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4-Benign

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)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Twizzlers Chocolate Twists

Twizzlers Chocolate Twists  (Classic)A few years ago I reviewed Twizzlers Chocolate Twists. What I didn’t realize at the time was that Hershey’s had changed the recipe and even the shape. There were many comments from fans of the classic version of the Chocolate Twizzlers who petitioned Hershey’s to return to that version.

So here it is, nearly four years later, and Hershey’s has heard the requests and responded with the new improved Now in the Classic Twist version.

We’re at a crossover period at the moment, where both versions are on store shelves, so I poked around and picked up both at different stores at different times. I also dug out the wrapper from my 2008 review so I could do a full comparison between the versions. The packages differ in very small ways. But if you’re looking for the return to the classic twist, look for the little blue dot that says Now in the Classic Twist.

Twizzlers Chocolate Twists (New Recipe & Classic)

First, the packages are virtually identical. The top is the Twizzler red with the blue outlined white Twizzlers logo. The clear center bit of the package shows the candy, which is the best way to tell them apart, as is the image at the top. The “Classic” Twizzlers have crimped ends. The revised formula, which is on its way out, has an open end.

The little diagram at the top of the package shows this and points to them with the text “totally twisted” with an arrow next to it. The thing of special note is that the 2012 version has a (r) mark next to it.

Twizzlers Chocolate Twists (Classic)

So I’ll start just with a straight review of the Classic Twist Chocolate Twizzlers. The expiration date is November 2012. Actually, nowhere on the package does this say that they’re Chocolate Twizzlers. It just says on the lower right of the front that it’s made with real Hershey’s chocolate. Otherwise, they’re just Twizzlers Twists. It’s as if Hershey’s thinks that saying “made with chocolate” is a flavor.

The twists are nicely made, glossy and consistent. There were exactly 20 twists in my package. They’re slightly flattened on one end, but otherwise a soft of oval tube with set of six twisted ribs.

The scent is mildly cocoa, a little on the woodsy side. They’re stiff but flexible. The bite is soft enough to cleave off easily without much pull. The base of the recipe is wheat flour (the second ingredient after corn syrup), so it’s a sort of doughy chew. The flavor is very clean, again it’s quite woodsy and not terribly deep. It’s like weak cocoa or slightly warm chocolate milk.

I found it pleasant enough though not satisfying as a chocolate candy, and not really compelling enough for a snack either texture-wise or with enough flavor intensity to hold my interest.

Twizzlers Chocolate Twists (New Recipe - Old)Now, I was on the fence about re-reviewing the rejected formula for Chocolate Twizzlers. But as I mentioned, I found the wrapper from the review from 2008. (Please don’t get the impression that I hoard my wrappers, I was cleaning out my studio because my roof was leaking and just happened to find it stuck in with some nice tins and boxes that I have been keeping.)

Inside this package there were only 15 twists, even though the packages weighed the same. They’re actually shorter, so I can only assume that they’re simply beefier than the other version.

Twizzlers Chocolate Twists

They look just the same as the 2008 version. No crimped ends, slightly milkier color than the crimped end Classic.They’re soft, much softer than the other version.

They smell sweet but not much like chocolate or really much else. The chew is doughy and soft, the texture is kind of sticky but smooth overall. The chocolate flavor is bland and lacks the slightly bitter edge of the Classic.

Mostly it’s the texture that’s different here, globs of it would stick to the edge of my molars and gums. Probably a dental nightmare.

Twizzlers Chocolate Twists (New Recipe & Classic)I feel like I haven’t really gotten to the bottom of this, because there are so many inconsistencies revealed by the packages.

There are 20 twists in the new bag, 15 in the old bag. So the new twists are 25% lighter. But the portion size on the package is still the same. It says on all three that 4 twists weigh 38 grams and provide 130 calories. But how could that be? If Hershey’s is providing information that’s off by 25%, isn’t that causing problems with portion control? And which one is correct?

The ingredients from the version I reviewed in 2008, which were uncrimped, look more like the current crimped version than they do with the uncrimped 2012 version. How can that be explained?

Twizzler Chocolate ingredient Preview

Basically, it’s not like you have a choice. The people spoke, consumers said they preferred the old crimped twists ... whatever the ingredients happen to be ...with or without palm oil, with or without soy lecithin.

Twizzlers Chocolate Twists (New Recipe & Classic)

Given the choice between both versions ... I choose neither. I stick by my 4 out of 10 rating from four years ago. It’s a middling candy. If you want a cocoa-rich flour based product, have an Oreo. If you want a chewy strip of candy, have a real Twizzler. The chocolate versions are just lacking zing. The new ones are prettier, that’s about all I can say.

Related Candies

  1. Limited Edition Twizzlers Pull ‘n’ Peel Grape
  2. Mini Charleston Chews
  3. Twizzlers Licorice Twists
  4. Twizzlers Chocolate Twists
  5. Twizzlers (Strawberry)
  6. Cinnamon Fire Twizzlers
  7. Tootsie Rolls & Fruit Rolls


Name: Twizzler Chocolate Twists
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: KMart (Park LaBrea)
Price: $1.39
Size: 5.0 ounces
Calories per ounce: 97
Categories: Candy, Hershey's, Chews, 4-Benign, United States, Kmart

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:20 pm     CandyReviewHershey'sChews4-BenignUnited StatesKmartComments (5)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Big Bite Gummy Rocking Horse Ornament

Big Bite Gummy OrnamentA few years ago I picked up a Big Bite Gummy Bear. It’s not the biggest gummi bear available on the market, but they’re easy to find and pretty well priced for a novelty item.

This year the Big Bite family of gummis is expanding with holiday themed shapes. For Christmas they have three: a Tin Soldier (red cherry), a Christmas Tree (green apple) and a Rocking Horse (red cherry). I found the Big Bite Gummy Rocking Horse charming and well designed so I picked that one from the display at Cost Plus World Market. They’re not as big as the Big Bite Gummy Bear (which is 12 ounces), they’re about half that weight at 5.82 ounces.

Big Bite Gummy Ornament

First, as a Christmas tree ornament, this is a colossal failure. It’s weight makes it too heavy and big to put on a normal tree. But as a party favor, stocking stuffer or table decoration, it does pretty well.

The gummi is constructed of two molded halves that are bonded together. They’re packaged in a clear plastic form (which could actually be the mold) that works as an excellent storage container for the partially eaten candy and also as a more appropriate ornament when you’re done.

Big Bite Gummy Ornament

Even though it’s not as big as the original Big Bite Gummy Bear, it’s still pretty large for a single portion of candy. (Come on, this is at least three portions.) The texture is soft, the surface is smooth but a little greasy because of the carnauba wax coating.

Big Bite Gummy Ornament

Out of the package, the Rocking Horse stands well on its own, though she’s (yes, I checked) a little head-heavy and tips forward.

Big Bite Gummy Ornament

I was disappointed in the flavor selection, but I understand with novelty candies they have to go with what’s most popular. (I would have preferred raspberry or strawberry or maybe something truly holiday themed like cranberry or cinnamon.)

Once I cut off the head, the halves of the candy pulled apart quite easily. The texture is pliable with a smooth flavor. It’s cherry and though not the best cherry gummi I’ve ever had, it was passable. It was light, a little tart and had a nice overall balance. It wasn’t too dark, not black cherry or wild cherry but more of the stereotypical cherry of most candies. (I think Tootsie Pop Cherry is as close as I can think of.) However, the edges of the product were tough and leathery, while the center was a bit softer. I also got a bit of an aftertaste and slight burning in my mouth ... this could be my reaction to the red food dye or just simple paranoia.

Big Bite Gummy OrnamentThe tag lists the ingredients (contains gelatin and not Kosher/Halal) as well as the nutritional information. It was printed so small I had to photograph it and blow it up. The serving size is the whole candy but the calorie count for the whole thing was a rather modest 592 calories. (That Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte with the whipped cream at Starbucks has 520 calories.) But the really surprising part is consuming the whole thing is 10.7 grams of protein.

The candies are imported by a company called Novelty Specialties and are manufactured in China. I’m not enthusiastic about candy (or any food product) made in China because of their lack of accountability when it comes to food safety, though the United States and United Kingdom have their share as well. If I weren’t writing this blog, I never would have purchased, let alone eaten this product (but that goes for a lot of the candies I’ve tried, and sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised).

The price was $3.99, which was the same price as the twice-as-big Big Bite Gummi Bear. $3.99 could buy some very nice, American or German gummis that you could put in a holiday themed package. Just saying. If you’re not planning on eating it and want to dispose of it in the garbage disposal, well, this is better than plastic.

Since writing the review of the Big Bite Gummy Bear, which seem to be widely available, the company’s website has disappeared. (Here’s the page I got when I went to NoveltySpecialties.com.)

Related Candies

  1. Trolli Gummi Bear-Rings
  2. Chewbies Liquid Taffy - Orange
  3. Big Bite Gummy Bear
  4. Cadbury Ornament Creme Egg
  5. Gummy Fishies
  6. Oriental Trading Company Candy Shot Glasses
  7. Gummi Lightning Bugs

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:15 am     CandyReviewChristmasGummi CandyNovelty/Toy4-BenignChinaCost PlusComments (3)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Candy Sweet Spots

Candy Sweet SpotsHere’s a new twist on a classic product. The classic Candy Buttons are a small strip of paper, like a receipt, that has little crunchy sugar dots on them in bright colors.

This new version is amped up in size and has another twist, actual flavors to the candy buttons (the classics may be flavored, but it’s not perceptible). They’re called Candy Sweet Spots and they’re made in China by Greenbrier International, Inc.

The package is big. The strips are 11 inches long and 4.25 inches wide. There are three strips inside, which provides a full 2.4 ounces of candy - I paid a buck for it.

I’ve never seen a package include, perhaps even advertise, the word artificial so much. The name of the candy might actually be Candy Sweet Spots Artificially Flavored. Then at the bottom there’s a little arrow that points up to the candies themselves that also exalts, “Assorted Artificial Fruit Flavors!”

Candy Sweet Spots

The package goes on to list all of the flavors, right there on top of the actual candies in the see through package. I appreciate the information.

Candy Sweet Spots

Yes, they are bigger than the traditional paper buttons. For the most part they’re 1/3 to 1/2 of an inch in diameter. The old style buttons are a little less than 1/4 of an inch.

Candy Sweet Spots

They come in four flavors: Artificial Cherry, Artificial Orange, Artificial Lemon and Artificial Raspberry. There are fifteen Sweet Spots of each flavor on each sheet.

Candy Sweet Spots

The Sweet Spots are pretty much regularly sized and shaped. The bonus over their traditionally sized cousins is that these come off the paper rather easily. I had no trouble getting them off, no bits of paper stuck to the bottom. But they do leave a little residue of color/candy on the paper (so you can’t reuse the paper for notes or anything).

Candy Sweet Spots

Cherry (red) is sweet and mild, it has an actual authentic artificial taste to it and even a little note of Red #40.
Orange (orange) is sweet and mild and has a hint of actual orange flavor.
Lemon (yellow) is barely different from orange, except that it tastes like stale lemon pound cake.
Raspberry (blue) is ghastly, like the syrupy and flat stuff at the bottom of a can of grape soda. Yes, it tastes more like grape than raspberry.

They’re really not that good as candy, but as something to amuse a small child for a while, they’re okay. They’re also made in China and contain gelatin and artificial flavors and colors.

I would say that they’re a good accent item, but the original Candy Buttons are too. You can peel them off the paper and put them on a decorated cake or cupcake, which is especially useful if you just want to do a plain uncolored frosting and not have to mix anything else. (And easy for kids to do.) Unless you’re looking for something in a larger scale, I’d say move along to some candy that’s actually good. But if you can’t resist the look of these, well, the price is good and the quality of the colors makes them at least a good deal as decorations. Other party ideas include hanging a strip on the wall to make “lickable wallpaper” or as an accent behind a candy buffet.

There’s another version of these called Mega Candy Buttons which are actually even bigger and are Kosher (so probably don’t have gelatin in them).

Related Candies

  1. Peter Rabbit Gummy Candy
  2. R.M. Palmer Quax - The Yummy Ducky
  3. Big Bite Gummy Bear
  4. Junior Fruit Cremes
  5. Baby Bottle Pacifier Tarts
  6. Bug Jar Candy
  7. Soda Can Fizzy Candy


Name: Candy Sweet Spots
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand:
Place Purchased: Dollar Tree (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00
Size: 2.4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 116
Categories: Candy, Compressed Dextrose, Novelty/Toy, 4-Benign, China, Dollar Tree

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:05 am     CandyReviewCompressed DextroseNovelty/Toy4-BenignChinaDollar TreeComments (3)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ice Cream Flavored Dippin’ Candy - Cookies ‘n Cream

Ice Cream Flavored Dippin' Candy - Cookies 'n CreamFlix Candy has introduced two flavors of the frozen treat known as Dippin’ Dots. Today I have the Ice Cream Flavored Dippin’ Candy - Cookies ‘n Cream for review. I can say from the start that these are better than the Ice Cream Flavored Dippin’ Candy Banana Split variety I reviewed last week.

The candy is made up of little spheres of vanilla, creamy confection (fake white chocolate) and little nuggets of chocolate cookies.

Ice Cream Flavored Dippin' Candy - Cookies 'n Cream

The “white coating” ice cream flavored spheres are made of sugar and a large amount of partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, and hydrogenated palm oil along with some nonfat milk powder and whey powder with a smidge of sorbitan monostearate and polysorbat 60 tossed in. The cookies bits are actual cookie bits with an enriched wheat flour base, sugar and a fair amount of cocoa.

Ice Cream Flavored Dippin' Candy - Cookies 'n Cream

Like my experience with the Banana Split variety, the texture is not terribly creamy and doesn’t have a smooth melt. It’s simply sweet. Taken on their own, they’re really quite horrible and equal to the rating of 2 out of 10. However, the little cookie bits are great. They’re crunchy and salty (there’s 160 mg of salt in a package) and crumbly and with a charcoal cocoa darkness. If I mistakenly got a bag that was all cookies and no cream, I’d have no complaint. In fact, if they did a 90% cookie with 10% cream, I think I’d actually buy these. But that’s not the case. My package was probably 50/50 and that’s too much of the fatty, greasy and sweet balls.

If you like Cookies ‘n Cream candy, I don’t think you can get much better at the mass market stores than the Hershey variety, and if you’re looking for the bite size version, try the Hershey’s Cookies n Cream Drops. (But it would be nice if someone would do an upscale version with real cocoa butter white chocolate.)

I really need to find out where to buy the little cookie bits in bulk. That’s the real find in this instance.

Related Candies

  1. Ice Cream Flavored Dippin’ Candy - Banana Split
  2. Cookies ‘n’ Cream Bites
  3. Glico Pocky Cookie Crush
  4. Oreo Bitter Bar (Japan)
  5. Russell Stover Cookies ‘n Cream Nest
  6. Hershey’s Drops: Milk Chocolate & Cookies n Creme


Name: Ice Cream Flavored Dippin’ Candy - Cookies ‘n Cream
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Flix Candy
Place Purchased: Candy Counter (Cayucos, CA)
Price: $2.00
Size: 1.6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 138
Categories: Candy, Flix, Warrell Corp, Cookie, Mockolate, 4-Benign, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:22 pm     CandyReviewWarrell CorpCookieMockolate4-BenignUnited StatesComments (3)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cookies ‘n’ Cream Bites

I’ve been on a roll with the Cookie Dough Bites line of products lately. This box of Cookies ‘n Cream Bites says it’s new, but the product was announced back in January 2010.

Cookies 'n' Cream Bites

New! From the Makers of Cookie Dough Bites - Creamy White Chocolatey Balls with Crumbled Pieces of Cookie.

One of the wonderful things about the Oreo type cookies is the deep, charcoal flavor of the cookie itself. It’s not terribly sweet, crisp and with a sandy, crumbly texture that’s just had to beat either as a cookie or as the base of a cream pie. Crumble those cookies up and put them inside other things? Pure brilliance. Some ice creams put in the cream centers of the cookies, but this is completely unnecessary, the vanilla ice cream base takes care of the “cream” part of the Cookies ‘n’ Cream name.

Another dreamy component of the mix of ice cream and cookie pieces is the chaos of it all. In any bite you might get grainy crumbs or a large, dry piece of cookie, so big you can actually crunch it. The texture is inconsistent in the best way possible.

Cookies 'n' Cream Bites

Now that you can see the cross section of these nuggets, you can see where this review is going to go. The center of the candy is a dough ball made up of a white “cookie” base with a few grains of the chocolate cookie. Then it’s all coated with the palm oil, sugar and milk “cream” along with a smattering of cookie bits.

What should have happened was the center should have been the dark cookie and the outside the mix of the cream and more cookie bits.

But I have to review what’s in front of me.

The Bites vary in size, from the size of a Milk Chocolate M&M to the size of a Peanut M&M. They’re kind of grey with little speckles of black from the cookie bits. They smell sweet and milky. The cream coating is fudgy and sweet, but with very little in the way of “melt in your mouth” qualities. The center of the bites are a little on the dough-side, not moist and with a light taste of raw flour. The center isn’t as sweet as the outside and sometimes I detect a little salt in there. The hint of cocoa and true cookies is completely missing. Sometimes I’d get a little sense of them, but only as some sort of rest from the overt sweetness of the cream.

I can say with confidence that these aren’t the worst thing that I’ve had in the Cookie Dough Bites line. But they’re also far from the best. The center of the Brownie Bites would have been far better in this instance. If you’re looking for a chocolate cookie candy without all that pesky chocolate flavor, then step right up. These are sweet and have only a smidge more flavor than the Cupcake Bites (and no artificial colors) so they get a 4 out of 10.

Related Candies

  1. Cinnamon Bun Bites
  2. Oreo Bitter Bar (Japan)
  3. Hershey’s Drops: Milk Chocolate & Cookies n Creme
  4. Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
  5. Cookies ‘n’ Creme Showdown
  6. Cookie Dough Bites
  7. Head to Head: Cookie Joys vs Cookies n Mint


Name: Cookies ‘n Cream Bites
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Taste of Nature
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Park LaBrea)
Price: $1.25 (on sale)
Size: 3.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: 128
Categories: Candy, Taste of Nature, Cookie, Kosher, 4-Benign, United States, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:01 pm     CandyReviewTaste of NatureCookieKosher4-BenignUnited StatesCost PlusComments (2)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cupcake Bites

In the world of trends in sweets, one of the biggest has been the rise of cupcakes. There are hundreds of blogs devoted to the various iterations of the small baked goods. Of course the trend is not limited to actual cupcakes, there are all sorts of merchandising opportunities as well as spin-off products like Cupcake Bites from Taste of Nature, the same company that makes Cookie Dough Bites.

Cupcake Bites

The box is actively ugly with a mix of styles and cultural references that make little sense to me. First, the color yellow (background) with the pink “frosting” top with sprinkles is The Simpsons (see the movie poster) and the text style isn’t an exact copy but there are definite similarities. Other than that, the fonts are a mess, at least five different ones from different font families, a mix of serif, san serif and handwriting.

The description on the back (which is even uglier as they introduced green drop shadow text in yet another font) says: Bite sized cupcake morsels coated with sprinkles and white frosting. They’re egg free, kosher and made in the USA.

Cupcake Bites

The concept is the same as the Cookie Dough Bites, a little moist nugget of some wheat based, sweet nodule is then covered in a confectionery coating. Here are the ingredients:

White Birthday Cake (Sugar, Sugar, Wheat Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Glycerine, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Palm Oil, Natural Flavors, Salt Soy Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Bicarbonate), White Kreemy Coating (Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Nonfat Milk Powder, Soy Lecithin [Added as an Emulsifier], Monoglycerides, Artificial Color [Titanium Dioxide], Artificial Flavor), Rainbow Decorettes (Sugar, Corn Starch, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil [Cottonseed and/or Soybean], Soy Lecithin, Dextrin, Confectioner’s Glaze, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Blue 1 Lake, Carnauba Wax, Red 3, Blue 1, Red 40).

I’m just amazed that the White Kreemy Coating product doesn’t have a trademark notice associated with it. And no, that’s not a typo on my part with the listing of the first two ingredients for the white cake nor the lyrics to an Archies song.

Cupcake BitesI should mention that I don’t like cupcakes. I don’t actually like cake much at all either. So a candy that emulates such things is already not as compelling to me as some others might find it.

The nuggets are unappealing. They look like white molding clay that’s been rolled around in other little bits ... it looks like the aftermath of a Mr. Bill clip.

The matte exterior is soft and has a light sweet scent, like inhaling a cake mix. The Kreemy Coating doesn’t even rise to the level of fake white chocolate, it’s just a stiff, sweet and slightly greasy coating. The cake center is a little doughy with a faint raw flour flavor to it. The whole effect is an absolute replication of bad grocery store sheet cake. Very sweet, mushy textures and no actual flavor to speak of.

The timing of the product is a little late for the trend, but I’m sure the company will still get some mileage out of it, as they’re the only product like it on the shelves. But if you get a chance, maybe try the cupcake bites on sticks that started this craze.

Like the other Cookie Dough Bites products, the theater box comes with a clear plastic bag inside that actually holds the candy (so eating it at the movies involves opening it before the show starts unless you want to make a lot of noise). Though the package notes that it’s egg free, it’s actually made in a shared processing environment so they have an allergen notice for soy, wheat, milk, peanuts and tree nuts.

Related Candies

  1. Hershey’s Drops: Milk Chocolate & Cookies n Creme
  2. Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
  3. Topps Blue Razz Wazoo
  4. EveryBurger
  5. Cookie Dough Bites
  6. Candy Source: Chocolates a la Carte


Name: Cupcake Bites
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Taste of Nature
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store (Hollywood)
Price: $1.25 (on sale)
Size: 3.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Candy, Taste of Nature, Cookie, Kosher, 4-Benign, United States, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:55 pm     CandyReviewTaste of NatureCookieKosher4-BenignUnited StatesCost PlusComments (20)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bosco Milk Chocolate

Bosco Milk ChocolateBack in the roaring twenties there was a new innovation, it was chocolate syrup. Hershey’s led the way, but there were many other brands, such as Bosco, which not only had chocolate in it but also a touch of malt.

I remember Bosco pretty well, I think it was best known on the Eastern Seaboard. Hershey’s was probably the most popular of all, but I preferred Ovaltine since it had a stronger malt flavor and wasn’t so chalky at the bottom of the glass of milk.

I heard last year that Bosco Milk Chocolate Bars were coming out. This was an exciting development. I love how nostalgic brands are being revived and was looking forward to tasting a malted chocolate bar.

Here’s an old series of commercials for Bosco Syrup. The picture quality isn’t great, but the approach to the product and the unabashed joy still comes through.

I finally spotted the bars at Cost Plus World Market, which usually carries the nostalgic candies. The bar is the standard 3.5 ounce large bar. The package says Special Edition Collector’s Series. I don’t know who wants to collect chocolate bars, unless they’re just talking about the wrapper. The wrapper also says that it’s all natural (and Kosher).

Bosco Bar

The bar doesn’t actually look that good unwrapped. It’s poorly molded, there are lots of bubbles and voids, easily seen when I flipped over the bar when I took it out to photograph.

The ingredients are all natural, it’s true. The list is very short: sugar, whole milk, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, soy lecithin, vanilla. Remember when I said that Bosco was a malted chocolate syrup? Well, this is not a malted chocolate bar.

Bosco Milk Chocolate

So as a milk chocolate bar it’s quite ordinary. You’ll notice the ingredients listed sugar first, it is most definitely sweet. The milk flavors come next and are strong with a slight powdered milk note to them. The chocolate flavors are faint and evoke cardboard, musty and sawdust flavors for me. Frankly, the chocolate tasted no better than the R.M. Palmer stuff I eschew around Easter.

It’s such a disappointing bar. The price wasn’t bad, at $1.99, I’ve certainly spent more in the past. But if you’re buying this for nostalgia, make sure it’s for the package and not the flavor.

The bar is distributed by Praim Group, not a well known brand but you may recognize their other partner, Bloomsberry & Co, which also make ho-hum chocolate in clever packages.

Related Candies

  1. All Natural Chocolate Necco Wafers
  2. Hershey’s Miniatures
  3. Starbucks Chocolate
  4. Palmer Milk Chocolate Balls
  5. Cocoa Pete’s Maltimus Maximus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:14 am     All NaturalCandyReviewChocolateKosher4-BenignUnited StatesCost PlusComments (3)

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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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• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

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