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?

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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.

REVIEW: My Oreo Creation Cherry Cola Oreo Cookies

My Oreo Creation Cherry Cola Oreo Cookies

Oreo cookies are kind of like the Barbie doll of mass-produced cookies.

They’re simple, but never convincingly imitated. Just like how a Dollar Tree “Fashion Doll” is a poor imitation of the real thing and a Great Value Twist ‘N Shout would never be mistaken for a real Oreo cookie.

At the same time, though, they’re both also flexible enough to become anything imaginable. Just like how you can buy a Barbie that’s a veterinarian, astronaut, president, or whatever else, you can get your Oreo double-stuffed, thin, chocolate-covered, in ice cream, in Cool Whip, AND in any kind of off-the-wall flavor the mad scientists over at Nabisco can dream up!

Three varieties were released from the Flavor Lab this time around: Cherry Cola, Kettle Corn, and Pina Colada. Being that I hate kettle corn and I don’t know what a real pina colada tastes like, the Cherry Cola one ended up in my cart.

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Breaking open the seal, I instantly picked up on a distinct cherry aroma with a few hints of cocoa coming through. I don’t think many people take the time to fully appreciate the smell of deliciousness when they first tear into a bag of junk food, but that’s a mistake. Just think: all that flavor has been sealed inside for a while, waiting for you to enjoy! Wouldn’t it be a terrible waste to not savor every part of it?

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The cookies themselves use standard chocolate Oreo wafers with a red and white filling to carry the cherry cola flavor across. The filling has little popping candies inside, which I guess is to mimic the carbonation aspect of soda.

At first, the Dutched cocoa in the wafers dominated my palate, but the fruity flavor popped in after a minute, and the whole cookie actually tasted like a cherry cola.

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And by “popped in,” I mean the cherry flavor popped in! The popping candies in the crème are cherry flavored, and they start popping all over the place once you really get to chewing. You can’t wolf these down if you want to get the full effect, but they’re awesome if you take the time to savor each bite and let all the little candies mirror the bubbliness of soda.

While munching on them, they got me thinking: If Oreo is Milk’s Favorite Cookie, is this one cherry cola’s favorite?

My Oreo Creation Cherry Cola Oreo Cookies 5

After dunking a few into some Cherry Coke Zero, I think the two are better enjoyed apart from one another. Dunking them ruins the popping candies, which makes them tastes less like the beverage, weirdly enough. They do make pretty good buddies, though. So while I wouldn’t recommend you dunk your Cherry Cola Oreo Cookies into actual cherry cola, having a glass on the side complements it perfectly!

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 140 calories, 60 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of sugars, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.98
Size: 10.7 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Actually tastes like a cherry cola! Cherry cola flavor doesn’t overpower the Oreo-ness of the Oreo wafers. Super fun popping candies to imitate carbonation!
Cons: Dunking ruins the popping candies. Most likely only available for a limited time. A whole row isn’t considered a proper “serving”.

REVIEW: Dreyer’s-Edy’s DC Comics Ice Cream

Dreyer s Edy s DC Comics Ice Cream

Remember when ordering “Superman” ice cream meant that you were:

1) Between the ages of four and ten years old.
2) Going to get a scoop of generic red/blue/yellow ice cream that tasted like tooty-fruity vanilla?

Those days are long over! Since America’s officially comic book crazy right now, you can get your hands on superhero-themed anything — shirts, binders, socks, gummies. Just name it! Up until now, though, there hasn’t been an officially licensed superhero-themed ice cream.

Rising to duty’s call, Edy’s/Dreyer’s has partnered with DC Comics to come up with not one, not two, but THREE official DC-inspired ice creams, just in time to save civilians everywhere from the sweltering summer heat!

Edy’s/Dreyer’s decided to represent DC Comics’s three most iconic superheroes with their light ice cream offerings: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Aquaman, being the least popular of the Super Friends, wasn’t good enough to make the cut, I suppose. In any case, I decided to try all three flavors.

Krypton Cookie Dough

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After removing the lid from this Superman-inspired ice cream, I realized that this is a far cry from the Superman ice cream that I remember eating as a kid. Instead of using an eye-catching rainbow swirl, Edy’s/Dreyer’s went in the exact opposite direction by making this quart a single boring shade of vanilla, with a few pale chunks to break up the monotony.

What’s the deal with everyone being so scared of color? It seems like everything that I’ve bought lately has just had the color bleached out of it. Would putting a little more dye into the mix-ins really cost Edy’s/Dreyer’s that much more money?

The taste of this stuff is about as plain as it looks. Unlike its tooty-fruity step-brother, this Superman ice cream is the kind of vanilla that only works well as a canvas for crazy swirls and jam-packed mix-ins. The problem is, this flavor doesn’t have either of those things. The blue sprinkles don’t taste any different from the ice cream’s base, and the red and yellow cookie dough pieces are so sparse that I only found three of them in my entire bowl.

Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts (1/2 cup): 120 calories, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 14 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein)

Dark Knight Brownie Bite

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I gotta say that this Batman-inspired flavor surprised me. Upon first glance, it may not be the prettiest ice cream ever, but it more than makes up for its lack of visual appeal in taste.

Digging in, it’s got that soft, whipped texture that pretty much all light ice creams have, and it actually works pretty well here. It keeps the chocolate from being too dense and heavy, and the overall effect makes the ice cream feel like a sort of frozen chocolate mousse or something. The downside to that is that the ice cream melts pretty fast, but I found myself not really minding too much.

Edy’s/Dreyer’s decided to get creative with the chunks in this flavor by shaping them into miniature bats. They’re cute, and they give a nice crunch to the base. There still aren’t nearly enough brownie pieces, but the ones that I could find were pretty yummy, and they reminded me of frozen Cosmic Brownies. The fudge swirl is nearly absent, but I found that the brownie chunks and the chocolate bats were enough to keep my taste buds entertained.

Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts (1/2 cup): 130 calories, 3.5 grams of total fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 17 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein)

Golden Lasso Twirl

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Last up is an ice cream designed for the ladies!

Honestly, this one doesn’t look too different from Krypton Cookie Dough. The base is a little tanner, and the chunks changed color from blue to gold, but that’s about it. Chowing down, it doesn’t really even taste much different from Krypton Cookie Dough, either. The ice cream is almost identical, using the same plain ol’ vanilla to showcase the mix-ins and swirl.

Most of the caramel flavor comes from the chunks. There’s plenty of chunks to go around here, but I don’t think that they’re enough to carry the caramel flavor by themselves. The graham cracker “swirl” is similarly plentiful and tasty, but I don’t know that I’d really call it a swirl. In my opinion, swirls are supposed to be somewhere in-between gooey and semisolid, and these are definitely solid graham cracker pieces.

I’m a sucker for anything with graham crackers, so this was probably my favorite of the three, and I wouldn’t mind buying this flavor again. Next time, I’ll just make sure to buy extra caramel sauce to put on top.

Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts (1/2 cup): 130 calories, 4.5 grams of total fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 15 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein)

Overall, I feel that all three DC-inspired ice creams were pretty standard for something that would come from Edy’s/Dreyer’s light offerings. No single flavor was spectacular, and all of them had points that they could improve on, but the packaging on them is fun, and any of the flavors would make for a cheap and yummy way to cool off on a hot day. Besides, what kid wouldn’t love getting to eat superhero-themed ice cream?

Now, if only Marvel would team up with Breyer’s to make Avenger-inspired flavors!

Purchased Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 1.5 quarts
Purchased at: Kroger
Pros: Super-fun art on the carton. Cheap and yummy way to cool off on a hot day. Fun mix-ins. Official, licensed, superhero-inspired flavors.
Cons: Not as visually appealing as generic “Superman” ice cream. Not enough mix-ins overall. Missing swirls. Nothing all that unique taste-wise from Edy’s/Dreyer’s other light ice cream offerings.