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.


New York Cheesecake Kisses

January 16, 2008

New York Cheesecake Kisses. New York Cheesecake Flavored Creme wrapped in Extra Creamy Milk Chocolate. I find them so very fascinating. In fact, my fascination with these has made it difficult for me to review and rate them. I had quite a few thoughts about them before I even ate one. Trust me, that really affects one’s tasting.

I first heard of these Kisses from Cybele at Candy Blog, who posted a list of some of the recent limited edition flavors. I initially found the idea repulsive. Cheesecake Kisses? Blargh! On the other hand, I’ve enjoyed yogurt and other dairy flavored bars. Was cheesecake really that out of the ordinary? Maybe I was being too quick to judge, but I was very skeptical about Hershey’s ability to pull it off.

I came upon these on accident. I was cutting through the Valentine’s aisle at Walmart with no intention of even looking at candy. But when I found myself facing a huge display of these, I decided I had no choice (or no will power) and scooped up a bag.

Lets get to the part that you guys actually care about. What do they taste like? They are very rich and buttery, a little salty, and have a strong tangy diary component. I don’t think they taste like cheesecake. However, because I know they are Cheesecake Kisses, I translate the tangy dairy notes into cream cheese. But really, those notes could just as easily be yogurt or any other diary product. But cheesecake is the bestseller!

The predominant flavor, I think, is butter – and that’s a little gross. Still, I almost like them – almost. They are so rich that I can only eat about two at a time, but I keep finding myself reaching for them again, trying to decide how I feel about them. I’m quite down the middle; I don’t actually like them, but I don’t actually dislike them either. I think I’ll be one of the few in that camp; most people will probably either love them or hate them. So if you are interested, I suggest giving them a try for yourself.

If you are trying to find them, check out the Valentine’s candy; they are in Valentine’s packaging. They are also featured on Hershey’s Valentine’s site. Interestingly, that site features an image of them in a single serving package. I haven’t seen this in stores, so let us know if you do! I found these at Walmart, so I’m sure they also them at Sam’s. I don’t know if it’s exclusive to them.

Ingredient Watch: PGPR.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 9 pieces. Each serving contains 210 calories, 13g of fat, 23g of sugar, and 3g of protein.

Rating: 5/10

Name: New York Cheesecake Kisses
Brand: Hershey’s
Store: Walmart
Price: $2.69 (14oz)

Hershey’s Kisses Trio

January 8, 2008

I spotted these at Target about a week before Christmas. I resisted – I didn’t need another bag of candy. Of course, that didn’t last long; I picked them up on my next visit. They are packaged in a hot pink bag decorated with hearts, so that pretty much screams “Valentine’s product.”

Kisses Trio are “milk and dark chocolate drizzled with white creme.” They have a milk chocolate base, a dark chocolate top, and white stripes. The white stripes are purely for decoration; they don’t add any flavor. I guess Kisses Duo didn’t have the same ring to it. That’s just as well, because I’m really not interested in white creme – only white chocolate.

These suffer the same problem as many other Kiss varieties – they are too similar to the original Kisses. I’m sure I could tell them apart in a blind taste test, but the Kisses Trio just aren’t improving on or adding anything original to the traditional Kiss.

They’re somewhere in between Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and Special Dark Chocolate. I know, I know, duh – they’re a mix of the two. The flavors run together, giving something less tangy than the milk, but smoother than the dark. Or, you can bite off the bottom and then eat the top, having your milk and dark separately.

These aren’t bad, just uninspiring. I would have preferred a three layer Kiss, with each chocolate getting it’s own layer.

Ingredient Watch: Both the dark and milk chocolates contain PGPR. The white creme, as mentioned, isn’t white chocolate because it’s made with various vegetable oils. But there’s such a minuscule amount of white creme it’s not a big deal.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 9 pieces. Each serving contains 13g of fat, 22g of sugar, and 3g of protein.

Rating: 6/10

Name: Kisses Trio
Brand: Hershey’s
Store: Target
Price: $2.50 (11oz)

Candy Cane Kisses

December 10, 2007

I heard a lot of good things about the Candy Cane Kisses last year, but I never got around to buying them. This year I made sure to pick up a bag. They really are quite cute. Red stripes stand out against white confection, which is dotted with red nonpareils. They are dressed in silver foil wrappers adorned with red canes.

The white confection is sweet and tastes strongly of vanilla. The infused peppermint flavor is refreshing and festive, but not overwhelming. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed, because I expected candy cane bits, not nonpareils. But the nonpareils add a nice crunch, and don’t stick in your teeth like candy cane bits probably would.

Ingredient Watch: These aren’t white chocolate, as they aren’t made with pure cocoa butter. There’s a good amount of palm, shea, sunflower, and safflower oil here. These also contain PGPR.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 9 pieces. There are 220 calories, 12g of fat, 25g of sugar, and 4g of protein per serving.

Bottom Line: Tasty and fairly addicting. Too bad these aren’t pure cocoa butter; a good melt would blow me away.

Rating: 7/10

Name: Candy Cane Kisses
Brand: Hershey’s
Store: Target
Price: $2.00 (11oz)

Hot Cocoa Creme Kisses

December 6, 2007

I’ve been curious about these. How can hot cocoa work as a flavor? What sets hot cocoa apart is the fact that it is hot; aside from that you just have chocolate milk. Still, I think they probably captured the flavor as best as they could. I suppose they could have thrown in some marshmallow flavor. After all, who doesn’t have marshmallows with their hot cocoa? But no, no marshmallow here (and it may be better that way).

These are reminiscent of a regular Hershey’s Kiss, but a bit milkier. It’s smooth, milky chocolate creme surrounded by classic Hershey’s milk chocolate. They’re sweet, but not throat burningly so. I find them rather comforting, actually. I think that fits in with the hot cocoa theme. They really remind me of homemade chocolate buttercream icing.

Ingredient Watch: These contain PGPR.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 9 pieces. There are 210 calories, 13g of fat, 23g of sugar, and 3g of protein per serving.

Bottom Line: This remind me of comforting, homemade chocolate icing. That can’t be bad.

Rating: 7/10

Name: Hot Cocoa Creme Kisses
Brand: Hershey’s
Store: Walgreens
Price: $1.00 (8.5oz)

Mint Truffle Kisses

December 4, 2007

The Mint Truffle Kisses are a new addition to the Kisses lineup. I think they’re either limited edition or seasonal… I guess it depends on how well they sell this year! They are wrapped in either silver or green foil; each bag has a mix of both. They are dark chocolate filled with a creamy mint center. To my surprise, the center is bright green. I guess I should have looked at the picture on the wrapper.

These are very strongly minted, more so than either a York Pattie or Andes Mint, which I find myself comparing these to. The center is dense and creamy, not fluffy and sweet like a York Pattie. The dark chocolate is a nice addition, but it’s really overtaken by the mint. I think the chocolate comes through more in an Andes Mint.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 9 pieces. There are 210 calories, 14g of fat, 22g of sugar, and 2g of protein per serving.

Bottom Line: These are good, but I’d rather have an Andes Mint or York Pattie.

Rating: 6/10

Name: Mint Truffle Kisses
Brand: Hershey’s
Store: Target
Price: $2.00 (11oz)