by Erik R. Trinidad
It's not even Halloween yet, but the folks at Burger King are already gearing up for the December holiday season. They're doing this in a most festively secular way, by offering two new gingerbread frozen treats, in addition to offering a Minibon from Burger King's partnered chain Cinnabon. The BK gingerbread incarnations come in shake and sundae form, just in case it's not too cold when the winter holidays roll in. Here's how they rate:
The Claims: The new limited-time Gingerbread Cookie Sundae is a serving of vanilla soft serve with gingerbread-flavored syrup mixed in, topped with gingersnap crumbles. ($2.49; Calories: 350) Its drinkable counterpart, the Gingerbread Cookie Shake is the same soft serve and syrup only blended, and topped with whipped cream in addition to the gingersnap crumbles. ($1.99; Calories: 640, medium size)
The Verdict: B. I could complain that these gingerbread cookie treats fail to have the texture of cookies in them -- they could have come topped with at least one cookie -- but I won't. I understand that from a logistical point of view, the folks at BK probably can't guarantee that every cookie is going to be whole when they're shipped from warehouse to restaurant, which is probably why they went with the crumbles to begin with.
But never mind about texture; these items aren't supposed to be about the textures of cookies, but the taste of them -- and the taste is definitely evident in both of these items. I mean that in a generically good way; that's because gingerbread cookies have a distinct blended flavor of cinnamon, cloves and ginger, merely based on a general recipe that anyone, or any mass-market cookie factory, can make.
The syrup tastes like gingerbread cookies without the texture, and it doesn't take much to infuse that flavor with the vanilla. It's almost as if the vanilla absorbs it all in and transforms into gingerbread-flavored ice cream, leaving little to no trace of vanilla bean. The gingerbread syrup's flavor is overpowering, which is I say is a good thing since that's what they're going for. The garnish of crumbles is a nice touch, giving you just enough dry texture to give it the "cookie" in each item's name.
In the end, both items have the taste of gingerbread, topped with the taste of gingerbread. Does that mean it's lesser of a product because there's not much dimension to it in terms of taste? No. If you're a fan of gingerbread, get it. If not, this is obviously not the thing for you. Go ahead and be festive by having something else, even if it is two months early.