REVIEW: International Delight Limited Edition Peeps Creamer

International Delight Limited Edition Peeps Creamer

What is the International Delight Limited Edition Peeps Creamer?

Born to delight caffeine-addicts everywhere, this creamer without borders exists to bring the cuteness of Just Born’s famous springtime chicks into your drab and dreary cup o’ joe.

How is it?

Crazy premise aside, this concept isn’t as insane as it sounds. Peeps, divisive as they are, are basically super-sweet marshmallows, and the addition of marshmallows to any hot beverage is a definite plus in my book.

On its own, the creamer tastes reminiscent of the fluffy treats, with predominant flavors of sugar and vanilla coming through. Even so, I didn’t get a distinctly “Peeps” vibe while I was sipping on it, and I think I know why. Without their characteristic dusting of sugar, Peeps aren’t much different from Kraft Jet-Puffed. Lacking that signature coating, this is just a green, marshmallow-flavored creamer.

International Delight Limited Edition Peeps Creamer in Coffee

The Peeps theme became even more lost when I added it to an actual cup of coffee. While good, it didn’t really taste like marshmallows anymore, and I could have easily mistaken it for French Vanilla if I hadn’t known better.

International Delight Limited Edition Peeps Creamer Closup

Besides the packaging itself, I’m not so sure on how this is supposed to make my coffee cuter, since it didn’t impact its appearance any differently than my typical addition of almond milk does. What’s more, I found its slightly greenish hue to be quite unsettling at first, and I actually sniffed the bottle before tasting it to make sure I hadn’t grabbed an expired bottle on accident.

Is there anything else you need to know?

I liked adding this to hot chocolate more than I did in coffee. Hot chocolate + liquid marshmallow + mini marshmallows on top = liquid bliss!

Conclusion:

Although the marketing at play here is probably more unique than the actual product is, I would say that this is still worth picking up if you’re on the hunt for a decent coffee add-in. Just close your eyes while you pour it out so you won’t think about the color.

Purchased Price: $3.18
Size: 32 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 tablespoon) 35 calories, 1.5 grams of total fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 10 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 5 grams of total sugars, 5 grams of added sugars, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Post Hostess Donettes Cereal

Post Hostess Donettes Cereal

Hitting shelves just in time to take advantage of America’s nationwide diet-fatigue following a month of calorie counting and gym-going, Hostess has recently collaborated with Post to release a dynamic duo of breakfast cereals drawing inspiration from two of their most iconic treats!

Advertising miniature donut-shaped pieces coated in a dusting of superfine powdered sugar, it’s easy to see why Hostess’s Donettes cereal would lure weary resolutioners away from Post’s more “healthful” (i.e. boring) offerings. After all, why settle for Shredded Wheat when you can chow down on a bowl of Donettes for breakfast?

Tempting premise aside, my less than awesome experience with Kellogg’s recent Pop-Tarts cereals caused me to be a just a bit skeptical towards how accurately Post would be able to portray the nostalgic fried delights in spoonable form.

Post Hostess Donettes Cereal w Cheerios

My trepidation turned out to be unjustified, though, because Post actually did a really good job with these. Each piece truly resembled the famous mass-produced dough rings, and dwarfed Cheerios by size alone. The sugary outer dust of each miniature donut directed the cereal’s flavor profile, much like with actual Donettes. I think the ultrafine sugar arguably worked even better in this instance, since it wasn’t thick enough to require you to have a glass of water on hand to help you get them down.

Post Hostess Donettes Cereal Bowl

It holds up surprisingly well in milk, too, especially since it’s just shy of 50% sugar by weight. This isn’t Captain Crunch or anything, but I was able to finish my bowl before it got soggy. Better yet, the sweet dust surrounding each morsel was similarly robust, and I was able to detect its presence even on my final few bites.

Post Hostess Donettes Cereal Closeup

At the end of the day, is this the most unique breakfast item out there? Probably not. That dubious honor undoubtadly belongs to Jimmy Dean’s Blueberry Pancakes & Sausage On-A-Stick. Even so, Donettes Cereal is still tasty in its own right, and it’s the marketing that really allows eating this to be an experience of its own. If nothing else, I would tell people to give this a shot just so they could experience the simple joy of shoving donuts into their mouth by the spoonful.

Now, please excuse me while I pour myself another bowl of Donettes.

Purchased Price: $3.98
Size: 18 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 150 calories, 50 calories from fat, 6 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 25 milligrams of potassium, 24 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of total sugars, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pop-Tarts Cereal

Pop Tarts Cereal

Breakfast may widely be considered the most important meal of the day, but I’ve always found it difficult to muster an appetite for much before noon. As a kid, this bothered my mother to no end, and she was always trying to find something, anything, that I would be willing to eat before sending me off on the school bus.

After offering me granola bars, yogurt, and every other remotely wholesome breakfast food known to mom-kind, she found I was always happy to eat a couple of warm Pop-Tarts, no matter how early it was.

Although Kellogg’s new Pop-Tart cereals may have arrived too late to expand my morning meal repertoire, they offer two bowl-bound alternatives to the popular foil-wrapped toaster pastries, and promise, according to the boxes, to pack delicious filling into every bite.

Strawberry

Pop Tarts Strawberry Cereal

With a strong strawberry aroma and thin glaze of icing encasing each piece, I had my hopes set pretty high on this flavor. Unfortunately, just like the kids who opened presents on Christmas Day to find packages of socks and underwear, my expectations were quickly dashed.

Although the cereal smells like the toaster tart it was modeled after, it tastes much blander. Most of what I noticed at first was the “crust” of each square, which seemed very similar to the pastry dough of a strawberry Pop-Tart. While I’ll give Kellogg’s props for consistency, it makes for a very bland and unexciting cereal.

Pop Tarts Strawberry Cereal Innards

The much-touted “delicious filling” also turned out to be a much ado about nothing. The cereal pieces have so little of it in them that they appear visibly hollow when you bite one in half. Worse yet, the little amount of filling is hardly delicious, and gives the cereal a strange sort of off-putting chewiness, especially after it’s been soaking in milk for a few minutes.

Purchased Price: $3.64
Size: 17 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 150 calories, 1 gram of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 16 grams of total sugars, 16 grams of added sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon

In comparison to the strawberry version’s strong first impression, I could tell there was something off about this flavor as soon as I opened the bag. Rather than reminding me of the toaster pastry of my youth, this cereal instead had an unusually strong artificial maple scent, and the squares themselves appeared plain and unappetizing.

Pop Tarts Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cereal

My dismay regarding this cereal’s look and smell was entirely justified, too, since it tastes nothing like the Pop-Tart it was named for. Like with the strawberry version, all of the cereal squares were in desperate need of both more filling and more flavor, and the dusting of frosting on each piece was quickly lost in my bowl of milk.

Purchased Price: $3.64
Size: 17 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 3 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 150 calories, 1 gram of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 15 grams of total sugars, 15 grams of added sugars, and 2 grams of protein..

Other Things:

  • Three cups of Pop-Tarts cereal have roughly as many calories as a foil package of standard Pop-Tarts, so both of these are good examples of the common trade-off between quantity and quality.
  • Both boxes make a big deal about how having sprinkles supposedly makes eating a bowl of cereal more fun, but the sprinkles here so small you almost need a magnifying glass to see them.

REVIEW: Hershey’s Lava Cake Kisses

Hershey s Lava Cake Kisses

Money can’t buy love, but it can buy a bag of kisses.

Such thoughts echoed through my mind as I stood in the checkout line, suddenly realizing that purchasing Valentine’s candy for myself is only one level less sad than making dinner reservations for a party of one.

Hershey s Lava Cake Kisses 2

Featuring a molten core surrounded by a shell of rich dark chocolate, Hershey’s Lava Cake Kisses are the newest holiday-themed addition to the famous family of tear-drop shaped candies. Cascading from the bag, veiled in adorable heart-stamped foil, these chocolates seem to be a reminder to all the all the single ladies (and gentlemen, I suppose) that Hershey’s is always able to provide comfort on long and lonely nights.

Out of the foil, each Kiss seems unassuming when compared to one of its milk chocolate cousins, with a slightly darker hue being the only hint pointing towards these being anything out of the ordinary. Unassuming looks aside, these are a fun riff on a classic treat.

Hershey s Lava Cake Kisses 4

While not super-dark, the chocolate is noticeably more mature than Hershey’s usual offerings and works well for building the shell of each candy. Even so, the filling of each confection completes the experience.

Hershey s Lava Cake Kisses 3

As advertised, it’s gooey, chocolatey, and makes these otherwise unoriginal goodies into a unique and delicious treat that tastes similar to their decadent inspiration.

If eating a couple of Lava Cake Kisses leaves you craving the traditional dessert, Hershey’s has you covered, being thoughtful enough to print a recipe for homemade ones on the back of each bag.

Hershey s Lava Cake Kisses 5

Hershey s Lava Cake Kisses 6

As a novice home-baker, I decided to give the recipe a whirl, and the resulting cake/brownie hybrids were even better than the chocolates used to make them! All of them turned out dense, fudgy, and perfectly molten in the middle, thanks to impaling three Kisses into each ramekin of cake batter before baking. Considering how easy they were to make, I could ultimately see baking a batch of them as a fun at-home date idea, or something to do on a rainy day.

Even if I spend this Valentine’s Day watching TV by myself, I wouldn’t mind using these Kisses to drown out my single person’s sorrows. I hope Hershey’s decides to make this a regular seasonal flavor because it’ll be disappointing if I don’t come across it next year.

Purchased Price: $2.98
Size: 9 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (6 kisses) 120 calories, 7 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 14 grams of total sugars, 14 grams of added sugars, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: M&M’s Milk Chocolate Bars (2018)

M M s Milk Chocolate Bars 2018

Bringing stiff competition to Hershey’s new Milk Chocolate & Reese’s Pieces mashup, Mars has recently rolled out a full line of M&M’s inspired chocolate bars. Released as a set of five, all variations include miniature M&M’s embedded in a solid brick of milk chocolate and feature additional add-ins to pay homage to different varieties of the popular candy.

Milk Chocolate

M Ms Chocolate Bars Pic 2 JPG

Case in point that simplicity isn’t necessarily a bad thing, this bar is the most basic of the bunch, and consists of a no-nonsense slab of milk chocolate studded with mini M&M’s.

Lacking the bells and whistles of its brothers and sister, this bar allows the quality of Mars’ cocoa to shine. Just like the filling of mainstream M&M’s, the chocolate used here is pleasantly sweet, and lusciously smooth enough to melt in your mouth.

M Ms Chocolate Bars Pic 3 JPG

While they don’t have much flavor by themselves, the mini M&M’s are relatively plentiful here, and I found getting two or three of them in each bite gave the bar a pleasant bit of crunch.

Purchased Price: $1.68
Size: 4 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/4 bar) 150 calories, 9 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 20 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of total sugars, 14 grams of added sugars, 2 grams of protein

Peanut

M Ms Chocolate Bars Pic 4 JPG

Set apart from the plainer one above by including a scattering of peanut halves, I feel this treat fell a bit short of its bite-sized counterpart.

M Ms Chocolate Bars Pic 8 JPG

Despite being tasty, I wish there were more nuts. Getting one in each bite is what draws people towards Peanut M&M’s over the standard variety, but that wasn’t my experience here. Although the peanuts are large and aromatic, there aren’t enough of them to compete against the chocolate, making this bar’s flavor profile seem similar to the Milk Chocolate variety.

Purchased Price: $1.68
Size: 3.90 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/4 bar) 150 calories, 9 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 20 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 15 grams of total sugars, 13 grams of added sugars, 2 grams of protein.

Almond

M Ms Chocolate Bars Pic 5 jpg

Rather than using halved almonds, this variation incorporates smaller chunks of nuts. Each piece was roughly the size of one of the miniature M&M’s and evenly dispersed throughout the bar, which ensured I got several almond bits in each bite.

M Ms Chocolate Bars Pic 6 JPG

Even though almonds tend to have a subtle flavor, Mars used them more successfully than the nuts in the Peanut bar. In particular, they seemed more present in it, which I largely owe to them being liberally scattered throughout the chocolate. Overall, I thought this treat was true to its inspiration, and I prefer it over Hershey’s Almond bars.

Purchased Price: $1.68
Size: 3.90 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/4 bar) 150 calories, 9 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of sodium, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 16 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 15 grams of total sugars, 13 grams of added sugars, 2 grams of protein.

Crispy

M Ms Chocolate Bars Pic 9 jpg

Venturing away from nut-related additions, the Crispy M&M’s Bar instead utilizes crisp rice pieces to set itself apart from the competition. So, basically, it’s a Crackle Bar lookalike that’s made by Mars and has M&M’s thrown in.

M Ms Chocolate Bars Pic 12 jpg

It doesn’t taste much different than a Crackle Bar, either. Although the M&M’s were pretty low-key in this line’s other products, they were clearly an afterthought here. There’s not enough of them in comparison to the crisp rice pieces littering the candy’s surface, and I found myself forgetting their presence entirely while munching through this treat absentmindedly.

Even so, I can’t knock this too much for taste. I’m a sucker for anything that mixes chocolate and crisp rice, and I polished off my last square of this flavor before any of the others.

Purchased Price: $1.68
Size: 3.80 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/4 bar) 150 calories, 8 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 20 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 15 grams of total sugars, 13 grams of added sugars, 2 grams of protein.

Crispy Mint

M Ms Chocolate Bars Pic 10 jpg

Taking every aspect of the Crispy M&M’s bar and adding a festive splash of mint, this was the only flavor to switch up the taste of the chocolate itself.

M Ms Chocolate Bars Pic 11 jpg

Despite being an ardent fan of York Peppermint Patties and all other cocoa and mint confections, this was my least favorite of the bunch. There wasn’t enough minty flavor to leave me feeling satisfied, and I thought it was a little too sweet overall. I wish Mars had used darker cacao, because I think bringing an element of bitterness would have helped complement the mint and make this feel like a more fulfilling indulgence.

Purchased Price: $1.68
Size: 3.80 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/4 bar) 150 calories, 8 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 20 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 15 grams of total sugars, 13 grams of added sugars, 2 grams of protein.

Other Things

  • Each bar comes embossed with the Red M&M staring coolly at you as if to say, “What? You’re surprised I don’t have a candy shell?”
  • Speaking of those shells, there’s nothing to stop heat from melting these, and they get soft quickly. I found it was best to eat one small section at a time so that I wasn’t holding on to any single piece for too long.
  • Given their large size, low price, and fun packaging, I can easily see these as part of a whole M&M’s-themed gift basket!

QUICK REVIEW: Hostess Peanut Butter Totally Nutty! Bars

Hostess Peanut Butter Totally Nutty Bars

What are Hostess Peanut Butter Totally Nutty! Bars?

Having grown up in a family that always had Little Debbie treats scattered around the house, these new confections seem to be Hostess’ take on its rival’s iconic Nutty Buddy Bars. They feature layers of peanut butter filling sandwiched between fudge-coated wafers.

How are they?

Hostess Peanut Butter Totally Nutty Bars 2

Hostess was right to call these treats Totally Nutty because they were all about the peanut butter. It was the most prominent flavor I noticed when I initially tasted one of the bars, and it was also the aspect that made me want to reach for another pack after polishing my first one off.

With all the nutty goodness going on, I forgot each bar has a fudge coating. Well, at least until it started to melt on my fingers. It’s easy to forget about because it’s bland compared to the rest of the bar.

Hostess Peanut Butter Totally Nutty Bars 3

If I had to describe the specific flavor of the peanut butter filling, I would say it’s quite close to what’s in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Creamy, sweet, and salty enough to make them hard to put down, it was the perfect companion for the light and airy texture of each wafer layer.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Unlike Nutty Buddy bars, which come in twin packs, these are individually wrapped. So don’t plan on being able to split a sleeve between you and a friend all that easily.

Conclusion:

Despite the fudge coating’s shortcomings, I still found these quite enjoyable. They may not carry the Reese’s name, but peanut-butter-lovers everywhere should definitely make a spot for these in their snack cabinet.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 12 oz. box (8 bars)
Purchased at: Kroger
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bar) 230 calories, 140 calories from fat, 16 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of total sugars, and 2 grams of protein.