REVIEW: Hershey’s Vanilla Frosting Kisses

Hershey s Vanilla Frosting Kisses Bag

What are Hershey’s Vanilla Frosting Kisses?

The latest Kiss from Hershey’s is a creme-filled variety that seeks to make up for all the times you’ve rushed to a tray of assorted cupcakes at a schoolmate’s birthday party in a backyard, classroom, or Discovery Zone only to find that the more agile kids beat you to your favorite flavor, chocolate cake with vanilla frosting.

How are they?

Hershey s Vanilla Frosting Kisses Split

I was the kid who would throw elbows to avoid possibly ending up with chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, but I’ve since learned the error of my ways and have to say these were yummy! Like other creme-filled Kisses, the texture was more like a truffle, with a nice snap from the chocolate. The creme had the right amount of buttery richness to make it taste like canned frosting, and the flavor kept itself separate enough from the taste of the milk chocolate shell to call to mind the experience of eating a cupcake that looks like the one on the package. Adding to that experience, Hershey’s even wrapped each Kiss in adorable plaid foil that looks like the pattern on a baking cup.

Hershey s Vanilla Frosting Kisses Foil

Anything else you need to know?

From the flowers and butterflies on the bag to the colors that were selected to crisscross on the foil, these Kisses are clearly being marketed as a spring product. But I’m confused why this flavor was chosen as something season-specific.

Hershey s Vanilla Frosting Kisses Recipe

Speaking of season-specific, the back of the bag had a recipe for “springtime KISSES surprise brownie bites.” Although, “recipe” might be too strong a word since it was more like instructions for rolling premade brownies around Vanilla Frosting Kisses. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m sure the creme would pair nicely with a brownie, and it seems like a fun family activity to do with children.


Arguably the most important conclusion I reached when trying these Kisses was how much more often I was presented with free cupcakes in my youth than in adulthood, and we really didn’t know how good we had it cupcake-wise as young’uns. The second most important was that these Kisses are pretty good! Don’t let your childhood cupcake preferences keep you from trying these.

Purchased Price: $4.39
Size: 7 oz. bag
Purchased at: CVS
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (7 Kisses) 160 calories, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Brown Sugar Oat Iced Latte

Dunkin Brown Sugar Oat Iced Latte Sign

I’ll admit, I’m late to the brown sugar coffee game. It seems like a simple enough swap to have considered it sooner, but it never occurred to me over the years, even as I tried drinking my cup of joe with more adventurous sweeteners like honey and rich chocolate Ovaltine.

Once I finally learned of the warm and cozy depth it provided, I found myself visiting Starbucks more often for their brown sugar syrup. But this month, Dunkin’ one-upped its competitor with a baked good twist: brown sugar cookie syrup, which they’ve lovingly drizzled (I assume, since it doesn’t sound possible to hatefully drizzle brown sugar cookie syrup) into espresso and oat milk to create its new Brown Sugar Oat Iced Latte.

Dunkin Brown Sugar Oat Iced Latte Cup

Suspecting this was going to be something special, I was able to confidently order a medium at 2:28 pm knowing full well it was going to spoil my bedtime. I cracked off the lid to see if it smelled like brown sugar cookies and instead was met with something closer to caramel. Not a dealbreaker, so I took a sip.

Holy cow, it was tasty. Wait, oat milk, forget the cow. Holy whatever plant oats come from, it was tasty.

Dunkin Brown Sugar Oat Iced Latte Top

The drink was rich, sweet, and creamy in all the ways one could want from a flavored iced latte. The syrup was perfectly sugary and had a pleasant cookie-like toastiness but I felt it lacked a hint of molasses that would really confirm the brown sugar flavor. Although, that syrup was so beautifully suspended in the oat milk that I couldn’t hold the lack of specificity against it. The flavor felt balanced throughout and lingered in my mouth after every sip, coating my tongue. After a few experiences with overly sweetened coffees at Dunkin’, this felt more restrained and never became too cloying, especially with the slight bitterness of the coffee and oat. I couldn’t help but recognize what a well-thought-out decision it was to add this syrup to oat milk as I took increasingly awed sips. I appreciated that Dunkin’ seemed to take the time to really pair a flavor with a dairy-free milk instead of adding it to a beverage just to say they used plant milk.

This was an overwhelmingly delicious iced latte that I would love to see permanently added to the menu. However, I think many would view this as a winter flavor, and a news release from Dunkin’ calls the Brown Sugar Oat Iced Latte a “comforting sip” that “warms the soul,” so… maybe snag it while you can. Whenever that may be, even if it’s late in the day; I can assure you it was totally worth spoiling my bedtime.

Purchased Price: $5.29
Size: Medium
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 240 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of total carbohydrates, 30 grams of total sugars, 3 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Oreo Frozen Dairy Dessert Bars and Sandwiches

Oreo Frozen Dairy Dessert Bars and Sandwiches Boxes

Cookies n’ cream ice cream is a choice that feels too obvious and not obvious all at once. I asked friends and family to name their favorite frozen flavors and only one said cookies n’ cream, yet the International Dairy Foods Association says it’s America’s third favorite behind only vanilla and chocolate.

Perhaps it’s like when you ask someone their favorite movie; chances are they’re going to name the flick they’ve seen a handful of times that’s creatively stimulating, not the comfort film they’ve put on every single time it’s been on cable. No one thinks of Grease 2, and no one thought of cookies ‘n cream, including me. However, once I mentioned the flavor, most recognized it was a favorite, with many then naming a version that included Oreo. So, a lot of you may be latently excited to hear Oreo has released new frozen dairy dessert bars and sandwiches.

Oreo Frozen Dessert Bars Wrapper

The Oreo Bars come in a box of five and, to my delight, include Per Container nutrition facts alongside the Per Serving. Want to eat all five in a row? Oreo knows you do and doesn’t judge. They’re wrapped up in cute little sleeves reminiscent of Oreo cookie packaging, but the bars themselves aren’t the cutest.

Oreo Frozen Dessert Bars Shell

The outside of each treat is lumpy and dull, but it communicates it’s going to taste like an Oreo wafer. While they could’ve rolled the bar in Oreo crumbles, I appreciate that cookie chunks are instead mixed into the chocolate coating. The texture was unlike any I’ve experienced. If there was a more delicious way to say sandy I would, but please take my word that it’s incredibly satisfying sand. The coating didn’t have the crack many may be seeking, but with the crunch of the cookie I didn’t mind it being a bit softer.

Oreo Frozen Dessert Bars Split

The ice cream was a sweet and thin cookies n’ cream. This is definitely not America’s bronze medal wearing variety since it lacked velvety depth, but paired with the Oreo cookie pieces it made perfect sense as a stand in for the crème. I went back and forth wishing it was richer but enjoying that it tasted like its namesake. Though if that’s what they were going for, I think a nut milk-based ice cream would’ve fared similarly and it felt like a missed opportunity to make these dairy-free like the cookies.

Oreo Frozen Dessert Sandwiches Side

The Oreo Sandwiches are a delight! I couldn’t help but feel like a kid holding what looked like a giant Oreo sandwich cookie. No “Per Container” here (all four are 840 calories for those interested), but that may be because they’re more substantial. The wafers tasted just like an Oreo cookie wafer. Not as crunchy, but crunchy for an ice cream sandwich. They didn’t soften as I munched through them, yet I was able to eat the whole thing without the wafers smushing down the ice cream and pushing it out the sides.

Oreo Frozen Dessert Sandwiches Dunk

The sandwiches held the same ice cream as the bars and I felt the same about it in this format, but it was more at home against the bitter cocoa taste of the wafers than the sweet chocolate coating on the bar. Here it made the whole bite taste like an Oreo dipped in milk. And yes, the sandwiches will twist open.

Oreo Frozen Dessert Sandwiches Twist

Oreo Frozen Dairy Dessert Bars and Sandwiches Back Box

Both boxes tease that each frozen treat is an Oreo playfully reimagined, and I would say each one was exactly that and would recommend either. But if you want the unquestionable “you’d still know it’s Oreo flavored with a blindfold on” experience, go for the sandwiches.

All in all, Oreo has put out some spectacular cookies n’ cream ice cream novelties that may just have me more likely to name the flavor as my favorite.

Purchased Price: $4.99 each
Size: 5-pack box (Bars), 4-pack box (Sandwiches)
Purchased at: Ralphs
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Bars), 9 out of 10 (Sandwiches)
Nutrition Facts: Oreo Bars – (1 bar) 190 calories, 11 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 5 mg of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of total carbohydrates, 15 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of fiber, and 1 gram of protein. Oreo Sandwiches – (1 sandwich) 210 calories, 6 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, less than 5 mg of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of total carbohydrates, 17 grams of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Frosted Boston Creme Donut and Frosted Apple Fritter Pop-Tarts

Frosted Boston Creme Donut and Frosted Apple Fritter Pop Tarts

On a website full of reviewers devoted to seeking out the greatest junk food, claiming any sort of donut expertise would involve Icarus-level hubris, and I’m not trying to drown in a sea of comments. However, as a native Bay Stater turned Southern California resident, I’ve spent my life in two places that are well known for the treat and feel comfortable claiming a deep love for doughnuts, which I spelled in full to pay proper respect. And of all the varieties that can make up a delicious dozen, someone from Massachusetts especially appreciates the donut shop staples that inspired the two newest Pop-Tarts: the Boston cream donut and the apple fritter. I was excited to see how they fared in toaster pastry form.

Frosted Boston Creme Donut Pop Tarts Icing

Let’s start with the Frosted Boston Creme Donut. I was skeptical because the bakery item this ‘Tart is based on is no slouch. We’re talking about the official state donut of the home of Dunkin’ Donuts here. But they certainly smelled like a Boston cream donut in the foil and looked exactly as a Pop-Tart version would and should. After taking a bite, I had to admit it was pretty close. The chocolate on top was too mild to evoke the thick frosting that would be on a donut but tasted nice. The custard filling was rich with hints of butterscotch, though achingly, unflinchingly sweet. I wouldn’t want to eat this for breakfast. But I never eat Boston cream donuts before noon, either.

Frosted Boston Creme Donut Pop Tarts Split

I’m not sure if heating up Boston cream donuts is a thing, but of the four ways one can enjoy a Pop-Tart according to the box (as-is, frozen, microwaved, and toasted), I thought toasted was the clear winner. It really intensified the chocolate flavor and made for a more balanced bite.

Frosted Apple Fritter Pop Tarts Icing

The Frosted Apple Fritter Pop-Tart felt like very comfortable territory for the brand. Fruit and frosting is a no-brainer for them at this point, and one could argue this was a little phoned-in. It smelled like any basic apple baked good but was not easily recognizable as an apple fritter. I had a similar feeling about the flavor. Knowing what it was supposed to taste like, I could convince myself that the frosting was like the hearty coating of glaze on a good fritter. The dried apples that found themselves in the “Contains 2% or less of” section of the ingredients packed a wonderful sharp appley punch (next level food science) that seemed to be coated in the same cinnamon as the chunks that dot the real thing. If I’m being honest with myself? This was just a very good apple Pop-Tart.

Frosted Apple Fritter Pop Tarts Split

If you need this one to taste like a fritter, I did find freezing it brought it closer to its namesake’s flavor profile. If you want to have a great time and don’t care about the name on the box, toast it. Hot apple cinnamon filling never hurt anybody. Okay, never hurt anybody patient enough to let it cool down enough first.

When I reflected on them as a pair, I realized the flavors were technically successful but shared the same fatal flaw: they aren’t exclusively donut flavors to begin with. The apples in a fritter are reminiscent of pie filling, and the Boston cream donut is unapologetically supposed to taste like a type of cake. Those flavors paired with a crumbly pastry crust? Well, to loosely quote a line said to a fellow donut lover on The Simpsons, ’tis a fine pie/cake Pop-Tart, but sure ‘tis no donut Pop-Tart.

So, they miss out on the same respect I pay doughnuts. But I do respect Pop-Tarts for always trying to give us offerings that are both comfortingly familiar and intriguingly unexpected.

Purchased Price: $3.29 (Both)
Size: 8-pack box (Both)
Purchased at: Shaw’s (Both)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Frosted Boston Creme Donut), 7 out of 10 (Frosted Apple Fritter)
Nutrition Facts: (2 pastries) Frosted Boston Creme Donut – 370 calories, 9 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 250 milligrams of sodium, 70 grams of total carbohydrates, 31 grams of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 4 grams of protein. Frosted Apple Fritter – 370 calories, 9 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 260 milligrams of sodium, 69 grams of total carbohydrates, 29 grams of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Wendy’s Frosty Chocolatey Cereal

Kellogg s Wendy s Frosty Chocolatey Cereal Box

I love Wendy’s Classic Chocolate Frosty, but I have no idea how to explain the treat to the uninitiated. With its mild flavor and a texture that will make you doubt your choice of a spoon, try a straw, then realize that’s somehow even worse than the spoon, it almost seems intentionally ambiguous. So, when I saw someone tried to capture its essence in a cereal, I thought I may finally have some answers.

Kellogg’s Wendy’s Frosty Chocolatey Cereal is described on the box as a “chocolate flavored multi-grain cereal with marshmallows.” Hmm, none of Dave Thomas’ secrets revealed there. I opened it up and gave the cereal a whiff. It smelled like a packet of instant hot chocolate, but there was something indescribably Frosty-like about it. There’s that ambiguousness again.

Kellogg s Wendy s Frosty Chocolatey Cereal Dry

I needed to crack this code, so it was time to try each component separately without milk. The cereal had a pleasant cocoa taste, but it was very light on the corn-forward puff. The marshmallow was where things started to get interesting. A bit more cocoa, but notably some vanilla and… some malty goodness? My mind began to race. Have Frostys been malted this whole time?! A quick check of the ingredients on the Wendy’s website showed no mention of malt. Wait, there was no malt in the marshmallow ingredients, either. What the heck was going on?

Kellogg s Wendy s Frosty Chocolatey Cereal Milk

I poured a bowl, added some whole milk, and took a bite. It was exactly what you want from a chocolate cereal but was lacking in Frostyness. I finished the bowl and I took a sip of the leftover milk. I’ll be darned, the milk tasted like a Frosty! How? The marshmallows! I investigated the bag of remaining cereal and noticed many of the little mallows had fallen to the bottom, not making it into my bowl.

I tried again. Marshmallow by marshmallow, I made a more evenly distributed serving (the first time I’ve ever eaten what could be called a balanced breakfast) and followed the box’s advice I had previously ignored. I froze the bowl of cereal for five minutes and ate it with mittens. Well, gloves, because mittens are the worst. Sure enough, it started to taste a little like a Frosty!

Kellogg s Wendy s Frosty Chocolatey Cereal Mittens

Despite the exciting development, it didn’t taste enough like a Frosty and I was left with more questions than answers. If you’re less concerned about such things, it was a somewhat basic but extremely eatable cereal. Chocolatey, a little vanilla-y, a perfectly crunchy yet puffy textured cereal, and just the right amount of sweetness from the marshmallows.

Kellogg s Wendy s Frosty Chocolatey Cereal Box Back

If you’re more concerned about such things, well, I found that a quick internet search will give you the answers to your Frosty questions. But, having done both, I can say eating a whole bunch of Kellogg’s Wendy’s Frosty Chocolatey Cereal in the hopes of finding them is a lot more fun.

Purchased Price: $4.29 (on sale, originally $4.49)
Size: 8.3 oz box
Purchased at: Shaw’s
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 1/2 cups without milk) 150 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 17 grams of sugar, 17 grams of added sugar, and 2 grams of protein.