Chain Reaction

New desserts to chill the summer heat

By Kevin Pang, Tribune Newspapers

June 27, 2013


Hey fellas, what's cooler than being cool? Ice-cold dessert drinks and treats, pumped full of sugar. As we ease into the summer months, we review three new chain offerings that may send your internal temperature to a comfortable chill. All right, all right, all right ...

Starbucks Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino
: You must have a caramel fetish to enjoy this. Unbearably sweet, with multiple interpretations of caramel inside a single cup: dark caramel sauce, caramel drizzle, a crunchy caramel sugar topping atop whipped cream. The first taste is of a creamy, ice-blended coffee, followed by caramel overload. Similar to biting into a cold Twix.

Nutritionals: 580 calories, 21 g fat, 95 g carbs, 93 g sugar (16-ounce grande size with whole milk plus whipped cream)

McGrade: C-

Dairy Queen S'mores Blizzard Treat
: As expected with Blizzards, lots of chunky textures going on within the vanilla soft serve, and best eaten with a spoon. Mostly it's pieces of Honey Maid graham crackers and occasional rectangles of chocolate. Could involve a bit more chocolate flavors, certainly, but all elements of a s'more are present, including a faint and slightly artificial-tasting marshmallow. (Available through summer.)

Nutritionals: 1,060 calories, 51 g fat, 135 g carbs, 103 g sugar (medium size, 15 ounces)

McGrade: B+

Cinnabon Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Chillatta
: A smooth, creamy milkshake with ground Reese's Peanut Butter Cup pieces, whipped cream and a swirl of chocolate sauce. Light on chunks enough to be sippable through straw without much resistance. Prevailing taste is peanut butter, though not overpowering. Occupies space of being not quite sweet enough as a stand-alone dessert, but perhaps a tad too sweet as drink. (Available through Sept. 7.)

Nutritionals: 1,140 calories, 58 g fat, 144 g carbs, 121 g sugar (regular size, 24 ounces)

McGrade: B