Fast Times: CDE (Christmas Dessert Edition)

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We're packing our bags and checking 'em twice (once on United, then again on Alaska Airlines) which means we aren't doing an awful lot of Christmas cooking or baking at our house. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, myself, but this time of year I really start craving desserts -- something about the holiday season just makes me want to pig out on cookies and cakes. I've had my eye on a few seasonal sweets lately: the Arby's Peppermint Stick Swirl Shake, and the Gingerbread Cookie Shake and Sundae at Burger King.

After a very tough morning at the gym to give myself an acceptable calorie deficit, I zipped through the Arby's and Burger King drive-thru windows and picked up some edible Christmas cheer.

Arby's Peppermint Stick Swirl Shake

Not only is the name unwieldy -- wouldn't "Peppermint Stick Shake" or "Peppermint Swirl Shake" be sufficient? -- the size of this shake is, too; it only comes in a gigantic 20-ounce size (690 calories). The pink swirl is an absolutely alarming shade of pink, and crushed peppermint sticks are sprinkled on the top layer of whipped cream. In spite of my feeling of dread at the sheer size of the thing, this shake was kind of delicious. The peppermint is refreshing, and the taste is pretty similar to a McD's Shamrock Shake. I happen to really enjoy peppermint, but twenty ounces is way too much -- split this with a peppermint-lovin' friend.

Burger King Gingerbread Cookie Shake

Two words: SUGAR BOMB. Two more words: Yummy topping. At least this comes in small, medium, or large (a medium has 640 calories, a small 490). The shake has pretty true gingerbread flavor but it is so completely overwhelmed by sweetness that it was hard to drink more than a few sips. The most special part of this milkshake (technically a frozen yogurt shake) is the topping, named only as "whipped deliciousness" on the BK website; crumbled gingerbread cookies are sprinkled on top and the effect is delicious. I had about three sips, but ate every bite of the whipped topping and cookie crumble.

Burger King Gingerbread Cookie Sundae

As with the shake, the gingerbread flavor imparted to the sundae is via a gingerbread-flavored syrup that is downright cloying; its saving grace is that it is quite spot-on in terms of flavor. With the sundae you can control the amount of syrup you eat, since it's applied in layers throughout the vanilla -- scoop up as much or as little as you like. It is by far the most responsible choice from a calorie standpoint -- 350, with seven grams of fat -- but the sundae missing the absolute best part of the shake, which is the whipped deliciousness! Either order both and transfer the topping to the sundae, or beg for the whipped deliciousness on your sundae when you place your order.

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