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Mars

Monday, January 25, 2016

Dove Milk Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Crisp Promises

Dove Milk Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Crisp PromisesYou’ll see a theme in the coming weeks: strawberry is the flavor of the moment.

The new Dove Milk Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Crisp Promises are for Valentine’s Day. I picked mine up at Target (and they may be a Target-Exclusive item).

The shortcake part is a little odd, conceptually. For a real strawberry shortcake, berries (often in a sweetened syrup) are ladled over a biscuit type baked good. Some folks prefer a spongecake or poundcake but the key here is that they’re all soft and cakey. The cookie pieces in this case are made from tapioca starch, rice flour, sugar, palm oil, baking soda and some salt.

The other odd part of this is that there’s milk chocolate ... so if anything, this is an imitation of a chocolate covered strawberry with a few gluten free cookie bits (this is not, however, a gluten free product as it’s made in a facility that also uses wheat and peanuts and tree nuts).

Dove Milk Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Crisp Promises

The pieces are not a swirl of milk & white chocolate, like some other recent versions. Instead this is a solid milk chocolate piece, flavored with some strawberry and dotted with little cookie inclusions.

The strawberry flavor is very strong, but the milk chocolate holds its own with a creamy dairy note and a little toasty cocoa flavor. The strawberry is floral sweetness, no dried berry bits in this version. The cookie bits are odd, since they’re made with starch and not actual wheat flour, they are actually rather starchy, though they don’t get sticky-pasty like some gluten free cookies I’ve had. The overall effect of the crunchy cookie bit is really nice, it aerates the experience because you kind of have to chew it instead of just letting the chocolate melt away, which I think boosts the strawberry notes.

They’re pleasant. The strawberry isn’t too artificial or plastic (it does say natural flavor on the package, though it’s kind of vague). I don’t know if I would buy these again, but I appreciated the effort and novelty.

Related Candies

  1. Dove Holiday Mint Cookie Promises
  2. Dove Milk Chocolate & Red Velvet Swirl Promises
  3. Dove Hazelnut Crisp Dark Chocolate Promises
  4. Mike and Ike Strawberry Reunion
  5. Meiji Corot - Strawberry Chocolate Drops
  6. Peeps Strawberry Creme dipped in Dark Chocolate
  7. Ritter Sport Milk Chocolate with Strawberry Creme


Name: Dove Milk Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Crisp Promises
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.34
Size: 7.94 ounces
Calories per ounce: 155
Categories: Candy, Valentines, Mars, Chocolate, Cookie, Kosher, Limited Edition, 7-Worth It, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:51 pm     CandyReviewValentinesMarsChocolateCookieKosherLimited Edition7-Worth ItUnited StatesTargetComments (0)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Dove Holiday Mint Cookie Promises

DSC_0093I have a soft spot for Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies. Mostly the soft spot is in my memory, because I don’t find the current day item meets my pickier standards. It shouldn’t be that hard to make a chocolate cookie with a minted chocolate coating.

So, if I can’t get my itch scratched with Thin Mints, perhaps I should turn it on its end and have something chocolate with cookies, instead of cookies with chocolate. Mars’ new Target-exclusive Promises for Christmas are just that: Dove Milk Chocolate Holiday Mint Cookie Promises.

DSC_0190rb

The idea is simple, and certainly not original. They’re milk chocolate, lightly flavored with peppermint along with some crunched up chocolate cookie pieces.

The milk chocolate is fudgy and sweet, but definitely smoother than many other brands like Hershey’s and Nestle that are on the shelves at the moment. The little cookie bits are sandy and crunchy with a bitter note of charcoal and cocoa. Mostly they just sit in the crevices of my molars. The effect is a nice textural change from the smooth melt of the chocolate and a slight note of salt.

The ratio of chocolate to cookie is very good, definitely more chocolate, but they weren’t stingy with the cookie bits, they were in every bite. They were a little on the sweet side, which is really the profile of the Dove Milk Chocolate. Still, I’d love it if someone would do these in dark chocolate.

I hope Target brings these back next year and hopefully they’ll get wider distribution so everyone can enjoy them. But now I’d like someone to explain why I can’t have them all year, like the long gone Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Mint bar.

Related Candies

  1. Nestle Girl Scout Cookie Bars - Thin Mints
  2. Christmas Bars: Hershey’s, Niederegger, Ghirardelli & Hachez
  3. Wonka Exceptionals Peppermint Shortbread Chocolate Pieces
  4. Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
  5. Mint Crisp M&Ms (Indiana Jones)
  6. Head to Head: Cookie Joys vs Cookies n Mint
  7. Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Mint


Name: Dove Milk Chocolate Holiday Mint Cookie Promises
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.99
Size: 7.94 ounces
Calories per ounce: 155
Categories: Candy, Review, Christmas, Mars, Chocolate, Cookie, Kosher, Mints, 9-Yummy, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:38 pm     CandyReviewChristmasMarsChocolateCookieKosherMints9-YummyUnited StatesTargetComments (0)

Monday, December 7, 2015

M&Ms Cafe Mocha

M&Ms MochaTarget’s newest seasonal edition of M&Ms is a rather nonseasonal but welcome classic: M&Ms Milk Chocolate Cafe Mocha.

They’re far more expensive than regular M&Ms. At Target they were on sale 2 bags for $6, but the regular varieties were larger bags. Milk Chocolate M&Ms come in an 11.4 ounce bags. For Halloween picked up the Pumpkin Spice Latte in a 9.9 ounce bag. The same is true for the returning Peppermint White Chocolate M&Ms, they’re now in an 8 ounce bag.

M&Ms Mocha

They’re larger than standard M&Ms, basically puffier. If you eat them carefully by cleaving them in half you can tell that the milk chocolate center is created in two layers. It’s like they took a regular M&M and then gave it another chocolate coating and then a candy shell. I’m not sure why the Limited Edition flavors are all this shape, but they are. It’s interesting to note that the Walmart exclusive flavor of Hot Chocolate M&Ms does have a different center. I have to wonder if this is because the manufacturing process is re-purposed from the failed M&Ms Premiums line from 2008.

The shells are green or red. My bag contained mostly green, it was tough to find reds to populate the photos, they’re less than a third of the package. There’s no actual coffee listed in the ingredients.

M&Ms Mocha

They don’t smell like much in the bag, a little less like chocolate but not fully like coffee. The bite is not at all soft, the chocolate is a little chalky and fudgy. The melt gives off a lot of sweetness and a little note of bitterness at first as well as a good whiff of coffee. The chocolate is okay, not great but the bitterness of the coffee notes, the roasted and woodsy aspects kind of cover for the milk flavors. It’s not really a latte flavor, its more of a coffee with milk and cocoa. It might have been fun to see them try this with a dark chocolate, but I’m patient. This is their first try at coffee M&Ms since the Premiums line. (And there will be another version of coffee and peanuts next spring.)

Mars does a great job with their coffee flavors, it’s well rounded without too much of a fake flavor note to it (like some other buttery things they’ve done). I’d love to see these come back as a seasonal tradition, but at all stores. I’ll pick up more bags soon, just in case they don’t.

Related Candies

  1. Milk Chocolate M&Ms Pumpkin Spice Latte
  2. Russell Stover Big Bite Coffee
  3. Dove Mocha Latte & Dark Chocolate Swirl Promises
  4. Ritter Sport Coffee and Hazelnuts (Winter Edition)
  5. Lindt Hello Coffee Blast (Limited Edition)
  6. Meiji Corot & CoffeeBeat
  7. Javaz - Milk & Dark Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans
  8. M&Ms Premiums
  9. KitKat Mocha


Name: M&Ms Cafe Mocha
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.00
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Mars, Chocolate, Coffee, M&Ms, 8-Tasty, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:13 pm     CandyReviewChristmasMarsChocolateCoffeeM&Ms8-TastyUnited StatesTargetComments (6)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Snickers Crisper

Snickers CrisperNext month Mars is introducing a new Snickers variant, the Snickers Crisper. The new bar boasts multiple textures and “delivers on [Snickers] satisfaction pledge with the chew of caramel and the crunchy crispiness of rice and peanuts.”

Like the recent Snickers Peanut Butter Squared that came out five years ago, these are actually two squares in one package instead of a single bar.

The new bar is supposed to be in response to consumers wanting healthier options. I’m not sure what would make this bar healthier than a regular Snickers, though this one has crisped rice in it, instead of nougat and is actually 12 grams lighter, which means fewer calories per serving.

Snickers Crisper

Each square is about 1.25 inches on each side. They’re about two or three bites.

The bar smells well roasted and a bit like toffee. The bite is very soft, the caramel on top has a lot of give to it, but not much pull. The chew has a nice texture, with the peanut butter coated crisped rice as a highlight. It’s quite sweet though there’s also a hint of salt. I don’t get much more peanut butter or sort of thick satisfaction that I find in a regular Snickers. I do enjoy the malty notes of the rice though as well as the few peanut scattered about. I think I just wanted more peanut butter and less sweetness.

About ten years ago there was another bar called the Snickers Cruncher, which was similar: it was a peanut butter coated crisped rice bar with caramel coated in chocolate. It was all one bar and actually really good. When they disappeared in the United States, I was still able to find them in Europe (and a few sellers on eBay would import them).

Related Candies

  1. Snickers Mixed Nuts
  2. Jer’s Peanut Butter Bars
  3. Snickers Unwrapped Bites
  4. Hershey’s Whatchamacallit & Thingamajig
  5. Crispy Cat
  6. Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road Bar
  7. Snickers Nut ‘n Butter Crunch
  8. Snickers Cruncher


Name: Snickers Crisper
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: samples from Mars
Price: $.99 retail
Size: 1.41 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Categories: Candy, Snickers, Mars, Caramel, Chocolate, Cookie, Kosher, Peanuts, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:03 pm     CandyReviewSnickersMarsCaramelChocolateCookieKosherPeanuts7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (5)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Milk Chocolate M&Ms Pumpkin Spice Latte

DSC_9743rbThere are two new flavors of M&Ms out for fall this year. M&Ms Milk Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Latte is a Target exclusive and M&Ms Milk Chocolate Pecan Pie is a Walmart exclusive.

I picked up the Pumpkin Spice Latte, though I admit I was a little confused about how different this was from the Pumpkin Spice Milk Chocolate M&Ms from 2013.

It’s always a little odd to pick up “seasonal” items when I live in Los Angeles. The package here shows the brown M&M all bundled up with steamy drink. It was 96 degrees in the shade when I got back to my car with the purchase (it’s also hot in a lot of other places around the country, it was still August when these hit the shelves).

DSC_9747rb

The pieces are large, as all of the specialty flavors lately have turned out to be. They come in orange, cream and dark brown. (The earlier 2013 Pumpkin Spice were orange, green and dark brown.)

The ingredients list no specifics about the flavors, there are no lists of spices and definitely no actual pumpkin or coffee. What I expected to be different about this variety is more of the latte beverage experience. So, I’m hoping for creamy milk notes, maybe some espresso and of course the spice mix known as pumpkin.

DSC_9749rb

The flavor combination here is immediately cinnamon with a touch of coffee and chocolate. The spices are warm, but not very evenly balanced, it’s almost all cinnamon and not much in the way of nutmeg or ginger. The coffee notes keep it from being as sweet as some others, though it’s a little inconsistent. The chocolate itself is grainy and not terribly creamy. In general the chocolate quality on M&Ms is disappointing as a chocolate item, but fine as a candy.

I’m a little confused how this whole coffee craze can come about and there are no coffee M&Ms, but some how a beverage that includes coffee can actually get the M&M treatment.

Related Candies

  1. Birthday Cake M&Ms
  2. M&Ms Milk Chocolate Gingerbread
  3. Limited Edition M&Ms Cinnamon Milk Chocolate
  4. M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corn
  5. Bosco Milk Chocolate
  6. Limited Edition Strawberried Peanut Butter M&Ms
  7. Mint Crisp M&Ms (Indiana Jones)
  8. M&Ms Razzberry - Limited Edition


Name: M&Ms Milk Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Latte
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $2.50 (on sale)
Size: 9.9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Candy, Halloween, Mars, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Coffee, Kosher, M&Ms, 7-Worth It, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:35 pm     CandyReviewHalloweenMarsChocolateCinnamonCoffeeKosherM&Ms7-Worth ItUnited StatesTargetComments (0)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Mars Milky Way Marshmallow with Caramel

DSC_9208rbMars has been teasing quite a few new candy items lately, the first one to hit store shelves will be their Milky Way Marshmallow with Caramel Bar. The press release says it delivers a magnificent combination of fluffy marshmallow nougat covered with a layer of smooth caramel, enrobed in creamy milk chocolate.

Limited Edition bar should hit shelves in July or August ... when they’re gone, they’re gone. (Though sometimes Mars will bring back a limited edition item.) The Impulsive Buy readers have already spotted them in the wild.

DSC_9236rb

The bar looks good. The fluffy white nougat is definitely different from the normal Milky Way nougat. The scent is also a change from the traditional Milky Way, it’s less malty, less milky smelling. There’s a slight vanilla note to it, even before biting.

It’s a very sweet but clean tasting bar. There’s no lingering malty notes, not as much of a salty hint either. It tastes fresh. So if the concept of the Milky Way bar appealed to you, but the fact that the nougat was malty was holding you back, this might be the bar for you. Is it marshmallowy? No, the texture of the nougat is not smooth, not as fluffy as actual marshmallow. However, if you’re a vegetarian, the fact that it’s a nougat (made with egg whites) and not a marshmallow (made with gelatin) might be a selling point.

The bar contains soy, egg and milk and also may contain traces of peanuts. There’s no statement on gluten.

Related Candies

  1. Milky Way Simply Caramel Bites
  2. Revisit Reviews: Pretzel M&Ms, Rally Bar and Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road
  3. Milky Way Unwrapped Bites
  4. Limited Edition Milky Way French Vanilla
  5. Russell Stover Marshmallow & Caramel
  6. Zingerman’s Zzang! Candy Bars
  7. Head to Head: Milky Way & Mars (Canada & UK)


Name: Milky Way Marshmallow with Caramel Bar
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: samples from Mars
Price: $1.25 retail
Size: 1.72 ounces
Calories per ounce: 128
Categories: Candy, Mars, Caramel, Chocolate, Kosher, Limited Edition, Nougat, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:49 pm     CandyReviewMarsCaramelChocolateKosherLimited EditionNougat7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (8)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Snickers Mixed Nuts

DSC_9207rbIt’s been a while since Mars has done something new with the Snickers bar. Sure, they miniaturized it, and brought back the Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road Bar, but nothing innovative has come along in a few years.

Mars announced last month that they’re releasing a new limited edition bar in November nationwide. It’s called SNICKERS Mixed Nuts Bar. They bill it as a satisfying mix of peanuts, almonds and hazelnuts combined with SNICKERS┬« Brand caramel and nougat, all coated with creamy milk chocolate.

Mars sent me some samples of their new candy bars, so I thought I’d give a preview. I think it’s an exciting concept to include so many different kinds of nuts in one bar.

DSC_9220rb

This is a strange bar, because of its mixed status there’s not quite enough of any of its elements. It smells a bit like peanuts, but not as peanutty as a regular Snickers. The nougat is salty and the caramel chewy, all the nuts are crunchy ... the almonds are especially bold and I do recall at least two hazelnuts. If I sound disjointed, that’s the bar right there. It’s a stop and a start, I kind of got going with a nice almond and then there were some peanuts. I’m more mellow than Snickers, more bold than Snickers Almond.

In addition to the milk, eggs, soy, hazelnuts, almonds, and peanuts, the bars may also contain traces of other tree nuts. There’s no statement about gluten.

Related Candies

  1. Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 9 -  House Brands
  2. Revisit Reviews: Pretzel M&Ms, Rally Bar and Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road
  3. Limited Edition Milky Way French Vanilla
  4. Liddabit Sweets - Candy Bars
  5. Snickers 3X Chocolate
  6. Demet’s Hazelnut Turtles
  7. Revisit: Take 5, Sunkist Fruit Gems & Snickers Almond
  8. Snickers Almond Dark


Name: Snickers Mixed Nuts
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: samples from Mars
Price: $1.25 retail
Size: 1.76 ounces
Calories per ounce: 132
Categories: Candy, Snickers, Mars, Caramel, Chocolate, Kosher, Limited Edition, Nougat, Nuts, Peanuts, 6-Tempting, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:59 pm     CandyReviewSnickersMarsCaramelChocolateKosherLimited EditionNougatNutsPeanuts6-TemptingUnited StatesComments (6)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Starburst Superfruit Flavors

DSC_8416rbWrigley’s releases a new Starburst assortment every year. This year they’re a little behind the marketing trends and present Starburst Superfruit Flavors.

I wasn’t sure what a superfruit was, so I looked it up and apparently it’s just a marketing term. The general idea is that a superfruit is a fruit that has nutritional or health benefits beyond a normal fruit. Blueberries, goji berries and acai are included in this non-standardized list for their high antioxidant and flavanoid content. Many of these foods are sold with ORAC ratings on the package, which are meant to codify the antioxidant capabilities of the food.

Of course a candy that’s simply flavored for these “miraculous” foods is missing the point.

The new flavor assortment is: Raspberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Starfruit, Passionfruit Punch and Blueberry Acai. The ingredients are pretty much the same as the ingredients as all the other Starburst flavors, which are made from corn syrup, sugar, hydrogenated palm kernel oil and less than 2% apple juice concentrate. They add in a bit of vitamin C (20% of your RDA) and some artificial colors and flavors.

DSC_8427rb
Blueberry Acai comes in a blue wrapper but the candy is more on the lilac side of things. It has that inky floral flavor, not really like blueberries (which have a steeped tea note to me). My experience with Acai is limited, but this seems pretty accurate to the sharpness.

Strawberry Starfruit is much more tart than the usual Strawberry but with less of the floral and toasted sugar notes. The Starfruit might add that additional tangy zap, as the fruit is usually rather white grape-like with a note of green apple thrown in.

Raspberry Pomegranate is the darkest red of the batch and comes in a purple wrapper. The chew is actually very intensely pomegranate and berry, not too sweet, very floral and with an almost dry finish that you can get with pomegranates.

Passionfruit Punch comes in the magenta wrapper and does taste exactly like a fruit punch. It’s quite tart, which is refreshing and gets my salivary glands going. I’m not usually fond of fruit punch flavors, but this one had a sort of dry finish to it which kept it all from getting too fake or metallic at the end.

I thought this was a stupid idea when I read about these for the reasons I introduced earlier. However, Starburst has succeeded in making each of the flavors distinct and intense. I don’t care for the smoothies or the cream flavors for Starburst, I prefer the really dense fruit chew that Starburst usually delivers. So, on that front they’re quite successful. I don’t know if I would want this mix over the traditional fruits version which has the citrus flavors I love, but I have to say that I actually liked each and every flavor in this package and have no reason to even look at the wrapper before eating.

Related Candies

  1. Starburst Very Berry
  2. Skittles Darkside
  3. Brookside Dark Chocolate Pomegranate
  4. Necco Wafers SmartFruits
  5. Wonka Exceptionals Fruit Jellies: Grapefruit, Goji Berry & Red Apple
  6. HiCHEW World Fruit: Dragonfruit, CamuCamu, Durian & White Peach
  7. Bissinger’s Pink Grapefruit Gummy Pandas
  8. Starburst Sour & Sweet
  9. Starburst Baja California & Tropical
  10. Starburst


Name: Starburst Superfruit
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Wrigley’s
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $2.00 (on sale)
Size: 14 ounces
Calories per ounce: 103
Categories: Candy, Mars, Wrigley's, Chews, 8-Tasty, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:46 pm     CandyReviewMarsWrigley'sChews8-TastyUnited StatesTargetComments (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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Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Tic Tac Be Mine Mix

• Brach’s Valen-tiny’s

• Candy Rant: If your Licorice isn’t black, it isn’t Licorice

• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

• Flavor Trends: The Slow Extinction of Lime

 

 

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