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Friday, December 6, 2013

Candy Spotting: Christmas 2013

Whack and UnwrapI’ve been prowling the store shelves since October to see what’s back this year in seasonal favorites and what might be new.

I’ve been pretty excited so see so many old favorites returning plus a few new additions. The flavor combinations of pumpkin spice, peppermint bark and gingerbread continue strong showings with a few egg nog and chili pepper items out there, too.

This is by no means a definitive list, but I’ve tried to actually find the announced products in stores before adding them to my list.

Candy Cane Kisses


Twizzlers Tree Shaped Cherry Candy (new)
Hershey’s Candy Cane Bar Mint Candy with Candy Bits (new - review)
Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses (old review when they were made with real white chocolate)
Hershey’s Mint Truffle Kisses (review)
Hershey’s Cherry Cordial Kisses (review)
Hershey’s Mint Miniatures (white creme with nonpareils, Special Dark with mint and Milk Chocolate with mint - here’s an old review when the white chocolate was made with cocoa butter)
Reese’s Trees (just like the Eggs)
Reese’s Bells (foil wrapped bell shaped candies about the size of the regular miniatures)
Reese’s Snow Board Santa (kind of like the big Reester Bunny around Easter)
HersheyEts (review) - I’ve seen these at the Hershey’s store before in bags but also in those candy cane tubes at major retailers.
Hershey’s Collection Almond Clusters & Chocolate Covered Pretzels (new) - packaged in cardboard gable box
Giant Hershey Bars (1 Pound)
World’s Largest Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (1 Pound - review)
Hershey’s Kisses Santa Hat just a large kiss with red and white foil
Hershey’s Giant Kisses

Mike and Ike Holiday Medley

Just Born

Peeps Chocolate Covered Peppermint Trees (Milk & Dark Chocolate)
Peeps White Snowmen (I like the snowmen because they’re one of the few varieties that doesn’t have artificial colors)
Peeps Green Trees
Peeps Peppermint Chocolate Dips
Peeps Gingerbread Men
Mike and Ike Merry Mix

Perugina Baci (Nestle)


Wonka Gobstoppers Snowballs
Wonka Frosty Nerds (watermelon, wild cherry & punch)
Wonka Nerds Holiday Rope (photo)
Wonka Holiday SweeTart Gummis (red & green and I think they’re shaped like Oompa Loompa faces - photo)
Nestle Butterfinger Jingles (review)
Nestle Crunch Jingles
Butterfinger and Nestlé Crunch Medallions kind of like coins, about an ounce, but not wrapped in foil
Wonka SweeTarts & Spree Candy Cane Tubes (new)
Wonka Pixy Stix Powder-Filled Candy Canes (new) these are actual hard candies filled with sour powder. Definitely an innovative item.
Wonka Candy Canes in Spree, SweeTart and Gobstopper flavors
Wonka Nerds & Fun Dip Fantastical Fun Books like the classic Life Savers story books
Wonka Giant Pixy Stix Giant Canes are just canes filled with the plastic Pixy Stix ... lots more plastic than candy
Perugina Baci (review) in holiday packaging - they’re much easier to find during the run up to the holidays than usual

M&Ms White Chocolate Peppermint

Mars & Wrigley’s

Life Savers Tin - holds 7 rolls of three different varieties - comes in Butter Rum, Cherry or 5 Flavor package design
Life Savers Sweet Story Candy Rolls and Gummies (the box that looks like a book and has a collection of Life Saver Rolls in it)
Life Savers Hard Candy Holiday Mix (cherry, apple & candy cane)
M&Ms Holiday Mint (revew)
M&Ms Cherry Cordial
M&Ms White Chocolate Peppermint (review)
Dove Peppermint Bark (in foil wrapped Promises & boxed bark review)
Dove Promises Snowflake Assortment (round pieces in milk, dark & caramel with snowflakes molded in them)
Dove White Chocolate with Creamy Center - I don’t think these are the same as the Promises I tried last year
Snickers Nutcrackers (review)
Snickers Peanut Butter Santas (review)
3 Musketeers Hot Cocoa with Marshmallows in minis size
Twix Santas like the Twix Eggs, they’re like a double wide Twix bar.
Twix Gingerbread (review)
Mars Heritage Tins - pencil box sized tins filled with miniatures - designed like classic candy bar wrappers - come in Snickers, M&Ms, Twix and Milky Way)
Skittles Holiday Mix - features Strawberry, Wild Cherry, Lemon, Grape and Green Apple in red and green.

Brach's Holiday Nougats

Ferrara Candy (Ferrara Pan, Farley’s & Sathers + Brach’s)

Brach’s Christmas Nougats in Peppermint & Wintergreen and Cinnamon (review)
Brach’s Gloria Mix (classic straw & filled candies)
Brach’s Holiday Mix (classic filled candies)
Brach’s Holiday Mints (pillow mints with a green minty jelly filling)
Brach’s Spicettes (gumdrops in green & red)
Ferrara Chocolate Oranges (review)

Candy Cane Tootsie Pop Drops


Tootsie Roll Candy Cane Pop Drops (review)
Tootsie Roll Candy Cane Pops (review)
Tootsie Roll Banks (Tootsie & Midgees)
Tootsie Roll Holiday Midgees (I have no idea what these are - the package doesn’t say)
Christmas Dots (review)
Andes Peppermint Crunch (white chocolate with crunchy peppermint candies)
Andes Cherry Jubilee Thins
Andes Toffee Creme Thins
Junior Mints Peppermint Crunch (review)

Russell Stover Santas

Russell Stover

Ribbon Candy (I suspect this is just a repackage of Sevigny’s)
Marshmallow Snow Man (large ones - come in regular milk chocolate covered and chocolate covered in milk chocolate)
Peppermint Bark Snowman - made with real white chocolate
Marshmallow Santas review
Coconut Wreath review
Strawberry Cream Santa- review
Milk Chocolate Coconut Santa - review
Maple Cream Santa in milk and dark chocolate now - review
Peanut Butter Santa - review
Gingerbread Santa (review)
Peppermint Cream Santa (review)



Swedish Fish (red & green) in bags or theater boxes
Sour Patch Kids (red & green) in bags or theater boxes
Cadbury Solid Milk Chocolate Balls (like the mini-eggs - sold by Hershey’s in the United States)

Ghirardelli Squares - Peppermint Bark

Ghirardelli Chocolate

Ghirardelli Hollow Chocolate Nutcracker
Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark (review)
Ghirardelli Squares Holiday Impressions milk chocolate squares with white chocolate “cameo” centers
Ghirardelli Holiday Squares - egg nog & peppermint bark (review)

Lindt Milk Reindeer

Other Items of Interest

Giant Toblerone Bars
Toblerone Snow Top - a milk chocolate bar with white chocolate cap on the triangles
Terry’s Chocolate Oranges (Milk with Orange, Dark with Orange and White with Orange)
Maxfield’s Assorted Chocolates (I haven’t tried these boxed chocolates yet, they’re less expensive than Russell Stover and probably on par with Elmer’s)
Fannie May Mint Meltaway & Pixies (individually wrapped - pixie review & meltaway review)
Ritter Sport Peppermint (review)
Florida Tropic Oranges in a variety of flavors - review
Zachary Confections Egg Nog Candy Corn (I add these to my list every year, but I still haven’t seen them in stores)
Zachary Confections Candy Cane Corn
Nips Egg Nog (review)
Dark Roca
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Roca
Mocha Roca
TicTac Holiday Twist either red and white or green and red Tic Tac mixes
Lindt Hollow Chocolate Santas, Snowmen & Bears
J&Ds Sriracha Candy Canes (spotted at Cost Plus World Market)
Au’Some 3-DEEs Santa Gummis

What are you looking forward to most? And what are you having trouble finding this year? What did I leave out?

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:51 pm     CandyChristmasHighlightShopping

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Russell Stover Santas: Gingerbread, Peppermint and Maple

Russell Stover Gingerbread SantaIt’s easy to think of Russell Stover as a stuffy boxed chocolate brand for old people, but I have to say that they are consistently on trend with their new flavors. Last year they introduced Red Velvet Santa, this year was a Pumpkin Pie Pumpkin and today I’m going to start my review with the Russell Stover Gingerbread in Dark Chocolate.

The packaging is simple, just a lump of Santa shaped candy in a sleeve with a Santa picture on the front. If there’s one unifying element with the Russell Stover Santa candies, it’s that they have a picture of a Santa on the front, but that the style will be different from the others. There’s really nothing cohesive in the branding.

They’re priced very well, at only 50 cents each for one ounce when on sale, they’re easy to find at most drug store chains. (I don’t see them at Target or KMart, though. Walgreen’s usually has the best selection, but RiteAid and CVS are pretty dependable for the most popular varieties.)

Russell Stover Gingerbread Santa

Like the Cookie Dough Egg, Pumpkin Pie and Red Velvet, the center for this piece contains flour. It’s like a cookie dough, in this case, more like a cake batter for gingerbread. It’s pretty mild, with more clove and ginger notes with a little hint of brown sugar. It’s not really fudgy, but more like a thick and chilled cookie dough. I liked it. It’s kind of weird, not at all like a high-end truffle, but just like a fun seasonal sweet.

Russell Stover Peppermint CreamRussell Stover Peppermint Cream Santa is similar to the Big Bite Mint Dream I ordered from them some years back. It’s a fluffed cream, not a fondant like Junior Mints or York Peppermint Patties.

The peppermint is clean and strong. The dark chocolate is bittersweet, glossy and crisp. The filling is light and frothy, though a little grainy and extremely sweet. It’s much sweeter than the Maple I tried later on. It’s a good peppermint product, and certainly very spare on the calories, a full piece is only 120 calories if you’re tying to indulge on a dietary budget.

The label doesn’t list any real sourcing information for the ingredients, specifically the chocolate. Since Russell Stover manufactures such a wide variety of confections there are lots of allergen warnings. The Gingerbread has flour (gluten) in it, the Mint and Maple have egg whites plus they all have soy and milk. Then there’s the peanuts and tree nuts warning.


All the Santa pieces are ill formed. I don’t know what the shape is supposed to be, but they’re enrobed, not molded so they’re rather amorphous. The Gingerbread piece (middle) is more dense than the Peppermint Cream and Maple Cream, so it’s not quite as high.

Russell Stover Dark Chocolate Maple CreamRussell Stover Dark Chocolate & Maple Cream is just a dark chocolate version of the milk chocolate version I reviewed a couple of years ago. It’s also available in the Easter Egg version, which I also reviewed ages ago and liked. (And also didn’t get a picture of the inside.)

The dark chocolate is glossy and pretty creamy. It’s not terribly rich in flavor, but its semisweet cocoa notes balance out the fluffy maple cream center. The filling is sweet and light with a hint of salt and a woodsy, pecan scent of maple.

Related Candies

  1. Twix Gingerbread
  2. Good and Delish Maple Cream Charms
  3. Russell Stover Pumpkin Pie
  4. Russell Stover Red Velvet Santa
  5. Peeps Gingerbread Men
  6. Russell Stover Peppermint Bark Snowman
  7. Russell Stover Santas

Name: Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Santa
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $.50
Size: 1.0 ounces
Calories per ounce: 140
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Russell Stover, Chocolate, Cookie, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's

Name: Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cream Santa
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Hollywood)
Price: $.50 (on sale)
Size: 1.0 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Russell Stover, Chocolate, Fondant, Mints, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's

Name: Dark Chocolate & Maple Cream Santa
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Hollywood)
Price: $.50 (on sale)
Size: 1.0 ounces
Calories per ounce: 110
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Russell Stover, Chocolate, Fondant, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:28 pm     CandyReviewChristmasRussell StoverChocolateCookieFondant7-Worth ItUnited StatesWalgreen's

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hershey’s Candy Cane Bar

Hershey's Candy Cane BarHershey’s has answered the call for a holiday candy bar. The bar is actually a candy they’ve been selling for quite a few years, just a new format. It’s a white confection flavored with peppermint and studded with crunchy nonpareils formed into the standard Hershey bar mold. It’s pretty simple and named that way, too, Hershey’s Candy Cane Bar.

The bar is available in two formats, the large 3.5 ounce king sized bar I picked up or a regular 1.5 ounce single serving bar. Both feature the simple packaging design of the white background with little striped fringes at the ends and the bold Hershey’s logo across the front.

Hershey’s is also offering their regular bars in this same 3.5 ounce size in Holiday packaging, so you can get the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with a snowman on the front and Cookies n Creme bar with a nutcracker on it. I’ve seen these on sale quite widely in both versions at Target, KMart and other drug store chains, so it shouldn’t be hard to find. Hershey’s did a Mint Miniatures mix years back that included a version of this. (I always though it would be good as a Nugget.) It’s also available as the Hershey’s Candy Cane Kiss (with less food coloring) as well.

Hershey's Candy Cane Bar

The bar is 4 sections by 4 sections, and the package suggests that 6 pieces is a portion. The white confection is a creamy color, a little on the yellow side with lots of red nonpareil crunchies evident. The ingredients show that this is a hybrid confection, not quite true white chocolate, though it does have some cocoa butter in it, it also has some other tropical oil. However, there are no other fillers like whey.

The snap shows the crunchies and the texture of the bar. It’s a little soft, no hard snap of a high-cacao chocolate bar here. There’s lots of sugar and that’s fine with me.

Hershey's Candy Cane Bar

The flavor is like a Smooth n Melty mint. It’s peppermint with a clean dairy flavor to it, it’s rather like eating a room temperature ice cream. It’s quite sweet, but not quite as cloying as I’ve experienced with the Cookies n Creme bar or the lesser quality RM Palmer white confections. I don’t care for the flavoring the red food coloring of the nonpareils imparts, but it’s far less than I notice on the holiday Smooth n Melty Mints which are also out on store shelves right now. (A white confection drop with red and green nonpariels on the bottom.)

I like it. I had no trouble eating the whole bar. It’s different from the slick smoothness of the real white chocolate Dove Peppermint Bark. It’s more candy than chocolate.

Related Candies

  1. R.M. Palmer Candy Cane Cups
  2. Hershey’s Peppermint Bark Bells
  3. Peeps Chocolate Dipped Sugar Cookie & Candy Cane
  4. M&Ms White Chocolate Peppermint
  5. Dove Peppermint Bark
  6. Christmas Mint Round Up
  7. Andes Mints & Dessert Indulgence
  8. Short & Sweet: Butterfinger Jingles and Mint Miniatures

Name: Candy Cane Bar
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Target (West Hollywood)
Price: $1.50
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 146
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Hershey's, Kosher, Mints, Mockolate, 7-Worth It, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:42 am     CandyReviewChristmasHershey'sKosherMintsMockolate7-Worth ItUnited StatesTarget

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Candy Spotting: Giant Candy Gifts

It’s not a particularly new development to see giant versions of classic candies on shelves, but I have seen more than usual lately. Here’s a rundown of what’s available these days:

World's Largest Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (review)
Details: 1 pound total weight - each cup is one half pound, kind of like a peanut butter pot pie made of chocolate.
Price: $12.99 regularly
Where to Find: These are sold widely on the web and in stores. Check mass market retailers like Target, KMart and drug store chains.

1 Pound of York Peppermint Patties

Giant York Peppermint Patties (review)
Details: 1 pound total weight - like the Reese’s, each pattie is one half pound.
Price: $12.99 regularly
Where to Find: These are sold widely on the web and in stores. Check mass market retailers like Target, KMart and drug store chains.

Hershey’s 1 Pound Bar
Details: 1 pound total weight
Price: $12.99 regularly
Where to Find: These are sold widely on the web and in stores. Check mass market retailers like Target, KMart and drug store chains.

World’s Largest Hershey Bar
Details: 5 pounds total weight
Price: $34.99 regularly
Where to Find: These are sold on the web and some specialty stores, I also saw them at KMart.

Snickers Slice n' Share

Snickers Slice n Share (review)
Details: 1 pound total weight, all one bar.
Price: $12.99 regularly
Where to Find: These are sold widely on the web and in stores. Check mass market retailers like Target, KMart and drug store chains.

Giant Toblerone

Toblerone 14 ounces
Details: 14 ounces (just shy of a full pound) in a long, triangular box. Some boxes are the standard creamy yellow, but there are other light blue winter-themed boxes available as well.
Price: $8.99
Where to Find: I spotted these both at Target and Cost Plus World Market. They’re a good value, compared to the other giant bars. 

hot tamales 1.5 boxMike and Ike and Hot Tamales Giant Box
Details: 1.5 pounds in a large box containing 48 snack sized packets.
Price: $19.99 (spotted at KMart)
Where to Find: I’ve only seen them in stores at KMart, but the JustBorn.com webstore also sells them.

A better value when it comes to these is really the vending packages, which are 5 pounds, about the size of an airplane pillow and cost less, they’re usually available at places like Smart & Final or on the web. (Amazon link.)

Nestle Crunch 1 Pound Bar
Details: 1 pound total weight
Price: $12.99
Where to Find: I’ve spotted these at KMart and Target

Russell Stover 1 Pound

Russell Stover 2 Giant Bars S’Mores (review of regular size)
Details: 1 pound total weight - two bars.
Price: $9.99
Where to Find: I’ve spotted these at KMart and Walgreen’s so far, but you can also get them directly from RussellStover.com

Russell Stover 2 Giant Bars Pecan Delight (review of regular size)
Details: 1 pound total weight - two bars.
Price: $9.99
Where to Find: I’ve spotted these at KMart and Walgreen’s so far, but you can also get them directly from RussellStover.com

RM Palmer Giant 1/4 Peanut Butter CupRM Palmer Giant 1/4 Peanut Butter Cup (review)
Details: 4 ounce peanut butter cup
Price: $1.00
Where to Find: RiteAid and other drug stores

Giant Tootsie Pop
Details: 8 Tootsie Pops in a giant Tootsie Pop shaped dome on a stick
Price: $8.99
Where to Find: I’ve spotted these at Cost Plus World Market

Giant versions of standard candies are rarely better than the originals. They’re a novelty and play off the notion that more is better. But mostly more is fun, more is sharing and more is delightful. If someone doesn’t like the standard version, they’re unlikely to enjoy the giant, so choose carefully. But the good news is that these are rather inexpensive and make a fun item for a child to give to an adult in their life.

Have you seen any other giant versions of candies for the holidays?

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Holiday Roundup 2012
  2. Christmas Candy Spotting 2010
  3. Jumbo Gum Ball Eggs
  4. Big Tex Giant Jelly Beans
  5. Giant Pixy Stix

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:06 pm     CandyChristmasHighlightShopping

Monday, December 2, 2013

M&Ms Milk Chocolate Gingerbread

M&Ms Milk Chocolate GingerbreadThe hot flavor trend this season is gingerbread. Well, not as hot as pumpkin spice, which spans Halloween and Christmas holidays. There’s little difference between the spices in pumpkin pie and gingerbread, though the proportions of the actual spices are often different and gingerbread has a background of molasses or brown sugar.

The M&Ms Milk Chocolate Gingerbread are sold only at Walmart this season, though their companion Twix Gingerbread are sold at most stores stocking seasonal bagged candy.

The design on the front of the package looks like most of the other holiday M&Ms. In this instance the Red M&M is just holding a plate with a gingerbread cookie and pointing at it. Kind of lazy.

M&Ms Milk Chocolate Gingerbread

The Gingerbread M&Ms are a milk chocolate base with some spices added in. They come in three colors, red, green and brown. Not terribly exciting. The milk chocolate is the normal sweet stuff, creamy but on the fudgy and sugary side. The added spices give it a warm flavor but nothing distinct. Maybe there’s ginger, maybe some cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. They add a light chalky note to the texture but I didn’t specifically get any ginger or black pepper in there.


What would have been extraordinary would have been a real piece of gingerbread, in the format of the Pretzel M&Ms. Or Sugar Cookie, or Snickerdoodle. There are so many exciting seasonal variations on the cookie center that could be accomplished. Even just the Pretzel M&M with this flavored chocolate on the outside would have propelled this to another level of specialness.

Intellectually, I know they’re not the same as the Pumpkin Spice M&Ms from earlier this year, but they don’t feel that different - just swap out the orange ones for red and tone down the cinnamon. No, Mars still hasn’t come out with the Egg Nog White Chocolate M&Ms I’ve been longing for. I guess they’re just not into nutmeg.

Today is the day many blogs decided to review the new M&Ms Milk Chocolate Gingerbread. The Impulsive Buy and ZOMG, Candy! would be the two that I’ve seen so far and previously Junk Food Guy and Serious Sweets. I think most of us are agreed, it’s a nice idea but not really a great M&M.

Related Candies

  1. Twix Gingerbread
  2. M&Ms Pumpkin Spice
  3. Peeps Gingerbread Men
  4. Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows + Vanilla, Cinnamon Bun, Strawberry, Chocolate Royale, Gingerbread
  5. Limited Edition M&Ms Cinnamon Milk Chocolate
  6. Crispy M&Ms
  7. Pretzel M&Ms

Name: M&Ms Milk Chocolate Gingerbread
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: samples from Mars (but sold only at Walmart this season)
Price: 2.49 retail
Size: 9.9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 140
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Mars, Chocolate, Kosher, M&Ms, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:33 pm     CandyReviewChristmasMarsChocolateKosherM&Ms7-Worth ItUnited States

Monday, November 25, 2013

Kraft Jet-Puffed Peppermint Mini Mallows

Kraft Jet-Puffed Peppermint Mini MallowsKraft is always keeping up with special versions of marshmallows during different seasons. This year I spotted the Jet-Puffed Peppermint Mini Mallows at Target in the baking section. (I’m sure these have been around before.)

It seems like a pretty simple confection, which is largely the selling point. They’re pink swirled mini marshmallows, small enough for snacking or including in recipes

Mini Peppermint Jet-Puffed Marshmallows

They vary a little in size, but most are half inch cylinders.

They’re quite fresh, bouncy and light. There’s a dusting of corn starch on them, so they’re not sweet immediately, but a little chalky. The mint is mild, but fresh. There’s a light hint of the red food coloring aftertaste, if you’re one of those folks who can detect it. But for the most part, I liked them very much. I threw a handful in some hot chocolate and liked how creamy they melted and added that little minty touch without too much sweetness.

They’re an exceptionally good value. It was $1.00 for a large 10 ounce bag. That’s less than $2 a pound. They’re pretty spare on calories, 2/3 of a cup is only 100 calories and seems like a lot of candy. It’s a nice ingredient, something to use on cupcakes or in hot chocolate or just throw in a small bowl to keep around for kids to snack on without filling up. (Please watch small children with marshmallows and any small candies, as they are a choking hazard.)

Related Candies

  1. Peeps Chocolate Dipped Sugar Cookie & Candy Cane
  2. Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows + Vanilla, Cinnamon Bun, Strawberry, Chocolate Royale, Gingerbread
  3. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Minty Mallows
  4. Peeps Dark Chocolate Covered Mint Marshmallow
  5. Campfire Mini Marshmallows
  6. Trader Joe’s Peppermint Marshmallows
  7. Artisan Marshmallows: Plush Puffs

Name: Jet-Puffed Marshmallows: Mini Peppermint
Brand: Kraft
Place Purchased: Target (West Hollywood)
Price: $1.00
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 94
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Kraft/Mondelez, Marshmallow, Mints, 8-Tasty, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:31 pm     CandyReviewChristmasKraft/MondelezMarshmallowMints8-TastyUnited StatesTarget

Friday, November 22, 2013

Ritter Sport Winter Edition Caramelised Almonds

Ritter Sport Winter Edition Caramelised AlmondsRitter Sport has been creating limited edition seasonal bars for a few years. More recently these are available in the United States at specialty retailers. I found my Winter Edition bars at Cost Plus World Market as imported bars (the packages are in multiple languages, but not English).

The Ritter Sport Winter Edition Caramelised Almonds is a returning flavor, I reviewed it as part of set of minis back in 2011 (as Ritter Sport Gebrannte Mandel). Toasted, sugar coated almonds are a common treat at the Christmas Fairs in Europe, kind of like Kettle Corn is here. It plays on may of the strengths of Ritter Sport’s product line, such as the solid milk chocolate and nut inclusions.

Ritter Sport Winter Edition Caramelised Almonds

The chocolate is smooth and creamy, but exceptionally sweet. The almonds are also sweet and crunchy with a hint of a cereal taste to it. The bits are quite small, not full almonds, so it’s hard to really discern the almonds from the crunchy coating on them.

I love the idea of this bar but found it achingly sweet, perhaps even more sweet than the first time around. The textures are exemplary, the ratios are perfect, the chocolate is wonderfully smooth, the nuts are fresh and crunchy. But it’s all overpowered by the sheer amount of sugar covering up the cocoa flavors and nuances of caramelized sugar. Now ... do this in the dark chocolate or a dark milk, and I think I’d be howling about the unfairness of the limited edition.

Ritter Sport has published quite a bit about their cacao sourcing and plans for sustainability. Though I found it sweet, this bar is a far better value and much better quality than a Toblerone.

Related Candies

  1. Eclat Chocolate Caramelized Hazelnuts 65%
  2. Limited Edition Ritter Sport Amarena Cherry
  3. Toblerone Crunchy Salted Almond
  4. Ritter Sport 100th Anniversary Edel-Nuss Mix + Bonus Previews
  5. Limited Edition Ritter Sport Winter Kreation + Factory Store
  6. Ritter Sport Fruhlingsspezialitaten 2010

Name: Caramelised Almonds (Winter Edition)
Brand: Ritter Sport
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Farmers Market)
Price: $2.99
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 149
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Ritter Sport, Chocolate, Limited Edition, Nuts, 7-Worth It, Germany, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:03 am     CandyReviewChristmasRitter SportChocolateLimited EditionNuts7-Worth ItGermanyCost Plus

Friday, November 15, 2013

R.M. Palmer Candy Cane Cups

DSC_4166rbI’m not usually a fan of R.M. Palmer candies (I can’t call their the vast majority of their products chocolate with any accuracy) but I do appreciate their packaging and design. I browsed their new Christmas offerings a few weeks ago and was actually excited by just the name of their R.M. Palmer Candy Cane Cups. Luckily at only $1.00 at the 99 Cent Only Store, the risk was low and possible rewards were high.

They kind of lost me at the description on the ribbon on the front of the package: Your Two Favorites ... Candy Cane Crunch in a Chocolaty Shell. I happen to know a lot of undiscerning people, but I can’t think of any of them that would call anything “chocolaty” their favorite thing. They might eat it pretty happily ... but most folks prefer the real stuff.

The ingredients include a lot of sugar and partially hydrogenated oils ... I’m not sure what will happen to these if the FDA bans artificial trans fats, though the nutrition panel lists that a serving of 4 cups contains 65% of your RDA of saturated fat, it doesn’t actually show any trans fats (though if it’s less than .5 grams, they can say there’s 0).

Ingredients: Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Palm Kernel, Coconut and/or Palm Oil), Cocoa (processed with alkali), Whey, Skim Milk, Corn Syrup, Soy Lecithin, Peppermint Oil, Modified Corn Starch, Vanillin, Salt and Red #40

R.M. Palmer Candy Cane Cups

The cups are nicely designed. The foil is clean red & white stripes and easy to identify if you were to put them in a candy dish. The cup is a nice size, could be one bit or two small ones. (I always like to look inside.)

They smell quite pepperminty. The chocolate coating is oily but does have a melt-in-your-mouth quality because of all the tropical oils. It has a light cocoa note to it, but it’s barely discernible. The filling is firm but also has a melty but slightly grainy quality. There are little bits of peppermint candy in it that give a slight crunch and texture.

I was prepared to hate these, but it’s a great idea and though not executed with premium ingredients, they’re still passable. Now ... let’s see some real chocolate companies do better.

Related Candies

  1. Hershey’s Peppermint Bark Bells
  2. RM Palmer Giant 1/4 Lb. Peanut Butter Cup
  3. Sun Cups Dark Chocolate Mint Cups
  4. RM Palmer Peppermint Patties
  5. Russell Stover Peppermint Bark Snowman
  6. Dove Peppermint Bark
  7. R.M. Palmer Quax - The Yummy Ducky
  8. Palmer Milk Chocolate Balls

Name: Candy Cane Cups
Brand: R.M. Palmer
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store (Silver Lake)
Price: $1.00
Size: 4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 150
Categories: Candy, Christmas, R.M. Palmer, Mints, Mockolate, 6-Tempting, United States, 99 Cent Only Store

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:34 pm     CandyReviewChristmasR.M. PalmerKosherMintsMockolate6-TemptingUnited States99 Cent Only Store

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