McDonald’s has recently come out with two new ice cream flavors, a Salted Caramel Sundae and a Cookie Butter McFlurry, that will only be available for a limited time. Clearly, McDonald’s is trying its best to keep up with the more sophisticated and ever-evolving tastes of their consumers.
A Cookie Butter McFlurry seemed inevitable.
With Speculoos Cookie Butters being the trendy in-things that they are, a McFlurry with similar flavors seemed inevitable. In fact, McDonald’s entry is almost a little too late, coming months after other establishments have already tried everything from cookie butter pancakes to cookie butter muffins. The Salted Caramel sundae, though, was a bit more surprising. I thought Metro Manila’s fascination with this sweet and salty combination would be nothing more than a brief fad. Apparently, I was wrong and it’s determined to stick around for the long haul.
In order to give a quick rundown on these new holiday fast food desserts, I’ve decided to forget about about my no-fast-food rule (for the hundredth millionth time this year) and ordered two ice cream desserts to eat by myself without hesitation. I’m only doing this for you guys, my hands are practically tied.
Cookie Butter McFlurry (PHP 45)
Growing up, McDonald’s McFlurry was the special treat that filled the space in my heart that gelato does today. Remember when they had M&M’s and Butterfinger? I wish they’d bring back all the old available flavors.
Being the online snoop that I am, I checked out what other people were saying about this new addition to the McDessert collection. This might’ve been a mistake since the sight of someone else’s McFlurry (generously swirled with Cookie Butter, whereas mine only had speckles of the stuff) successfully broke my heart into a million little pieces.
McDonald’s nailed most of the subtle flavors I was expecting, but it wasn’t perfect.
Taste-wise, it’s nothing close to Biscoff or Speculoos, which I thought was understandable since McDonald’s didn’t explicitly specificy that they used that particular (overpriced) spread in their ice cream. I was able to detect notes of gingerbread, cinnamon, and spices that reminded me of bread and biscuits. McDonald’s nailed most of the subtle flavors I was expecting, which I thought was refreshing since they often limit their flavors to the (sometimes too) sweet side. It still wasn’t perfect, though. With so little cookie butter in my order, the vanilla took over and reduced the “cookie butter-ness” to mere hints.
In terms of texture, I’m not sure if the McDonald’s branch I visited was just having a bad day, but they seemed to have taken the “Butter” in Cookie Butter quite literally. The globs of solidified not-Speculoos had a consistency halfway between solidified chocolate and soft butter.
Salted Caramel Sundae (PHP 29)
I used to be chums with one of the McDonald’s order-takers in the branch near my university, and I would always request that he mix the Hot Fudge with the Caramel in my sundae. Imagine my delight when they finally placed it on the McDonald’s dessert menu. Some combinations just work so well with one another, that you wonder why it took people so long to put them together. Just like my Hot Fudge and Caramel (or the McDonald’s Apple Pie smooshed into a Caramel Sundae), Salted Caramel reads on paper like a match made in heaven, but I’ve been disappointed before so I’m keeping a tight leash on my expectations.
My Salted Caramel sundae made up for the lack of cookie butter in my McFlurry.
If my McFlurry was in desperate need of more Cookie Butter, my sundae more than made up for that lack. It was practically swam in so much Salted Caramel that it restored my faith in the universe. I tried the caramel on its own (without the ice cream), and was expecting a salty, buttery-sweet taste. What I actually got was a bit flat, and it was saltier than I imagined it to be.
A friend of mine always says that salted caramel tastes like snot to her (that you accidentally tasted because you were ugly crying your way through yet another viewing of A Walk to Remember). I always defend salted caramel, and instead make fun of my friend’s intimate knowledge of the taste of our various bodily fluids. But today, I concede defeat. She’s right, sometimes, salted caramel does taste kind of like snot.
McDonald’s sundae is the one to get.
Eaten with the vanilla ice cream, however, the caramel more than redeems itself. McDonald’s soft-serve is incredibly versatile. It deserves props for having the power to make me completely forget about mucous-related things. The sweetness of the vanilla ice cream is an equal partner in this dessert, helping balance the stronger, flashier flavors of the Salted Caramel. Given the choice between the Cookie Butter McFlurry and this, the sundae is the one to get.