Thursday 11 July 2013

Kellogg's Pop Tarts: Frosted chocolate chip cookie dough

Product name: Kellogg’s Pop Tarts: Frosted chocolate chip cookie dough
Purchase details:
£5.00 for a box of eight tarts (Bold Street Sweets)
190 per tart (380 per pack of two)
Country of origin:

A few years ago I tried my first ever Pop Tarts (the standard UK flavours: Strawberry Sensation and Chocotastic). Whilst I didn’t dislike them, I wasn’t overly impressed, and I can’t say I’ve bought them since.

However, ever since, I have wanted to try some more exciting flavours, but have been put off by the hefty price tag that usually comes with these American imports. Needless to say, I was very excited to effectively get my hands on a box of the Frosted Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavour for £2.50 following a Living Social deal at Bold Street Sweets.

Looking at the box, I was surprised at the number of nutritional claims that are made – these Pop Tarts are a source of eight vitamins and minerals, contain 0g of trans fat and are cholesterol free. That said, it was the image on the box that really drew my attention. I love cookie dough (I’m a sucker for Pizza Hut’s cookie dough ice cream dessert!) and that element of the picture just looked so gooey and yummy!

Each box contains four foil-wrapped packets of two Pop Tarts which can be eaten hot or cold. I have, therefore, tried them cold, toasted and microwaved.

When cold, these Pop Tarts smell sweet but slightly artificial. I was expecting the pastry to be more biscuity in texture but it was actually quite soft. Bizarrely, the flavour of the pastry reminded me of stale biscuits, although, to be fair, a nicer version! When looking at a cross-section of a tart, it was hard to see where the pastry ended and the filling began and, unfortunately, I also found it hard to detect the taste of the cookie dough through the pastry.  However, it did add a nice bit of moisture to what, otherwise, would have been a very dry product. I also found that that the tarts stuck slightly to the roof of my mouth which I considered a good thing! As for the icing, as well as being decorative, it added a nice bit of crunch to the pastries, but not much flavour – just a bit of extra sweetness. It was definitely more sugary than chocolatey. Overall, I found that, when eaten cold, these Pop Tarts had a nice texture which was actually nicer than the fairly bland flavour.

These Pop Tarts had a stronger, chocolatey, ‘bakey’ smell when toasted. It was also clear that the chocolate chips within the cookie dough had melted. Flavour-wise, I was pleased to discover that the pastry tasted nicer and no longer reminded me of stale biscuits. However, I did still struggle to taste the cookie dough’s flavour, although the melted chocolate chips definitely added to it. Again, it was the texture of the tarts that stood out, when toasted. However, this too had improved. Despite being softer to the touch, the icing was still crispy, but the overall tarts had a lovely, doughy texture.

When microwaving my first Pop Tart, I did so for three seconds, as instructed on the box. I found that this did not make the tart warm on the whole, but there was a slight contrast between the temperature of the pastry and that of the cookie dough. This was enjoyable as the cookie dough had a cooling effect on the tongue. The only other difference I felt that three seconds in the microwave made to the product, compared to its entirely cold alternative serving option, was that it did make the pastry more doughy. Not to be put off, I decided to try microwaving another tart for 10 seconds and, for me, this is the best way to eat this variety of Pop Tart. The aroma wasn’t any different to the toasted version and I admit that it made the pastry drier. However, it also softened the pastry and melted the chocolate that little bit more which made the flavour more noticeable. Ultimately, whilst still not having a strong taste, I found this to be the best method for experiencing the actual cookie dough.

Although I may appear to be critical of Pop Tarts: Frosted chocolate chip cookie dough, I did enjoy them, on the whole. They looked appealing (despite the tarts in one packet having stuck together and the dough not quite matching the packaging’s photo!), and they did have a nice, doughy texture. The reason for my disappointment was not that this snack tasted bad, but that I felt it did not deliver brilliantly on the flavour it set out to achieve. For a ‘chocolate chip’ product, these tarts just weren’t very chocolatey!

I also think it’s a shame that the foil packets contain two tarts rather than one, thus making it harder to treat these as an occasional low-calorie snack. Two pastries amount to 380 calories and, for that amount, I’d rather have a slice of actual cake!

Overall score:

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