Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Brach’s Maple Nut Goodies

Brach's Maple Nut GoodiesI’ve seen Brach’s Maple Nut Goodies in stores for years. And for all that time, I not only didn’t know what they were, I really had no curiosity. But as the Candy Blogger, I felt it was my duty to pick them up and give them a try. So I bought some.

I got the package home, opened it up and the devils were hard as rocks. I must have gotten an old bag. So I kind of dismissed it mentally. About a year later a co-worker gave me a bag and I experienced the same issue - they were rock hard.

Brach’s is now owned by Farley’s and Sathers and recently did a complete re-design of their packaging earlier this year. So when I spied the new, bolder purple and pink wrapper at the drug store, I thought this was a signal that the candy was fresh. (The expiration was March 2012.)

I was still puzzled though, and part of it is because I have no awareness at all of this candy. There are plenty of candies, food, novels and movies that I’ve never tried but I’m at least able to identify. There’s nothing remotely familiar about this candy, probably because no one else makes a version of it. The package describes it as:

Brach’s Maple Nut Goodies are the perfect bite-sized treat.  Each piece is a unique combination of fresh oven-roasted peanuts and a buttery toffee center covered in a Real Maple Syrup coating.

DSC_3820rbSo the internet and friends will not solve this mystery for me, I had to open a bag for myself. Sure enough, this batch was not rock hard and it certainly did smell like maple and peanuts. So far so good.

The candy outside isn’t some sort of maple flavored white chocolate (though I’d actually love to try real white chocolate made with maple sugar ... someone, could you work on that?). The coating is like a dried fudge or frosting glaze.

The ingredients don’t really explain the candy very well either: Sugar, Peanuts, Corn Syrup, Palm Kernel Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Palm Kernel, Soybean and Cottonseed, Emulsified With Soy Lecithin), Modified Corn Starch, Maple Syrup, Gelatin, Salt, Artificial Flavor, Sodium Bicarbonate, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, Blue 1. Freshness Preserved By TBHQ and Citric Acid.

Brach's Maple Nut Goodies

So what I’m expecting is some sort of maple fudge covered peanut. What I got instead was a muddly wad of confusion. It was soft. I bit into it and it was like a peanut butter cookie, with a strong maple flavor to it. The center was more like a soft dough then a fudge. There’s gelatin in there and oodles of fat (from the peanuts themselves and the various added oils) but it doesn’t taste like it at all. It’s dry.

The other thing is that there is no whole peanut in there. Granted, I only expected there to be one because the shape of the candy seemed rather like a coated peanut. Instead it’s little ground up peanut bits, like a chunky peanut butter. I figure this can’t be right. I’ve gotten a batch that wasn’t cured properly or maybe one where they left out the peanuts inside of all of them. So back to the store.

Brach's Maple Goodies

So this is bag number four. This one also has a far off expiration date, January 2012 and the new package design. The cross section above shows the detail a bit better. There are chunks of peanuts in some sort of soft, not quite crumbly, doughy fudge.

The whole effect is fine, just not quite what I was expecting. For what it is, it’s certainly different. It’s sweet, but the robust peanutty-ness balances that pretty well. There’s a little hint of salt and the maple is a more defined sweetness that’s not as sticky, more woodsy. It’s more like a snack, more like a cookie than a candy.

Just about every other candy I’ve had that’s been made by a major company for at least 50 years has its imitators. For some reason no one else makes Brach’s Maple Nut Goodies

Here’s an old ad from LIFE magazine featuring the Maple Nut Goodies. It also shows Iced Jelly Cones and Chocolate Ripple Nougats, anyone else remember those?

Related Candies

  1. Maple Ice Mints
  2. Good & Fiery
  3. Brach’s Chocolate Candy Corn & Halloween Mix
  4. Caramilk Maple
  5. VerMints

Name: Maple Nut Goodies
Brand: Brach’s
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock) & RiteAid (Echo Park)
Price: $1.69
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 128
Categories: Candy, Brach's, Farley's & Sathers, Peanuts, 5-Pleasant, United States, Rite Aid, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:58 pm     CandyReviewBrach'sFarley's & SathersPeanuts5-PleasantUnited StatesRite AidTarget

  1. These are a long time favorite of mine!  I have seen private label versions of them at Tractor Supply and Bass Pro Shops.

    Comment by April on 7/19/11 at 3:14 pm #
  2. That’s funny, because when I wrote my review of Maple Nut Goodies a couple of years ago, I could swear that they had whole peanuts in them.  Maybe they changed the way the candy was made when they changed the packaging.

    Comment by Johnny Carruthers on 7/19/11 at 6:28 pm #
  3. This was one of my ex-husband’s favorite candies. I’m almost certain they used to look a little different and have a whole nut in the center. (That description actually SOUNDS a little like my ex-husband, too.)

    Comment by Deanna on 7/19/11 at 6:30 pm #
  4. In the early 80s I worked part-time at the local Sears, which had a candy counter featuring all sorts of sweets by the pound (including Maple Nut Goodies). This is the sort of candy old women would buy. Cost-wise, a step up from hard candy but much less than chocolate. Definitely seems like a Depression-era treat.

    As I recall, your description of the recently purchased MNG is exactly as they were 30 years ago. There were no whole peanuts inside the Goodie.

    I’m sure if I had one today it would taste exactly as I remember them. Kind of satisfying in an odd way.

    Comment by Jesse on 7/19/11 at 9:38 pm #
  5. I’ve munched on Maple Nut Goodies since I was a kid.  My grandfather had a serious sweet tooth and a big variety of the Brach’s candies were consumed.  I don’t remember a whole peanut at any point since the 70’s.  I will occasionally buy a bag and end up eating them all within a day.  Everything you say is right but I can’t help loving them…and I must not be alone because they are always available at the checkout stands of Menard’s (a Home Depot competitor).

    Keep up this vital work!

    Comment by rebecca malley on 7/20/11 at 5:43 am #
  6. My mom and I have always loved these!  I hadn’t seen them with Brach’s new packaging yet though.  I actually really like the chewy center of them with peanut pieces.  I bought some homemade Maple Nut Goodies from a mom and pop grocery store the other day, and they were literally maple fudge covered whole peanuts.  They were good quality fudge, and sound much more like what you’re looking for, but they just didn’t scratch the itch for me!

    Comment by Stephanie on 7/20/11 at 12:43 pm #
  7. Verrry sweet. That is for sure. Not my fav type of candy.

    Well, my grandparents owned a candy store in the 40’s & 50’s. There was a lot of candy in those glass bins!! But, the iced jelly cones you mention, I cannot remember. That old-time photo is difficult to view the actual candy. Although I must say the various other candies are familiar to me. Ohh. Yuck. I really disliked each and every one of those. Just not appealing to my tastebuds.

    I will take a few bites of a (frozen!) Hershey bar anytime!

    Comment by Marcee on 7/24/11 at 6:41 am #
  8. After reading this, I went out and got a bag. They were actually pretty good! Apparently, Zachary makes something called “Double Dipped Maple Nut Treats”: Crunchy peanuts with two coats of our maple coating, which contains real maple syrup for your eating enjoyment! (sounds a little [or a lot] like Maple Nut Goodies!)

    Comment by Asia on 8/22/11 at 10:08 am #
  9. Hi we used to buy the maple nut buddies at Grant’s Department store in Buffalo in the 50s and 6os never in a bag or pouch always taken out with a scoop.  No peanut inside that I remember just maple walnut nugat, maybe they did different versions in different areas?  Haven’t had one in close to 40 years made me yearn for one just reading about them.

    Comment by Liz Seager on 12/28/11 at 11:12 am #
  10. Can’t believe you’re downing Maple Nut Goodies! Geez! An All-American classic. Next you’ll be complaining that Apple pie is too soft and apple tasting.

    Comment by jane on 4/17/12 at 1:40 am #
  11. My husband makes a trip to the Texas every year.  Amongst the goodies he brings back is Brachs Maple Candy, I love it as do friends and family I have given some to.  Such a pity he only goes once a year we could do with a regular supply.

    Comment by Alma on 12/22/12 at 3:24 pm #
  12. When looking for a recipe for the Maple Nut candy I stumbled upon your blog.  I must say, these candies remind me of when I was younger.  My mom would always ask me if I wanted “turtles”.  Growing up I used to ask my dad what type of candy the “turtles” were and he could never remember.  It wasn’t until I moved to Missouri and went to a farm store named Orscheln’s farm & home, that I found my long lost “turtles”.  And so I bought a pack, and sure enough it was them!!! I was so happy when I found out I can buy them at wal-mart for 1.49 instead of 2.69 at orscheln.  What an awesome candy it is!!!

    Comment by Alora on 8/16/13 at 12:14 pm #
  13. Cracker Barrel sells these! I’m not sure what company makes them but it isn’t Brachs. They are exactly the same though. They are so good! I can eat the whole bag in about 5 minutes lol

    Comment by Bridget on 6/19/14 at 12:20 pm #
  14. Something recently has changed about Maple Nut Goodies.  Used to be my dogs’ favorite treat.  They won’t touch them now.  You can’t fool dogs. Mary.

    Comment by mary on 7/05/14 at 1:01 pm #
  15. My husband and I love this candy and the drug store we buy them from seems never to have more than 1 or 2 bags and we buy what they have.  In fact, today we stopped to buy some and they didn’t have any! So disappointed.  I can’t believe anyone who tries these do not like them. We’ve been eating them since the 60’s.  Never have they had whole peanuts in them.

    Comment by Betty Henderson on 8/17/14 at 7:48 pm #
  16. hi i love the maple nut goodie candies in the big 20 oz bag yum!!, but i purchased them last night and the middle candy is different its more of a crushed nut toffee mixture then the toffee nuts candy! and the coating is different to! please put them back the way they were why would you want to change a good thing?  but if you must make these… label them differently and give me my originals back… please, thank you

    Comment by lyn cusey on 11/29/16 at 9:02 am #
  17. My husband and I love maple nut goodies.  At around Haloweeen time we bought a small bag of chewey Brachs goodies and ate them all in one day.  A couple days later we saw a big bag of Brachs candies at Menards and were excited to find them in this size.  When we opened the bag we found this gross crunchy crumbly toffee like center that terrible.  We thought maybe it was only Brachs brand so after thanksgiving we bought a couple bags at Cabelas and found the same aweful crunchy candy.  On to Gander Mountain the same day and found a bag of the chewey kind. We assume Brachs is the private label supplier for other brands too. I E-mailed Brachs to object to the change and they confirmed that they have changed process and they would be crunchy going forward.  These are no longer “Maple Nut Goodies” and they need to rename the new junk.  Needless to say we’re looking for an alternative. Does anyone know of another manufacturer of this candy besides Brachs/Farleys/Sathers?

    Comment by Beth on 12/02/16 at 5:58 am #
  18. I also bought a bag and was dismayed at what the “new process” had done to my favorite non-chocolate candy.

    Even though the packaging has always said “crunchy” for the toffee, the crunch has been in the maple coating and the peanut pieces. The toffee was chewy deliciousness. But no longer!

    Not only was the inside rock-hard and tasteless, the “maple” coating was like a 3 week old stale powdered-sugar butter cake frosting.  What was once a melted smooth and slightly crunchy coating was now just firm & grainy! And, although the artificial maple odor (more of a stench than the old perfume) saturated the room when the bag was opened, the coating only tasted of powdered sugar & butter.

    It was the first time in 50 years I’ve thrown away a nearly full bag of Brachs candy.

    Maybe they are trying to kill the product line? The new bag design CERTAINLY should say “now more crunchy” so consumers know this disaster was intentional. There should have been a survey to let consumers have a voice.  I doubt there have been so many dissatisfied people since they had to switch to artificial maple flavoring many decades ago.

    If you like crunchy shards packed in wet ground sugar, rejoice! Otherwise, mourn the demise of another classic.

    Comment by Brian on 12/02/16 at 6:53 am #
  19. I threw away a bag today thinking they’d gone bad.  So my wife brought me some from Walmart and they were the same!  Instead of a chewy center it was hard and crunchy.  I’m going to get some from Cracker Barrel and hope they’re still like the original.  If they’ve also changed I may not buy any more.

    Comment by Joe Tynes on 12/02/16 at 12:56 pm #
  20. Wow! I can’t believe it! I bought my usual 4 bags of Maple Nut Goodies this weekend at Walgreens. My wife opened a bag this afternoon and announced they were horribly stale. She was about to throw away and I said hold on, microwave them (which we do when we get the occasional stale bag). So, I decided to try one just to be sure and I was stunned. I realized they weren’t stale they were in fact very fresh and appeared to have a change of recipe. I tried several more to confirm and immediately went online to search to see if the recipe had been changed. I found this blog and read through to find that as feared Brach’s has changed the recipe. This is like the Coke mistake of changing their recipe ages ago! These are our GO TO candy, especially for long drives. I have ordered them in bulk before from Nuts.com. I just went to their site and they have a note on the Maple Nut Goodies section that confirms the Brach’s change, but Nuts.com will continue the original recipe. Chewy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Guess I will be ordering mine from Nuts.com in the future. One final note for those that love Maple Nut Goodies…my favorite thing is what I call the “conjoined twins” where 2 (or occasionally the trifecta) are stuck together…those are my absolute favorites and the wife and I will fight over those….LOL!!

    Comment by Mike Counce on 12/04/16 at 4:40 pm #


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