QUICK REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Mint Brownie Donut

Dunkin Donuts Mint Brownie Donut

True story: I had to buy this Dunkin’ Donuts Mint Brownie Donut twice, because I wasn’t sure they gave me the right one the first time.

But they did.

Part of what gave me pause is that the frosting looked nothing like the festive green on the promotional materials. The first was more blue than green. But the second just looked white. If it’s not green, what on earth does mint have to do with St. Patrick’s Day?

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On top of the frosting are crunchy chocolate bits. I don’t mind the crunchiness, but it’s not the texture I associate with brownies. My second donut’s pieces were so small it was almost a powder. When I pulled an Ariana Grande and licked the frosting, it was just plain frosting with no flavor.

Dunkin Donuts Mint Brownie Donut 2

The main part of the donut is a typical yeast dough; you can’t go wrong with it. Inside the donut is a chocolaty filling. Here’s where the discrepancy is between the two donuts I tried. On the first, I couldn’t taste the mint. It reminded me of the oily filling of those Hostess chocolate pies I loved as a kid, but it wasn’t minty.

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The second, however, did taste like a mint brownie, though toned down from most that I’ve had. I liked it.

So, if you go down to your local Dunkin’, I can’t guarantee whether your mint donut will actually taste like a mint donut. If it does, it’s great! It’s an underutilized flavor for donuts. But if it doesn’t taste like it, you’re left with an ordinary chocolate-filled yeast ring.

Purchased Price: $1.09
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 370 calories, 170 calories from fat, 19 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 370 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 25 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Frosted Sugar Cookie Donut and Gingerbread Cookie Donut

Dunkin Donuts Frosted Sugar Cookie Donut and Gingerbread Cookie Donut 1

There are a few jobs I hope I never have. Aside from everything Mike Rowe has tried, Santa’s personal chef and copyeditor for his Naughty and Nice List come to mind. Also, the guy who has to develop “new” holiday-themed products for fast food chains.

Between the cookie exchanges, parties, and all those special childhood foods your mom is going to cook for you, there’s a lot of pressure to efficiently maximize your calories. If I’m going to eat a donut during December, I don’t want to waste my time on some plebeian attempt to deconstruct hot chocolate in cruller form.

So consider this an early Christmas present — taking one for the team so you don’t have to feel massive guilt (in addition to feeling massive) for scarfing down holiday flavors that may or may not fall in the “meh” spectrum of taste.

Dunkin Donuts Frosted Sugar Cookie Donut and Gingerbread Cookie Donut 2

Dunkin’ Donut’s new Frosted Sugar Cookie Donut combines sugar cookie and chocolate chip cookie flavors, which, when you think about it, is sort of like the cookie version of Chrismukkah.

Oddly enough, the combo works, even though the cookie dough-flavored filling doesn’t taste much like cookie dough. Actually, I’m not quite sure what it tastes like. Brownish sugar, maybe? Whatever it is it’s not bad, but the real star of the donut is the frosted sugar cookie crumble topping. It’s like a hybrid of vanilla Chex, puppy chow, and streusel topping.

Dunkin Donuts Frosted Sugar Cookie Donut and Gingerbread Cookie Donut 3

Overall, the cookie crumbles give the usual (if not underrated) combo of white icing and airy donut an extra level of yumminess.

Sadly, the Gingerbread Cookie Donut doesn’t have the same level of yumminess. While the gingerbread cookie topping has a strong gingerbread flavor, the pieces are stale, as if they’re from a box of ginger snap cookies that’s been open since 2012.

Dunkin Donuts Frosted Sugar Cookie Donut and Gingerbread Cookie Donut 4

I have a friend who swears by salted caramel vodka, which sounds disgusting. However, after trying the caramel frosting I’ll have to down a fifth to get the sticky cloying taste out of my mouth. It’s not the most inauthentic caramel taste in the world, but it lacks any depth and tastes of nothing but sugar.

I tend to treat donuts by the pizza maxim (even when bad, they’re good) but the Gingerbread Cookie Donut comes close to legitimately sucking, meaning it’s frankly a toss-up between it and a piece of fruitcake.

All things considered, Dunkin’s new holiday-themed donuts are a mixed bag, like your childhood stocking filled with candy but also socks. Still, for as bad as the Gingerbread Cookie Donut is, the Frosted Sugar Cookie Donut might be good enough to leave out for Santa, if you don’t eat it first.

(Nutrition Facts – Frosted Sugar Cookie Donut – 420 calories, 21 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 410 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 30 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein. Gingerbread Cookie Donut – 310 calories, 17 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 360 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.09 (each)
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Frosted Sugar Cookie Donut)
Rating: 4 out of 10 (Gingerbread Cookie Donut)
Pros: Sugar Cookie Donut topping is one of the better toppings I’ve had on a Dunkin’ donut. Good quality freshness in donut bases.
Cons: Gingerbread cookie topping is as stale as your great uncle’s Christmas jokes. Cookie dough filling doesn’t really taste like cookie dough. Caramel frosting is cloying and out-of-place.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Frozen Coffee

Dunkin Donuts Frozen Coffee

I just downed 196 milligrams of caffeine and I am fuh-lying, baby!

Sick of pink Frappuccinos named after mythical beasts? Well, Dunkin’ has a new Frozen Coffee ready to speed up your hearts.

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but when it comes to popular frozen coffee drinks, imitation is the highest form of fattery.

That’s a little corny wordplay to kickstart your morning, folks. I apologize. Blame it on the caffeine.

I’m not normally a frozen coffee guy, but every now and then I switch it up. That must have been Dunkin’ Donuts’ thought process when they decided to revamp the Coffee Coolatta into their new Frozen Coffee.

Their new coffee is blended with 100 percent Arabica extract, your choice of dairy, and ice. I’m no expert, but that certainly sounds like the recipe for frozen coffee.

I won’t pretend “Arabica” coffee extract moves my needle. I don’t know the difference. I actually thought it said “abra cadabra” extract at first and was pumped. I thought there was gonna be some Jack and the Beanstalk magic in my future.

But alas, as I made my order, the girl at the counter seemed overwhelmed. She had yet to make a Frozen Coffee. I was her trial run. Thankfully a nice manager came over and fired her on the spot! Nah, she showed her the ropes.

I hadn’t ordered a Coolatta in a while, but I seem to recall them having ice that was never chopped fine enough for my liking. The ice was always gritty, along the lines of a Slush Puppy, not fine like a normal Slurpee.

Dunkin Donuts Frozen Coffee 2

Frozen Coffee definitely improved on the Coolatta in that area. After a few sips that were straight liquid, the coffee got to the right temperature and I got slushy sips that were on par with a Frappuccino.

The taste was kinda bitter, not gonna lie. It took a few sips to adjust, and for the strong coffee flavor to really kick in. Keep in mind, I didn’t order an additional flavor shot. I wanted to review the standard Frozen Coffee before mixing in one of Dunkin’s ever growing flavor swirl options.

Dunkin Donuts Frozen Coffee 3

As I sipped on, it tasted like those bottled Starbucks Frappuccino drinks but with blended ice. I guess that’s technically a plain Frappuccino? It’s been a while. This didn’t sway far from a slushier version of regular coffee with a few tablespoons of sugar.

I wasn’t offered a milk option, but rest assured I would have gone with boring skim. It’s the Diet Coke to my Triple Cheeseburger and large fry combo. I just assume they used whole milk.

The whipped cream sunk to the bottom, and while I’ve been on the record in the past about my love/hate for whipped “topping,” it was a pretty good sugar fix to end on.

All in all, it’s not bad, but I seem to remember regular Coolattas being better. Again, remember, you can customize the flavor. I have little doubt Dunkin’s Frozen Coffee would be significantly better with mocha, hazelnut, French vanilla or, well, basically any flavor. Order a flavor swirl.

I don’t see this replacing my usual iced coffee order, and it’s probably not gonna compete with a Frappuccino if I want a super sugary coffee slush, but I’ll probably mix a few in over the summer.

The Dunkin’ Frozen Coffee feels like a drink that will grow on me if I have it more, but for now, it was just okay. I’ll be curious to see what Coolatta loyalists have to say about it.

(Nutrition Facts – small – 420 calories, 18 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 64 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 61 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, and 196 mg of caffeine.)

Purchased Price: $3.29
Size: Small
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Tastes like it’s supposed to – like a blended, sugary regular coffee. Customizable. Whipped cream paired well. Big caffeine boost.
Cons: Bitter at first. Not really breaking any molds. “Coffee Coolatta” was a considerably better name. Pretty big for a small, “Fattery” not being a real word. No magic beans.

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.

Limited Edition Dunkin' Donuts Frosted Chocolate Mocha Pop-Tarts 3

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: Dunkin’ Donuts Fudge Croissant Donut

Dunkin' Donuts Fudge Croissant Donut

I sometimes allow myself to think that maybe, just maybe, some research and development person in the fast casual industry will hear my ideas and implement them. Usually this isn’t the case, but my 2014 review of Dunkin’ Donuts’ Croissant Donut might’ve been the catalyst for Dunkin’s new Fudge Croissant Donut.

…the single-flavor fails to capitalize on a host of sweet croissant fillings, while coming across as overpriced and, yes, mass-produced. There was a part of me which wanted more distinctiveness in the interior layers, wishing for a truly pick-apart dough which was layered with chocolate or marzipan or any number of fillings.

Ok, so maybe attributing Dunkin’s latest donut to me and me alone is arrogant and presumptuous. But I know I wasn’t the only one who liked the original “Cronut” imitator but also thought it could be better. And since chocolate croissants are the logical first step from plain croissants, it only made sense that if Dunkin just added a chocolate filling to their Croissant Donut, it would be a game-changer.

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Unfortunately, what Dunkin Donuts is piping into the many laminated layers of flaky croissant-donut dough is not fudge. There is definitely a strong, almost-dark cocoa flavor on the back-end, but the mixture itself is far from the buttery, milky, and intensely chocolaty experience you should get from fudge. It’s also not the hardened and concentrated pain au chocolat filling you might see in a real pastry. Instead, it’s somewhat viscous and tastes like artificially-thickened chocolate syrup. But most of all, it immediately comes across as far too sweet.

Also too sweet are the chocolate and white icings, which lack richness and taste mostly of hardened sugar. Granted, each drizzle is applied with impeccable craftsmanship, but for $2.49, I would hope the Croissant Donut’s value exceeds the aesthetic.

The cloying taste of the icing and the faux fudge might offset a genuine croissant, but because the Croissant Donut is already glazed with a thick and hardened coating of donut glaze, each bite is just sugar on top of sugar. Where the original version of Dunkin’s mashup had some of the savory, buttery aftertaste of croissant dough, this version betrayed too much of its mass-produced donut origins.

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Speaking of donut origins, the texture definitely takes a step back from the original croissant donut; the layers are there, but they’re more fluffy than crispy, giving way with even the slightest pressure.

If Dunkin Donuts’s Fudge Croissant Donut was a hit, I’d for sure take credit for its existence and possibly even sue the company for copyright infringement. As it stands, I’ll save myself the legal hassle and just call it like I taste it: the Fudge Croissant Donut is an overpriced sugar bomb, and does neither a chocolate croissant nor a chocolate-iced donut justice.

(Nutritional Facts – 400 calories, 20 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 300 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 25 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.)

Item: Dunkin’ Donuts Fudge Croissant Donut
Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Dunkin’ Donuts
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Addition of chocolate filling into Croissant Donut. Indulgent dark cocoa flavored filling gets good coverage throughout the interior layers. Possible hope that fast casual research and development people read my reviews. Saving money on legal fees.
Cons: Chocolate filling doesn’t taste buttery or milky like “fudge”. Novelty of the croissant layers gets lost in the overly cloying icing and donut glaze. Too much donut taste and not enough buttery balance. More than half a day’s saturated fat.