[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

Pop-Tarts are one of those breakfast sweets that every kid wants at some time or another—with their frosted outsides and gooey middles, they are clearly more in dessert territory then Mom and Dad would typically allow. Luckily, we can now buy Pop-Tarts for ourselves, which is why we felt the need to try the newest versions on the shelves.

First up, the Peanut Butter Pop-Tart. This is a surprisingly light affair—the outside is simple, just slightly crunchy with an attractive layer of sugar sprinkled across the dough. The inside is equally straightforward, with just a thin line of peanut butter sandwiched between the crusts.

The peanut butter has a good, authentic taste, like it was just whipped out of a Skippy container and spread in your Pop-Tart. Once broken in half, it even kind of looks like it could be homemade. For a mass-produced, supermarket product, it definitely earns points for its natural taste and look, especially compared to some of its neon colored counterparts, like Hot Fudge Sundae or Confetti Cupcake Pop-Tarts.

The only thing I was a little disappointed with was the amount of peanut butter. There is a nice sweet-salty thing going on, but had they been a little more liberal with the PB, it would have had a more distinct flavor and a clearer contrast between the crunchiness of the outside and the creaminess of the interior. That being said, some people will probably enjoy its simplicity. It's a little less sweet than the other Pop-Tarts out there, and the lack of artificial color or appearance sort of makes you feel like you're eating something healthy.

What the Peanut Butter Pop-Tart is lacking in texture and flavor, the Chocolate Peanut Butter version has in spades. This kind is truly one for the books. It starts out with a chocolate crust, which adds a pleasant shell-like texture. The peanut butter quantity is the same, but because of the added ingredients, the smaller portion works perfectly. If there was anymore, it would be too heavy and overwhelming.

Once toasted, the texture of the top layer of chocolate remains pretty much the same, but the dough becomes slightly crisper, and the warm peanut butter tastes extra creamy and indulgent. The mix between crunchy and creamy is as close to perfect as a Pop-Tart can get. NY Editor Max hit the nail on the head when he said, "It's like eating a Reese's for breakfast." It really is, and that means I'd trade it in for oatmeal any day.


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