Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Junior Mints Peppermint Crunch

Peppermint Crunch Junior MintsI was really excited about the idea of Peppermint Crunch Junior Mints. Then I started reading the package and somehow it was pushing all my irritation buttons.

First, the description: Real Junior Mints (tm) made with a real candy crunch. Are there fake Junior Mints (tm) out there ... is this an issue? There are other dark chocolate peppermints out there, sure, but is there anything that’s trying to occupy the Junior Mints (tm) niche? What makes them Junior Mints anyway? Is it the dark chocolate and flowing fondant? Because the Junior Mints Deluxe had the Junior Mints name. So it’s not size or proportion.

Peppermint Crunch Junior Mints

The thing I have the real hangup on is the “CRUNCH!” that they advertise. The little image on the box shows what looks like a Starlight mint, which is basically a hard candy with peppermint flavoring ... they’re good crunched up and put in things (see my list o’ uses for Candy Canes). At first I though they were nonpareils, which are little spheres of sugar found on SnoCaps.

But on closer examination they weren’t. They’re too irregular. So I read the ingredients: Sugar, Semi Sweet Chocolate, Corn Syrup, Flaked Corn, Yellow Corn Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Corn Starch, Confectioner’s Glaze, Modified Food Starch, Peppermint Oil, Invertase, Invert Sugar Syrup, Artificial Color (Red 40) and Corn Syrup Solids.

In an effort to figure out what these nibbles are, I’ve boldfaced those ingredients that are not found in regular Real Junior Mints (tm). Seems like we have some red polenta or something. Definitely not crushed Starlight Mints (like those little candy flakes on the Peeps Peppermint Stars). One thing I’m quite sure of, they’re not that tasty. They don’t dissolve like a bit of candy crunch should, but they do remain crunchy no matter how long you roll them around in your mouth!

They just don’t look that good. They look like they fell in something. I like traditional Junior Mints, they’re pretty! Usually so slick and dark, these are lumpy and malformed. The taste is pretty much the same but the crunch isn’t crunchy enough, doesn’t add any pep to the whole thing. If it was real candy (you know something that you’d actually buy and eat separately ... tell me you’d eat flaked corn, yellow corn flour, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and corn syrup solids!) then I think they’d have something. I haven’t been particular fond of the other versions of Junior Mints so far: Pastel, Inside Out or Heart Shaped (only because the red ones tasted weird). I think I’ll just stick with the Real Junior Mints from now on.

Nicole of Baking Bites reviewed them earlier this month.

Related Candies

  1. Dove Promises (Caramel & Almonds)
  2. York Mints
  3. Recipe: Peppermint Stick Layer Cake
  4. Chocolate Filled Candy Canes
  5. The Mint Kisses: Chocolate Mint & Candy Cane
Name: Peppermint Crunch Junior Mints
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Tootsie
Place Purchased: sample from All Candy Expo
Price: retail $1.00
Size: 4.75 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Chocolate, Fondant, Mint, United States, Tootsie, Limited Edition

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:47 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. I thought the mint grit added an interest to these taste-wise.  I liked them….

    Comment by Heidi on 11/27/07 at 2:11 pm #
  2. oh man, i love jr mints and i was totally psyched to try these.  i think they’re a fine addition to the holiday lineup (although i agree that they are not exactly photogenic…)

    the “crunch” is interesting without overwhelming the jr mint experience… so i thought it was a decent twist on an old favorite

    Comment by Ruffy on 11/27/07 at 3:45 pm #
  3. So it’s *not* the “real candy crunch” promised on the packaging, is it?  “Real candy crunch” should involve “real candy”! 

    Besides, don’t we need that corn to make ethanol?

    Bah, humbug—these sounded so promising!

    Comment by good enough cook on 11/27/07 at 8:18 pm #
  4. I was anxiously awaiting your review of these. I’m so bummed! I had such high hopes. Love your red polenta comment though!

    Comment by Patti on 11/28/07 at 6:51 am #
  5. eh, ill take Haviland Thin Mints or just good ol peppermint bark if i want the 2 chocolate and peppermint combined. i do agree, these look like they were dropped in something, or someone spilled wood shavings in while they were being panned. bleh.

    Comment by fluffy on 11/28/07 at 8:28 am #
  6. Does anyone know where I can buy these? I have a huge junior mint fan on my xmas shopping list that would go nuts over these.

    Comment by Lauren on 11/28/07 at 12:56 pm #
  7. So I was out questing for peppermint peeps yesterday, which I couldn’t find ANYWHERE, and ended up buying these to console myself, only to come home and find this!  I agree that it’s sad they aren’t as pretty as the original, but judging by the amount left in the box, I think I like them.

    Comment by Lydia on 11/28/07 at 2:27 pm #
  8. Sounds like the crunchy bits are similar to the crunchy middle of a Butterfinger, going by the ingredients.

    Comment by Dave on 11/28/07 at 5:06 pm #
  9. i love love love this! my family loves junior mints, and we all agree the flavor in this is even better than the originals.  the “crunch” is like smashed up pieces of candy canes in the chocolate. sooo good.

    Comment by jess on 11/28/07 at 5:28 pm #
  10. I’ve had a box of these for a couple-few weeks, now, but could not get inspired to review them.  I was actually waiting for you to write them up and I’m glad you did - I couldn’t have said it better. I’m totally with you - they’re a big nothing. I don’t see the point - the crushed mint is undetectable once in mouth.

    They add nothing diffrerent or interesting to the candy other than the holiday packaging - oh yeah, and a bunch of nasty, unnatural additives.  Nothing says Feliz Navidad like a big mouthful of hydrogenated oils.

    Comment by Joanna on 11/29/07 at 9:57 am #
  11. Flaked corn - is that so different from the Ritter Sport bar with cornflakes? But that was my fourth thought. My first thought was “ick!’ and my second was “Candy corn is not real corn, but this is!” [quote from a Junie B Jones book], and my third was “Michael Pollan should know about this.” But then I thought “Ritter Sport Knusperflakes” (which rocked your world, according to that review :^).

    Comment by Tricia on 12/03/07 at 5:03 pm #
  12. ack, what happened to the formatting? Oops!

    Comment by Tricia on 12/03/07 at 5:04 pm #
  13. **I LOVE THEM** - very hard to find but did so at “FIVE BELOW” store!  They should be on Oprah’s “MY FAVORITE THINGS!!!!”

    Comment by Christopher on 12/15/07 at 10:52 pm #
  14. Where are these deals lamping.  I need some deals ...son…....

    Where can I find these deals mo….

    Comment by Jiggs on 1/07/08 at 6:58 pm #
  15. I found these at Target this season and had to give them a try.  My first thought was wondering what qualifies them to be real.  My second thought was whether Junior Mints married Captain Crunch and had these.  Now that I’ve tried them, I’m wondering why they advertise a “peppermint crunch” when the crunch isn’t really crunchy (shouldn’t you hear a crunch?) and it certainly isn’t pepperminty.  Anyway, they’re festive…

    Comment by C on 12/04/08 at 4:05 pm #
  16. OMG I love these things…so addicting!

    Comment by J on 12/13/08 at 5:44 am #
  17. I Love These!!  I think the little crunch makes them even better.  Yes, some of them do not have enough crunch to them, but then I just eat two at the same time.  These are great.  The problem I have is in finding them.  I found a few boxes at Winco and the next time they were all gone.  I then went to Oregon and found them at a store there and bought ten boxes.  I can’t get enough of them.  Mmmmmm…Good….

    Comment by Johnna on 1/05/09 at 8:15 am #
  18. I love these! Even better than the original which I also thoroughly enjoy.  I think everyone should try them for themselves. I hope they become a constant because I’m addicted. And as for the added ingredients, it’s still a better option than a lot of candies out there and I am a sugar addict.

    Comment by Rachel on 1/05/09 at 5:11 pm #
  19. I liked these. They had a new crunchy texture than the originals.

    Comment by Alexia on 1/11/09 at 8:03 am #
  20. you know what is missing from them that’s in the regular ones? Gelatin! and as someone who tries to stay away from gelatin, i was psyched to learn these were gelatinless. i don’t really get why the regular ones have gelatin when it seems like the insides are identical.

    Comment by karla on 1/19/09 at 9:11 pm #
  21. Peppermint Crunch! What a genius! They should make junior mint gum!!

    Comment by Rachel on 8/12/09 at 8:34 am #
  22. I love these!  And I do think the crunch is noticeable…it adds something different without hiding the deliciousness that is the Junior Mint.

    I have found them at JoAnn Fabrics in their holiday section and also at Walgreens.

    Comment by Ashley on 11/12/09 at 5:03 am #
  23. These are NOT gelatin free. I e-mailed the company in 2007 to ask about it and they said the product was mislabeled. I was assured the error was going to be fixed on the new boxes. 2 years later, still hasn’t been fixed. I sent another e-mail to the company.

    Comment by dks64 on 11/28/09 at 6:44 am #
  24. Does anyone know if the Peppermint Crunch Junior Mints are gluten free like the originals?

    Comment by Heather on 12/11/09 at 4:20 pm #
  25. UPDATE: I got 2 messages from the company… 1 said they contained gelatin, the 2nd said they did not. I’m not sure who to believe, so for your safety, if you’re a vegetarian, I wouldn’t buy these. They are definitely not vegan though, they contain animal products:

    Invertase is an enzyme produced by honey-bees to transform sucrose to dextrose and levulose.

    Additionally, they contain Confectioner’s glaze, which is from the Lac Beetle.

    Comment by dks64 on 12/12/09 at 4:10 am #
  26. Where can I find them. I bought one box just to try and loved them. They were at JoAnn’s fabric store and can’t find them anywhere now.

    Comment by annieo on 12/15/09 at 12:22 pm #
  27. Hi.  You can find these at Target, Walgreens and Winco. I am in Modesto, CA and these are the locations I have seen them at.  They are delicious, one of my favorite treats at christmas time.  smile

    Comment by Johnna on 12/15/09 at 12:28 pm #
  28. Bed Bath and Beyond has them too.

    Comment by dks64 on 12/15/09 at 2:15 pm #
  29. I LOVE these. When I find them, I buy them out. Unfortunately, this past holiday season, I only found about 10 boxes total. I was so bummed. Naturally, I ate them all. I really wish I could find more NOW. I do not want to wait until fall 2010 for more. :(

    Comment by targetmommy on 2/14/10 at 7:11 am #
  30. It’s the holiday season 2010, I found ONE box at a G&M Variety store and although I will agree with your original blog posted November 07 regarding lack of peppermint taste, I still enjoyed and would like to find more for the upcoming holiday season!  Anybody know of any place you don’t have to buy a case to enjoy (candywarehouse.com)??

    Comment by Cindi Marietta on 10/28/10 at 12:14 pm #
  31. Hi.  I usually find them at Walgreens or Winco.  I haven’t seen them yet though.  smile

    Comment by Johnna on 10/28/10 at 12:38 pm #
  32. I hope I can get a box this year, I forgot last year and remembered when it was too late.

    Comment by dks64 on 10/28/10 at 12:41 pm #
  33. These are AWESOME.  ...so, yes, apparently I’ll eat flaked corn, yellow corn flour, etc.  They seem to be seasonal so maybe that adds to the mystique but I’ll take these over Junior Mints any day.

    Comment by JeffM on 1/06/11 at 2:09 pm #
  34. I’m a retailer and these are one of our best sellers at Christmastime.  People seem to like the texture and flavor, irregardless of how the effect is acheieved.  I give these a ‘10’ superb rating for an off-the-shelf candy.  This is no See’s candy quality, but fun for the Holidays.

    Comment by Adrian on 11/14/11 at 3:06 pm #

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