REVIEW: Mystery Flavor Fruit Roll-Ups

General Mills is rebranding its fruit snacks to suit the modern era of lunchbox-toting kids and teens, but in the case of these Mystery Flavor Fruit Roll-Ups, it feels like it went with such a ’90s vibe that it’s targeting the parents and not the offspring. This pack leans entirely on a “weird green guys from outer space” theme that I can’t imagine resonating with today’s kids. But what do I know? The packaging is metallic, and I’ll be damned if weird alien cartoons and shiny things don’t intrigue me.

The pack includes two flavors, Mystery and Solar Melon. I was briefly disappointed that half of these were melon because it gives you fewer chances to guess the mystery flavor. If you’re not familiar with Fruit Roll-Ups, I would describe the flavor of all of them as “This is definitely a Fruit Roll-Up,” but if you can tell the difference between a berry one and whatever the Tie-Dye is, you’re a better person than me. Fruit Roll-Ups are a snack to be eaten as quickly as possible because if they’re fresh, they’re so sticky that you can barely get the plastic off before they collapse in your hand. Definitely do not put them on a plate to photograph like I did. The time from thinking you might give it a taste test to the time you’ve determined that you’d better just shove it all in your mouth before you never get it unstuck from you again is about 8 seconds.

Trying the Mystery flavor, I couldn’t get beyond that it just tasted like I expected a Fruit Roll-Up to taste. Delicious, but overall…normal. Maybe this whole alien theme was a ruse? Maybe space tastes like Fruit Roll-Ups? I didn’t have a clue. Luckily part of this rebranding is a focus on trying to interact beyond the eating of the snack, so General Mills wants you to visit its website, where you can vote on what the flavor is.

Thank Area 51, we have some parameters!

Faced with the choices of Cosmic Citrus Swirl, Stellar Strawberry Peach, Galactic Grape, and Mango Martian, things started to make sense, and I felt pretty confident choosing Strawberry Peach. The strawberry is the classic and dominant flavor, but there’s a little more there, and it will remind you of Peach Rings.

To its credit, the unmysterious Solar Melon is a perfect shade of alien-green and a welcome addition to the box. It manages to taste like a blend of fruits with a melon focus but not in an overly artificial way like many watermelon candies.

The sheets are printed with tongue tattoos in various alien, UFO, and space designs. Because eating a Fruit Roll-Up inherently involves playing with your food, I went ahead and applied a UFO-XING sign to my tongue. It worked like a charm, and by that I mean it left my tongue with an unintelligible giant blue blob on it. You can thank me later for not including that photo. It might not be the most original attempt at a mystery flavor, but eating these is a fun and tasty way to spend two minutes, and who knows, you might win a galactic fanny pack before you’re beamed back up to the mothership.

Purchased Price: $2.29
Size: 10-count box of 0.5 oz rolls
Purchased at: Mariano’s
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Mystery Flavor), 7 out of 10 (Solar Melon)
Nutrition Facts: (1 roll) 50 calories, 1 gram of total fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 12 grams of total carbohydrates, 7 grams of sugar (including 7 grams of added sugar), and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Chocolate Dunkaroos (2021)

Chocolate Dunkaroos 2021 Tray

Going to the grocery store has become a brightly colored nostalgia minefield. I don’t know if it’s always been this way, or I just notice stuff more now that I am in that marketing age range for nostalgic foods. It feels like every trip, I find something that makes me stare off into the distance, dramatically remembering my youth. This go around, I had my mini existential crisis at the checkout lane in my local Walmart. Tucked into the shelf amongst the other snacks sat a box of Chocolate Dunkaroos.

In a time when Healthy Choice diet foods seemed to reign supreme, Dunkaroos were the opposite. For those unfamiliar, they are individual packs of mini cookies that you dip into frosting. Yes, this was somehow an accepted snack for kids in the 90s. They first hit the shelves in 1990, but were discontinued in 2012 in the United States. They made their reappearance on shelves in May of 2020 with the original vanilla cookie and rainbow sprinkle vanilla frosting variety.

Chocolate Dunkaroos 2021 Top

Since then, a slew of Dunkaroos branded products (including cereal and cookie dough) have come on the market. It only makes sense that they’d follow up the vanilla cookie/rainbow sprinkle vanilla frosting item with a vanilla cookie/chocolate frosting version. I was honestly disappointed to see they weren’t going to produce the chocolate frosting variety with graham cracker cookies. I’m sure it’s easier to stick with one cookie variety across the different frosting flavors, but I knew this would mean that the taste I remember from childhood wouldn’t be quite the same.

Chocolate Dunkaroos 2021 Dunk

Chocolate Dunkaroos are simplicity at its finest. The little “D” branded cookies have a mild vanilla flavor that becomes immediately lost under the chocolate frosting. They do walk a fine line between soft enough to not crumble, but hard enough to stand up to being dipped in frosting. The frosting was actually better than I expected. I had assumed it would be a cloyingly sweet chocolate flavor, but it turned out to be a rich, fudgy chocolate.

Chocolate Dunkaroos 2021 Sandwich

While the flavors didn’t strike that “nostalgia” chord, the act of eating them did. I still eat my Lunchables (yes, I still eat Lunchables) the same way I did as a kid, and I fell back into my routine with Dunkaroos. I’m usually a little sparing with the frosting in the beginning. But by the end, I am glopping it all over. I even made a little cookie sandwich. It was just a fun little moment to pause and enjoy.

I think, more than anything, that’s all I want from these throwback/rereleased/nostalgic treats: a moment to pause and enjoy. Even though it won’t send you back to the 90s, the Chocolate Dunkaroos are still a fun treat. How can you go wrong with dipping cookies into frosting and calling it a snack?

Purchased Price: $1.84
Size: 1.5 oz
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 tray with frosting) 180 calories, 7 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Betty Crocker Dunkaroos Cookie Dough

Betty Crocker Dunkaroos Cookie Dough Package

What is Betty Crocker Dunkaroos Cookie Dough

Ready-to-bake sugar cookie dough paired with Dunkaroos classic frosting for a 90s DIY snack fresh from the oven!

How is it?

Betty Crocker Dunkaroos Cookie Dough with Frosting

Dunkaroos, at its core, is a playful sugary concept that boils down to cookies that you dip into rainbow speckled frosting. This refrigerated version offers up a fresher take, and for the most part, it is pretty successful. The cookies are nothing special as they seem to be just any regular old sugar cookie dough. The magic here is that it comes with vanilla frosting with rainbow sprinkles.

Betty Crocker Dunkaroos Cookie Dough Dunk

Betty Crocker is no stingy gal. There are two packets included when I was most definitely expecting only one, and the sprinkles themselves are big and plentiful. I decided to use the frosting in its proper form as a dip, and I really did feel like I was a kid again eating my Dunkaroos straight out of my lunch box in the cafeteria! (Tradesies, anybody?)

Anything else you need to know?

Betty Crocker Dunkaroos Cookie Dough Raw

This is not just a nostalgia trip as it is also very much a trendy DIY dessert. You can use the frosting to make little sandwiches or just drizzle it over them right after baking. You can also play with the sizing to make either six big cookies (although they look regular size to me) or 24 mini ones.

I’m lazy, so I went with the six since the 24 requires slicing and rolling. I also did it this way because I like my cookies to be a little chewier in the center, and you can only do that with bigger ones. However, I must caution that I followed the baking time in the directions, but the centers did not seem done. So I let it go a little longer, but that caused the bottoms to be a little burnt. So make sure you pull out right when the edges are a VERY light brown.

Conclusion:

Betty Crocker Dunkaroos Cookie Dough Frosting

These are not revolutionary by any means. It is just prepared sugar cookie dough with the added bonus of colorful frosting. Give them a try if the 90s was your favorite decade or if you love pre-made cookie dough cookies and want to be a little bit more creative. However, most of all, give these a try if you want to experience a fun take on the break-and-bake segment where the end result is a fun and colorful but sugary dessert.

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 8.6 oz
Purchased at: Giant
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 big cookie with frosting) 170 calories, 7 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 17 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkaroos (2020)

Dunkaroos  2020

The 1990s were an incredible time.

The internet popped into our daily lives, the economy was lush, Disney had its animation reawakening, Nintendo and Sony ushered in the three-dimensional era, and fashion was neon and expressive. There was also a flurry of new kid-targeted snack foods — Fruit by the Foot, Gushers, Lunchables, Doritos 3D, Trix yogurt, and…

I need to stop before I start weeping.

While so much that we ate back then was truly frightening and delicious, no snack food may have better encapsulated the feel of the 90s and the hearts of millennials more than the discontinued Dunkaroos.

But they’re back, baby!

For those who missed out during its peak, Dunkaroos is a simple concept – a package of cookies with a small serving of frosting to dunk them in. The original Dunkaroos lineup had several different cookie and frosting pairings. Cinnamon graham with chocolate frosting, chocolate cookies with vanilla frosting, and even one with chocolate chip cookies and rainbow sprinkle frosting.

The 2020 reboot chose to dip just one foot into the pool of nostalgia with one crowd-pleasing flavor – vanilla cookies with vanilla frosting and rainbow sprinkles. Bless you, Betty Crocker!

Dunkaroos  2020 Cookies

During its snack dominance, Dunkaroos appeared in many different shapes, the most prominent in my memory being that of Sydney, the brand’s kangaroo cartoon mascot. Betty simplified this decade’s cookie into a classic circle with a bold “D” and little ridges around the sides. The cookies are vanilla flavored, thin with a crisp crunch, and a slightly salty finish, not too far off from a buttery shortbread. I miss the touch of cinnamon the 90s version had, but they’re far from boring and are commendable on their own.

Dunkaroos  2020 Frosting

The rainbow sprinkle frosting is a staple of anyone’s childhood. Sweet and vanilla forward with little multicolored chunks that add some texture and playfulness to the action. The frosting is the best part of the whole experience, and if you don’t use your finger to scrape every last bit of it out of the container, we definitely couldn’t have been on the same dodgeball team in 1998.

So this brings us to the ‘Roos classic 90s tagline, “How do you do your Dunkaroos?” I can’t honestly remember exactly how I dunked back in 1997, probably like a total savage, but I have an opinion about how you should dunk in 2020.

The new cookies are a bit thin, and since the frosting is a sacred commodity, the best way to dunk these new-aroos is two at a time with ample frosting. Put them together, back to back, so you have two D’s facing outward and get a sizable scoop of that rainbow chip goodness on your ‘Roo. It’s perfect, with the frosting steering the flavor boat just as it should be.

Dunkaroos  2020 Lid

This Dunakroos relaunch is everything that any of us sentimental millennials could have asked for. From the throwback design of the package with retro colors and logo to the perfectly ridiculous website that teased us into submission – they all rule. Dunkaroos are available first and only as single servings at 7-Eleven, and will roll out to more stores in July. Should you make a trip to 7-Eleven and get these immediately? No duh, dude!

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 1.5 oz
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 tray with frosting) 190 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 18 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Betty Crocker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cake Mug Treats

Betty Crocker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cake Mug Treats

What are Betty Crocker Pumpkin Spice Cake Mug Treats?

Betty Crocker has added a limited-edition pumpkin cake to its (her?) lineup of Mug Treats. The box contains four packages of cake mix and four pouches of cream cheese icing.

Betty Crocker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cake Mug Treats Mix

Betty Crocker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cake Mug Treats Mixed

Betty Crocker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cake Mug Treats Cooked

Betty Crocker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cake Mug Treats Icing

Betty Crocker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cake Mug Treats Icing Neat

Mix the batter with water or milk (I cooked it both ways) in a mug, microwave it for a little over a minute, then top with the frosting. It’s super easy. (If you want it to look pretty, tear a small hole in the icing pouch; if you want to move on with your life, make a big tear and squeeze it out in globs. It tastes the same.)

How are they?

As the cake was cooking, it smelled delightful. Unfortunately, the cake itself is perfectly mediocre. I didn’t think it was much more flavorful than a pancake. There are prominently visible spice clusters, but the spice flavor is subdued, and overall it’s bland.

Betty Crocker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cake Mug Treats Eaten

The cream cheese frosting is just OK as well. It certainly isn’t bad (and it adds some needed sweetness to the cake), but it’s unremarkable.

Is there anything else you need to know?

As I ate this Betty Crocker pumpkin item, I couldn’t help but think of a similar item: Kodiak Cakes Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Muffin Cup. That treat is more expensive, but it tastes better, and it’s better for you. Go with that one instead.

Conclusion:

These Mug Treats are essentially seventy-five-cent cupcakes. When you think of it that way, they’re fine. But mostly they’re not worth the calories.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 12.5 oz. box/4 pouches
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 pouch mix + 1 pouch icing, 89 grams) 340 calories, 7 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 240 milligrams of sodium, 69 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 55 grams of sugar (including 54 grams of added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.