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[Photographs: Todd Brock]

I was expecting crushed-up candy canes.

The red and green bits dotting the top of my McDonald's Holiday Mint McFlurry weren't immediately identifiable to me, but they were not the candy cane shrapnel I had assumed I would be seeing. There are a few photos floating around in cyberspace that make it look like your treat will be topped with a thick, solid layer of "peppermint candy pieces," but mine was mostly the chain's reduced-fat vanilla soft serve, with just a few holiday-hued specks dotting the visible surface.

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The festive bits, which look like pebbles with a waxy coating, aren't candy-covered chocolate, either. In fact, there's no chocolate in the mix at all. The company website lists corn cereal and corn meal among the ingredients, so at the end of the day, I can't tell you what the hell these things are. That's not to say I don't like them. They're subtly minty and add some interesting crunch to the party—even if they do get stuck in your teeth (much like a real candy cane). And they do double the saturated fat content of the HMM on their own, so there's that.

Most of the mint flavor (and there was plenty) seemed to be supplied from the pump bottle of fancily-labeled "Holiday Mint McFlurry Flavored Syrup" stashed next to the mixing machine. Called a "signature" ingredient in the official corporate literature, I found that it was sweet without being cloying, and helped result in an overall tasty treat.

The McFlurry comes in a "snack size" of 6.9 ounces, or a "regular" that, while served in a 12-ounce cup, weighs in at just 10.3 ounces. It's on the small side, to be sure, so if you're expecting a big Blizzard-sized capper to your Happy Meal, you might be disappointed. For much of the country, a frozen dessert in December is a tough sell, but I'd order the Holiday Mint McFlurry again (if I ate at Mickey D's with any regularity.)


About the Author: Todd Brock lives the glamorous life of a stay-at-home freelance writer in the suburbs of Atlanta. Besides being paid to eat cheeseburgers for AHT and pizzas for Slice, he's written and produced over 1,000 hours of television and penned Building Chicken Coops for Dummies. When he grows up, he wants to be either the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys or the drummer for Hootie & the Blowfish. Or both.

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