Fast Food Review: New! Cinnamon ‘N’ Raisin Biscuit from Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s
Once upon a time, I would get really excited by the combination of cinnamon and raisins. Once upon a time, there was nothing I’d rather eat than Great Harvest’s Cinnamon Burst Bread or Panera’s monster Cinnamon Bagels. Even when confronted with a carbophobe health world that was quick to point out the threat of Type II diabetes from the consumption of massive quantities of refined sugar and flour, I greedily risked a lifetime of needle pricking just to get my sweet, sweet cinnamon fix on. Alas, those days are long since gone, lost within the memory of overly sugary, margerine-y goodness that has given way to impostors of lackluster taste and texture.
Carl’s Jr., jumping off the back of sister chain Hardee’s, is giving me a chance to revise those sweet memories with their new 99 cent Cinnamon ‘N” Raisin Biscuit. Advertised as “Hot and Fresh” and “Made from Scratch”, the sweet creamed top biscuit has made its way to western markets over the last few weeks. Attempting to revive my childhood fondness of all things overly cinnamon and sugary, I stopped in to grab one the other day.
Man, why do I even bother eating breakfast anymore? This thing is just one massive disappointment. The icing is not at all creamy. Creamy would be to say it either has cream, or has the properties of cream. But when the icing’s first three ingredients are sugar, water, and corn syrup, “creamy” isn’t the most precise adjective to describe it. Don’t be fooled; there isn’t even an artificial fat in the mix, which is more like a thickened donut glaze that yields a rubbery goo once you give it a poke. Problem is, it tastes worse than it looks. It’s one thing to be overly sweet, but it’s another to be overly sweet and taste like, um, nothing. The latter is ok. Take Froot Loops, for example. They taste like Red #40 and Blue #20 – which I enjoy – and mimic the flavor of actual fruits not found it nature. But the Cinnamon Raisin Biscuit icing just tastes like bland sugar. Not even the kid who lives of pixie sticks would eat this.
The biscuit, to be fair, has a decent texture. It’s warm and flaky and not at all crumbly. Homemade it could pass for, at least if homemade means anything not coming from a frozen Pillsbury stick, which is good enough at 99 cents. It’s a little disconcerting to see partially hydrogenated oil as the second ingredient in something that apparently contains no trans fat, but what the heck, I had walnuts in my oatmeal last night, so my good cholesterol can afford the hit (aha, fight fat with fat!). But I’d rather it taste good, which it doesn’t. There’s no discernible, rich buttermilk flavor. OK, that’s fine, but I better get some sweet cinnamon burst drops then. Strike two. There are a few raisin pieces, but they don’t have much sweetness, and the cinnamon comes across as old and devoid of accompanying sweetness. It’s a rapid series of disappointments. It’s not super filling either, and as you can see from the pictures, it’s pretty small. For 300 calories I think I’d rather just have a small cake donut, which will at least leave me burping up that fried dough taste for the rest of the morning.
Pros: Have a buck? You're in luck. Served warm and hot. Less sugar than a package of Twinkies. Biscuit texture is pretty decent.
Cons: Doesn't taste like Red #40, or anything else for that matter. Icing is way too sweet with taste of nothing but glucose, which doesn't taste good. No sweetness in biscuit. Presence of PHO requires me to compensate with walnuts, which technically, I am not a huge fan of. Breakfast disillusionment on the even of entering the "real world" will likely lead to me living off of Waffle Crisp and Cool Whip into my 20s.
Grubbing on-the-go: 8.25/10
Price: 99 cents
Overall GrubGrade: 4.75 (Poor)
More Info: Hardees.com
Carl's Jr./Hardee's Cinnamon 'N' Raisin Biscuit
Total Fat: 15 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Trans Fat: N/A g* (contains PHO)
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 680 mg
Total Carbs: 10 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugars: 17 g
Protein: 3 g