Monthly Archives

August 2020

Kit Kat – Limited Edition – Apple Pie

Posted in Cereal by

I’ve got (another) confession to make (click here to listen to the Foo Fighters song that is now stuck in your head.) – I don’t like apple pie. Apparently that probably makes me unAmerican, but I just don’t. In theory, I should like apple pie. I like apple (sauce and juice), I like cinnamon, and I like a good flaky crust, and even being lactose intolerant I like a big heaping scoop of ice cream on a piece of pie, but I just cannot get into it.

As Nick said in his Trader Joe’s Cranberry & White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie review white chocolate really isn’t my jam. I feel like this review is just me telling you what I don’t like. I grabbed this with the pure intention of taking one bite and tossing the whole thing in the garbage. I feel like white chocolate has such a distinct sweet taste that is so overpowering in every instance its used. Don’t get me wrong, I REALLY like sweet, but unless its combined with peanut butter in a Reese’s ghost or pumpkin? I will pass.

This Kit Kat really surprised me. The balance of the sweetness from the white chocolate, with the crisp apple taste, and the warm cinnamon flavor actually really complimented each other. The apple flavor was subtle but very much present, the wafer part offered the buttery flaky flavor you would expect in a pie, and the cinnamon and white chocolate offer the right amount of spice and sweetness to tie it all together. Overall I was quite impressed. I saw these at the checkout lanes the other day when I went to the store to grab a few things and contemplated buying another one, but peanut M & M’s made the cut.

Found at Walmart

August 13, 2020

Fudge Stripes Cookies Strawberry Shortcake

Posted in Cookies by

Okay, so. I really love Fudge Stripe Cookies. They’re my mid-year cookie of choice when I finally get another pang for Girl Scout Thin Mints and it isn’t knee-deep in freezing February anymore. I like both cold, freezing cold, straight out of the freezer. And so, when I picked these up, I knew I’d be eating them cold too. Mostly. To be fair, for review purposes, I did eat these straight from the container at room temperature.

And these are pretty great. The cookie is crispity, crunchity shortbread coated with the eponymous fudge stripes, only now, instead of chocolately brown, they’re pastel pink. And in some places, pale pastel pink to almost white. There’s an odd disarray and discoloration of the fudge stripes on some of these. Any three can be varying shades of pink, and I’m not sure if that’s on purpose.

The chocolate fudge is also now more like a snack cake icing, though without the witchery involved in making it non-pliable even at warm temperatures. My room runs hotter than most because I get cold a bit easily and running lights for photography amplifies that. The pink icing was melty out of the packaging at 76F.

The inclusion of ingredients that include both palm oil and whey give this an odd, milky, creaminess at times that my tongue fights against. It’s a hazard of eating modern sweets. Palm oil is everywhere and in everything, and sometimes, it hits my stomach wrong. Other than the new, artificial taste of the icing, do they taste like strawberry shortcake? Yes… and no. The cookie is shortcake, no contest, but the icing stripes and the coated back are almost there. There’s a taste to it that yes, is creamy, and yes, is strawberry, but it misses that unctuous, drippy, jammy quality of well, jam.

But it’s a mass produced cookie from Keebler. Am I mad? No. Will I finish the pack? Yes, absolutely, of course. Fresh out of the freezer alongside an ounce of limeade mixed with some sparkling water on ice. It’s summer, and this, this is a light, sweet, delicious, beautiful summer cookie.

And so, to us, a toast. Let’s happily destroy our beach bods together, yeah? Cheers.

Found at Publix Super Market.

August 12, 2020

Hostess Birthday CupCakes

Posted in Confectionaries by

The dog days of summer are rolling hot this year. It’s normally been a balmy 90+ outdoors for me this year, while California has been a fry-an-egg-on-your-hood 109+ some days. For what it’s worth, summer is actually my favorite season. Cicadas hailing in bearably warm evening hours, the sounds of kids doing cannonballs, the smell of fresh cut grass. The way that East Coast states have sun until almost 10pm. Extended family time without school and lukewarm, lazy cheeseburgers with knock-off Kraft singles, store brand buns and ketchup.

My birthday.

As an newly old man, I have plenty of summer memories, plenty of remembered birthday cakes, plenty of times I had vanilla ice cream and Betty Crocker box cake from a glass baking dish. There’s always been a certain amount of melancholy involved. With a July birthday, smack dab in the middle of family vacation time and school being out, I’ve never had huge parties or big expectations. Sometimes, the biggest things come in small, unexpected packages. Sometimes you’re trying to be efficient and buy $25 in face wash for your oil-inflected skin. And then sometimes you round a corner and yo, Hostess Birthday Cupcakes. It took like .5 seconds before I grabbed the pack and said LET’S. GO.

These are described as frosted yellow cake with creamy filling, and it isn’t wrong. Inside the pack were two Funfetti, Twinkie-esque yellow sponge cakes dotted with rainbow sprinkles(the Funfetti part!), and that signature thin white Hostess cupcake swirl atop a frosting cap permanently adhered to the cake via a subset of snack demonology and the power of sugar.

The sponge is non-descript: it’s a sweet cake and its odd Twinkie-like or Twinkie-perfect formula is light and airy in the best way a high fructose corn syrup cake can be. The cream is fun-fair sweet and the iced topping? The stuff of legends. I’m like 99% sure this is a Twinkie, just shaped like a cupcake. Why remake something if you could reshape something?

Bitten all together, the dense, fondant-lite icing takes the cake and dominates other flavors. The sprinkles make a good texture change in an otherwise, one note soft cake and creme affair. If these are Twinkies, I enjoy them more than the eponymous snack cake. The change in gear the Funfetti sprinkles add are a little, tiny bit of crunch, but in the overall product are little bits of sugar inside of a sugar rush of a cake.

This might be the first and last time I have a pair of these, because Jesus they’re small, but dense and absolutely PACKED with sugar. They feel like a blood sugar surge in an adorable baby blue tray.

Friends, if you can eat a ball of sugar, hats off to you, but at my age, it seems like old boy can’t hang anymore.

Found at Walgreens.

August 5, 2020

Sprite Lymonade

Posted in Drinks, Soda by

1% juice is both a statement on lack of quality and a good time. 1% juice is walking down the aisle with your mom in the 90s and watching her pick up a gallon of orange drink. 1% juice is chugging one of those grenade shaped drinks afterschool with your friends and feeling your throat burn as you seared it with blue 1 lake and high fructose corn syrup. 1% juice wasn’t good for you, but it tasted good.

And sometimes, 1% juice is in a soda called Sprite Lymonade. Lime-on-ade? Lemo— okay look, Coca-Cola company made up a word— okay, I watched a Youtube video and they pronounce it as LIME-onade. Since Sprite is a lemon-lime soda and they’ve added just a touch of lemonade, this is Coca-Cola’s way of being quirky with their naming. It’s fun. It’s also super confusing to order if you aren’t doing it for yourself. Keep in mind, it’s not *much* lemonade. This “made with real juice” soda is still only 1% real juice.

Poured out of the bottle, Lymonade has that look to it that added lemon juice does, with free-floating juice and noticeable solids on its surface. Not even soda can hide that real quality about lemon juice.

Everything about Sprite is here, with just a little extra. There’s still that light taste, satisfying flavor and crisp bubble. It’s what is says on the bottle, and if you find regular Sprite or zero calorie Sprite enjoyable, you’ll like this. It’s a little sweeter, and still not ever near anything tart like maybe it is in an alternate universe, but it’s good.

I first found Lymonade through Coke Freestyle machines at Wawa stores near me. Usually, I’m a Coke Zero fanatic, and don’t touch normal versions of sodas unless I’m curious. To date, I’ve only drank normal versions of Coke Orange Vanilla, Sprite Cranberry and now Lymonade. It takes a lot for me to decide to try the regular version, and if you’re like me, the zero calorie version(if you’re used to drinking zero calorie and know its taste) is tasty and definitely worth it. It tastes lighter, and cleaner than it’s more syrupy, heavier normal version.

But hey, don’t take my word for it.

Found at Walgreens.

August 3, 2020

Trader Joe’s Cranberry & White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Posted in Cookies by

Over the past couple of years, there have been some changes to Trader Joe’s items. Selection for bakery items has always been seasonal, for sure, with half loaves of breads available in New York stores and great San Francisco sourdough only available in California. As bread becomes a less popular staple in some cities, the company has pulled some of its lines and subsequently the baguettes, rolls and ubiquitous pretzel rolls(RIP sweet prince), but in their place, more versatile offerings have appeared. There are several gluten free breads, bagels and desserts at my regular stop now, and for non-sensitive and non-celiac customers the company has seemed to go all in on a few choice favorites rather than stick to experimenting. Vegan banana bread, pancake bread and the new line of boxed, bakery-side fresh cookies are keepers. While not all offerings are amazing(looking at you Pearl Sugar Cookies), some are better than they have any right to be.

Trader Joe’s Cranberry & White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies feel like I was made to try them. To poke fun at ourselves here, Erin isn’t too hot on white chocolate and I like to pretend that it wasn’t my wit and tastebud expertise that the lovely lady brought me on for, but my willingness to subject myself to any and all white chocolate offerings. Alternatively, these cookies were made for me: I was the kid that loved raisins and saw the little red boxes that made their appearances on Halloween as a treat: dried cranberries are their grown up cousins. I was the kid that looked forward to dollar store oatmeal cookies because they had that high fructose white icing and stiff, crisp crunch. Granny didn’t eat them, but she did buy them for the grandkids.

These are bendable, pliable, soft cookies stacked into a cardboard box with a plastic window to peep them through. You can taste the oats and brown sugar immediately, a hint of cinnamon, the weight of butter and oil. The oats on top are crunchy and craggy, the ones below soft and more texturally intact. Some are circular, some are a little oblong, but they’re all jam-packed with dried sweetened cranberries and chunks of white chocolate that remain solid and toothsome until cracked into. Perfection. Heaven. A way to ensure that I definitely will snack myself into a sugar-induced coma.

The other types, Pearl Sugar and Chocolate Chip, simply don’t compare to something done so well. On another pro note, while there is palm oil in these cookies through the margarine used, the white chocolate does not include it, leading to a flavor that isn’t so creamy and is more of a crunchy surprise suspended mid-brown sugar and cinnamon.

Simply delightful.

Found at Trader Joe’s.

August 1, 2020