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Monday, October 20, 2014

Russell Stover Big Bite Apple Pie & Pumpkin

Russell Stover Apple PieAh, yes, a holiday candy with a bit of cognitive dissonance.

This is a pumpkin shaped candy that’s flavored like Apple Pie. This is really nothing new, as Russell Stover has more than half a dozen holiday shaped treats that are flavored like baked treats: Carrot Cake, Birthday Cake, Wedding Cake, Pumpkin Pie, Gingerbread, Cookie Dough and Red Velvet. The packaging looks pretty much like the other Russell Stover one ounce pumpkin shaped candies, so I had to look carefully on the shelves to find it.

The Russell Stover Apple Pie Pumpkin is an apple pie flavored fudgy center covered in milk chocolate. At only one ounce, it’s a small little treat.

Russell Stover Apple PIe

Since there are two versions of the Apple Pie on shelves, I thought I’d compare them.

The milk chocolate pumpkin is compact and has a nice enrobed milk chocolate coating. It’s not overly sweet but is milky and creamy. It’s a nice balance to the fudgy, grainy filling. It’s like a spice fudge center. It’s mostly a spice blend of cinnamon and nutmeg maybe with a hint of lemon zest but there’s also an apple flavor that kind of floats above it all. There’s just enough salt to keep it interesting. Some of the other cake flavored pumpkins have actual cake mix in them (uncooked flour) but this is just a sugary, buttery center.

I enjoy these sorts of confections in small quantities and the chocolate kept it all together well, even if it kind of kept it from tasting like actual apple pie.

Russell Stover Apple PieRussell Stover has started making year-round versions of some of their usual holiday items. The Big Bite line includes the Big Bite S’mores (which aren’t sold in any other format to date) and some Big Bite Caramel Apples. The Big Bite Apple Pie actually accomplishes an Apple Pie experience a bit better than the Pumpkin.

Like the Big Bite S’mores, this confection features a graham cracker base.

Russell Stover Apple Pie

The Big Bite Apple Pie is twice the weight of the regular Pumpkin but features a large graham cracker base. The milk chocolate coating seems a little thinner, but the spiced penuche fudge filling is about the same. The addition of the graham cracker really brought home the pie notes, but the lack of actual apples and the anomalous existence of milk chocolate in an otherwise chocolateless pie kept this from being the best emulation ... but taking it for what it is, it’s a fun little candy. It’s different, it works.

In some other news, Russell Stover was purchased this year by Lindt & Sprungli, the same company that already owns Ghirardelli Chocolate. This makes Lindt the third largest chocolate company in the United States (behind Hershey’s and Mars, bumping Nestle out of third). It will be interesting to see what sort of changes Lindt will make, and I’m hoping they’re only improvements but they don’t lose this quirky little seasonal line.

Related Candies

  1. Brach’s Apple Pie Candy Corn
  2. Russell Stover Eggs: Carrot Cake, Birthday Cake and Wedding Cake
  3. Dilly Dally Pickle Candy and Barrels of Yum
  4. See’s Holiday Pie Truffles
  5. Jelly Belly Ice Cream Parlor Mix


Name: Big Bite Apple Pie
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Olympia, WA)
Price: $1.00
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 115
Categories: Candy, Halloween, Russell Stover, Chocolate, Cookie, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:27 pm     CandyReviewHalloweenRussell StoverChocolateCookie7-Worth ItUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (0)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mike and Ike Minion Mix

Minions Mix Mike and IkeIf you liked the Despicable Me movies, and more specifically, the Minions, might I interest you some Mike and Ike: Minion Mix?

The box is quite cute. Both the front and back feature Minion characters. (The back is formatted to stand on its end instead of the long side, and has a Minion holding up a banana.)

The mix is not very mixy, it’s just two flavors: Banana and Blueberry. The yellow and blue colors go thematically with the colors of the Minion worker overalls and their skin (?) color.

Minions Mix Mike and Ike

The blue Blueberry Mike and Ikes are blue. Very blue. The blueberry flavor is, well, a flavor. It doesn’t taste like blueberries, but it’s pleasant enough. It’s tangy and sweet.

The yellow Banana Mike and Ike are great. I don’t know if they’ve done a straight banana before (plenty of banana blends), so this was a pleasure since it’s such an uncommon flavor. It’s sweet with no weird acetone burn to it. It’s just, well sweet banana with a little toffee note like it’s very ripe.

This particular mix hit 100% for me, as I liked both flavors and didn’t need to do any picking. They combined nicely, but were good on their own. I can’t think of anything to improve it. It’s a quality movie tie in, instead of just throwing some movie logos on an existing product, they made something that had a fun little flair that goes with the show. (Kind of like the Jelly Belly mixes that have been coming out lately.)

Related Candies

  1. Chocolate Covered Banana Gummi Bears
  2. Mike and Ike Strawberry Reunion
  3. Bonomo & Doscher Banana Taffy
  4. Mike and Ike Autumn Medley
  5. Mike and Ike Berry Blast
  6. Mike and Ike Italian Ice
  7. Banana n Cream & Red Orange Mentos
  8. Mike and Ike Alex’s Lemonade Stand


Name: Mike and Ike Minion Mix
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Just Born
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $1.79 (overcharged - should have been $1.49)
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Candy, Just Born, Jelly Candy, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:19 pm     CandyReviewJust BornJelly CandyLimited Edition7-Worth ItUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (1)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Brach’s Apple Pie Candy Corn

Brach's Apple Pie Candy CornBrach’s has quite a few new candy products on shelves, including some for Halloween. One of the new seasonal twists on Candy Corn is Brach’s Apple Pie Candy Corn.

Brach’s Candy Corn is widely available this year in a variety of flavors and shapes. I was able to find my 4.2 ounce peg bag at the Walgreen’s near my house and on sale. The previous bags I’d seen were over 10 ounces, which is too much of a novelty flavor. (But I admit that I did buy two bags of the Halloween Mellocremes.)

There is no description on the package of what the Apple Pie flavor is supposed to be. Just a picture on the front of a slice of apple pie with a dollop of whipped cream on top. I’m amused the shape of a slice of pie and a Candy Corn piece a similar, though the stacked nature of the Candy Corn layers doesn’t say pie.

Brach's Apple Pie Candy Corn

It smells like a bad candle (of course I just watched this, so maybe I have Bath & Body works on my mind).

Brach’s Candy Corn is always some of the nicest at stores. The pieces are elegant and tall, and are unusually durable. Many other Candy Corn brands are easily broken or have a problem with sticking together.

These are subtle, just a creamy white base and a caramel middle/top.

Brach's Apple Pie Candy Corn

The flavor is definitely like apple, like a baked apple. It’s very sweet but has a little hint of salt as well (75 mg per serving). The apple flavor is like a hint of juice, but there’s no citrus tartness at all. The cinnamon note is very mild, but welcome.

It’s not an ideal flavor for adaptation ... though I could see a whole Pie Candy Corn series, with Chocolate Cream Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, Cherry Pie, Pecan Pie and of course they already have Pumpkin Spice.

Like other Brach’s mellocremes, this contains gelatin so it’s not suitable for vegetarians and not kosher. Though the packaging makes note in several places that they’re America’s Candy Maker (tm), these were made in Mexico.

Related Candies

  1. Brach’s Caramel Macchiato Candy Corn
  2. Brach’s Carrot Cake Candy Corn
  3. Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn
  4. M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corn
  5. Pumpkin Pie Gourmet Candy Corn
  6. Milk Maid Caramel Candy Corn
  7. Brach’s Autumn Mix


Name: Apple Pie Candy Corn
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Brach’s
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $.99 (on sale)
Size: 4.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 101
Categories: Candy, Halloween, Brach's, Ferrara Pan, Fondant, 7-Worth It, Mexico, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:02 pm     CandyReviewHalloweenBrach'sFerrara PanFondant7-Worth ItMexicoWalgreen'sComments (0)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mint 3 Musketeers Bites

Mint 3 Musketeers BitesWith Mars newest product, their Mint 3 Musketeers Bites, morselization of all of the classic Mars candy bars is complete.

The new bite sized version of the Mint 3 Musketeers is dark chocolate and features a minty nougat center. The Mint 3 Musketeers Bars were introduced in 2007, and though it’s not the powerhouse that Twix or Milky Way represent for Mars, it still fits neatly into the candy bar selection from Mars in a unique way. The regular 3 Musketeers bar only got the mini treatment earlier this year.

Mint 3 Musketeers Minis

The dark chocolate covered mint nougats are about 3/4 of an inch square, a little shorter than that. The sharing size package holds two servings, which seems like a lot, considering the fluffy nature of the pieces. (Even if you went on a binge and ate the whole bag, it would only be 360 calories.)

Mint 3 Musketeers Bites

The pieces are easy to bite. The nougat is soft and airy, the chocolate is thin but doesn’t flake off easily. The nougat is almost marshmallowy, it’s fluffy but doesn’t quite have that latexy bounce. Instead the peppermint flavor and smooth dissolve gives it all a fresh feeling.

I liked them. I didn’t feel the need to overeat or stuff myself. Each piece was nicely sized, the proportion between nougat and chocolate was balanced. I’d probably buy these again ... I’m not sure how they stack up to the York Minis, which are a little denser, but also have their pleasing textural qualities. I’d say I’m just as likely to eat those, although I think the York Minis fare better in transit to the Mint 3 Musketeers Bites.

3 Musketeers items contain dairy, soy and eggs and may also have traces of peanuts. There’s no statement about gluten on the package or about the sourcing of the cocoa.

Related Candies

  1. York Peppermint Pattie Minis
  2. 3 Musketeers Bites
  3. Klondike Mint Chocolate Chip: The Candy!
  4. Fralinger’s Creamy Mint Sticks
  5. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Honey Mints
  6. 3 Musketeers Truffle Crisp
  7. 3 Musketeers Mini Mix
  8. 3 Musketeers Mint with Dark Chocolate


Name: Mint 3 Musketeers Bites
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Samples from Mars
Price: $1.79 retail
Size: 2.83 ounces
Calories per ounce: 128
Categories: Candy, Mars, Chocolate, Kosher, Mints, Nougat, 8-Tasty, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:39 pm     CandyReviewMarsChocolateKosherMints8-TastyUnited StatesComments (0)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Cookie Butter CupsWhile Trader Joe’s has been pouring on the pumpkin around their stores, they haven’t forgotten about one of their other core flavors: Speculoos. Their newest item is their Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups.

There are a few spice mix flavors that are popular right now: Chai Spice, Gingerbread and Pumpkin Spice. Another one would be Speculoos. The odd thing about the Speculoos flavor is that it’s not just the mild cinnamon and nutmeg mix which is similar to Pumpkin Spice and Gingerbread, it includes the actual cookie. The Speculoos cookie is a crispy butter cookie with some brown sugar notes along with the mild spice. I grew up eating Speculoos, though I didn’t know it by that name, they were just called Windmill Spice Cookies.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Cookie Butter Cups

The tub holds 11 ounces of foil wrapped cups. This quantity doesn’t fill the tub completely, but it’s true to its weight. The cups are wrapped in gold foil, and inside each little piece does not actually have a fluted paper cup like the dark chocolate Peanut Butter Cups which come in a similar format. Each cup is about 11 grams, basically the same size as a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Miniature.

Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Bar

Trader Joe’s also offered up a bar version of the Cookie Butter in dark chocolate a couple of years ago. That bar was made with Belgian chocolate in Belgium. This version is made in Canada (the Peanut Butter Cups that Trader Joe’s sells are made in the USA, which might also explain some of the small cosmetic differences.)

INGREDIENTS: Dark Chocolate (Unsweetened Chocolate, Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin [Emulsifier], Natural Vanilla Extract), Speculoos Spread (57% Speculoos [Wheat Flour, Sugar, Margarine {Palm and Rapeseed Oil}, Water, Emulsifier {Mono-and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids}, Citric Acid, Sugar Syrup, Sodium Bi-Carbonate], Salt, Cinnamon), Palm and Rapeseed Oil, Sugar, Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Spices, Citric Acid, Hazelnuts, Skimmed Milk Powder, Cocoa Butter. CONTAINS WHEAT, MILK, SOY, HAZELNUTS. MAY CONTAIN PEANUTS, EGG & OTHER TREE NUTS.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Cookie Butter Cups

They smell lightly spicy, like cloves and cinnamon. The cups are shiny and nicely formed. The bite is easy, the center is soft and mostly creamy. It’s not as crumbly as a peanut butter cup can be, with a much creamier texture. The chocolate isn’t overpowered by the center, the chocolate flavors are well balanced with a berry/fruit note and a little dry finish to the quite slick melt. The cookie butter center is not overly sweet, not overly grainy. There are a few little bits of cookie, but for the most part it’s more like a batter than a paste. 

They’re not completely peanut free, so it’s not like these are a great option for those with allergies. But if you’re a lover of candy cups but don’t actually like Peanut Butter, this might be what you’ve been searching for. I think it’s a unique new product and look forward to more cupification of Trader Joe’s products, such as the new Cookies and Creme Cookie Butter.

Related Candies

  1. Flipz Gingerbread Flavor Covered Pretzels
  2. Russell Stover Santas: Gingerbread, Peppermint and Maple
  3. M&Ms Milk Chocolate Gingerbread
  4. Twix Gingerbread
  5. Trader Joe’s Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Butterscotch Caramels
  6. Peeps Gingerbread Men
  7. Trader Joe’s Les Chocolats Belgique (Belgian Bars): Caramel, Chocolate Buttercream & Speculoos
  8. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups


Name: Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Trader Joe’s
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's (Park LaBrea)
Price: $4.99
Size: 11 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Candy, Trader Joe's, Chocolate, Cookie, 8-Tasty, Canada

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:37 am     CandyReviewTrader Joe'sChocolateCookie8-TastyCanadaComments (4)

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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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COUNTDOWN.

Halloween Candy Season Ends

-55 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:

• Lindt Chocolate Cookie

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Dandelion Chocolate

• Trader Joe’s Holiday Roundup 2014

 

 

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