REVIEW: Exclusive Villains Edition Frosted Chocolate Sugar Cookie Printed Fun Pop-Tarts

Exclusive Villains Edition Frosted Chocolate Sugar Cookie Printed Fun Pop-Tarts

If you ever wondered whether or not this is the greatest time to be alive in human history, chew on this: each and every one of us can now waltz on into the local Walmart and buy The Joker, Lex Luthor and a whole host of other fictitious mass murderers and megalomaniacs in breakfast pastry form.

Capitalizing on the success of last year’s D.C. Superhero Printed Fun Pop-Tarts, these Wally World exclusives give us the downright surreal pleasure – no, the absolute privilege – of being able to eat such obscure comic book bad guys as Cheetah and Captain Cold for breakfast. And when I mean “obscure,” I’m talking super-duper-mega-hyper-obscure: if you would’ve told me this time last year Kellogg’s would be putting Atrocitus on its flagship toaster pastries, I probably would’ve tried to get you committed.

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Serving as the breakfast equivalent of trading cards, each of the 16-pack boxes (there are two in each metallic sleeve, as always) contain a random grab-bag of iconic and not so iconic rogues, including but not limited to Sinestro, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy and Catwoman.

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By and large, the “Tartwork” varies in quality – some Tarts look pretty smooth and colorful while others look blurred to the point of being Rorschach tests. I’m not sure how many different characters got the Pop-Tart treatment, but if anybody out there finds a Gorilla Grod, please email me ASAP.

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As for the flavor, we’re working with something Kellogg’s calls “frosted chocolate sugar cookie.” That may sound a little vanilla, but as soon as these things touch your taste buds, you’ll probably start doing backflips. Folks, these are basically OREOS-flavored Pop-Tarts, right down to the taste, texture, aroma and even mouthfeel of the interior creme. Really, it does a better job of aping Nabisco’s beloved twist-top sandwiches than even the Cookies & Creme Pop-Tarts, and those things were still pretty spot-on.

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These Tarts are good fresh out of the box, but if you really want to get your $4 worth, you have to eat them heated. The interior creme practically liquefies in the shell, and this is without question one of the best tasting fillings Pop-Tarts has ever trotted out.

I’ve got to give Kellogg’s major props here. With the D.C. character angle, it would’ve been so easy to just churn out a bland product, but they actually went the extra mile and made sure the food itself was grade A stuff.

Fast food/junk food marketers, take note: THIS is how you do a “tie-in” gimmick right.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 190 calories, 40 grams from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 14 grams of sugar and 2 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $3.68
Size: 28.2 oz. box/16 pastries
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: The Oreos-esque flavor remains excellent, cold or heated. the interior creme is absolutely delicious. The sheer awesomeness of being able to snap Bane in half and eat him for breakfast.
Cons: Having to buy five or six boxes until you find a mint condition Solomon Grundy. Getting two Harley Quinns when you’d settle for just one Killer Croc. The way your girlfriend looks at you when you tell your toaster to “kneel before Zod.”

REVIEW: Limited Edition Dunkin’ Donuts Frosted Chocolate Mocha Pop-Tarts

Limited Edition Dunkin' Donuts Frosted Chocolate Mocha Pop-Tarts

Pop-Tarts were never my first choice of breakfast pastry as a kid. Toaster Strudel always seemed more exciting to me, with the interactive DIY frosting packet and an ochre canvas to create masterpieces such as improved superhero emblems and schematics for a homework-completing robot. Toaster Strudel also seemed fancier thanks to an effective marketing campaign that trash talked Pop-Tarts more than a Ronda Rousey opponent.

Pop-Tarts, challenging the notion of Toaster Streudel being more “upper crust,” has introduced two coffee-inspired flavors.

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The Chocolate Mocha packaging created immediate skepticism, as the tie-in with Dunkin’ Donuts did not scream sophisticated. Furthermore, the Pop-Tarts Arts Peeps were not worthy of my failed palindrome attempt, as they appear to have re-purposed rejected images from their A&W Root Beer Float flavor.

The packaging lead to a revelation: Rather than using the toaster, the microwave directions called for just three seconds on high. Three seconds for fully cooked food? Is this the Tang of the 21st century? Call Elon Musk and tell him that, while his efforts were greatly appreciated, we have no reason to venture to Mars anymore.

Before you go selling your Tesla stock, however, please know that it took much longer before the pastry was actually warm. Although they largely tasted the same from the microwave and from my brand-new Toastation (thanks Staci Claus!), the toasted version seemed crispier on the less desirable outer crust, and should still be the preferred version for anyone living on this side of the asteroid belt.

The light brown pastry exterior does not impart as much chocolate as other choco-heavy varieties of Pop-Tarts, but the subtle cocoa flavor is far more effective than the silent B in “subtle.” I didn’t wince when biting into the center from the “sweetsplosion” that is typical with Pop-Tarts. The flavor of the filling isn’t muted like in the pastry crust, but rather more complex, featuring the bitter coffee notes. It was the most balanced Pop-Tart I can remember and tasted great.

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I purchased the drink that inspired the product to enjoy alongside it. As a guy who aspires to someday film a “most expensive Starbucks drink ever” video for YouTube, I had to restrain myself in ordering a simple Dunkin’ Donuts mocha, but it was worth it. The similarities between the products were very evident, with complimentary chocolate and coffee flavors moving in unison like a Tour de France team.

I was impressed with the effort as something different from the standard Pop-Tart fare. Despite the reduced sweetness, my kids also scarfed these down happily. I guess their plans for soda-spewing garden sprinklers and dragon winged bunnies will have to be drawn in notebooks moving forward.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 190 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.00
Size:
Purchased at: Food Lion
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Believable mocha flavor. Less sweet than most Pop-Tarts. The Flash’s timeless logo. Enjoyable with real coffee. Drinking Starbucks out of a vase for internet glory.
Cons: Strange packaging choices. Silent consonants. May not be chocolate enough for chocolate Pop-Tart lovers. Like everything else about him, Aquaman’s logo is a letdown.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Dunkin’ Donuts Frosted Vanilla Latte Pop-Tarts

Limited Edition Dunkin' Donuts Frosted Vanilla Latte Pop-Tarts

Ugh. Coffee. Know what I hate about coffee?

  1. The taste. Gross.
  2. Endless choruses of “I can’t function until I’ve had my kawfeee.”
  3. Griping of coworkers choking on the terrible brew they insisted I make as an intern, despite my warnings that I was bad at it.
  4. This:

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So why am I reviewing COFFEE Pop-Tarts? Because, as a woman of many contradictions, I love java-flavored foods. Jelly beans, ice cream, potato chips – I’ll eat ‘em. Kahlua? Yessir! When the short-term marriage of Pop-Tarts and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee was announced, I was ready. I particularly coveted the Frosted Vanilla Latte flavor – I imagined it would be like eating a non-alcoholic White Russian.

But for the sake of scientific review, I had to compare them to the genuine article. So I popped next door to the Dunkin’ where they give me extra Munchkins if I go in 10 minutes before closing, got a small Vanilla Latte and hunkered down with it and my Box O’ Joe Tarts.

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I took deep breaths of each. The same lovely coffee and vanilla aroma was present in both, but the Pop Tarts had an additional, nutty/wheaty scent, which I assumed was the pastry.

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The appearance wasn’t exactly exciting. They looked pale – not like the rich tones Pop-Tarts usually come in. The pastry, frosting and filling were all a washed-out monochromatic tan with a white squiggle blended in on top. It reminded me of squirting SPF50 on my embarrassingly colorless skin during a tropical vacation.

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On first bite, I loved the taste. As I suspected, this was a Pop-Tart White Russian. (I know there’s a Big Lebowski joke to be made here, but I’ve never seen it, so…) They were coffee-ish, milky and sweeeeeet – exactly what I hoped for.

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Next, I downed a mouthful of the DD Vanilla Latte, which confirmed my hatred of coffee. The Pop-Tarts don’t have the bitter punch of the latte. I appreciated that, but if you’re looking for that edge, it’s not there. That could be due to the lack of actual coffee product in the ingredients list. I guess “natural and artificial flavors” don’t impart quite the same zip.

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Overall, I really enjoyed these Pop-Tarts, but I’m cool with a less-than-authentic flavor. If you’re not, you might want to dunk them in the real McCoy.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 50 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.00 (on sale)
Size: 14.1 oz. box/8 pastries
Purchased at: Food Lion
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: It’s a White Russian Pop-Tart! Spot-on coffee aroma. Delicious, sugary approximation of taste.
Cons: Won’t get you drunk like a real White Russian. Ghostly appearance. If you want authentic coffee flavor, look elsewhere.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Frosted Caramel Apple Pop-Tarts

Limited Edition Frosted Caramel Apple Pop-Tarts

Anyone else feel like their teeth are going to fall out when they eat a caramel apple?

The hardened caramel should seriously be considered on the list of dental no-no’s right up there next to chewing ice (I’m guilty). So, for the most part, I avoid caramel apples. But, Frosted Caramel Apple Pop-Tarts bring all the joy of Caramel Apples but in toaster pastry form.

Sort of.

Out of the trusty shiny packaging, a corner of the pale toaster pastry tumbled out typical Pop-Tart crumbliness. No immediate artificial/pungent odor tumbled out with the crumble though, which is always a good sign! I took a closer nose-pection of the goods. It smelled just like Tootsie’s Caramel Apple Pops.

Luckily, I have a pretty positive association with Apple Pops but it’s a little odd that a toast pastry smells like a candy. The Pop-Tart itself looks like a regular Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tart but with a neon green squiggle down the middle and neon is never a good color for food.

For a Pop-Tart, the flavor progression is surprisingly complex. The first bite was all apple flavoring. Think Hostess Apple Fruit Pie but with a better crust to filling ratio (aka the filling isn’t gooping everywhere). The apple flavoring was followed by a warm maple, caramel sweetness. This pushed it over the edge of sweetness for me, but right at that point a sour apple tartness emerged.

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After the first couple of bites, I looked more closely at the filling. It looked like half & half filling with a darker half and a lighter half so I tried each half as separately as I could. The lighter half was the apple part of the filling and tasted pretty standard. The darker half contributed the warmer maple, caramel flavor as well as the tartness. Kellogg’s R&D definitely tried to go above and beyond for this one.

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Somewhat dissatisfied, I put these babies in the toaster oven for a quick toast. After warming it up, I found it odd that the edges weren’t a more golden brown color like other warmed pop-tarts. Typically, Pop-Tarts taste best warm, but not this flavor. While the apple, maple and tartness meshed a little better together, the sour apple after-taste became even more prominent and made it taste even more like the lollipop candy.

These should be renamed Caramel Apple Pops Pop-Tarts. I wouldn’t be disappointed if Kellogg’s did not bring this Limited Edition flavor back. Long live Pumpkin!

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 180 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 12 pastries/box
Purchased at: Kroger
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: R&D put in work – tried to replicate a Caramel Apple as closely as possible.
Cons: Tastes just like Caramel Apple Tootsie Pops. Too sweet. Why doesn’t it toast?!

QUICK REVIEW: Kellogg’s Frosted Crush Orange Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Frosted Crush Orange Pop-Tarts

Kellogg’s Frosted Crush Orange Pop-Tarts taste better than actual Crush Orange soda. There, I said it. Send your assassins after me, Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc.

In order to make that comparison, I had to buy a Crush Orange soda, which, like rock climbing and doing the Dab, is something I’ve never done before. Oh, I’ve consumed several bottles and cans over the years when it was the only choice in the cooler towards the end of a cookout. But I’ve never spent a dime on one until now.

Crush Orange tastes like generic orange tablet candy. Yes, those probably aren’t the most flattering words to describe it. I’m mean, it’s a serviceable beverage and I won’t hesitate to drink one if the only other options are bottled water and that swill known as Mist Twst.

These Pop-Tarts also have a generic orange candy flavor. But it doesn’t taste like the tablet candy you get from the junk trick-or-treat houses in your neighborhood. The filling also has a mild sourness that complements the sweet citrus flavor. Sadly, there isn’t any fruit in the filling. Instead, the flavor and sourness appears to come from orange oil and malic acid. Mmm, malic acid.

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I was worried about having hot soda flavor in my mouth due to my less than positive experience with hot Dr Pepper as a teenager, but these Pop-Tarts were great toasted, chilled, or straight out of the foil wrapper. Also, the crust and frosting didn’t dampen the filling’s flavor, which is what I experienced with the Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts.

Overall, I enjoyed Frosted Crush Orange Pop-Tarts. They have a nice sweet and tart flavor, the orange and white icing remind me of BB-8, and they, along with the root beer ones, make me look forward to other soda-inspired flavors. Maybe Dr Pepper and/or 7Up Pop-Tarts?

Disclosure: I received a free sample of these Pop-Tarts from Kellogg’s. Receiving the sample did not influence the review.

Purchased Price: FREE from Pop-Tarts
Size: 8-pack
Purchased at: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 pastry) 200 calories 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts

I really expected to love these Kellogg’s Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts, write a review that just said “G.O.A.T.,” drop a mic, light my keyboard on fire, do a touchdown dance, buy a new keyboard to write a Buzzfeed article with the title “Pop-Tarts You Have To Pop Into Your Toaster and Then Pop Into Your Mouth Right Now”, light the new keyboard on fire, flip a baseball bat, salute, and then walk away with two thumbs up raised above my head.

But after trying them at room temperature, toasted, chilled, frozen, and with a goat on a boat, I have to say these new soda-inspired Pop-Tarts aren’t the Greatest of All Time.

But they are good.

I think my expectations were too high (ya think) because of all the great root beer float-flavored snacks that have made their way onto shelves over the past few years. There’s been the Nabisco Ice Cream Creations Root Beer Float Chips Ahoy Cookies (awesome), Betty Crocker’s A&W Root Beer Float Cookie Mix (awesome), and Limited Edition Root Beer Float Oreo Cookies (good).

What I loved about the Chips Ahoy and Betty Crocker cookies was how the root beer flavor stood out. But what prevented the Root Beer Float Oreo Cookies from reaching the pantheon the other cookies did was how the Golden Oreo wafers muted the creme’s flavor. Unfortunately, that’s similar to what’s going on with these Pop-Tarts.

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I thought not having the “float” part in the toaster pastry would’ve made the root beer flavor stand out even more, but, sadly, the crust and frosting are the pillows that smother the root beer filling’s flavor. The crust, although dark in color which makes it appear it might be flavored, tastes like regular Pop-Tarts crust. The same can be said about frosting’s flavor. As for the brown, red, and orange crunchlets (yes, that’s what they’re officially called), they’re just decoration.

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The filling has the sugar and spices one would taste in A&W Root Beer, and it’s good, but, again, I do wish it was stronger. I thought toasting would help, but it doesn’t. I thought that was strange because with most Pop-Tarts the flavor hits my taste buds harder when toasted.

There’s no optimum way to eat them. I enjoyed them equally at room temperature, toasted, chilled, and frozen. Also, it may have just my imagination but I might’ve felt a little bit of fizzing.

Of all the big root beer brands — Barq’s, Mug, and A&W — A&W is my favorite. I can’t specifically explain why I like it, but drinking unlimited A&W Root Beer from a tap at an A&W Restaurant is one of favorite food-related memories. Tasting these Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts probably won’t break into my list of favorite food memories. They also don’t make me want to walk away with two thumbs up raised above my head. But I’ll give them one thumbs up.

Disclosure: I received this sample for free from the Kellogg Company. Being free didn’t affect this review in any way. If it did, the whole review probably would’ve been just “G.O.A.T.”

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: FREE from Kellogg
Size: 8 pack
Purchased at: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Great idea. One thumbs up. Filling tastes like root beer. Fizzing? Enjoyable at room temperature, toasted, chilled, or frozen.
Cons: Not G.O.A.T. Crust and frosting hinder the root beer flavor. I wish root beer flavor was stronger. No Dr Pepper Pop-Tarts, yet.