REVIEW: Smartfood Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Popcorn

Smartfood Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Popcorn Bag

What is Smartfood Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Popcorn?

Smartfood welcomes fall with a limited time cinnamon sugar doughnut-flavored popcorn.

How is it?

I had a sinking suspicion that this popcorn was last year’s Christmas themed-Snickerdoodle Smartfood with a new name and an earlier release date — and I was 100% correct. This red and shiny bag of delight tastes identical to 2020’s green and shiny bag of delight, and I love it just as much as I loved it last year; if anything, it might be slightly better.

Smartfood Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Popcorn Pour

The doughnut dust is slightly sweet and buttery with a rich and aromatic cinnamon taste that perfectly fits next to a popcorn kernel’s earthy crunch. The pieces are uniformly coated and have a fresh snap to them, with the cinnamon sugar flavor really bursting through on each bite.

Although this is Smartfood’s second doughnut release, it’s important to note that this is not a coated corn adjacent to caramel corn (the glaze in the Krispy Kreme version) but simply a powder, like Smartfood’s classic White Cheddar.

Anything else you need to know?

Smartfood Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Popcorn Closeup

I brought this up in a short review on Instagram last year, but no one else seemed to notice: this popcorn seasoning is Cheetos Sweetos dust. I knew instantly because I ADORE Sweetos and could recognize that sweet cinnamon-y cheetle anywhere (I’ve had over ten bags since their inception), and this year I was able to confirm it. For the first time ever, Cheetos’ Bag of Bones is available in Cinnamon Sugar (aka spooky Sweetos), and the ingredients check out – brown sugar, spices (including cinnamon), buttermilk, and molasses – they’re the same.

Conclusion:

Smartfood cinnamon sugar-flavored popcorn, whether it’s supposed to taste like a doughnut or cookie, is absolutely delicious. It’s a higher volume and lower calorie way to get my Sweetos fix, and while it may not have the same oily fatty airy crunch of a puffed Cheeto, it has the satisfying salty snap of popcorn, and I’m already trying to hunt down my next bag.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 2 oz bag
Purchased at: ampm
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 1/2 cups – 28 grams) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Krispy Kreme Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamon Roll

Krispy Kreme Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamon Roll

What is the Krispy Kreme Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamon Roll?

For the first time in its 84-year-history, Krispy Kreme has made cinnamon rolls. Until October 10, the rolls will be offered in a standard Original Glazed Cinnamon Roll, a yeast-raised dough hand rolled with cinnamon and glazed to perfection, and a Cinnamon Toast Crunch version that has cinnamon cereal milk icing and CTC cereal on an Original Glazed Cinnamon Roll.

How is it?

Krispy Kreme Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamon Roll Split

Krispy Kreme really did it. It created a menu item topped with cereal that isn’t soggy! No, this isn’t some unlikely perfect timing scenario either. I bought my roll at noon and ate it for dessert eight hours later and the cereal was CRUNCHY.

Also, whatever they did to the pieces, be it a glaze, coating, or straight up voodoo magic, it’s thin enough to not jump out visually or taint the subtle buttery and sweet taste of the beloved toast squares. The cereal has a touch more heft to them than what CTC weighs in my head, but overall the most risky part of this roll is an absolute success.

Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Cinnamon Roll
Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Cinnamon Roll

The rest of the roll is smashing too, thanks to KK’s wonderful dough and glaze quality. The Original Glazed Cinnamon Roll, the base of the CTC roll, is soft and fresh and doesn’t suffer from the dreaded dry and crumbly experience that often comes along with the larger cinnamon rolls from old school mom-and-pop doughnut shops.

The cinnamon cereal milk icing pushes this roll beyond the ceiling of a standard doughnut shop affair and into the Cinnabon conversation. It reminds me of buttercream cake frosting with a hyper sweetness accented by cinnamon that when combined with the CTC squares truly does channel the creamy and crunchy satisfaction of a bowl of cereal. This level of crunch from a doughnut is rare, especially juxtaposed against the fluffy perfection of Krispy Kreme’s soft yeast dough. It’s so texturally refreshing, I can’t help but adore it.

Anything else you need to know?

Krispy Kreme Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamon Roll Warmed 2

This cinnamon roll is great as is, but like most things sweet and cinnamon-y it gets even better when warmed up. Microwaving it for a quick 8-12 seconds takes the gooeyness and sugary spiced delight to new heights that 100% gets my endorsement for how this limited time creation should be enjoyed.

Conclusion:

Krispy Kreme Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamon Roll In Shop

While it may be the most expensive single item I’ve ever purchased at Krispy Kreme, it’s also one of the most dense and satisfyingly fun doughnuts it’s come up with this year. It’s not gonna run Cinnabon outta town, but it deserves a seat at the table of breakfast pastry elites, and you MUST grab one before it’s gone.

Purchased Price: $3.19
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 doughnut) 470 calories, 20 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 66 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 37 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Glazed Pull Apart Donut

McDonald s Glazed Pull Apart Donut Full

When Dunkin’ dropped the “Donuts” from its name, I never would have guessed good ol’ Ronald would be the one to stumble over from the 2 am drive-thru line and try to pick it up.

Sure, McDonald’s added several baked goods to its McCafe menu last year, which is clearly competing with Dunkin’ and Starbucks for morning notoriety, but a donut at McDonald’s? It all feels a little too “dreams do come true” for my Standard American Diet heart to handle. But that’s exactly where we are with McDonald’s first Limited Time Only offering to its McCafe Bakery menu: the Glazed Pull Apart Donut.

The donut is described as light and airy and coated in a delicious, sweet glaze. Visually and conceptually, a bunch of donut holes all shoved together in a pull apart fashion, I love this donut. In terms of its execution, it’s just okay. Before I go any deeper, can we address the elephant in the room — why wasn’t this called the McDonut? Gold.

I asked the cashier if it’s served warm like the Cinnamon Roll, and she said they could warm it if I wanted, which I opted out of so I could try both ways when I got home. At room temperature, the donut is relatively firm but soft — it doesn’t give under the pressure of my fingers but has a gentle and slightly bouncy chew.

McDonald s Glazed Pull Apart Donut Innards

The fluffy texture of the yeasty dough reminds me of the bun on McChicken in the best way. It has that artificial squish akin to Wonder Bread, and I find it endearing in this context. The sweetness of the glaze is relatively mild with a vanilla flare and a touch of salt. I get much more of a fried bread flavor than I was expecting for a fully glazed doughnut; it’s kind of savory when compared to Dunkin’ or especially Krispy Kreme, and I wish it were a touch sweeter.

Warmed up, it tastes mostly the same but has a softer and almost melty texture that helps tame some of the more bready notes that jump out at room temperature. The heat helps activate the sweetness, and I found myself nodding my head in approval — this is what I was looking for. I’m not usually one to warm my pastries unless it seems absolutely necessary, and in this case, I 100% recommend it.

McDonald s Glazed Pull Apart Donut Center

The biggest point of intrigue is the center — is it the best part like a cinnamon roll? Yes, yes, it is. While it doesn’t reach the same ooey-gooey heights that the center of a Cinnabon does, it is softer and a bit more glaze-soaked than the outer wannabe Munchkins are and delivers deliciously sweet satisfaction.

McDonald s Glazed Pull Apart Donut Top

As fun as it was to devour an entire family of donut holes, picking them off one by one like a 90s slasher movie antagonist, I can’t help but wonder how much better it could have been if it were just a touch sweeter and softer. I enjoyed the McDonald’s donut experience, but unless I’m already in line with a massive craving for a donut on the side of my Big Mac, I have zero inclination to go out of my way to eat it again, no matter how fun the form factor is.

Purchased Price: $1.79
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 donut) 310 calories, 17 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 280 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 15 gram of sugar, 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Little Caesars Cookie Dough Brownie

Little Caesars Cookie Dough Brownie Life

For as many times as I’ve had a wallet-friendly Little Caesars pizza in the last two years, I have never once looked at Mr. Pizza Pizza to serve me some cake cake. Unlike other pizza chains that have dessert offerings all the time, Little Caesars doesn’t offer a full-time sugary staple to tempt me.

That all changes for now, with the addition of the eye-catching Cookie Dough Brownie. Will it be as short-lived as 2017’s Cinnamon Loaded Crazy Bites or go the distance to round out the menu for good? The cellophane-wrapped dessert is a chocolate brownie topped with cookie dough frosting and M&M’s Minis.

Little Caesars Cookie Dough Brownie Cellophane

I’m glad I went to pick this up in the afternoon to have later on for a proper dessert because this new item is served COLD. Like straight out of the fridge and handed to me cold. Like, “damn, is that a fridge or a freezer?” cold. And I have a major pet peeve when it comes to baked goods: I don’t like them cold. Cake, especially something with frosting, cookies, brownies, etc., should all be at room temperature to enjoy their ideal texture and flavor. If I wanted stiff frosting, I would eat ice cream, and even that has to properly temper, or I lose my mind. I let this pretty package of four perfectly cut squares sit on my counter for four hours before eating, and they achieved peak softness.

Little Caesars Cookie Dough Brownie Cuts

Little Caesars Cookie Dough Brownie Just One

The cookie dough frosting is the most unique component and by far the highlight of the experience. It has a pronounced brown sugar flavor with some of cookie dough’s essential granular sugar crystal grit that plays well with the generally smooth and creamy (properly tempered) frosting. It’s more firm than your average buttercream but softer and less dense than actual cookie dough. I’ve never had anything quite like it, and Little Caesars kind of killed it with the execution — I’m impressed.

Little Caesars Cookie Dough Brownie Side

The brownie is much less interesting. Although still totally passable for a $4 dessert, the chocolate base is way more cake than a brownie, devoid of the heft and richness I associate with a brownie. It’s moist and fluffy but firm enough to hold up the frosting, very much like a thinly sliced sponge cake. A very close comparison in terms of texture and flavor is Little Debbie’s Cosmic Brownie, with a little less of an artificial preservative-heavy finish.

Little Caesars Cookie Dough Brownie Long

I tend to enjoy M&M’s incorporated into my desserts, and that’s the case here. They add a satisfying rainbow of color to the presentation, a nice little crunch to offset the creamy frosting, and another layer of chocolate to accentuate the milder cocoa in the brownie.

For those who prefer their sweets cold, I did try a square straight from the fridge the next day, and while it didn’t improve the experience, it didn’t take anything away, either. Little Caesars nailed two out of the three pieces of this sweet puzzle, regardless of temperature, and for the beyond reasonable price point, I would still recommend adding this unique treat to your next pizza night.

Purchased Price: $3.69
Size: 4 pieces
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 piece, 48g) 210 calories, 11 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 17 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Doritos Tangy Ranch!

Tangy Ranch Doritos Bag

Everyone has that one junk food that got away. One of the most elusive snacking memories I’ve been hopelessly clinging onto and clamoring for is Doritos Sonic Sour Cream!

The history is a bit wonky, but for ME, these Doritos popped up sometime in the mid to late 90s in a gorgeous Joker-esque lime green bag with purple accents and vanished in the early 2000s. They may have origins even deeper than that, tracing back to a Sour Cream and Onion Doritos in the 70s, but that doesn’t sound or look nearly as cool as the neon green Sonic finished with a very 90s exclamation mark. They were like Cool(er) Ranch Doritos but more seasoned, more creamy, and honestly…the bag looked cooler. I got them every time I could.

All this nostalgic babble is simply to say I was ecstatic when I heard about the new Doritos Tangy Ranch! A cool bag, albeit not quite lime green, more of a teal, but still new and slightly 90s, and the word “tangy” with an exclamation mark. Tang is definitely what comes to mind when I think about sour cream. Could these be a rebranding and relaunching of the chip that has escaped me my entire adult life? *cue Law & Order transition music*

Tangy Ranch Doritos Spill

No. No, they are not. Despite the return of the exclamation mark and the nod to the 90s design, these are not sonic, nor are they sour cream, but they are good! The first massive difference I notice when crunching into these corny chips is the aggressive garlic punch that finishes with just a touch of a fiery tickle. I wouldn’t go so far as to call them spicy, but they’re spicier than your standard Cool Ranch or Nacho Cheese. Think heavy-handed garlic combined with black pepper.

Tangy Ranch Doritos Seasoning

The flavor rounds out with a buttermilk tang and a touch of dill for a flavor that is, appropriately, pretty ranch-y. As with all Doritos, some chips are very heavily seasoned, and others are merely speckled. The ones with the most seasoning are truly tang-tactic, veering on spicy, and the speckled ones are pretty mild.

My memory of Sonic Sour Cream! is a smoother taste with a particularly white powder that emphasized the creamy, like a cousin of white cheddar popcorn seasoning, and this definitely isn’t that. But I had to know how these compare to the OG, so I went back to the store and got Doritos Cool Ranch for a side by side, and yeah, these Tangy Ranch! really do lay on the garlic.

Tangy Ranch Doritos Cool Ranch

By comparison, the Cool Ranch chips are smoother, creamier, and noticeably less zesty, but not boring in the slightest. Cool Ranch has always been my favorite of the easy-to-find original line, and I stand by that opinion. They’re so so good and endlessly snackable; I never want to stop. If you’re a fan of Doritos Cool Ranch and aren’t afraid of a little garlic breath, Tangy Ranch! is definitely worth a shot.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 2 3/4 ounce bag
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (17 chips, 28g) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.