Friday, December 9, 2011

Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows + Vanilla, Cinnamon Bun, Strawberry, Chocolate Royale, Gingerbread

Jet-Puffed MarshmallowsThe best known American marshmallows are Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows which are big, airy cylinders of fluffed sugar and gelatin. Lately there’s been a movement in the United States for more artisan marshmallows, flavored and in different shapes and often with less chalky corn starch on the outside. In other countries marshmallows are usually flavored (France and Japan have wonderful marshmallow offerings that are rather grown up, while the United Kingdom and Netherlands still have a large selection geared towards kids).

Kraft’s Jet-Puffed brand has a large selection lately that go beyond the unflavored white version. I picked up all that I could find over the past month for comparison and review.

Kraft Jet-Puffed MarshmallowsI’m often conflicted about whether Marshmallows are candy. Part of the confusion might be the fact that the most popular marshmallow brands in the United States are not sold in the candy and snack aisle but in the baking section. They’re used to make Rice Krispie Treats and S’mores, but I rarely see people just eating them.

The marshmallows are simple and cheap. I picked up most of the bags in this review for only a dollar - this bag was 10 ounces and nearly the size of an airplane pillow ... a lot of candy for a buck.

Jet-Puffed Marshmallow

Jet-Puffed are large, they’re about an inch and a third tall and about an inch in diameter. Each is about 7.5 grams (about a quarter of an ounce). Marshmallows are pretty low in calories, as there’s no fat in them - they’re just sugar with a little protein (gelatin) to keep them fluffy. Only 100 calories per serving of 4 (one ounce).

They’re chalky on the outside, coated with a light powdering of corn starch to keep them from sticking. They’re puffed, pliable but still firm. They’re a little latexy, like memory foam - squish it and it bounces back eventually.

The flavor isn’t quite vanilla and not a strong as pure sugar. They’re, well, marshmallows. Not much to write home about and not a candy I’d eat on its own. They toast up very well, with more of the burnt sugar flavors. The large size means that the center of mine usually cool while the outside is crunchy and the mantle is molten.

They’re very soft and moist when fresh, but I don’t mind a slightly stale marshmallow either. They get a little stiff and chewy on the outside, providing a little more textural interest.

Kraft Jet-Puffed SnowmanMallowsWhat started this whole marshmallow episode was this bag of Jet-Puffed SnowmanMallows I spotted at Target. They’re French Vanilla flavored, which sounded good, like a custardy version of the traditional American marshmallow.

They’re called mini-marshmallows on the bag, but they’re actually about the size of two of the standard mini-marshmallows.

Kraft Jet-Puffed SnowmanMallowsIs there a difference between the standard and the French Vanilla? Well, not really. There’s some yellow food coloring and a smidge less salt. So they did taste sweeter.

I prefer the format of the little one inch tall and half inch wide Man. He toasted up well, the smaller size meant that the center became molten as the outside crisped. Of course it was ridiculously easy to catch him on fire.

Kraft Jet-Puffed StrawberryMallowsThe Kraft Jet-Puffed StrawberryMallows were the only ones that I bought at the 99 Cent Only Store, which may mean that they were for an earlier season. (They expire at the end of the year.)

Jet-Puffed StrawberrMallow

They’re pink and remind me of the French guimauve, which often come in long ropes. The color is soft and pleasant. The scent is like Frankenberry Cereal. The flavor is a mild, floral and artificial strawberry. It was like a very watered down Strawberry Quik.

I toasted it hoping it would taste like cotton candy, but it just tasted like hot Strawberry Quik. Like many of the candies that I eat with Red #40 food coloring, I taste a weird, metallic bitterness towards the end and for a few minutes after.

Kraft Jet-Puffed Gingerbread MallowsThe Kraft Jet-Puffed Gingerbread Mallows made all of this worth it. They were the variety that inspired me to buy them all and review them.

This was the first variety that struck me as seasonal, obviously, but also the first one that I felt like achieved its goals of being an actual good candy. I recognize that not everyone likes gingerbread, so a gingerbread flavored marshmallow will not be as popular as strawberry or vanilla.

They’re shaped like little men. The get squeeze and deformed in the bag, so their little arms point in different directions. They’re about an inch and a quarter tall and about a half an inch thick and an inch from fingertip to fingertip.

Jet-Puffed Gingerbread Marshmallows

They smell rich and spicy. And they taste that way too. If you’re fond of the gingerbread spices: ginger, cinnamon, clove and pepper, you will probably dig these. The overriding flavor is actually ginger but there’s a little cinnamon and pepper warmth to them. It doesn’t taste artificial at all - just like a spicy marshmallow. It’s absolutely like eating a foamy cookie.

I tried toasting them and liked the result, but prefer the soft and foamy texture of them at room temperature.

Kraft Jet-Puffed Cinnamon BunI figured if Gingerbread was good, Kraft Jet-Puffed Cinnamon Bun would rate highly as well. After all, it wasn’t just a pink marshmallow with a little cinnamon oil like the StrawberryMallow.

This bag was slightly smaller, for some reason, with only 8 ounces in it. The mallows were also smaller, which was fine with me as I like to pop a whole one in my mouth. (The back of the package actually has a warning that says to eat only one at a time and supervise children plus cut them up for smaller children.)

Jet-Puffed Cinnamon Bun Marshmallow

They’re cute as foamy sugar buttons. They smell good, not that different from the Gingerbread, but definitely on the sugar and cinnamon side of things.

The flavor is like cinnamon the spice, not the hard candy. The corn starch coating kind of pushes that along with the slight chalky texture before it dissolves away. It doesn’t taste overtly artificial, but it’s also not as fun and nuanced as the Gingerbread. I expect they’d go great in hot chocolate. Toasted they were quite nice, but tasted much more sweet when hot.

Kraft Jet-Puffed Chocolate RoyaleThe Kraft Jet-Puffed Chocolate Royale was a problematic flavor. First, it’s a chocolate flavored marshmallow. There is no actual cocoa, let alone chocolate in there. The scent is ghastly. It was like wet cardboard. It was so bad that after I took a picture of the package and opened them, I had to sequester them.

The problem is that I don’t remember where I put them (I admit the Candy Blog Studios are pretty messy right now) but I can still smell them even though I stuffed them inside another bag first.

Overall, I’m inclined towards the generic American marshmallow and enjoyed the different flavors. I prefer the corn starch coating to the sugar sanding of Peeps. They’re a great candy to share and versatile to keep on hand as an ingredient. If you’re watching your calories, they’re very low stress - I can’t eat that many because their airy texture makes me feel full very quickly. But they’re also all sugar and the texture can be bland (but that’s why folks invented Rice Krispie Treats, Rocky Road and S’mores).

Related Candies

  1. Russell Stover “Day of the Dead” Skeletons
  2. Trader Joe’s Smashing S’mores
  3. Peeps Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows
  4. Hello Kitty Pineapple Marshmallows
  5. Campfire Mini Marshmallows
  6. Russell Stover Santas
  7. Choco-Fudge Mallow Sundae


Name: Jet-Puffed Marshmallows
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Kraft
Place Purchased: Target (West Hollywood)
Price: $1.00
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 94
Categories: Candy, Kraft, Marshmallow, 6-Tempting, United States, Target


Name: Jet-Puffed SnowManMallows
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Kraft
Place Purchased: Von's (Glendale)
Price: $1.50
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 94
Categories: Candy, Kraft, Marshmallow, 6-Tempting, United States, Target


Name: Jet-Puffed StrawberryMallows
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Kraft
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only (Miracle Mile)
Price: $1.00
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 94
Categories: Candy, Kraft, Marshmallow, 4-Benign, United States, Target


Name: Jet-Puffed Gingerbread Mallows
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Kraft
Place Purchased: Target (West Hollywood)
Price: $1.00
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 94
Categories: Candy, Kraft, Ginger, Marshmallow, 8-Tasty, United States, Target


Name: Jet-Puffed Cinnamon Bun
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Kraft
Place Purchased: Target (West Hollywood)
Price: $1.00
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 94
Categories: Candy, Kraft, Cinnamon, Marshmallow, 5-Pleasant, United States, Target


Name: Jet-Puffed Chocolate Royale
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Kraft
Place Purchased: Target (West Hollywood)
Price: $1.00
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 94
Categories: Candy, Kraft, Marshmallow, 1-Inedible, United States, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:06 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewChristmasKraftCinnamonGingerMarshmallow1-Inedible7-Worth ItUnited States99 Cent Only StoreTarget

Comments
  1. We had some pumpkin-shaped pumpkin spice ones in Kentucky around Thanksgiving. I bought some and they were OK, but ended up tossing half the bag because they got sticky really fast. One big ball of pumpkin spice marshmallow was not appetizing!

    Comment by Rachel on 12/09/11 at 11:31 am #
  2. Though I haven’t tried them yet, I found some Jet Puffed Mini Peppermint marshmallows last weekend at Walmart. Figured they were worth a shot as my wife loves Peppermint. Thinking about using them as a topping for ice cream or frozen yogurt, too.

    Recently got into marshmallows for two reasons. First is that I have a 2 year old who is a very picky eater. Secondly, I saw the mini-fruit flavored Kraft ones at Ralphs and they reminded me of my youth. They still taste exactly the same, too. I like the Lime, which isn’t really limey at all.

    I bought some of the Strawberry ones you mentioned at Ralphs recently, so I don’t think they are too long past their prime.

    JJ – The Dude of the House
    dudeofthehouse.blogspot.com
    http://www.facebook.com/TheDudeOfTheHouse
    Twitter: @DudeOfTheHouse

    Comment by JJ - The Dude of the House on 12/09/11 at 11:35 am #
  3. The gingerbread ones make pretty tasty Krispie treats smile

    Comment by fae on 12/09/11 at 11:56 am #
  4. Oh man I wish they had gingerbread ones in my grocery store! Those look awesome. We do have these big pepermint swirl ones. They are flattened oval shapes with pink and white swirl. It’s about the size of a Reese’s cup and a perfect snacking mallow. (I’m one of those people who will just eat marshmallows.)

    Comment by Anton on 12/09/11 at 12:32 pm #
  5. You can still find some of the Pumpkin Spice marshmallows here in Kentucky, if you’re lucky.  I saw both the Snowman and Gingerbread marshmallows last year, and they stayed around until sometime in March, I believe.  (And they’re back this year.)

    The StrawberryMallows have been a year-round item here, but Kraft did make a heart-shaped version for Valentine’s Day last year.

    I haven’t seen the Cinnamon Bun ones yet, so I will keep an eye out for them.

    Comment by Johnny Carruthers on 12/09/11 at 2:40 pm #
  6. JJ, your name will become a hyperlink back to your site, no need for the additional signature.

    Comment by JJ'sEgo on 12/10/11 at 4:08 am #
  7. We also have lemon and banana, the twisted flavors, and the ones with the stuffed centers. They look tempting but I rarely use marshmallows.

    Comment by Lori on 12/10/11 at 9:03 am #
  8. I’m fascinated!  I need to try these sometime, no matter how they taste.  I’ve never had a flavored marshmallow before, besides the miniature fruit-flavored ones (which don’t really taste like fruit at all).

    Comment by Becca on 12/11/11 at 12:32 pm #
  9. Thank you, @fae - that was the question I was about to post smile

    Comment by belinskaya on 12/11/11 at 3:20 pm #
  10. Just wanted to say how much I love your reviews!  Your site is the Only website i check everyday to see if there’s a new post! Like a little kid on xmas morning!  I LOVE marshmallows, and have been wanting to try some of these so thanks for weeding out the weak ones!  Happy Holidays!!!

    Comment by Chefamyj on 12/12/11 at 7:23 am #
  11. Those Gingerbread marshmallows sound delicious! I’ve gotta find these!

    Comment by obsessivesweets on 12/12/11 at 3:46 pm #
  12. I found both the pumpkin flavor and gingerbread flavor at Walmart. I’ve made Rice Krispie treats with both, and they were a HUGE hit. The pumpkin ones are already gone, but they had plenty of the gingerbread flavor.

    Comment by Kim on 12/16/11 at 4:24 pm #
  13. Tried the StrawberryMallows a few years back but didn’t try the gingerbread

    Comment by valerie on 12/21/11 at 6:55 pm #
  14. I would like to know where I can find the gingerbread marshmallows?

    Comment by Waynen Johnson on 12/21/11 at 10:47 pm #
  15. I bought two bags of Pumpkin Spice at Walmart because I love pumpkin anything. I ate the first bag before Christmas. I opened the second bag today (expiration date of March 2012) and the marshmallows were in two clumps so I tossed them. They were in a cool dry place and I never had this problem with unopened marshmallows before.

    Fae-didn’t even occur to me to make flavored Rice Krispie treats. Thanks to you I will have pumpkin rice krispie treats next year if Kraft lets me!

    Comment by Barbara on 2/02/12 at 1:44 pm #
  16. I HAD to comment on this post about a flavored marshmallow from Kraft I found in a Shoprite in Hewitt, NJ. It was called ‘German Chocolate Cake’ flavored marshmallows. Pure heaven. A combination of chocolate flavor and shredded coconut. OMG! I went back and they didn’t have them anymore! I have to get more!

    Comment by Stephen Hargrove on 5/14/12 at 5:31 pm #
  17. Last year I bought the gingerbread marshmallows and after almost a year they are still soft and tasty even though all I did is twist tie the top!  I’ve NEVER had marshmallows last so long—kinda makes me wonder what preservatives were used!

    Comment by Serena on 10/16/12 at 3:14 pm #
  18. Originally from Houston I bought a bag of gingerbread earlier in the year during a trip home.  I stored them unopened in my cellar which is a cool & dry place.  I’ve just pulled them out & they’ve gone soggy. 

    Is there any use for them or are they only good for the rubbish pile?

    I’m holding on to the bag just in case someone gets back to me with a use for them.  Kind regards!

    Comment by Jessica Cooper on 12/12/12 at 1:06 pm #

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