Dunkaroos, McDonald’s, Wendy’s: This Week in Food News

Dunkaroos Are Making a Comeback

It’s official; Dunkaroos are coming back. General Mills discontinued this cookie/frosting duo in the US back in 2012. Now, all Nineties kids can rejoice because this nostalgic snack will return this summer. Dunkaroos originally came in three varieties: Graham cookies with chocolate or peanut butter creme or chocolate chip graham cookies. The newest flavor consists of vanilla cookies, vanilla frosting, and sprinkles.

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Return of the Shamrock Shake

The wait is almost over. On February 19, the Shamrock Shake will return to McDonald’s locations nationwide. In addition to the return of this fan favorite, McDonald’s also announced that it will release the brand new OREO Shamrock McFlurry. This new menu item features mint soft serve ice cream mixed with crushed Oreos.

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Wendy’s Breakfast is Coming for McDonald’s

Wendy’s is coming full force with a new line of breakfast menu items including the Breakfast Baconator, Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit, and the Frosty-ccino. These new breakfast option will be available starting March 2. I am most intrigued by the Frosty-ccino which consists of cold brew coffee with cream from a melted vanilla or chocolate Frosty. Which new menu item do you want most?

5 Heart-Shaped Foods to Give Your Valentine

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner which means it’s time to find the perfect gift for that special someone. If food is the way to their heart, check out these five heart-shaped foods to give your valentine:

Papa John’s Pizza

According to Delish, Papa John’s will be selling heart-shaped pizza for a limited time. From February 10 to February 16 you can order a one topping, heart-shaped pizza for any loved one. Use code VALENTINE and score this pizza for only $11.

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Costco Heart-Shaped Ravioli

If you want to make a romantic meal for your valentine, Costco has got you covered. Every year around Valentine’s Day Costco sells these cute, heart-shaped ravioli perfect for a cozy date night at home. As the package states these ravioli feature a blend of ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, and asiago cheeses. Pair the ravioli and a good bottle of wine for a perfect Valentine’s Day dinner.

Einstein’s Heart-Shaped Bagels

Einstein’s is spreading the love with heart-shaped bagels for Valentine’s Day. From February 10 through February 14 you can pick up a baker’s dozen of heart bagels in three flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon Raisin, and Plain. These fresh-baked bagels paired with Einstein’s famous shmear will make the perfect breakfast to share with that special someone.

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See’s Candies Peanut Butter Hearts

It wouldn’t be a proper Valentine’s Day without chocolate; that’s where See’s Candies comes in. I personally love the Butter Chews and Scotchmallows, but those don’t come in heart form. This Valentine’s season, See’s introduced the new Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Hearts. For a limited time you can pick up these heart-shaped chocolates and plenty of other sweet treats at See’s.

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Krispy Kreme Conversation Heart Doughnuts

If all else fails, you can always count on Krispy Kreme for a festive dozen of doughnuts. Now until February 14, pick up a dozen of these Conversation Heart Doughnuts to show your love. With up to 24 different phrases, this delicious play on conversation heart candies will make a great gift for your foodie.

Lucky Charms, Sprite, Krispy Kreme: This Week in Food News

Lucky Charms

Lucky Charms Ice Cream

THIS IS NOT A DRILL! Nestle and General Mills have teamed up to provide consumers with Lucky Charm ice cream. According to Delish, this magically delicious dessert will consist of, “a creamy vanilla dairy base that’s swirled with the signature cereal and scattered with your go-to marshmallow charms.” The exact release date has not been confirmed; however this product is expected to hit shelves within the next few months.

Sprite

Sprite Ginger flavor

As @candyhunting reported, Sprite Ginger is expected to launch in February. The big question is: Will this be like regular Sprite with a dash of ginger or the other way around? I am curious to see how this will taste or if it will be any competition for my go-to ginger ale, Canada Dry. All I can say is I hope this lives up to the success of the Winter Spiced Cranberry Sprite.

Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme Conversation Heart Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme is always finding new ways to draw people into stores. The latest tactic involves the Conversation Heart Doughnuts (pictured above) perfect for any Valentine. These doughnuts are prepared with 24 different phrases and come in a limited edition Valentine’s Day gift box while supplies last. Excuse me while I officially throw my New Year’s resolutions out the window.

A Roundup of My 2020 Birthday Freebies

I recently celebrated my birthday (Shoutout to all the Aquarius people out there) and while it wasn’t necessarily a large milestone, I wanted to make the most of it. In addition to the multiple plans I made throughout the day, I decided this would be the year I would hunt down all the birthday freebies I could find. Check out all the items I received for free on my birthday:

Starbucks

I am not ashamed to say I have been a member of the Starbucks Rewards program since around 2013. Now that’s a commitment! In addition to all the rewards I receive throughout the year, I thoroughly enjoy my annual birthday reward. This year I decided to treat myself with a Venti Iced Caramel Macchiato with an extra shot of espresso to start my day off right. Pro Tip: Maximize your free drink rewards by ordering a larger size. Regardless of size and customization, the drink is always free!

Retail Value: $6.35


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Einstein’s

After getting my free coffee from Starbucks, I was really craving a good breakfast and Einstein’s came in clutch. Prior to my actual birthday an email came to my inbox from the Einstein’s Bros Bakery Smear Society which included a coupon for a free, one egg breakfast sandwich. Einstein’s puts together delicious breakfast sandwiches so I jumped at the opportunity for a free bagel sandwich. I ordered the Bacon, Avocado, & Tomato Egg White Sandwich on an Everything Bagel and went on my merry way.

Retail Value: $4.89


Redbox

This was my first experience with the Redbox Rewards program. I have used Redbox in the past but I generally try to stay away because I am notoriously bad at returning the movies. However, Redbox gifted me with a free DVD rental so I decided to take advantage of the offer. My boyfriend and I rented Joker and enjoyed a cozy movie night at home.

Retail Value: $1.75


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Nothing Bundt Cakes

Before moving to Texas I had no idea about Nothing Bundt Cakes. Trust me on this; there’s nothing better than a red velvet bundlet with cream cheese frosting. I received a coupon for a free bundlet through the Nothing Bundt Cakes reward program so of course I had to pay them a visit. No surprise here the cake was as delicious as ever. The creamy frosting compliments every bite of red velvet, and there are chocolate chips hidden in the cake that add extra bits of flavor.

Retail Value: $4.00


Sprinkles

Ah, Sprinkles. Who can resist? Join the Sprinkles Perks program and you can get a free cupcake on your birthday too! Sprinkles offers plenty of options to choose from including a selection of featured flavors each month. However, I went with the classic Red Velvet so I could compare with my bundtlet. Both are great in their own regard, but I think Nothing Bundt Cakes wins with their cream cheese frosting.

Retail Value: $3.99


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Ulta

Every year during my birthday month, I always head to Ulta for a freebie and other great deals. Through the Ultamate Rewards program, members receive double the points on purchases throughout their entire birthday month. Along with a $10 coupon I received the Tarte Maneater mascara during my birthday month. The real gamechanger for me was receiving an offer for five times the points on any salon, skin or brow service during the week of my birthday. I decided to get my hair done and now have $50 worth of points that I can redeem at any time.

Retail Value: $23.00


The entire retail value of the my birthday freebies totaled $43.98! These are just a few of the many rewards available on your birthday. In fact, The Penny Hoarder put together an extensive list of almost 80 birthday freebies to enjoy. I will say that redeeming six of these birthday freebies was challenging enough, but it is possible to go the entire day without spending one cent. Take the challenge for yourself and see how many free items you can redeem on your birthday!

The Cheesecake Factory, Coffeemate, Ben & Jerry’s: A Week in Food News

The Cheesecake Factory Expands into Ice Cream

The Cheesecake Factory At Home Ice Cream

The Cheesecake Factory will expand into a new product category with a new line of specialty ice cream pints. I will venture to say this is the most anticipated food release so far this year. These specialty pints will retail for about $5 and come in 7 different flavors: Key Lime, Strawberry, Salted Caramel, Cookies & Cream, Birthday Cake, Original, and Chocolate. You can find these new ice cream pints beginning March 2020.

Coffeemate Debuts 2 New Flavors

Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Funfetti Coffemate Coffee Creamer

Last November, Coffee mate gave its followers a sneak peak of two new creamers that would hit shelves in January 2020. Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Funfetti Coffee mate coffee creamers are here to make mornings a lot sweeter. The Cinnamon Toast Crunch creamer provides consumers with the delicious taste of cinnamon cereal milk they know and love. Or you can opt for birthday cake in a cup with the help of Funfetti creamer. Keep your eyes peeled for these new coffee creamers in a store near you!

Ben & Jerry’s Adds More Snackable Dough Options

Ben & Jerry’s Snackable Dough

Adding to the successful launch of snackable cookie dough products, Ben & Jerry’s plans to roll out two new flavors: Half Baked Chunks and Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie. The original flavors debuted in the fall and are absolutely to die for! You would think that the chunks would be hard to eat since they are kept in the freezer; quite the contrary. The cookie dough chunks melt in your mouth and will leave you wanting more.

REVIEW: Harry London S’mores Snack Mix

I’m a tried and true Costco fanatic. In fact, I worked at Costco for two years during college before starting my career. Throughout my time at Costco, I witnessed the sheer volume of product that traveled in and out of the store. Pallets upon pallets of snacks, food items, produce and more; Costco really has it all. I personally loved all of the seasonal products, especially the sweets that would come in around the holidays.

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That brings me to the topic of today’s post; the Harry London S’mores snack mix. This S’mores mix is the latest addition to Costco’s seasonal section. As the package describes this products is comprised of, “Crunchy cereal and fluffy marshmallows coated in milk chocolate.” As a self-proclaimed S’mores lover I knew I could not leave the store without this mix.

Harry London S'mores Snack Mix

Each piece of graham cracker and marshmallow is covered in rich chocolate. I absolutely love marshmallows; and the ones in this mix are perfectly soft underneath the chocolate shell. The graham cracker pieces, or Golden Graham cereal, provide the additional crunch to balance out the soft marshmallows.

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The Harry London S’mores Snack Mix is insanely delicious and worth the $10 per bag. However, with the holidays right around the corner, this mix inspired me to create my own version. Make your own S’mores mix for friends and family this holiday season in a few simple steps:

Homemade S’mores Mix

  • 1 box Golden Grahams
  • 1 package Jet Puffed mini marshmallows
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  • Milk chocolate melting wafers

Directions:

Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper or a nonstick mat. Melt the chocolate wafers in the microwave for one minute. Stir the chocolate and continue microwaving in 30 second intervals until fully melted. Spread some of the melted chocolate on the sheet pan to create a base for the other ingredients. Save the rest of the melted chocolate to drizzle on top.

Pour the Golden Grahams and marshmallows on top of the melted chocolate so they are evenly distributed. Then, add both chocolate chips to the mix. Use the melted chocolate and drizzle over the top of the S’mores mix to hold all of the pieces together. Allow the chocolate to harden, about one hour. Enjoy!

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Enjoy Pancakes On the Go with This Product

I found myself wandering down the grocery aisles the other day, as I often do, searching for any new products on the shelves. “Maybe I could review another baked good,” I thought, “Or what about an ice cream review?” As I walked down the aisle filled with breakfast food, one product caught my eye. Meet the Aunt Jemima Pancake On the Go.

Aunt Jemima Pancake On the Go Buttermilk & Maple

This is the first time I have ever seen the Aunt Jemima Pancake On the Go, and from what I can see on the packaging, this looks brand new. The Tom Thumb where I found these pancake cups carries two different flavors: Buttermilk & Maple and Chocolate Chip. I picked up both flavors to try over the next few days.

Side note: I went through a big pancake phase and would often eat the Kodiak Cakes flapjacks. Kodiak Cakes also introduced a version of the flapjacks in a cup long before Aunt Jemima. The Kodiak Cakes Flapjack Unleashed contains 250 calories on average per each individual cup. In addition, this product boasts 10 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and is made from 100% whole wheat.

Kodiak Cakes’ products have become incredibly popular over the last few years in part due to the unique selling proposition as “protein pancakes”. I think Kodiak Cakes continues to change the breakfast game, making consumers feel less guilty about eating pancakes for breakfast. While I do enjoy Kodiak Cakes products, you can definitely tell they are made with whole wheat. I hoped that the Aunt Jemima pancake cups could provide that homestyle buttermilk pancake taste.

The Aunt Jemima Pancake On the Go cups range from 220 to 230 calories per cup depending on the flavor. Preparing the pancake is simple; just add water to the fill line inside the cup, mix well, and pop the cup in the microwave. In just 70 seconds the batter transforms into a warm, fluffy pancake that’s ready to eat.

Aunt Jemima Pancake On the Go

On the first morning, I tried the Buttermilk & Maple pancake. I would describe this as your classic buttermilk pancake with maple chips hiding throughout the cake. You could potentially eat this product without syrup; however, I highly recommend syrup because it soaks in the pancake and creates this delicious, spongy mixture.

The very next morning I tested the Chocolate Chip pancake cup. I generally prefer a blueberry pancake over chocolate chip so I wasn’t sure how much I would like this, but I was pleasantly surprised. Again, I added syrup to the pancake as I ate. Chocolate chips tend to overpower pancakes in my opinion but there was a good ratio of pancake to chocolate chip in this cup. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed indulging in a pancake for breakfast without all the hassle and mess.

I used to love the Kodiak Cakes flapjacks, but I may be a convert. These Aunt Jemima pancake cups provide the perfect fluffy pancake that everyone loves. In addition, the Aunt Jemima Pancake On the Go contains less calories than Kodiak Cups Flapjack Unleashed and tastes much better. If you are looking for a homestyle buttermilk pancake, then Aunt Jemima is the way to go.

Testing the New Pillsbury Brownie Bark

I feel like Chat, Chew, Review has turned into a Pillsbury blog as of late. From the Place and Bake Brownies to the Sweet Biscuits, I have reviewed several Pillsbury products; and I am adding another to the list. On a recent trip down the baking aisle in Target, I came across the new Pillsbury Brownie Bark. I can always count on Target to carry new products.

Pillsbury’s Brownie Bark comes in two flavors: Chocolate Chip and Toffee. Essentially, this product contains brownie mix and either chocolate or toffee chips. I decided to go out of my comfort zone and check out the Toffee flavor. Brownie mix plus toffee chips sound like a match made in heaven, right?

New Pillsbury Brownie Bark Mix

You do not need a ton of ingredients to make this brownie bark. Inside the box, you will find the brownie mix and a bag of chocolate or toffee chips. The only additional ingredients needed are a half stick of butter and water. All I had to do was melt the butter and mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Yes I tried the batter, and to my delight it tasted more like chocolate frosting than brownies.

The box says to lightly grease a pan, but I deviated and used a nonstick Silpat mat, which was not an issue in the end. What the box did not specify was how thin to spread the batter. My batter definitely did not take up the whole sheet pan, but I also did not want to make the bark too thin either. I think more clarification in the instructions could have alleviated this confusion. Regardless, I spread the batter on the pan, sprinkled the toffee chips on top, and popped it in the oven.

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Let me tell you, this brownie bark smells AMAZING while it’s baking in the oven. The 13-minute timer could not go fast enough. After the initial 13-18 minutes, you are supposed to score the brownie bark. This step made my brownie bark look like a mess. I think my bark was too thick and did not bake long enough to score without sticking to the knife I used. However, I did what I could and placed the bark back in the oven as directed.

Once the brownie bark finished baking I left it on the counter to cool. I will admit my bark did not come out as I expected. The toffee chips melted and sunk into the brownie mix creating this porous bark sure to scare anyone affected by trypophobia. In addition, my effort at scoring the bark led to messy edges on the individual pieces. Honestly, I would probably skip the scoring step altogether and break the bark into pieces after the fact.

Warning: I am not a burnt edges kind of gal. I prefer a cake or brownie rather than a brittle or bark. The Pillsbury Brownie Bark was not an exception to this rule. Aside from the odd looking pieces of bark, the taste did not blow me away. The more crispy pieces of bark did not have much of a chocolaty taste. I found myself taking all of the softer pieces toward the center rather than the crispy edges. Not to mention, the toffee did a number on my teeth and kept getting stuck.

The Pillsbury Brownie Bark just missed the mark in my opinion. I think my personal preferences for a soft, delectable brownie overshadowed this brownie bark. If you enjoy the burnt brownie edges, this may be your kind of dessert. However, if you prefer more of a fluffy, cake-like dessert, skip the brownie bark and pick up a box of Pillsbury brownie mix instead.

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Eating Krispy Kreme Is “Easy As Pie”

This month, Krispy Kreme introduced the Easy As Pie doughnuts available for a limited time. Here’s the flavor lineup: Dutch Apple Pie, Cherry Pie, and Chocolate Kreme Pie. Out of pure curiosity, I bought all three donuts to taste test. Let’s see how these pie donuts stack up:

3. Chocolate Kreme Pie

As the website describes, “This doughnut is filled with silky chocolate Kreme, dipped in chocolate icing, topped with a dollop of Kreme and finished with mini-chocolate chips. ” Imagine you bought a birthday cake from the store; chocolate to be exact. Now, imagine a doughnut filled with the icing on that store-bought birthday cake.

I could not get over the insane amount of sugar in this doughnut; this coming from a sugar junkie. I understand the play on a Chocolate Cream Pie but this one missed the mark. The cream in the center tasted more like icing and I would have preferred more of a custard-like center. Birthday cake icing in a doughnut just does not float my boat.

Krispy Kreme Chocolate Kreme Pie doughnut

2. Cherry Pie

I love cherries but never really eat cherry pie, so I was pretty excited to try this doughnut. Krispy Kreme states, “This doughnut is topped with pie crust crumbles and a cherry filling; hand-decorated with an icing lattice, making it look and taste as sweet as cherry pie.” Initially, I thought that the doughnut would be stuffed with cherry filling, but I was wrong. The Cherry Pie doughnut is pretty much a regular doughnut with a bunch of toppings.

Also, my Cherry Pie doughnut looked nothing like the photo. I swear the employee just gave me the messed up one because she knew I wouldn’t say anything. Regardless, I enjoyed this doughnut mainly because of the cherry filling on top. The cherry pie visual looks much better in the advertisements than on the actual doughnut though. A doughnut with cherry filling and the crumble/icing mixture on top would have worked much better, but it was still much better than the Chocolate Kreme doughnut.

Krispy Kreme Cherry Pie doughnut

1. Dutch Apple Pie

The Dutch Apple Pie doughnut wins first place by a mile. As illustrated by Krispy Kreme, ” This doughnut is bursting with apple pie filling, dipped in caramel icing, topped in streusel and hand‑decorated with an icing lattice.” Unlike the Cherry Pie doughnut, the Dutch Apple Pie looked and smelled as I expected.

I wish there was more apple pie filling in the center because it was the best part. The soft, spiced apple filling truly reminds me of a warm apple pie during the holidays. In addition, the streusel on top adds the perfect sugary crunch to the mix. Finally, the caramel drizzle is quite literally the icing on top. Krispy Kreme’s Dutch Apple Pie doughnut is a great addition to the holiday menu and the only one in the pie collection that I would venture to eat again.

Krispy Kreme Dutch Apple Pie doughnut

In my opinion, the Dutch Apple Pie doughnut is the only one out of the bunch worth buying. I may have liked the Chocolate Kreme when I was a kid, but now it’s far too sweet for me to enjoy. Cherry Pie did not “wow” me by any means, but don’t just take my word for it. Hurry in and try all three doughnuts yourself at any Krispy Kreme location for a limited time.

Trying Out the New Pillsbury Sweet Biscuits

The all-new Pillsbury Sweet Biscuits combine parts of three fan-favorite Pillsbury products; biscuits, muffins, and cinnamon rolls. These sweet biscuits make for a quick, 15-minute breakfast treat or dessert. Pillsbury recently launched two varieties of the sweet biscuits: Blueberry and Chocolate Chip.

Each container of Pillsbury Sweet Biscuits contains eight biscuits and a small container of icing, similar to Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls. What I enjoy most about Pillsbury products is that literally anyone can make them. No additional ingredients are required; you simply place the biscuits on a sheet pan and pop them in the oven.

In addition, Pillsbury offers an abundance of recipes to transform these products even further. For example, you can create monkey bread, pull-apart bread, and even biscuit waffles with these Pillsbury Sweet Biscuits. The same applies for any other Pillsbury products, but don’t just take my word for it, go check out the website!

Pillsbury Blueberry Sweet Biscuits

I decided to buy the blueberry-flavored sweet biscuits and baked them as the package instructed. In just under 15 minutes, I opened the oven to perfectly browned biscuits. Next, I drizzled the glaze over the biscuits, but not nearly as well as depicted on the packaging.

To be completely honest, these Pillsbury Sweet Biscuits were not my all-time favorite dessert. While I enjoy biscuits and dessert foods separately, I cannot see myself consistently choosing biscuits as a dessert. The biscuits did not taste bad by any means. In fact, I enjoyed the fluffy blueberry inside accompanied with the taste of sweet icing. However, I prefer a muffin of cinnamon roll over a biscuit if I am searching for a dessert.

I do plan on trying the Chocolate Chip Pillsbury Sweet Biscuits in the future, but this time I want to attempt one of the recipes on Pillsbury’s website. Aside from my personal preferences, I think these sweet biscuits are pretty tasty and they smell great while baking. Check out the Pillsbury Sweet Biscuits on your next grocery run!