As I wiped the sticky syrup from my fingers using the convenient wet towelette included with my meal, I have to admit I cracked a deeply disturbing yet wholly satisfied smile. Chicken and waffles seem like such a decades-old bandwagon to jump on. The fact that KFC was actually able to create a seasonal masterwork like this has to be a minor holiday miracle, right?
Having sampled this famed coupling all the way from small local diners to the grandfather of them all, Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles in L.A., no two recipes are ever the same, with KFC falling completely in line.
Combining two of the Original Recipe varieties of chicken — a drumstick and thigh, if you will — with a very thick and very heavy mini-waffle, KFC has shined its populous light on a rare dining treat that many people are curious about but might not ever a chance to otherwise enjoy.
Of course, we know that KFC’s chicken is usually tops in this mother-clucking business, so we’ll skip all that for now. The real surprise, the real focus here, has got to be the beautifully vanilla-sweet waffle, a delectable pill that tastes more like a pressed piece of sheet-cake than the archetypical breakfast side. All that’s missing is a heavy dollop of whipped cream.
After tearing open my single-serve cup of Mrs. Butterworth’s, I coated back and forth the good-looking eats laid out before me. The runny guzzle of the much-loved pancake topping puddled at the bottom of the black container, letting the chicken and waffles soak in its sugars for a few mouth-teasing minutes.
The thick syrup made the dense waffle into something like a dunked doughnut, soft but sticky and ready to get your fingers dirty. And while that is expected when it comes to waffles, I wasn’t prepared for how the same chemical reaction — both mentally and physically — would work with the Original Recipe chicken. Who could or would have ever guessed just how much the toothsome syrup made a perfect marriage partner with the highly trademarked chicken.
While I ordered the two pieces with one waffle, there was a part of me that wished I had also ordered the delectable looking Hot Honey Chicken Tender Sandwich that uses the brave little waffles as a top and bottom. To Hell with you, Double Down! Leaving the KFC, maybe next time I thought, maybe next time. Cómpralo ya!
Purchased Price: $5.49 Size: 2 pieces with 1 waffle Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: Unavailable at time of publication.
Expanding upon its foray into the pint-size game, Magnum has released three new flavors of its ultra-indulgent ice cream just in time to comfort the lonely souls stuck at home watching Hallmark Christmas specials all by themselves.
Each pint features velvety ice cream intermingled with crackable cocoa shards and topped with a solid disk of Magnum’s signature rich chocolate. Because, you know, why choose between ice cream and a chocolate bar when you can have both?
Magnum Milk Chocolate Almond Tub
Featuring vanilla ice cream studded with chopped almonds, chocolate shards, and additional almonds sprinkled on a milk chocolate top, this is probably the tamest flavor of the bunch.
It’s not a whole lot different from Magnum’s Milk Chocolate Vanilla pint from the original line-up. Neither the ice cream, nor the chocolate has any flavor variance, and the only thing that separates this flavor from its predecessor is the texture given by the chopped almonds.
Even so, this is plenty enjoyable as it is. The luscious vanilla base is tasty enough to stand by itself but is also mild enough to allow the almond’s flavor to come though layers of ice cream and chocolate.
While not being pretty, the almond-studded milk chocolate disk on top helped to drive home the idea behind this flavor, making it slightly reminiscent of the Hershey’s Almond bars I remember eating as a kid.
Purchased Price: $4.29 Size: 14.8 fl. oz. Purchased at: Target Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 390 calories, 25 grams of total fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 33 grams of total sugars, 26 grams of added sugars, and 6 grams of protein.
Magnum Dark Chocolate Mint Tub
Dark chocolate and mint are two flavors I’ve found an increasing appreciation for as an adult. Even so, it’s surprising this turned out to be my favorite of Magnum’s newest offerings.
The slight bitterness bought by ample amounts of dark chocolate helped keep this pint from seeming as sweet as it would have been had Magnum utilized the same milk chocolate featured in the other two flavors. The bright peppermint base complimented the dark chocolate’s richness exceptionally well, making it easy to finish in a sitting without feeling too heavy.
Honestly, eating this straight from the freezer reminds me of eating a frozen York Peppermint Patty, although the outer shell is notably thicker here. Even so, this is one of the best chocolate mint ice creams I’ve ever had, and it’s going to be a go-to when I’m craving chocolate, mint, and ice cream all at once.
Purchased Price: $4.29 Size: 14.8 fl. oz. Purchased at: Target Rating: 9 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 350 calories, 22 grams of total fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 34 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 29 grams of total sugars, 24 grams of added sugars, and 4 grams of protein.
Magnum Milk Chocolate Mocha Tub
In contrast to how Dark Chocolate Mint utilized shards of dark chocolate to balance against a sweet peppermint base, this pint decided to tackle that issue from the other direction by making use of coffee extract to bring bittersweet notes to the ice cream itself.
Even though I’m generally a fan of coffee-infused anything, I didn’t like this pint quite as much as I’d hoped. While the ice cream is undoubtedly delicious, I found that the coffee extract covered up the milk chocolate’s flavor, and I only noticed its presence when I chomped down on a larger-than-average chunk.
Also, since the coffee and chocolate aspects of the ice cream aren’t seamlessly mixed, I don’t think that its fair of Magnum to call this flavor “Mocha.” Instead, calling it “Milk Chocolate Coffee,” or something similar, would more accurately describe how it actually tastes.
Purchased Price: $4.29 Size: 14.8 fl. ox. Purchased at: Target Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 350 calories, 23 grams of total fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 25 grams of total sugars, 21 grams of added sugars, and 5 grams of protein.
To make sure that the chocolate shards crack properly, Magnum recommends that you let all three of these sit on your counter for at least ten minutes before you squeeze them. So, plan your snack ahead of time. Or you can take the impatient route as I did by microwaving them in ten-second bursts.
Even after letting mine soften, I still couldn’t get any of the chocolate disks on top to crack when I squeezed the containers. Eventually, I found that I had to grab a heavy duty spoon and really dig in there to break past the chocolate monoliths on top and get into the silky ice cream underneath.
Ben & Jerry’s added four new flavors to its Moo-phoria Light Ice Cream line, just in time for the cooler days and nights of fall and winter: P.B. Marshmallow Swirl, Mocha Fudge Brownie, Cherry Garcia with a Twist, and Chocolate Cookie EnlightenMint.
Ben & Jerry’s Moo-phoria P.B. Marshmallow Swirl
Remember Ben & Jerry’s Clusterfluff? Oh, wait a minute. That’s right. It got renamed to What A Cluster after some folks had a fluffin’ hissy fit over its name. So if you still have a pint, it’s sort of like the 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken error card of the ice cream world.
For those of you who don’t remember the flavor that had two names, it was kind of a frozen homage to the Fluffernutter — the peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich. Although, the ice cream had caramel cluster pieces.
Ben & Jerry’s Moo-phoria P.B. Marshmallow Swirl also seems to honor the sweet sandwich. It features peanut butter ice cream, marshmallow swirls, and peanut butter cookie pieces. Well, actually, peanut butter cookie balls. Oh, wait. Some folks might get a hissy fit over my use of “balls.” So, um, peanut butter cookie spheres.
The ice cream base has a mild peanut butter flavor that gets enhanced with the cookie spheres. And there are A LOT of those spheres. It’s like the orbit of Jupiter in the container. Their texture is like Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough than actual cookies which is understandable since they’re sitting in ice cream, but I wish they had more of a crunch.
The marshmallow swirl, which I have an unhealthy relationship with that I’ve documented on this site, enhances the sweetness of the peanut butter. The swirl’s flavor seems to be less noticeable than other varieties I’ve had with it. There’s less of a vanilla-like flavor and more of a general sweetness. But the group of ingredients creates a nice tasty combo that might also be good between two white bread slices.
Purchased Price: $6.19 Size: 1 pint Purchased at: Target Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1/2 cup) 160 calories, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.
Ben & Jerry’s Moo-phoria Mocha Fudge Brownie
I’m a bit of a coffee ice cream snob who prefers the coffee used in ice cream is fair trade, organic, comes from a country with a name I can’t pronounce (or find on a map), and, preferably, is hand-picked from of the dung of local monkeys that eat the coffee beans. I’m 90-95 percent sure the coffee used in Ben & Jerry’s Moo-phoria Mocha Fudge Brownie is none of those things.
But, the tasty combination of cold brew mocha ice cream with fudge brownies and toasted marshmallow swirls makes me not care the coffee used to make it isn’t hand-pulled from exotic animal droppings.
The cold brew mocha base, which is new to me, tastes more like coffee than your typical coffee ice cream. Its flavor reminds me of the Dunkin’ Coffee Thins I had recently. The toasted marshmallow swirl helps sweeten everything and cut through the coffee flavor. Think of it as the coffee creamer in the pint that lessens the coffee punch. I thought the brownies would boost the chocolate flavor in the mocha ice cream, but they didn’t. Their chocolatey-ness was kind of a letdown.
There are some odd textures in the pint. First, there’s a grittiness that makes it feel as if there’s ground coffee mixed in with the ice cream base. At first, I thought it part of the brownies, but after getting to a brownie, I realized the textures of the two didn’t match. The brownies were gummy. That makes them easier to scoop, but I kind of want a more solid mix-in to create a contrasting texture.
Despite the issues, I enjoyed Ben & Jerry’s Moo-phoria Mocha Fudge Brownie. I think what helps is that the cold brew mocha coffee base has such a strong flavor that it makes the whole pint not taste like a light ice cream.
Purchased Price: $5.99 Size: 1 pint Purchased at: Target Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1/2 cup) 150 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.
Ben & Jerry’s Moo-phoria Cherry Garcia with a Twist
SPOILER ALERT: The twist in Ben & Jerry’s Moo-phoria Cherry Garcia with a Twist isn’t an M. Night Shyamalan or Luke Skywalker learning Darth Vader is his father-level surprise.
What’s unique about this light ice cream is that it has both cherry AND chocolate flavored light ice creams with the cherries and fudge flakes. So it’s like a combination of the original Cherry Garcia and the Flavor Graveyard-resting Chocolate Cherry Garcia, but in a light ice cream formulation.
I didn’t get a chance to try the latter, which involved swapping the cherry ice cream in the original with chocolate. But if you’re hoping to get a little bit of that with this Moo-phoria flavor, you’re better off digging it out of the Flavor Graveyard instead of trying to dig it out of this pint.
The chocolate base has, as expected because it’s light ice cream, a less potent flavor than Ben & Jerry’s standard version. And because of that, the cherry, which is lighter in flavor than what’s in the original, but stronger than the chocolate base in the pint, makes this taste like original Cherry Garcia almost any way I spoon it.
The only noticeable chocolate flavor I get is from the fudge flakes, which are in the original. I don’t know if the cherries and fudge flakes are lighter versions of what’s in a full calorie Cherry Garcia pint, but they don’t taste like they are.
If you’re a fan of Cherry Garcia, you’re going to enjoy this flavor. Yes, it does taste like a lighter version of the classic pint. But if Cherry Garcia FroYo isn’t doing it for you as a lighter version, then this might be a better scoop. So, in the end, maybe the twist is that Ben & Jerry’s Moo-phoria Cherry Garcia with a Twist doesn’t have a twist.
Purchased Price: $5.99 Size: 1 pint Purchased at: Target Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1/2 cup) 140 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber 17 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.
Ben & Jerry’s Moo-phoria Chocolate Cookie EnlightenMint
Ben & Jerry’s Moo-phoria Chocolate Cookie EnlightenMint is the third flavor the ice cream brand has shoehorned the word “mint” into. It follows EmpowerMint and Minter Wonderland. But, unlike those two, this is a light ice cream. It features a mint-flavored base with fudge truffles and chocolate cookies.
I’m reviewing this one last because, after comparing all four flavor, the base with this one seems lighter than the others. I’m not expecting to get a cool MINTerfresh clean feeling as I would after brushing my teeth, but I wanted more of a minty punch. The chocolatey mix-ins with the ice cream make it taste as if it should’ve been named Chocolate Cookie EnlighThinMint, but it’s not as addictive as the Girl Scout cookie.
While I could count the number of chocolate cookie mix-ins with my fingers and toes, all I needed were my nipples to count the number of truffles. There was a giant truffle in the middle of the pint, one at the bottom, and that’s it — a total disappointMINT.
Although, the giant one may have been two truffles stuck together. But, even if counted that as two, I could still count the number of them with my nipples. More of the mix-in would’ve helped the pint. Their flavor reminded me of Whoppers, and they added a somewhat crunchy texture that counters the creamy base and soft cookie spheres. Of course, your pint may have much more of them.
Of the four new Moo-phoria flavors, Chocolate Cookie EnlightenMint is my least favorite. It’s adequate. Or, if I wanted to shoehorn the word “mint,” it’s adequMINT.
Purchased Price: $4.39 Size: 1 pint Purchased at: Target Rating: 5 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1/2 cup) 160 calories, 7 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber 15 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.
The original batch of Moo-phoria flavors didn’t wow me, but I found myself liking this bunch. Well, most of them. I think the telltale sign that I enjoyed these more is that I wanted to eat more of the pint, which I didn’t feel with the others.
DISCLOSURE: I received coupons from Ben & Jerry’s to try these, but I picked up the pints before the coupons arrived in the mail. To be honest, I probably don’t need to disclose this, but what’s a few more words in an almost 1,500 word review.
Since real kisses are so hard to come by these days, I figured I’d continue my hot cocoa kick with Hot Cocoa Hershey’s Kisses that feature milk chocolate with marshmallow creme.
How is it?
I’m gonna start with a bit of a prediction – I think most people will enjoy these more than I do. That being said, I do like them. I just thought I’d love them.
The Kiss casing is standard Hershey’s fare – or “fair” depending on your thoughts of Hershey’s chocolate.
The marshmallow crème center is the star of the show, but like Hot Cocoa M&M’s, it doesn’t necessarily scream “marshmallow!”
The first taste of marshmallow that hits reminded me of a standard cereal marbit, but that quickly got lost in the chocolate.
I kept being reminded of a “brownie batter” flavor as I was eating them, but I’m confused as to why a regular Kiss and marshmallow flavored crème would give me that impression. Nevertheless, that’s what I kept tasting.
Is there anything else I need to know?
I dug the texture of these Kisses.
The crème is softer than usual and quickly melts in your mouth, almost giving you a hot cocoa marshmallow sensation. I’d say the texture is somewhere between the outer chocolate, and the type of marshmallow you’d get in a Russell Stover chocolate marshmallow Santa.
I still couldn’t get past that brownie batter taste. To borrow a poker term, these were a “little too rich for my blood.” I let three melt in my mouth and wanted to chug a bottle of water.
Like I said, you’re gonna like these more than I did. Still, the center and the texture make Hot Cocoa Hershey’s Kisses worth picking up.
Actually, as I was eating these, I kept thinking of one thing – Hershey’s Hugs. These were kinda like inferior Hugs. Do Hugs still exist? I miss Hugs – both the candy and the warm embrace.
I’m very lonely.
Purchased Price: $3.33 Size: 10 oz. package Purchased at: Target Rating: 5 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (7 Kisses) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.
Unlike the Hot Chocolate flavor from a few years ago made with dark chocolate, Hot Cocoa M&M’s are standard milk chocolate with a white chocolate marshmallow center.
How are they?
Have you ever had a regular M&M? How ’bout a White Chocolate M&M? Well, imagine tossing one of each in your mouth at the same time. There ya go. That’s a Hot Cocoa M&M.
Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. These are still decent, but they’re also very reminiscent of flavors you’ve probably already had.
The idea of a marshmallow-flavored center got me pumped, but it just tasted like white chocolate. Whatever. I like white chocolate. I guess you could convince me it tasted like the fake marshmallow crème you’d get in a s’mores-flavored sandwich cookie, but barely.
I guess I should have tempered my excitement, because about 75 percent of the marshmallow experience is the texture, and you’re obviously not getting a gooey, stretchy marshmallow in the middle of M&M’s.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Hot cocoa is the type of treat that’s very reliant on factors you can’t mimic in a piece of candy. There’s a (sometimes horrible) experience when it comes to drinking a piping hot mug of hot cocoa, and these M&M’s don’t really conjure that.
The center was still satisfying and I’ll eat the entire bag, but Hot Cocoa M&M’s were a bit of a miss for me. I was hoping they’d be more of a Swiss Miss.
Yeah, that was corny, but I stand by it. If you pick these up, go in expecting a milk chocolate/white chocolate hybrid and enjoy.
As always, I appreciate M&M’s living up to their name, and releasing “More & More” flavors to the public. That’s what “M&M” stands for by the way.
Don’t fact check that.
Purchased Price: $3.19 Size: 8 oz. bag Purchased at: Target Rating: 6 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1 oz.) 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.