Like a zombie rising from its grave, the burning hot, neon orange frosted pastry pops out of the toaster. It doesn’t groan, but it does sizzle. And it isn’t hungry to eat brains. No, it wants to be the one that gets eaten!
And I’m happy to oblige. Back again for 2015 are Spookylicious Pop-Tarts. They’re pretty much just regular Chocolate Fudge Pop-Tarts that have instead been frosted jack-o-lantern orange and sneezed on by some great, sprinkle-spewing monster. Surprisingly, this idea somehow beat out “Fergilicious Pop-Tarts,” which would have been equally scary.
Some might say their lack of a unique Halloween flavor is lazy, and I kinda agree, but this way I can at least pretend these Pop-Tarts actually are normal Pop-Tarts every other month of the year, and now they just have their costumes on.
As in previous reviews, I believe the true way to test a toaster pastry’s toaster tastiness is to try it in three different ways: plain, toasted, and frozen. Sorry microwave: you’re not invited to this frosted costume party (frostume party?)
Unsheathing a fresh Tart from its holographic foil scabbard, I felt powerful, like a video game character who just pulled a “+4 Sword of Fudge Stuffed Cosmic Enlightenment” fro ma treasure chest. The room temperature pastry was soft and crumbly, and as I cleaved it in twain (sorry, I’m stuck in medieval language mode), the glossy fudge filling smiled back at me.
It tastes just like a normal Chocolate Fudge Pop-Tart, and that isn’t a bad thing. The crust has the perfect mix of buttery flour and cocoa that’s sweet without being overbearing. The filling is dense, rich, and, of course, super fudgy; it tastes like the love child of a chocolate lava cake and a chocolate pudding Snack Pack.
After toasting my Spookylicious Tart, I’m surprised to find it isn’t quite as good as it is plain. I like how the white-hot, loving hug of the toaster gives the crust a charming crispiness, turning it into, essentially, a chocolate graham cracker. And I like how the charred ghost sprinkles (which look like they got mistaken for s’mores marshmallows) provide a fun, sweet crunch.
However, somewhere in the two-slotted inferno, the fudge filling loses some of its complexity. The texture is gooier, but now it just tastes more like the creamy chocolate bottom of a hot Keebler Fudge Stripe. It’s good, but I sure won’t be naming any of my kids after it.
That just leaves frozen. Removing the tarts from the miniature planet Hoth that is my freezer (idea: Star Wars Pop-Tarts in disemboweled Tauntaun styled packaging), I noticed they had a nice, springy firmness to them. Biting into a pleasantly frosty frosted pastry, I was overwhelmed by cold, fudgy goodness.
The pleasant chew of the cold crust, coupled with the more solid filling that immediately melts in your mouth, make frozen Spookylicious Pop-Tarts taste like amazing rectangular Halloween Fudgsicles.
So whether you eat these Pop-Tarts room temperature or frozen, you’re bound to have
fudge fun. I only wish Pop-Tarts had gone a bit harder on the Halloween branding. Sure, orange coloring is still enough to make me toss packages of these Pop-Tarts to passing children out my third floor apartment window like some genial Halloween Scrooge. But as was the case with Halloween Krave, a little extra spooky packaging (this box doesn’t even have any puzzles or activities on the back. For shame!) can go a long way towards making something simple into the stuff Halloween scrapbooks are made of.
And don’t put it past me to affix a whole Pop-Tart onto construction paper, either. I’ve already got the hot glue gun warming up.
The “Bowl:” Spookylicious Pop-Tarts
The Breakdown: Plain and frozen, these are perfect for the morning after Halloween when Mom won’t let you have trick-or-treat candy for breakfast. But don’t bother to toast these ghosts.
The Bottom Line: 9 pastry RPG weapons out of 10