QUICK REVIEW: Baskin-Robbins Dunkin’ Donuts French Vanilla Coffee Ice Cream

Baskin Robbins Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla Coffee Ice Cream

What is it?

A marriage between my two greatest loves in life: coffee and ice cream.

In other words, this is another one of Dunkin’ Brands’s attempts at co-branding, and it combines Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee Flavored Ice Cream with French Vanilla Ice Cream.

How is it?

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Just as good as you would expect a frozen dessert with Baskin-Robbins’s pedigree to be! The creamy sweetness of the vanilla worked well alongside the subtle bitterness and slightly icy nature of the coffee portion. Both of them were well combined in my not-quite-a-pint, so I got a nice combination of both flavors in each spoonful.

When I ate the two together, the overall effect reminded me of a frozen vanilla latte. Considering that I’m always trying to figure out a way to get more caffeine and ice cream into my day, this flavor certainly kills two birds with one stone.

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As far as density is concerned, I wouldn’t consider this to be a hefty snack. Despite how small the container is, this ice cream isn’t nearly as rich and heavy as Haagen-Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s is, so I’d compare it to be more similar to Edy’s/Dreyer’s Grand or Blue Bunny in the texture department.

Is there anything else I need to know?

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Since this flavor is inspired by French vanilla coffee, it’s not surprising that heating a cup over the stove produces an AMAZING result. Melting it down into a hot drink makes probably the most indulgent coffee that you’re likely to ever drink at home, and it’s absolutely an acceptable replacement for a real vanilla latte if you’re ever too lazy to drive to an actual Dunkin’ Donuts.

Conclusion:

Baskin-Robbins Dunkin’ Donuts French Vanilla Coffee Ice Cream’s versatility as both a dessert and as an emergency caffeine fix make it a definite must-have if you love coffee and ice cream as much as I do. Just don’t expect something super indulgent if you decide to go the frozen route.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 14 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Food Lion
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/2 cup) 190 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 18 grams of total sugars, 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s It’s Dough Time Cinn-DOUGH-rella Ice Cream

Ben  Jerry s Cinn DOUGH rella Ice Cream

As much as I love being able to spoon an entire Ben & Jerry’s pint into my mouth while watching Netflix, there’s something to be said about the magical nature of eating Ben & Jerry’s in an actual Scoop Shop.

See, whereas the whole pint/couch combination has convenience, the Scoop Shop has atmosphere. There’s the sweet fragrance of perfectly tempered ice cream circulating in the air, a seemingly endless buffet of delicious choices in the cooler, and a smiling ice cream scooper eagerly awaiting your decision.

Plus, Scoop Shops have exclusive flavors like Ben & Jerry’s new Cinn-DOUGH-rella, which continues Ben & Jerry’s tradition of including everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink by featuring, “Cinnamon and Caramel Ice Creams with Cinnamon Bun Dough, Shortbread Cookies, & Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookie Swirls.”

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Unlike other ice creams that try to tame cinnamon’s natural spiciness to please delicate palates, this variety brought it out right from the get-go. The two ice creams came together in a way that allowed them to shine and complement one another, and the resulting combination was reminiscent of pouring icing onto fresh cinnamon rolls.

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Ben & Jerry’s handled the cinnamon bun dough pieces nicely, too. They were abundant in my scoop, and they provided an extra-strong cinnamon hit that made me want to keep digging through my bowl to find more.

The swirl, while not particularly impressive looking, more than made up for its lackluster appearance in the taste department! It added even more flavor into what was already a Cinna-Bonanza, and the oat cookie swirls brought a subtle grittiness that helped to shake up the texture of the entire experience.

To be honest, the mix-ins are what I enjoyed the most about this variety. In fact, I liked the flavor of the cinnamon bun dough and oatmeal cookie swirl so much that I actually forgot about the shortbread cookie pieces, which were M.I.A. in my scoop. Not that it needed them anyway, because this flavor was busy enough.

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One thing’s for sure: this is a flavor for the Cinna-Maniacs out there. Fans of Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns would love this. In fact, I’d go as far to say that this new flavor is everything the classic flavor wishes it could be. It’s almost as though the Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Gurus decided to dress up Cinnamon Buns to attend a Scoop Shop Ball, turning it into a cinnamon lover’s ultimate dream.

I only hope that Ben & Jerry’s decides to extend their Scoop-Shop-Exclusive party to the grocery store because I don’t think that downing a pint of Cinnamon Buns is going to satisfy my cravings for the sweet spice after getting a taste of such extravagant ice cream royalty!

(Nutrition Facts – 1 Scoop – 240 calories, 14 grams of total fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 21 grams of total sugars, 3 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 1 scoop
Purchased at: Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Getting to enjoy that Scoop Shop atmosphere. Not being afraid to show off bold cinnamon flavor. Worthy of being ice cream royalty in both flavor and name.
Cons: Missing shortbread cookie pieces. Exclusive only to Scoop Shops. Me not living anywhere close to a Scoop Shop. Not being able to inhale by the pint while watching Netflix.

QUICK REVIEW: Limited Edition Cap’n Crunch’s Beach Bash Crunch Cereal

Limited Edition Cap n Crunch s Beach Bash Crunch Cereal

What is it?

As sad as it is to say, eating a bowl of Cap’n Crunch’s Beach Bash Cereal is as close as I’m going to get to actually going to the beach this summer.

Jokes about my current status as a dirt-poor student aside, Cap’n Crunch’s Beach Bash is Quaker’s newest nautical adventure, and combines beach-themed crunch pieces with magical milk-color-changing-sorcery to bring the ocean to your breakfast table!

How is it?

Visually, Beach Bash is about what you’d expect for a beach-themed cereal. Eighty percent of the pieces are standard Cap’n Crunch squares, which happen to look like water wings. The other 20 percent are shaped like stereotypical beach stuff — starfish, floaties, and sharks.

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Taste-wise, it’s Cap’n Crunch. Sweet, crunchy, slightly corn-y, and not much to write home about on its own. If you like regular Cap’n Crunch, then you’ll probably like this, because this doesn’t taste any different.

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The real fun happens after you pour milk into your bowl. Beach Bash has the same milk color-changing technology featured in Halloween Crunch, and uses it here to make your boring old milk turn into an entire miniature ocean! Call me simple-minded, but I like to play with my food, and there’s something about chasing cereal-sharks around a little cereal bowl ocean with my spoon that I find to be both really fun and oddly satisfying.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Limited Edition Cap n Crunch s Beach Bash Crunch Cereal 5

Since the cereal has to soak for a couple of minutes in order to make the milk change color, Beach Bash’s quality is contingent on its ability to not instantly turn into mushy cereal-gruel after getting wet. Luckily, this IS Cap’n Crunch that we’re talking about here, so milk viability isn’t an issue. The cereal in my bowl remained pleasantly crunchy after ten minutes of soaking, which was more than enough time for my milk to turn bright blue.

Conclusion:

While I probably won’t make a special trip out to the one Walmart in my area that has this to buy it again, I’d say Cap’n Crunch’s Beach Bash is worth trying, even if it’s only for the novelty factor.

Purchased Price: $2.98
Size: 20.3 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (3/4 cup) 100 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 40 milligrams of potassium, 22 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 11 grams of total sugars, 1 gram of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Mtn Dew Berry Monsoon

Mtn Dew Berry Monsoon

What is it?

Mtn Dew Berry Monsoon is quite possibly the most exclusive soda in stores right now!

Oh, wait, I mean store.

That’s right because it’s available only at Sam’s Club — and, even then, only at the soda fountain. Luckily for me, I happen to be a member of The Club, so I grabbed a cup of this ultra-exclusive, berry lime-flavored soda during my last Sam’s run.

How is it?

Coming from someone that drinks enough Mtn Dew to have a lucrative Dew Nation Rewards account, pretty good! The berry flavor is definitely more prominent here, but the hint of lime provides a nice countenance for the fizz, which is a bit on the lighter side.

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If you can imagine mixing together three-fourths of a cup of Mountain Berry Blast Powerade with one-fourth of a cup of 7Up, then you would get a pretty accurate representation of what Mtn Dew Berry Monsoon tastes like. You’d even replicate the color, which is nearly identical to that of Berry Powerade.

Is there anything else I need to know?

This stuff is a great deal if you have a Sam’s Club membership, or if you know someone with one that you’re able to drag along with you to get you in the door. I paid less than a dollar for my 24-ounce cup, and, yes, you can get refills. You’re probably going to want to because Berry Monsoon’s likeness to carbonated Powerade makes it particularly satisfying after shopping and hauling cases of chips and toilet paper around the store.

Conclusion:

If you shop at Sam’s Club, like Mountain Dew, and are looking for something a little lighter to quench your thirst over the summer, then I think that Mtn Dew Berry Monsoon is something you’ll enjoy! Hopefully, PepsiCo will incorporate this flavor into its regular selection, because I’ll be sad to see this one go.

Purchased Price: 89 cents
Size: 24 oz.
Purchased at: Sam’s Club
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (8 fl oz.) 60 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 calories from fat, 35 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of total carbohydrates, 16 grams of sugar, 0 grams of dietary fiber, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Keebler Special Batch Chocolate Caramel Fudge Stripes Cookies

Keebler Special Batch Chocolate Caramel Fudge Stripes Cookies

As I’m sure that most of my fellow southerners understand, the arrival of May means the start of the hot, humid weather that’s going to be around for the rest of the summer. Most people give up trying to endure the heat and crank up the air conditioner at this point, but I normally try to stick it out until the official start of summer before turning mine on.

So, considering that my house is 87 degrees right now, there’s no way I’m going to turn my oven on to bake anything. Luckily, the grocery store has a wide enough variety of ready-to-eat cookies that I can enjoy a different treat every night of the week without ever having to heat up my kitchen!

Keebler’s Fudge Stripes have been a favorite of mine ever since I was a kid, and I love things that pair chocolate and caramel together, so the idea behind Keebler’s new Special Batch Chocolate Caramel Fudge Stripes sounded awesome to me when I spotted them while I strolled around Walmart, taking in the breeze from their industrial air conditioners.

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Once I got them home and actually opened up the bag to grab a handful, though, my expectations started tank fast. First off, they smelled super weird. It’s kind of hard to describe, but they have this buttery, artificial aroma to them that reminds me of microwave kettle corn.

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That’s probably due to the caramel fudge coating on them, which I’d say took up about 80 percent of the chocolate shortbread cookie’s surface area. Setting that aside, seeing the abundance of caramel fudge on these cookies made me excited that I was going to get some big caramel flavor from Ernie’s newest creation!

But it was a super let-down. Even though these have a distinct appearance and aroma when compared to the original ones, they taste about the same. The caramel coating got completely lost somehow, and the shortbread cookies only had the very lightest hints of cocoa when I was really searching for it.

That’s a real shame! Chocolate and caramel done right should complement one another like peanut butter and jelly.

In retrospect, these cookies might have tasted better if Keebler had used caramel-flavored shortbread and stuck to dipping it into their standard fudge coating. Something about trying to make the fudge taste like caramel makes the cookie’s entire flavor profile not work.

In any case, if the Keebler elves want to live up to their promise of only making cookies and crackers that are uncommonly good, this is a batch of cookies that needs to head back to the Fac-Tree for some more work.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 60 calories from fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 11 grams of total sugars, 11 grams of added sugars, 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.48
Size: 11.5 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Not having to heat up my oven. Sounded like a great idea on the package. They don’t actually taste bad on their own.
Cons: Smell like microwave kettlecorn. No caramel or chocolate taste. They taste like a regular Fudge Stripes cookie. Not being uncommonly good.