Monday, August 7, 2017

Shake, shake, shake, shake-a, shake it! - Cookies & Cream

Frozen Bean Cookies & Cream Milkshake Mix - Walmart, $1.25
Linking songs to my reviews has been a lot of fun, but this one is a little cringe-worthy. A friend of mine worked at Journeys, a shoe store (when we were teenagers) and they'd get trendy music DVDs to play in the store each month. This smash hit (she said, sarcastically), by Metro Station (aka Miley Cyrus' brother's band), in an earworm I haven't been able to escape. (It's a guilty pleasure song. Don't judge me!) 

Speaking of guilty pleasures, why don't we do a quickie review of one of these Frozen Bean milkshake/drink mixes? I'm fairly certain drinking all three in one day is a bad idea, so I'll knock these out one at a time. First up, the safest bet, Cookies & Cream.
I'll only talk about the packaging once, since all three bags are near duplicates of one another (with varying color schemes). The design for this brand is rather nice, given that a super-sized Kool-Aid packet. Their background is completely covered in tiny illustrations, various adjectives, and flavors, all done in different typefaces. Depending on the color scheme of the packet, this background can look really cool, or it can be overwhelming. For today's cookies & cream, it's teetering on being obnoxious, but the bright pink text puts up a good fight, the cotton candy looks fantastic as-is, and the horchata text is barely clinging to visibility. I think the branding needs to be cleaned up a little bit to make the other packets as appealing as the cotton candy. Other than that, the food imagery is great. Cutting it off on the edge gives it a dynamic feeling, and I like the direction this company is going with it's overall branding. There are just a few design kinks to be worked out...that is, if they're buying.

Inside the cookies and cream packet is a soft, finely milled, ashy grey-brown powder that smells like pulverized Oreo cookies.

We have two different mixing options. One is to make a blended drink using the entire packet mixed with water (or milk) with ice, and the other option is to use vanilla ice cream, milk and only 2 spoonfuls of powder. I personally felt mixing this with water and ice was blasphemous, so I opted for the milkshake approach which also gave me multiple milkshakes instead of one blended abomination one.
It blended up easily, and when it was all mixed together it looked pretty yummy. I was REALLY tempted to blend some actual cookies into this, since the powder lacks any cookie texture, but I wanted to keep things simple so I could give you an honest, UN-doctored review. (Instead I opted for a photo-friendly dollop of whipped cream.)

Paper straws suck. I get that they're pretty and more Instagram-friendly than the tried and true plastic version, but they just can't hang.

I took a sip, and it definitely has a nice balance of cookies and cream flavorings, and it's really yummy, but it lacks texture. I miss the crunchy cookie bits, and even at $1.25 for the packet (which made 3 milkshakes, one for each member of my household) I just don't think this packet is worth it. Why not blend a cookie or two into ice cream instead? I mean, to make this you already need to use milk and a blender anyway. What is the benefit of doing this instead of tossing a few real broken up cookies instead? You're not saving yourself any time, or dirty dishes.

This is a yummy, but completely unnecessary product. We'll, at least for this flavor. I can just toss the same ingredients into a blender with a cookie or two to get the same results with the added bonus of tiny cookie crunch bits. By comparison, I'm less likely to have cotton candy flavoring on hand, and homemade horchata takes time to prepare, so you are getting some bang for your buck there, but no one needs this powder.

I honestly can't recommend buying this, even though it's delicious and affordable, because it's so impractical! I mean, it's just 2-cookies worth of finely-ground powder. Grab the blender and DIY it yourself! Or even better, just blend milk with cookies n' creme ice cream and cut out the middle man entirely.

The other two flavors are more unique, so let's hope they can redeem this product line, (because I really like their packaging)
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  1. The cotton candy flavor is AMAZING! I actually like making it with hot milk or water similar to a hot cocoa mix, but it's also good when added to yogurt, pancakes, oatmeal, etc. As someone who is OBSESSED with cotton candy flavoring, they did phenomenal on this one and it actually tastes like the real deal, not like artificial chemicals or bubble gum, like some other "cotton candy" products do.

  2. I LOVE these things but I have only had them as hot cocoa with hot milk. They're so rich and delicious <3 I never have tried them blended because, like you seems weird to add water. Plus I work at Starbucks so if I want a frappuccino...I'll just make one.