REVIEW: Nabisco Red Velvet Chips Ahoy Cookies

Nabisco Red Velvet Chips Ahoy Cookies

Wouldn’t life be more fun if humans were stuffed with sugary white crème?

Doctors would use frosting bags instead of syringes. Getting a paper cut could help you ice that last cupcake. Donating blood would be as easy as pushing down on your nose like a whipped cream nozzle. What a good ol’ gooey world it would be.

Hey, I see you groaning out there. Why don’t you try writing an entertaining introduction to yet another processed snack cookie?

Today’s Instagram-able and instantly grab-able treat is Red Velvet Chips Ahoy!, a new flavor from Nabisco’s cookie brand that loves pissing off autocorrect by requiring exclamation points in the middle of sentences.

Look Chips Ahoy!, just because you’ll never live up to big brother Oreo’s legacy doesn’t mean you have to take it out on us.

Speaking of brothers, Red Velvet Chips Ahoy! debuted alongside S’mores Chips Ahoy!. But while S’mores is the extroverted cookie that goes to bonfires, Red Velvet is the basement-dwelling “womanizer” who tries to act classy while lamenting to his body pillow.

Nabisco Red Velvet Chips Ahoy Cookies 2

Like any such basement “gentleman,” these cookies are super oily, more than a little buttery, and have a belly full of cream cheese. Slick and crumbly to the touch, my moist cookie practically melted under the weight of my gaze, let alone my teeth.

With one cookie down, I can already say these taste a lot like real red velvet cake. Well, maybe not “As Seen And Drooled Over on the Food Network” real, but definitely “As Purchased from the Walmart Bakery” real red velvet cake.

The maroon dough has a great fluffy, sweetened cocoa base inside of its squishy exterior, and there are persistent pulses of browned butter throughout.

Nabisco Red Velvet Chips Ahoy Cookies 3

I’m not sure if the cream cheese chips and crème core are supposed to taste the same, but as I crammed entire cookies into my mouth like they were plastic pizza disks into that retro Ninja Turtles toy we all owned, they certainly had the same flavor. The crème and chips are quite buttery, creamy, and buttercream frosting-y, with a slightly off-putting — but no less authentic — granulated texture.

As for red velvet cake’s signature, slightly sour tang, it can be tasted in these Red Velvet Chips Ahoy! cookies, but not if you nibble on ‘em slowly. To get “astronaut beverage” levels of biting tang, you have to cram entire cookies into your mouth like they’re obscure Ninja Turtles metaphors crammed into my reviews.

Red Velvet Chips Ahoy! cookies really do taste like 1-2 bite sized versions of grocery store red velvet cakes —- the kind you buy on clearance because they already have “Happy 74th Birthday Clarence” sloppily iced onto them. Though these cookies have a more tactile cookie “crust” than a real cake, they share all the buttery ups and gritty downs of the real thing.

They even have the faint chemical aftertaste from the food dye. While this artificialness may be off-putting to some, I’ve tasted eau de Red 40 in so many red velvet cakes that it’s become a welcome part of the red velvet experience.

Nabisco Red Velvet Chips Ahoy Cookies 4

These pleasant, yet shamelessly processed cookies would nonetheless work as a welcome snack at a summer picnic or a dessert pizza at an action figure birthday party.

And if that last picture didn’t clue you in:, let me tell you: I am not a S’mores Chips Ahoy! in real life.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 140 calories, 60 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 65 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein..)

Purchased Price: $2.59
Size: 9.6 oz
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Grocery store-grade red velvet authenticity. Moist and spongy cookie “crust.” The underrated joy of buttery saturated fat. Lifesaving cookie crème transfusions.
Cons: Mostly unwanted dye aftertaste. The necessary evil of gritty cream. Secretly being a basement-loving cookie in real life. Accidentally spilling cookies on my floor while checking nutrition facts.

REVIEW: Burger King Mac n’ Cheetos

Burger King Mac n' Cheetos

The more I look at Burger King’s new Mac n’ Cheetos, the more I want to call them Mac n’ Cheeturds. I assume they’re supposed to look like Cheetos Puffs, but they’re not orange enough or curved enough, which gives me the urge to rename them.

The fast food side appears to be the successor to Doritos Loaded, a fried, triangular cheese-stuffed product that debuted at 7-Eleven locations in 2014 and was available at select Burger King locations last year, which, now looking back, was probably a test to see if Burger King patrons would buy a newfangled mozzarella stick. SPOILER ALERT: It appears they would. I didn’t have the fortitude to try Doritos Loaded after reading a bunch of negative reviews, so I can’t compare it with Mac n’ Cheetos.

The product is basically deep fried mac n’ cheese, a staple at carnivals, state fairs, and the Cheesecake Factory, but with a sprinkling of Cheetos dust in the crispy coating. A serving is five golden orange pieces that come in a Chester Cheetah-less package. I guess the rights to use Chester Cheetah would’ve cost Burger King some money, but it would’ve made the packaging as fun as what the Chicken Fries come in.

Burger King Mac n' Cheetos 2

The golden orange coating has a slight crispiness to it, but Burger King’s Onion Rings have a better crunch. I nibbled on the exterior to taste whatever Cheetos seasoning may be on in it, but my taste buds didn’t register anything that made me think of the crunchy cheese snack. But the crispy coating did remind of another popular cheesy snack — Cheez-Its.

Burger King Mac n' Cheetos 3

As for the interior, it’s a combination of orange cheese goo and tiny macaroni. The macaroni were tender, although they’re small enough that your teeth might not even notice them. The cheese tastes like cheddar and has a consistency that more like toothpaste than ooey-gooey cheese, making it slightly weird. The mac and cheese is adequate, but it too doesn’t have anything that makes me think of Cheetos.

As you can probably tell, I’m not impressed with Burger King’s Mac n’ Cheetos. They somewhat look like Cheetos, but they don’t have that distinguishable Cheetos flavor, not even a hint of it. And what about Cheetos dust on my fingers! They don’t even give me that.

Look, I admire Burger King for their willingness to try something like this. Someone said you can’t be successful without failure. I’m not sure who said that, probably someone who came up with hundreds of failing sayings before coming up with that winner. It’s a great idea and I was excited about them, but the execution was poor. Maybe they do deserve the name Mac n’ Cheeturds?

(Nutrition Facts – Not available on website yet.)

Purchased Price: $3.29*
Size: 5 pieces
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: They kind of look like Cheetos. Adequate. Interesting concept and name. Breading reminds me of Cheez-Its.
Cons: Disappointing they don’t taste at all like Cheetos. Don’t give me Cheetos dust fingers. No Chester Cheetah on the packaging. Cheese doesn’t have an oozy-gooey consistency.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

REVIEW: Nabisco S’mores Chips Ahoy Cookies

Nabisco S'mores Chips Ahoy Cookies

Ahoy-hoy!

It is believed s’mores were invented in 1927. Chips Ahoy (!) first hit shelves in 1963. We had to wait ’til 2016 for the first collaboration. What took so long?

Just in case you live under a rock that rests under a boulder and don’t know what’s in a s’more, please allow Hamilton “The Great Hambino” Porter from The Sandlot to explain the recipe:

“First you take the graham. You stick the chocolate on the graham. Then, you roast the mallow. Once the mallow’s flaming, you stick it on the chocolate. Then, you cover it with the other end.”

Graham. Chocolate. Marshmallow. Simple as the simplest of pies.

So, after 53 years in the making, do S’mores Chips Ahoy stack up to the classic campfire staple? The better question would be, is “s’more” the singular or is it always “s’mores”? Inquiring minds (me) would like to know.

Nabisco S'mores Chips Ahoy Cookies 2

Nabisco claims their new S’mores Chips Ahoy cookies contain choco and marshmallow flavored chips. Despite no hint on the packaging, they seem to have tweaked their classic cookie recipe to make it taste like a graham cracker. I think. I’ll get back to that.

Nabisco S'mores Chips Ahoy Cookies 3

Each cookie has standard chocolate chips and a chocolate center, which instantly put me in mind of the brownie-flavored Chips Ahoy put out recently. From memory, the taste was almost identical.

I tried my best to dissect the cookie and eat a white chip by itself. They’re supposedly “marshmallow flavored” but they just tasted like indistinguishable vanilla chips. Marshmallow flavor only goes so far, you really need the texture to go along with it. That was definitely the most disappointing part.

These cookies really just taste like a regular Chewy Chips Ahoy with extra chocolate. They are a campfire misfire! The middle should have been marshmallow. I don’t understand why they didn’t go that route. Why skimp on arguably the most important detail? You’re killing me, Smalls!

What about the graham?

Each cookie has a tinge of cinnamon, which I assume was their attempt to mock the graham flavor. I had to eat a few and really think about whether or not I tasted it before I read the ingredient list to confirm my cinnamon suspicions.

A crunchy graham cracker is the foundation of a great s’more. Sure, they’re a pain in the neck to eat, but not having one is akin to making a BLT with a pickle instead of a tomato. No one’s ever heard of a BLP!

That actually sounds kinda good. Scratch that from the record. Still, without a tasty graham, you’re only two-thirds of the way to a s’more.

You’ll never hear me say what I’m about to say again. I wish these were regular crunchy Chips Ahoy. I’m of the opinion that since the advent of the chewy variety, the blue bag has been rendered pointless, but when we’re talking s’mores, I need a crunch substitute for the graham cracker.

Nabisco S'mores Chips Ahoy Cookies 4

The package advises to pop these in the microwave for ten seconds. While they didn’t get super gooey or “s’morsey,” they did taste a bit better. But again, it was just a warm Chewy Chips Ahoy.

I don’t think you’d ever in a million years guess the flavor of this cookie without a hint. They don’t look like a s’more, they don’t smell like a s’more (but they still smell delicious), and they don’t taste like a s’more.

I’ve whined a lot, but in the end these taste like a Chewy Chips Ahoy, and I like Chewy Chips Ahoy.

They still go down easy, but if you’re expecting that classic s’mores flavor, tough break.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 Cookies – 140 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein..)

Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 9.6 oz.
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Chewy Chips Ahoy are a solid cookie. Chocolate center is fine. Even though they don’t smell like s’mores, they smell delicious. Cinnamon Suspicions is a good band name. The Sandlot. BLPs.
Cons: Tastes like previous flavors. Marshmallow chips don’t taste or feel like marshmallow. Needs s’more graham. In no way, shape, or form a s’more. Punctuation in product names.

QUICK REVIEW: Rockstar Ginger Brew Energy Drink

Rockstar Ginger Brew Energy Drink

I took a deep breath and braced myself before my first sip of Rockstar Ginger Brew Energy Drink. With the name “Ginger Brew,” I expected the beverage to burn like every ginger beer I’ve tried.

And I expected I’d say “Mmmm” and pretend to be cool because I was drinking a ginger beer, but screaming internally from the ginger burn going down my throat.

But there was no burn, grimaces, silent screaming, tensing of muscles, or calls out to mommy, because I should’ve realized that “Ginger Brew” could also mean ginger ale. Yes, Rockstar has created an energy ginger ale. So while the ginger may help settle your stomach, the caffeine will do the opposite to your heart.

Actually, ginger isn’t listed as an ingredient. Instead, it’s under the mysterious “natural flavors.” But that’s also the case with big brand ginger ales, like Seagram’s and Canada Dry.

The ginger flavor is as light as an elf’s breath. It’s so light that if I didn’t know it was a ginger ale, I would’ve thought it was a regional citrus soda with a silly name like Quenk. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rockstar Ginger Brew is a slightly tweaked version of Rockstar Revolt Killer Citrus.

Rockstar Ginger Brew Energy Drink 2

Overall, it’s still a decent tasting energy drink that’s not overly syrupy like other Rockstar varieties. If the ginger flavor was slightly more intense, I would’ve like it more. It’s easy to drink and I’d definitely buy it again if I need to slam down 160 milligrams of caffeine and settle my tummy.

Purchased Price: N/A
Size: 16 oz. can
Purchased at: Purchased on eBay (currently an amp exclusive flavor)
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (8 ounces) 140 calories, 0 grams of fat, 10 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 32 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, 100% niacin, 100% vitamin B6, 100% vitamin B12, and 100% pantothenic acid.

REVIEW: Hi-C Ecto Cooler (2016)

Hi-C Ecto Cooler (2016)

There’s something strange in my neighborhood. Unfortunately I didn’t know who to call. I couldn’t find one store that carried Ecto Cooler. Half of the places I called didn’t even know what I was talking about!

(That sound you hear is the collective gasps of every 90’s baby reading this blog.)

Then a little ghost told me that Cinemark Theater chains were selling cans. So while you may not go see the new Ghostbusters at the theater, you may have to go there to get your Ecto Cooler.

You remember Ecto Cooler, right?

Hi-C’s popular green “Citrus Cooler” flavor is back for the first time since 1997! I can’t believe it’s been that long since we’ve seen this school lunch staple. You’re probably wondering if it’s as good as you remember. I’m gonna try my best to not let sentimentality cloud my judgment. What exactly does nostalgia taste like?

It tastes like a sugar loaded tangerine orange drink. From what I recall, it’s the same, but it’s really not that good.

Hi-C Ecto Cooler (2016) 2

I made a Vigo the Carpathian face when I took my first sip. It was such a jolt, I couldn’t even register if it was sweet or sour. How can something citrus be so cloyingly sweet? The sugar was so pronounced, it left a film on my tongue.

Everyone remembers Ecto Cooler fondly. I don’t blame you one bit, but your adult taste buds may no longer love the taste.

Ecto Cooler has basically always been a marketing gimmick and we all know it. It’s just orange drink dyed slime green. Was the flavor ever the main appeal?

I’m an adult now (debatable), and frankly, juice isn’t my go-to beverage. I don’t drink actual juice often, let alone Hi-C “juice,” so while I’ll admit it’s cool to reminisce for a minute or two, I didn’t even want to finish this.

That aside, the taste wasn’t my biggest problem with this new incarnation of Ecto Cooler.

So far, the marketing for this Ghostbusters movie is a mess. Where the heck is Slimer on this can? I can look past some subpar trailers, but that’s the most egregious misstep imaginable!

In my opinion most of Ecto Cooler’s appeal was seeing Slimer on the box/can. No Slimer is crazier than female Ghostbusters!!!

Relax, I’m kidding. I really don’t care about that “controversy” one bit. I mean, by all accounts the new movie is something weird and it don’t look good, but this is a food blog, not some clickbait, “hot take” movie site using beloved favorites from your past to conjure up more views. 🙂

Hi-C Ecto Cooler (2016) 3

So, there’s no Slimer, but slime is well accounted for. The can looks like it said “I don’t know” on Nickelodeon’s You Can’t Do That on Television. (Whoa, super nostalgia! Click. Click.) They used a special thermal ink that glows when the drink is cold. The “Hi-C” and borders changed from yellowish to green. That’s basically it. I guess that’s kinda cool, just not Slimer cool.

There are two things I ain’t afraid of – no ghosts and telling it like it is. Ecto Cooler just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I understand I’m probably in the minority.

The can has its gimmick. The color is awesome. The name is really awesome, but the actual drink is about as good as that Ghostbusters cartoon with the gorilla.

So rejoice, 90’s kids. We may not be getting the movie we wanted, but we did get Ecto Cooler back on (some) shelves. It’s too bad we couldn’t somehow swing some Hostess Ninja Turtles Pies.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 can – 150 calories, 0 grams of fat, 25 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 41 gram of sugars, and 0 grams of protein, 100% of your daily Vitamin C.)

Purchased Price: $3.50
Size: 11.5 oz can
Purchased at: Cinemark Theater
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: That Bobby Brown song from Ghostbusters 2. Proton Packs. Ghost traps. The REAL Ghostbusters cartoon. Turtles Pies.
Cons: Not a great flavor. Only 10% fruit juice. Having to go to movie theater to find it. No Slimer on the can. Clickbait. The new movie looks pretty weak.