Strawberry Shortcake for Breakfast? Sorta!

Isn't it pretty?

Dunkin Donuts has newly released a fun limited edition flavor for their line of ground coffees- Toasted Almond and Strawberry Shortcake! (If there are anymore, I do not know of them because I only saw these two flavors at Target).I was interested in the Shortcake bcecause I figured toasted almond was more easy to imagine taste wise and wasn’t as interesting compared to the pink prettiness of the Strawberry Shortcake. I picked it up, excited about what newness I’d experience upon tasting it. And I sniffed it a little.  OH goodness! It was heavenly! So juicy, sweet and flirty to my nostrils! SOLD!

I bought it for about $6.50-ish? at Target and when I first tried it, I literally wanted to spit it back out. (and yes, I did follow the instructions on the back) Slightly disappointed, I added Coffee Mate’s Italian Sweet Cream Creamer to it to enhance the overall flavor, and tone down the artificial strawberry taste. Sure, I’m sure some of you out there are saying “Well duh, of course it’s going to taste yucky! It is artificial!” But mind you, I have had coffees and even teas with strawberry flavoring that was magnificent.  Anyhow, I tried it again, but decided to add slightly more sugar to it, specifically a 1/2 a teaspoon more,a teaspoon of  Torani’s French Vanilla Syrup and to my relief, I ended up with a smoother strawberry flavor that seemed to blend better with the coffee.  On the the last run, (my third attempt at Strawberry Shortcake Coffee perfection) I added 3 teaspoons of turbinado sugar, realizing this coffee has to have quite a bit of sugar added to it to reduce the slight bitterness of the strawberry flavor and tasted pretty decent.

Now, with that said, I have concluded the following:

  • This coffee flavor is unique, complete with pretty pink packaging and smell goodness. Your nostrils may actually thank you for sniffing the bag a little. You have my permission 🙂
  • This coffee is not exactly pleasant unless 3 teaspoons or more of sugar (in my case Turbinado Sugar) is added to reduce the sharpness of the strawberry taste.
  • This coffee doesn’t necessarily need Vanilla flavoring to be added unless you do indeed feel you have been shortchanged in the cream department.  (On the package, not only does one see the berries and the fluffy sponge cake but also whipped cream) Sadly, the whipped cream flavor, or cream flavoring for that matter, fails to be tasted. Yes, I am literal with my flavors. If you promise or imply  cream, I expect to taste the cream,too.
  • This coffee is basically made or broken depending on the sugar content. May not be suitable for patrons who have diabetes and/or persons who want to enjoy coffee without very much sugar in it. (And I don’t have to add that much sugar to most of my coffees and teas, nor do I really like the idea of doing so.)

Pros: It’s pretty pink color, sinfully yummy smell, and unique flavor. Pretty good with (2 1/2 to maybe 4?) teaspoons of Turbinado Sugar. (just being specific with the sugar. I’m sure regular ole white sugar will work fine as well)

Cons: Not very tasty unless I piled on the sugar. Not for persons who want to go easy on coffee that doesn’t have lots of sugar; may end up being too sweet for some of you out there. Oh, and adding vanilla creamer didn’t really do much. Can taste artificial and sharp to some taste buds. Not cheap,either. Coupon usage is highly recommended.

Strawberry Shortcake Coffee Yumfactor: (Without the heaping amounts of sugar) 2 out of 5 tongues and a tastebud. (2.5 out of 5)(With the extra sugar helpings) 3 out of 5 tongues and a tastebud and a half (3.75 out of 5). It’s not too bad with the sugar.

Liked it ? Didn’t? Then why not lave a comment?

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Coffee Creamer Review: New International Delights Almond Joy

Almond Joy Coffee Creamer: Because Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut Before Noon.

Yay! Another Limited Edition Coffee Creamer,brought to you by International Delights!  So if you have not yet been informed, Int’l Delights released a Spring/Summer Creamer chock full of summery flavors like coconut, chocolate (Chocolate= Summery? Hardly, but hey, it makes me think of Starbuck’s Coconut Mocha latte that’s around in the summer) and almond! This exotic combo immediately made me assume I’d taste all three flavors equally. Not quite. While this creamer is tasty in all it’s existence, I wished I tasted more of all almond undertone. Sure, almond is strong, but I was left feeling as if one of the 3 flavors ran away when I wasn’t looking, and never returned *sniffs*. I later realized it was poor ole’ almond. Come back, almond flavor! I miss you!!

Fun, coconuty and chocolatey it’s kinda like almond didn’t exist very much. Even in sniffing the creamer (which I occasionally do to, you know, get into my food zone) I don’t really even smell the almond. All in all, though it is worth a try, however,the almond is there, but in very little appearance though the coconut and chocolate do overcompensate. (By the way, I purchased this at a Wal-Mart near me)

Pros- Fun, vibrant coconut + smooth, velvety chocolate= Party time!! 8) Pretty good all around,except…

Cons-Almond decided to go to the party, but left 2 minutes late after saying hi to all of his friends. :/ Perhaps Int’l Delights went extra easy on the almond flavoring because it’s pretty strong of a flavor in general?

Yumfactor: 3  out of 5 tongues and a taste bud. (3 1/2 out of 5)

Pepperidge Farm Strawberry Milano Cookies Review

Pepperridge farm has recently released a new flavor in addition to
their line of the delicately sophisticated Milano cookie.  Saddened by their
discontinuation of my favorite French Vanilla flavor (side note: This saddens me VERY deeply. Seriously, this flavor was epic.), I was eager to try the new and somewhat sexy Strawberry variety. First things, first, I ate the entire package within a day, and I intended the cookies to last me at least a week. The flavors are extremely complimentary to the other, as the
strawberries’ sweetness dances seductively with the rich, complex dark
chocolate. This by far is the best combo in my opinion. 

Irony= Me taking this pic and placing a raspberry candy beside the epic strawberry chocolate Milano cookies. Oh well. It's pretty, darn it.

I have had the pleasure (as previously mentioned) of trying the French
Vanilla flavor which gave the chocolate flavor a creamy, toned down,yet subtle accented, contrasting note, and the displeasure of sampling the Raspberry flavor.  Personally, the raspberry tasted like cough syrup gone bad (as if good cough syrup is ever tasty) with bitter-sweet chocolate domination. I gag sometimes  randomly, when I imagine its taste then note how my  taste buds hate me for a few hours after. Negative association much? I have wondered what on earth the orange ones taste like, but with my recent experience of orange flavors with interesting pairings (such as cappuccino, which strangely tasted like sand and smelled like a burnt ham sandwich), I have since  been cautious.
For only $2.50 on sale at Target, but suggested at $3.39 (Really? These are good, but let’s not get cocky here, Peps. This is actually the suggested retail price of ALL  their Milano cookies. Not sure about the other varieties), it’s well worth a try. I can’t stop eating these cookies, and it kind of annoys me how little control I have over their time span! Pure indulgence.
Pros: Beautiful mix of sweet and bitter as strawberry and chocolate go together well. A sexy combo I might add *wink,wink* Soft, crunchy yet delicately spongy texture of the Milano cookie. Not Raspberry flavored. (thank Goodness) Pretty to look at.  Isn’t pink and brown together just the prettiest color combo ever? 🙂
Cons: Buying it for $3.39 versus $2.50. *rolls eyes*
Strawberry Milano Yumfactor: 4 out of 5 tongues and a taste bud. (4 1/5 out of 5)

Coffee Creamer Review: Chocolate Chip Creme Brulée

Again, with the coffee creamers.

I like anything new when it comes to foods and their flavors, so I decided on trying both of the limited edition International Delight’s coffee creamers, Chocolate Chip Creme Brulée and Sweet Buttercream. The containers are both elaborately decorated with cool swirly designs and attractive colors, not to mention the drool-inducing food graphics.

I purchased the chocolate chip creme brulée first, because it sounded rather adventurous; deep, rich chocolate with a creme brulée undertone. Because I really didn’t understand what that was specifically or how it tasted, so I had to find out.  I wondered if the chocolate would over power the creme brulée or if the creme brulée would delicately compliment the chocolate.

Well, upon my first sip of coffee, here’s what happened.  I noticed the smell first.  The scent was wonderfully rich in all its chocolatiness and had a strong punch of the vanilla custard of the creme  brulée.  It’s almost like a souped up French Vanilla, but with carmelized sugar sprinkled inside each of  its buttery layers.  If you sniffed it as long as I did, you can even make out the sugary topping of the creme brulée.  Quite naturally,  I was expecting to taste a strong creme  brulée note. Hmm. I’m actually still waiting for it to emerge somewhere when I taste it, but it doesn’t seem to happen.  The flavoring was  mostly chocolate with a soft yet sweet vanilla cream undertone.  It was most certainly there but passively, as if it its job was to calm down the dramatically noticable chocolate from time to time; think a side kick whose jokes aren’t funny and does not do anything for the story-on top of that, you constantly forget their name and function.  (Perhaps this is intended, because the words “chocolate chip” are placed before the creme brulée.)

I tried the creamer in coffee rather than in tea, and its strong chocolate  taste is a perfect match for the strong cocoa aroma.  It was more so exquisite when paired with coffee and cupcake coffee syrup, yielding a sinfully indulgent chocolate cupcake party in my mug. *Note that this flavor is sweet and because of its sweet flavor may cause you to not take your coffee seriously sometimes, kind of like someone telling a 40 year old to eat cocoa puffs for breakfast. It’s good yes, but it’s like candy!!

If you are a chocolate fan, this will surely delight your senses, but if you rooting for its sidekick, *forgets their name* this may not be for you.

Pros: Wonderfully scented, a good and interesting flavor, yummy chocolate accent. Slight yet weak vanilla and sugar taste, which is supposedly the creme brulée.  <–wait, or is that a con? *shrugs*

Cons: You can smell more of the creme brulée than you can taste as the flavors are not experienced in levels, but more so the chocolate overshadowing it.  I suppose this is to be expected for some, but the label does say creme brulée.

Chocolate Chip Creme Brulée Yumfactor: 3  out of 5 tongues and a taste bud. It was the creme brulée ont the package that made me buy it, but I was not really tasting much of it.

Coffee Creamer Wars: Sweet Buttercream Vs. Sweet Italian Cream

                                   

 Lately I have become  more adventurous in trying assorted flavours of coffee creamers (Either that, or I have too much time on my hands). Considering I’m a foodie who appreciates variety, I thought the challenge of being open to the arms of non dairy flavoured cream would be fun.  So far, I have enjoyed my coffee tasting richer and more exotic. Sadly, I have come up disappointed on a few occasions, but hey, maybe I expect too much to begin with.  Firstly, there are the two main companies I will be referring to: International Delights and Coffee-Mate. Both have strong flavours and much variety thus both appearing to be winners at slight.

With all the brouhaha over coffee these days, it’s no wonder companies are trying to capitalize on consumers need for variety.  Luckily for you, consumer, you can have fun trying all the different flavors to give your coffee a facelift.  If you shop at any main grocery store, like Wal-mart or Publix, you will see a huge assortment of coffee creamer flavors from these two main brands. Both reasonably priced, both different in flavor.

 Now, according to my taste buds I would prefer International Delights coffee creamers. They offer a more naturally flavored variety. Take their French Vanilla for example the creamy, smooth strongly vanilla flavor in soaked in richness and topped off with a beautiful aroma.  If I were to compare it to Coffee Mate’s French Vanilla, I would get a similar scent experience, with a slightly more artificial vanilla quality.

 The above photos shows two distinct products by both companies. Though I’d generally prefer Int. Delights to Coffee Mate, I will make an exception in these two flavours. The Sweet Buttercream is one to try as the scent is a dead on duplication of buttercream. A plus is that is not too sweet and even has a sweetened cream cheese undertone.  My favourite would be however, the Sweet Italian Cream. This lovely flavour is delicate yet bold in a sweetened vanilla taste that is surprisingly unartificial. It does justice to the brand, almost contradicting its normal artificial concept. This is also very versatile, as it can enhance any flavour you add it to, be it original coffee, or flavored coffee. It is also heavenly in tea. As for the sweet buttercream, I cannot say the same, though it is good in its own right. (Remember, I am comparing the 2 so results are based on the other’s flavor and not their own.)

Sweet Buttercream Yumfactor: 3 out of 5 tongues and a taste bud.

Sweet Italian Cream Yumfactor: 4 out of 5 tongues and a taste bud.