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.

Limited Edition Dunkin' Donuts Frosted Chocolate Mocha Pop-Tarts 2

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: Kellogg’s Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts

I really expected to love these Kellogg’s Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts, write a review that just said “G.O.A.T.,” drop a mic, light my keyboard on fire, do a touchdown dance, buy a new keyboard to write a Buzzfeed article with the title “Pop-Tarts You Have To Pop Into Your Toaster and Then Pop Into Your Mouth Right Now”, light the new keyboard on fire, flip a baseball bat, salute, and then walk away with two thumbs up raised above my head.

But after trying them at room temperature, toasted, chilled, frozen, and with a goat on a boat, I have to say these new soda-inspired Pop-Tarts aren’t the Greatest of All Time.

But they are good.

I think my expectations were too high (ya think) because of all the great root beer float-flavored snacks that have made their way onto shelves over the past few years. There’s been the Nabisco Ice Cream Creations Root Beer Float Chips Ahoy Cookies (awesome), Betty Crocker’s A&W Root Beer Float Cookie Mix (awesome), and Limited Edition Root Beer Float Oreo Cookies (good).

What I loved about the Chips Ahoy and Betty Crocker cookies was how the root beer flavor stood out. But what prevented the Root Beer Float Oreo Cookies from reaching the pantheon the other cookies did was how the Golden Oreo wafers muted the creme’s flavor. Unfortunately, that’s similar to what’s going on with these Pop-Tarts.

Kellogg's Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts 2

I thought not having the “float” part in the toaster pastry would’ve made the root beer flavor stand out even more, but, sadly, the crust and frosting are the pillows that smother the root beer filling’s flavor. The crust, although dark in color which makes it appear it might be flavored, tastes like regular Pop-Tarts crust. The same can be said about frosting’s flavor. As for the brown, red, and orange crunchlets (yes, that’s what they’re officially called), they’re just decoration.

Kellogg's Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts 3

The filling has the sugar and spices one would taste in A&W Root Beer, and it’s good, but, again, I do wish it was stronger. I thought toasting would help, but it doesn’t. I thought that was strange because with most Pop-Tarts the flavor hits my taste buds harder when toasted.

There’s no optimum way to eat them. I enjoyed them equally at room temperature, toasted, chilled, and frozen. Also, it may have just my imagination but I might’ve felt a little bit of fizzing.

Of all the big root beer brands — Barq’s, Mug, and A&W — A&W is my favorite. I can’t specifically explain why I like it, but drinking unlimited A&W Root Beer from a tap at an A&W Restaurant is one of favorite food-related memories. Tasting these Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts probably won’t break into my list of favorite food memories. They also don’t make me want to walk away with two thumbs up raised above my head. But I’ll give them one thumbs up.

Disclosure: I received this sample for free from the Kellogg Company. Being free didn’t affect this review in any way. If it did, the whole review probably would’ve been just “G.O.A.T.”

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: FREE from Kellogg
Size: 8 pack
Purchased at: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Great idea. One thumbs up. Filling tastes like root beer. Fizzing? Enjoyable at room temperature, toasted, chilled, or frozen.
Cons: Not G.O.A.T. Crust and frosting hinder the root beer flavor. I wish root beer flavor was stronger. No Dr Pepper Pop-Tarts, yet.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Printed Fun Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Limited Edition Printed Fun Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts

The element of surprise can be a valuable tool.  As the Japanese poet Bash famously observed, “When you surprise your enemy, you fuck his shit up.”  [Translated]  That’s true both on the battlefield and in the kitchen. I’ve eaten and reviewed plenty of foods that have surprised me, some pleasantly, some less so.  One of the draws of foreign food, as related to me by people who try it, is the chance to encounter new tastes you’ve never experienced before and weren’t expecting.

But as God is my witness, Pop-Tarts are not such a food.  No one buys Pop-Tarts for the mystery factor.  You purchase them because you know exactly what you’re getting: a flaky pastry, probably frosting on top, and filled with whatever flavor you selected, be it S’Mores or Raspberry Milkshake or Soylent Green.  If I got a Pop-Tart that didn’t taste like what it was named, I would only eat the entire box in three days under extreme protest, I promise you that.  So when I learned Kellogg’s was releasing another limited edition holiday variety of Pop-Tarts, this one flavored like sugar cookies, my only thought was: they’d damn well better taste like sugar cookies.  Well, as it turns out:

…..yeah, basically they taste like sugar cookies.  Phew.

While no living human has eaten as many Pop-Tarts varieties as The Impulsive Buy’s editor-in-chief, I have been around the block a few times myself, and these are among the better-tasting Pop-Tarts I’ve tried.  They don’t taste exactly like real sugar cookies, which obviously don’t have vaguely marshmallow-y filling inside them like these do, and the texture is a bit different from crumbly sugar cookies.  You wouldn’t mistake them for cookies in a blind taste test is what I’m saying, but you’d still probably ask for another bite.  The sweetness lingers in your mouth afterward and might be too much for those without a sweet tooth, though I doubt the sugar-averse are picking up a package of these anyway.  And as simple as sugar cookies are, I’m glad Kellogg’s didn’t try making them Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Cone (With Rainbow Sprinkles and Hot Fudge) Pop-Tarts, which would’ve ruined it.  For once they wisely showed some restraint.

Kellogg's Limited Edition Printed Fun Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts Foil WrapperNot a lot, mind you.  I’m guessing someone’s train of thought was that if the pastry itself was going to be straightforward, they’d better jazz it up in other respects.  Said jazzing occurs two ways, the first of which is the wrappers.  As you probably know, they come in packs of two inside shiny foil wrappers. 

What I’ve never seen before is little word balloons with slogans extolling the virtues of the product contained therein, and yet there they were.  I’m guessing they’re randomly generated, since one of my wrappers sported the phrase “We look good in silver,” and immediately below it, “Silver is your color.”  Some are almost slightly funny, most just annoying.  I kept looking for one promising good things were right around the corner, but no dice.

But trite-ass slogans don’t sell Pop-Tarts, as my grandmother used to say — the main draw, other than the taste, is the “printed fun” promised in the name.  See, each pastry hosts a scene of a smiling creature frolicking in winter, be it kittens skiing or a penguin flipping you the bird (I assume… it’s hard to tell without fingers), or most bizarrely, a snowman bobsled team sporting two of Jamaica’s three national colors, suggesting someone at Kellogg’s has a sly sense of humor and a fondness for Cool Runnings.

Kellogg's Limited Edition Printed Fun Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts PrintThe polar bear is skating rather than enjoying a cool, refreshing Coca-Cola, missing out on a golden opportunity for cross-promotion if you ask me, but then food blogging’s gain was the marketing world’s loss, obviously.  Anyway, they’re… well, they’re cute.  It’s not like kids needed an extra incentive to eat warm rectangles of sugar and fat, but they fit the holiday theme and allow you the chance to bite a seal’s head off without going to jail, so there’s that.

I unapologetically kind of dig these.  I should probably be annoyed by the excessive cuteness of the printed images, far more saccharine than anything contained within the pastry itself.  But… well, it’s the holiday season.  If there’s ever a time to refrain from mocking overly sentimental things, minus the last five paragraphs, this is probably it.  They taste good and pretty similar to actual sugar cookies, the printed images will appeal to their intended audience of children and me, and they can be used as a last-minute gift in a pinch, if it turns out your girlfriend doesn€™t find the “Dick in a Box” skit as hilarious as you do.  Overall, as shameless holiday tie-ins go, they’re definitely among the better ones.

(Nutritional Info – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 50 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein)

Item: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Printed Fun Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts
Price: $3.39
Size: 21.2 oz/12 toaster pastries
Purchased at: Acme
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: (Mostly) taste like sugar cookies.  Delicious filling.  Abundant frosting.  Affordable price.  Cute animal images.  Keeping it simple.  Some of the foil word balloons.
Cons: The element of surprise in Pop-Tarts.  Atsa lotta sugar!  Missed marketing opportunities.  Overly cutesy.  Most of the foil word balloons.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Frosted Confetti Cake Pop-Tarts

Limited Edition Frosted Confetti Cake Pop-Tarts

I don’t bake, hang out at bakeries, or lollygag in the aisle at my local supermarket that consists of sugar, spice, and everything needed to make baked goods, so I didn’t know about the confetti cake.

If I lingered in the baking aisle like I linger in the magazine section at Waldenbooks Borders Barnes & Noble, I would’ve eventually noticed Duncan Hines makes a Confetti Cake Mix. But instead I had to learn about the confetti cake’s existence via Kellogg’s Limited Edition Frosted Confetti Cake Pop-Tarts.

I also probably would’ve learned about confetti cake earlier if one of the baker’s dozen or so of cake reality shows out there made one. Seriously, I’ve watched Ace of Cakes, Amazing Wedding Cakes, Cake Boss, Ultimate Cake Off, Fabulous Cakes, Cupcake Wars, DC Cupcakes, The Cupcake Girls, Last Cake Standing, Staten Island Cakes, and Have Cake, Will Travel, and not once did any of them bake this colorful dessert.

With its white frosting with colorful sprinkles on top, Limited Edition Confetti Cake Pop-Tarts look they contracted clown herpes, which I believe one can get by either being sprayed with water from a water squirter that looks like a flower or while stuffed in a small car with many other clowns. While the exterior looks like clown herpes, the multicolored cake-flavored filling looks like the pus that would ooze out of clown herpes sores.

Limited Edition Frosted Confetti Cake Pop-Tarts Innards

Geez, I totally made these Pop-Tarts sound completely unappetizing, which, by the way, they are not.

The Limited Edition Confetti Cake Pop-Tarts are surprisingly tasty and they do taste like cake, albeit a slightly artificial cake. The crust does have a buttery flavor to it, but because that butteriness seems to linger in my mouth for a while it’s a little off-putting.

Okay, those last two sentences probably didn’t help make these Pop-Tarts sound appetizing, but, overall, I really like them and I think they’re yummy enough that I would put them somewhere at the bottom of my list of Top 10 Favorite Pop-Tarts Flavors of All-Time.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 190 calories, 35 calories from fat, 3.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat*, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.)

*made with partially hydrogenated oil

Item: Limited Edition Frosted Confetti Cake Pop-Tarts
Price: $2.79
Size: 8 count
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Tasty. Tastes like cake. Buttery crust. Tastes great toasted or not toasted.
Cons: Looks like they have clown herpes. Limited edition. Confetti sprinkles come off easily. The number of cake reality show. The number of brick and mortar booksellers.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Chocolate Banana Split Pop-Tarts

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The banana split is a highlight of American dessert ingenuity and the ultimate dessert for those who want to give a big middle finger and a loud “fuck it” to their diets.

A classic version of this ice cream dessert includes scoops of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream placed in single file on a banana that’s been split in half and topped with chocolate syrup, nuts, whipped cream and maraschino cherries.

The regret and possible diarrhea comes separately.

Although meant for two people, banana splits are usually eaten by 12-year-olds on their birthday or whenever their parents are sick and tired of their corpulent 12-year old’s whining for one. Kellogg’s has taken selected flavors from the beloved banana split and compacted them into a svelte toaster pastry form with their Chocolate Banana Split Pop-Tarts.

I’ve always thought of Pop-Tarts as part of a complete breakfast, but the Pop-Tarts trend of introducing ice cream-related flavors over the years has confused me because I don’t know if it’s appropriate to eat them for breakfast. Just like drinking a malt liquor at the crack of dawn or poppin’ a cap at daybreak, it feels a little weird eating Mint Chocolate Chip Pop-Tarts, Hot Fudge Sundae Pop-Tarts, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pop-Tarts or Vanilla Milkshake Pop-Tarts to help jump start my day. Until Kellogg’s tells me something otherwise, I’ll continue to eat their toaster pastries in the A.M. only.

The Chocolate Banana Split Pop-Tarts filling is made up of alternating chocolate and banana stripes, but the strong flavor of the white banana stripes overwhelms the brown chocolate stripes. If you hate products that have a weird artificial banana taste and smell, you should avoid these Pop-Tarts. I personally like weird artificial banana tasting products and these Pop-Tarts weren’t bad, but they definitely aren’t anywhere near the top of my list of favorite Pop-Tarts flavors.

The Chocolate Banana Split Pop-Tarts may not be a highlight of Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts ingenuity, but they do have the ability to temporarily silence a corpulent 12-year-old’s whining.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 17 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.)

Item: Kellogg’s Chocolate Banana Split Pop-Tarts
Price: $2.99 (on sale)
Size: 8 pack
Purchased at: Foodland
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Decent tasting because I like weird artificial banana tasting products. Contains vitamins and minerals. Ability to temporarily silence a rotund 12-year-old’s whining. American ingenuity. USA! USA! USA! Real banana splits.
Cons: Artificial banana taste overwhelmed the chocolate. Contains high fructose corn syrup. Sprinkles don’t add anything. It feel weird eating desserts for breakfast. Eating a whole banana split by yourself.