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May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Candy Bars: Peanut Butter & Caramel and Coconut

Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Candy BarsYesterday I reviewed the new, limited edition Nestle bars made in conjunction with the Girls Scouts. They’re based on popular flavors of the seasonal Girl Scout Cookies.

The trio of bars represent some pretty popular cookies and great candy bar combinations. The bars are pretty small, they consist of two small wafer based bars that clock in at a mere 1.3 ounces for the whole package. At regular price they were $1.19 each at CVS, though you may be able to find them on sale at some point. Nestle and the Girl Scouts have been trying to whip up a fervor over these bars, so be prepared that they’ll never come on sale or be hard to find. (Or not. They were just sitting on the candy shelf at CVS, probably a week before they were supposed to be out for regular folks to buy them, I’d heard that they were internet pre-order only plus a week of exclusive purchase at Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York City.)

Nestle Crunch Girl Scount Cookie Candy Bars

The bars are attractive and though the packaging is spare and kind of generic looking, it does a good job of protecting the bars themselves without out a lot of extras. The wrappers looked a bit like nutrition bars to me from a distance, and I almost didn’t notice them, but the line at the drug store was long, so I had plenty of time to stare at everything.

Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Caramel and CoconutThe Limited Edition Girl Scout Cookie Flavors: Crunch Caramel & Coconut is supposed to be, I believe, like the Samoas.

Samoas are a vanilla cookie base with coconut and caramel then a little series of mockolate stripes. I’ve had them a few times and found them to be a little too sweet and sticky for me, but definitely more on the side of candy than cookie.

DSC_9331rb

The description of the candy bar on the wrapper was: cookie wafers, coconut caramel creme and chewy caramel topped with toasted coconut. Notice in that description there’s no mention of chocolate, because there isn’t any here, just a mockolate coating, and then some other orange striped stuff on top of that.

The smell is disappointingly artificial. There’s a note of fake butter that overpowers the coconut scent almost entirely. The wafers are definitely crisp, but the creme filling is grainy and has more of the fake butter notes to it. I couldn’t finish the second bar. I had to sequester it in the trash in another room because the smell was driving me crazy.

I know that some folks are going to be obsessed with these, but I found them completely disappointing. The fake flavor, the lack of real chocolate, the use of useless artificial colors and simply missing an opportunity to satisfy.

Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Peanut Butter CremeThe Limited Edition Girl Scout Cookie Flavors: Peanut Butter Creme is based on the Tagalongs cookies. (For years I called them Tagalogs, some sort of a misreading where I thought they were inspired by a traditional Filipino peanut cookie, you know, because there were Samoas, I thought there was a series that was all themed for Pacific Islands.)

The package describes the candy bar as Cookie wafers and peanut butter creme topped with airy cripsies. Again, no mention of chocolate, that greasy coating on it because it’s not actually chocolate.

DSC_9324rb

This bar was particularly messy, unlike the others. It was simply soft and sticky, even though the ambient temperature was 70 degrees or so. The bar is very peanutty smelling, roasted and really appetizing. The wafers are thick and airy with a good crunch. The peanut butter creme is salty and the mockolate coating is thin enough and just barely sweet enough to make this a candy. Though the coating made this a little on the greasy side, they’re good. Much better than the Butterfinger Crunch Crisp bars, which also have that fake butter flavor.

Again, Q.Bel makes a much better quality Peanut Butter Wafer Bar, though it actually doesn’t have quite the same proportions or salty peanut butter oomph that this does. Trader Joe’s also has a peanut butter wafer crisp bar that’s a fraction of the cost of this (only $1.99 for 7 ounces instead of $1.19 for 1.3 ounces) and has none of the crazy additives and lackluster ingredients.

On the whole, I’m underwhelmed. I’m sure Nestle and the Girl Scouts are going to make out well with their social outreach programs and strong brand identities. Maybe I’m just too old for this, jaded or suspicious of these sorts of stunts.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Wafer Cookies
  2. Oreo Bitter Bar (Japan)
  3. Christopher’s Good News
  4. Baby Ruth Crisp & Nestle Crisp Bars
  5. Q.Bel Crispy Wafer Bars
  6. ReeseSticks (Revisit)
  7. Take 5 Peanut Butter


Name: Crunch Caramel & Coconut
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: CVS (Silver Lake)
Price: $1.19
Size: 1.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 146
Categories: Candy, Nestle, Caramel, Coconut, Kosher, Limited Edition, Mockolate, 4-Benign, United States, Sav-On/CVS


Name: Crunch Peanut Butter Creme
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: CVS (Silver Lake)
Price: $1.19
Size: 1.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 146
Categories: Candy, Nestle, Cookie, Kosher, Limited Edition, Mockolate, Peanuts, 7-Worth It, United States, Sav-On/CVS

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:22 pm     CandyReviewNestleCaramelCoconutCookieKosherLimited EditionMockolatePeanuts4-Benign7-Worth ItUnited StatesSav-On/CVSComments (2)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nestle Girl Scout Cookie Bars - Thin Mints

Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint Candy BarThere was a time when I was obsessed with Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies. I would buy boxes of them and gobble up what should have been months of rations in mere weeks. Somewhere along the way they lost their charm though. I found out that there were better cookies out there, cookies made with real chocolate and more importantly, cookies that were available consistently.

So when I heard that Nestle was coming out with a limited edition candy bar version called the Nestle Crunch Girl Scount Cookie Thin Mint Candy Bar, I knew that the internet would be abuzz. But I didn’t really care one way or the other. Q.bel makes a superb wafer bar with mint creme with real ingredients, why would I want a version made by Nestle?

But there I was at CVS last evening and I saw them at the check out, and I figured I should give them a chance.

So here’s one of the main reasons I stopped eating Thin Mints, the ingredients. It’s not real chocolate. The current ingredients, according to the Girl Scout Cookies website:

Girl Scout Thin Mints Cookies Ingredients: Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid) sugar, vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated palm kernel and/or cottonseed oil, soybean and palm oil), cocoa, caramel color, contains two percent or less of cocoa processed with alkali, invert sugar, whey, leavening (baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), cornstarch, salt, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor, oil of peppermint.

So no chocolate, barely even enough cocoa in there to even be considered an actual mockolate product. But then I was curious how one of the kings of mockolate, Nestle, would treat an already established mockolate cookie.

Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint Candy Bar

The Nestle bar is formatted like the Nestle Crunch Crisp Bar. Again, this bar has some wonderful attributes, a series of crispy light wafers filled with greasy chocolate cream and then covered in mockolate and some more little rice crispies. The change here is the darker mockolate product and peppermint. The ingredients are equally ghastly:

sugar, wafer (wheat flour, cocoa processed with alkali, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, corn syrup, salt, baking soda, soy lecithin), hydrogenated coconut oil, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, cocoa processed with alkali, rice flour, nonfat milk, and 1% or less of: natural mint flavor, barley malt, whey, artificial and natural flavor, salt, emulsifiers (soy lecithin, sorbitan tristearate, lactic acid esters of mono- and diglycerides), ground peanuts.

But hey, it’s candy. It’s a treat, and in this case, for $1.19 it’s only 1.3 ounces and 200 calories. It’s a limited edition production, so it’s not an every day thing. 

Nestle Crunch Girl Scount Cookie Thin Mint Candy Bar

The wafer layers are structurally sound and lightly flavored with cocoa. The cream between has a light minty flavor and rather smooth texture and though it’s sugary, it’s not overly sweet. The mockolate coating is firm and doesn’t flake off but doesn’t do much else. In cool temperatures, especially just slightly chilled, this is a pretty good bar. But in the warmth of summer, it’s a sticky mess. It’s not too sweet, the textures and proportions are excellent. Still, my interest level is low because of the sub-par ingredients and lack of an authentic chocolate coating.

Yup. I’ll stick with the Mint Q.bel Wafer Bars or maybe Mint Milanos. I can’t say I’m disappointed at Nestle’s take on the Girl Scout Cookie, it’s entirely consistent and I guess that’s the sad part. It could have been great.

Related Candies

  1. Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
  2. Q.Bel Mint Wafer Bars
  3. Q.Bel Crispy Wafer Bars
  4. Trader Joe’s Mint Joe Joe’s versus Mint Oreos
  5. Nestle Crunch Crisp
  6. Head to Head: Cookie Joys vs Cookies n Mint


Name: Crunch Thin Mints Candy Bar
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: CVS (Silver Lake)
Price: $1.19
Size: 1.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 154
Categories: Candy, Nestle, Cookie, Kosher, Limited Edition, Mints, Mockolate, 6-Tempting, United States, Sav-On/CVS

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:21 am     CandyReviewNestleCookieKosherLimited EditionMintsMockolate6-TemptingUnited StatesSav-On/CVSComments (4)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Baron Milk Chocolate PB&Js

Baron PB&J'sLike many confectionery origin stories, this Baron Milk Chocolate PB&J’s bars started long ago in war time.

Commercial peanut butter began in the United States, where about 6-7% of the world’s peanuts are grown in any year. Peanut butter was used heavily during war years as a cheap and relatively stable protein source for soldiers. The story goes that soldiers during World War II would eat sandwiches on stale bread with peanut butter for weeks on end, and to moisten the bread they would add jelly or jam. It didn’t hurt that it also made it taste better as well. When the soldiers returned home, they introduced their families to this cheap and easy food.

It seems kind of strange that for the most part candies are either jelly and chocolate or peanut butter and chocolate. There really aren’t any successful mass-manufactured chocolate, peanut butter and jelly candies. Maybe this new bar, all the way from Poland, will change that.

Baron PB&J's

The bars are tiny, the box holds more than a half a dozen of them (8 to be exact), a little expensive for $1.99 but at least a unique item.

Each little bar is individually wrapped in a paper foil. The recommended serving size is three sticks, each is about 60 calories.

Baron PB&J's

The bars are a little on the soft side, they smell like roasted peanuts and chocolate milk. The peanut butter filling is sweet and a little sticky. On top of the peanut butter is a thin layer of jelly. In this case it’s grape and though it doesn’t have much of intensity, it’s a little pop of tangy, juicy flavor. The peanut butter isn’t so much a paste, it’s far sweeter and has less of a roasted, salty and savory punch. Think of it like peanut butter cookie dough, sweet and thick.

The proportions are a little off for me. I’d like more jam, more peanut butter, but I think that’d mean a larger bar in general. The petite size makes them ideal for a small treat and I think the mild flavor set would be good for smaller kids. The two integral parts here, the peanut butter and jelly just aren’t good enough. It should be really intense peanut butter and great, all natural grape jelly, not some high fructose corn sweetener flavored like grape.

These are made in Poland and have all sorts of allergen notices on the package: made with soy, dairy, peanuts plus traces of wheat, tree nuts and eggs.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  2. Zingerman’s Zzang! Wowza Raspberry Bar
  3. Krowki: Polish Cream Fudge
  4. Madelaine Duets
  5. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Powerberries
  6. Trader Joe’s PB & J Bar
  7. Sno-Caps, Goobers & Raisinets


Name: Milk Chocolate PB&J’s (Grape)
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: European Chocolate Millano
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $1.99
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 127
Categories: Candy, Chocolate, Jelly Candy, Peanuts, 7-Worth It, Poland, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:47 am     CandyReviewChocolateJelly CandyPeanuts7-Worth ItPolandWalgreen'sComments (4)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Choceur Dark Hazelnut Crisp

Choceur Dark Hazelnut CrispWhile at Aldi last month I picked up a few tried and true favorites as well as a few new things. The candy selection at Aldi, a German grocery chain with locations in the east and mid-west of the US, is a bit lighter during the non-candy-season months.

I picked up this slim box that holds 11 small candy bar sticks. They package describes them this way, Dark chocolate bars with hazelnuts and rice crisps in a chocolate creme filling,

For only $1.99, it’s a pretty good deal and I like the little portions inside.

Choceur Dark Hazelnut Crisp

Inside the light, paperboard box are 11 small candy bar sticks. They’re wrapped in a matted printed foil and individually marked (in case you wanted to put them in a bowl or candy dish but still be able to identify them). Each is a little shy of 2/3 of an ounce and about 105 calories. Two is a very nicely portioned treat.

They smell lightly sweet with a note of toasted nuts and cereal.

Choceur Dark Hazelnut Crisp

The little bars have a hazelnut cream filling studded with little crisped rice spheres. That’s all inside a molded dark chocolate shell. The dark chocolate isn’t terribly dark, I’d say about 55%. The flavor is woodsy, overshadowed by the hazelnut flavors from the chocolate hazelnut cream center. The crisped rice provides only a slight crispy texture that mostly keeps the center from being too sickly sweet or sticky. Still, I found it all a bit sweet after the second little bar.

I’ve had quite a few of these Choceur bars over the years and they’re always quite good and extremely well priced. This particular one is note quite on the level of a Perugina Baci, but still a nice little treat especially in the afternoon when you want something more sophisticated than a Twix or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

There’s no statement about the ethical sourcing of the ingredients on the package. The product contains soy, dairy, nuts and gluten and may also contain traces of peanuts.

Related Candies

  1. Perugina Baci
  2. KitKat Hazelnut Cream
  3. Choceur Chocolate Crisp Bars
  4. Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Delights
  5. Choceur Luxury Mini Chocolate Bars


Name: Dark Hazelnut Crisp
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Aldi
Place Purchased: Aldi (Camp Hill, PA)
Price: $1.99
Size: 7.05 ounces
Calories per ounce: 165
Categories: Candy, Aldi, Chocolate, Cookie, Nuts, 7-Worth It, Germany

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:06 pm     CandyReviewAldiChocolateCookieNuts7-Worth ItGermanyComments (0)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Niagara Chocolates Milk Chocolate with Mint Cookie

Niagara Chocolates Milk Chocolate with Mint CookieI picked up this bar of Niagara Chocolates Milk Chocolate with Mint Cookie in Pennsylvania while I was attending the PMCA Production Conference a few weeks ago. Niagara Chocolate is part of the Sweet Works family of brands, which includes Ovation chocolate sticks, Florida Tropics Chocolates and Sixlets.

The bars is part of their line of fundraiser chocolate, bars that are purchased wholesale by organizations to resell for a tidy profit to fund activities. While I always thought that fundraiser candy was overpriced, I actually thought this was a pretty good deal. These 2.25 ounce bars still sell for $1.00.

Niagara Milk Chocolate with Mint Cookie

The milk chocolate bar is quite simple, and a favorite bar flavor for me. It’s a minted milk chocolate with lots of little chocolate cookie chips (a la Oreos) inside. The bar is well segmented for breaking into bite sized pieces. At 2.25 ounces, it’s about two portions as far as I’m concerned, though the package says it’s only one.

Niagara Milk Chocolate with Mint Cookie

There were plenty of little cookie bits, but even better, they were especially crunchy without being hard. The smoky and less sweet contrast of the cookie to the very sweet milk chocolate was perfect. The milk chocolate is decent, not extraordinary, but good enough for this price point. It’s so hard to find this particular candy combination these days since Hershey’s discontinued their seasonal version and I’ve had bad luck with freshness with the Harry London Cookie Joys of late.

If you see a kid selling these, it’s a nice little treat and usually for a good cause. Niagara also makes about a half a dozen other varieties of bars (I have the peanut butter one to try as well.)

There’s no notification of the ethical sourcing of the chocolate on the package. The bars contain dairy, soy, eggs, and wheat and may contain traces of peanuts and tree nuts.

Related Candies

  1. Ovation Cappuccino Sticks
  2. Florida Tropic Oranges
  3. Fannie May Mint Meltaway
  4. Mint Crisp M&Ms (Indiana Jones)
  5. 3 Musketeers Mint with Dark Chocolate
  6. Head to Head: Cookie Joys vs Cookies n Mint


Name: Milk Chocolate with Mint Cookie
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Sweet Works
Place Purchased: sample from PMCA Conference
Price: $1.00
Size: $2.25
Calories per ounce: 147
Categories: Candy, SweetWorks, Inc, Chocolate, Cookie, Mints, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:51 pm     CandyComments (1)

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Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.

 

 

 

 

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Smarties Lollies and Mega Lollies

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• Seattle Chocolates Devil’s Delight Bar

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