brown Sugar Cinnamon flavor isn’t as good, although the smell alone makes it worth buying. It’s that intensely rich, buttery cinnamon sugar spread smell that wafts through malls across these here United States thanks to the Cinnabon franchise. A light drizzle of sweet icing won’t fool even the most diet-food inoculated eaters into thinking it could actually pass for cream cheese icing, but it adds a nice touch to the otherwise crispy pastry.

Special K Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pastry Crisps Wrapper

The taste is standard as far as brown sugar cinnamon goes, with a little extra emphasis on the cinnamon. Nothing life-changing, but at 100 calories per two pastries, one can’t set his sights that high. Again, my only complaint is the size, and in this case, the amount of cinnamon-sugar “goo.” The paste actually has a nice consistency, but it’s tough to appreciate when a scant teaspoon or so fills the shell.

I’m not going to lie. Buying a pack of Special K Pastry Crisps isn’t the most masculine thing I’ve done in the past week. But I can live with that. Just as a I can live with a slow metabolism when I get older, provided Special K continue to disguise Pop-Tarts in the guise of 100-calorie pack Pastry Crisps. Until then though, it’s full steam ahead down the cookie aisle, provided the scooter drag races don’t take me out first.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 crisps – 100 calories, 20 calories from fat, 2 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams to trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 25 milligrams of potassium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Special K Pastry Crisps (Chocolatey Delight and Brown Sugar Cinnamon)
Price: $2.54
Size: 5 pack
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Chocolatey Delight)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Brown Sugar Cinnamon)
Pros: Filling tastes just as good as a Pop-Tart. Chocolatey Delight reminds me of a Keebler cookie. No lame edges. No hydrogenated oils. Icing drizzle provides extra sweetness. Smells great. No toaster required. Portion control. Avoiding man boobs.
Cons: Small, very small. Not real chocolate. Needs more gooey filling. Icing could use more pronounced flavor. Avoiding death by electric scooter at Walmart. A future with a slow metabolism.

11 thoughts to “REVIEW: Special K Pastry Crisps (Chocolatey Delight and Brown Sugar Cinnamon)”

  1. I’ve tried the brown sugar cinnamon ones. For those of us burdened by both the metabolism of a 47 year old woman and a mean pop-tart habit, these things are awesome. Yes, the review is right, they are tiny compared to the real deal. But then, at only 100 calories a pop, how could they not be? Real pop tarts weigh in at 400 calories per two pack. The math really isn’t that hard in this case.

    But calorie for calorie, I actually like this better than the pop tart version. The crisp thin crust actually counter pointed the sugary filling better than the old standard. The drizzle of icing was nice without turning it into a sugar bomb. The overall balance of the components just seemed right.

    I should add that I did take them out of the wrapper and nuke them for a few seconds first. Cause even mini-sorta pop tarts ought to be warm. I’m pretty sure this was a good idea, since I have no longing to eat them a room temp now.

    I hope they come out with a cherry or rasberry version of this.

    1. @Annie, I like your style, especially when the box says not to nuke ’em. I make a point to test all my sweets (cookies, toaster, pastries, etc.) both room tempt, nuked, and yes, frozen. What can I say, I have a short attention span with my snacks.

      1. My microwave, my crisp, my call. Corporate America does not rule my life!

        I haven’t tried freezing my junk food, though now that you mention it I think that maybe froze chocolite chip cookies have real potential. Thanks for the idea.

      2. In case you weren’t joking, the “K” is more likely for Kellogg’s than Potassium. It matches the “K” in the Kellogg’s logo. But I didn’t remember that right away, and only knew it because Special K was my mom’s go-to cereal when I was a kid, and I couldn’t stand it. I always assumed it was way less expensive than the other cereals. I was stunned when I finally looked at the price, after I grew up, and realized it cost as much as decent cereals like Cheereos (and less-healthy decent cereals like Corn Pops). I called my mom and said, “Mom, what the …?” and she told me she got it all the time ’cause she thought it was good for us.

        That chocolate-filled new thing you’re reviewing looks good though.

      3. Never nuke a moon pie or a Hostess creme-filled item. Or if you have to, don’t overdo it. It does NOT make it better.

  2. I would definitely give these a shot, and I’m surprised you didn’t stick them in the microwave for a few seconds! I may eat my poptarts at room temp, but I’ve tried the fruity version of these and they improve with warmth.

  3. I don’t think there’s really a difference in calories from what you’d get in a standard Pop-Tart. If I’m reading the package correctly they’re pretty much identical – in calories. A pack of two Pop-Tarts is 400 calories, sure, but these crisps are 100 calories per 25g. Your standard Pop-Tart’s 50g. So, do the math. The only thing I can see you really benefiting from is portion control, and possibly more wholesome/healthier ingredients compared to a Pop-tart.

    Anyways, a nicely-written review. I’ve seen these on the market for a while now and always wanted to try them, but didn’t have the gall to pick up a box thinking I’d be disappointed by the results. I may have to pick up a box now and try them for myself. They only have the strawberry flavor down here in Canada, so we’ll have to see how that fairs.

    Thanks for the review, Adam!

  4. I have tried these and love them. If you are dieting or learning to eat healthier these are a great treat. They help give a sweet taste without undoing all of your gym time. Yes they are small, but a great treat. The strawberry ones are good as well.

  5. The ratio of creamy sweetness to crispy pastry in Special K Crisps is way too good. I actually mean that in the most literal sense. It’s too good for me to resist. I was kidding myself (which I am very good at when it comes to justifying eating stuff that I know deep down isn’t healthy) when I bought a box of these, telling myself I’d only eat one packet. But I ended up eating the entire box in one sitting. The next time I lied to myself again and said I’d have will power, but once I took a single bite, something in my brain took over and I “had” to eat the other, then . . . you all know. Everyone reading this knows exactly what I’m talking about. I finally had to admit to myself (after years of denial and weight gain) that that this kind of relatively non nutritious, refined sugar, refined flour, fat concoction is specially formulated to connect to the brain’s pleasure center and cause me to crave more sugar, fat, refined (white) flour. Want to know how I stopped the cycle?

    I completely refrained from eating a single morsel of these trigger foods for 10 days. Literally, purge these from your diet. And after 10 days I no longer craved them. And I substituted with dried fruit, whole wheat bread and toast, unsweetened jam, anything without added sugar or white flour. So far I’ve lost 60 lbs. Trust me, you can do it if you decide to. It’s simple science. Make the decision and you will be healthier and so much happier.

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