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Chains debut new desserts

The treats reflect both indulgent and better-for-you trends

Better-for-you items — even in desserts — and traditional indulgent desserts both were on display in abundance at the recent National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, and restaurant chains also have responded to those two trends with recent additions to their dessert menus.

Miami Subs Grill, a 35-unit chain based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has added one item in each of those categories as part of its “Eat Like a Greek God” promotion, highlighting the chain’s Greek heritage.

The sandwich chain has introduced a probiotic-packed Greek Yogurt Honey Parfait, made with honey-drizzled yogurt topped with honey-almond granola, for $2.99. The chain has also launched its interpretation of baklava, an indulgent Greek dessert. Priced at $1.99, the dessert is made with phyllo dough layered with walnuts and honey.

Self-serve frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles also launched a honey-sweetened Greek yogurt, called My Greek Honey. The new flavor is accompanied by a limited-time topping, sour cherries, at all 22 locations of the New York-based chain.

RELATED: Frozen treat chains add Greek yogurt to their menus

San Diego-based Jack in the Box, two months after introducing a bacon shake, has returned to more conventional flavors with a treat that's flavored with coffee and chocolate cookies.

The chain's new Java Cookie Shake combines vanilla ice cream, coffee-flavored syrup and Oreo cookie pieces, and is topped with a Maraschino cherry and whipped topping. The shake is available in a 16-ounce size for $2.69 and a 24-ounce size for $3.19.

Tracy Dunn, director of menu marketing for the 2,200-plus-unit quick service chain, said in a press release, “When it comes to shakes, our guests tend to favor indulgent flavors with branded mix-ins, like pieces of Oreo cookies.”

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Dunkin’ Brands is going in an indulgent direction with new desserts being launched by its two concepts in a promotional tie-in with the film Men in Black 3, which is being released on May 25.

The new items now available at Dunkin’ Donuts are:

• Black Cocoa Creme Iced Coffee, containing cookies-and-cream flavoring and served with a promotional pink-and-black straw ($1.95 for a small cup).

• Under Cover Black Cocoa Donut, a star-shaped yeast doughnut stuffed with creamy brownie batter flavoring and topped with chocolate icing and star sprinkles (89 cents).

• Chocolate Lunarmax Donut, a glazed chocolate cake doughnut with a chocolate icing drizzle and star sprinkles (89 cents).

In Baskin-Robbins’ lineup are:

• Pink Surprise Cake, made of cookies-and-cream ice cream sandwiched between two layers of devil’s food cake and iced with pink frosting and roses (around $24.99, depending on location).

• Lunar Cheesecake, the chain’s ice cream flavor of the month. Originally introduced in 1969 to commemorate the first lunar landing, it’s made with green and white cheesecake ice cream, cheesecake bits and a crunchy graham cracker ribbon. A scoop of Baskin-Robbins ice cream is around $3, depending on location.

• The Lunar Lander sundae, made with Lunar Cheesecake ice cream, marshmallow, white cake pieces, graham cracker, caramel, whipped cream and a cherry ($4.50 to $5.50).

• The Agent 31 sundae is chocolate fudge ice cream topped with brownie pieces, hot fudge, chocolate sprinkles, whipped cream and a cherry ($4.50 to $5.50).

• Triple Mocha Cappuccino Blast, a new drink combining cappuccino flavor base, milk, chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup, blended with ice and finished with whipped cream and chocolate syrup ($4 to $6, depending on the size).

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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