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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Amy’s Organic Andy’s Dandy Crispy Candy Bar

Amy's Crispy BarIt’s a great time to be alive as a candy eater. Though some folks lament the loss of the regionally made candy bars, there’s so much more diversity when it comes to sweets as long as you know where to look. There are artisanal versions of popular candies, crazy new flavors, and incredible combinations as well as candies that cater to specific dietary restrictions.

I’m pretty pleased to see that there are more options for organic and all natural candy bars than ever before with products from Justin’s Candy Bars, Ocho, Angell and Eli’s. The other new entry into this marketspace is Amy’s Organic, with their exhaustively long-named bars. Today I have the Amy’s Organic Andy’s Dandy Crispy Candy Bar which features rice crisps, almonds & caramel covered in chocolate. Though some of the bars in the Andy’s Dandy line are organic versions of existing bars, this one really has no match in the hypermegaglobal corporate candy world.

Amy's Organic Andy's Dandy Crispy Candy Bar

Like the other bars, this is actually a pair of bars. I like this approach, as it gives me the opportunity to save some for later or share. It also means that the chocolate coating is a more consistent ratio for more of the bites, since the bar is shorter. The dark coating is smooth and creamy, it has a nice flavor of it’s own that’s a little green (olive notes) but holds up well to the light, malty cereal flavors. The texture is not as airy as a Whatchamacallit and the almonds are just pieces in there, not an almond meal (like peanut butter) or whole nuts. The brown rice has less of a malt note than regular crisped rice, but it’s also barely sweet. It’s crunchy but gets a bit of a chewy texture of its own later. The caramel layer is barely perceptible, it does more to just hold it all together.

The effect of the bar is great, it’s crunchy but not too filling. It tastes more chocolatey than a Whatchamacallit, though I miss any sort of almond note to it, it’s really just there for an extra durable crunch.

The bars are free of GMO ingredients, gluten and preservatives. Made on shared equipment with other nuts, seeds and wheat. They contain soy, dairy and almonds.

Related Candies

  1. Amy’s Organic Andy’s Dandy Creamy Candy Bar
  2. Amy’s Organic: Andy’s Dandy Chewy Candy Bar
  3. Eli’s Earth Bars - Dream Big Bar
  4. Theo Salted Almond Dark Chocolate
  5. Justin’s Peanut and Almond Candy Bars
  6. Organic Moo Milk Chocolate with Crisped Rice & Corn Flakes
  7. Crisp Angell Organic Candy Bar
  8. Crispy Cat


Name: Andy’s Dandy Crispy Candy Bar
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Amy’s Organic
Place Purchased: Mother's Market (Laguna Woods)
Price: $2.49
Size: 1.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 133
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Amy's Organic, Caramel, Chocolate, Cookie, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, Nuts, Organic, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:22 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewAmy's OrganicCaramelChocolateCookieEthically SourcedKosherNutsOrganic7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (0)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Amy’s Organic: Andy’s Dandy Chewy Candy Bar

Amy's Organic Andy's Dandy Chewy Candy BarA couple of years ago I was treated to a small tasting of a new line of candy bars. They’re from Amy’s Kitchen, which already makes vegetarian convenience foods. I finally started seeing them on store shelves at the end of last year, even at major grocery retailers like Von’s, not just Whole Foods or Mother’s Market. I’ll have reviews of all four of the bars, but I thought I’d start with their unique offering first, the Amy’s Organic Andy’s Dandy Chewy Candy Bar.

The package says Soft caramel with pecans covered in chocolate. Well, that not only sounds good, it doesn’t sound like any other candy bar on the shelves.

All the bars in the line are color coded and feature the name large and in the middle of each wrapper.

Packaged in bright colors with distinctive artwork, Andy’s Dandy Candy will be easy to spot in stores. Amy’s mom, Rachel, who oversees all of Amy’s packaging, was inspired to reach out to artist Stanley Mouse, creator of the iconic Grateful Dead posters, to design the candy wrappers.Mouse’s use of brilliant, saturated color and unique typography capture the essence of a past era.

As you’d expect with an organic candy, they’re expensive. I didn’t see them selling for less than $2.29 a bar, and as high as $2.79.

Amy's Organic Andy's Dandy Chewy Candy Bar

They’re 3/4 of an ounce each, about 2.25 inches long and one inch wide.

The bite is excellent, it’s soft and chewy, with a stringy pull to the caramel that’s not too sticky. The pecans are small, but provide a lot of texture and maple-flavor. The milk chocolate is robust and stands up well to the rest of the ingredients. The whole thing isn’t too sweet, though it is rather milky.

There’s a lot of information on the wrapper. I love transparency. But it’s poorly organized. So here’s all the info provided, in order for people who read left to right, top to bottom. (I don’t, but I’ll list them that way.)

0 g of trans fat
No added MSG
No preservatives
No GMOS
No Bioengineered Ingredients
All dairy ingredients made with pasteurized , rBST hormone-free milk
[The ingredients lists everything as organic except the filtered water and sea salt]
Contains milk, soy and tree nuts
Made with Rainforest Alliance (tm) certified cacao
Made in a facility that processes wheat, tree nuts and seeds
Amy’s Kitchen does not use any peanuts or eggs
Gluten Free

So when I went looking for the peanut statement it wasn’t with the gluten free statement (which may or may not be contradicted by the wheat in the facility statement), it was on a separate line in different type. It’s a big old mess. Some are marketing statements, some are transparency statements, some are FDA mandated inclusions.

My issues with the back of the package aside, this is a no-compromise bar when it comes to taste and ingredients. It tastes like candy, but I feel like someone is putting a lot of thought and consideration into it behind the scenes. For this bar, the fact that it’s not even something that I can get in GMO form means that I’m more likely to reach for an Andy’s Chewy Bar in the future.

Related Candies

  1. Justin’s White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  2. Theo Salted Almond Dark Chocolate
  3. Eli’s Earth Bars - Celebrate Bar
  4. Justin’s Peanut and Almond Candy Bars
  5. Double Dutch Sweets: The Ramona Bar
  6. Organic Moo Milk Chocolate with Crisped Rice & Corn Flakes


Name: Andy’s Dandy Chewy Candy Bar
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Amy’s Organic
Place Purchased: Von's (Glendale)
Price: $2.29
Size: 1.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 133
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Amy's Organic, Caramel, Chocolate, Ethically Sourced, Kosher, Nuts, Organic, 8-Tasty, United States, Von's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:10 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewAmy's OrganicCaramelChocolateEthically SourcedKosherNutsOrganic8-TastyUnited StatesVon'sComments (3)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Revisit Reviews: Pretzel M&Ms, Rally Bar and Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road

Every once in a while candies get a revamp, so I like to revisit them. Here are a few that caught my eye.

Pretzel M&Ms - Now with More Pretzel Taste

Pretzel M&Ms were introduced in 2010 (original review) and have done well enough for Mars that they have continued as part of their regular repertoire, even getting seasonal color varieties for the holidays. I noticed a new version on shelves that advertised “now more pretzel taste.” Since I was able to find the previous version, I thought I’d taste them side-by-side. They have similar “best before” dates.

Original Pretzel M&Ms (Left) Pretzel M&Ms - Now with More Pretzel Taste (Right)

They look identical. The originals are on the left and the new version are on the right. Same colors, same shape, same size.

Original Pretzel M&Ms (Left) Pretzel M&Ms - Now with More Pretzel Taste (Right)

It is striking how much better the new ones are. The new ones are crunchier, taste lighter and airier yet have more of that malty, pretzel toasted coating. There was no difference I could see in the ingredients or in the new nutrition panel. They’re still a pretty low calorie candy treat, at only 150 calories per package, they’re pretty satisfying without being too fatty. (Of course the portion is only 1.14 ounces, but there’s a lot going on with the textures.)

The original rating stands at 7 out of 10. They’re not perfect and I still don’t think I’ve bought them since the first introduction (though I eat them when given a sample package, which happens once or twice a year). I still go for the Almond M&Ms when given the chance.

Hershey's Rally Bar

Hershey’s Rally Bar is a strange sort of candy bar in that it appears and disappears on store shelves with little notice. It’s a Hershey’s candy bar, first test marketed in the late 1960s, it was in wide distribution by 1970 across the country. The advertising theme was: Reach Me a Rally Bar, the Milk Chocolate Covered Nut Roll for the Man-Sized Appetite as well as the more gender-neutral The Crowded Candy Bar. This was one of the Hershey Corporation’s earliest attempts at advertising, before this they stood with the founder’s position that a quality product would sell itself. More about the Rally Bar on Collecting Candy.

Rally BarThe candy bar has no real package identity to adhere to in this reissue. This is what it looked like back in 2008 and this is what it looked like in 2004. The new one doesn’t even mention the name Hershey on the front. I picked it up at Walgreen’s as an exclusive item.

Though it was probably a chocolate candy bar when it was introduced, by the 2004 wrapper it was evident that this was a mockolate item. (Here’s my original review.)

This is smaller than the 2.2 ounce bar I tried back in 2008. This is 1.66 ounces (which is actually a good size for me). It smells like peanuts. The fudgy center is like a nougat, it’s soft and chewy with little flavor of its own. The peanuts are Payday-like, they’re crunchy, though not quite as salty. The chocolatey coating actually has a hint of salt, keeping it from being sickly sweet. Overall, it’s an okay bar but I don’t see it as that different from a Baby Ruth.

I stand by my previous rating of 6 out of 10.

Snickers Rockin' Nut RoadThere was a time when there were oodles of limited edition candies - not a month went by in the late Aughts that the major candy companies didn’t present a flavor twist on one of their tried and true candies. Snickers alone went through many iterations including: Shrek (green nougat), Indiana Jones (spiced nougat), Charged (caffeinated), 3X (chocolate nougat, chocolate caramel), Fudge (chocolate fudge instead of nougat), Xtreme (no nougat) and Nut n Butter Crunch (peanut buttery nougat).

The Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road changed up a few items in the standard Snickers Bar. First, they replaced the milk chocolate coating with dark chocolate. I approve. Second, they replaced the peanuts with almonds. I find this to be a good substitution. Third, they changed the lightly peanut butter nougat with a smoother marshmallow nougat. Definitively goes with the other two items. The structure is the same - nutty nougat on the bottom, caramel on the top and covered in chocolate. 

Snickers Rockin' Nut Road

I gave these an 8 out of 10 rating last time (full review) and I fully endorse them again this time. The nougat is smoother than the 3 Musketeers style and the crunch of the almonds is great. It’s more of a variation on the classic Mars Bar, but I won’t quibble with Mars if they want to bring this back. (In fact, I prefer it to the standard Snickers Almond, which replaced the Mars bar).

Related Candies

  1. Liddabit Sweets - Candy Bars
  2. Pretzel M&Ms
  3. Short & Sweet: Bites & Bites
  4. Rally Bar
  5. ReeseSticks (Revisit)
  6. Revisit: Take 5, Sunkist Fruit Gems & Snickers Almond
  7. Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road Bar

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:03 pm     CandyReviewHershey'sMarsCaramelChocolateCookieKosherM&MsNougatNutsPeanuts6-Tempting7-Worth It8-TastyUnited StatesSav-On/CVSWalgreen'sComments (2)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Milka Milkinis

Milka MilkinisMilka is a popular brand of chocolate confections that originated in Switzerland and is now run by Kraft under their Mondelez snack division. The bars are kid friendly, and marketing with attention to their high milk content. They also have a touch of hazelnut paste, too. The box says that Milka is Europe’s #1 brand of chocolate.

Milka comes in dozens and dozens of varieties. In Europe, they can take up six or eight feet of aisle space with their products (photo) and often retail for less than a Euro for a 100 gram bar (photo).

Milka Milkinis are a milk chocolate confection with creamy filling. The box holds eight slender, foil-wrapped bars and weighs 3.08 ounces.

Milka Milkinis

I’ve seen these at Target for a while, usually for about $2.50 a box, but the 99 Cent Only Store also has them for only a buck.

Of course you get what you pay for. Though it says milk chocolate, that’s used as an adjective, not a noun. It’s a confection made from:

Sugar, fractionated palm oil, whey, cocoa butter, skim milk, chocolate, milkfat, cream, hazelnut paste, soy lecithin, artificial flavor, sunflower lecithin, natural flavor.

A serving is 4 bars, or about 1.5 ounces, which tallies to 260 calories - a whopping 173 calories per ounce ... a peek at the rest of the nutritional panel reveals that’s 17 grams of fat, 10 of which are saturated and account for 50% of your RDA of saturated fat. (I don’t usually mind as much if it’s cocoa butter, but I do mind palm oil).

The bars are about 3 inches long and about 2/3 of an inch wide. They’re rather flat and have four segments with the Milka cow icon on each.

Milka Milkinis

The chocolate coating is quite thin, as you can see from the cross section. This candy is mostly filling. The filling does have a good milky flavor to it, there’s a light hint of malt or a mellow note of something more minerally (there’s 8% of your daily RDA of calcium). There’s also a bit of salt in there, about 75 mg per serving, which is odd because the ingredients don’t list it. It’s soft and kind of pasty. It’s not like a chocolate bar, not quite like fudge. More like a bar of frosting.

I didn’t love them. They were okay, I can see children enjoying them, they’re attractive and the small portion of the individual bars at least makes it easier to moderate intake. If I wanted this sort of creamy thing, I’d probably opt for the Lindt Lindor truffles, even though they’re more expensive.

Milka contains hazelnuts and dairy products, as well as soy. (It’s confusing that they use both soy and sunflower lecithin, maybe they’re in transition.) They’re made in a facility that also processes wheat and almonds. There’s no statement about peanuts at all. Mondelez is currently buys 50% of their palm oil from certified sustainable sources and should be 100% by the end of 2015 (source). They have no stated plans for their cacao sourcing, though some is sourced through Rainforest Alliance and noted as such on their packages.

Related Candies

  1. Milka Bars, Milka Drops and some Li’l Milka
  2. Milka L’il Scoops
  3. Milka NAPS Mix (Assortment)
  4. UK vs US Cadbury Dairy Milk
  5. Lindt Lindor Truffle Eggs
  6. Milka Alpenmilch


Name: Milkinis
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Kraft
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store (Silver Lake)
Price: $1.00
Size: 3.08 ounces
Calories per ounce: 173
Categories: Candy, Kraft, Mockolate, Nuts, 5-Pleasant, Poland, 99 Cent Only Store

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:24 pm     CandyMorselizationReviewKraftMockolateNuts5-PleasantPoland99 Cent Only StoreComments (3)

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)
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
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 PlusComments (2)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Lindt Bars: Wafer, Cresta and Dark Hazelnut

Lindt WaferLindt has a new line called Hello, but I also noticed this array of single serving bars at several drug stores and Target over the past few months. I picked up a full set (or at least I think it’s all of them - at the time I wrote this, I couldn’t find them on their website).

The packaging is very simple with a color coding that made it easy to check that I had all of them. (I had to go to two stores.) They’re small portions, at 190-230 calories per bar, they’re not too filling.

The Lindt Wafer Bar is described on the package as Milk chocolate with wafer and creamy hazelnut filling.. The little picture shows that the wafer part is like a flattened tube inside the hazelnutty center.

Lindt Wafer

The actual bar I got wasn’t as much like the picture as the others, which were exactly as depicted. In this case, the first section contained only hazelnut paste (so the photo is of the second section). The wafers do not take up nearly as much volume as I’d hoped, so the effect is milk chocolate bar with a lot of hazelnut (nothing wrong with that) and a little bit of wafer.

The wafers are malty and less sweet than the rest of the bar. The milk chocolate is very sweet as is the filling, so it’s kind of throat searing at first. The mix of textures and flavors is quite good though, I like the Lindt milk chocolate in small bites, it’s very creamy and though it has a dairy note to it, it tastes fresh, not like dried milk. Perhaps I’m looking at the wrong brand, but I wanted more hazelnut in there, it seemed more cream than hazelnut. (But maybe I’m just used to the Ferraro style.)

Lindt CrestaThe Lindt Cresta Bar is the only one of the assortment that has anything that resembles an invented name instead of just a description.

The bar is: Milk chocolate with hazelnut cream filling and pieces of almond brittle.

This bar is bigger than the first one, at 1.3 ounces. It feels hefty as well.

Lindt Cresta

The milk chocolate bar looks the same as the Wafer bar, glossy and light milk chocolate. There’s a whiff of cereal about it and a hint of hazelnut but mostly it smells sweet.

The chocolate is smooth and has a milky melt to it, kind of like pudding. The center is very crunchy, with little bits of almond in the hazelnut cream. It’s not terribly nutty, but very sweet with just a hint of salt to it. Overall, the filling was good, the textures nice and the proportions very well done ... but I wanted it to be less sweet.

Lindt Dark Chocolate HazelnutThe final bar simply called Lindt Dark Chocolate Hazelnut. Unlike the other bars, which were made in Austria, this one was made in Italy. Perhaps to be closer to hazelnuts.

The package says that the bar is Dark chocolate with hazelnut filling and whole hazelnuts. And so it is.

It’s the biggest bar of the assortment I picked up, as well, at 1.4 ounces. It’s also the fattiest, at 164 calories per ounce. If I’m going to spend twice as much on the bar, I’d better be getting something high quality in there.

Lindt Dark Hazelnut

The bar is stunning. Three molded hazelnut sections in glossy dark chocolate. The dark chocolate looks great and smell a lot like roasted hazelnuts and coffee.

The chocolate is buttery and has a good melt, although like many Lindt chocolate, it might be a little too slick on the tongue and not enough chocolate flavor in there.

Lindt Dark Hazelnut

The hazelnut center is fantastic. The hazelnut paste is soft and has a great fresh flavor and though it’s sweet, it’s not too sticky. The whole hazelnut is crisp and crunchy and I believe blanched to remove the skin, which keeps away some of those bitter notes.

Of the three bars, this was my favorite, though it could benefit from darker chocolate.

I don’t see myself picking them up again, as interesting as I thought they were. They’re overpriced, though my guess is that perhaps in Europe they’re more economical. It’s odd, because the Hello Crunchy Nougat was a very similar bar to the Wafer, but twice the size for the same price. They also don’t use natural vanilla, it’s artificially flavored, which makes me wonder if there may be cut corners elsewhere. I think I’ll stick with Ritter-Sport’s Knusperflakes and Dark Chocolate Whole Hazelnut but if I feel like spending a little more, I’d step up to the Gardini Bitter Chocolate and Gianduia with Sea Salt.

Related Candies

  1. Lindt Hello Crunchy Nougat
  2. Gardini Bitter Chocolate and Gianduia with Sea Salt
  3. Nestle Crunch Noisettes
  4. Poco Dolce Hazelnut Bar
  5. Ghirardelli Squares Milk & Hazelnut Crisp
  6. Ferrero Eggs: Hazelnut & Cocoa
  7. M&Ms White Chocolate (Easter)


Name: Wafer Bar
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Lindt
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $1.99
Size: 1.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 158
Categories: Candy, Lindt, Chocolate, Cookie, 7-Worth It, Austria, Walgreen's


Name: Cresta Bar
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Lindt
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $1.99
Size: 1.3 ounces
Calories per ounce: 146
Categories: Candy, Lindt, Chocolate, Nuts, Toffee, 7-Worth It, Austria, Target


Name: Dark Hazelnut Bar
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Lindt
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $1.99
Size: 1.4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 164
Categories: Candy, Lindt, Chocolate, Nuts, 8-Tasty, Italy, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:49 pm     CandyReviewLindtChocolateCookieNutsToffee7-Worth It8-TastyAustriaItalyTargetWalgreen'sComments (1)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Russell Stover Pumpkin Pie

Russell Stover Pumpkin PieRussell Stover is often up on flavor trends with their seasonal single serve shapes. Their most recent introduction was the Red Velvet, which is now available in a Halloween version.

I spotted the listing for the Russell Stover Pumpkin Pie on the Russell Stover website about a month ago and I went on the search as soon as the stores in my area started putting out their Halloween candy.

The package looks generally the same as all the other Russell Stover pumpkins, of which there are at least a dozen now. It’s a mylar wrapping with a generic pumpkin illustration on the front an simple lettering to depict the contents.

Russell Stover Pumpkin Pie

The pumpkin is interesting to look at. I like enrobed candies and this one looks rustic and handmade. The shape isn’t specifically pumpkin though, as it has no ribs, so I can imagine this being sold as an ornament in different packaging later this year. This is the first time, though, that I’ve found the shape of the candy to actually reflect the candy flavor. Note that this is pumpkin pie, not pumpkin spice. I wanted to know what made this different from a regular spiced cream center and the ingredients list brought the answer.

It’s like pumpkin pie, including the crust. There’s wheat flour in the ingredients. In fact the ingredients list “spice cake mix” which includes wheat flour, egg whites and nonfat milk in addition to the spices. So the center here is more like cookie dough than a cream, rather like the Red Velvet piece they’re also making now.

Russell Stover Pumpkin Pie

So, after I got my head around that weirdness, I just adjusted my expectations. This is like a chocolate covered cookie dough, but instead of those lackluster Cookie Dough Bites, these are actually made with pretty good milk chocolate and some nice proportions.

The milk chocolate is creamy, the center is a bit doughy and has a slight sugar grain to it. It’s dense but not too sticky. The spices are light, not overwhelming but also not terribly distinct. It’s a generic background of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg with a touch of clove.

I appreciate that it’s different from other sticky cream candies right now. I would have preferred a dark chocolate and maybe a little more powerful spice, but overall, for a 50 cent candy, it’s pretty good.

Russell Stover Dark Chocolate Orange CreamRussell Stover Dark Chocolate Orange CreamThe Russell Stover Dark Chocolate Orange Cream is also new, though I couldn’t find it on the Russell Stover website.

This pumpkin is a bit thicker than the Pumpkin Pie version. The glossy dark chocolate looks great, with robust swirls on top. It smells like dark chocolate with a hint of orange zest. The cream filling is actually something like a meringue. It has egg whites in it, though I ended up calling it a marshmallow, it’s actually okay for vegetarians. The texture is wonderfully smooth and though it tastes like it’s creamy, there’s far fewer calories in this treat than the other creams that Russell Stover sells. (120 calories per ounce, so this is a pretty slim little candy if you’re watching calories but want something fulfilling.)

Russell Stover Orange Creme Pumpkin

The filling has a sweetness, but it’s not as cloying as some of the more fudgy creams. There are bits of orange zest and an authentic orange flavor to the whole thing (though some artificial coloring which I thought was unnecessary). The chocolate is thick and stands up well to the center and doesn’t fall apart as you eat it.

Russell Stover Coconut & AlmondRussell Stover Coconut & Almond is also a new twist on an old favorite from Russell Stover.

The center is coconut cream and the milk chocolate enrobing includes lots of crushed almonds on top. Think of it like an Almond Joy, but without the large lumps on top. This is also a new item, and unfortunately doesn’t seem to come in dark chocolate right now.

Russell Stover makes two coconut seasonal candies right now. There’s the Nest, which is just coconut and milk chocolate. They also make their coconut creams, which are covered in either milk chocolate or dark chocolate.

Russell Stover Coconut and Almond

Each of these elements is well balanced. The coconut is soft and chewy, a bit sweeter than I care for, but still fresh and tasty. The almonds, though not spread evenly are crunchy and big enough to provide the added texture to the experience. The milk chocolate, though also sweet, is far and away better than the Hershey’s version on Almond Joy bars. This is a bit on the milky side, but creamy and fudgy. I would definitely buy this again, but what would put it over the top would be a dark chocolate version. It’s a good value at 50 cents for a one ounce piece made with real chocolate right here in the United States.

Related Candies

  1. Russell Stover Big Bite Caramel Apple
  2. M&Ms Pumpkin Spice
  3. Russell Stover Cookie Dough Egg
  4. Russell Stover Red Velvet Santa
  5. See’s Pumpkin Spice & Root Beer Lollypops
  6. Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses
  7. Russell Stover Orange Marshmallow Pumpkin


Name: Pumpkin Pie in Milk Chocolate
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Studio City)
Price: $.50 (on sale)
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 140
Categories: Candy, Halloween, Russell Stover, Chocolate, Cookie, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's


Name: Dark Chocolate Orange Cream
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Studio City)
Price: $.50 (on sale)
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Candy, Halloween, Russell Stover, Chocolate, Marshmallow, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's


Name: Coconut & Almond in Milk Chocolate
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Studio City)
Price: $.50 (on sale)
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 140
Categories: Candy, Halloween, Russell Stover, Chocolate, Coconut, Nuts, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:52 am     CandyReviewHalloweenRussell StoverChocolateCoconutMarshmallowNuts7-Worth ItUnited StatesWalgreen'sComments (0)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ritter Sport Coconut

Ritter Sport CoconutRitter Sport is the brand of German chocolate bars that come in a square format and more than a dozen different varieties. The newest is Ritter Sport Coconut in milk chocolate.  The package says it’s with tropical coconut flakes in a coconut and milk filling.

I like how inexpensive Ritter Sport is compared to other consumer brands from Europe, like Cadbury Dairy Milk or Lindt, and balances quality and munchability. No, it’s not exquisitely fine chocolate, but it’s fantastic chocolate candy.

I tried another version of a coconut bar from Ritter Sport a few years ago, a sample bar from their store in Waldenbuch, Germany called the Ritter Sport Kokosmakrone which also had some corn flakes in the coconut cream. The cream center is a common format for Ritter Sport, in fact, a lot of German candy bars like those from Milka also use this style.

Ritter Sport Coconut

The ingredients were a little disappointing. Ingredient #1 is Sugar and ingredient #2 is Palm Oil. This is similar to the Amarena Cherry I had earlier this year, which is also a filled bar. The saturated fat content is 45% of your daily RDA in 6 pieces. The other interesting ingredient, though far down the list, is hazelnut paste.

Ritter Sport Coconut

The milk chocolate is rich, sweet and smooth. The coconut center is interesting, because the coconut is actually crunchy and the filling with it is quite smooth and creamy, unlike the moist and chewy Mounds bar filling. I liked the filling quite a bit, and had no trouble finishing the bar. Coconut is not my favorite of all of their inclusions and I don’t usually like their white cream filled bars either. So I’ll probably stick to the Corn Flakes bar over this one.

Though Ritter Sport has a sustainability pact for their cocoa, there’s no mention of the source of their palm oil.

Related Candies

  1. 3 Musketeers Coconut
  2. Snow Angell Organic Candy Bar
  3. Dove Milk Chocolate Coconut Creme Eggs
  4. Mounds
  5. Ritter Schokowurfel
  6. Kisses Coconut Creme
  7. Ritter Sport Assortment


Name: Coconut (Milk Chocolate)
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Ritter Sport
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Farmers Market)
Price: $2.49
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 164
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Ritter Sport, Chocolate, Coconut, Nuts, 7-Worth It, Germany, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:57 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewRitter SportChocolateCoconutNuts7-Worth ItGermanyCost PlusComments (1)

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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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