REVIEW: Jeni’s Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts Ice Cream

The pint of Jeni’s new Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts Ice Cream says there’s only one way to enjoy the toaster pastry: “It has to be brown sugar cinnamon, frosted—served buttered, warm, soft, and gooey right out of the toaster.” Those are fighting words as people eat Pop-Tarts microwaved, frozen, or straight out of the foil wrapper – which is my preferred method.

This new limited time collaboration flavor is a tribute to what is the “…best thing to spring out of a toaster.” It’s remarkable and should be a permanent flavor.

Jeni’s didn’t just break up a bunch of Pop-Tarts and drop it into vanilla ice cream. Instead, it crafted a brown sugar-cinnamon ice cream with crumbled pastry and a caramel swirl.

First off, Jeni’s always passes the texture test, which is critical as no one wants to arm wrestle rock-hard ice cream before enjoying it. I was joyfully able to take a room temperature spoon and scoop it right out of the pint. This texture also translates to how the ice cream ate: super smooth and creamy. Gotta love that high butter fat content!

Fat also equals flavor, so it was also so dang flavorful. I could taste that ooey gooeyness with just a hint of cinnamon for that toasted Pop-Tarts quality. Cold ice cream is obviously the very opposite of being toasted and ooey-gooey, but I reveled in the delightful mind trickery.

This epicness was also largely because Jeni’s only uses high quality ingredients – from the grass-fed milk sourced from local suppliers to each component carefully curated to replicate the toaster pastry’s flavor.

It visually looked like a light brown ice cream with light brown pieces, which was the crumbled pastry part. But, of course, Jeni’s also elevated said pastry to shortbread for a more buttery deliciousness. The only ding was the caramel swirl. What swirl?! That would have added a nice visual touch to the pint, but it didn’t affect how much I enjoyed it.

But, per the ingredient list, she made this magic with cream, milk, cane sugar, cinnamon caramel sauce – made of cream, brown sugar, sugar, and honey – and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla. That build is night and day compared to the Pop-Tarts’ ingredient list of corn syrup, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, and caramel color.

I also tried this head-to-head with a buttered Pop-Tart (My first ever! Also, Pop-Tart ice cream sandwich, anyone?!), and it made me marvel again at the astounding attention to detail. I tasted that hint of salt crucial in all sweet goods, but the ice cream also replicated the pat of salted butter on top of my freshly toasted Pop-Tart. Chef’s Kiss.

This limited time flavor dropped online and in scoop shops on 6/22, so get yours ASAP. If you haven’t had Jeni’s and you’ve been thinking about it, this is your sign!!

Purchased Price: $12
Size: One pint
Purchased at:
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 Cup / 127g) 340 calories, 22 grams of fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 65 mg of cholesterol, 250 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 29 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Haagen-Dazs Butter Cookie Cones

Haagen-Dazs was a staple in my household growing up, but I was always dismayed that it was Rum Raisin. But that’s what Mom liked, so that’s what we got!

Fast forward decades later, I usually have Haagen-Dazs’ Vanilla Milk Chocolate Almond Ice Cream Bars stocked in my freezer. It reminds me of a Drumstick, but fancy and without the cone. I share my journey with Haagen-Dazs as it entirely influences what I thought of its new Butter Cookie Cones.

This frozen novelty foray is commendable, especially since Haagen-Dazs launched not one, not two, but four flavors out the gate. But at $8.99 for a box of four, it won’t replace my usual bars.

Which four flavors, you ask? My 8-year-old self was very pleased that there was no Rum Raisin version. The “Butter Cookie Cone Collection” (Haagen-Dazs’ fancy website words, not mine) consists of the following:

Chocolate: Chocolate ice cream and chocolate fudge sauce, topped with chocolate curls and cookie pieces.

Strawberry: Strawberry ice cream and a tangy raspberry sauce, topped with white chocolate curls and cookie pieces.

Coffee: Coffee ice cream and espresso fudge sauce, topped with roasted almonds and cookie pieces.

Vanilla: Vanilla ice cream and a caramel sauce, topped with chocolate curls and cookie pieces.

Biting into the fancy curls and pieces actually reminded me of how much I enjoy eating Talenti Gelato Layers. Like Layers, the rich and creamy ice cream was a nice backdrop for all the pops of texture and added flavors from the toppings and cones.

Speaking of the fancy cone, it had the pasty look of an untoasted Pop-Tarts pastry than a golden butter cookie. Unlike Pop-Tarts, though, it was much thicker and didn’t have that same crumbly nature. It had more of a shortbread snap to it. I could bite into it easily, but I found it plain tasting. Most of its flavor came from the chocolate lining that went down into the bottom of the cone, probably to help prevent sogginess, like a Drumstick. Even though the cone was a bit plain, the most delightful bite of all the flavors ended up being the chocolatey tip/end of the cone.

I was also pleasantly surprised that the sauces were piped into the middle. So, halfway through the ice cream biting, I got either chocolate fudge, raspberry sauce, espresso fudge, or caramel sauce, which added another layer to the eating experience.

The vanilla flavor was like eating a Drumstick with a glow up. It was far from boring with the caramel sauce in the middle and cookie pieces! I usually order vanilla from ice cream shops because you can’t hide behind inclusions, and if a place has good vanilla ice cream, you know it’s legit! So, while I couldn’t confirm with my taste buds that this was made with Madagascar vanilla, it was smooth and luxurious, thus signaling high quality to me!

I experienced this same quality with the milk chocolate ice cream. Also, while the chocolate-lined cone had a chocolate base with chocolate fudge sauce and chocolate curls, they were varying degrees of cacao, so it didn’t taste one-note. The different depths of chocolate and the textures from the toppings kept things interesting.

My favorite was the strawberry one. The tanginess of the raspberry sauce and the sweet strawberry ice cream really mimicked a fresh red berry. With the cookie butter cone added into the mix, it was almost like eating a strawberry shortcake (with a touch of milk chocolate from the cone).

I had the coffee one last because I didn’t want it to take over my taste buds and cause the other flavors to taste muted. But it was more latte-like with cream and sugar rather than straight coffee, so my initial concern was not an issue. This was the only flavor with nuts, but while they were clearly almonds, they ate more like peanuts because they were a bit less crunchy than I expected. The espresso fudge was a lovely decadent touch and brought out more coffee flavor.

The back of their packages read, “Deliciousness unlike anything you ever tasted before.” They were indeed elevated, but worth $8.99 a box? The jury is out on that one, but it definitely piqued my interest. If Haagen-Dazs sold some single serve cones out in the wild, I’d get another, but I don’t want these boxes taking up precious ice cream bar space in my freezer!

Purchased Price: $8.99 per box
Size: 14.8 oz (four cones per box)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Vanilla), 7 out of 10 (Chocolate), 8 out of 10 (Strawberry), 7 out 10 (Coffee)
Nutrition Facts: (1 cone) Vanilla – 280 calories, 16 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 22 grams of total sugars (14 grams of added sugar), and 4 grams of protein. Chocolate – 300 calories, 17 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 22 grams of total sugars (14 grams of added sugar), and 4 grams of protein. Strawberry – 270 calories, 15 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 21 grams of total sugars (11 grams of added sugar), and 4 grams of protein. Coffee – 280 calories, 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 19 grams of total sugars (15 grams of added sugar), and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Papa Johns Papa Bites

Alas, “bite-ification” – when foodstuffs become snack/bite-size – has officially hit Papa Johns.

In December, it launched its new limited-time Oreo Cookie Papa Bites (fresh dough, topped with cheesecake filling and Oreo cookie pieces, baked and drizzled with icing).

Quickly after, it added two savory versions: Chicken Parmesan Papa Bites (fresh dough, grilled chicken, parmesan cheese, and pizza sauce that’s finished with garlic parmesan seasoning) and Jalapeno Papa Bites (fresh dough topped with its signature cheese, alfredo, jalapenos, and served with ranch dipping sauce).

They’re described as “eight savory or sweet delectable pillow pockets,” so I immediately thought of the pizza rolls found in the freezer aisle but with creative copywriting because the name “pizza rolls” is trademarked.

But I was wrong.

They’re more akin to stuffed, twisted breadsticks cut up into eight pieces and served with dipping sauces.

Before I get into a play-by-play, I will say that all varieties were flavorful on their own and didn’t really need any of the dips. I appreciate I had the option of slathering my bite in sauce, though, because I know folks love sauces, which includes myself! I always get an extra garlic dipping sauce.

Papa Johns also touts that these are all made with its fresh, never frozen dough. I’m not fancy enough to be able to tell frozen from fresh, but that Papa Johns pizza dough taste comes through despite all the mix-ins. Also, texture-wise, it’s not like the tough crust, but rather the soft, springy dough expected from its pizza.

Oreo Cookie Papa Bites

I started with the dessert collab with Oreo because I’m a dessert-first kinda gal!

Even though I could see chocolate cookie dusting, I didn’t get any Oreo chocolate cookie flavor. The icing also didn’t really taste like the creme. It tasted like dough with a plain ol’ icing. Dipping it in the side of icing also didn’t do anything but make it even more one-note tasting. I wanted to love these because they would’ve been a great add-on to my usual order, but they fell short. I had higher expectations because the Oreo name is front and center! If these were called Dessert Papa Bites, that would’ve tempered my expectations.

Jalapeno Papa Bites

After the disappointing Oreo one, I was ready for something savory, so I jumped to the Jalapeno version. The pungent, spicy, and sour aroma was calling my name because I also enjoy eating Papa John’s pepperoncini.

Despite thinking I was smelling the light-colored pepper that comes with Papa Johns’ pizzas, the bites did look like they were made with jalapenos as they were darker green pieces as opposed to bright yellow. As expected with jalapenos, there was just a kiss of heat that did not linger. The cheese was so plentiful that it was gooey, like a comforting grilled cheese. The alfredo helped to add a punch of flavor because it wasn’t seasoned on the outside like the Chicken Parmesan one. I preferred eating this flavor with the garlic dip instead of the ranch it came with, but honestly, I like garlic dip with almost everything. Again, dips and sauces are not needed, though!

Chicken Parmesan Papa Bites

The Chicken Parmesan one intrigued me the most because it looked like a stromboli or cut-up Costco chicken bake. I’m not sure if it was because they didn’t thoroughly split the bites apart, but these were wider than the other ones. It may have been a fluke, though, as all marketing materials lead me to believe it should look like the others! Visuals aside, this one was chock-full of add-ins like the Jalapeno one!

Unfortunately, all I could taste was sauce and cheese. The meat could have been a meatball, chicken, or mystery, but I wouldn’t have been able to tell you which. Don’t get me wrong – I especially love Papa Johns sauce, but it’s not chicken parm if I cannot detect chicken! But, unlike the Oreo one, I would get this one again. It was still very tasty and tasted great the next day for breakfast, but the dominant flavors were sauce, cheese, and the garlic parmesan seasoning on the crust.

Like breadsticks, Papa Bites are listed in the sides section. It’s enough food if you ate a box of eight on its own, but it doesn’t satisfy a true pizza craving as a pie does. Maybe a Papadia with a side of Papa Bites could be the winning combo! I give Papa Johns kudos for continuing to be creative with its menu, but some flavors were better than others.

Purchased Price: $4.99 each
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Oreo), 6 out of 10 (Chicken Parmesan), 7 out of 10 (Jalapeno)
Nutrition Facts: (1 Papa Bite) Oreo Cookie – 80 calories, 2 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Chicken Parmesan – 110 Calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 280 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 6 grams of protein. Jalapeno – 80 Calories, 3 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Doritos Ketchup and Doritos Spicy Mustard

Doritos Ketchup and Spicy Mustard Bag

Name a more American flavor combination than ketchup and mustard. I’ll wait.

Doritos boldly shares its take on this iconic combo with its new limited edition Classic Ketchup and Spicy Mustard flavored chips.

To clarify, the ketchup flavor is only new to the United States as our upstairs neighbors in Canada have been noshing on this since 2014. The spicy mustard one is completely new, inspired by Chinese hot mustard.

Before we get into each flavor, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Doritos’ texture is always on point. It’s never soggy or stale – unless it’s user error and I leave the bag open. These baddies followed suit and were crunchy.

Doritos Ketchup Closeup

With that, let’s start with ketchup first: if I could only use one condiment for the rest of my life, it would be Heinz ketchup. This was no 57, but for once, I wasn’t not mad about it. The chips were simultaneously pungent, tangy, sweet but perfectly counterbalanced with the softer corn note of the tortilla chip. It was so flavorful that it almost reminded me of the punch of sea salt and vinegar chips, but with a bit of a sweeter flavor. I was also surprised by the pop of flavor because the seasoning did look a bit sparse.

Doritos Spicy Mustard Closeup

Onto the spicy mustard one – I regularly consume Chinese hot mustard. I make it to eat with dumplings, dim sum, bratwurst, and more! So, I am thrilled to share the fantastic news that we can all consume Doritos Spicy Mustard flavored chips without destroying our nasal passages! The chips were relatively mild compared to the actual condiment but were still distinctly mustard. It was almost Dijon-like but with a bigger kick on the end. Depending on how sensitive you are to heat, this could taste spicy to you.

Eating them together, however, was…underwhelming. Clearly, they weren’t necessarily meant to complement because the ketchup overpowered the mustard. Also, I sure as heck will not be using these to replace the actual condiments on my food any time soon. These are a great side of plate friends though!

Doritos Ketchup and Spicy Mustard Back

Unfortunately, these were available as a limited time on Frito-Lay’s website ( and they’re officially sold out. But, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in store in the future! When that day comes, make sure to snag a bag (or a couple!)

Purchased Price: $5.59 each
Purchased at:
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Ketchup), 9 out of 10 (Spicy Mustard)
Nutrition Facts: (28g/about 11 chips) Ketchup – 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Spicy Mustard – 140 calories, 7 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.

REVIEW: Heinz Dip & Crunch

Heinz Dip  Crunch Containers

What is it?

Inspired by #FoodTok (TikToks about food), Kraft Heinz’s new Dip & Crunch is a combo pack of burger sauce and crushed-up potato chips (crunchers).

Apparently, it’s a social media trend to dip your burger into different sauces and coat them with potato chips for more flavor and texture. Who knew?!

Dip & Crunch launched in two flavors – secret sauce and spicy sauce.

How is it?

I don’t know why, but I felt compelled to purchase McDonald’s to pair with this. My usual homemade burger just didn’t feel right for the occasion!

The sauces were both orange-ish in color. The secret sauce had floating bits of relish, as expected, whereas the spicy one looked a bit smoother.

Heinz Dip  Crunch Dips

They both smelled pungent and vinegary with a mayo-like linger. The crunchers smelled stale because oil was the only thing I could discern. They looked like regular ol’ potato chips – a la Lay’s Original as opposed to wavy or kettle style. It tasted stale and was texturally a bit soft, but I wasn’t expecting much from the crunchers because Heinz doesn’t make chips on the regular.

Heinz Dip  Crunch Burger

But it does make condiments! So, I was a little disappointed by the secret sauce. It didn’t really do much to enhance my burger’s flavor. There was a smidge of tanginess but overall wasn’t very flavorful. However, I really enjoyed the spicy one. It ate like spicy mayo – spicy, tangy with a bit of sweetness. I was pleasantly surprised that it actually had some heat to it!

Anything else you need to know?

Heinz Dip  Crunch McNuggets

I honestly preferred to Dip & Crunch my McNuggets and fries instead. My favorite combination was the McDonald’s Sweet & Sour Sauce with the potato crunchers. The Mickey D fries’ texture compensates for the chip’s staleness, and the fast food sauce provided better stickage.

Heinz Dip  Crunch McD Sauce


I like playing with my food, and this is a fun way to do just that. With free sauces at fast food joints and way fresher potato chips, if self-crushed, I probably won’t buy this again.

Purchased Price: $1.89 each
Size: 2.75 oz
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Secret Sauce), 6 out of 10 (Spicy Sauce)
Nutrition Facts: (1 package) Secret Sauce and Crunchers – 430 calories, 40 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 480 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of total sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Spicy Sauce and Crunchers – 440 calories, 41 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 480 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of total sugar, and 2 grams of protein.