Mint Chocolate M&Ms

December 27, 2007

Hi guys! I’ve just found out this morning that I’m going on a short trip, so here’s a rushed review of my last Christmas product. I’ll be back sometime next week — probably on the 2nd — and this blog will have a whole new face for the new year!

The M&Ms line has expanded lately. Dark and Dark Peanut have been added as regular flavors, and we’ve also seen a few limited editions pop up, such us Razzberry, Cherry Cordial, and this Mint Chocolate M&Ms.

Being a Holiday Mix, these come in red and two shades of green. They are a little bigger than plain M&Ms, being close in size to the Peanut Butter, I think. They are shaped irregularly, and in the picture you can see my favorite little conjoined Mint M&M.

They are a mint infused milk chocolate M&M, and honestly, that’s the best way to describe them. I think they taste like an Andes Mint, but I don’t have any on hand to do an actual comparison.

I liked these a lot better than Hershey’s attempt at mint infused milk chocolate. In retrospect, the mint probably doesn’t do well with that Hershey’s tang.

I think these are a nice seasonal item. I wouldn’t want to have them all the time, but popping up once a year is fine.

Ingredient Watch: All clear.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is about 1/4 cup of M&Ms. Each serving contains 210 calories, 9g of fat, 26g of sugar, and 2g of protein.

Rating: 7/10

Name: Mint Chocolate M&Ms
Brand: Mars
Store: Target
Price: $2.00 (11oz)

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A Russell Stover Christmas

December 25, 2007

We’ve already had a Russell Stover Halloween; now it’s time for a Russell Stover Christmas. The products that I reviewed for Halloween are available in Santa forms, but I chose a few new products this time. There are still a few varieties that I passed on though. I guess we’ll get to those for Easter!

Coconut Wreath: I wouldn’t call this a wreath. I would call it an unattractive (but tasty) dollop of milk chocolate and toasted coconut. I usually don’t care for coconut. I like the flavor but find the stringy texture unappealing. However, the coconut here is toasted and crispy, which lends a great crunchy texture. This is a simple, sweet mix of chocolate and coconut, and I really liked it! (140 calories, 9g of fat, 11g of sugar, 2g of protein.)

Rating: 8/10


Chocolate Marshmallow Snowman: This petite snowman is chocolate marshmallow covered in milk chocolate. The chocolate marshmallow has a mild cocoa flavor and is super soft, smooth, and springy. It’s less sweet than a typical marshmallow, but the bar’s sweetness is kicked up by the milk chocolate coating.

Unfortunately, this contains sorbitol, an artificial sweetener, which really irks me. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t think that artificial sweeteners belong in candy. Of course, neither do partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. But I’m sensitive to artificial sweeteners, so the inclusion is a little more bothersome — I didn’t bother to read the ingredients until after I ate this. Still, it’s Christmas, so I’ll give it the rating I would have given it sans sorbitol. I’m sure some of you don’t care about it! (100 calories, 3g of fat, 13g of sugar, 1g of protein.)

Rating: 7/10
Marshmallow Santa in Dark Chocolate: When I reviewed Halloween’s Buzzard Egg, I mentioned that I would like to see a dark chocolate covered marshmallow. Well, here it is! I think that Santa shape here is actually pretty well done. I can definitely make out his outline.

Again we’ve got soft, springy marshmallow. One thing I like about Russell Stover’s holidays products is that they are fresh. This really shows in their marshmallow products. (I also like the line because it’s very cheap — 39 cents a piece!)

The marshmallow is sweet, but the semi-sweet chocolate tones it down. It’s not nearly as sweet as the milk chocolate covered marshmallow is. The chocolate comes though more, lending a better balance.

However, again with the sorbitol. Again I’ll let it slide for the rating. I should know the read the ingredients before I eat something. This is something I do with everything I consume except for candy. I say I’ll try any candy once, but artificial sweeteners are a no go for me. (So much for the Peppermint Peeps!) (110 calories, 3g of fat, 14g of sugar, 1g of protein.)

Rating: 8/10

Brand: Russell Stover
Store: Walgreens
Price: $0.39 each


Peeps Cutouts

December 24, 2007

Just Born has been expanding its Peeps line over the past few years. You can find them for all the major candy holidays, not just Easter. They’ve also added flavors: Cocoa Cats, Peppermint Stars, and even Cookie Cutouts. Last year was the first time I saw these cookie flavored Peeps. I bought a pack because they looked like good gingerbread house occupants. But I ended up baking cookie people for the gingerbread house, and these Peeps sat around into January. I almost threw them away. I like Peeps, but cookie flavored? Weird.

I decided to give them a try anyway. I was horrified. Horrified that I actually liked them. Yes, I liked them quite a bit. So much that I bought another package this year.

That being said, I don’t think that these really taste like cookies. They taste like a mix of artificial vanilla and almond. Yes, artificial… so artificial, but man, I like them. Don’t ask me why.

Like all Peeps, these are soft and springy marshmallow with a sparkly sugar coating. These are colored all the way through, unlike most Peeps, which are white with colored sugar.

Come on, they’re cute. Admit it.

Ingredient Watch: Nothing suspicious. These are basically just sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin. Not remotely healthy, but hey, fat free!

Nutrition Breakdown: Servings size is two peeps. There are 100 calories, 0g of fat, 24g of sugar, and 1g of protein per serving.

Bottom Line: I should not adore these.. But I do!

Rating: 7/10

Name: Peeps Cutouts
Brand: Just Born
Store: Target
Price: $0.99


Hershey’s Mint Miniatures

December 20, 2007

The Mint Miniatures are milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, and white confection infused with peppermint flavor. They smelled strongly of mint, even when they were still sealed inside the bag. I stored them separate from my other candy because I was afraid the mint would infect the other goods.

Mint Milk Chocolate: These are very strongly minted. Seriously. The blast of cool peppermint is really too much for me. I didn’t enjoy the intense mint mixed with so much sweet chocolate. Rating: 4/10

Mint Sweet Chocolate: The mint flavor is more subtle here. Mint seems to compliment darker chocolate better, and this is much more pleasant that the milk variety. Rating: 5/10

Mint White Crème with Candy Bits: These are basically flat Candy Cane Kisses studded with red and green nonpareils, so I’ll just refer you back to that review. I know I gave those a better rating, but I’m sick of white confection.. I want some white chocolate! Rating: 6/10

Overall, I wasn’t too crazy about these, which I think is reflected in the quick review. The best tasting were the white, but I only had a couple because, like the Candy Cane Kisses, they are made with inferior ingredients.

Nutrition Breakdown: Servings size is 4 pieces. Each serving contains 170 calories, 10g of fat, 20g of sugar, and 3g of protein.

Name: Hershey’s Miniature Mint Collection
Brand: Hershey’s
Store: Walgreens
Price: $1.00 (8.5oz)


Nestle Meets Santa Clause is Comin’ to Town

December 19, 2007

Santa Clause Is Comin’ To Town is one of the classic stop-motion Christmas specials — you know, the one with the Burgermeister Meisterburger. I’m not exactly sure how it ties in with Nestle, but let’s just go with it.

These come in Nestle Crunch and Butterfinger. The wrappers feature jolly old Santa, a few snowflakes, and the North Pole pole. Nostalgic. The chocolate medallions also feature Santa, which is a little weird. I feel bad eating this with Santa’s little molded face staring back at me. I don’t want to end up on the naughty list!

Butterfinger: Regular Butterfingers are covered in lackluster mockolate. This however, is made with real milk chocolate. That’s a necessity, because this is mostly chocolate. There are plenty crispy little Butterfinger bits that bring the salty peanut butter flavor, but it’s nothing close to the full on peanut butter blast of the Butterfinger.

I like this and I’m glad to have tried it with real milk chocolate. That being said, Nestle chocolate isn’t a favorite of mine, so I feel pretty ‘meh’ towards it.

This contains partially hydrogenated oils (most likely in the Butterfinger bits). The label does note that this “adds a trivial amount of trans fat.” So a slight tip of the hat to Nestle for at least noting that. (160 calories, 8g of fat, 18g of sugar, and 2g of protein per medallion)

Rating: 6/10


Nestle Crunch: So, this is pretty much a round Nestle Crunch; we’ve got the familiar sweet Nestle chocolate and crispy rice bits. I may say that I’m not crazy about Nestle chocolate — and I’m not — but the Nestle Crunch always wins me over in the end. It’s slightly malty, and I love malt. It’s familiar and good, but still, I want more from it. With a little more flavor, a little more maltiness, I would reach for these more often.

To it’s credit, this is free from any suspect ingredients. (170 calories, 9g of fat, 19g of sugar, and 1g of protein per medallion)

Rating: 7/10

Name: Santa Clause Is Comin’ To Town Butterfinger and Nestle Crunch
Brand: Nestle
Store: Walgreens
Price: $0.50


KitKat Holiday Assortment

December 18, 2007

I’ve always underappreciated the KitKat. It’s never been a go-to candy for me, but every time I have one I remember how good they are. After eating my way through this assortment I’m a bit more interested in the KitKat and the wacky flavors you can find across the world. This assortment is pretty classic though: milk, dark, and white KitKats.


Milk Chocolate (red): This is your classic KitKat, but the smaller size throws off the proportions a little. There is more chocolate to wafer here, but that’s certainly not a bad thing. It’s sweet and perfect with a cup of coffee or tea. Scrumptious! Rating: 9/10

Mildly Sweet Dark Chocolate (dark brown): I’ve never had a Dark KitKat, but I’ve heard people rave about it. I have to admit that I was a little under-whelmed by this. It was good, but I wasn’t blown away. The initial flavor reminded me strongly of coffee, but that morphed into a semi-sweet chocolate chip flavor, which overtook the wafer. I think this would be very nice in a regular size, with more wafer to chocolate. Rating: 7/10

White Candy (white): Note that this is white confection, not white chocolate. That’s because it’s made with various vegetable oils, not pure cocoa butter. I’ve come to expect that with most mass-produced white products. Still, I did enjoy these. It has a strong vanilla flavor that works well with the wafers. Rating: 7/10

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 5 pieces. Each serving contains 210 calories, 12g of fat, 20g of sugar, and 3g of protein.

Name: KitKat Assorted Minis
Brand: Hershey’s
Store: Target
Price: $1.66 (11oz)


Snickers Nutcracker

December 17, 2007

I picked this up with the Snickers Crème Pumpkin in mind. This is labeled Snickers Nutcracker, with no trace of the word crème in sight. Would it contain nougat or not? I figured that the odds were 75% in favor of there being no nougat and… there was no nougat. As with the Crème Pumpkin, this is a nougat-less, extra sweet Snickers. Yummy!

Ingredient Watch: Partially hydrogenated soybean oil in the caramel.

Nutrition Breakdown: Once again, there are no nutrition facts on the individual pieces. Boo. I did look at a multi-pack in the store to get the calorie count… but I forgot to write it down. I’m pretty sure it was 140 calories per Nutcracker, but don’t hold me on that.

Rating: 8/10

Name: Snickers Nutcracker
Brand: Mars
Store: Walgreens
Price: $0.50