The McRib isn't the only holiday gift McDonald's has up its sleeve this year. BrandEating just uncovered the fast food chain's full slate of special holiday menu items, and it's quite a doozy.
Every location will be selling at least two holiday-themed desserts: an Egg Nog Shake (actually a vanilla shake with egg nog syrup added for flavor) and a Holiday Mint McFlurry. Both are making their national debut this year. And the peppermint mocha is coming back after many long months off the menu.
A few locations will also be featuring pumpkin, this fall's trendiest ingredient for chain restaurants and prepared food, in a baked pie and another milkshake. Some locations will also sell a pumpkin spice-flavored mocha.
But for a select group of obsessives, all these menu items pale before the McDonald's holiday special with the biggest cult following of them all: the strangely-colored McDonald's Holiday Pie. That, too, will be returning. But there's no telling where!
Click through below to see what specials other restaurant chains released for the holidays around this time last year:
Naughty: Outback's Gingerbread Martini
Made from Monin gingerbread flavor, Absolut vodka, Kahlúa and Baileys Irish Cream, this drink is then "salted" in graham cracker crumbs and topped with a gingerbread cookie. Yep. That's a lot of gingerbread in one cocktail glass.
Nice: Krispy Kreme Snowman Doughnut
For those who don't have problems with eating something that resembles Frosty the Snowman, Krispy Kreme has rolled out a snowman-shaped doughnut topped with snow-white icing. The shape is the only aspect here that is affected by the holiday, the rest of the doughnut is business as usual.
Naughty: McDonald's Holiday Pie
Naughty! Oh, so naughty. If there was no name presented next to this inventive concoction, it would be hard to identify. Made of a confetti-cake-like sugar cookie crust and filled with a vanilla custard, the one thing it has going for it is that it provides a break from the overused seasonal flavors.
Nice: BK Cranberry Chicken Tendercrisp
Pairing the sweetness of cranberry sauce with savory poultry is one of the greatest parts of the Thanksgiving meal. And Burger King has capitalized on that perfect duo with its all new holiday menu introducing a cranberry chicken sandwich. Sounds pretty nice.
Naughty: IHOP Eggnog Pancakes
Eggnog flavor can potentially work well as a frozen treat, such as ice cream or frozen yogurt. But one way it certainly does not work well is as a gloopy pile of custard, slathered between two pancakes. Oh, and then topped with caramel and whipped cream. It is, as they say, a heart attack waiting to happen.
Nice: Friendly's Gingerbread Ice Cream
Friendly's gingerbread ice cream is a good solution to the problem with gingerbread (in that it always tastes better with ice cream). Mixed with gingerbread pieces and sweet cream swirl, this variation of the classic holiday flavor is something we just might be able to get behind.
Naughty: Tim Horton's Candy Cane Chocolate Doughnut
Tim Horton's holiday cheer comes in the form of a double chocolate doughnut, sprinkled with candy cane pieces. And not just any candy cane, but green, red and white candy cane. The company definitely did not want to miss out on any of the Christmas colors. That's a lot to to fit on one single doughnut -- too much, really.
Nice: Peppermint Pinkberry
Mint-flavored ice cream has long been a favorite; it is almost as classic as vanilla or chocolate. It certainly has a permanent spot next to the staple ice cream flavors in the freezer section of the grocery store. With this in mind, Pinkberry's seasonal peppermint frozen yogurt seems quite nice. A pale pink-tinted shade, this frozen yogurt should be topped with bits of minty bark and drizzled chocolate.
Naughty: Denny's Arthur's Christmas Cookie Pancakes
Whoever thought that foods speckled with bright colors would be appetizing must have been color blind. Yes, at times being bold with color in food items can work, but it must be done with an expert hand and a lot of care. In this case, it looks a little less like holiday cheer and a bit more like Christmas just sneezed on these pancakes, and dropped a gob of whipped cream on top (maybe to cover up this terrible sight!). Even if it is a promotion for "Arthur Christmas," this holiday item is not very nice.
Nice: Starbucks Caramel Brulee
Hmmm. Burned Caramel. Some people just can't get enough of this flavor. And Starbucks is making a push for it to become a traditional holiday flavor. Only time will tell if it is festive enough to make the cut, but in the meantime it makes a nice change to the usual holiday flavors lineup.
Naughty: Sonic's Red Velvet Cheesecake Blast
The name says it all: This holiday concoction has gone over the top. Made from red velvet cake batter ice cream, blended with cheesecake pieces, finished with whipped topping and then ... more cheesecake pieces. This seasonal treat isn't just naughty, it is trouble. Eat it at your own risk.
Nice: TCBY Eggnog Frozen Yogurt
The flavor of eggnog normally works quite well in frozen creamy treats (which makes sense if considering that its main ingredients comprise of dairy and sugar), and frozen yogurt just might be the answer to making this heavy seasonal drink feel just a tad lighter.
Naughty: The Coffee Bean Red Velvet Hot Chocolate
There is something about the juxtaposition of the words "hot chocolate" and a photo of a pinkish beverage that just doesn't compute. Shouldn't hot chocolate be the color of chocolate, a rich and creamy light brown? Can red velvet, a delectable cake, really be blended down into a drinkable treat? We think not.
Nice: Chick-Fil-A Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake
This Chick-Fil-A item might not so bad, that is if you don't mind feeling like you are drinking a giant candy cane.
Naughty & Nice: DQ Candy Cane Cake
Okay, so the fluorescent pink ice cream is a bit off putting. But the flavor combination of mint ice cream, vanilla ice cream and chocolate crumbs -- that is a winning combination. This holiday special is a little bit naughty, and a little bit nice.
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