REVIEW: Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms Soft Baked Bars

Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms Soft Baked Bars Boxes

What are Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms Soft Baked Bars?

They feature the flavors of General Mills’ most popular cereals, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms (sorry, Raisin Nut Bran), but in soft baked bar form. The CTC one features a cinnamon swirl, while the Lucky Charms one is a marshmallow chip blondie.

How are they?

How I feel about the Cinnamon Toast Crunch bars can be explained by looking at the anthropomorphic cereal piece on the box. No, not the one sticking out its tongue, which would make it seem like I think they’re gross. I’m talking about the one with a smile on its face. Although, my face is less euphoric.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Soft Baked Bars Closeup

The cinnamon swirl is more like cinnamon sections planted generously throughout the bar. They have a mild, sweet flavor and a streusel-like crunch. Oh, and if you were wondering, the icing doesn’t taste like milk. But even though there’s a pleasant flavor and a bit of a crunch, the bars don’t remind me of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. Don’t get me wrong, they have a nice flavor, but they also taste like other pastries that use the warm spice.

As for the Lucky Charms version, its flavor tastes like the cereal’s marshmallows because there are actual Lucky Charms marbits baked into them.

Lucky Charms Soft Baked Bars Closeup

Unfortunately, because they’re baked, the shaped marbits’ have melted into color blobs, and their usual crunchy texture has turned into something much softer. I mean, they’re not soggy as if they were sitting in milk for half an hour, but they’re soft enough that they end up being the same texture as the cake that surrounds them. Thankfully, there’s no oat cereal flavor.

According to the ingredients, the bars also contain confectionary chips, but they’re soft and unrecognizable like the marshmallows.

Anything else you need to know?

I can’t get the image of Fiber One bars out of my head when I look at these because they have the same shape and icing pattern as Fiber One Brownies and Soft-Baked Bars. Of course, the similarities make sense since they’re also made by General Mills.

If you’re wondering, these don’t contain much fiber. But maybe there’s a Big G Cereals and Fiber One mashup in our fiber futures.

Conclusion:

Both Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms Soft Baked Bars are pleasant treats that I’d eat again. But I wish the CTC variety reminded me of the cereal as much as the Lucky Charms one did. And I wish the Lucky Charms bars had a bit of crunch like the CTC bars did.

DISCLOSURE: I received free samples of the products. Thanks, General Mills! Doing so did not influence my thoughts about them.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 4.92 oz box/6 bars
Purchased at: Received from General Mills
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Cinnamon Toast Crunch), 7 out of 10 (Lucky Charms)
Nutrition Facts: (1 bar) Cinnamon Toast Crunch – 90 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein. Lucky Charms – 100 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops Cereal Bars (2020)

Kellogg s Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops Cereal Bars Boxes

What are Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops Cereal Bars?

They’re not the Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops Cereal & Milk Bars that were available years ago that I thought were still around. But if you’re not familiar with cereal bars, the concept has been the same throughout the years. Cereal pieces are coated in corn syrup (or some other sticky ingredient) that allows them to stick together. Then their bottoms are dipped in a sweet confection.

According to Kellogg’s, the amount of cereal in each bar equals a half serving of cereal (by weight).

How are they?

Kellogg s Frosted Flakes Cereal Bar

The Frosted Flakes one, oddly, doesn’t instantly remind me of Frosted Flakes. Although, the original Frosted Flakes Cereal & Milk Bars also apparently didn’t taste like the cereal. My first bite reminded me of a sugar cone, but I couldn’t replicate that flavor with subsequent tastes.

The combination of the frosting on the corn flakes, corn syrup, and the white confection at the bottom of every bar make these taste sugar-heavy. I imagine it’s what Xtreme Frosted Flakes would taste like. It’s hard for the corn flakes’ flavor to come through. Occasionally it does, and when that happens, the bar tastes more like Frosted Flakes. But for the most part, it’s hard to pinpoint these as Frosted Flakes bars.

Kellogg s Froot Loops Cereal Bar

Fortunately, that’s not the case with the Froot Loops version. When I opened the wrapper, I expected a toucan to land on my shoulder and say, “I followed my nose” because the aroma of eau de parfroot filled my nostrils. And, with every bite, there’s no mistaking these are made with the iconic fruity cereal.

But the bars are a bit more fragile than the Frosted Flakes one. I imagine that’s the case because they’re made with loops instead of flakes, which means less surface area to allow the corn syrup to its job. Speaking of the corn syrup coating, it might’ve also softened the cereal loops ever so slightly, which didn’t happen with the corn flakes.

Kellogg s Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops Cereal Bars Bottom

Anything else you need to know?

Along with these 6-count boxes, the bars are also available in 18- and 36-count offerings.

Conclusion:

Both bars are sweet, tasty, portable, and convenient ways to consume these iconic parts of a complete breakfast. But because it’s hard to tell the Frosted Flakes version is made with Tony’s cereal with all the sugar components, I have to say I enjoy the Froot Loops one more. That’s a bit odd for me to say since I prefer Frosted Flakes over Froot Loops when it comes to breakfast cereal.

DISCLOSURE: I received free samples of the products. (Thanks, Kellogg’s!) Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 6 bars
Purchased at: Received from Kellogg’s (available now at retailers nationwide)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Frosted Flakes), 7 out of 10 (Froot Loops)
Nutrition Facts: (1 bar) Frosted Flakes – 100 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein. Froot Loops – 90 calories, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: KIND Frozen Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt Bar

KIND Frozen Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Bar

What is the KIND Frozen Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt Bar?

No, these counterparts to the famous fruit and nut bars aren’t shelved next to the ice cream by mistake. Instead, this Walmart-exclusive novelty requires frozen storage, and features an ample sprinkling of chocolate-drizzled almonds and peanuts atop a creamy almond base.

How is it?

Unassuming appearance aside, one bite is all it takes to realize these are definitely at home sandwiched in-between the frozen dessert aisle’s typical guilty pleasures. Unlike KIND’s flagship line of bars, which I feel generally emulate eating a brick of compressed bird seed, the addition of an almond-based frozen dessert layer, as well as generous amounts of dark chocolate, keep this experience 100% indulgent from beginning to end.

KIND Frozen Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Bar Halved

The almond base is really where KIND hits it out of the park. Rather than resembling an icy, chalky brick like most supposedly “creamy” plant-based frozen desserts, it’s smooth, silky, and melty as soon as it hits your tongue. Part of this superb texture may be attributable to the addition of milkfat, which makes this a rare KIND offering that doesn’t cater to the dairy-intolerant.

KIND Frozen Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Bar Top

The nuts on top provide a pleasant crunch to contrast against the creamy almond layer, and help accentuate the light nutty taste of the base itself. On the bottom, the dark chocolate coating provides an extra bit of snap, and a pleasant bittersweet note to offset the treat’s sweeter aspects.

Is there anything else you need to know?

One not-so-great thing about this treat’s readiness to melt is that it’s nearly impossible to get home without having it going completely soft. Luckily, re-freezing it doesn’t seem to hurt its texture too much, so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem as long as you’re okay with less-than-picture-perfect bars.

Conclusion:

Do the KIND thing for your body and soul by picking up a couple bars the next time you stop by your local Walmart. Just be sure to bring a cooler to carry them home in.

Purchased Price: $1.37
Purchased at: Walmart
Size: 1 bar (49 grams)
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts:: (1 bar) 190 calories, 12 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 6 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 11 grams of total sugars, 10 grams of added sugars, and 4 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Special K Cookies & Creme Pastry Crisps

Special K Cookies & Creme Pastry Crisps

Purchased Price: $3.29 (on sale)
Size: 5 pouches
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Tastes similar to Cookies & Creme Pop-Tarts. Light and crispy exterior. 100 calories per pouch. A nice little snack. No need to toast in order for it to be crispy, unlike Pop-Tarts. Nutritionally, two Cookies & Creme Pastry Crisps equal one Oreo cookie. If you eat a lot of Cookies & Creme Pop-Tarts and think to yourself, “Hey, I should cut back on the Cookies & Creme Pop-Tarts” these are the Nicorette Gum that’ll satisfy your Pop-Tart cravings.
Cons: Insides were a bit hollow so maybe they could use a little more cream…I mean, creme. Chocolatey drizzle melts in your mouth and in your hands. They’re pretty much portion control Pop-Tarts. Being addicted to Cookies & Creme Pop-Tarts.

Special K Cookies & Creme Pastry Crisps Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 2 crisps – 100 calories, 20 calories from fat, 2 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Special K Fudge Brownie Bites

Special K Fudge Brownie Bites

Sometimes you’re waiting at the ATM or buying a plunger or watching movers carry a divan into the lobby of an apartment complex and a brownie craving just plum rises out of the Earth’s crust, willing and ready to swallow you in a single gulp, and there you sit, defenses bare, without a bakery, grocery, or Easy Bake Oven in sight. What’re you to do?

Fret not, dear reader, for the hope of relief rests in sight, and it cometh in the form of a 0.74-ounce purple baggie.

Saturday was an exciting day: we survived the Mayan apocalypse, dodged a passing asteroid, and lived to see another National Haiku Day (and what’s more fun than short poetic verse??). In hopes to celebrate all these wonders in a fiscally realistic economic exchange, I skipped-the-doo-da-day down to the local supercenter and found these new-fangled Special K Fudge Brownie Bites.

Prior to opening my factory-sealed satchel, I noticed the special emphasis Mr. Kellogg stamped on the portion represented here.

Hmmm…

Considering the amount of Photoshopping that went in to that picture, I visualized myself opening the bag to find two, maybe three, dinky brownie nubs that would more likely than not remind me of hamster food. Nonetheless, I closed my eyes and reached in…

“Como?!” I uttered under my breath.

These were not the brownie shrapnel I feared. Quite the contrary, they were chewy without a wisp of a factory-sealed grease coating in sight. I was so surprised by my spontaneous bout into brownie-inspired Spanish expression that I had to try another.

And another.

And another.

Ten anothers later, I realized I had eaten the whole bag. After conducting an in-depth psychological analysis and setting my results against years of previous research, I am proud to conclude that these are, indeed, fudge-like in texture, which is an accomplishment in any regard. It got me thinking, “Gee willikers, I wish there were a superhero made of brownies.”

Luckily, I had five more bags of these, so I made one.

Special K Fudge Brownie Bites Brownie Man

Indeed, his name is Brownie Man. He has a theme song:

Brownie Man, Brownie Man
Quicker than
A minivan
Not Raisin Bran
Or made of flan
He’s Brownie Man.

Special K Fudge Brownie Bites  Brownie Man Saves the Day!

One of Brownie Man’s greatest strengths is his convenience. The compact size of these nifty little pouches leads me to believe I could take these brownies just about anywhere. To the hardware store. In a submarine. Lumberjacking through the dense Canadian woods. In fact, due to the compact size and easy disposal, I’m about 87 percent sure they would make excellent space food.

Special K Fudge Brownie Bites Brownies in Space!

Of course, if you’re not a lumberjack or deep-space explorer, I am pleased to announce how excellently these fit in a lunchbox.

Sometimes, I crave a homemade, straight-out-of-the-oven brownie filled with milk chocolate chips that, when pulled, form molten lava ribbons. Other times, I covet a simple, no-fuss brownie that comes in a cellophane bag and requires absolutely no effort other than rip, pluck, and chew. These Brownie Bites fulfill the second.

That said, texture reigns far over flavor here. If you find yourself with a hardcore, exclusive-batch, better-than-the-original-Star-Wars brownie craving, these may not fulfill your inner needs (and, really, what can when talking about the original Star Wars?), but, for those who are just looking for a chewy packaged brownie or, if you’re like me and missing those Hostess Brownie Bites (oh, lonely Hostess, where has your pastry magic gone?!), these are a rainbow of light, guiding the map to a chewy treasure.

Special K Fudge Brownie Bites Brownie Brick Road

So follow the brownie brick road.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bag – 100 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, Less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 7 grams of sugars, and 1 gram of protein..)

Item: Kellogg’s Special K Fudge Brownie Bites
Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 1 box/6 pouches
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Soft. Chewy. Lots of little brownies per bag. Lumberjacks. Spontaneous Spanish expressions of delight. Surviving the apocalypse. Space explorers. Haikus.
Cons: Faint on the chocolate flavor. Excessive photoshopping. Not having an Easy Bake Oven when you need one. Buying a plunger.