Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ghirardelli Holiday Squares

Ghirardelli Christmas SquaresAh, after Christmas sales. It’s the best part of Candy Season - the Post Season Sales. After all, the candy is just as good two weeks after the holiday as it was two weeks before.

I checked through plenty of stores and found Walgreen’s had the best selection by the time the 75% off discount came around. This is when I jump on items I only eye at full price and then hem and haw over at half off. One was this Ghirardelli Squares Limited Edition Holiday Chocolate Assortment. Full price was $8.99, so $2.24 for over nine ounces of chocolate sounded like a great deal even if it was seasonally themed.

The assortment includes Peppermint Bark, Egg Nog and Chocolate Pecan Pie.

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Ghirardelli, I think, is known for their Peppermint Bark. It’s one of the few brands that dependably makes the stuff and actually uses cocoa butter for their white chocolate.

The construction of the square is pretty simple. A milk chocolate base layer is covered with a minted white chocolate studded with little crunchies.

The scent isn’t overpoweringly minty, which probably saves the other chocolates in the bag from tasting like mint, too.

The texture of the chocolates is smooth and silky, very sweet but not achingly so. The little crunchies in the white chocolate aren’t crushed candy canes though, they’re corn flake bits (colored red). The crunch is a bit more cereal than hard candy but still puffy.

It’s kind of odd that this sort of confection isn’t available year round, but since Ghirardelli has been bringing it back faithfully each winter, I shouldn’t complain.

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Of the three flavors in the bag, this was the one that sold me on it: Egg Nog.

It’s just extra vanilla-y white chocolate (with real cocoa butter) and a visible dash of nutmeg.

I love the flavors of egg nog, but never really cared for sweet or thick drinks so the idea of a solid, melt-in-your-mouth version of it is ideal for me.

The square is a creamy yellow color and smells like nutmeg.

The white confection is sweet but pretty smooth and has the woodsy blast of nutmeg and tastes, like, well, Egg Nog. It could use a little more vanilla and maybe a slight hit of rum.

A real winner, if only because no one else makes a plain old white chocolate with nutmeg bar. Truffles, yeah, but not just a block of white chocolate. Great idea, well done, bring it back next year and I’ll probably buy it before it goes on clearance.

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One of the reasons I thought that this review, even at this late date, would still be of value is that the Chocolate Pecan Pie is not a limited edition item. It’s available now as an individual bar or in single-flavor bags of the Squares. (Also, I don’t think Pecan Pie has a season.)

This little milk chocolate square smells wonderful, like maple, hot chocolate and caramel.

The milk chocolate is smooth, though plenty sweet. Mixed in is a light crunch of toffee coated pecan bits. They have a little salty hit and of course the caramelized & buttery crunch of pecans.

(The photos make it look like the chocolate is bloomed, I don’t think it was, I think it was the fatty pecans messing with the sheen of the chocolate. Mmm, fatty pecans.)

Overall, the array is fun and something I feel comfortable eating out of season at the moment. Especially because I love individually wrapped squares. A bonus is that a sandwich of the Egg Nog & Chocolate Pecan Pie actually go pretty well together. (But the Peppermint Bark doesn’t work with either.)

The only thing that really bugged me was that the ingredients weren’t listed separately for each of the squares. I was able to get the ingredients for the Peppermint Bark because it’s sold separately, but I really like to know what’s in items that I’m able to choose from a dish.

Related Candies

  1. Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses
  2. Ghirardelli Intense Dark
  3. Ritter Sport White Chocolate with Hazelnuts
  4. Trader Joe’s Peppermint Bark White Chocolate Bar
  5. Green and Black’s White Chocolate
  6. Ghirardelli Squares
Name: Holiday Chocolate Assortment Squares
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Ghirardelli
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $2.24 (on post-Christmas clearance), regularly $8.99
Size: 9.03 ounces
Calories per ounce: 153
Categories: Chocolate, Mint, Nuts, White Chocolate, United States, Ghirardelli, Kosher, Christmas

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:07 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. ruffy's avatar

    i also bought these on clearance… i’m kinda surprised that the egg nog is real cocoa butter, because i thought it had kind of a waxy mouthfeel.  but i was really taken aback by the pecan pie, expecting not to like it—it was my favorite of the three!

    Comment by ruffy on 1/07/09 at 11:11 am #
  2. I have to say that I received a bag of these as a gift and actually (gasp!) GAVE CHOCOLATE AWAY!  It might just be a matter of taste, because I am an avowed dark chocolate junkie, but I could barely stomach the peppermint (it was pretty, though) or the egg nog (intriguing though it was!)and actually spit out the pecan praline for being too sweet….that is my argument with Ghirardelli chocolates…too sweet!...I am also slightly bitter because they had a holiday flavor last year that I loved and I didn’t see it this year.  (Toasted almond and cinnamon)...Oh well…at least I saved on calories!

    Comment by moogal on 1/07/09 at 12:09 pm #
  3. Pecan pie has a season: Thanksgiving through Christmas. Or perhaps that is just 2 days, not an entire season. At least that’s when my mom made it. I never liked the stuff, but my spouse and children do, so I’ll make them a crust and let them make the pie. But I’d probably eat pecan pie candy - I’ll keep an eye out for it!

    Comment by Tricia on 1/07/09 at 1:44 pm #
  4. They all sound really promising! I’ll have to scour through some clearance sections. Thanks!

    Comment by Cocoazilla on 1/08/09 at 5:34 am #
  5. Filene’s Basement was giving these away right before Christmas. Very yummy!

    Comment by Michelle on 1/12/09 at 2:00 pm #
  6. Any chance of you reviewing the White Chocolate Vanilla Dream squares?

    Comment by Ron on 1/21/09 at 10:58 am #
  7. I liked the peppermint bark, but stopped buying it because they use cornflakes for the crunch. Yeah, corn flakes. I almost regret reading the ingredients listing on the label.

    Comment by Abi on 12/20/10 at 2:33 pm #

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