Thursday, October 02, 2014

Otis Spunkmeyer Muffins

Ok, I admit it, this is a bit random.  I am rarely satisfied with the baked goods from nice bakeries all over San Francisco, particularly when it comes to muffins.  So what on earth am I doing reviewing packaged muffins?

Well ... you may recall that I do have a particular fondness for the almond poppyseed muffins from Costco, so, there is some sort of precedent here.  Oh, and you can't forget about the crazy good cinnamon rolls from 7-Eleven.  So yes, sometimes delicious things come from surprising places.

But, the real story is that I was helping test out Google Shopping Express before it launched publicly.  After ordering all our household essentials of toilet paper, tissues, shampoo, and whatnot, we started to get a bit creative.  And Ojan loves blueberry muffins, so, at some point, he ordered blueberry muffins from Google Shopping Express.  You may recall the blueberry muffin from Walgreens that I reviewed a while ago?  Yeah, same reason.

This batch came from Otis Spukmeyer, a large baked goods distributor.  They sell wholesale baked goods for restaurants and businesses nationwide, apparently including the US Army.  However, little known fact, they actually started as a fresh baked cookie shop in nearby Oakland!  They also make those rather delicious hot fresh cookies that American Airlines serves in first class.  Their products are available in retail version fully cooked, or, for restaurants, they come as frozen dough and pastries to be baked off on site.  They also distribute their own special ovens to bake their signature cookies, 3 dozen at a time.
Wild Blueberry Muffins, 3-pack.
The muffins did not look good.  Sure, they were from a grocery store and pre-packaged, so I'm not quite sure what I was expecting, but they looked gummy and moist through the packaging.

And they were.  Moist muffins wrapped in plastic are going to get gummy, I don't think there is any way around that.  One thing I love with cupcakes and muffins is when they have a crispy top, yet moist interior.  (Yes, I'm definitely the type who wants the crispy edges of lasagna too!).  These were entirely homogenous throughout, not dry, but not moist exactly.  Just, preserved "freshness"?  And the tops were indeed a bit gummy.

I wasn't a huge fan of the consistency at room temperature, so I popped one in the toaster oven for a few minutes.  A warm muffin is always appreciated, and it eliminated the gumminess this way.  It also crisped up the top.  Much improved!

Many reviews I read said they were "not too sweet".  I'm not really sure what those people were thinking.  These tasted as sweet as any cake, not a muffin.  Too sweet for my breakfast tastes.  And I like sweets!

They did have a slight tang to them, pushing them slightly on the muffin side of the cake-muffin divide, but just slightly.  That was the part I did like.

I was amused that they came as a 3-pack, yet the nutrition stats were for 6 servings.  Because you know, people really eat just a half a muffin ...
Cross section.
I cut one in half, to see what the suggested portion size looked like.  While the muffins were large-ish, a half a muffin was way too small.  Silly portion sizes.

As you can see, there was a decent quantity of little blueberries.  I am never much of a fan of wild blueberries, I prefer large plump ones, so that was not a selling point for me, but the blueberry was at least more substantial than in the Panera muffins.

Ojan is the one who ordered these, as he loves basic blueberry muffins, and he liked them, particularly for a packaged good.  I however, would not get again.
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