Cookies ‘n’ Creme Kisses

May 19, 2008

I like to try the limited edition Kiss flavors, and people know this. This week I was presented with two huge bags of Kisses — one Cookies and Cream, the other Vanilla Yogurt (which will be up later this week). That’s about 28 ounces of Kisses. Yikes!

I expected these to be like Hershey’s Cookies and Cream bar, which is white confection studded with chocolate cookie pieces. Instead, the Kisses are white confection studded with crunchy nonpareils, even though there are Oreo-like wafer cookies illustrated on the package. The crunchiness of the nonpareils is okay, but they don’t constitute cookie in either texture or flavor.

The white confection is grainy and oh-so-very throat-burning sweet… which isn’t surprising. There is a strong vanilla flavor, which I suppose can be translated as cookie-ish. Just think vanilla wafers, not Oreos. Actually, think of vanilla wafers dipped in milk with two extra spoonfuls of sugar, and you’re there.

Bottom line: Too sweet, grainy texture, and somewhat misrepresented. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the giant bag I have. (Actually, I know plenty of people who will take them..)

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 9 pieces. There are 210 calories, 11g of fat (7g saturated), 21g of sugar, and 3g of protein per serving.

Rating: 4/10

Name: Cookies ‘n’ Crème Kisses
Brand: Hershey’s
Store: Walmart
Price: $3.00
Weight: 18.8 oz.


Reese’s Whoppers

May 14, 2008

After reviewing the Strawberry Milkshake Whoppers a couple weeks ago, I felt I had to give the new Reese’s Whoppers a shot. The Reese’s line may be Hershey’s most popular, and they’ve expanded well beyond the classic Peanut Butter Cup over the past few years. I’m actually surprised that the strawberry flavor hit the market before these. Peanut butter is a crowd-pleaser, and it’s a natural place to take malted milk balls.

I wasn’t thrilled with these, but I didn’t have high expectation, so that’s okay. The peanut butter coating is greasy and waxy, keeping in line with other Whoppers products. It a bit too sweet for me. The malt and the peanut butter aren’t distinctive enough. I felt like I was eating sugary cereal… this is probably what the Reese’s cereal tastes like.

For me, the peanut butter and malt are two sides of a triangle, and they really need chocolate to serve as the missing leg. I think Hershey should have gone with the classic peanut butter and chocolate combo as opposed of simple peanut butter.

Overall, not bad, but not worth it.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 17 pieces. There are 190 calories, 8g of fat (7g saturated), 19g of sugar, and 4g of protein per serving.

Rating: 5/10

Name: Reese’s Whoppers
Brand: Hershey
Store: Wal-mart
Price: $0.99
Weight: 3.5 oz.


Hershey’s Cacao Reserve Truffles

May 5, 2008

I love this idea. It’s like emergency chocolate — little one-bite truffles in a portable tin. Each Altoids-like tin is filled with eight itty-bitty molded truffles, though they do have a homespun look to them.

I found these on clearance, but they usually ring up at $2.50 per tin. That’s a pretty steep price for Hershey’s fare. I know it’s part of the Cacao Reserve line, but for me, premium Hershey’s doesn’t equal upscale.

Milk Chocolate: These melt away into something thick and greasy that coats my mouth unpleasantly. The taste is similar to Hershey’s milk chocolate — tangy and yogurt-y, but more so. It’s actually borderline sour. I’d rather have a tin of mini Hershey’s Kisses.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is one package. There are 310 calories, 22g of fat (14g saturated), 23g of sugar, and 3g of protein per serving. That breaks down to about 40 calories and 3g of fat per truffle.

Rating: 4/10

Dark Chocolate: The outer shell is a bittersweet chocolate with a dry snap that sets it apart from the creamy center. The filling may or may not be the same as the milk, but it does have the same thick and greasy texture. It contains cream and milk, which accounts for the tangy dairy flavor I get. Overall, it was actually rather bland, but I still prefer it to the milk version. These are best enjoyed by popping the whole thing in your mouth and letting it melt away.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is one package. There are 290 calories, 22g of fat (15g saturated), 17g of sugar, and 4g of protein per serving. That breaks down to about 35 calories and 3g of fat per truffle.

Rating: 4/10
(taking the regular price into account)

Overall, as much as I love the idea, these are overpriced and not all that tasty. I’m going to keep the tins to see what other wee treats I can fit inside.

Name: Cacao Reserve Milk and Dark Chocolate Truffles
Brand: Hershey’s
Store: Target
Price: $1.24 / $0.62 (regular $2.50 each)
Weight: 1.8 oz. each


Strawberry Milkshake Whoppers

April 23, 2008

Weirdly, I love Robin’s Eggs but don’t care for Whoppers. The candy shell makes the difference I guess, but please, don’t ask me how so.

I’ve never been a strawberry milkshake person either. I prefer vanilla or peanut butter. (No, not chocolate — I don’t care much for chocolate ice cream, surprisingly.) I only started eating strawberry ice cream a couple years ago.

So, Strawberry Milkshake Whoppers aren’t exactly my ideal candy, as much as I may love malted milk. Hershey’s introduced the flavor to the Whoppers line about two years ago. I glanced at them, wrinkled my nose, and waited for them to go away. They never did. I don’t know if that was always the intention or if these just sold very well, but they’re still here. Staring at me. Demanding that I try them

Obviously, I finally broke down and did so.

They’re pretty, pale pink little gems, not the pepto-pink color you might expect. The strawberry confection is greasy to the touch but is not unpleasant in my mouth. Of course, it would be nice to have a real white chocolate coating, but we can’t expect much seeing as regular Whoppers have a chocolate-ty versus a chocolate coating.

The flavor is surprisingly pleasant. I suppose they taste a bit like strawberry ice cream, but a little more mellow. They remind me very much of summer, cotton candy, and bubble gum. The malt-ness of the center isn’t very strong, but the salty kick provides a nice contrast.

I think I prefer these to regular Whoppers. I shared with a friend, and she absolutely loved them. So much, in fact, that she went out and bought a big box a couple days later. I wouldn’t buy these for myself, but I’ll munch on a couple if my friend is sharing.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 18 pieces. There are 190 calories, 8g of fat (8g saturated), 26g of sugar, and less than 1g of protein per serving.

Rating: 6/10

Name: Whoppers Strawberry Milkshake
Brand: Hershey
Store: Wal-mart
Price: $0.99
Weight: 3.5 oz.


Hershey’s Nut Lovers Miniatures

March 31, 2008

A few weeks ago, I admitted to not liking nuts as a kids. These days, however, I am a certified nut lover. I like the simple combination of nuts and chocolate. The Nut Lovers Miniatures have been trying to get my attention for a while now, so I finally gave in and bought them.

Extra Creamy Milk Chocolate with Cashews:
While I love to eat cashews out of hand, I think they have a hard time standing up to chocolate. That’s certainly the case here. There are just a few pieces of chopped cashews strewn throughout the chocolate. It’s just enough to lend a mild nutty flavor and a slight salty bite, nothing more. It needs more cashews.

I always find the extra creamy milk chocolate to be off-putting. It’s just not Hershey’s chocolate. It’s less chocolate-ty, and it trades the classic tangy yogurt notes for something more akin to sweet whipped cream. It’s not bad, per se, but come on Hershey, don’t be afraid to be yourself! (To their credit, the cashews would definitely be lost in traditional Hershey’s chocolate.)

Made with Chocolate and Peanuts: Mr. Goodbar, what have they done to you? It makes sense that this would be included in the mix, but not redressed as “made with chocolate and peanuts.” I guess the name Mr. Goodbar doesn’t fit in with the rest of the mix, but they could have kept it as a simple Hershey’s with Peanuts. *sigh* I think I let these things get to me too much.

Despite the name change, this is the same Mr. Goodbar that you find with the traditional Miniatures. It’s only bar in the mix with a sufficient amount of nuts, I think. I love ‘em. The simple combination of peanuts and chocolate is great.

Milk Chocolate with Almonds: Here’s another familiar face, but in name more than composition, opposite our dear Mr. Goodbar. The full-sized Hershey’s with Almonds employs full-sized almonds, but we’ve got crushed almonds here. It’s a disadvantage; there aren’t enough almonds to get a satisfying crunch or flavor.

Pecans and Crème: I was wary of this one. I wasn’t sure how pecans would go with white chocolate confection. After tasting this, I think it could be a decent combination, but there aren’t enough pecans here to make a fair assessment. The white confection is overly sweet and tastes strongly of vanilla. The occasional pecan is pleasing, but these were mostly a miss for me.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 5 pieces. There are 220 calories, 14g of fat (7g saturated), 21g of sugar, and 4g of protein per serving.

Rating: 6/10 (because Mr. Goodbar rules)

Name: Nut Lovers Miniatures
Brand: Hershey’s
Store: Target
Price: $2.00
Weight: 11 oz.


Reese’s Pieces Pastel Eggs

March 19, 2008

I love milk carton packaging. It makes sharing and saving for later very easy. It also makes an excellent noise maker musical instrument, much to some parent’s annoyance.

The Reese’s Pieces Eggs are quite pleasing to the eye. They are very uniform in size and the pastel colors fit the season. The shell is very smooth on cool on the tongue. It’s a thick shell, so it’s hard to peel off with my teeth.

Not so long ago I said that problem with Reese’s Pieces is that they don’t taste like much unless you eat a handful at once. The Pastel Eggs solve that problem. The larger size lends a much bigger peanut butter punch. These are Reese’s Pieces of course, so the filling is sweet and smooth, unlike the salty, crumbly interior of a Reese’s Cup.

This is a nice way to get your Reese’s Pieces fix, if you require that for nostalgic reasons like me. I can see myself picking up a container of these each Easter. I think it would be great to mix these with some Hershey’s Eggs.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 12 pieces. There are 180 calories, 8g of fat (7g saturated), 22g of sugar, and 4g of protein per serving.

Rating: 8/10

Name: Reese’s Pieces Pastel Eggs
Brand: Hershey’s
Store: Target
Price: $0.99
Weight: 3.5 oz.


Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter and Chocolate

February 22, 2008

When I bought this, I hardly registered what it was. It was robotic. I thought ‘candy… new…’ and my arm automatically reached for the box. Such is the fate of a candy blogger… we’re like machines, except we run on sugar instead of fossil fuels.

Imagine my disappointment (just disappointment, not surprise) when I got home and noticed that this utilized no chocolate, but “chocolate candy” instead. Yeah, you know, “mockolate.” The fake stuff. It’s the pyrite of the candy world.

It’s particularly disappointing because this is a pretty good idea: candy-coated peanut butter candies mixed with candy-coated chocolate candies. It should be the Reese’s Cup that melts in your mouth, not in your hand… but it’s not. The chocolate candy just doesn’t taste very chocolate-ty. It’s sweet with a mild cocoa flavor, but just isn’t very good. The Reese’s Pieces are their classic selves, a sweet peanut butter candy, which has always reminded me a bit of peanut butter fudge.

Reese’s Pieces were a favorite of mine when I was younger, even more so than Reese’s Cups. It’s odd really, considering that I’ve always been a huge chocolate-lover. These days, Reese’s Pieces disappoint me. They’re not bad — not by far — but they don’t taste like much unless you pop a bunch at once. That’s just not my style. I’m a sorter — each color gets it’s own pile, and then I methodically eat them one by one. Still, I’ll always have a soft spot for them.

The Reese’s Pieces are in their traditional colors of orange, yellow, and brown. The chocolate pieces are dressed in red, green, and blue. I found this disappointing as well; I hoped it would be like roulette — you don’t know if it’s chocolate or peanut butter until you bite into it. They should have just mixed up some Reese’s Pieces and Kissables. Then we could have gotten some real chocolate, at least.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 46 pieces. There are 2.5 servings per box. There are 190 calories, 9g of fat (6g saturated), 25g of sugar, and 3g of protein per serving.

Rating: 4/10 for the mix, but 6/10 for Reese‘s Pieces alone.

Name: Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter and Chocolate
Brand: Reese’s (Hershey) (USA)
Store: Wal-mart
Price: $0.99
Weight: 3.5 oz