REVIEW: Duncan Hines Gooey Bakes

Duncan Hines Gooey Confetti Sugar Cookie and Chocolate Chip Cookie

I say Duncan Hines. You say Pusha T’s verse: “That white frost on that pound cake so your Duncan Hines is irrelevant.”

But, contrary to rap music’s opinion, Duncan Hines is pretty relevant with all its innovative drops. It just made money moves into the frozen aisle with its new Gooey Bakes line with four new products:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie – a chocolate chip cookie with melted chocolate chunk and chips with a super gooey center.
  • Confetti Sugar Cookie – a confetti sugar cookie with a super gooey center and with melted confetti chips and sprinkles.
  • Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookie – an oatmeal cookie loaded with melted butterscotch-flavored chips and a gooey center.
  • Double Chocolate Brownie – a double chocolate brownie with a gooey center and loaded with melted chocolate chunks.

Duncan Hines Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie

Duncan Hines Gooey Confetti Sugar Cookie

I was only able to find two of the cookies, but if the other two taste half as good, that would still be pretty dang tasty. Between the two cookies, I favored the more true-to-form chocolate chip one. The latter was delicious and festive, but more like a vanilla confetti cake than a sugar cookie.

I was amazed by how easy this made it to have a “fresh” cookie. It was just a minute or so of microwave time. To be precise, I preferred 1 minute 15 seconds for the more melted chunks in the choco chip one, and one minute was fine for the other.

So, you may be wondering what’s different with this and the “Perfect Size” line? From my vantage point, it’s THAT, but even EASIER – no need to add/mix ingredients.

Duncan Hines Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Spoonful

But, because it’s heated up in the microwave, there weren’t any crispy edges. I prefer cookies with crispy edges and gooey centers. That said, the chocolate chip one’s texture feels more like a slightly under-baked cookie, whereas the confetti one is like a cake.

Duncan Hines Gooey Confetti Sugar Cookie Spoonful

Note that it wasn’t quite as fluffy or risen as Duncan Hines’ mug cakes, but it didn’t seems as cookie-like to me. Also, another gripe was that the confetti chips added nothing; they melted down into white blobs that I thought was unmixed flour.

The size probably also contributed to the perception of cake because each of these babies has NINE servings. I wanted to eat both in one sitting by myself, but I failed. If you find yourself in a cookie surplus situation as I did, you can put it in the fridge overnight and microwave it for a quick minute when you want to consume it. It’s like new again!

Folks, we have entered a new era of cookie craze – from edible cookie dough to these new ready-to-eat frozen cookies – and I’m here for it.

Purchased Price: $3.89 each
Size: 10 oz. box
Purchased at: Meijer
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Chocolate Chip), 8 out of 10 (Confetti Sugar Cookie
Nutrition Facts: (1/9 cookie) Chocolate Chip – 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. Confetti Sugar Cookie – 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein..

REVIEW: Bantam Bagels Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice and Apple Pie

Bantam Bagels Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Bagels

What are Bantam Bagels Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice and Apple Pie?

If you’re not familiar with Bantam Bagels, think donut hole filled with cream cheese, but it’s a bagel instead of sweet fried dough. Their claim to fame is Shark Tank, and you may have had them at Starbucks pre-sous vide egg bites.

Bantam Bagels Limited Edition Apple Pie Bagels

The brand has two new limited edition flavors that are sold exclusively at Target this season. The Pumpkin Spice Bantam is a cinnamon bagel with pumpkin spice cream cheese. The Apple Pie Bantam is a sweet sugar bagel with apple pie cream cheese.

How are they?

Bantam Bagels Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Bagels Inside

I may be a bit biased because I’m admittedly super basic and all about pumpkin. So the pumpkin spice one is a solid addition to the PUMPKINUNDATION! It captures the essence of my favorite fall gourd without being overpowering or tasting like a Bath & Body Works candle. Note that there’s pumpkin puree in this; it’s not all just pumpkin spices.

Bantam Bagels Limited Edition Apple Pie Bagels Inside

As for the apple pie one, I’m not a fan. Cinnamon and I are friends, but this had so much of it that it tasted bitter. There was also this tangy note, reminiscent of a granny smith apple, that did not help the cause.

I didn’t notice the bagel flavor in either one as the cream cheese flavoring dominated.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Bantam Bagels Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice and Apple Pie Oozing

You have to follow the cooking instructions to a T so that you get the crispy, toasty exterior and beautifully molten interior. But be careful, it may ooze out at an unpalatable temperature! Don’t get lazy and microwave it or else you’ll get a grossly chewy bagel.

Conclusion:

Valiant fall effort by the Bantam fam! It was quite ambitious to have two flavors when it could’ve done great with only a pumpkin-flavored one. Also, it would be awesome if Starbucks would carry it so I can be peak Millennial and eat these more often without the hassle of heating them AND pair ‘em with a PSL, of course!

Purchased Price: $4.99 each
Size: 7.8 oz (6 – 1.3 oz. Bantams)
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Pumpkin Spice), 4 out of 10 (Apple Pie)
Nutrition Facts: (1.3 oz.) 100 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar (including 0 grams of added sugar), and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Lucky Charms Magically Delicious Marshmallows

Lucky Charms Magically Delicious Marshmallows

What are Lucky Charms Magically Delicious Marshmallows?

This bag of disappointment contains classic Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows with food coloring that are shaped into hearts, stars, half-moons, and clovers.

How are they?

There’s nothing magically delicious about them. I expected the taste of these marshmallows to remind me of Lucky Charms in some way. But I knew I had to prepare myself for disappointment when I opened the bag, and they didn’t smell like the cereal. What irks me is that Kraft has the capability to make flavored ones because I’ve had the Fun Mallows that taste like Fruity Pebbles!

Lucky Charms Magically Delicious Marshmallows with Cereal Pieces

To add insult to injury, Kraft didn’t even include all the shapes! Where are the horseshoes, pots of gold, rainbows, red balloons, and unicorns?! It’s as if Lucky fell asleep at the factory or no longer has magic.

Is there anything else you should know?

Lucky Charms Magically Delicious Marshmallows Clovers

There are three sizes of clovers for some reason. I’m not sure if it’s an error or intentional. Also, if you like these ‘mallows more than I do, you will be happy to know they’re a permanent addition to the Jet-Puffed line.

Conclusion:

Lucky Charms Magically Delicious Marshmallows 2

Taste-wise, you’re better off picking out the marbits in the cereal. But, I admit that the Lucky Charms Magically Delicious Marshmallows made my marshmallow eating experience just a smidge more exciting than the regular cylindrical puffs.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 7 oz. bag
Purchased at: Jewel-Osco
Rating: 3 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (15 pieces) 100 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 17 grams of total sugars, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Nestle Toll House Edible Cookie Dough

Nestle Toll House Edible Cookie Dough

Edible cookie dough has been all the rage for the last couple of years, thanks to Cookie Dough Café on Shark Tank. I’ve tried this “edible” variety before, and I didn’t love it. But, I have been back on the train thanks to Ben & Jerry’s snackable version.

So, it was almost serendipitous that Nestle Toll House launched its new Edible Cookie Dough line with two flavors: Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Monster.

Nestle Toll House Edible Cookie Dough Chocolate Chip Spoonful Top

Of course, I started with the original flavor. It smelled like the cookie dough I remember trying to eat as a kid when my mom was mixing the “non-edible” kind. I enjoyed everything about this.

Nestle Toll House Edible Cookie Dough Chocolate Chip Spoonful

The chocolate chips were the perfect size, the flavor was spot-on, and the texture was just right – not too hard and not too soft even right from the refrigerator. Flavor-wise, it was very comparable to the Ben & Jerry’s one but this spoon-in-“pint” form allowed for maximum cookie dough consumption.

Nestle Toll House Edible Cookie Dough Monster Lidless

As for the Monster flavor, my expectations were immediately lowered when I saw the way it was sitting in the container. All I have to say is that it reminded me of the “chocolate soft serve” emoji.

Also, I could see there was bleeding of the chocolate candy coating (or what they call mini gems in the ingredients), so that added to lack of visual appeal. On the bright side, it smelled like a tasty peanut butter cookie dough though!

Nestle Toll House Edible Cookie Dough Monster Spoonful

When digging in, I could immediately tell the texture was a bit different, probably from the rolled oats. It had a firmer texture, but still easily spoonable. Taste-wise, it was fantastic and again delivered true to the raw version.

But, I wasn’t able to eat as much of this flavor due to the richness of the peanut butter and rolled oats getting stuck in my teeth. So, I went back to eating the chocolate chip one.

If you’re a cookie dough fan, you won’t be disappointed! And if other brands of edible cookie dough have let you down, this one won’t!

Purchased Price: $4.49 each
Size: 15 oz. container
Purchased at: Meijer
Rating: 10 out of 10 (Chocolate Chip), 8 out of 10 (Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Monster)
Nutrition Facts: (2 Tbsp) Chocolate Chip – 140 calories, 4.5 grams of total fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 15 grams of total sugars, 15 grams of added sugars, and 1 grams of protein. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Monster – 140 calories, 5 grams of total fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 12 grams of total sugars, 12 grams of added sugars, and 1 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Del Monte Bubble Fruit

Del Monte Sour Apple Watermelon Bubble Fruit

Del Monte has been quite the busy bee innovating in the fruit cup® aisle. Check that registration symbol – did you know it trademarked something as generic-sounding as “fruit cup”?! You know it means business. The brand has launched two new lines within the past year: Fruit & Oats and Bubble Fruit.

Bubble Fruit is not quite as telegraphic as Fruit & Oats. So, what is it? According to the back panel, “We’ve added popping boba to our tasty fruit cup® snacks for an unexpected burst of flavor! Popular in bubble tea and frozen yogurt shops, popping boba burst and release a blast of fruit flavor when you bite them.” These new cups come in three tasty, seemingly low-risk flavors: Sour Apple Watermelon, Pear Berry Pomegranate, and Peach Strawberry Lemonade.

Del Monte Pear Berry Pomegranate Bubble Fruit

Del Monte Peach Strawberry Lemonade Bubble Fruit

If you haven’t had popping boba at the aforementioned bubble tea and frozen yogurt spots, they’re balls of juice. With food magics, juice is encapsulated in clear edible spheres. It’s inspired by its starchy cousin from Taiwan, which is usually submerged in milk tea. The original’s chewy texture and dark brown/almost-black texture can be off-putting. So, popping boba is like a friendly, colorful version!

Full transparency, I haven’t enjoyed the popping kind as much because I’m a bit of a traditionalist. However, when I see something from the motherland hit mainstream shelves, I can’t help but be compelled to try it and exclaim, “Look Ma, we made it!!”

Del Monte Bubble Fruit Top

When I first lined up all the flavors, I thought they all had really pleasant hues of pinks and oranges. Without the outer packaging, it was tough to discern what the flavors were. Also, they were a nightmare to open.

Del Monte Peach Strawberry Lemonade Bubble Fruit Spill
Del Monte Peach Strawberry Lemonade Bubble Fruit Spill

The first one I opened squirted all over me and let me tell you, it was not pleasant to smell like Del Monte’s interpretation of “pear berry” all day. I thought it was user error the first time, so with the second one I carefully tried to open it. But it still spilled a bit on my table. With the last one, I gave up and decided to puncture the plastic film and carve along the edge with a paring knife. I recognize most people eating this on-the-go would not have a knife handy like this. So, thumbs down for packaging.

Del Monte Pear Berry Pomegranate Bubble Fruit Topless
Del Monte Pear Berry Pomegranate Bubble Fruit

So now that it was all over my shirt and I was slurpin’, poppin’, and eatin’, I concluded that neither of the three delivered on the more complex fruit fusion promised in the flavor names. For the peach, I didn’t get the strawberry lemonade at all. For the sour apple watermelon, there was no tang or melon. It tasted mostly like pear, even down to the texture. For the pear one, there was a slightly sour edge which could be reminiscent of a pomegranate, but if I had to get one flavor again, it would be the Pear Berry Pomegranate.

I also decided to try all three cold AND at room temperature. The cold version seemed to balance the somewhat squishy texture of a fruit cup better. It was also like drinking cold juice, which is always better than drinking room temperature juice!

Del Monte Bubble Fruit Popping Boba

I also found the popping boba was less of a “burst of flavor” than I was used to. I think it’s because it’s submerged in all this sweet juice, so it subdued the impact.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard not to like fruit in sugar water, but it overpromised and underdelivered on flavor for me. Overall, it’s different from everything else that’s out there, so try it for the novelty at least!

Purchased Price: $2.29
Size: 4 oz. cup 4-pack
Purchased at: Walmart (Pear Berry Pomegranate and Peach Strawberry Lemonade) and Target (Sour Apple Watermelon)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Peach Strawberry Lemonade)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Sour Apple Watermelon)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Pear Berry Pomegranate)
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 60 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 5 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of total sugars, 6 grams of added sugars, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Mint Creme Fudge Covered Oreo Cookies

Mint Creme Fudge Covered Oreo Cookies

What are the Mint Creme Fudge Covered Oreo Cookies?

A full-sized, regular Oreo cookie enrobed in chocolate, like the one that came out in February, but its creme is mint flavored!

How are they?

Mint Creme Fudge Covered Oreo Cookies Innards

Like its smaller counterpart (Oreo Thins Bites Fudge Dipped Mint), it’s dang good. The mint flavor is consistent with other mint Oreo cookies – not toothpaste or gum minty, still an off-putting artificial green, but very tasty!

Mint Creme Fudge Covered Oreo Cookies Coating

There is also something about the texture of this larger version that I love; I think it’s the fudge-to-cookie ratio. There’s enough chocolate for it to be delightfully decadent but not overly so. The decadence ends with the satisfying crisp of the chocolate wafer. I’m not sure why I was worried it would be soggy or stale because it wasn’t!

I also appreciated that the fudge didn’t melt from handling. I was a bit concerned that this much chocolate dipped surface area would mean brown confection all over my hands and face from the meltage. Again, worried about nothin’!

Is there anything else you need to know?

If you have the impulse to freeze these like Thin Mints, don’t do it. They become too much like hockey pucks that feel like they’ll chip your tooth!

Conclusion:

:

Mint Creme Fudge Covered Oreo Cookies Wrapper

I enjoy these, but I’m probably going to stick with the Mint Oreo Thins Bites Fudge Dipped because I can scarf down too many of these full-sized ones too quickly!

Purchased Price: $2.79
?Size: 9.9 oz.
?Purchased at: Meijer
?Rating: 8 out of 10
?Nutrition Facts:: (1 cookie) 120 calories, 6 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 55 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of total sugars, 12 grams of added sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.