REVIEW: Stuffed Puffs Chocolate-on Chocolate Marshmallows

Stuffed Puffs Chocolate on Chocolate Marshmallows

Stuffed Puffs are chocolate-filled marshmallows that theoretically allow one to make an instant s’more without separate chocolate. While I never tried the original variety, I was excited to gorge on the new Chocolate-on-Chocolate Stuffed Puffs.

They have a pleasant chocolatey hue and welcoming aroma. The marshmallow itself is full-on chocolate and the outside appears to be coated in sugary cocoa powder. They are fluffy and familiar, with a pleasant onset of sweet cocoa.

Stuffed Puffs Chocolate on Chocolate Marshmallows Closeup

Stuffed Puffs Chocolate on Chocolate Marshmallows Innards

The chocolate inside is more substantial than the soft exterior. I was expecting either a dense hunk of chocolate or a whipped filling and it was neither. It was creamy, but denser than the surrounding marshmallow. Above all, it was incredibly delicious.

Being that it’s already pushing 100 degrees outside here, I shied away from making a fire to roast these. I delicately skewered one with a fork and placed it over a gas burner.

When it comes to roasting marshmallows, I’m highly neurotic. I take my time to get a perfectly golden exterior. I can’t stand one that has been scorched. I hovered the Stuffed Puff just out of reach of the dancing flames, expecting a wait. Within seconds, it caught fire. I quickly blew it out. Since it didn’t seem too badly burned, I gave it a shot.

Stuffed Puffs Chocolate on Chocolate Marshmallows Toasted

The Stuffed Puff was even better like this, but the filling only melted toward the edges. It wasn’t in the heat long enough to cook thoroughly. The coating seemed to contribute to the marshmallow igniting. It would probably be easier using the residual heat from the coals of an actual fire. One thing completely surprised me: I didn’t lose any chocolate out of the marshmallow. I assumed that would be a big problem.

Stuffed Puffs Chocolate on Chocolate Marshmallows Smores 2

I also tried something I normally wouldn’t have: a microwaved s’more. I placed the the Stuffed Puff on a graham cracker and nuked it for about 15 seconds. It was gooey, decadent and cooked through, but missing the satisfying caramelization of an authentic s’more. After this, I noticed that one of the recommended preparation methods was a toaster oven. That would have been smart.

Stuffed Puffs Chocolate on Chocolate Marshmallows Coffee

I stirred one into a cup of coffee and it was magnificent, so these should elevate hot cocoa nicely.

Despite my fumbling with cooking applications, these marshmallows are total winners. I have finished off the bag, popping them into my mouth as I write this. I fully intend to buy more.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of the product. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 8.6 oz. bag
Purchased at: Received from Stuffed Puffs
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 pieces) 140 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 17 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Lay’s Frank’s RedHot Hot Sauce Potato Chips

Lay s Frank s RedHot Hot Sauce Potato Chips

I have been known to liberally drown potato chips (and all chips, really) in excessive amounts of hot sauce. I tend to make a bit of a mess when doing this, but it’s absolutely worth it. So, I feel fairly qualified to review the new Lay’s Frank’s RedHot Hot Sauce Potato Chips (that’s a mouthful).

Previously, Lay’s released a Tapatio potato chip that I enjoyed. In that case, it wasn’t as good as putting actual Tapatio on potato chips, but it was still a winner. I set my expectations for a similar experience here, even though Frank’s and Tapatio are different beasts entirely.

These new chips from Lay’s hit my nostrils with a welcoming aroma of spice, not unlike that of the Tapatio or other spicy chips that I’ve had. With these, however, there is a very prevalent fragrance of vinegar. It’s not the same sensation as smelling the hot sauce directly, but it does evoke memories of it.

Lay s Frank s RedHot Hot Sauce Potato Chips Closeup

They are appropriately orange, much like a barbecue chip. I was worried there was going to be obnoxious bright red powder coating them, which I’m not a fan of. The tried-and-true Lay’s crunch is the first thing I notice. Not that I was expecting anything different, I feel obligated to mention it.

There is a strong taste of vinegar and some noticeable cayenne pepper flavor. They have all the components of Frank’s RedHot and conjure up its essence. There are also elements of garlic and onion. They’re a tasty chip, but not quite the same as pouring the hot sauce on a plain potato chip.

The heat is interesting. They’re pretty mild at first, with a few rogue spicy chips mixed in. After eating more, though, a slow burn kicks in. It was a touch spicier than I was expecting, which made for a nice surprise (but still not as hot as I would like).

Frank’s is far from my favorite hot sauce, but it will always do in a pinch. That’s how I feel about these chips. I would prefer to have the Tapatio Lay’s back, but these totally work. It would be fantastic if Lay’s branched out and partnered up with more hot sauce companies in the future.

Purchased Price: $1.68
Size: 7 3/4 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (15 chips) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat,1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Trolls World Tour Limited Edition Oreo Cookies

Trolls World Tour Oreo Cookies with Pink Creme and Glitter

Oreo is commemorating the release of the new film Trolls World Tour with a limited edition version of its cookies. Trolls World Tour Oreo comes in two varieties: a golden Oreo filled with pink-colored crème and glitter, and a traditional chocolate Oreo filled with green crème, glitter, and popping candy.

The first thing that caught my eye was the size of the packages. They’re only 10.7 ounces, whereas a traditional package of Oreo comes in at 14.3 ounces. Edible glitter must be expensive.

Trolls World Tour Oreo Cookies with Pink Creme and Glitter 2

Trolls World Tour Oreo Cookies with Pink Creme and Glitter 3

I tried the Golden Oreo first and was immediately taken aback by the color of the crème. It was much brighter than I was expecting. I know absolutely nothing about the “Trolls” franchise, but apparently music is a critical component of its universe. Each Oreo had a musical themed design on one side. I followed my heart and tried a lute cookie first.

Trolls World Tour Oreo Cookies with Pink Creme and Glitter 4

I twisted off the wafer and looked at the fluorescent pink crème, expecting actual glitter. Instead, it looked like the crème was filled with blue pepper. I envisioned my nephews being disappointed that the crème didn’t sparkle. The cookie itself tasted just like a traditional Golden Oreo. Texturally, the crème was a little softer than usual. If I squeezed the cookie together, the crème oozed out. It was certainly odd, but not quite off-putting.

They’re essentially a sub-par Golden Oreo that costs more.

Trolls World Tour Oreo Cookies with Green Creme Glitter and Popping Candy

Trolls World Tour Oreo Cookies with Green Creme Glitter and Popping Candy 3

The chocolate Oreo with green crème was immediately more appealing to the eye. The pastel green crème didn’t look nearly as unnatural as the pink. It was dotted with little green flecks that were either the edible glitter or the popping candy. These also have musical designs on one side, sticking with the theme.

They tasted like a traditional Oreo, only with the same softer crème that the pink version had. After a few seconds in my mouth, the popping started to kick in. It was fun! I adored Pop Rocks when I was a child, so this was a welcome sensation.

Oreo has released varieties with popping candy before, but I’ve never tried them. These almost feel worth the premium price, even if it is a simple gimmick.

If you enjoy popping candy and Oreo cookies, give the green variety a shot. The pink ones aren’t worth your money. However, if you have little ones, you may not get much say in the matter.

Purchased Price: $2.98
Size: 10.7 oz. package
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Pink), 7 out of 10 (Green)
Nutrition Facts: (2 cookies) Pink – 150 Calories, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, less than 1 gram of protein. Green – 140 Calories, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ice Cream

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ice Cream

At the beginning of the year, Nestlé’s Coffee-mate released a Cinnamon Toast Crunch coffee creamer, and I was heartbroken by its underwhelming execution.

When I saw Nestlé’s Dreyer’s was introducing a Cinnamon Toast Crunch ice cream, I knew I had to set my expectations appropriately before trying it. I kept reminding myself that there was a distinct possibility it was going to be another dud.

When I finally found it in the store, my realistic expectations were overcome by giddy excitement. There’s something about that colorful font in the Cinnamon Toast Crunch logo that makes my heart tingle with nostalgia. I was powerless.

Thankfully, Nestlé did not fail me this time.

The carton states that the ice cream is “cinnamon light ice cream with a cinnamon graham swirl and cereal pieces.” The “light ice cream” portion of the description reminded me to tone down my expectations, but everything else had me salivating.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ice Cream 2

Peeling the lid off the carton, I could immediately smell cinnamon. There were generous flecks of the spice throughout the ice cream and hints of the “cinnamon graham swirl” eagerly greeting me. One corner of a lone cereal piece peeked out of the top.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ice Cream 4

Each splendid bite was absolutely full of cinnamon. It was superbly sweet, but not so much that the warm spice was subdued. It instantly reminded me of the cereal I’ve been eating for as long as I can remember. Every single spoonful screamed, “Cinnamon Toast Crunch.” The swirl infused an extra shot of the sublime spice and some pleasant grit. It was the surprising star of the show. If presented with a bucket of the swirl, I would eat it by itself until I became sick.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ice Cream 3

The cereal pieces, although sparse, added a nice crunch to the occasional spoonful. A few more would have been wonderful, but the swirl made up for their small numbers.

The ice cream itself is what one would expect from a light offering by Dreyer’s. It’s a tad thin and airy, but the abundance of flavor makes me not even care. Had this been made with a more premium, full-fat ice cream, it would have been close to a perfect 10 for me.

This ice cream perfectly captures the essence of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Nestlé, I forgive you.

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 1.5 Quarts
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 170 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 17 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Haagen-Dazs Trio Limited Edition Ruby Cacao Crackle Ice Cream

Haagen Dazs Trio Limited Edition Ruby Cacao Crackle Ice Cream

I have enjoyed the few varieties of Haagen-Dazs Trio Crispy Layers that I have tried so far. Texturally, they are a pleasure to devour. They also scratch a chocolate itch, that’s for sure. Each one has a variation of ice creams with oodles of chocolate layers throughout the container.

Recently, Haagen-Dazs launched a new flavor for the Trio Crispy Layers line: Ruby Cacao Crackle with Pistachio and Sweet Cream Ice Cream. I had heard of ruby chocolate before this, but have never gotten the chance to try it, so I was very excited to snag this.

The concept with the Ruby Cacao Crackle is similar to the rest of the Trio Crispy Layers line. Pistachio and sweet cream ice creams are stacked on top of each other with shards of ruby cacao in between every two layers.

Haagen Dazs Trio Limited Edition Ruby Cacao Crackle Ice Cream Swirl

The top of the pint has the sweet cream and pistachio ice creams swirled together for a nice aesthetic effect. Once you get past the top, it’s alternating layers of the two.

Haagen Dazs Trio Limited Edition Ruby Cacao Crackle Ice Cream Layers

Upon digging in, the first thing that hits me is the pistachio ice cream. It’s rich and earthy, but still very sweet. Unfortunately, it overpowers the sweet cream ice cream. There was not a single bite throughout the container that didn’t taste like pistachio. It’s not bad at all, but it’s uneven. Both are decadent without being too heavy and are a tad icy. It’s the typical Haagen-Dazs formula.

Haagen Dazs Trio Limited Edition Ruby Cacao Crackle Ice Cream Spoon

The supposed star of the show, the ruby cacao, is certainly interesting. The pistachio kept masking its flavor, so I had to isolate some pieces to really analyze it. It has more of a delicate flavor than I was expecting. It reminds me of white chocolate, but with some berry undertones coming through. There is a touch of tartness to its mild sweetness. Frankly, it’s just not that special. Texturally, the ruby cacao adds the satisfying crunch to the mix that I was hoping for.

All in all, this was a decent near-pint, but I don’t know if I’ll ever purchase it again. The pistachio ice cream completely dominated everything else. I would have preferred a little bit more balance between the flavors. If you like pistachio ice cream, you should definitely try this, though. Personally, I’ll probably stick with any of the other Trio Crispy Layers flavors available.

Purchased Price: $5.49
Size: 14 oz. container
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 340 calories, 23 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 27 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kit Kat Lemon Crisp

Kit Kat Lemon Crisp

I have been searching for the new Kit Kat Lemon Crisp for a couple of weeks now. I adore Kit Kats, and my curiosity about this new springtime edition quickly became an obsession for me. I scoured every single candy aisle, seasonal display, and end cap in each store near my house. Anytime I saw a yellow bag of candy, I would get excited, only to be immediately disappointed. I began to lose hope.

Then, the other day, I was in Fry’s, shopping for random items and not even actively searching for the candy. I turned the corner of an aisle, looked down, and voila: there they were, in a nondescript, out of place Easter candy display. I immediately forgot everything else that I had come shopping for and rushed home.

I tore into the bag and unwrapped one of the small bars. The smell of soft, fragrant lemon hit my nostrils. The candy was a pale yet welcoming yellow.

Kit Kat Lemon Crisp Coating

The coating on the outside of the Kit Kats is sweet, slightly tart, and distinctly lemony, without being overwhelming. It doesn’t taste excessively artificial either, which is a major plus. The flavor reminds me of the cream in the lemon sandwich cookies that I used to eat when I was a child. It is undeniably delightful and oddly refreshing.

Texturally, it’s very similar to the chocolate coating on traditional Kit Kats that we’re all familiar with. It’s not necessarily chocolate, though. The packaging states that the candy is “crisp wafers in lemon flavored white crème.” As far as my mouth is concerned, it’s basically lemon-flavored white chocolate.

Kit Kat Lemon Crisp Give Me a Break

The wafers on the inside provide the same reliable crunch that they always have. I delicately ate the coating off one of them, leaving only the wafer layers. I wanted to see if they were lemon-flavored, and as far as I can tell, they’re not. They taste the same as a standard Kit Kat when you remove the chocolate. But that’s all right because the citrusy coating brings enough flavor for the whole bar.

Simply put, Kit Kat Lemon Crisp bars are heavenly and embody everything I want in a lemon-flavored sweet. Supposedly, they’re only a seasonal offering, but if they sell well, maybe Hershey will keep them around. I hope that’s the case because I’m not prepared to lose them.

Purchased Price: $3.50
Size: 9 oz. bag
Purchased at: Fry’s
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (4 pieces) 170 calories, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.