Thursday, December 5, 2013

Russell Stover Santas: Gingerbread, Peppermint and Maple

Russell Stover Gingerbread SantaIt’s easy to think of Russell Stover as a stuffy boxed chocolate brand for old people, but I have to say that they are consistently on trend with their new flavors. Last year they introduced Red Velvet Santa, this year was a Pumpkin Pie Pumpkin and today I’m going to start my review with the Russell Stover Gingerbread in Dark Chocolate.

The packaging is simple, just a lump of Santa shaped candy in a sleeve with a Santa picture on the front. If there’s one unifying element with the Russell Stover Santa candies, it’s that they have a picture of a Santa on the front, but that the style will be different from the others. There’s really nothing cohesive in the branding.

They’re priced very well, at only 50 cents each for one ounce when on sale, they’re easy to find at most drug store chains. (I don’t see them at Target or KMart, though. Walgreen’s usually has the best selection, but RiteAid and CVS are pretty dependable for the most popular varieties.)

Russell Stover Gingerbread Santa

Like the Cookie Dough Egg, Pumpkin Pie and Red Velvet, the center for this piece contains flour. It’s like a cookie dough, in this case, more like a cake batter for gingerbread. It’s pretty mild, with more clove and ginger notes with a little hint of brown sugar. It’s not really fudgy, but more like a thick and chilled cookie dough. I liked it. It’s kind of weird, not at all like a high-end truffle, but just like a fun seasonal sweet.

Russell Stover Peppermint CreamRussell Stover Peppermint Cream Santa is similar to the Big Bite Mint Dream I ordered from them some years back. It’s a fluffed cream, not a fondant like Junior Mints or York Peppermint Patties.

The peppermint is clean and strong. The dark chocolate is bittersweet, glossy and crisp. The filling is light and frothy, though a little grainy and extremely sweet. It’s much sweeter than the Maple I tried later on. It’s a good peppermint product, and certainly very spare on the calories, a full piece is only 120 calories if you’re tying to indulge on a dietary budget.

The label doesn’t list any real sourcing information for the ingredients, specifically the chocolate. Since Russell Stover manufactures such a wide variety of confections there are lots of allergen warnings. The Gingerbread has flour (gluten) in it, the Mint and Maple have egg whites plus they all have soy and milk. Then there’s the peanuts and tree nuts warning.

DSC_4420rb

All the Santa pieces are ill formed. I don’t know what the shape is supposed to be, but they’re enrobed, not molded so they’re rather amorphous. The Gingerbread piece (middle) is more dense than the Peppermint Cream and Maple Cream, so it’s not quite as high.

Russell Stover Dark Chocolate Maple CreamRussell Stover Dark Chocolate & Maple Cream is just a dark chocolate version of the milk chocolate version I reviewed a couple of years ago. It’s also available in the Easter Egg version, which I also reviewed ages ago and liked. (And also didn’t get a picture of the inside.)

The dark chocolate is glossy and pretty creamy. It’s not terribly rich in flavor, but its semisweet cocoa notes balance out the fluffy maple cream center. The filling is sweet and light with a hint of salt and a woodsy, pecan scent of maple.

Related Candies

  1. Twix Gingerbread
  2. Good and Delish Maple Cream Charms
  3. Russell Stover Pumpkin Pie
  4. Russell Stover Red Velvet Santa
  5. Peeps Gingerbread Men
  6. Russell Stover Peppermint Bark Snowman
  7. Russell Stover Santas


Name: Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Santa
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park)
Price: $.50
Size: 1.0 ounces
Calories per ounce: 140
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Russell Stover, Chocolate, Cookie, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's


Name: Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cream Santa
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Hollywood)
Price: $.50 (on sale)
Size: 1.0 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Russell Stover, Chocolate, Fondant, Mints, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's


Name: Dark Chocolate & Maple Cream Santa
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Hollywood)
Price: $.50 (on sale)
Size: 1.0 ounces
Calories per ounce: 110
Categories: Candy, Christmas, Russell Stover, Chocolate, Fondant, 7-Worth It, United States, Walgreen's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:28 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewChristmasRussell StoverChocolateCookieFondant7-Worth ItUnited StatesWalgreen's

Comments
  1. Now I can’t unsee how the Santas are all diff. styles. I honestly never noticed that before. Probably because I never saw them all at once.

    Comment by Tenko on 12/08/13 at 7:32 pm #
  2. I tried a couple of these over the weekend, 2 for $1 at Walgreens. The maple cream did nothing for me—nice flavor but fluffy filling is not my thing—but I really liked the red velvet and LOVED the gingerbread. Both were chewy and flavorful. Compared to recent purchases from major manufacturers (sorry, but I HATED the Hershey faux white chocolate candy cane bar thing), these Santas at least tasted real to me, not just like sugar and chemicals. Never paid much attention to Russell Stover candy before.

    Comment by JefferyK on 12/09/13 at 10:00 am #

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