Monday, May 2, 2011

Brach’s Peanut Butter Poppins

Brach's Peanut Butter PoppinsFarley’s and Sathers bought Brach’s, the iconic pick-a-mix candy manufacturer back in 2007 from Barry Callebaut. For a while it seemed that the candy quality was getting worse, not better for the attention. But Brach’s is being rebooted, it appears. They’re getting a new look plus a new focus on their target demographic, women - especially mothers. So they’re focusing on quality and traditional favorites. One of the selling points is that they’re using real milk chocolate. Their newest product is Brach’s Peanut Butter Poppins.

They’re described as creamy peanut butter center coated in 100% milk chocolate.

It’s hard to discuss any chocolate and peanut butter product without referencing the most popular version of the combination, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. There used to be a product called Reese’s Peanut Butter Bites. They weren’t extraordinary, but had the advantage of being a Reese’s product that didn’t have individual wrappers or fluted cups. Those were discontinued and replaced just recently with Reese’s Peanut Butter Minis, which are a molded product.

The new Peanut Butter Poppins are a panned chocolate. It’s a sphere of “peanut butter” covered in milk chocolate and then sealed with a little glaze to make them shiny and keep them from sticking together. I say peanut butter because I don’t think that’s what it actually is. While they’re boasting that they now have their best tasting chocolate ever, have a look at the ingredients for the peanut butter center:

Sugar, Palm Kernel Oil, Partially Defatted Peanut Flour, Peanuts, Nonfat Dry Milk Solids, Dextrose, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Modified Food Starch, Gum Arabic, Corn Syrup, Coconut Oil.

In my world, the first ingredient in peanut butter would be peanuts. This is not a whole peanut product, but instead it’s like juice from concentrate, they took out some of the natural peanut oils and replaced them with palm kernel oil.

Brach's Peanut Butter Poppins

They’re really lovely looking morsels. Though they vary a bit in size, they’re all spherical and shiny. Some are the size of a garden pea and a few were the size of a garbanzo. The smell sweet, milky and like roasted peanuts or freshly baked peanut butter cookies.

The waxy glaze on the outside is a little difficult to dissolve and leaves a little film in the mouth. Though they’re advertising this new milk chocolate, it’s not noteworthy. It’s not creamy and not even that chocolatey. It does its job of containing the peanut butter candy center. The center is smooth with little crunchy bits that I can only describe as sweet crunches, not peanuts. It’s like there’s a sugar crust in there that creates these little crystals that give it texture. It took me a long time to figure out if it was in the chocolate shell or the center. The center is very salty, in fact a serving of 25 pieces has 160 mg of salt, a lot for a confection.

The center tastes a lot like peanut butter cookie dough, it’s a well rounded flavor that includes salt, nuts and sweetness along with a rather smooth and cool mouthfeel. I found them extremely salty, but I recognize that my low salt lifestyle makes me more sensitive to those things. That, of course, didn’t stop me from eating the entire 5 ounce bag in two days - what can I say, there was a new Doctor Who on.

Poppins is a trademarked word for Brach’s, so maybe they have other plans for this line of candy. A creamy mint fondant might be a good next step or other fruit creams like strawberry, raspberry and orange and of course coffee.

I think they’re a great idea that’s well executed. Yes, they’re salty and no the chocolate is not fantastic, but I’d venture to say that it’s better than the stuff on the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups these days. I’m looking forward to finding their Malted Milk Balls and seeing if they’ve successfully resurrected the classic real milk chocolate and crunchy malt center.

Related Candies

  1. Brach’s Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs
  2. Snyder’s Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwich Dips
  3. Trader Joe’s Soft Peanut Brittle
  4. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Minis
  5. Brach’s Indulge Almonds: Coconut & Caramel
  6. Dove Peanut Butter Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate
  7. Brach’s Robin Eggs (Solid Milk Chocolate)
  8. M&M and Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Eggs

Name: Peanut Butter Poppins
Brand: Brach’s
Place Purchased: Samples from Farley's and Sathers
Price: unknown
Size: 5.0 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Categories: Candy, Brach's, Farley's & Sathers, Chocolate, Peanuts, 7-Worth It, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:59 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewBrach'sFarley's & SathersChocolatePeanuts7-Worth ItUnited States

  1. Thanks! I’d been looking forward to your review of these (and glad that they got a better grade than I expected!).

    Comment by Russ on 5/02/11 at 4:51 pm #
  2. I would LOVE to see them bring back Brach’s Sparkles.  At the end, they only kept up the watermelon Sparkles, which were definitely the yummiest, but they were all really good.  Um.  When I was a little kid….I guess maybe they weren’t that great, but I did love them.

    Comment by crabby appleseed on 5/02/11 at 6:40 pm #
  3. Demographics is quite a new concept in marketing and it really helps. You know, a certain group of people buy,patronize or discuss a particular product or service. For many chocs are just about consumption but no. Choc has many uses. You will not believe it but I know a florist (or say a decorator) who uses gourmet choc for her styling. It is food but it makes a splendid decor.

    Comment by Jolanta on 5/03/11 at 4:42 am #
  4. I’m truly sad to see that you have added peanut butter to your candies. My three yr old grandson who is highly allergic will never be able to have your candy. I wish that there could be several company’s that would band peanut butter from the ingredients list .....unfortunately you have added it. We will never. Buy your candy again.

    Comment by Karen on 10/20/13 at 6:01 pm #
  5. Karen,

    This is a candy review blog.  This is not Brach’s homepage.

    I still find it incomprehensible why so many people can’t tell the difference.

    Comment by Paul on 10/21/13 at 12:52 pm #
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