Make us your home page

Taste Test : new desserts

Serving size One cup 10 pieces Two cookies One-sixth of cake
Calories 100 200 140 500
Fat/Fiber 2g / 0g 11g / 2g 7g / 1g 29g / 3g
Sugars/Sodium 15g / 120mg 21g / 15mg 9g / 60mg 39g / 450mg
Carbs/Protein 19g / 0g 24g / 4g 18g / 1g 55g / 7g

This is the time of year when relatives visit us in Florida to escape the cold and snow up north and when college students return home with their friends from the dorm. It's always nice to have a few treats on hand for unexpected company or celebrations. Our panelists found a few new and decadent guest-worthy desserts they likely will store in their freezers or cupboards. Only one of the four products sampled wasn't up to the challenge.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product Temptations

by Jell-O

Key Lime Pie
Hershey's Pieces Milk Chocolate With Almonds Pepperidge

Farm Mint




Sara Lee

Chocolate Cheesecake

Disappointment was the word judges used to describe these pudding cups. The pudding was a strange lime green color, under a meringuelike topping. At 100 calories, judges were hoping these would be a satisfying treat. "It's kind of like a cross between mousse and gel," said one panelist. "I'm thinking astronaut food," she added. "I think the taste is okay," said another, "but it looks like something you would purchase at Michaels to complete an art project." They all said the taste was too fake. "The texture is unpleasant and the pale blue-green color is really unfortunate," one said.These chocolate-covered almonds were fresh and the pieces looked appetizing. "I like the nice-looking light brown and dark brown candy shells, and the almonds inside are very tasty," said one judge. Another said the pieces "were a nice medley of colors with a really nice snap and crunch when you chew." A couple of judges said they liked the treat, but still preferred peanut M&M's. One said the candy was perfect. "This is the best candy I've ever put in my mouth," she said. "Love it!"

Pepperidge Farm's new cookies are a shortbread treat oozing with smooth and minty chocolate cream. "They have a classic Mint Milano flavor with a rich, chocolatey molten interior," said one judge. "I love the flavor and texture." Another admired "the nice little cowlick on the top of the cookie" and the crunchy chew. "These would be great with a cup of Earl Grey tea," said the panelist. All four said these cookies would be a nice treat for dessert. "They have that little extra something that makes them good for a party," said one.The newest variety of cheesecake from Sara Lee impressed judges with its smooth texture, bold color and chocolatey taste. "It looks incredible," said one judge. "This would be a great, easy dessert to keep in the freezer for company." The creamy cake was baked on a chocolate-crumb base that gave it an extra-sweet flavor. "It's a decent sized cake too," said one panelist. "There would be plenty left for a midnight snack." Another said, "It's got a great crust, nice dense filling with yummy chocolate frosting."

they buy?
None of the judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$2.50 for an 11.75-ounce pack of three from Walmart.$3.69 for an 8-ounce pouch from Publix.$3.69 for a 5.7-ounce bag from Publix.$7.99 for a 4.7-ounce cake from Publix.

Panelists: Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; Kay Bell, personal chef; Julie Overton, consumer and mother of four; and Laura Reiley, Times food critic.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

Taste Test : new desserts 03/06/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours