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December 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hershey’s Bliss Creme de Menthe Meltaway Center

Hershey's Bliss Mint MeltawayHershey’s introduced their Signatures line last year, which is an upscale set of offerings within the traditional Hershey’s fare that’s available at grocers, drug stores and discount retailers. (The Reese’s Clusters were the first item in this line that I found.)

Hershey’s Bliss is also part of this Signatures line. The initial launch of Bliss included milk chocolate, dark chocolate and a milk chocolate meltaway.

As the winter holidays approached, the Hershey’s Bliss Creme de Menthe Meltaway Center appeared on shelves. I first spotted them at Hershey’s Chocolate World back in October, but they smelled so overwhelmingly minty without even opening the bag, I was afraid that the airline would think I was a drug mule trying to cover the scent of something illegal from the famous contraband-sniffing-Beagles of LAX.

So I waited for them to show up locally and sure enough Target has them in stock (on sale, though I’d hardly call $3.50 for an 8.8 ounce bag of Hershey’s a great deal).

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Last year Hershey’s released a limited edition Hershey’s Kiss in Mint Truffle (and they’re back this year).

The exterior packaging is pretty, it screams mint & casual indulgence. The interior foil wrappers are not so nice. I was not keen on the shift from the elegant bronzy tones on the outside to the screaming goldenrod text with the green foil.

Inside the pieces were a little soft, a little greasy looking. But beyond that ... they were quite dreamy.

The chocolate is smooth and creamy and the center is just slightly fudgier with nice mint flavor that had both peppermint and spearmint notes (the spearmint part was a refreshing change). It was also a little salty, just like the Mint Truffle Kisses, but the chocolate was silkier.

I really didn’t think I’d like these, but they’re a very successful little morsel. Everyone at the office seems to agree, as the bag is now empty and folks have asked if there are any left.

Related Candies

  1. Hershey’s White Chocolate Meltaway Bliss
  2. Trader Joe’s Peppermint Bark White Chocolate Bar
  3. Jo’s Peppermint Crunch
  4. Andes Mints & Dessert Indulgence
  5. Dove Promises (Caramel & Almonds)
  6. The Mint Kisses: Chocolate Mint & Candy Cane
  7. Inside Out Junior Mints
  8. London Mint is really from Ohio
Name: Bliss Creme de Menthe Meltaway Center
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: Target (WeHo)
Price: $3.50
Size: 8.8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 145
Categories: Chocolate, Mint, United States, Hershey's, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:14 pm    

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Holiday Edition Sugar Babies

Holiday Edition Sugar BabiesFor years Sugar Babies were just plain old Sugar Babies.

Tiny little caramels panned with a sugar shell like a jelly bean.

Perfect just the way they are.

But Tootsie, like so many other companies, needed to expand the brand. So they covered them in chocolate and then some bitter green ogre skin (oh, wait, that was green apple flavor). Those were interesting extensions, because they actually built on the unique caramel of Sugar Babies and then added something else.

Now Tootsie has given us Sugar Babies Holiday Edition.

What’s different about these?

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They’re white, red and green. That’s it.

I went out and bought a box of regular Sugar Babies just to be sure.

Even the original have artificial colors in them (why?) but the only addition to the list of ingredients for the Holiday Edition is titanium dioxide. (Mmm, like licking a lifeguard’s nose.)

Frankly, these Holiday Edition ones are downright ugly. They look like leftover nubs of erasers. The colors are dull but not muted enough to look like it’s on purpose. (And of course I can tell which ones are red by the bitter aftertaste that I get from Red 40.)

The other funky thing about these is the package design. I actually liked the blue and plain clip art style snowman. But I was extremely irritated by the little “snowflake” type decorative elements. Why? Because they have eight points.

Snowflakes have six sides or points.

Instead Holiday Edition Sugar Babies boxes are decorated with asterisks. And you know what asterisks make me think of?

If you have a Sugar Babies lover in your life and want to give them a little treat, make it a fresh box of the classic ones. The only reason to buy these is because you love Kurt Vonnegut.

Related Candies

  1. Junior Fruit Cremes
  2. Whoppers Sno-Balls
  3. Peppermint Peep Stars
  4. Junior Mints Pastels
  5. Cadbury Christmas Candy Thingies
  6. Junior Caramels
Name: Holiday Edition Sugar Babies
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Tootsie
Place Purchased: Target (WeHo)
Price: $1.39
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 112
Categories: Caramel, United States, Tootsie, Limited Edition, Christmas

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:00 pm    

Monday, December 1, 2008

Starbucks Chocolate: Eggnog Latte Truffles

Starbucks Chocolate Eggnog Latte TrufflesThe Hershey’s & Starbucks marriage has moved quietly out of the honeymoon stage. I see the products around quite a bit, though I haven’t been tempted to buy any again since I tried their launch line of items.

Then I saw their new holiday truffles. They have three new variesties that I spotted at both Rite Aid and Target.

The new truffles are: Peppermint Mocha Truffles, Gingerbread Latte Truffles and Eggnog Latte Flavored Truffles.

I stared and stared at the two packages for Gingerbread and Eggnog and I couldn’t figure out the difference. Gingerbread was going to be a little more on the cinnamon side and eggnog was going to be more on the nutmeg side. Both are milk chocolate.

Even though they were on sale, I opted for just the Eggnog ones. I think nutmeg is a hugely underrated spice and I love the combination of milk chocolate and nutmeg. (Frances bought all of them though.)

Starbucks Chocolate Eggnog Latte Truffles

First let me say that I’ve never had a Starbucks coffee drink before. I’ve had straight lattes and cappuccinos and tried their Chantico hot chocolate before, but I’ve never had any of their flavored drinks. Like my aversion to sodas, I just don’t care much for sweet drinks. So I can’t compare the experience of this truffle to one of their actual hot Eggnog Lattes.

The narrow domed pieces are very attractive. Nicely molded and aromatic. I got an immediate whiff of chocolate and nutmeg with a little hint of rum flavoring.

The chocolate shell is shiny and nicely tempered. The chocolate is sweet but has a slight pop of coffee flavors. The sugar, cream and palm oil ganache center is creamy with a few little bits of spice in it. There’s a very slight hint of coffee from time to time, but for the most part this is a chocolate piece about the egg nog flavors, not espresso.

Overall, as I’ve found with egg nog in the past, this is pretty sweet stuff. The piece is nice, but as I’ve noticed with the other truffle boxes, I kind of want a variety. I did see a gift box at Target that had a mix of Mocha, Peppermint Mocha and Gingerbread Latte Truffles, but at $10 for less than 6 ounces it was a worse deal ounce for ounce than the stand up boxes. So I think I’m just going to keep my eye on it and hope it’s still there after Christmas. Or go to a real chocolatier and get something that’ll really roll my eyes back in my head.

As drug store chocolates go, they are all natural and Starbucks makes a point of saying that their coffee and chocolate are sourced ethically and grown sustainably (doesn’t say anything about the palm oil though). They’re certainly better than most other mass-produced boxed chocolates in that respect. Kosher.

Related Candies

  1. Choceur Coffee & Cream
  2. Starbucks Truffles
  3. Starbucks Chocolate
  4. Trader Joe’s Fair Trade Chocolate Truffles
  5. Dove Jewels
  6. Chuao ChocoPods
  7. Pocket Coffee
Name: Starbucks Eggnog Latte Truffles
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Starbucks (and Hershey's)
Place Purchased: Target (WeHo)
Price: $3.99 on sale
Size: 4.23 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Chocolate, Coffee, United States, Hershey's, All Natural, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:57 am    

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