REVIEW: Limited Edition Apple Cider Donut Oreo Cookies

Limited Edition Apple Cider Donut Oreo Package

I think the junk food gods wanted me to have a good experience sampling the new Apple Cider Donut Oreo Cookies, which are a standard Golden Oreo cookie with a tan-colored creme that tastes like apple cider donuts.

I had been actively (obsessively) searching for several days, and finally found them the fourth day in a random local grocery store, when it just happened to be twenty-five degrees cooler than average. So even though it’s August, it totally felt like fall, making a perfect atmosphere to review these new cookies that totally taste like fall.

Limited Edition Apple Cider Donut Oreo Fall

When I first heard about these, I was intrigued and excited but also skeptical. I hoped for three elements from cookies with “Apple Cider Donut” in the name: apple, donut, and spices (specifically cinnamon). Would they deliver? Let’s find out!

Apple: Check!

Donut: Check!

Spices: Check?

OK, so I don’t really taste the spices, even though the ingredients list says “spices (includes cinnamon).” But the rest of it is so good that I don’t mind!

I don’t know how Nabisco’s food scientists did it, but these cookies really taste like donuts, like there’s been dough fried in oil.

The most prominent flavor, though, is apple. It’s not an authentic flavor, but it’s also not like an artificial candy flavor. It’s somewhere in the middle. And even though I don’t always like apple flavors, I don’t mind it at all here!

Limited Edition Apple Cider Donut Oreo Milk

The Oreo is known as a dunking cookie. So I dunked these in milk, and the result surprised me: the milk neither enhanced nor detracted from the experience. It brought the apple flavor forward, but not overwhelmingly so.

Limited Edition Apple Cider Donut Oreo Cider

And since it’s apple cider donut, I dunked these in apple cider as well. I worried the authentic cider would make the creme taste too artificial, but nope, it was still enjoyable. Neither better nor worse.

No matter how I tried them (eating normally, separating the creme, dunking in milk, dunking in cider), I liked them equally. You know those people who are friends with everyone? These Oreo cookies are the junk food equivalent.

For more than a decade, we have had lots of candies and treats flavored like candy corn, caramel apple, and of course, pumpkin spice. I love them all, but I’m so glad to see another iconic fall food get some recognition.

There are other Oreo flavors that I like more, but these just make me happy. Like any good Oreo should do.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 12.2 oz. package
Purchased at: Dan’s Fresh Market
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 cookies) 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar (including 12 grams of added sugars), and less than 1 percent protein. (Neither the website nor the label gives an actual protein gram amount.)

REVIEW: Limited Edition Team Cheerios Cereal (2021)

Limited Edition Team Cheerios Cereal Box

What is Team Cheerios Cereal?

Three preexisting flavors of Cheerios have joined into one team: strawberry, frosted, and blueberry.

How is it?

Limited Edition Team Cheerios Cereal Dry

I could tell from the box that these wouldn’t truly be red, white, and blue, especially since there’s no artificial food coloring. But I didn’t expect them to be positively pallid. Oh well. It’s the flavor that matters, right? I’m glad these aren’t just plain Cheerios with food coloring.

I tasted each individual flavor dry. Frosted is just sweet. Strawberry is generically fruity, like Trix or Fruity Cheerios. Blueberry actually uses blueberry puree, so it has the most authentic flavor. All three have that satisfying oatiness to them.

Limited Edition Team Cheerios Cereal Milk

When I put them all together in milk, blueberry is the dominant flavor. There is some hint of the strawberry, but the frosted is just along for the ride. What little color they had washes off in milk, leaving a purplish liquid.

I was surprised at how much I liked this cereal. I don’t always love blueberry things, but the flavor here is authentic without being overpowering. But I haven’t had plain blueberry Cheerios, so I don’t know how this mixture compares.

Anything else you need to know?

According to our friends at Cerealously, there was a previous version of Team Cheerios back during the 1996 Olympics, but that was just regular, multigrain, and frosted Cheerios. I gotta say, in 2021, we tend to have more creative flavors.

Conclusion:

Limited Edition Team Cheerios Cereal In Milk

This Team Cheerios Cereal doesn’t deserve a gold medal, but it deserves a silver or bronze. I just hope we don’t have to wait until the 2024 Olympics for this to come back.

Purchased Price: $3.50
Size: 18.5 oz. box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 140 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of soluble fiber, 11 grams of sugar including 11 grams of added sugars, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Powerade Sports Freezer Bars

Powerade Sports Freezer Bars Box

What are Powerade Sports Freezer Bars?

Jel Sert, the company that makes Otter Pops and Fla-Vor-Ice, has teamed up with Powerade to make freezer bars in two of the sports drink’s classic flavors: Mountain Berry Blast and Fruit Punch.

But it’s not just the flavors. These are sports freezer bars, meaning they have electrolytes in them.

How are they?

Powerade Sports Freezer Bars Bars

Now, I have a hard time describing what they taste like. The Fruit Punch has a nondescript fruity flavor. Mountain Berry Blast has more of a noticeable berry flavor; it’s probably raspberry, but since they didn’t specifically call it raspberry, it could be anything.

But even though I can’t really describe them, I quite enjoy them! Both the flavor and the texture are as good as any freezer bar I’ve had. They have a little bit of sports drink flavor, but I wouldn’t detect it if I didn’t know.

Powerade Sports Freezer Bars Fruit Punch

Powerade Sports Freezer Bars Mountain Berry Blast

I compared the bars, both frozen and refrigerated, with their respective Powerade flavors to see how true they are. I think Jel Sert used the same flavoring, but they’re not exactly the same: the freezer bars are better! They taste less watery and less medicinal. (I’ve never thought of Powerade as tasting medicinal until I tried it next to the bars.)

Anything else you need to know?

I compared the nutrition facts of these with regular Powerade. Serving for serving, they are roughly the same, except that the bars have half of the sodium (I’m guessing because salt affects the freezing point). The bars are like a concentrated version of Powerade. For your convenience, I have included the nutrition facts for both the freezer bars and regular Powerade below, including the vitamins and minerals.

Conclusion:

If you are going to be nibbling on freezer bars this summer and want some electrolytes to go with them, Powerade Sports Freezer Bars are a perfect option.

Purchased Price: $2.00
Size: 24 oz. box (16 bars)
Purchased at: Dollar General
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Freezer bars – 4 bars, 170 grams) 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, 75 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbs, 19 grams of sugar including 19 grams of added sugars, 0 grams of protein, 18 milligrams of potassium, 2 milligrams of calcium, 4 milligrams of magnesium, 15% DV of niacin, 35% DV of vitamin B6, and 70% DV of vitamin B12.

(Powerade – 12 fl. oz.) 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, 150 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbs, 21 grams of sugar including 21 grams of added sugars, 0 grams of protein, 35 milligrams of potassium, 15% DV of niacin, 15% DV of vitamin B6, 35% DV of vitamin B12, and less than 2% DV of magnesium.

REVIEW: Hostess Limited Edition Lemonade Stand Twinkies

Hostess Limited Edition Lemonade Stand Twinkies Box

What are Hostess Limited Edition Lemonade Stand Twinkies?

The classic golden sponge cake of a Twinkie now has a pink-colored, lemon-flavored creamy filling. It’s summertime Americana (lemonade stands) stuffed inside year-round Americana (Twinkies).

Luckily, these cakes are flavored like lemonade, not lemonade stands, which would taste like wood and paint.

How are they?

Hostess Limited Edition Lemonade Stand Twinkies Split

When I cut the Twinkie open, I could faintly smell the lemon. This was a promising sign: lemon was definitely present, but it didn’t smell like Lysol.

Fortunately, this initial impression continued when I ate the cake. It tasted primarily like a standard Twinkie, but there was just enough of a subtle lemon flavor to bring it up a notch. It’s simple, but sometimes simple is best. These Twinkies didn’t blow my socks off, but I wouldn’t mind buying them again.

Hostess Limited Edition Lemonade Stand Twinkies with Lemonade

Anything else you need to know?

According to the internet, there were lemon Twinkies back in 2012. Honestly, I don’t understand why it’s taken Hostess so long to bring them back. It seems like an obvious combination, and it works quite nicely.

Conclusion:

If you’re looking for a lemon-heavy dessert, this ain’t it. But if you like regular Twinkies and want something just a little different, these will hit the spot.

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 13.58 oz. box
Purchased at: Smith’s
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 cakes) 280 calories, 9 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 370 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 32 grams of sugar, 31 grams of added sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dairy Queen Mint Chip Shake

Dairy Queen Mint Chip Shake Cup

What is the Dairy Queen Mint Chip Shake?

Shamrock Shake season will soon be upon us, so Dairy Queen has joined the minty menagerie. This shake has Crème de Menthe mixed with “chocolate cone coating” in vanilla soft serve.

This isn’t the first time Dairy Queen has offered a minty shake, but it is the first time I have had one. (Not to be confused with the mint Blizzard, which you can guarantee will come back in some form in time for March.)

How is it?

The best way to describe it is “delightful but safe.”

Mint is my favorite flavor, so I loved drinking it. It was cool and refreshing, like mint chocolate chip ice cream in liquid form. I had no problem consuming it through a thick metal straw. (I’m trying to reduce my plastic consumption—even though it’s served in a plastic cup.)

Dairy Queen Mint Chip Shake Closeup

The “chocolate cone coating” description is a little confusing, but I think it means it’s the same chocolate they use for dipped cones. It reminded me of the chocolate pieces in any off-brand mint chocolate chip ice cream, only thinner. The chocolate pieces are crunchy but not hard. I think it’s semisweet chocolate, but I’m no cocoa connoisseur.

I have no complaints, but even if you have never been to Dairy Queen, you have had this shake before. I really enjoyed it, but it’s no different from a mint shake or ice cream anywhere else.

Anything else you need to know?

The green coloring is more subdued than in the advertisements. Isn’t a vibrant green the whole point of mint shakes at this time of year?

Conclusion:

Dairy Queen Mint Chip Shake Top

If you want a mint shake and Dairy Queen is the closest, go for it. But any other place will do just as good a job.

Purchased Priced: $3.29
Size: Small
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 550 calories, 220 calories from fat, 24 grams of fat, 19 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fatty acid, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 70 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 61 grams of sugar, and 12 grams of protein.