Take that, Canada!
You may get exclusive, drool-worthy Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch Oatmeals, but we here in the States are getting our own cereal-oat hybrid with new Honey Nut Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch granolas! In fact, this stuff is actually better than granola, because it’s a “Granola Snack!”
Just why is a Granola Snack better than plain ol’ oat clusters? Because with the word “Snack” in the name, I’m justified in munching through a whole bag anywhere, at any time, no matter how ridiculous I look.
Stuck in rush hour traffic and every radio station is playing commercials at the same time? Keep a Granola Snack in your cupholder.
Halfway through a stationary bicycle workout and need something to do with your hands? Double fist two Granola Snacks.
Grocery store ran out of stuffing mix and the turkey’s already in the oven? Spice up your bird with some cornbread and a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Granola Snack.
But okay, okay, I shouldn’t propose ruining Thanksgiving until I know this stuff’s actually good. Let’s go find a spin class and test it out.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Granola Snack has an impressive range of cluster size and density—a handful of these auburn boulders looks like sparkling ore from a Candy Land mining excavation. Glued together by the sweet, unifying goodness of humankind—or maybe it’s just tapioca syrup—the Cinnamon Toast Crunch squares and oat bunches that make up this Granola Snack are dense, yet satisfyingly crumbly, as the slightest chew dissolves them into a finely granulated slurry.
As for the taste? Well to better describe it, I’ll have to ask you a few questions:
Have you ever eaten the well-crisped, darkly browned outer ring of a cinnamon roll that cooked for too long?
Have you ever bitten into a dense streusel nugget that fell off the top of an apple crumble?
Have you ever found a malformed piece of Cinnamon Toast Crunch? The kind that got folded up into itself on the production line and fused with way too much solid cinnamon sugar?
Yeah, these Granola Snacks taste just like all of those. Its thick cinnamon sugar coating really does have the nice, lightly buttered sweetness of cinnamon bun filling, but it sometimes feels like a flat flavor without a payoff. The cinnamon sweetness never builds to a warm tingle or a climactic, sugary pop: it just kind of is.
Thankfully, the oats make up for the cinnamon’s deficiencies by tasting just as delightfully toasted as the cereal’s titular bread. In fact, the granola clusters are so golden toasted that they develop a roasted nuttiness after a while. Combined with the cinnamon sugar, this makes the whole Granola Snack taste a bit like candied pecans.
So if you like those baseball stadium nuts but don’t like spending $9 for a single, carrot-shaped cellophane tube, this is the breakfast product for you.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Granola Snack bites certainly aren’t meant to be eaten with milk—it’s a little tough to squeeze a half gallon of 2% into your cupholder—but that didn’t stop me from turning my clustered cinnamon crags into shipwrecked rubble. I will say that milk does help: it tames the occasionally cloying cinnamon sweetness by muting its sugary potency to that of a Cinnamon Teddy Graham, and its added creaminess really amps up the “crunchy Cinnabon” effect.
And the Cinnabon analogy is apt in more ways than one. Like Cinnabon’s Center of the Roll, which extracts the best parts of several buns and crams ’em in a single sinful bowl, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Granola Snack suffers a bit from “too much of a good thing syndrome.” Sure, the last scoop of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in a bag—those final few squares bathing in a Jacuzzi of unadulterated cinnamon sugar —is delicious, but if you ate just that all the time, it would lose its appeal. Likewise, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Granola Snack’s soft, cinnamon nut sweetness is, well, pretty darn sweet in moderation, but it isn’t a sustainable snacking solution. Before long, you’ll be reaching for some Doritos to balance your sweet tooth.
Or who knows: maybe General Mills will have released Nacho Cheese Toast Crunch by the time you read this.
The Bowl: Cinnamon Toast Crunch Granola Snack
The Breakdown: Its nutty nuances are nice, but Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s “all sugar and no spice” mentality makes Dan a dull boy.
The Bottom Line: 7 granola-filled turduckens out of 10
(Quick Nutrition Facts: 120 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein per 1/3 cup serving)