QUICK REVIEW: Krispy Kreme Lemon Glaze Doughnut

Krispy Kreme Lemon Glaze Doughnut  1

What is it?

The Original Glazed Doughnut from Krispy Kreme with a lemon makeover. Doughnut fans across the world voted between lemon, blueberry, caramel, and maple. Citrus came out on top, which will be available for one week of lemony delight.

How is it?

Krispy Kreme Lemon Glaze Doughnut 3

Like all glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts, this one is delicious. Soft, flaky, and doughy with a gentle snap from the ever so slightly thicker glaze than usual. When I went into the shop and got close to the glazing conveyor belt, the waft of lemon aroma was strong. But much like a cup of herbal tea, the nose was more prominent there than what I get while actually eating.

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The lemon flavor is soft and favors sweetness over acidity, although the citrus presence tempers the usual hyper-sweetness of the Krispy Original Glazed. There’s a touch of fresh zesty flavor that cuts through the sugar, and a distinct confectioners powdered sugar flavor like the icing on top of a pound cake. It’s there just enough to make a difference but not nearly as strong as a lemon filling or thick frosting.

Is there anything else I need to know?

When popped into the microwave for the suggested six seconds the texture softens but surprisingly the lemon flavor stays the same. I’ve found that generally an altered glaze will pop more when warm, but the lemon remains subtle and gentle like a cool spring breeze.

Conclusion:

Krispy Kreme Lemon Glaze Doughnut

This is a lovely doughnut with a refreshing spin on one of the best items in fast food, but not something you need to go out of your way to try. I love that KK is mixing it up with its glaze and allowing for some real change to its recipe, but unless you’re a die-hard lemon fan it’s not a game changer, and even then it might be more subtle than your pucker-loving lips might desire.

Purchased Price: $1.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 190 calories, 11 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 120 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Krispy Kreme Nutter Butter Twist and Chips Ahoy Cookie Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme Nutter Butter Twist and Chips Ahoy Cookie Doughnuts

What are they?

The Chips Ahoy! Cookie Doughnut is an unglazed shell filled with cookie dough Kreme, dipped in dark chocolate, topped with cookie pieces and a mini Chips Ahoy! Cookie. The Nutter Butter Cookie Twist is an original glazed twist dipped in peanut butter icing, topped with Nutter Butter cookie pieces, and drizzled with peanut butter icing.

How are they?

Krispy Kreme Nutter Butter Twist and Chips Ahoy Cookie Doughnuts 2

The Chips Ahoy! Cookie Doughnut is a slightly modified version of one of my favorite Krispy Kreme staples, the chocolate iced kreme filled, and it’s pretty damn tasty.

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The cookie dough kreme is very similar to the usual white kreme but with a lovely brown sugar flavor and gritty crunch to emulate one of America’s favorite ice cream mix-ins. Somehow the brown sugar presence makes the kreme overall less sweet and when combined with the dark chocolate icing makes for a delicious and well-balanced bite.

The cookie crumbles on top were pretty much a non-factor – only giving a tiny bit of crumbly boost without much flavor. I’ve never been a big fan of chewy Chips Ahoy! And unfortunately, the mini cookie on top, which should be crunchy, got a bit soft from exposure to the air.

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The Nutter Butter Cookie Twist feels like a bit of a missed opportunity – it isn’t filled with peanut butter. Since we already know KK can whip up a great PB Kreme from last year’s Reese’s doughnut, I can’t help but feel a bit let down by the lack of peanut butter pop.

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The glaze on the twist combined with the cookie crumbles makes the overall profile super sweet, and any salty nuance gets lost in the shuffle. It’s still a decent doughnut but it tastes like a sugary crunchy version of the original glazed that veers too much into sugar coma territory – nothing special.

Is there anything else I need to know?

This is pure junk food/fast food fun at its best. The shape of the twist cleverly emulates the shape of Nutter Butter cookies and the Chips Ahoy actually comes with a cookie. Taking childhood cookie staples and transforming them into fresh doughnuts is great, and hopefully the Caramel Tim Tam Krispy Kreme isn’t too far around the corner.

Conclusion:

While neither of these doughnuts completely nail the cookie they’re going for, there’s no doubt that the Chips Ahoy one is a tasty remix of one of KK’s best offerings, while the Nutter Butter is forgettable.

Purchased Price: $1.89 each
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Chips Ahoy)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Nutter Butter)
Nutrition Facts: (Chips Ahoy) 400 calories, 22 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 120 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein. (Nutter Butter) 310 calories, 14 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 27 grams of sugar, and 4grams of protein.

REVIEW: Crunchy Mint, Crunchy Espresso, and Crunchy Raspberry M&M’s (Flavor Vote 2018)

2018 M M s Flavor Vote

In 1999, on the cusp of new millennium meltdown fears, my favorite M&M without the word “peanut” in its name was born.

Crispy M&M’s channeled the fun textural contrast of Nestle’s Crunch Bar in a portable, poppable format that worked for me and became my go-to anytime I wasn’t feeling nutty. Then, without warning, they vanished and I was left to chomp only the outer shell of an M&M without any inner crunchy surprise.

In 2015, my faith in humanity was restored and Crispy M&M’s returned in a new green bag with all the same deliciously simple crispy-rice-meets-chocolate flavor I remembered from my snack-heavy childhood. As delicious as they are, I always felt like the odd man out with my love for them, especially considering its ten-year hiatus of production in the United States. But now, the crispy boys are getting their shine in a winner-takes-all food fight under the new moniker of “crunchy.”

While 2016’s inaugural M&M’s voting contest saw the much more popular Peanut variety go head-to-head with new unique flavor offerings, this year’s feels a bit more underground. Welcome to the chocolate arena –- Mint, Espresso, and Raspberry.

Crunchy Mint M&M’s

2018 M M s Flavor Vote Crunchy Mint M M s

The Crunchy Mint M&M’s are in-TENSE. They have a strong peppermint presence matched up with semisweet chocolate for a combination that’s not for the faint of heart. While the flavor isn’t toothpaste-y, it’s on the verge of being too much and could benefit from a bit more sweetness to be truly delectable.

I’m a fan of chocolate and mint together so I like the classic mashup, but the balance feels a wee bit off and leans towards breath freshening over sweet tooth satisfying.

Crunchy Espresso M&M’s

2018 M M s Flavor Vote Crunchy Espresso M M s

Crunchy Espresso M&M’s feel like a direct offshoot of the winning Coffee Nut M&M’s and placing last year’s victor in the mix feels both appropriate and lazy. There’s a strong ground coffee aroma wafting from the package that translates pretty convincingly to the taste. Chocolate and coffee is one of the best flavor combinations known to man and it’s almost cheating how well they work together.

The semisweet chocolate gets an elevated boost from the coffee flavor which adds more depth and darkness than standard Crispy M&M’s while not getting too bitter. Much like in the Peanut version, the balance is pretty much spot on and are an enjoyable treat.

Crunchy Raspberry M&M’s

2018 M M s Flavor Vote Crunchy Raspberry M M s

Crunchy Raspberry M&M’s are the most interesting, unique, and risky of the bunch, but I’m happy to report they are DELICIOUS. The raspberry flavor is big and floral without tasting artificial and is wonderfully tempered by the, once again, semisweet chocolate. Raspberry and cocoa are another one of those classic sophisticated combos that I can’t help but love when executed properly, and Mars did a terrific job of balancing the two into a surprisingly complex spherical candy.

The texture of the Raspberry ones are also a little different. They have the expected rice crispness but also what feels like another layer of almost-chewy chocolate that helps them stick out among the pack. Cutting into the M&M’s reveals two tones of color when compared to the other two, which might add to the triple texture effect.

2018 M M s Flavor Vote 2

If I had the final say in this battle of chocolate I would definitely keep Raspberry around for a victory lap. While Espresso and Mint are good, they’ve already been done and aren’t really pushing the envelope. But hey, I was also that weirdo that wanted the Chili Nut M&M’s to win in the first contest, so I’ll probably lose this one too.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pack – 180 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 35 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 21 grams of sugar, and 1 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.49 each
Size: 1.35 oz. bag
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Crunchy Mint)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Crunchy Espresso)
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Crunchy Raspberry)
Pros: Same awesome crispy crunchy flavor. Giving some shine to the underground. Raspberry is a refreshing different flavor. Espresso strong and classic.
Cons: Playing it safe with mint and coffee. Mint balance far too strong. Why are these not “crispy”?

REVIEW: Peeps Filled Delights Neapolitan

Peeps Filled Delights Neapolitan

I eat a whole helluva lot of ice cream, but I can’t remember the last time I had Neapolitan.

The tri-flavor container of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla is said to have originated in the late 19th century in Naples, Italy, and as far as I’m concerned is only enjoyed at an eight-year-old’s birthday party next to a slice of Power Rangers cake.

How the city responsible for some of the most pristine and perfectly simple pizza known to man can also create one of the silliest ice cream flavors that no one really eats is mind-boggling, but leave it to Peeps to make the mundane even more readily consumable.

The latest addition to the Filled Delights line pairs a strawberry marshmallow with decadent chocolate filling that’s dipped in creamy white fudge. Hey…that actually sounds kinda good.

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The aroma is a super strong sweet strawberry with a notable creaminess that does evoke Neapolitan ice cream. There’s no chocolate on the nose, which is to be expected with all of the fudgy goodness hiding on the inside. There’s something always oddly nostalgic about artificial strawberry and the way it mingles with the vanilla marshmallow scent is inviting.

Going in for the kill, the ‘mallow isn’t as sweet as I was expecting and is surprisingly pretty well balanced for something composed almost entirely of sugar. The sometimes harsh over-the-top fake strawberry notes are mellowed by the cool and creamy white fudge, which, as with all Delights, brings a nice smooth foundation and slight crunch to the bouncy Peeps body. The fudge also helps bring to mind the mouthfeel of ice cream and a legitimate vanilla component that’s necessary to the create the Neapolitan trifecta.

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The chocolate filling is ample and erupts from the midsection of the Peep with a mellow milky cocoa quality very similar to Hershey’s Syrup and an appearance like a snapshot from a Law & Order: SVU crime scene. It’s runny enough to bring a completely different texture than the vanilla dip, but firm enough that it stays in place while biting. The chocolate is pretty sweet, but again, not over the top, and all three desired flavors come through on their own, but also work in harmony.

I’ve gotta say, for a Peep that I had no intention of ever seeing exist (like all Peeps?) I enjoyed the execution of this oft-neglected style of ice cream turned into candy. In fact, I enjoyed these Peeps more than my last scoop of actual Neapolitan ice cream. But after eating two in a row, the sugar rush consumed my body. It’s best to leave these chicks with a one-and-done mentality.

(Nutrition Facts – 3 chicks – 180 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 32 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 1.75 oz. package/3 chicks
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Great nostalgic strawberry flavor. Gooey chocolate filling. Creamy smooth vanilla.
Cons: Eating multiple chicks can lead to stomach ache. Epic sugar rush. Crime scene photos of Peeps.

REVIEW: Krispy Kreme Hershey’s Gold Doughnut

Krispy Kreme Hershey s Gold Doughnut

Last year, Hershey’s made one of their strongest moves in a decade with its Gold Peanuts & Pretzels Bar, utilizing a caramelized creme “golden” base over the usual cocoa. It’s a masterpiece in the realm of mainstream sweet and salty bars and Hershey’s is wasting no time at all pumping out new ways for us to consume their latest behemoth.

After collaborating with 7-Eleven to make a drinkable cappuccino version of the bar, the chocolate company opted to make sweet, sweet food love with one of the greatest treats in the fast food universe – Krispy Kreme’s Original Glazed. The new limited-time Hershey’s Gold Doughnut takes the O.G. and tops it with pieces of Hershey’s Gold and a salted caramel icing.

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The aroma is strong. The leading smell is the ample Gold bar pieces, which carry a sweet nuttiness akin to peanut brittle, accented by the extra push of salty caramel and the unmistakable golden aura of fried yeast dough. The salted caramel icing is perfectly drizzled on top of the already amazing original glaze and studded with so many candy pieces that it left a handful of bits at the bottom of the bag like coveted escaped french fries.

Biting into this golden trophy of a doughnut reveals some of the most immaculate textures the fast food world could ever provide, and boy is it SWEET. The soft and fresh bouncy glazed doughnut is taken to new heights with the added chew of the Gold bar pieces. The crunch of the pretzels and peanuts provide a stark contrast to the fluffy base.

The only flavor that doesn’t come through as strongly as I would like are the peanuts. But the creamy, fatty essence of the golden chocolate does well to bring a bit of extra depth to the overall profile. The salted caramel icing is aggressively sweet but has a legitimate salty pop and thick sticky texture that makes it stand out from the original clear glaze.

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The ultimate test of this glazed greatness is to see how it holds up in the microwave – and my god does it deliver. A quick 8-second zap in the micro launches the flavors and textures into the melty, salty stratosphere for a taste that made me throw my head back in euphoria. Everything is heightened, the caramel fully activated, and the bar pieces are still firm enough to deliver a slightly melted chew atop the fried gooey decadence.

This is a wonderful doughnut, but in the grand scheme of the sweet and salty symphony it’s missing a bit of bass. While the treble is through the roof with very high highs of sweet and salty sending my upper register through the roof, I’m missing a bit of balance to weigh the flavors down and complete the movement that spawns an encore. It’s a worthy update to the very strong original, but short of the perfect score.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 doughnut – 280 calories, 15 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.89
Size: N/A
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Awesome sweet and salty flavors. KK didn’t mess with their perfect glaze. Caramel is actually salted. Microwaving it will cause euphoria.

Cons: Peanuts get lost a bit in the mix. Can be overwhelmingly sweet and salty without enough fat to balance.