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Taste test: Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mints snacks

When my friend's daughter asked her why she was buying Thin Mints-flavored gum, she said it was because she craved a taste of the cookies but didn't want to risk opening and eating a whole sleeve of the irresistible Girl Scout treat. We actually found a bunch of Thin Mints-infused foods, from coffee creamers to tea bags and even granola bars. We narrowed the sampling to four and tasted brownies, cereal, ice cream and gum injected with the Girl Scout flavor that takes inspiration from the classic pairing of chocolate and mint.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

ProductPillsbury Thin Mints Brownie Mix General Mills Thin Mints

Flavored Cereal
Breyers Blasts Thin Mints

Ice Cream
Project 7 Thin Mints Gourmet Gum
Judges'

comments
Judges described these Thin Mints brownies as a "perfect" food. They loved the fudge-filled centers and moistness of the brownies along with the minty hues from the cookies. "Yum — these are intensely chocolate with good, bracing mint flavor," said one panelist. A couple said these brownies would be especially good with vanilla ice cream. "They melt in your mouth," said a taster who claimed they were the best adaptation of the cookie-infused treats sampled.Judges didn't wholeheartedly object to this cereal, likening it to the General Mills Count Chocula cereal of their childhoods. One said it looked more like "bunny pellets" than cereal pieces. Another said it tasted more like another of her General Mills favorites, Kix. "I like the crunch and the chocolate taste, although the mint is difficult to detect," she said. Judges said they would enjoy the cereal as a treat or in a homemade trail mix, but probably not covered with milk for breakfast. Not ones to turn away a dish of ice cream, our panelists liked the dessert and the idea of mixing their favorite Girl Scout cookie with vanilla. However, in the end, they all said they would prefer to eat frozen Thin Mints right out of the sleeve. "It's refreshing and cool with a hint of mint, but the chocolate is missing in action," said one panelist. "It doesn't have the creaminess of ice cream." Another said: "It's tasty and good but it doesn't scream Girl Scout cookie flavor."Judges were intrigued by this offering of a

5-calorie treat, but if given a choice, they would grab a cookie instead. "The gum bits look like they are dusted with chocolate and powdered sugar," said one taster. "It has a nice, crunchy initial bite, but the flavor doesn't really say mint or chocolate. I think I will stick to regular mint gum." Another said: "I'm so disappointed because I expected to love it. The flavor of chocolate and mint extract lasts for about five seconds before it's gone."
Would

they buy?
All four judges said yes.One of the four judges said yes.One of the four judges said yes.One of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$2.98 for a 14.1-ounce box from Walmart.$2.50 for an 11-ounce box from Publix.$5.27 for a 1.5-quart carton from Publix. $1.19 for a .53-ounce package of 12 pieces from Target.


Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Kay Hodnett, personal chef; Mary Jane Park, executive director of the St. Petersburg Warehouse Arts District Association; 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 mstark@tampabay.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

tampabay.com/things-to-do/food/tastetest.

Serving sizeOne of 12 browniesThree-fourths cupHalf-cupTwo pieces
Calories1901201405
Fat/Fiber2.5g / 1g3g / 1g4.5g / 0g0g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium18g / 80mg9g / 90mg14g / 70mg2g / 0mg
Carbs/Protein27g / 2g22g / 1g23g / 2g2g / 0g

Taste test: Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mints snacks 03/20/17 [Last modified: Monday, March 20, 2017 10:53am]
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