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.

REVIEW: Nestle Coffee-mate Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamer

Nestle Coffee mate Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamer

Cinnamon Toast Crunch is, hands down, my favorite cereal. Enjoying a bowl of it can immediately transport me back to more carefree days. When I saw Nestle’s Coffee-mate had launched a new Cinnamon Toast Crunch coffee creamer, I could barely contain my excitement.

In the past, I’ve taken leftover milk from a bowl of CTC and poured it into my coffee. While it’s decent, it leaves a lot to be desired. I prefer cream in my coffee, so that little amalgam is a bit too thin for my taste.

I fantasized about how great it would taste in my cup of joe. I was hoping for a creamer that perfectly captured the essence of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. At the very least, I thought it would maybe taste like horchata (try it if you haven’t), which would be fantastic.

Nestle Coffee mate Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamer Itself

I poured some of the creamer into a glass to try it straight-up first. There were no visible specs of cinnamon in it. “This is troubling,” I thought to myself. It smelled faintly of French toast. French toast typically has cinnamon, so I figured this was a good sign.

Alone, it tastes like a standard sweetened coffee creamer, but with a minuscule hint of cinnamon. There was no verifiable CTC flavor. It definitely didn’t have a horchata flavor either.

Nestle Coffee mate Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamer Coffee

In coffee, it had the same effect. It made it creamier and sweeter, as is to be expected. But I could barely taste the cinnamon. If I had not known what I was drinking, there’s no way I could have guessed this was supposed to taste like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I don’t think I could have even surmised that it was cinnamon flavored. I have had generic, store-brand cinnamon coffee creamers that taste more like my beloved cereal than this.

I feel like this would have been such an easy flavor to nail. I can’t figure out how they missed the mark so dramatically.

I’ll have to stick with pouring leftover cereal milk in my coffee for now. If I’m feeling particularly desperate, I suppose I could eat the cereal with half and half, so that the remnants make a real Cinnamon Toast Crunch creamer. I know that’s excessive, but it’s a better option than this liquid disappointment.

Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: 32 fl. oz. bottle
Purchased at: Fry’s
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 tbsp) 35 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 5 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Ruffles Double Crunch Sweet & Smoky BBQ Potato Chips

Ruffles Double Crunch Sweet  Smoky BBQ Potato Chips

Ruffles’ Double Crunch lineup has been quite promising so far, albeit a tad derivative. The chips live up to their name by delivering a satisfying crunch and seem to have extra coatings of their respective flavors. The cheddar and buffalo wing varieties are tasty, but not that original.

Ruffles has ramped up the flavor library of the Double Crunch line with the “new” Sweet & Smoky BBQ. They appear to be similar to the old Ruffles Ultimate Sweet & Smokin’ BBQ, but I don’t remember what those taste like, so I can’t say for certain.

The ridges on the chips are more pronounced than those on standard Ruffles. The chips are generously covered in a welcoming burnt-orange dust. They appear to be as heavily seasoned as their cheddar and buffalo wing counterparts.

Ruffles Double Crunch Sweet  Smoky BBQ Potato Chips Bag

The aroma wafting from the bag is that of typical BBQ chips, but with a little hint of vinegar and a more pronounced spice. Vinegar isn’t listed on the ingredients list, so it could very well be a trick of my imagination. Regardless, it’s very inviting.

The flavor profile hits hard with brown sugar, onion, and paprika at the onset. As I chew, hints of molasses, tomato and garlic start to shine through. They’ve got more of a kick to them than standard BBQ chips. I don’t taste any actual vinegar on the chips themselves. Upon looking at the ingredients, that all checks out. The proprietary BBQ seasoning has sugar, salt, brown sugar, paprika, spices, molasses, onion powder, tomato powder, garlic, honey, and delicious, magnificent MSG. There’s nothing new or original here; it’s like every BBQ chip I’ve ever had, just done a little bit better.

Ruffles Double Crunch Sweet  Smoky BBQ Potato Chips Closeup

While the crunch is not as pronounced as it is on a kettle-cooked chip, it still delivers a rewarding bite every time.

I find myself losing control and shoveling more of these chips into my mouth. I’m typing this review with one hand, so I don’t get magical BBQ dust on the keyboard from my chip fingers.

Ruffles Double Crunch Sweet & Smoky BBQ are definitely good enough to become a staple in my rotation, but I feel like they won’t be around long. Ruffles’ website makes no mention of the product, so I assume it’s a limited offering. They’re definitely worth your time if you enjoy BBQ chip, so give ‘em a shot before they’re gone.

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 7 3/4 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (10 chips) 140 calories; 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Jack in the Box Fruity Cereal Milk Donut Holes

Jack in the Box Fruity Cereal Milk Donut Holes Sign

Desserts have never been a major focus at Jack in the Box, but they’re usually a solid offering. Their new Fruity Cereal Milk Donut Holes are a twist on the previously marketed four-for-a-dollar donut holes. I enjoy donuts and have a close relationship with fruity cereals, so it was a promising concept.

When I ordered them, the cashier said, “They taste JUST like Fruity Pebbles. I’m not even kidding.” Being that this is exactly what I hoped they would taste like, I got pretty pumped. Unfortunately, I soon found out that she was, apparently, completely kidding.

Jack in the Box Fruity Cereal Milk Donut Holes in the Bag

The fragrance that wafted from the bag was pure grease with a little kiss of sugar. I swear I caught a hint of curly fries, but that could have easily been my mind playing tricks on me. Oddly, I didn’t mind either way. I’m not quite sure what that says about me. However, I did notice I didn’t smell anything remotely fruity.

Jack in the Box Fruity Cereal Milk Donut Holes Closeup

The donut holes glistened with oil and were covered with a light dusting of sugar, dotted with little rainbow-colored specks. There was a mass of the colorful sugar sitting at the bottom of the bag.

The donut holes were warm and pillowy – they collapsed with delicate bites, which was a positive start. The initial taste was standard donut fare: doughy, oily, and sugary. There was a distinct lack of any flavors perceivable as “fruity cereal milk.”

Jack in the Box Fruity Cereal Milk Donut Holes Innards

I decided to smash the exposed portion of the donut hole into the glob of the sugar mix and picked up an excessive amount of it. After tasting it like this, I was able to discern a very faint fruity taste. Even then, it wasn’t nearly enough for these donut holes to live up to their name.

There certainly weren’t any notes of Fruity Pebbles. It was more like a sliver of a singular Skittle had been ground up and sprinkled onto the whole batch. This let me know it’s not a preparation issue, but rather that the sugar mix itself is just sub-par.

I begrudgingly ate the rest of them, wondering what could have been.

If you find yourself craving cheap gas station donuts, these should do the trick, but don’t expect any fruit-flavored fun.

Purchased Price: $1.00
Size: 4 donut holes
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Unavailable on website.

(Drive-thru sign image via Robbie.)

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Merry Mocha Mint Signature Latte

Dunkin Merry Mocha Mint Signature Latte 1

Peppermint and chocolate make a magical team. Their combination is my most treasured flavor of the holiday season and one of my favorites year-round. Nothing makes me feel like everything is as right with the world as peppermint and chocolate when they’re doing their thing.

After taking a year off, Dunkin’ has brought back their peppermint mocha with a new name: The Merry Mocha Mint Signature Latte. It’s a peppermint mocha topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup, dusted with hot cocoa powder. It’s available hot or iced, and since it was nearly 90 degrees when I ordered it, I opted for the iced version.

Dunkin Merry Mocha Mint Signature Latte 2

Being that it’s been a couple of years since I’ve had Dunkin’s peppermint mocha, I couldn’t remember if it always came with a sprinkle of hot cocoa powder on the whipped cream. This sounded really promising to me, but, unfortunately, the one I received had such little powder that it didn’t impact the taste of the whipped cream in any noticeable way.

Dunkin Merry Mocha Mint Signature Latte Top

The chocolate in the latte was decadent, with a sweetness level was on par with semi-sweet chocolate. The syrup on top tasted exactly as I hoped it would. It was just as rich as the what’s in the drink and didn’t have that typical synthetic chocolate syrup flavor.

The peppermint level was perfectly balanced. It danced around with the chocolate and delicately enhanced the drink. It was strong enough to be prominent, but it didn’t feel like I had ravenously sucked down an entire tin of Altoids.

All this positivity aside, I was disappointed for one very important reason: I could not taste any form of coffee in the latte at all. The drink tasted like a delicious minty chocolate milk on ice, but not any type of legitimate mocha or latte.

I can’t be certain if the Merry Mocha Mint Signature Latte was supposed to taste like this or if I got a dud. Judging by the simple discrepancy between the cocoa powder on my drink and the promo photographs, I’m leaning towards the latter.

This time around, Dunkin’ failed to give me the full “warm and fuzzy” experience that I was craving. Taking a year off from the peppermint mocha has clearly made them a little rusty.

Purchased Price: $4.29
Size: Medium
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 340 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 62 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 56 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of protein.