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Chains try retail-restaurant mash-ups in latest LTOs

Restaurant chains are raiding the home pantry for familiar treats they can mix into indulgences bordering on the bizarre.

While Taco Bell tests Cap’n Crunch doughnut balls, Baskin-Robbins is promoting a new limited-time offer called the Snacknado. The frozen treat is a blend of chocolate-covered potato chips and pretzels, candy, salted-pretzel “ribbons” and salted caramel ice cream.

Ketchup is the pantry staple that figures into Red Robin’s newest dessert, though it’s not a type found in most (if any) homes. The condiment is really a raspberry dipping sauce for the new Chocolate Fruffles, a logjam of chocolate fudge bars that look like the casual chain’s Bottomless Steak Fries. True to semblance, the Fruffles (“truffles” crossed with “French fries”) are sprinkled with sea salt.

Peanut butter figures into Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt’s latest LTO, whose recipe could have been written by customers. Two of the frozen yogurt flavors they buy most often at Orange Leaf are peanut butter and chocolate. Among their favorite mix-ins are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. The three are combined into the new item, which will be available through April 26.

The Cap’n Crunch Delights have kept the social media-verse a-twitter since Taco Bell’s plan for a single-store test came to light. The dessert item consists of a pink fritter-like ball of dough encompassing a cream center. They will priced at $1 for two or a dozen for $4.99.

“It’s pretty much fast food cereal,” the blog Food Beast reported after trying the product in Taco Bell’s test kitchen. “What more could we want in life?”

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