Thursday, February 26, 2009

Malley’s Chocolates

Malley's Chocolates FactoryMalley’s Chocolates is a Northeast Ohio favorite. They started in 1935 and currently produce their candy locally in Brookpark and distribute to 17 of their stores, plus many other shops that carry their products. In addition, they make a variety of bars that are sold by groups & schools for fundraising. Not as well known as the World’s Finest line, these bars have an additional local flair to them.

Last October I visited the factory with my mother while we were in the Cleveland area. There is a tour, which amounts to walking up and down a hallway with huge plate glass windows that show the factory in action along with little displays about the history of chocolate and the company. While it is unguided, the factory workers are quite aware that there are people watching and even made a few little signs and held them up to tell us what was being made on each line.

Malley's Chocolates FactoryThe factory has several enrobing lines, production lines, kettles, mixers and even sorts & roasts their own nuts. That is coupled with their packaging & assembly. It’s all free to watch, so if you’re in the area, especially on a rainy day, it’s a fun diversion especially with kids.

The store features the entire array of their production from the fine boxed chocolates, their marshmallow favorites, foil wrapped novelties, chocolate dipped pretzels & cookies (called Malley Ohs!), nut & caramel clusters (Billy Bobs), Buckeyes (peanut butter balls covered in chocolate), mint meltaways and their line of candy bars. The general prices of their candy is $16 to $30 per pound for their fine chocolates and $10 to $15 per pound for their enrobed snacks.

Malley's Chocolate Bars & Cups

I bought a box of chocolates for myself & to share with family while I was traveling, but brought home an array of their chocolate candy bars for review. (Though, sadly, they don’t sell them on their website.)

The wrappers are bold and actually pretty thick. They’re mostly an advertisement on the back for their fundraising programs. The company’s colors are mint green and pink, which features heavily in their packaging.

The bars are big, 2.25 ounces each and only $1.00 each, so it’s a great value for a quality product. The chocolate is real (and may be Guittard, I saw some Guittard boxes on the factory floor and no other company’s chocolate there, but some companies use from multiple suppliers). The ingredients are pretty straight forward, their chocolate is made sugar, milk, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, soy lecithin & vanillin. Their dark chocolate is similar and does use milkfat in it.

I picked up their Milk Chocolate Crunch Bar (crisped rice), Peanut Butter Cups, Milk Chocolate Pretzel Crunch Bar and Dark Chocolate Pretzel Crunch Bar.

Malley's Peanut Butter CupsThe Peanut Butter Cups are made with milk chocolate. The package is a little misleading, it looks like the size of a Reese’s package, but clocks in a lot lighter at only one ounce.

Once I opened the package it became clear why. Inside is a tray to protect the little cups. Instead of the fluted paper lining this tray is the mold for the cups.

They’re only 1.5” across and a half an ounce each.

Malley's Peanut Butter Cups

They may be small, but they are darn cute and practically flawless.

Since I saw for myself that Malley’s roasts their own nuts fresh, I can only guess that they make the peanut butter for this cup themselves. It’s nothing like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Malley's Peanut Butter CupsThe center is so smooth it feels like it’s whipped. It’s not just peanuts though, it has a (un)healthy tippling of additional oils in it like palm kernel and rapeseed, more peanut oil and some non fat dry milk, sugar and the requisite salt.

The chocolate cup is also silky smooth, a little sweet and sticky but it has a good chocolatey punch to balance with the roasted flavor of the peanut butter. The peanuts have a slightly bitter toasted flavor to them.

The presentation of them is really appealing and even though I bought these in October and ate them in February, they were absolutely fresh tasting.

Rating: 8 out of 10

My main interest in Malley’s, truth be told, was that I heard they made a line of pretzel bars. I love a chocolate covered pretzel and have been lamenting that Hershey’s has cheapened their once-stellar Take 5. I was so sure I’d love theirs that I picked up two of each of their pretzel bars.

Malley's Pretzel Crunch (Milk)The Milk Chocolate Pretzel Crunch Bar comes in a hard to miss hot pink wrapper with mint green and chocolate brown accents.

The bar is long with four segments alternating with a molding of the Malley’s logo and “Quality since 1935” then some little pinstripes. Each little block segment is about a half an ounce, a nice little portion.

With a bar with inclusions, thickness is important so that the chocolate and crunchies can mingle properly.

The milk chocolate is wonderfully sweet and smooth, there’s a dairy component to it, but it’s not too strong. There are lots of little salted pretzel bits that provide a light crunch and slight malty/cereal flavor.

It’s a really satisfying combination. Nothing fancy about it, just good old fashioned comfort.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Malley's Pretzel Crunch (Dark)

The Malleys Dark Chocolate Pretzel Crunch has a reversed package design featuring the mint green with pink and brown accents. If I wasn’t looking for the bar, I probably would have mistaken it for a mint product.

This bar is much bumpier on the bottom, which pleased me, since that indicated lots of pretzels.

It smells like cocoa, on the sugary side.

The shiny tempering means that it has a satisfying snap to it, which goes really well with the crispy and light pretzel bits. The chocolate is semi-sweet, not deep or complex. It’s like eating pudding with pretzels. A little bitter bite to it, but for the most part it’s typical mass-produced dark.

Rating: 8 out of 10

The final bar (but didn’t photograph for some strange reason) is the Chocolate Crunch Bar which is milk chocolate with crisped rice.

By the time I got to this bar, I realized that I really liked the milk chocolate that Malley’s uses. Sure it’s sweet and sure it lacks some of the complexity that fine artisan milk chocolates can have. But it’s addictively eatable.

The thick bar has loads of big crisped rice. Crisped rice is great, it’s like nature’s malted milk balls. This bar had the perfect ratio of crisps and chocolate. Still a bit sweeter than I’d like but for the price I don’t think you can find a better chocolate and crisped rice bar.

Rating: 9 out of 10

If a kid comes knocking on your door to do a little fundraising, you might think you’re doing them a favor by supporting their cause, but you really can’t go wrong for a buck with this purchase.

Malley’s also has seasonal celebrations, I’ve never been but I’ve heard that they have a huge Bunnyland extravaganza before Easter at the Brookpark location. (More about Malley’s here, too.)

Related Candies

  1. Wilbur Milk Chocolate Crisp
  2. Ghirardelli Luxe Milk Crisp
  3. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Bites
  4. World’s Finest W.F. Crisp
  5. Hershey’s Miniatures
  6. Asher’s Milk Chocolate Covered Things
  7. Choxies in Boxies
Name: Small World Chocolates: Select Origin
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Malley's Chocolates
Place Purchased: Malley's (Brookpark, OH)
Price: $1.00 each
Size: 1 ounce (pbc) & 2.25 ounces (bars)
Calories per ounce: 160 (pbc) & 134 (bars)
Categories: Chocolate, Peanuts, Cookie, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:02 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Glad you liked Malley’s. They also sell whole pretzels covered in milk or dark chocolate and pretzel rods too. Also, you can sign up for a Malley’s ID card (not a credit card) for free and that gives you 10% off on your purchases.

    Comment by Gary on 2/26/09 at 2:05 pm #
  2. Oh my goodness - I’ve been there!  They have a special holiday-themed tour that I went on five or six years ago when visiting my grandparents in late December/early January.  I had completely forgotten about that until now, and sadly I didn’t pick up any chocolate at the end of the tour, but I do remember some very tasty free chocolate that they were handing out.  I’ll have to go back if I’m ever in Cleveland again. 

    The pretzel bars look wonderful!

    Comment by Mo on 2/26/09 at 4:42 pm #
  3. If you’re ever in the Louisville area, be sure to check out Schimpff’s Confectionery.

    Comment by Johnny Carruthers on 2/27/09 at 5:05 am #
  4. Malley’s, how cool!  I had a friend once that, due to helping out with something, got a box of chocolate bars with coffee beans in them, from Malley’s.  They were outstanding, like chocolate covered coffee beans, but in a bar shape!  You’d get probably 8-10 beans in a bar, so it created a nice buzz and was very easy to carry around smile

    Comment by Jaycatt on 2/27/09 at 6:24 am #
  5. In case anyone was wondering, here’s a link to a page that has the chocolate/coffee bars I mentioned in the previous post.  I guess Berardi’s is also a local company to there…

    Comment by Jaycatt on 2/27/09 at 6:31 am #
  6. This post brightened my gloomy day!  I’m from the Cleveland area and I’m glad to see a local company getting some recognition here.  I grew up on Malley’s chocolates [and Faroh’s, but our local one closed] and seeing your photos brought back feelings from home.

    Comment by Erin on 2/27/09 at 8:51 am #
  7. Grrrr.  Not nice of you to remind me that I work right down the street from a Malley’s store and that the bars are only a buck.  I have a feeling I know where I’ll be going Monday after work.

    Oh, and the next time you’re in the area, you should visit the Blossom Candy Shop in Akron, home of Temo’s chocolates. smile

    Comment by Jammies on 2/27/09 at 11:21 am #
  8. Those look awesom!

    Comment by Emily on 2/27/09 at 11:40 am #
  9. hmmm…interesting…this reminds me of the gertrude hawk chocolate bars kids in my town sell for fundraisers (also $1).  could you please, please, please do a review on those? thanks!

    Comment by jane on 2/28/09 at 9:43 am #
  10. I am also a former Clevelander who grew up selling Malley’s bars… I’ve had my fair share of Pretzel bars and their delicious almond chocolate bars… but I sure miss them now that I’m out of town!!!

    Thanks for giving this local company the props they deserve!!

    Comment by DM on 2/28/09 at 3:27 pm #
  11. It’s been years since I’ve been there but the original Malley’s store and ice cream parlor in Lakewood is well worth visiting.  Plenty of green and pink and several tables are on an indoor carousel.

    Comment by Joe on 3/06/09 at 3:14 pm #
  12. I would like for my prasie dance group to sale your candy bar that is a dllers

    Comment by Tina Uitenham on 3/06/10 at 1:00 pm #
  13. I Was inquiring about sugarless candy. If you have any and what flavors you have and cost   It’s my mom’s birthday and she can’t tolerate cake and many other sweet. So she LOVES MALLEYS’ and I think it would be a great surprise

    Comment by Colleen marks on 12/18/14 at 8:28 pm #
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