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June 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Dove Cookies and Creme + Ghirardelli Cookies Jubilee

I’m a huge fan of Oreos. I love them. For my 16th birthday my little brother gave me a package of Oreos, and though some people would think, “What a cheap gift!” It was in reality just what I wanted. My love of the cookies is all about the cookie part, not the cream filling. It’s salty and barely sweet, slightly sandy in its crunch and has a deep, dark chocolate flavor that borders on charcoal.

Cookies and Creme

Now Kraft has their own Oreo candy bars, of course not in the United States, spawning ground of Oreos. Instead the best Oreo Bars came from Japan. So Americans have to eat Cookies and Cream candy (which is based on the awesome Cookies and Cream Ice Cream). It’s a white chocolate base with crushed chocolate. The thing about Oreos is that there is no substitute. People who like other brands of chocolate cream cookies (such as Hydrox) prefer them. I happen to prefer Oreos and find anything that’s like an Oreo but not an Oreo slightly disappointing. (But still usually delicious.)

Dove Cookies & CremeWhile Hershey’s has a 22 year head start in the Cookies and Cream arms race, Dove has an advantage when it comes to ingredients and texture.

The new Dove Silky Smooth Promises Cookies & Creme are the newest in Dove’s recent entry into white chocolate products. For a while everyone was going extra dark and all of sudden white chocolate is legitimate decadence. (Personally, I think we can have it both ways, they’re not mutually exclusive.)

Dove Cookies & Creme

I got a handful of these as a sample from Mars last month. I didn’t think it was the final packaging because of the rather generic looking black and white foil. (This wouldn’t be the first time I got samples from Mars in temporary packaging.) Well, when I opened the bag after picking them up at Target last weekend, it was clear that this was what the wrapper was supposed to look like.

Dove Cookies and Creme

I really wanted to love these, but as I mentioned before at the top, I love the cookie part of cream sandwich cookies. So I want a lot of cookie. The white chocolate Dove uses is very creamy, very smooth but also has a bit of a cocoa flavor of its own. It may not be deodorized cocoa (where the cocoa butter is filtered completely to remove any traces of cocoa solids or anything that makes it smell like chocolate). It’s not as sweet as some other white chocolates, especially those at this price point. But it’s still sweet and lacks that moderation that a larger proportion of cookie bits would bring.

The cookie bits themselves are okay, they’re crunchy, but missing a really dark and lightly salty note to them.

They’re okay eaten one at a time and with something else in between. I don’t find myself wanting more after I finish one.

Ghirardelli Sublime White Cookies JubileeI was on the lookout for the Dove Cookies & Creme but had no idea that Ghirardelli had their own new version. The Ghirardelli Sublime White Cookies Jubilee was far more expensive per ounce, at $2.79 for the 3.17 ounce bar.

The box is nicely made and protects the bar well, at paperboard sleeve over a foil wrapped bar. The price per ounce is 88 cents per ounce while the Dove is half that at 44 cents per ounce. So it should be twice as good. It should be all natural. It should be fair trade. It should complement my skin tone and make my eyes sparkle. (Candy doesn’t work that way, or so I’ve been told.)

What Ghirardelli does with there bar is actually different and sounds really good. They describe it on the front of the box as rich layers of chocolate with crunchy cookie bits..

Ghirardelli Cookies Jubilee

The ingredients are weird and the photo on the package (and physical examination of the opened bar) looks like there’s a milk chocolate base then a white chocolate layer filled with cookie bits.

But what it smells like is chocolate cupcakes. Not good chocolate cupcakes but those cupcakes that people buy at the grocery store bakery, that smell of automation and mixes. The ingredients list cocoa butter as the second ingredient, so that’s not a problem, the chocolate content seems all good. The cookie though seems to be made from rice flour, tapioca starch and corn starch. There’s no wheat flour in there, not that I need it to be made with wheat flour, but this isn’t a gluten free product. (Or is it?)

The flavor balance is weird, it’s like fake buttered popcorn. The little cookie bits have a nice crunch, but little dark toasted cocoa goodness of their own. The chocolate layers are smooth, far smoother than the Dove. It was weirdly greasy at the end and melted too quickly to become thin and watery. It’s just weird and I found it really unpleasant. (For the record, I have liked a lot of Ghirardelli’s other white chocolate products.)

Hershey's Cookies & CremeIn order to completely review a Cookie and Creme candy, I had to revisit the one that pretty much dominates the market, the Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme.

I love the idea of the Hershey’s and there’s so many things that are right with this bar, but the primary reason I can’t or don’t eat it is because of the ingredients. Instead of real cocoa butter the Hershey’s version uses, well, it’s hard to tell, because the ingredients list is vague. The second ingredient, after sugar, is vegetable oil. It says then, parenthetically, that it may include cocoa butter, palm, shea, sunflower and/or safflower. So there’s really no telling which or any of those are in there.

Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme

It’s extremely sweet and slightly grainy and I think not quite milky enough for a white chocolate style product. But then I get to the cookies. There are so many of them, they’re so consistently crunchy and salty and sandy and really exquisite. They balance out the sickeningly sweet white confection exceptionally well.

This purchase was the King Size bar, which was well priced, but far too much of this for me to eat and really, really smelly. The Drops version introduced more recently is a better portioning, though doesn’t have quite the same cookie density and satisfaction.

Cookies & Creme: Dove, Hershey's & Ghirardelli

I have to say, after all these years, I still haven’t found a Cookies and Cream candy I actually like enough to keep eating. Dove is pretty close, it needs more cookies, it needs better cookies. Or Hershey’s could go back to a real white chocolate with cocoa butter and a little less sugar. Instead I’ll probably just keep eating Oreos.

Related Candies

  1. Milka Bars, Milka Drops and some Li’l Milka
  2. Cookies ‘n’ Cream Bites
  3. KitKat Otonano Amasa (Adult Taste)
  4. Oreo Bitter Bar (Japan)
  5. Cookies ‘n’ Creme Showdown
  6. Trader Joe’s Mint Joe Joe’s versus Mint Oreos
  7. Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Mint


Name: Dove Cookies & Creme Silky Smooth Promises
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.49
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 153
Categories: Candy, Mars, Cookie, Kosher, White Chocolate, 6-Tempting, United States, Target


Name: Sublime White Cookies Jubliee
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ghiradelli
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $2.79
Size: 3.17 ounces
Calories per ounce: 157
Categories: Candy, Ghirardelli, Chocolate, Cookie, Kosher, White Chocolate, 6-Tempting, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:41 pm     CandyReviewGhirardelliMarsChocolateCookieKosherWhite Chocolate6-TemptingUnited StatesTargetComments (5)

Friday, June 15, 2012

RJ’s Licorice Allsorts

RJ's Licorice AllsortsThere are lots of different kinds of black licorice with different flavor profiles and styles. There’s American twist licorice, Dutch salty licorice and Australian soft chew licorice. New Zealand even has its own brand, RJ’s Licorice.

I picked up this sample package at the Fancy Food Show earlier this year. It’s RJ’s Licorice Allsorts and they’re made with all natural ingredients, with no artificial colors. I thought this was a great idea, because I’m often turned off by weird flavors and aftertastes from artificial colors.

The other New Zealand twist on this is the flavor set for these candies, they come in four colors and flavors: Passion Fruit, Black Cherry, Lime and Orange.

RJ's Licorice Allsorts

They smell really good. They’re soft and have a strong anise and molasses note. The stack for the little sandwiches starts with a white layer or fondant, which seems to be unflavored or at least lightly flavored. Then there’s a thin square of black licorice. On top of that is the special flavored fondant. This fondant is just a soft sugar mixture, there’s no coconut in there like some Allsorts feature.

The orange pieces are Orange flavored. The white fondant is like a frosting, sugary and sweet and with only a light and soft touch of orange essence. There’s no tartness and little balance. The licorice layer is soft and pliable, chewy and has a nice profile. It’s a mix of woodsy molasses, toffee and other burnt flavors. It’s only the faintest bit bitter and quite sweet in that light way that licorice is. The white layer is unflavored, as far as I can tell.

The green looks rather like a highlighter and is Lime. This one was not entirely pleasant. I didn’t care for the lime layer, it was sweet and weirdly artificial even though it does use natural flavorings.

The faint pink is Black Cherry and has a great profile. The flavor is floral and a bit more punchy than the previous citrus ones. It dissipates quickly but still goes well with the licorice layer. It tasted far sweeter though on the whole than the other flavors.

The yellow sandwich was Passion Fruit which was the odd one in the batch. It was musky and had strong honey and floral notes. It goes pretty well with the licorice, which I never would have guessed. But still, it was a lot of different sweet notes, too much for me.

If you’re the type who likes very sweet and sugary candy, the type of person who eats straight sugar cube, this is a good choice. It wasn’t licorice-y enough for me and without enough of a fruity note from the fondant. I’ll stick to plain licorice from RJ’s for now.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Allsorts -a- Licorice
  2. Gatos Licorice
  3. Haribo Pearlico Lakritz
  4. 12 European Licorices
  5. Leaf Schoolchalk, Allsorts & Pipes
  6. Lifesaver Musk
  7. Bassett’s Licorice Allsorts


Name: Licorice Allsorts
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: RJ’s Licorice, Ltd.
Place Purchased: samples from Fancy Food Show
Price: $5.00 retail
Size: 6.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 107
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Fondant, Licorice Candy, 5-Pleasant, New Zealand

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:30 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewFondantLicorice Candy5-PleasantNew ZealandComments (1)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Starburst Sweet Fiesta

Starburst Sweet FiestaStarburst come in a myriad of flavor packs these days. I picked up a few of the less common flavors at some convenience stores recently. The Starburst Sweet Fiesta has been out for a few years. At first I thought it was a limited edition version, but it appears to be a regular item.

The package contains four different flavors, each is a combo flavor all based on a sort of tropical and sub-tropical flavors. It has Cherry mango, peach guava, strawberry pineapple and melon berry, with three of each flavor in the 2.07 ounce pack.

Starburst Sweet Fiesta

Strawberry Pineapple is pink and delightful. It’s sweet and tangy with floral notes that are close to honey and then something a little deeper and more heady.

Melon Berry is bright green. It’s quite melon, a cross between watermelon and musk melon, but there’s a strong sort of papaya note to it. It’s too musky for me, to tropical.

Peach Guava is peachy. It smells like coconut and has a peachy, apricot note at first. The guava is not terribly strong, which is fine with me because I’m not that keen on guava, it’s almost like passion fruit.

Cherry Mango is red. It smelled like the regular Cherry Starburst at first, but the flavor is quite a bit better. It’s cherry, with all those woodsy flavors, but there’s a pine and peach note to it that’s quite good. I’m not usually a fan of cherry, but I like how Starburst does them for the most part, and this is a good example.

Overall, this flavor set is different enough from the standard Starbust Fruits but I don’t feel like it completely breaks out of the show of the perfection of the original. If you’re the type of candy fan that hates citrus, this is a good mix, as it has none, which is pretty rare. I love the pineapple, but I’m not big on melon, so I’d probably give this a pass in the future as a whole pack, but if I can just pick out the Strawberry Pineapple and share the rest, it’s all systems go.

Related Candies

  1. Starburst Flavor Morph
  2. Haribo Maoam Fruit Chews
  3. HiCHEW World Fruit: Dragonfruit, CamuCamu, Durian & White Peach
  4. Starburst Sour & Sweet
  5. Starburst Baja California & Tropical
  6. Starburst
  7. HiCHEW Assortment
  8. Storck Mamba Chews


Name: Starburst Sweet Fiesta
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Wrigley’s
Place Purchased: 7-11 (Silver Lake)
Price: $1.19
Size: 2.07 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Candy, Mars, Wrigley's, Chews, Starburst, 7-Worth It, United States, 7-11

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:56 am     CandyReviewMarsWrigley'sChewsStarburst7-Worth ItUnited States7-11Comments (3)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This Week in Candy Blog History: June Week 2

DSC_8977rb

Here’s another set of links to tasty (and maybe not so tasty) items in the archives from this week in history. Overall, it looks like my trend in June is to visit classics, with a few twists.

2011

Last summer I got to try a new line of lower calorie treats. In reality what Nestle created were just small treats for the same price as a larger portion treat for the same price. Good job. (Still, they would be truly delicious with actual chocolate.)

Nestle Skinny Cow Heavenly CrispName: Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisp
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Gelson’s (Silver Lake) & Sample from Nestle
Price: $4.29 for package of 6 or .99 each
Size: .77 ounces
Calories per ounce: 143
Type: Mockolate/Cookie/Peanuts
Rating: 6 out of 10

Read the full review of Nestle’s Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisp from the archives.

2010

Some candies are just too pretty to eat. Some of Haribos fit right in there. Since my trips to Germany, I’m actually pretty happy with the selections that we do get in the United States. Most of it is good and fits the flavor profiles Americans prefer.

Haribo RaspberriesName: Raspberries Gummi Candy
Brand: Haribo
Place Purchased: Target (Irvine, CA)
Price: $1.49
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 102
Type: Gummi
Rating: 6 out of 10

Read the review of Haribo Raspberries from the archives.

2009

Some classic candies just can’t be improved upon. These don’t need to be covered in chocolate, they don’t need to be made by hand. (Though a little less artificial coloring wouldn’t hurt.)

Walgreen's Spearmint LeavesName: Spearmint Leaves
Brand: Walgreen Co.
Place Purchased: Walgreen’s (Echo Park)
Price: $.99
Size: 9.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 104
Type: Jelly/Mint
Rating: 8 out of 10

Read the review of Spearmint Leaves from the archives.

2008

This is one of those candies I hadn’t tried before starting the blog. Since posting this I’ve actually bought a couple of full boxes of Coconut Longboys and enjoy them quite a bit, especially in the summer since they’re creamy but have no chocolate and stand up well to the heat.

Coconut LongboysName: Long Boys: Coconut & Chocolate
Brand: Atkinson’s Candy
Place Purchased: samples from All Candy Expo
Price: unknown
Size: unknown
Calories per ounce: unknown
Type: Chew/Coconut
Rating: 7 out of 10

Read the Coconut Longboys review from the archives.

2007

When I wrote this review I fully intended to try other versions of Circus Peanuts and compare them, perhaps do a full photo array. But I can’t bring myself to buy them again, let alone open the package and possibly eat them.

DSC01525rName: Circus Peanuts
Brand: Melster
Place Purchased: Dollar Tree
Price: $1.00
Size: 11 ounces
Calories per ounce: 110
Type: Marshmallow
Rating: 3 out of 10

Read the Circus Peanuts review from the archives.

2006

This is one of the best Limited Edition Snickers that came along, I believe it’s been re-issued twice. It seems odd that they made the 3X Snickers (chocolate caramel, chocolate nougat and chocolate coating) a regular item but not this one.

Snickers XtremeName: Snickers Xtreme
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: All Candy Expo Sample
Price: approximately $.75
Size: 2.07 ounces
Calories per ounce: 145
Type: Chocolate/Peanuts/Caramel
Rating: 7 out of 10

Read the review of Snickers Xtreme from the archives.

2005

AeroName: Aero
Brand: Nestle Rowntree (UK)
Place Purchased: Cost Plus
Price: $1.29
Size: 1.62 oz
Calories per ounce: 142
Type: Chocolate (Milk)
Rating: 6 out of 10

Read the review of Nestle Aero from the archives.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:25 pm     CandyHighlightFeatured NewsComments (1)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Superior Nut & Candy Chocolate Covered Cashews

Superior Nut & Candy Chocolate Covered CashewsChocolate covered nuts are one of the simplest candies. They’re a hybrid of wholesome snack and decadence.

They’re also usually expensive for anything other than plain old peanuts. So the decadence comes with a pricetag that helps to moderate any overindulgence. But I saw this box of Superior Nut & Candy Chocolate Covered Cashews not in the candy aisle at RiteAid, but their “bargain” aisle. It was only a buck and looked to be of good quality.

The bargain price can be explained by the miniscule portion. I knew when I bought it that the box was only 2.75 ounces. The box is 6.5 inches long, 1 inch thick and 3.5 inches wide.

Superior Nut & Candy Chocolate Covered Cashews

The large volume of the box is wasted. There is no “product may have settled during shipping” notice. The little packet inside is little, was always little, was made little. It rolls around in the box, can stand up, turn around and perhaps even invite two friends over.

But amounts aside, they look good. The packet protected them well, they’re sealed and smell fresh and look glossy when opened.

Superior Nut & Candy Chocolate Covered Cashews

The cashews are good, they’re large and well chosen. Some are over one inch long, though most are slightly less. Some are whole, some are halves and a few are pieces.

The chocolate is sweet and has only the thinnest veneer of confectioners glaze to keep them from sticking together. It’s rather fudgy and though not grainy, I wouldn’t say it’s a silky smooth melt either. The nuts are good quality, fresh and only lightly toasted.

Overall, they’re good and it’s uncommon to find chocolate covered cashews at the drug store. The price is actually pretty good if you ignore the expectation of more candy because of the size of the box.

Related Candies

  1. Hershey’s Whoppers
  2. Cupcake Bites
  3. Vosges Bombalinas - Black Pearl Cashews
  4. DeMet’s Turtles: Pecan & Cashew
  5. Marich Chocolate Sea Salt Cashews
  6. Meiji Gummy Choco
  7. Sanders Caramels & Titans


Name: Chocolate Covered Cashews
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand:
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00
Size: 2.75 ounces
Calories per ounce:
Categories: Candy, Chocolate, Kosher, Nuts, 7-Worth It, United States, Rite Aid

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:11 pm     CandyReviewChocolateKosherNuts7-Worth ItUnited StatesRite AidComments (2)

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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:

• Eat with your Eyes: Nougat

• Orgran Molasses Licorice

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

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