REVIEW: Domino’s Bread Twists (Garlic, Parmesan, and Cinnamon)

Domino s Bread Twists

Domino’s new bread twists have an interesting shape. They look like those cancer research ribbons people wear.

“Oh, good for you Domino’s, raising money for a good cause. And what cause will you be supporting? I can’t seem to find the organization on any of the news stories. Oh, there is none? Awwwkward!”

Anyway, while odd, the shape is a nice switch up from the standard small bite, knot, or very boring breadstick. There are two savory flavors to choose from, garlic and parmesan, and one sweet one, cinnamon. I couldn’t dare pick just one to try so I went with all three. Each order comes with a good number of twists and they aren’t uniform in appearance which gave me a good vibe of potentially being homemade.

On all three flavors the shining star was definitely the dough and the cooking method used to bake them. These two aspects worked together to make the exterior crispy and insides pleasantly soft. The weird shape actually made them more fun to eat and, as you probably have experienced with pretzels, there were different experiences when biting into either the center crossing, end pieces, or top bend.

Domino s Garlic Bread Twists

While the garlic ones were very buttery with a good amount of herbs and spices sprinkled on top, they were my least favorite. The garlic flavor was somewhat artificial. When I tried them with the marinara sauce, the garlic was completely overpowered so all I tasted was the dipping sauce.

Domino s Parmesan Bread Twists

The Parmesan Bread Twists were very similar to the garlic ones, just with a heaping amount of parmesan pieces on top. They started off tasting exactly like the garlic ones but then I got a blast of cheese at the end with the herbs and spices. These had multiple layers of flavor and, unlike the garlic ones, worked well with the marinara sauce provided, making them my favorite. It was like having a pizza party in my mouth.

Domino s Cinnamon Bread Twists

Finally, the only sweet one of the bunch was cinnamon. Cinnamon sugar is strewn about in strips atop the twists unevenly but this really allowed both the buttery bread and seasoning to shine separately. It also meant these weren’t a sugar bomb, until the mediocre sweet icing was added. When dipped, everything was too sweet to enjoy.

Domino’s Bread Twists are an odd product if you think about it. First, their shape makes me want to donate to some cause. Second, the garlic and parmesan varieties taste strikingly similar. Third, Domino’s already has parmesan bread on their menu, but in bite form. Fourth, Domino’s had cinnamon bread called Cinna Stix on their menu, albeit non-twisted.

While they may be odd, they are, for the most part, also pretty darn tasty. Just make sure to enjoy them hot and only sauce up the parmesan ones. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have one twist left that’s going on my lapel. I have to go to a fancy benefit for bread research.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 pieces – Garlic – 220 calories, 90 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat,4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Parmesan 230 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 240 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Cinnamon – 2 pieces – 250 calories, 110 calories from fat, 12 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $5.99 each
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Garlic)
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Parmesan)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Cinnamon)
Pros: Breathtakingly good buttered browned bread. Unique shape that is surprisingly fun to eat. Parmesan twists plus marinara sauce = a pizza party in my mouth.
Cons: Strange shape that evokes cancer research. Garlic and Parmesan varieties taste similar. Marinara sauce overwhelms garlic flavor.

REVIEW: Twix Dark

Twix Dark

Chocolate is a funny thing. Almost everyone loves it, few despise it, and most people, when you start chattin’ it up about the candy aisle, have strong feelings about types of chocolate – most notably dark and white.

While standard milk chocolate is agreeable to most palates, some find white too sweet or boring, and others find dark too strong or bitter. Seemingly running out of ideas, or, being struck with the idea of brilliance in simplicity, it’s more common these days that candy companies put an alternate choco-spin on an already existing product than come out with an entirely new one to see how their classic bars stand up to the light or the dark.

The latest of this hot trend is Twix Dark, which takes the signature cookie and caramel mashup of the original and dunks it in a dark coating.

Twix Dark 2

The first thing that jumps out at me when opening the package is that the bar seems smaller, and upon comparing it to the original I can confirm that it is shorter in both width and height than the milk version.

After further investigation, it turns out that Twix actually has different sized bars in their regular and king sized versions, with slightly smaller ones in their king sized, clocking in at 110 calories instead of 125 for both varieties – interesting.

Twix Dark 3

Flavor-wise, the dark chocolate is thin, smooth, sweet, and reminds me a lot of the chocolate coating on a Milky Way Midnight with a touch more creaminess. It isn’t super dark, more semisweet, and while it’s definitely different from the milk chocolate Twix, it’s only slightly bitter and melds with the caramel well in a cohesive and not too dominant way.

The chocolate is almost too thin for my taste and seems thinner than on the original version, but the balance between the components is on point and the flavors feel focused and refined.

Twix Dark 4

The cookie, as expected, is crunchy, crumbly, and dry, with a slight butteriness that steers far away from shortbread but isn’t bland either. The caramel is soft and sweet with the perfect ratio of dense and chewy providing most of the sugar burst I want from a candy bar. The dark chocolate really comes into play here, as the overall flavor is less sweet and buttery than on the milk chocolate version.

Through and through, it’s a Twix, covered in dark chocolate, and done really well. Unlike the White Twix, which suffered greatly from a low quality, bland white coating, and the Peanut Butter Twix, which I find falls flat, the chocolate here is executed well and is just as enjoyable as a regular Twix. It’s a more complex, less sweet and buttery experience with a more chocolate-focused profile than the original, and while I can’t say it’s better than the O.G., I like it, and will definitely buy it again.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – 110 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 35 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 1 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $1.49
Size: 3.02 oz (4 To Go)
Purchased at: Vallero
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Smooth and creamy dark chocolate. Classic Twix taste. Not too sweet. Great shiny purple wrapper.
Cons: Chocolate coating a little thin. Less buttery than the original.

REVIEW: Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino

Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino

I thought it was a late stage April Fool’s Day joke, like the Rainbow Drink or possibly a foreign exclusive since only they get the cool, wacky Starbucks drinks. Take a moment to Google “American Cherry Pie Frappuccino” that is available only in Japan, (sigh) of course.

Once the Unicorn Frappuccino finally became official, though, my mind started racing. Would it be made with the tears of unicorns? Has Starbucks finally figured out how to manufacture eternal euphoria? So many questions, but one thing was clear – I absolutely needed this in my life.

The drink is marketed to play up its mythical nature rather than provide too many specifics on its actual composition. I’m glad they didn’t go low budget, though, when sourcing their rainbows as the in-store menu informed me it’s made with only the finest ones. I’ve had cheap rainbows before and they were not very good (very dull in color and lacking intense flavor).

Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino 2

The drink’s actual contents are a crème Frappuccino with mango syrup, a sour-flavored interior drizzle and sour-dusted whipped cream. I couldn’t taste an iota of mango flavor, but I did get intense vanilla and sour notes. It’s as if little extremities of sour patch kids had invaded my vanilla milkshake.

Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino 3

I do applaud Starbucks for thinking outside the box with its creative claims that it changes color and flavor when you stir, although, execution wise, the color transition was very, very subtle and there didn’t seem to be enough of the blue sauce in my drink for it to completely change flavors.

The nutrition facts are frightening since a Venti supposedly contains 76 grams of sugar and 500 calories, but as only a rare treat, they are somewhat understandable. I was very concerned this meant it would be a sugar bomb that was so overly sweet and heavy it would be rendered nearly undrinkable. However, I was pleasantly surprised that it was instead both creamy and pretty delicious.

Overall, though, while this was a gimmicky drink through and through, Starbucks hit it out of the park on creativity and marketing. Seeing the hysteria ensue makes me wonder if it will be destined for a yearly reemergence. I just hope they push the envelope even further, like with a special iridescent straw that would glisten majestically like a horn, which I WOULD CAMP OUT FOR THE DEBUT OF.

Oh and your move, Starbucks Japan.

(Nutrition Facts – Venti – 500 calories, 18 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 310 milligrams of sodium, 79 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 76 grams of sugar and 7 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $5.45
Size: Venti
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: A domestic Starbucks drink that for once can make international outposts jealous. Not a revolting sugar bomb. Flavor that’s like the offspring of a vanilla milkshake and a sour patch kid. Destined for McRib-like limited edition runs.
Cons: Low budget rainbow sourcing. Nutrition facts that I wish were mythical. No glistening iridescent straw. So-so execution of flavor/color changing nature.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Pretzel Croissant Breakfast Sandwich

Dunkin Donuts Pretzel Croissant Breakfast Sandwich

Is salt a food?

If it wasn’t such a ridiculous answer to a question literally no one is asking me, I might say salt is my favorite food.

I use way too much salt, admittedly. I once ate a plate of pineapple with salt on it. Why? Why not? My calorie counter has stopped using numbers to log my daily sodium intake, opting to just warn me with a skull emoji.

It’s bad. Soft pretzels are ambrosia to me. Your restaurant promoting a new pretzel bun? I’m in. Salted pizza crust? Hit me. Salted anything sweet? Straight cash, homey. I really need to stop eating so much damn salt.

Ahhhhhh, but I’ll cut back tomorrow. Today is Dunkin’ Donuts Pretzel Croissant Breakfast Sandwich Day, and ain’t no death emoji gon’ stop me.

I’m from New Jersey, so there’s no shortage of good places to get a breakfast sandwich. From diners to bagel places boasting recipes that include the fabled New York tap water, I’ve never really had a reason to opt for Dunkin’ Donuts’ savory fare. I’ve dabbled, but never been too impressed. If I’m feeling fast food breakfast, I’d take a McDonald’s or Burger King over Dunkin’s in a heartbeat.

I think I’m about to change my tune.

This new salted pretzel croissant from Dunkin is so good, I feel inclined to pronounce it “Qua-sahn.” I can’t believe how blown away I was by a $3 sandwich from a donut joint.

It had all the elements of a delicious qua-sahn AND a delicious soft pretzel. The exterior was crispy, but still flakey and soft. While it was flakey and soft, it was still structurally fit to hold a sandwich together.

Dunkin Donuts Pretzel Croissant Breakfast Sandwich 2

It had a subtle buttery taste that reminded me of an Auntie Anne’s mall pretzel. As far as the salt goes, I may have gotten a lucky draw. There was a perfect amount of exterior salt crystals, so I didn’t have to do my usual salt bagel routine and scrape some off with a butter knife. The salt crystals did their job giving me my extra salt boost, while also providing a welcome crunch.

I basically went into this knowing I’d love the croissant, but thought I’d hate the contents of the sandwich itself. Dunkin’s bacon always looked flimsy and gross, and that filet of plastic egg they use never seemed all that palatable either, but I’ve been enlightened.

Dunkin Donuts Pretzel Croissant Breakfast Sandwich 3

The sandwich was supposed to come with black forest ham, but I suspect I got bacon. That looks like bacon, no? It tasted like bacon. Either way, the bacon/ham was flavorful and didn’t chew like pure gristle. The egg patty was standard, but had a nice texture to it, and the melted piece of Wisconsin aged white cheddar brought it all together.

Maybe it was just the pretzel qua-sahn high I was on, but the flavors and textures all married to form a nearly perfect breakfast sandwich. If you’re a savory-sweet fanatic, chasing this with a donut might ruin your afternoon, but it’ll probably make for a fantastic morning.

Look folks, I’ve never been to Paris. I’ve probably never had a gourmet qua-sahn in my life, so this review might seem a bit hyperbolic. That being said, I really think it’ll pleasantly surprise you.

I’ve never been a repeat buyer of a Dunkin savory menu item, but I will be now. Not only was this sandwich awesome, they sell the pretzel croissants separately, so you can probably customize them however you please if you ask nicely. Give it a shot.

(Nutrition Facts – 500 calories, 300 calories from fat, 33 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 1 grams of trans fat, 200 milligrams of cholesterol, 1270 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 22 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: N/A
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Crispy, flakey, buttery, salty, delicious. Egg and bacon/ham weren’t gross. Aged cheddar was a great cheese choice. Dunkin coming through in the savory department.
Cons: Was gone in five bites. Probably not the best start to your day. Sodium addiction. Trolling calorie counting apps.

REVIEW: Maltesers

Maltesers

If you live in England or some other countries, you might be asking yourself, “Why is The Impulsive Buy reviewing Maltesers?” Presumably you’re asking yourself this question with an accent that those of us who live in the United States find utterly charming.

Well, my far-off friends, us Americans have just been gifted with the arrival of Maltesers, having had to settle for Whoppers to soothe our chocolate and malt-craving sweet tooth during movie viewings. Unless you’d prefer Raisinets, in which case, go sit in another aisle.

It’s impossible to eat these Maltesers without comparing them to Whoppers, so I just went ahead and did that.

First off, Maltesers, a name that gets weirder every time I type it, are made by the Mars Co. I was surprised to find “Made in Great Britain” on the package. Mars isn’t making them in the US, they’re just importing them here now. Whoppers are produced by Hershey’s, the great rival to Mars.

Maltesers 4

As you can see, Whoppers are smaller and have a matte finish, while Maltesers are quite a bit larger and have a shiny, waxy finish to them.

Maltesers 5

While Maltesers are bigger on the outside, they are decidedly less dense than Whoppers on the inside. Having been a Whopper consumer all my life, eating a mouthful for the purposes of comparison was a familiar sensation – weak chocolate flavor and a texture that briefly feels like it’s going to break your teeth before the inside breaks apart, gumming up but giving you that strong malt flavor.

Maltesers 3

Despite both being chocolate-covered malted milk treats, Maltesers are basically the opposite. I popped a few in my mouth and there was little resistance when I chomped down – these candies are just as light and airy as they look. And, like their texture, the malt flavor is also light and airy.

The inside dissolves quickly, leaving you with more of a chocolate taste than anything. But, because this is chocolate made in Great Britain, the quality of it is much higher than that of Whoppers.

So, now you’ve got two malted milk chocolate candy options. Which one you choose is really up to you. I loved the light inner texture of Maltesers and the quality of the chocolate, but they were pretty light on the malt flavor, due to the filling dissolving so quickly. But it’s that airiness that makes them so poppable.

Maltesers 2

When it comes down to it, Maltesers is simply a higher-quality product than Whoppers. It’s got good chocolate and a great texture, although it is light on the malt flavor. But, despite the name, the package doesn’t really play up the maltiness of the candy – it calls them “chocolatey candies” and their trademark is “playful crunch, chocolately delight.” So if that was the goal, Maltesers has delivered hands-down. I blew threw this single-serve bag in an alarmingly short amount of time. They’re dangerously good.

I’ll leave you with a fun fact from Wikipedia: “In the 1930s, advertisements claimed that the Maltesers honeycomb centre is seven times less fattening than ordinary chocolate centres; this led marketers to claim it was beneficial for weight loss.”

Cocaine used to be advertised for weight loss, too! I’d argue it had better results, though. (Just kidding, kids – don’t do drugs!)

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pack – 190 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 0 gram of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, 8% calcium, 4% iron..)

Purchased Price: $1.49
Size: 1.30 oz. package
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Excellent chocolate quality. Light and airy filling. Doesn’t gum up in your mouth. Cocaine (Just kidding, again!)
Cons: Lacking the malted milk flavor of Whoppers. Silly 1930s weight loss campaigns. I’m no longer sure I’m spelling Maltesers right anymore.

REVIEW: Butterfinger Peanut Butter Crisp Bar

Nestle Butterfinger Peanut Butter Crisp Bar

If Bart Simpson were still slanging Butterfingers today, he’d most definitely say, “Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger…Peanut Butter Crisp Bar!”

C’mon, you didn’t expect a Butterfinger review without a mention of Bart Simpson, right?!

But Nestle has moved on from Bart Simpson to Backstreet Boys covers with the Peanut Butter Crisp Bar.

Speaking of throwbacks like BSB, the latest version of this Butterfinger innovation is apparently a relaunch with “even more dose of Butterfinger” – whatever that means. However, they’ve added crunchy toffee pieces with the wafer layers and Butterfinger crème.

I think it’s interesting they’re now highlighting peanut butter on-pack because all Butterfingers have peanut butter in the first place. They now also tout that there are no artificial flavors or colors and that added colors are from natural sources. Well then, I don’t want to know what was in my Crisp Bar back in the day.

Nestle Butterfinger Peanut Butter Crisp Bar 2

I bought the Fun Size pack because I was greedy and raiding the Easter chocolate section. I also thought Fun Size would be a good way to portion control. But, I ate three Fun Size Crisp Bars in record time, so I really should have just purchased one 2-ounce package because it comes with three pieces anyway. Ugh.

Nestle Butterfinger Peanut Butter Crisp Bar 4

Visually, my borderline-OCD-self appreciated the perfect machine-laid layers of the wafer and crème. You can see the toffee only sits on the top, so as expected, it doesn’t really translate like it does when eating a non-Crisp Bar. Overall, there’s less crunchety (aka no toffee bits stuck in your teeth) than a regular Butterfinger but there’s still a satisfying crispiness as you can hear loud and clear in the BSB cover video.

Nestle Butterfinger Peanut Butter Crisp Bar 3

It tastes really similar to the Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups – maintaining that trademark Butterfinger taste but with a smoother finish. The last flavor is the creamy, sweet chocolate coating. But I think it’s less sweet because of the wafer addition and the lack of crystalized toffee sugar-bomb bits. I personally don’t like my chocolate leaving a sickly sweet back-of-throat aftertaste, so I was totally into the chocolate on the bar!

I didn’t expect to, but I really enjoyed these. I even thought to myself – if I was a kid at trick-or-treating age, I’d love to have a jack-o-lantern full of these. Wrong time of year, I know, but that’s how much I enjoyed them.

My only request though: I’d love for Nestle to make a 2 lb Butterfinger Peanut Butter Crisp Bar so I can indulge in my sweet-tooth-Butterfinger dreams. Who’s with me?!

(Nutrition Facts – 2 bars – 200 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 17 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.00
Size: 11 oz. Fun Size bag
Purchased at: Kroger
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Perfect machine-laid layers of wafer and Butterfinger crème. Less crunchety but still satisfying. Less sweet than regular Butterfingers.
Cons: Where’s Bart Simpson at? Toffee doesn’t really translate.