REVIEW: Limited Edition Strawberry Frosted Donut Oreo Cookies

Limited Edition Strawberry Frosted Donut Oreo Cookies Package

Oreo should rename its newest limited edition Strawberry Frosted Donut sandwich cookies to “Strawberry Frosted D’OHnuts” because we are all Homer Simpson getting duped by the Oreo hype. I reference The Simpsons because the picture on the packaging definitely looks like it could be of the Lard Lad variety.

To be fair, the brand has had a steady stream of knockout limited edition flavors, so by Murphy’s Law, there’s bound to be a dud. This one was that dud for me for a few reasons.

Limited Edition Strawberry Frosted Donut Oreo Cookies Creme

First and foremost, the glitter was non-existent. There were clearly colorful pieces, but it was more like pieces of rainbow sprinkles rather than any sparkle or shine. It also didn’t help that the smell was overwhelmingly vanilla, just like a birthday cake or confetti flavor, which further reinforced cake instead of a donut.

I will admit that I did not try the Trolls World Tour version, which also featured “glitter.” Apparently, we didn’t complain enough then because they just tried to plug and play with this one.

Limited Edition Strawberry Frosted Donut Oreo Cookies Layers

The flavor itself was distinctly artificial strawberry. Think creamy, muted like strawberry-flavored pocky or Nesquik as opposed to a bright, slightly tart, and fresh strawberry. The light brown crème added nothing to the flavor department. Even eaten solo, it was one-note and ambiguously sweet like it was straight-up table sugar. If this was supposed to be the donut part, I definitely didn’t get that.

Limited Edition Strawberry Frosted Donut Oreo Cookies Layers Closeup

My final gripe is that it’s pretty clear they’re finding clever ways to reduce their costs. The cookie’s image on the front of the pack looks like an even double stack of crème. When you look at the actual thing, the crème overlaps to create just one layer. Furthermore, like most of their limited edition packs, it’s a smaller 12.2 oz package size (compared to a standard 14.3 oz package) at a higher price.

Limited Edition Strawberry Frosted Donut Oreo Cookies Open

It’s not an awful flavor, but Oreo can do better because we’ve experienced it! Am I still going to continue trying their new flavors? Absolutely. Until then, I’ll stick to my precious stash of my favs from the last drop: Brookie-O and Chocolate Hazelnut.

Purchased Price: $5.80
Size: 12.2 oz
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 cookies) 150 calories, 7 grams of total fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of total sugars, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Ruffles Flamin’ Hot BBQ Potato Chips

Ruffles Flamin Hot BBQ Potato Chips Bag

What are Ruffles Flamin’ Hot BBQ Potato Chips?

The latest chips to churn out of the Ruffles factory bring together its ridged spud slices with a spicy BBQ flavor. It’s apparently the first time any Frito-Lay product has combined Flamin’ Hot – of Cheetos fame – with BBQ. This is being marketing-spun as Jayson Tatum’s (the basketball player featured on the bag) signature flavor as he hails from St. Louis, and it reminds him of his hometown barbecue.

How are they?

I’m giving props to the Ruffles flavor gurus because they know how to tantalize taste buds. At first blush, this flavor sounded boring and done before, but the eating experience was anything but lame.

Ruffles Flamin Hot BBQ Potato Chips Inside Bag

It was incredibly well-seasoned – not a bare piece of potato in sight – which helped ensure a flavorful eat. I was also really impressed by the size of each chip. Not just the fact that it wasn’t a bag of crumbs, but also that each piece was the perfect size to pop whole into my mouth – covering the majority of my taste buds in one bite for max flavor!

Ruffles Flamin Hot BBQ Potato Chips Closeup

The BBQ was practically perfection with its symphony of savory, sweet, and tangy notes. It definitely was dominant as the heat came up as an afternote. The spice built up, though, because I ate myself to a capsaicin-induced runny nose. So, if you pace yourself, you can control the heat level as the ‘cue tempers the spice, unlike the spicy wallop of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on their own.

Anything else you need to know?

So far, I’m pretty impressed with the NBA and Ruffles collab line. I really enjoyed the Anthony Davis x Ruffles Lime & Jalapeno chips from last year.

Conclusion:

Whether you’re an avid NBA fan or not, these are worth picking up on your next snack run. If eight ounces is too much heat to commit to, you can find them in a single-serve size as well!

Purchased Price: $2.98
Size: 8 oz bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 11 Chips) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 1.5 gram of saturated fat, 200 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Philadelphia Cheesecake Crumble Desserts

Philadelphia Cheesecake Crumble Desserts Package

Self-care is Philadelphia’s new single-serve Cheesecake Crumble Dessert cups.

After nearly 150 years, the Philadelphia cheese mongers finally went beyond providing cheesecake recipes inside the package to give us the actual cheesecake!

OK, technically they call it a three-layer cheesecake with sauce, cheesecake filling, and crumble topping, but it’s all the same deliciousness to me. There are four flavors: Cherry, Chocolate Hazelnut, Original, and Strawberry.

These were so enticing and tasty that my partner ate them all before I could even write a review and he usually leaves my snacks alone. But, after I re-purchased and tried them for myself, I couldn’t blame him.

(From L to R) Original, Strawberry, Cherry, and Chocolate Hazelnut

There were two key thoughtful choices that made this dang good.

First, instead of a dense block of cheesecake filling, it was creamy and smooth with a whipped texture. Whipped cream cheese is my favorite form, but even if it weren’t, this was the right choice for easy eating with a spoon.

Philadelphia Cheesecake Crumble Desserts Toppings

Second, the crumbles were very crOnchy. Yes, cronchy. As someone who always goes for the crust first, I appreciated that it maintained its texture. No soggy crust or crumble in this house please! The amount of crumble was also just right. I was concerned that there wouldn’t be enough just by looking at it, but it was plenty to ensure a consistent eat!

I’m also extra impressed by this because I know Philadelphia doesn’t make grahams or cookies on the regular. I mentioned cookies as the Chocolate Hazelnut flavor is the only one that comes with “rich cookie crumble” and not a “buttery graham crumble.” The graham tasted like regular, crushed up graham crackers and the cookies reminded me of Oreo.

Philadelphia Cheesecake Crumble Desserts Filling

As for the flavor – let’s start with the filling first. It’s truly like having a cheesecake slice in a cup. I got the expected slight tang from the cream cheese balanced by the perfect amount of indulgent sweetness. The chocolate one tasted more chocolate pudding cup-like than hazelnut, but I still was able to taste the tanginess.

Philadelphia Cheesecake Crumble Desserts Cherry Spoon

Three of the four had an additional layer of sauce: cherry, strawberry, and chocolate flavored. I started with the cherry because I was the most skeptical of it – usually cherry-flavored foods taste like cough syrup to me. However, it definitely tasted like real fruit! It was a bit tarter than I had expected, but that was quickly solved by mixing the sauce and filling evenly. The strawberry, though, was just right for me and didn’t require any mixing! I ate the “layers” as-is.

As for the chocolate one, the sauce was negligible. I’m never going to complain about more chocolate goodness, but it was more of a visual difference given the darker color. I was hoping that this would be the hazelnut flavor part, but no dice. Regardless, it was still absolutely delicious. It wasn’t as much as a dealbreaker because unlike the fruit ones, the sauce wasn’t integral to delivering the flavor as the chocolate filling did most of that legwork!

Philadelphia Cheesecake Crumble Desserts Lids

All of this combined was like lightning in a bottle. I’m ready for a pumpkin cheesecake one for PUMPKINUNDATION season please!

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 2 – 3.3oz cups
Purchased at: Meijer
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (serving size: 1 dessert) Cherry – 290 calories, 18 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 gram of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, 16 grams of added sugar, and 4 grams of protein. Chocolate Hazelnut – 320 calories, 17 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 gram of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 240 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, 25 grams of added sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Original – 340 calories, 24 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 290 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 17 grams of sugar, 16 grams of added sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Strawberry – 290 calories, 18 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, 17 grams of added sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Lay’s Game Day Chili Potato Chips

Lay s Game Day Chili Potato Chips Bags

What are Lay’s Game Day Chili Potato Chips?

Another genius Lay’s food scientist flex! They’ve been replicating our favorite dishes into a chip for nearly 10 years now. Inspiration not only comes from the crowdsourced Do Us A Flavor program, but also in seemingly random bursts of comfort food inspo like Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup. Game Day Chili is the newest comfort food add!

How are they?

Lay s Game Day Chili Potato Chips Spill

I was prepared to be disappointed when I opened the bag and mostly smelled a faint barbecue sauce scent. I continued to think BBQ as I looked at the seasoning’s reddish hue. I did make a note of the generous and ample seasoning, though!

While the smell and visual under-promised, the taste over-delivered! To be fair, I didn’t experience the full spectrum of flavor notes described “…tomatoes, chili peppers, onion, garlic, and Tex-Mex spices with a little back-end kick.” I got tomatoes, onion, garlic, and then straight into a nice bit of chili powder heat. It was a light burn that built up nicely and got my nose a bit runny after eating hand pincer after hand pincer of chips.

Anything else you need to know?

I usually tear into bags like nobody’s business, but the sheen on this one really caught my eye. Yes, I’m like a food packaging magpie. While I was admiring the luster of the blue, I noticed that the packaging looked more like the Flavor Icons bag with the plate of food on the bottom left, vertical color paneling, and white middle rather than the one-color “standard flavor” bag. It made me wonder if this was a Flavor Icon idea that didn’t make the initial cut, but someone important liked it, so it eventually made its way on shelves.

Conclusion:

If you left these out on the table during game day, it’d probably be mistaken for BBQ chips, but your guests would be in for a good surprise! It’s a worthy try for an upcoming tailgate of one (a.k.a. everyday snack time) or for the actual big game, but don’t forget to stock up for National Chili Day (Feb. 25)!

Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: 7 3/4 oz bag
Purchased at: Meijer
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pillsbury Snackable Cookie Dough Bites

Pillsbury Snackable Cookie Dough Bites Pouches

Update: So Pillsbury has changed the name of this product to Cookie Dough Poppins, which is a name that must make Poppin Fresh happy.

I thought Pillsbury was leapfrogging this edible cookie dough trend when it upgraded its existing Ready to Bake refrigerated cookie dough packs with a “safe to eat raw” seal and instructions to either eat OR bake them. It was pretty clever, but I guess even the Pillsbury Dough Boy couldn’t resist something in bite-form! So, three Snackable Cookie Dough Bites flavors rolled out: Birthday Cake, Chocolate Chip, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.

He may just be dipping his toe in the water as it doesn’t seem like they’re available nationally yet. Interwebz intel says it’s only at Meijer stores, a regional Midwest grocer, for now.

I hope all of these make it, but with some changes, though. These are overall enjoyable. They’re at the same price point and package size as Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough Chunks. But, with each piece at almost twice the size of Ben & Jerry’s offering, it somehow seems like a better value to me. The mind (and stomach) works in mysterious ways. Their texture is perfect right out of the bag – just like a freshly mixed batch ready to go into the oven. Another plus is that this form doesn’t require any utensils. That’s a win-win-win in my book.

In regards to specific tasting notes, I would rank the flavors from “STEAL IT FROM THE DOUGH BOY NOW – GO GO GO!” to just kindly ask him for a sample as follows: Birthday Cake, Chocolate Chip, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.

Pillsbury Snackable Cookie Dough Bites Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pouch

The “some changes” mentioned above mainly falls on the peanut butter one. I love all things peanut butter, so I had high hopes. But it fell flat on the rich nuttiness I expected. I could tell it was different from the chocolate chip one, though. But it was mostly visual.

Pillsbury Snackable Cookie Dough Bites vs Ben Jerrys

It looked like a brown paper bag saturated in grease, which I’m assuming was caused by the extra oils in the peanut butter. I mentioned these bites were larger, but size didn’t make up for flavor as Ben & Jerry’s packed more peanut taste in a smaller form.

Pillsbury Snackable Cookie Dough Bites Chocolate Chip Pouch

The Chocolate Chip one is in the middle of the pack. While the size and texture were just right, it tasted a bit bland to me. Some additional chocolate bits would have definitely helped, but the dough wasn’t as flavorful, which may be a harder fix. I could clearly taste the vanilla, but it was missing another flavor note.

Pillsbury Snackable Cookie Dough Bites Pouches Comparison

Determined to figure it out, I sat in my kitchen eating one Pillsbury bite, one Ben & Jerry’s Dough Chunk, and a spoonful of Nestle Toll House edible cookie dough in rapid succession. It validated the lack of that je ne sais quoi, so I read the ingredients and noticed that the Dough Boy omitted a critical component present in the other doughs: BUTTER. I gasped audibly at the cardinal sin. Regardless of whether you agree if cookie dough can be considered cookie dough sans butter, it was a satisfying lightbulb moment as it also explained why the peanut butter one didn’t taste as flavorful either.

Pillsbury Snackable Cookie Dough Bites Birthday Cake Pouch

Birthday Cake ranked at the top because it was wonderfully vanilla-forward, AND the confetti colors didn’t bleed into the surrounding dough, unlike others. The lack of butter in this one didn’t bother me as I wanted that pure sugary vanilla-y taste. I did find myself wondering why I wouldn’t just buy and eat Ready to Bake Confetti Cookie Dough, though. So, I did and found out that we don’t do that unless we want a mouthful of sugary grit. Well, that’s one way to ensure a shopper buys both. Tricky, tricky!

While there are other edible cookie dough bite options, Pillsbury is currently the only brand that offers a birthday cake flavor, which also happens to be the tastiest and most exciting of the Dough Boy’s offerings. The other flavors are truly not bad at all, but they could use some improvement.

Purchased Price: $4.49 each
Size: 8 oz pouches
Purchased at: Meijer
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Birthday Cake), 6 out of 10 (Chocolate Chip), 4 out of 10 (Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip)
Nutrition Facts: (about 5 pieces) Birthday Cake – 120 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0g of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. Chocolate Chip – 120 calories, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0g of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip – 120 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0g of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.