Today is the day your life changed profoundly because today is the day you found out Kite Brownies exist. Kite Brownies are quite possibly the most exciting innovation in snack cake production in the last twenty-five years. Even the cashier at the grocery store took pause at the box of Kite Brownies travelling down the conveyor belt. And grocery store cashiers are the most jaded, grizzled people anywhere. They’ve seen it all. Nothing fazes those people, not even those weird cans of Vienna sausages.
But Kite Brownies, now that’s something. It looks like Little Debbie has been feverishly baking again, this time combining the delicious flavor of kites and brownies into a new snack cake. Little Debbie, you’re my hero.
“You know she doesn’t really exist, right?” the wife says.
And what, is she going to tell me that Betty Crocker and Mrs. Freshley also aren’t real?
“I won’t believe it,” I say.
Snack cakes can be scary stuff. There’s the brittle, salty frosting and the machine-perfect stripes. There’s those freaky cream-injected holes on the bottoms, like the baked-over scars of puncture wounds. Thousands of snack cakes prodded and injected by machines, two hundred and fifty Twinkies made every second. Not baked, but rather, created. Snack cakes symbolize all that is unnatural in food processing. They aren’t made with things like butter, milk and eggs. They’re made with chemicals swirling in industrial vats, transformed into plastery, sugary goo and pumped into cake molds.
Seriously, that shit freaks me out. I find Little Debbie’s beaming face and pigtails comforting. I find her old-timey straw hat reassuring. I want to believe she’s somewhere in a kitchen baking up a storm. So I’m choosing to believe Little Debbie is real, because the alternative is far more unsettling. Which is also how I feel about God and heaven. And now that I’ve connected those dots between my feelings on God and snack cakes, I have reached the end of my self-examination and existential thought. I’m done. I’ve written every word there is.
But then I saw that Kite Brownies exist. I must continue writing and exploring.
A lush spring has begun to unfold. Everything has come out early—the flowers, the bees, the neighborhood children who ride their bikes perpetually in our court, circling like a pool of piranhas. And now the brownie embodiment of spring itself has hit the stores. They soar freely beyond the grasp of winter’s frigid claws in a sudden burst of freedom and warmth and new beginning. George Harrison tried when he wrote, “here comes the sun,” but he didn’t get close.
They’re like the free-spirited cousin of Cosmic Brownies without the acid edge. They’re the idealistic child of the stuffy, old-and-in-the-way fudge brownies with nuts. Bob Dylan tried when he wrote, “the order is rapidly fading,” but he didn’t get close.
Kite Brownies get it.
The Kite Brownies are small but hefty. They’re individually-wrapped and pack two hundred calories per kite. They also contain nine grams of fat, sixteen grams of sugar, one hundred and twenty milligrams of sodium, and absolutely zero nutritional value. Unless you count that less-than-one gram of fiber, which I’m totally counting. Hey, there’s even like four percent iron in here. This thing is basically turning into a vegetable before my very eyes.
The green frosting and yellow striping is inviting and attractive, but has no flavor on its own. Still, it provides a satisfying waxy texture. The shape is perfect for biting into. The long narrowed corner of the kite is nice to bite off. If you’re an “ears-first” biter, you know what I mean. The brownie itself is really fudgey, which is impressive since “cocoa” is the last ingredient listed on the box. The way they make things taste chocolate without actually using chocolate is one of science’s most enduring mysteries.
Here’s a side profile of the brownie:
I want to know more about that darker stripe in the middle of the Kite Brownie, but like God and Little Debbie, some things aren’t meant for us to know.
I like the Kite Brownies. I’m a big fan of seasonal snack cakes. When I was a kid, the season changes ruled my life, when it mattered how close to was to summer or Christmas. Before I was tall enough to see the calendar on the wall, I watched the seasons change by the products offered at the grocery store. Christmas-tree-shaped cakes meant it was almost here and the baseball-shaped ones meant school was almost out.
Snack cakes, remember, remember. Back when you were a kid and didn’t mind the chemical aftertaste. Back before boutique cupcakes were all the rage. When you didn’t have such discerning tastes. When all cake was inherently good. And yet it’s still true: all cake is good. Open your heart and let the Kite Brownies in.