Reviewing Palmer S’mores Bunny, Trader Joe’s Brookie Caramel Clusters, Buckin’ Ranch Takis, & More

by Victor Martelle

A snack review and release history of:

  • Buckin’ Ranch Takis
  • Intense Nacho Takis with New Cheesy Flavor
  • Hostess Honey Bun Donettes
  • Hostess Easter Carrot Cake Donettes
  • Palmer S’mores Bunny
  • Betty Crocker Oreo Brownie Mix
  • Betty Crocker Oreo Creme Flavored Whipped Frosting
  • Betty Crocker Oreo White Cake Mix
  • Birthday Cake Cookie Dough Bites
  • Trader Joe’s Brookie Caramel Candy Clusters

Buckin’ Ranch Takis

Score: 6.5 / 10

Cool ranch Doritos–I mean Takis! This thick seasoning is very reminiscent of their Dorito brothers. In addition, these Takis break the mold by having absolutely zero spiciness. It’s cool ranch all the way!

Released January 26, 2024. Found at Stop & Shop.


Intense Nacho Takis with New Cheesy Flavor

Score: 6.5 / 10

Intense nacho? Hardly. These have nowhere near the seasoning as other Taki varieties. At best, it’s a mild cheesy flavor. Similar to cheese balls in terms of taste but not even close to their strong cheesiness.

Released around March 2023. Found at Stop & Shop.


Hostess Honey Bun Donettes

Score: 9 / 10

You can’t convince me there’s a difference between these and a regular honey bun. Other than the shape, the soft, moist texture, and the sweet honey bun flavor are identical. The glaze is perfection!

Released in early March 2024. Found at Walmart.


Hostess Easter Carrot Cake Donettes

Score: 8 / 10

Near identical to carrot cake, in fact, I’d say the texture is even better! It’s more moist and thick, and definitely less crumbly as it’s technically a donut. The taste is close to carrot but on the sweeter side, and there’s an almost off-sugary taste to them which I can’t really explain. The outside bits are slightly coconutty and add some complexity texture-wise. Still very tasty!

Carrot Cake Donettes debuted in 2017. Since that time, they’ve come back around the late winter and early spring seasons every year for Easter. Limited edition. Found at Walmart.


Palmer S’mores Bunny

Score: 6 / 10

If you have had Palmer chocolate, you already know. This is the classic chocolate bar, no s’mores flavor here! It’s a regular milk chocolate bar with tiny crunchy bits throughout. To me, Palmer chocolate always consists of an an off-tasting, artificial, cheap chocolate taste. This is no different.

Not sure when this was released although some reviews date back to 2022 Easter season. Found at Stop & Shop.


Betty Crocker Oreo Brownie Mix

Score: 6.5 / 10

Plain, semi-dark brownies, not really like Oreo cookies. They’re on the crunchier, less fudgier side compared to other brownies despite underbaking them several minutes. Long story short, these are regular, mediocre brownies that desperately need more flavor. And aside from the little packet of Oreos they give you, what’s with the Oreo branding? What’s the point? Also, even adding the Oreo frosting doesn’t save it.

Released in partnership with Betty Crocker around January 22, 2024 alongside Oreo Lava Cake and Cake Mixes.


Betty Crocker Oreo Creme Flavored Whipped Frosting

Score: 7 / 10

I can’t tell if this is precisely Oreo creme, but it’s definitely a sweet, slightly gritty vanilla frosting. The texture is really interesting because it feels like there’s grinded up sugar crystals in it that give it that grittyness.

Released in partnership with Betty Crocker around January 22, 2024 alongside Oreo Lava Cake, Brownie, and Cake Mixes.


Betty Crocker Oreo White Cake Mix

Score: 7 / 10

If you put a plain, white cake in front of me and asked if there was a difference between it and this, I’d be left scratching my head. Despite the little bits of Oreo mixed in the dough, the Oreo flavor does not at all come through. Adding the Betty Crocker Oreo Frosting, while tasty, didn’t make it taste anymore “Oreoy” either. I’m also very disappointed in the amount it makes–it barely fits a 8-9 inch pan!

Released in partnership with Betty Crocker around January 22, 2024 alongside Oreo Lava Cake and Brownie Mixes.


Birthday Cake Cookie Dough Bites

Score: 7 / 10

Very sweet, artificial, soft-hard candy balls. They’re pure, sweet vanilla, not exactly birthday cake, and notably, the sprinkles do nothing aside from added decoration. Overall, they feel different the Cookie Dough originals as these are more hard and less chewy. I really wish these had more of a cookie dough texture.

Not sure when these were release. They’ve been around for several years.


Trader Joe’s Brookie Caramel Candy Clusters

Score: 8 / 10

Such an absolute, glorious mess. Dark chocolate, thick caramel, and cookie clusters all combine to form an interesting texture and multiple different flavors. The sweetness is tame and just enough, and the flavors from everything are perfectly in sync. Dark chocolate: perfect. Caramel: not too sweet or artificial. Cookie pieces: crunchy and chocolatey.

Released around February 2024. Exclusive to Trader Joe’s.


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