I tried 15 of Target's seasonal fall foods, and would buy at least 10 of them again

·11 min read
A cart full of Target's seasonal fall foods.
Target has a lot of seasonal snacks for fall. Paige Bennett

The pumpkin bites with cream-cheese frosting were the perfect-sized dessert.

Target Pumpkin Bites
Favorite Day Bakery pumpkin bites. Paige Bennett

The bites look like tiny pumpkin pies, but they taste more like a pumpkin bread or cake.

The center is very dense with a strong ginger flavor, which I liked. The cream-cheese frosting balanced the flavor of the spices. Although they are rich and very sweet, these tiny treats were the perfect size for me to enjoy one or two at a time.

Verdict: I'd definitely buy these again. They taste delicious, but the size makes them less overwhelming since they are pretty rich.

The candy-apple pretzels were a little too sweet and very sticky.

Favorite Day Candy Apple pretzels
Favorite Day candy-apple pretzels. Paige Bennett

Although I wasn't sure what to expect for pretzels with a candy-apple-flavored coating, they were better than I imagined they'd be. This snack definitely nailed the candy-apple flavor.

The coating was super sticky, so most of the pretzels stuck together in the bag, and the coating started melting onto my fingers even after I just grabbed a pretzel. The flavor was fine, but they were very, very sweet. I didn't taste any of the salty pretzel.

Verdict: I'd probably skip these in the future. I like pretzels, especially coated ones for a sweet-and-savory treat, but these were just too sugary for me.

The caramel-apple crisp cookies were one of my least favorite products.

Favorite Day caramel-apple crisp cookies.
Favorite Day caramel-apple crisp cookies. Paige Bennett

I love cookies, caramel, and apples, so I had high hopes for these fall cookies.

They came in a small bag inside a much larger paper bag, which was kind of deceiving. I wish they came in a box or resealable bag instead.

I was also shocked by the size of these cookies. These were much smaller than I thought they'd be. Still, I love a mini dessert.

Unfortunately, these tasted overpoweringly like artificial apple flavoring.

The texture was off, too. The cookies are super crisp and crumbly, which is fine, but they have super chewy dried apple pieces inside.

Verdict: Unfortunately, I wasn't really impressed with any part of these cookies, from the taste to the texture to the packaging.

I didn't love the texture of the apple-cinnamon pecan trail mix.

Favorite day apple-cinnamon pecan trail mix.
Favorite Day apple-cinnamon pecan trail mix. Paige Bennett

Target has several limited-time trail mixes for fall. The first one I tried sounded promising, with a combination of cinnamon-flavored pretzel balls, apple-flavored pecans, dried cranberries, and dried apple chips.

At first, the flavors were very apple-forward and sweet, but then they settled into a saltiness from the nuts. The cinnamon pretzel balls were my favorite — I wish they sold bags of just those.

But the texture overall was off-putting to me. Every bite was super chewy. Despite the nuts and pretzels, this trail mix wasn't crunchy at all.

Verdict: The flavors for this mixture are good, but I really disliked the chewiness. I'd skip these since there were some other seasonal trail mixes I enjoyed more.

The rustic pumpkin-spice trail mix had a good sweet-to-salty ratio.

Favorite Day rustic pumpkin-spice trail mix.
Favorite Day rustic pumpkin-spice trail mix. Paige Bennett

In trail mix, I love contrasts of sweet, salty, chewy, and crunchy. The rustic pumpkin-spice trail mix hit all of these notes. It was sweet, but it also had some cinnamon spiciness to it and saltiness from the nuts and pretzels.

It had more of the tasty cinnamon-flavored pretzel balls, plus pumpkin-spice peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and yogurt-covered raisins. The nuts and pretzel balls were all crunchy, and the coatings and raisins balanced it out with some chewiness.

Verdict: When I'm in the mood for some trail mix, I'd grab this option again because it balances sweetness to saltiness and crunchiness to chewiness.

Scarecrow Crunch reminded me of my childhood.

Favorite Day Scarecrow Crunch.
Favorite Day Scarecrow Crunch. Paige Bennett

When I was a kid, I loved when we had "puppy chow" — a dessert typically made with wheat cereal pieces covered in peanut butter, chocolate, and powdered sugar — at potlucks or school events.

The Scarecrow Crunch is a far cry from what I think of when I think of trail mix, but this fall product included chocolate- and powdered-sugar-covered cereal pieces along with peanut-butter candies, peanuts, chocolate-covered marshmallows, and white-chocolate-covered oat cereal.

I skipped the marshmallows, which contain gelatin that I avoid eating, but the rest of this trail mix was a very nostalgic treat. I loved the chocolate-peanut butter flavor combination in this trail mix.

Verdict: This is too sweet to enjoy while going for a hike, but the Scarecrow Crunch would be a perfect movie-night snack. Aside from the marshmallows — please make some gelatin-free ones, Target! — I loved this trail mix and would buy it again.

I wasn't surprised that I didn't love the Candy Corn Crunch trail mix.

Favorite Day Candy Corn Crunch
Favorite Day Candy Corn Crunch trail mix. Paige Bennett

I don't like candy corn, so I didn't expect to like this trail mix but I was open to being surprised.

This mix includes candy corn, honey-roasted peanuts, raisins, and white-chocolate-covered pretzel balls.

I loved the pretzel balls, raisins, and peanuts, but the candy corn just wasn't for me. Raisins and peanuts are in most trail mixes, including multiple Target fall ones, so I could easily opt for another product instead of this.

Verdict: The sweet-and-salty combination in this trail mix is great, but I really just don't like candy corn. I could find pretzels, raisins, and peanuts in many other trail mixes, so I'd skip this.

I thought the pumpkin-spice almonds were a little overwhelming.

Favorite Day pumpkin-spice almonds.
Favorite Day pumpkin-spice almonds. Paige Bennett

I love almonds, and glazed- or dark-chocolate-covered almonds are regular treats on my grocery list. I had hope for these coated pumpkin-spice almonds, which actually have two flavors: pumpkin spice and bourbon vanilla bean.

The spice came through strong, but so did the sweetness. Each almond was coated in flavored white chocolate, and there was just too much coating on each almond, making them way too sweet.

Verdict: Although I expected to love these, the coating was too thick and sweet for me. I'd prefer plain almonds.

I preferred the pumpkin-spice pretzels to the candy-apple ones.

Favorite Day pumpkin-spice pretzels.
Favorite Day pumpkin-spice pretzels. Paige Bennett

After the candy-apple pretzels, I was unsure about the pumpkin-spice alternative. But these coated pretzels were a better balance of sweet and salty, plus some spice.

The pumpkin-spice pretzels were less sweet than the candy-apple option, and I could devour a bunch of these crunchy snacks in one sitting.

Verdict: These crunchy, sweet, salty, spicy pretzels were tasty, and I wanted to eat handfuls at a time. I'd buy these again, but I might need someone to hide them from me.

The Monster Drizzle caramel corn is a rare autumnal treat that doesn't taste like pumpkins or apples.

Favorite Day Monster Drizzle caramel corn.
Favorite Day Monster Drizzle caramel corn. Paige Bennett

It's difficult to find fall-themed foods that aren't flavored with pumpkin spice, cinnamon, caramel, or candy apple.

This Monster Drizzle caramel corn was a surprising limited-time offer at Target — but its simplicity made me wonder why it isn't in stores year-round.

The Monster Drizzle includes caramel corn drizzled with dark chocolate and mixed with pretzels and sprinkles. I didn't see or taste any pretzels, but I saw a few bright-orange sprinkles. Most of the bag was just the caramel corn and chocolate, which was a melted mess all over the bag.

Despite the lackluster appearance, this was really yummy. The dark chocolate kept it from being too sweet.

Verdict: This caramel-corn mix was good, and I'd buy it again. I just wish there were more pretzels, and it'd be great if there was a way to keep the chocolate from creating a melty mess all over the bag.

The pumpkin-spice cupcakes were very rich with extra cream-cheese frosting inside and out.

Favorite Day pumpkin spice cupcakes.
Favorite Day pumpkin spice cupcakes. Paige Bennett

I couldn't wait to dig into the pumpkin-spice cupcakes, which featured a pumpkin-flavored cake plus cream-cheese frosting, cream-cheese filling, and a cake-crumble topping.

The cake is incredibly moist, and I could taste the pumpkin and ginger flavors. The cream cheese was good with this cake, but it was a little overwhelming. There was a lot of frosting on top plus some added into the center of the cupcake.

Verdict: I'd buy these rich, indulgent cupcakes again, but this is definitely a dessert to share with friends. I'm notorious for eating seconds and thirds, but one of these cupcakes over the span of a long weekend was enough for me.

I thought the pumpkin-pie granola tasted more like maple syrup in the best way.

Good & Gather pumpkin-pie granola.
Good & Gather pumpkin-pie granola. Paige Bennett

Granola with fruit and yogurt is one of my go-to quick breakfasts or snacks, and this option will be on repeat this fall for me. The granola is very crunchy.

I love pumpkin flavors, but I wasn't disappointed at all to find that what was supposed to taste like pumpkin pie tasted more like maple syrup or French toast.

Verdict: This granola will be paired with many yogurts, bananas, and berries this fall. I loved the flavor and texture of the pumpkin-pie granola, even though it tasted more like maple syrup than anything.

The scones, combined with coffee, were my favorite item of the bunch.

Favorite Day pumpkin scones.
Favorite Day pumpkin scones. Paige Bennett

The pumpkin scones at Target are game-changers.

They are small, so it's easy to grab a couple to dunk into coffee. Scones tend to have a dry, crumbly texture, but these were slightly softer and moister. I enjoyed the pumpkin flavor and the sweet glaze coating the outside of the scone.

I tried them plain first, but then I dunked them in some coffee and it was unreal. After just a few days, I was ready to restock.

Verdict: The pumpkin scones were my favorite fall product at Target. The scones pair perfectly with coffee and I'll be making many Target runs this fall to stock up on these.

I prefer unflavored coffee, but this pumpkin-spice one was good enough to buy again

Good & Gather pumpkin-spice coffee.
Good & Gather pumpkin-spice coffee. Paige Bennett

I tend to stick to unflavored coffee, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

This pumpkin-spice coffee was better than most others I've tried, which tend to be bland and bitter. It was a little bitter and not super smooth, but it was tolerable. I could taste the spice but not much pumpkin.

I added oat milk to it, which made it a nice morning beverage. I could still taste the spices, but it was not as bitter.

Verdict: I wouldn't mind buying this coffee again, but I'd be sure to pair it with oat milk or maybe a vanilla-flavored creamer to balance the spice and bitterness.

The pumpkin-spice hot cocoa was rich, creamy, and dairy-free.

Good & Gather pumpkin-spice hot chocolate
Good & Gather pumpkin-spice hot cocoa. Paige Bennett

Chilly fall evenings are that much better with a good cup of hot cocoa, and Target's pumpkin-spice one does the trick.

It's rich and sweet with a dark-chocolate flavor at first, which then goes into the taste of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

You're supposed to add the mix to hot milk, and I chose to use oat milk. The ingredients do not include any milk powder, making this a dairy-free option if you use a milk alternative.

The hot cocoa turned out really smooth and creamy, with a great flavor.

I enjoyed it as is, and I also mixed some with the pumpkin-spice coffee, which also turned out great. The box suggests spiking this cocoa with rum for an adult treat, and I plan to try that out soon.

Verdict: Whether alone, to mix with coffee, or to spike with a splash or two of rum, this mix will be making many appearances in my shopping cart this fall.

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