REVIEW: General Mills Dippin’ Dots Cereal (Cookies ‘n Cream and Banana Split)

General Mills Dippin Dots Cereal  Cookies  N Cream and Banana Split

Are actual Dippin’ Dots still a thing anymore?

I used to beg my mom to buy it for me all the time when I was a kid, but I can’t even remember the last time I saw a Dippin’ Dots kiosk. For something that used to tout itself as being the “Ice Cream of the Future,” it sure seems like it hasn’t aged well. Perhaps a reason for its lack of success was that the ice cream had to be stored in ultra-cold super-freezers, which prevented people from buying and eating them at home.

Thankfully for those of us who don’t have freezers that can hold ice cream at -40° F, the kind people over at General Mills lent their breakfast-making prowess to Dippin’ Dots to recreate two of its most popular flavors into a much more easily distributable cereal form.

General Mills Dippin Dots Cookies  n Cream Cereal

The Cookies ‘n Cream flavor features tan and brown cereal puffs mixed with clusters of milk chocolate-coated cookie bits. Opening the bag, there was an aroma that reminded me more of Corn Pops mixed with a few crushed Oreo wafers than it did of ice cream.

The corn-heavy smell of the cereal foreshadowed its flavor, which didn’t taste like Cookies ‘n Cream at all. I had hoped the brown and tan puffs would emulate both flavors respectively, but they instead had that generic “corn-y” taste shared by most cereal puffs.

The chocolate cookie clusters were the only element that actually tasted like how they were supposed to, but there weren’t nearly enough of them to go around, and I found they had a tendency to sink to the bottom of my bowl once I added milk.

General Mills Dippin Dots Banana Split Cereal

Banana Split is constructed like the Cookies ‘n Cream version, but the quality here is a different story. I was hesitant to try it at first since banana is a flavor that often oversteps into the territory of being overly artificial. But it turns out it was what this cereal needed to overcome the flavor coming from the corn flour in the puffs.

Every bite I took tasted like authentic, sweet bananas and the banana-flavored white chocolate crunchies brought that creamy element of vanilla that really let this cereal hone in on being an ice cream-inspired flavor.

General Mills Dippin Dots Cereal  Cookies  N Cream and Banana Split 2

While I’m on the topic of those crunchies, they’re the best part of the cereal. Dippin’ Dots should consider boxing them up and selling them as candy. But there seemed to be way more of them in my box of Banana Split than in my box of Cookies ‘n Cream.

Both flavors got soggy quickly in milk, but the Banana Split flavor was able to use this to its advantage by getting the dairy to work alongside the white chocolate crunchies to produce a flavor reminiscent of a melting banana split. Cookies ‘n Cream didn’t fare as well. It sopped up the milk and tasted like mushy Corn Pops that had jarring chunks of chocolate coated sandwich cookies in it.

So, has Dippin’ Dots created the Cereal of the Future? Probably not, but it sure is fun to be able to say that you’ve just had a bowl of Dippin’ Dots for breakfast.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – Cookies ‘n Cream – 120 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of total fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 65 milligrams of potassium, 27 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 10 grams of sugars, 15 grams of other carbohydrates, and 2 grams of protein. Banana Split – 130 calories, 20 calories from fat, 2.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 55 milligrams of potassium, 27 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 11 grams of sugars, 15 grams of other carbohydrates, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.64 each
Size: 18 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 3 out of 10 (Cookies ‘n Cream)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Banana Split)
Pros: Not needing a super-freezer. Great flavor in the Banana Split version. Awesome crunchies in both flavors! Getting to tell people that you’ve just had Dippin’ Dots for breakfast.
Cons: Not enough flavor in the Cookies ‘n Cream variety. Neither one holds up well in milk. Crunchy bits are not available in stand-alone candy form.

QUICK REVIEW: Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats Vanilla Latte Cereal

Kellogg s Frosted Mini Wheats Vanilla Latte Cereal

What is it?

It’s your basic bowl of shredded wheat cereal with a vanilla latte-flavored icing.

In essence, this is Kelloggs’s way of saying, “You’re welcome” to everyone out there that wants to double up on their morning cup o’ joe by eating and drinking it at the same time.

How is it?

Put simply, you’re going to want a cup of coffee on the side, because this iteration of Frosted Mini Wheats leaves all of its flavor in the box. Even though this cereal smells like the inside of a Starbucks, I couldn’t pick up on even the slightest hint of coffee or vanilla when I ate a bowl of it.

Kellogg s Frosted Mini Wheats Vanilla Latte Cereal 2

Oddly enough, even though this flavor supposedly has as much sugar as Original Frosted Mini Wheats, it seemed way less sweet in my opinion. It basically tasted like a bowl of regular Shredded Wheat with a sparse sprinkling of sugar on top, which is really just a bowl of mushy sadness once it gets mixed with milk.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Kellogg s Frosted Mini Wheats Vanilla Latte Cereal 4

Since the Vanilla Latte version of Mini Wheats don’t actually have coffee listed in their ingredients, I decided to try and make them taste more like sweet caffeine by replacing the milk in my cereal bowl with a Vanilla Starbucks Frappuccino drink. Even then, the Mini Wheats just seemed to cancel out all of the coffee flavor from the Frappuccino, and, in the end, I just had a bowl tasteless wheat gruel suspended in milky coffee.

Kellogg s Frosted Mini Wheats Vanilla Latte Cereal 5

You know, I think that it’s the rough blandness of the shredded wheat in the cereal squares themselves that’s not allowing the icing to convey any kind of defined taste. Especially given how good the icing component smells, I feel that this flavor would do so much better in a medium where the texture isn’t distracting me so much, like in a puffed or flaked cereal.

Conclusion:

Despite the delicious-sounding premise, I’d pass on these in favor of Maple Brown Sugar Frosted Mini Wheats with a real vanilla latte on the side.

Purchased Price: $3.69
Size: 20.4 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 3 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (21 biscuits) 190 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 200 milligrams of potassium, 45 grams total carbohydrates, 6 grams of dietary fiber, 11 grams of total sugars, and 5 grams of protein.

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?

Baskin Robbins Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla Coffee Ice Cream 2

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.

Baskin Robbins Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla Coffee Ice Cream 3

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?

Baskin Robbins Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla Coffee Ice Cream 4

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.”

Ben  Jerry s Cinn DOUGH rella Ice Cream 2

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.

Ben  Jerry s Cinn DOUGH rella Ice Cream 5

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.

Ben  Jerry s Cinn DOUGH rella Ice Cream 3

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.

Limited Edition Cap n Crunch s Beach Bash Crunch Cereal 3

Limited Edition Cap n Crunch s Beach Bash Crunch Cereal 2

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.

Limited Edition Cap n Crunch s Beach Bash Crunch Cereal 4

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.

Mtn Dew Berry Monsoon 2

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.