11 March 2011
Starbucks' 40th Anniversary and New Starbucks Petites
There's yet another new change occurring at Starbucks and this time it doesn't concern cup size. The change is to the pastry case, unveiling new Starbucks Petites, treats under 200 calories that they say are great for an afternoon snack. For the size of these things, I hope they are under 200 calories, though a part of me can't believe that for the size they even come close to that amount (mini cupcake???). To promote these little bights of delight, in honor of Starbucks 40th anniversary they're giving a free Petites out to anyone who orders a beverage. The promotion started yesterday and ends the 12th, so head to your nearby Starbucks between 2 - 5 p.m. today and tomorrow.
Another difference between these and their standard desserts is that the Petites are all natural, containing no artificial sweeteners, flavors, dyes, preservatives, and high fructose corn sugar. The rather long ingredient list (invert sugar, anyone?) suggest that it still isn't the same as making them yourself, though for about $1.50 each with eight varieties to choose between, it's not bad as far as their pastries go.
The first test was the Salted Caramel Sweet Square, which consists of "Salted caramel and chocolate filling with a layer of crisp pretzels and pecans on top of a butter shortbread crust." I think these are similar to how a million dollar bar turns out, though a little different. I liked the pretzel and pecan combination and the sweetness was balanced nicely by the salty.
What I was most surprised to see were cake balls. The cake ball trend started on a blog and spread like wildfire, appearing in bakeries across the States. It looks like Starbucks decided to hop on the bandwagon and offer three flavors of their own. They have a standard vanilla with a pink coating, a rocky road variety with chocolate cake, and the tiramisu cake ball that I got, which is a vanilla cake moistened by Starbucks coffee and vanilla icing, then dipped in what they say is a "mocha flavored chocolaty coating". It's obviously white chocolate.
Not really having tasted many beforehand I didn't have much to compare this to, as the only cakeballs I made came out pretty but with soggy centers, I just aimed to see if it didn't disgust me. The center was moist but spongy with a nice coffee flavor. It tasted good with the smooth white chocolate shell and I was happy with what I got, though I wouldn't say I'd order it again.
Overall, I'm impressed so far by their new line. I will go back later to try some of the other treats, like the cupcake and whoopie pie, hoping they won't simply be smaller versions of their other baked goods (which are often dry and just don't taste good). Don't forget to head over to try them for yourself!
On a side note, I had a dream that I bought overpriced madeleines from Starbucks. In the end, I put the bag back because I actually have the proper tins to make them, so I need to get on that!