Why buy G.I. Joe when you can buy G.I. Joe With KUNG-FU Grip? Why watch Blade Runner when you can watch Blade Runner: The Final Cut with the original, full-length unicorn daydream sequence?
And why in the name of all that is good and crunchy would you ever eat regular Oreos when Double Stuf Oreos exist?
But I gave Cracklin’ Oat Bran a 10/10, so there lies my conundrum. Is it possible for a new cereal to improve upon perfection, or should the mathematical impossibility of “giving 110%” be left for cheesy sports movies?
It’s time for me to find out. Even if I have to punch a few more holes in my belt to do so. With 210 calories per 3/4 cup, that shouldn’t be hard to do.
Each piece is a cute little cracked oat picture frame with a healthy sprinkling of white goo on top. And their shape is appropriate, because as I finished my first bite of Baked Oat Bites, my mouth formed into a similar gasping rounded rectangle.
This tastes like a superior, glazed Cracklin’ Oat Bran.
I feel like I didn’t make that as dramatic and excited as it deserves to be.
There, that’s better.
But seriously, this cereal is jaw-dropping. Each piece has a mellow, toasted graham crunch, which is followed up by a warm and sweet cinnamon oatmeal flavor.
But unlike in Cracklin’ Oat Bran, the cinnamon spice doesn’t dry out your mouth. That’s because the delectable drizzle on each piece provides a rejuvenating, creamy finish that even has the faint tang of a quality cream cheese frosting. Coupled with the cinnamon notes, this made visions of tiny cinnamon buns dance happily all through my head.
More specifically, it reminded me of the time I tried to recreate Honey Maid’s long-discontinued Bearwiches by extracting Double Stuf Oreo filling and sandwiching it between two Cinnamon Teddy Grahams.
Yeah, last Saturday was fun.
Believe it or not, this isn’t even Baked Oat Bites’ final form, either. Yep, you guessed it: milk makes them better. When soaked in milk, the graham-like exterior becomes soft, crumbly, and doughy, while the oats inside stay crispy.
They’re so crispy, in fact, that when you chew each Oat Bite, the oats crunch and crackle. They even have a pleasant nutty finish, too.
So if these were like mini cinnamon buns at first, in milk they’re like cinnamon buns stuffed with Hostess Crunch Donettes.
Forgive me, because I need to do this again:
You can tell how much I like a cereal based on how many other obscure snack foods I compare it to, and clearly Baked Oat Bites rank highly in this regard. It feels weird giving two 10/10 ratings so close together, but my only gripe with Baked Oat Bites is that they’ll probably make me gain 10 out of 10 pounds.
Congratulations, Baked Oat Bites, you gave 110% and I love you for it. Never before has a cereal so successfully combined spiciness, sweetness, and heartiness.
Speaking of which, if you really want to spice up your upcoming Valentine’s Day, don’t give your sweetheart any raspberry-filled chocolates or heart-shaped chunks of chalk.
Just give your “someone special” a teddy bear stuffed with Baked Oat Bites instead.
The Bowl: Nature Valley Baked Oat Bites
The Breakdown: Like soft cinnamon bun cookies stuffed with crunchy doughnuts and glazed with cream cheese, I can’t think of enough hyperbolic metaphors to do this delicious cereal justice.
The Bottom Line: 10 bootleg Bearwiches out of 10