REVIEW: Pillsbury Heat & Eat Cinnamon Roll

Pillsbury Heat  Eat Cinnamon Roll Box

What is the Pillsbury Heat & Eat Cinnamon Roll?

Well, actually, there’s more than one in a box, and they aren’t cinnamon rolls. They are bite-sized, pillows of dough, adhered together with cinnamon, and placed into paper cups. I guess you could consider them rolls if they’re made Katamari-style. There are four individual pouches with a vanilla-flavored icing packet for each.

Pillsbury Heat  Eat Cinnamon Roll Contents

How is it?

Pillsbury Heat  Eat Cinnamon Roll Naked

Pillsbury Heat  Eat Cinnamon Roll Icing

Maybe my Cinnabon and Costco infant head-sized cinnamon roll consumption has spoiled my taste buds, but I wish these Pillsbury Heat & Eat Cinnamon Rolls had a bit more of a cinna-plosion. I mean, there’s an adequate amount of the sweet spice throughout the dessert, and some bites are heavier than others, but for half of the forkfuls, I thought they could use a bit more of it.

Pillsbury Heat  Eat Cinnamon Roll Cinnamon

Gooey cinnamon globs do end up on the paper cup, but even using the dough as sponges to wipe up as much of it as possible didn’t help elevate the flavor to Cinnabon-level.

Beyond the not-quite-enough cinnamon, the doughy pillows have a pleasant soft chew, and the icing amped up the sweetness. I do wish the white topping had a bit of a cream cheese tang, though.

Despite not giving me the cinna-perience my taste buds hoped for, these sweet treats are, for the most part, satisfying. I also wish they were a little bigger, but not as monstrous as Cinnabon and Costco cinnamon rolls.

Anything else you need to know?

These are refrigerated and microwaveable.

Pillsbury Heat  Eat Cinnamon Roll Instructions

Although my microwave’s wattage isn’t listed, looking at the table above, it’s safe to assume the heating time for my 1100-watt microwave would be 21 seconds. As for the claim that preparing one will take less than 30 seconds, I have yet to accomplish that. Squeezing out the icing surprisingly takes a bit of time. So if you have a 700-watt microwave, it’ll be impossible to do it in less than 30 seconds.

Conclusion:

While Pillsbury’s Heat & Eat Cinnamon Roll didn’t completely satisfy my taste buds’ somewhat unhealthy desire for cinnamon, it’s a tasty, quick, and convenient sweet treat.

DISCLOSURE: I received free samples of the product. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 10.8 oz/4 pouches
Purchased at: Received from General Mills
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 roll) 250 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pillsbury Safe To Eat Raw Cookie Dough

Pillsbury Safe to Eat Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Package

When life gives you a case of Pillsbury Safe To Eat Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, you make cookies. That’s what I found myself doing after getting enough cookie dough to bribe my way off Santa’s naughty list.

Pillsbury Safe to Eat Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Case

I mean, it’s not as if there’s something I’ve done this year that would get me on that list. Oh, wait. Do REALLY naughty things from the previous year roll over into the following year, like some tax breaks?

Hmm, I might need more dough.

Or I could steal Santa’s naughty list, so he won’t know who’s naughty or nice. Then no bribing necessary, and I can eat these all by myself. But getting caught would be a REALLY REALLY naughty thing that would earn me a permanent place on the list. I’ll risk that.

Now, does Santa use a paper list? Or maybe it’s on an iPad. But wait, is it a tangible list? Could it be in his head? We all know he works one day of the year delivering presents, but he could be spending the other 364 remembering who’s on the naughty list. Is he like a Scripps National Spelling Bee contestant? But instead of using flash cards with words that 95 percent of the US population doesn’t know exist, it’s naughty peoples’ names and addresses.

But then there’s getting to the North Pole. Although it’s easier with less ice. Then there are the many elves who are all armed with magic. Would wearing a stolen mall Santa suit get me past them?

Okay, let’s say it does. Now I have to deal with Santa himself because if the list is tangible, he must keep it near him at all times. But if I’m dressed up as Santa, I can’t get near him. Could I use Mrs. Claus as a mark and persuade her to bring me the list? But if it’s all in his head, do I have to give him amnesia or do some quick brain surgery?

Nah, this plan has now gotten too complicated.

I’m just going to bribe Santa with these fresh baked cookies because I’m sure the big guy would not be moved by pre-packaged ones.

Pillsbury Safe to Eat Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Baked

These are tasty enough that I would bake the entire dough case I was given for myself, if I didn’t have to get into Santa’s good graces. After they’ve cooled a bit, they have a chewy middle, crispy edges, and gooey chocolate chips, which I expected since these are made to taste, look, and feel exactly like the previous not-recommended-eating-raw formulation of the cookies. Sadly, baking these don’t make my kitchen smell like chocolate chip cookies.

But this dough can also be eaten raw. How does Pillsbury do that? Well, it involves taking the ingredients that can cause illnesses when not cooked — the flour and eggs — and basically cooking them. So the flour is heat treated and the eggs are pasteurized. You can read more about Pillsbury’s Safe to Eat Raw products by going to the company’s page about it.

Pillsbury Safe to Eat Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Raw

Having baked three-fourths of a package and eating some raw, I prefer them baked because the cookie’s flavors, especially the sugar and chocolate, pop more. Although it’s nice to have options when consuming them. But the raw cookie dough was a bit too much for me. While I could eat four or five baked cookies in a row, I wanted to eat just two dough pieces. I guess that’ll help prevent me from getting Santa bod since I don’t have disguise myself as Saint Nick anymore.

DISCLOSURE: I received free samples of the product. (Thanks, Pillsbury!) Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 16 oz package
Purchased at: Received from Pillsbury
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 cookies) 170 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber 15 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownies and Birthday Cake Bars

Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownies and Birthday Cake Bars Boxes

What are Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownies and Birthday Cake Bars?

While I definitely appreciate the taste of home-baked goods, I seldomly do my own baking. I prefer to seek quick and low-effort ways to consume my desserts, so I was excited to try these new products.

Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownies and Birthday Cake Bars are ready-to-eat, individually wrapped snack cakes that come in a box of six brownies/bars. Each wrapper comes with a cutesy saying like “Giggle Time!” which seems kind of silly. But desserts generally do make me Smile (another wrapper saying).

Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownies and Birthday Cake Bars Wrappers

How are they?

Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownies and Birthday Cake Bars Top

They both taste as one would expect store-bought, pre-packaged desserts should. This means they are generically decent and provide a quick sweet fix. The frosting on top of both products adds a little texture and sugar, but is not substantial enough to significantly contribute to or offset the overall taste of the product. (The frosting on top of my chocolate brownie melted a little bit in-transit.)

Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownies Split

The chocolate fudge brownie lives up to its name with no surprises. It is soft, chewy, slightly fudgy, and actually has chocolate chips inside as depicted on the box.

Pillsbury Birthday Cake Bars Split

The birthday cake bar does not have the same softness as the brownie (or as one would expect from a cake). It might pass as a very small serving of boxed birthday cake with limited frosting that has been left out for a few days. It has a drier texture, but still retains the sugary taste of sprinkles and other Funfetti-themed products.

Anything else you need to know?

These are small (about 2-inch squares) and not very thick. They are also only 100 calories per brownie/bar. Due to their size, you might need to consume several to feel satisfied.

I occasionally snack on Fiber One bars (also made by General Mills) and found these similar, although slightly more satisfying. Based on taste alone and ignoring the nutritional differences, I would opt for these snack cakes vs. Fiber One bars.

Conclusion:

If you do not feel like turning on the oven and can appreciate pre-packaged desserts for what they are, these suffice. They are convenient and enticing enough to serve as a quick treat. If you need to appease a strong dessert craving, you will likely want more than one or go for an actual brownie or slice of cake.

DISCLOSURE: I received free samples of the products. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 5.34 oz (6 brownies/bars)
Purchased at: Received from Pillsbury
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Chocolate Fudge Brownies), 5 out of 10 (Birthday Cake Bars)
Nutrition Facts: Chocolate Fudge Brownie (1 brownie) – 100 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 9 grams of added sugars, and less than 1 gram of protein. Birthday Cake Bars (1 bar) – 100 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 9 grams of added sugars, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Pillsbury Limited Edition Lucky Charms Cookie Dough

Pillsbury Limited Edition Lucky Charms Cookie Dough

What is Pillsbury Limited Edition Lucky Charms Cookie Dough?

It’s a ready-to-bake cookie dough inspired by Lucky Charms, one of your favorite childhood cereals. The result of this inspiration is “magically delicious” sugar cookie dough with small, but colorful marshmallow pieces. Unfortunately, the mallow bits are just tiny color blobs, so the hearts, stars, horseshoes, clovers, and blue moons (sing along here) are not identifiable.

How is it?

Pillsbury Limited Edition Lucky Charms Cookie Dough Raw

I’ll start with the raw dough, which I have to try despite the polite ask on the packaging to not eat it. No surprises here. The texture is granular and it tastes like sugar cookie dough with a small bit of added softness from the marshmallow pieces.

Pillsbury Limited Edition Lucky Charms Cookie Dough Baked

Pillsbury Limited Edition Lucky Charms Cookie Dough Split

The baked cookie is thin and one that I wouldn’t describe as “big” as the packaging claims. The smell of the finished product is reminiscent of Lucky Charms cereal and spreads throughout the kitchen, so you know the end product will be sugary and sweet.

My first batch (baked for 16 minutes) wasn’t very pretty with a crunchy brown rim. However, they still tasted great with a gooey center made a little extra chewy by the colorful additions. The overall product is more sugar cookie than Lucky Charms marshmallow, but they are present enough to add texture (increased softness and chewiness) and taste (sugary sweetness). It’s important to note that the marshmallow isn’t a true marshmallow taste, it’s more like the cereal.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Pillsbury Limited Edition Lucky Charms Cookie Dough Baked Closeup

I followed the baking instructions, and my first batch wasn’t very aesthetic with crispy brown edges, but still tasted sugary and sweet. I experimented a little more with my second batch and baked them for 12 minutes, and those were much prettier without the brown edges. My best looking cookie was the one that I actually balled up and squished down a little. Despite appearances, they all tasted great!

Conclusion:

Pillsbury Limited Edition Lucky Charms Cookie Dough Thin

It’s a pleasant, but thin, sugar cookie. Despite the lack of distinguishable Lucky Charms shapes, the colors are just enough to remind you of the cereal, but if the hearts, stars, horseshoes, clovers, and blue moons are missing, does it mean the magic is too?

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 14 oz. (12 cookies)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cookie) 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of total sugars, 12 grams of added sugars, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Pillsbury Churro Toaster Strudel

Pillsbury Churro Toaster Strudel

What is the Pillsbury Churro Toaster Strudel?

A marriage between the theme park treat and a fancy Pop-Tart, aka Toaster Strudel. As always, these require some manual labor, first figuring out how to separate and then open the icing packet, and then put it on the pastry. Then the race is on to finish the Toaster Strudel before the icing liquifies from the heat.

How is it?

Pillsbury Churro Toaster Strudel Art

Underwhelming, much like my attempt to recreate the pastry art pictured on the box. These really aren’t bad, but they really aren’t churro flavored either. I had to ask my taste buds to dig down deep to find even a hint of anything resembling churro or cinnamon flavor. The best way I can describe the filling is nondescript sweet, warm goo.

Pillsbury Churro Toaster Strudel Closeup

Pillsbury Churro Toaster Strudel Uncooked

Looking at the photo on the box, it seemed to show something extra going on with the pastry crust—either cinnamon mixed in or perhaps little flakes of churro pieces. But I couldn’t distinguish anything different about the crust compared to a regular Toaster Strudel. The icing was chocolatey, as promised, with almost a pudding taste rather than a standard chocolate sauce. If someone had given me this without any hint as to the flavor, I’m not sure I would have guessed churro.

Is there anything else you need to know?

You can get drunk off these! OK, actually you can’t, but they do contain chocolate liquor. Sadly, it’s the very last ingredient listed (after the always delicious locust bean gum), so you are fine to eat a few of these and hop behind the wheel. Just don’t go swimming for 30 minutes.

Pillsbury Churro Toaster Strudel Mascot

On another completely random subject, if you are ever in San Antonio, you can find some delicious churros in the Market Square, along with what is likely one of the only churro mascots in the world. Just don’t give him one of these Toaster Strudels.

Conclusion:

If I was in a rush one morning and grabbed one of these without looking at the box, I would probably be satisfied and go off to work contemplating new ways to waste time while being paid. But I was expecting some kind of churro flavor, and this one misses the mark on that.

Purchased Price: $2.06
Size: 11.7 oz box (6 pastries)
Purchased at: H-E-B
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (for 2 pastries with icing) 370 calories, 14 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 390 milligrams of sodium, 56 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Fillows Creme Filled Cereal (Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme and Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll)

General Mills Fillows Hershey s Cookies  n Creme Cereal

Can I say that of all the cereal types here-to-now discovered by humanity, stuff-filled cereals by far have the most potential? Yes, I know corn loops, toasted oat rings, whole wheat squares, and (maybe) even sweet seasoned crisped rice all have roles to play in a complete breakfast, but the flavor-stuffed cavities of cereals like Kellogg’s Krave are structurally in another dimension.

Think of them as the chocolate eclairs of the cereal world. Don’t like eclairs? Fine, a creme-filled donut. And thanks to General Mills’ new Fillows cereal, we now have a competitor to Kellogg’s Krave.

Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme

General Mills Fillows Hershey s Cookies  n Creme Cereal Wading in Milk

Call me an overly visual taster, but the appearance of chocolate squares with the promise of a creme filling inside made me expect the taste of Oreo cookies. However, I was massively disappointed when, on the first bite, the cloying taste of nothing but vanilla and sugar assaulted my taste buds. With the oh-so-slightest hint of cocoa on the backend, each square felt like a façade, as if I’d been served a veggie burger instead of a bleeding disc of cow. This marked the high point of my cereal disillusionment for the day.

To be fair, Hershey’s do not make Oreo cookies; they make Cookies ‘n’ Crème candy bars. And with that as a baseline, I tried the cereal again and appreciated it more for its unabashed vanilla sweetness. Still, there are some off flavors going on — notably, an artificial marshmallow taste that really seems to come out in milk. They don’t help the cereal stay true to either cookies ‘n’ creme the bar or the flavor.

General Mills Fillows Hershey s Cookies  n Creme Cereal Spoon

That, to be honest, might be part of the problem. Cookies ‘n’ Creme Fillows are too sweet to be enjoyed with milk, and probably on the verge of being too sweet for most people as a snack (full disclosure: I’m not like most people). But at least when eaten dry the cocoa becomes a little more rounded, with a mild but enjoyable Cocoa Puffs flavor. It’s lost in milk, though, which makes the cereal a slight disappointment.

Purchased Price: $3.64
Size: 22 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (3/4 cup) 230 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll

General Mills Fillows Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll Cereal

The legacy of bakery-inspired cereals is a mixed bag. While there are some great ones — such as Kellogg’s bygone Cinnabon cereal — more often than not even the good ones don’t really taste like donuts or french toast or cinnamon rolls.

Let me be real with y’all: Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll Fillows legitimately tastes like a cinnamon roll. What’s more, they might even be better than an actual Pillsbury cinnamon roll.

General Mills Fillows Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll Cereal Wading in Milk

Like the Cookies ‘n’ Creme Fillows, these are overwhelmingly sweet at 19 grams of sugar per 52 grams of cereal. However, the sweetness feels like a match with the concentrated cinnamon flavor. Even eaten dry, there’s a certain richness in each square, mimicking the gooey buttery interior of a cinnamon roll. This flavor heightened in milk, where the squares take on an indulgent churros appeal.

General Mills Fillows Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll Cereal Spoon

Granted, when you review cereal you learn to write a lot of vague crap, but let me state this unequivocally: This is the best Cinnamon Roll cereal I’ve had in 30 years of eating processed sugar for breakfast. Buy this.

Purchased Price: $3.64
Size: 22 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (3/4 cup) 230 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Overall, it’s good to see General Mills partner with Hershey’s and Pillsbury to join the filled cereal market. While the Cookies ‘n’ Creme flavor doesn’t seem to work in a cereal, they’ve definitely found a winner with the Pillsbury Doughboy. Let’s hope it sticks around.