Thursday, January 26, 2006
I got the Cookie Joys from Crate and Barrel through their excellent post-Christmas sale. The Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Mint were acquired at Sav-On at a lackluster post-Holiday sale (basically the nuggets were on the sale table heralding they were 50% off, but they didn’t ring up that way and were put there “by mistake”).
Harry London makes the Cookie Joys, but sells them under a few different names, including Botticelli Bites. They also make it in a few different formats, including the Harry London Mint Cookie Bar. A Cookie Joy is minted milk chocolate with chocolate cookie bits. The shape is a little dollop of candy, not really the most attractive or appealing candy shapes, but it gets the job done. I find they’re usually two bites. The bonus in the Crate & Barrel tin is that they were individually wrapped. When I get them in a little tub at Trader Joe’s (it looks like a pint of ice cream) they’re loose and can go stale if not eaten quickly.
A Hershey’s Mint ‘n’ Cookies is also minted milk chocolate with chocolate cookie bits. The chocolate is rather milkier, as you can see in the color difference bewteen these two. The cookie bits are also slightly more regular, like little dots of cookies instead of rather irregular crushed cookie bits.
Now that I have them side by side, I’m able to really compare the two. The Cookie Joy is smooth and not terribly milky, which I like. There are already quite a few flavors going on here, I don’t need some sort of dairy taste intruding. As long as the milk is providing a creamy backdrop I’m happy. The cookie bits give it some crunch and they’re a good dark, toasty flavor (they’re pretty much the cookie part of an Oreo).
The Hershey’s has that familiar Hershey’s milk chocolate tang to it. Think yogurt. It’s not unpleasant, but doesn’t go as well with the mint and cookies. There’s a noticeable grain to the chocolate, but again, it works with the crunchy cookies. The cookie bits seem to be distributed rather unevenly, just on the top of the nugget, but since you’re going to bite it the other way, it probably doesn’t matter much. A Nugget could be eaten whole as well.
In this Head to Head, I’m going to have to go with the Cookie Joys. The chocolate is just better and the even though they look like glossy cow pies, the name Cookie Joys is dead on perfect. They’re joyful little mixes of cookies and minted chocolate. If you like the Girl Scout’s Thin Mints, you may like this chocolatier version, too. There’s no benefit to either in availability either. The Hershey’s are Limited Edition (though they seem to return rather faithfully) and the Harry London’s are only sometimes available at Trader Joe’s and a seasonal item for Crate & Barrel. (Sadly, it seems they are sold out on the C&B website.) The Hershey’s are usually cheaper, but the Crate and Barrel sale puts this one over the edge for me. At 28 cents per ounce for the Cookie Joys versus the 24 cents per ounce on the Nuggets, I’m willing to pay the premium (and I have a tin, too!).
Monday, June 27, 2005
Name: London Mint
I’ve seen these bars a few times in the store and didn’t really “get” them. I figured, why buy a candy bar that looks like a $100 bill? But that’s not quite what they are. It’s a package of five little chocolate covered chocolate cream mints.
I also didn’t get the whole London thing and then it’s an American bill. Well, it’s from Harry London chocolates ... duh. Usually boxed chocolate companies don’t even enter my radar, but a few years back Trader Joe’s started carrying the best candy invention ever, the Mint Cookie Joy! Because of that, I’ll give anything with their name on it a try. Okay, now that I’m beyond the name and packaging, I can get to the tasting!
Inside are four square chocolates. Milk chocolate covering a fudgy chocolate/mint cream center. Perfection really.
The snackability on thise is pretty high. If the package were larger, I could probably shovel about a dozen of these down without a problem. They’re not heavy or cloyingly sweet, but friendly-sweet.
If you like really soft centers, just leave it in your un-airconditioned office on an 85 degree day near the window. If you prefer a chocolate with a snappy center, then you might want to stick these in the fridge during the warmer months.
Rating: 8 out of 10.
Friday, May 13, 2005
Name: Botticelli Bites
I was excited to see these at Big Lots. I’ve been buying something called “Cookie Joys” made by Harry London Chocolates from Trader Joe’s for a few years now. I assumed that these were the same thing. And they probably were - about four years ago when these were probably manufactured.
I guess this is one of those things you learn the hard way from buying at the closeout stores. Chocolate is not something to buy on the cheap. Most often I am sorry when I do.
These came in three different flavors - Mint Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Double Chocolate. Only the Mint Chocolate ones did not have a bloom on them.
The Chocolate Peanut Butter looked fairly good (as they do in the photo) but the peanut oils must have gone rancid. The Double Chocolate were just plain white and chalky and I tossed them after sorting through to see if any of them were good.
However - if you ever find the Harry London varieties, I heartily recommend them. Hershey’s introduced a mint cookie bar a few years back which I was positively addicted to. This is the new replacement for it.
EDIT: Since writing this review I’ve found out that Botticelli is owned by Alpine Confectionery that also owns Harry London. They’re the same thing, just different packaging. Obviously these were stored improperly and were past their prime, thus got a poor rating.
Rating: 2 out of 10 (because I actually ate some of the mint ones, otherwise it’d be a 1)
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