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March 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

Zitners: Butter Krak, Peanut Butter, Double Cocoanut & Butter Cream Eggs

Zitners Easter EggsZitner’s Butter Krak Eggs are a local favorite in Philadelphia. Their Easter egg selections have been made since 1922. Like many candy companies, it started with a family recipe, sold to friends and neighbors at the holidays and expanded from there.

I don’t remember eating them when I lived in Pennsylvania, and I’ve never seen them in stores anywhere else. One of my fellow candy bloggers did send me a couple about five years ago (but it was after Easter, so I didn’t post a review) so I have had them recently.

I was looking forward to trying them again, so I put in an order from a webstore called PA General Store that sells Philadelphia favorites. I ordered a mixed box of 24, which included a selection of their four single serving sized eggs: Butter Krak, Peanut Butter, Double Cocoanut & Butter Cream Eggs.

Zitners Butter Krak EggZitners Butter Krak Egg is one of those names that sticks with you. The odd thing is that the actual description of the egg was a mystery to me.

They’re a coconut butter cream covered in dark chocolate, but the chocolate also has toasted coconut in it. (Well, they call it cocoanut. More on that later.)

All of the eggs are about the same size, about 2.5 inches long, about 1 inch in diameter and weigh 1 and 1/8 of an ounce. So they’re nice portions, about double the size of a boxed chocolate.

Zitners Butter Krak Egg

The dark chocolate has a lot of the crispy toasted coconut in it, it gives it a nice texture and is actually toasted and crispy (which is hard to balance without them becoming too hard and difficult to chew). The center is soft and creamy, like a buttercream frosting. It’s sugary but has an overall smooth texture. There’s a lot of coconut in there, though it’s shorter minced bits, so not too chewy.

The dark chocolate isn’t bitter but still balances the sweetness of the center well. This is one of those candies that I would like once or twice a year and I can see why it’s a local favorite. I’m not sure if I’ve had another version quite like it.

Zitners Double Cocoanut Egg
Zitners Double Cocoanut Egg is interesting for two reasons. First, the spelling of cocoanut. It’s the less used spelling of coconut, but it always makes me think of the Cocoanut Grove, the nightclub once located here in Los Angeles at the Ambassador Hotel.

Now, if no one told me the names of these eggs, I would have thought the Butter Krak was double the coconut, because it has coconut in the center and the chocolate. But the reality is that the cream center of the Double Cocoanut Egg actually has twice the coconut than, well, I guess the Butter Krak center.

It is dense. It’s not as buttery, sweet or moist as the Butter Krak. But it is coconutty. The center barely holds together. I liked how it was so much less sweet than all the other eggs I’d tried, it was far more satisfying. Still, it was just a chocolate covered coconut egg, though it was fresh and I generally like them, this one didn’t blow me away.

Zitners Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Egg

Zitners Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Egg was my favorite. It’s not really that hard to make a good peanut butter egg and they’ve done a great job. The peanut butter center isn’t too dry and not too sticky smooth either. The texture is very similar to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup with a noticeable grain and fair amount of peanut butter oils. The tops of my eggs were a little soft, a hazard when coating peanut butter with chocolate. But they held together well. The peanut butter has just the right hint of salt and has a peanut butter cookie dough texture.

They don’t quite top the Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs but if you want to go for something locally made (if you are on the Eastern Seaboard) this is a nice option. (Though I don’t know where their milk chocolate comes from.)

DSC_1803rb

Zitners Butter Cream Egg was my least favorite of the bunch. It’s extremely sweet. The center is pure mushy sweetness. I was hoping it was going to have a defined butter flavor, or perhaps a brown sugar note. Instead it’s like a log of frosting covered in dark chocolate. The dark chocolate, though thin, does moderate the overt sweetness (as does a little bit of salt) but it’s still too insanely sweet with no other flavors or textures to provide a respite.

On the other hand, Easter is always the most insanely sweet season, the time of year when I yearn for white chocolate, so I know there must be plenty of people out there who must have these.

If I lived in an area where I had a choice between these and Russell Stover, I’d probably go for these in Peanut Butter or the Butter Krak over any of the Russell Stover varieties. (Except for the Pecan Delight.) But I live in a See’s area, and though they don’t offer them at the drug store in individually wrapped pieces, I would make the trip to get their Scotchmallow Eggs or mix of Egg Quartet (though they cost about 25% more).

Related Candies

  1. See’s Orange Cream Lollypops, Mayfair Egg & Pecan Butterscotch Bar
  2. Russell Stover Eggs (2009 edition)
  3. Russell Stover Eggs
  4. Russell Stover Eggs (2007 edition)
  5. See’s Egg Quartet
  6. See’s Scotchmallow Eggs
  7. Reese’s Eggs


Name: Butter Krak
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Zitners Candy
Place Purchased: PA General Store (Online)
Price: $22.99 for 24
Size: 1.125
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Candy, Easter, Zitners Candy, Chocolate, Coconut, Fondant, 7-Worth It, United States


Name: Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Egg
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Zitners Candy
Place Purchased: PA General Store (Online)
Price: $22.99 for 24
Size: 1.125 ounces
Calories per ounce: 157
Categories: Candy, Easter, Zitners Candy, Chocolate, Peanuts, 7-Worth It, United States


Name: Double Cocoanut Eggs
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Zitners Candy
Place Purchased: PA General Store (Online)
Price: $22.99 for 24
Size: 1.125
Calories per ounce: 151
Categories: Candy, Easter, Zitners Candy, Chocolate, Coconut, Fondant, 6-Tempting, United States


Name: Butter Cream Eggs
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Zitners Candy
Place Purchased: PA General Store (Online)
Price: $22.99 for 24
Size: 1.125 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Candy, Easter, Zitners Candy, Chocolate, Fondant, 6-Tempting, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:16 pm     CandyReviewEasterZitners CandyChocolateCoconutFondantPeanuts6-Tempting7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (2)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Easter Candy Spotting 2013

See's & Lake Champlain Milk Chocolate RabbitsEaster is that special time when seasonal favorites return to the shelves. It’s our last candy holiday before the long hot summer, so stock up while you can.

I’ve been visiting the stores to look at what’s returned on stores shelves and of course seeking out new items.

Here’s a rundown of what I’ve spotted or heard that other readers have seen again at stores this year. Let me know if there’s something I missed, or something you’re looking for.

Cadbury Mini Eggs

Hershey’s
Hershey’s Candy Coated White Chocolate Flavored Eggs
Hershey’s Candy Coated Milk Chocolate Eggs
Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs (foil wrapped)
Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs (single serving)
Reese’s Pieces Pastel Eggs (candy coated)
Cadbury Creme Egg & Chocolate Creme EggCadbury Creme Eggs - Caramel, Classic & Chocolate. Both regular size and the small “cartons” of a dozen.
Cadbury Mini Eggs - Milk Chocolate
Cadbury Mini Eggs - Dark Chocolate
Cadbury 3.5 ounce White Foil Hollow Rabbit (New!)
Whoppers Robin Eggs
Hershey’s Kisses Coconut Creme
Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans
Jolly Rancher Wild Berry Jelly Beans

Nestle Crunch Creme Egg

Nestle
Nestle Crunch NestEggs
Nestle Butterfinger NestEggs
Nestle Creamy Caramel NestEggs

Gobstopper Eggbreakers

Wonka (part of Nestle)
Hoppin’ Nerds
Laffy Taffy Jelly Beans
Spring Chewy Spree
SweeTarts Ducks, Chicks & Bunnies (2012 version)
SweeTarts Bunnies Gummies
Gobstoppers Egg Breakers

M&Ms White Chocolate

Mars
White Chocolate M&Ms (Target Only)
Carrot Cake flavored White Chocolate M&Ms (Walmart Only)
Snickers Eggs
Milky Way Caramel Eggs
Twix Eggs (new!)
Pastel M&Ms - Milk Chocolate, Peanut, Peanut Butter, Almond & Pretzel
Dove Coconut Eggs
Dove White Chocolate Eggs
3 Musketeers Marshmallow (minis only)

LifeSavers Gummies Bunnies & Eggs

Wrigley’s (part of Mars)
Life Savers Spring Mix
Life Savers Jelly Beans
Life Savers Pastel Jelly Beans
Life Savers Gummi Bunnies & Eggs
Pastel Skittles (still has Lime not Green Apple)
Starburst Jelly Beans
Starburst Sour Jelly Beans
Starburst Crazy Beans
Starburst FaveReds Jelly Beans

Ghirardelli Milk & Crisp

Ghirardelli
Milk Chocolate Foil Eggs
Milk Chocolate Crisp Foil Eggs
Ghirardelli Easter Chocolate Squares

Sour Patch Bunnies

Cadbury Adams (part of Kraft)
Sour Patch Bunnies
Swedish Fish & Eggs
Swedish Fish Jelly Beans (New!)
Sour Patch Jelly Beans

Brach's Chicks & Rabbits Marshmallows

Ferrara Candy (now includes Brach’s, Trolli & Ferrara Pan)
Trolli Gummi Bunnies
Brach’s Classic Jelly Bird Eggs (large & small) - made in Mexico
Brach’s Classic Spice Jelly Beans - Made in Mexico
Brach’s Jelly Chicks & Rabbits
Brach’s Marshmallow Chicks & Rabbits
Brach’s Pastel Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs (real milk chocolate)
Brach’s Bunny Basket Eggs (marshmallow)

Russell Stover Eggs

Russell Stover
Maple Cream Egg
Strawberry Cream Egg
Caramel Egg
Big Bite Pecan Egg
Caramel Creme Egg (like Cadbury)
Vanilla Creme Egg (like Cadbury)
Chocolate Creme Egg (egg shaped)
Peanut Butter Egg (egg shaped)
Red Velvet Egg
Cookie Dough Egg (new!)
Brownie Egg
Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter Egg
Vanilla Creme Egg
Cookies ‘n Cream Nest
Coconut Nest (jelly beans have returned)

Individually Wrapped in Bags: Caramel Eggs, Marshmallow Eggs, Coconut Cream Eggs

Easter Dots

Tootsie
Easter Dots
Pastel Egg Tootsie Pops
Spring Color Sugar Babies
Junior Mint Pastels

Hot Tamales Spice Jelly Beans

Just Born
Peeps Peepsters
Peeps of all colors
Peeps XL
Peeps Milk Chocolate Egg (pictured)
Mike and Ike Jelly Beans
Hot Tamale Beans

Real Eggshell filled with chocolate truffle

Also:
RM Palmer My Little BunnyR.M. Palmer Quax
R.M. Palmer My Little Bunny
Dum Dums with Jelly Bean Centers
Haribo Gummi Bunnies (of special note because they’re made in Germany, not Turkey or Spain)
Real Eggshell Filled with Hazelnut Truffle
See’s Orange Cream Lollipops
Milka Lil Scoops

You can prowl back into the review archive of Easter candy by viewing all the candies tagged for Easter.

Related Candies

  1. Halloween Candy Spotting 2012
  2. Milka L’il Scoops
  3. The All American Chocolate Bunny Battle
  4. Au’some Easter 3-Dees Gummy
  5. Russell Stover Hollow Milk Chocolate Bunny
  6. Lindt Chocolate Bunnies (Dark & Milk)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:14 pm     CandyExpiration CodesEasterHighlightShoppingComments (13)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Swedish Fish Jelly Beans

Swedish Fish Jelly BeansSwedish Fish are an iconic candy. As far as different versions of the candy, the extensions have been rather subdued. You can get different flavors and the fish themselves come in two sizes. (There’s also a Sea Life version with different shapes.)

A few years ago Swedish Fish also went seasonal with Swedish Fish Eggs. They were tiny little pieces of assorted flavors. They were still a fully jelly candy in the same flavor assortment, just different shapes. This year the company has introduced a completely new product, one that only integrates one aspect of the Swedish Fish: the red flavor.

Swedish Fish are made by Kraft. Which bought up Cadbury which bought up Leaf which owned the rights to Malaaco, which came up with Swedish Fish in the first place. Swedish Fish are usually made in Canada, but these beans were made in Mexico.

Swedish Fish Jelly Beans

The package is great, it’s a yellow background with scales and the bold red text logo for Swedish Fish. Next to that is an illustration of a basket full of the beans.

Like all packages of Swedish Fish items, it never says that flavor they are. We all know they’re Swedish Fish flavor, but it’s hard to pin down what that actually is. I figure Swedish Fish are lingonberry flavored.
They’re very red, thanks to oodles of Red #40. They might not be vegan like Swedish Fish are, since they do use beeswax on the shell.

The beans are small, smaller than a regular Easter jelly bean, and actually about the same mass but more spherical than a Jelly Belly.

Swedish Fish Jelly Beans

They smell like a cross between Country Time Lemonade powder drink mix and Swedish Fish. They have a lot of grainy shell for such a small bean. The shell itself doesn’t have much flavor, it’s really just sugary. But there’s that layer where the shell meets the jelly center where there’s a little tangy note of berries. The center of the bean seems to be where the Swedish-fishness is. And that’s merely a soft, floral note. It’s sweet, but less sweet than the shell. The center has no tartness, which I found odd because I always thought Swedish Fish had a bit of tartness to them. But I went back and tasted some, and it seems that they really are almost completely on the side of sweet. In fact, after some grueling episodes of trying to shell my jelly beans, I did manage to find that the center is pretty much colorless and flavorless.

It comes down to this: I prefer actual Swedish Fish to the Swedish Fish Jelly Beans. I had a small bowl with them mixed and kept eating the fish. (It was actually a cute assortment of the mini fish and the beans, which looked like minnows and eggs.)

The beans are interesting because it’s a whole bag of just one flavor. But you’d better like it.

Related Candies

  1. Sockerbit Swedish Candy Selections
  2. Jelly Belly Snapple Jelly Beans
  3. Ferrara Pan White Hot Red Hots Jelly Beans
  4. Swedish Fish Eggs
  5. Lemonhead & Friends Jelly Beans
  6. Russell Stover Pectin Jelly Beans
  7. All Gummies Gourmet Fruity Fish (Swedish Fish knock-off)
  8. Swedish Aqua Life


Name: Swedish Fish Jelly Beans
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Cadbury
Place Purchased: Target (West Hollywood)
Price: $2.29 (on sale)
Size: 13 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Categories: Candy, Easter, Cadbury, Kraft, Jelly Candy, 6-Tempting, Mexico, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:36 pm     CandyComments (3)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Elmer Cotton Candy Marshmallow Eggs

Elmer's Cotton Candy Marshmallow EggsElmer Chocolate has been making candy since 1855. They’re based in Louisiana, but I usually only see their candy in California around Valentine’s Day as they have some very popular boxed chocolate assortments that are sold at drug stores and discounters all over the counter. However, they do make some insanely popular Easter products that seem much harder to find: Heavenly Hash Eggs and Gold Brick Eggs.

I was surprised to see these Cotton Candy Marshmallow Eggs at Cost Plus World Market instead of those more well known eggs, but at $1.49 and for something that was a little different from the traditional Easter fare, I was willing to take the plunge.

Elmer's Cotton Candy Marshmallow Eggs

The packaging is simple, a very light plastic try has four sections to hold the domed marshmallow eggs. It does its job, as they were all pretty much flawless right out of the wrapper.

Each piece is rather small, they’re .45 ounces each. They’re about 2 inches long. They smell sweet, a little like cherry and milky chocolate. They’re a “light” candy, in that they’re not caloricly dense, so you can eat the whole package and it’s only 190 calories (105 per ounce).

Elmer's Cotton Candy Marshmallow Eggs

I can’t really put my finger on what went wrong with these. The chocolate is passable, thought sweet is does a nice job of sealing in the soft, moist marshmallow. The marshmallow itself, well, it’s filled with bad air. It’s probably one of those flavors that not everyone can detect (like the fact that Red 40 tastes bitter to me and very few other people). It tastes like molten plastic. Styrofoam. It tastes like new Crocs. It’s not the marshmallow itself, as far as I can tell, it’s not the packaging ... it’s the stuff that was whipped into it.

It’s a great idea, to have a softly strawberry flavored marshmallow center. But in this case, I can’t recommend it. Everything I saw at the Cost Plus looks like it’s from the same case so would probably have the same issue. I haven’t seen them at any other store. I did try their Toasted Marshmallow Eggs a few years ago and didn’t note this issue.

My big question to you, readers, is this: Do you taste this kind of stuff? I notice similar problems at times with whipped items, like meringues or marshmallows. But other candies that have delicate flavors can also take on this plastic note (especially ones without a strong flavor of their own).

Does anyone else notice this from time to time? Do you know what it is? (Is it dangerous?)

UPDATE: As some here have noted and an inside source in the confectionery industry as also pointed out, it is likely from the packaging. The tray is likely polystyrene and it outgasses ... delicate and airy confections like marshmallows can easily absorb that “flavor”. Styrene is not a healthy item to consume, though in a seasonal treat in this small quantity is likely to be trivial. But it still doesn’t taste good.

Related Candies

  1. Hilco Mallow Pals Strawberry Squeezable Marshmallow
  2. Limited Edition 3 Musketeers Marshmallow
  3. CVS Marshmallow Pop
  4. Elmer’s Dark Chocolate Heavenly Hash & Gold Brick Eggs
  5. Elmer’s Toasted Marshmallow Eggs
  6. Elmer’s Chocolate


Name: Cotton Candy Marshmallow Eggs
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Elmer Chocolate
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Farmers Market)
Price: $1.49
Size: 1.8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 105
Categories: Candy, Easter, Elmer's Candy, Chocolate, Marshmallow, 3-Unappealing, United States, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:36 pm     CandyReviewEasterElmer's CandyChocolateMarshmallow3-UnappealingUnited StatesCost PlusComments (9)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Hershey’s Candy Coated White Chocolate Flavored Eggs

Hershey's Candy Coated White Chocolate Flavored EggsWhen Easter rolls around, I usually spend my discretionary calories on new holiday candies. One candy that I do purchase year after year, though, are the Hershey’s Candy Coated Milk Chocolate Eggs. The shell is thick and crunchy and the fudgy Hershey’s chocolate center soothes me in a way that high quality chocolate cannot.

I was interested to see Hershey’s newest item in their growing category of candy coated items. Hershey’s Candy Coated White Chocolate Flavored Eggs were on sale. Last year Mars introduced the White Chocolate M&Ms as an Easter item (still an exclusive at Target this year), so it’s natural that Hershey’s would want to be in the white game as well.

The big thing to note is that this is white chocolate flavored, not fully-accredited white chocolate. Instead of using only cocoa butter and dairy fats, Hershey’s has added all sorts of other vegetable oils.

Hershey's Candy Coated White Chocolate Flavored Eggs

Hershey’s is capable of some wonderful white chocolate, the Cookies ‘n Creme bar used to be spectacular. Here’s the ingredients list for the white eggs:

Sugar, vegetable oil (cocoa butter, palm, shea, sunflower and/or safflower oil), nonfat milk, corn syrup, milk fat, contains 2% or less of the following: cornstarch, artificial color (yellow 5, blue 1, red 40 and yellow 6), soy lecithin, resinous glaze, gum acacia, carnauba wax, vanillin, tocopherols (preservative) and PGPR.

The sized and shape are the same as the Milk Chocolate Eggs, in fact, I bought some at the same time just to compare.

Hershey's Candy Coated White Chocolate Flavored Eggs

The shell is quite thick, very hard and crunchy. Though there is quite a list of artificial colors in the ingredients, they’re only splattered with color so it’s not much to get in the way of the pure flavors. And by pure, I mean the sugar and the artificial vanilla and the milk.

It tastes artificial, like fake vanilla or instant pudding. It’s a wonderful shorthand for the smell of Easter, it’s like an Easter Basket in a candy shell. It’s certainly not for those who don’t like their candy sweet.

Compared to the new White Chocolate M&Ms, they’re vastly different. The M&Ms are smaller, have a more delicate shell and a more well-rounded butter flavor. The M&Ms are smoother and have a higher fat content and slick, almost greasy, texture (especially if they get warm). The Hershey’s White Eggs are a great mix of textures but don’t have flavor nor the cleanest ingredients to go with it.

Still ... there’s something about them that reminds me too much of those Easters of childhood when there really was an Easter Bunny and the candy was special. Cheap white chocolate is so inextricably tied in my head to the holiday, it’s hard to objective about it. I’m eating these, but I’m not sure I actually like them. And I’m considering buying them again.

 

Related Candies

  1. M&Ms White Chocolate (Easter)
  2. Cookies ‘n’ Creme Showdown
  3. Hershey’s White Chocolate Meltaway Bliss
  4. Ritter Sport White Chocolate with Hazelnuts
  5. M&M and Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Eggs
  6. Hershey Eggs


Name: Candy Coated White Chocolate Flavored Eggs
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Target (West Hollywood)
Price: $2.89 (on sale)
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Candy, Easter, Hershey's, Kosher, Mockolate, 6-Tempting, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:54 pm     CandyReviewEasterHershey'sKosherMockolate6-TemptingUnited StatesTargetComments (7)

Page 2 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3 > 

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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COUNTDOWN.

Halloween Candy Season Ends

-48 days

Read previous coverage

 

 

Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Russell Stover Cake Truffles

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Dandelion Chocolate

• Trader Joe’s Holiday Roundup 2014

 

 

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