Mint Crisp M&Ms

April 15, 2008

M&Ms has a history of movie tie-ins — at least, I know they’ve done tie-ins with Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean in recent years. The Star Wars campaign brought us the Dark M&Ms, which are now part of the permanent lineup. The white chocolate Pirate Pearls didn’t fare quite as well.

This year the big blockbuster is Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. I’m a little young for Indy, but my dad is a big fan. I’ve been rewatching the three movies before I see the fourth with him. I just love Indy’s theme song.

The bag features Green, who obviously has the hots for Dr. Jones. Hey, he’s Harrison Ford, so I totally get it. It also features phrases like “Dig New Mint Crisp M&Ms” and “Get ‘M’ Before They’re Lost.” On the back are two “arti-facts.” Mine are:

1. Green made her first TV appearance in 1997. (I remember this!)
2. The Mola Ram character doesn’t make his first appearance in Temple of Doom until an hour into the movie.

Inside the bag, the M&Ms feature a skull, Indy’s hat, a pyramid/ziggurat, a compass, and a face/mask. Each design incorporates the classic ‘m’ somehow. They’re more than a little irregular, and aren’t all that pretty. They come in various sizes, ranging from tiny to very large, and are lumpy and bumpy.

As for the taste — well, if memory serves me correctly, these taste almost just like the Mint M&Ms that I had during the Christmas season. That’s not a bad thing. It’s a semi-sweet chocolate with a fairly strong mint flavor. The difference is, of course, the crisp. I really like the crisp; it adds fun texture and a burst of salt. The crisp leads these to one-up the Christmas Mint M&Ms.

I like these, though I don’t think I would buy them often. It would be nice if they were added to the holiday line-up, when I seem to crave mint the most (or at least, when mint products are pervasive).

These have also been reviewed by Sugarhog, Candy Addict, and Candy Blog.

Nutrition Breakdown: Please note that this is for the large “tear ‘n share” bag. Serving size is one package. There are 380 calories, 17g of fat (10g saturated), 38g of sugar, and 4g of protein per serving.

Rating: 7/10

Name: Mint Crisp M&Ms
Brand: Mars
Store: Wal-mart
Price: Unknown
Weight: 2.7 oz.


Dove Milk Chocolate Truffle Egg

March 3, 2008

Easter brings my favorite holiday candy selection. In general, holiday candy is the standard fare wrapped in festive colors, but Easter has a little more variety. Of course, Easter-specific candies have begun to spill over to other holidays — Ghost Peeps, Cadbury Ornament Eggs — but I’ll always appreciate the holiday that brings my Cadbury Mini Eggs.

This week I have a slew of egg-shaped candies to review. I have a few roundups planned for later this week, but let’s start off small with the Dove Truffle Egg.

This is actually half an egg. It’s a molded piece with a flat bottom and a cutesy design on top. I associate Dove with smooth chocolate, and this fits the bill. It just melts away, due in part to the coconut oil in the truffled center. It’s sweet, but not sugary, and is quite creamy and dense. It’s so rich that I only ate half, but I quite enjoyed it and gobbled the rest down later in the day. It’s a nice little indulgence, and I’d pick up more if I found them on clearance.

I think a dark version of this exists, but does anyone know for sure?

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is one piece. Each serving contains 150 calories.

Rating: 8/10

Name: Dove Smooth Milk Chocolate Truffle Egg
Brand: Mars
Store: Walgreens
Price: $0.59
Weight: 0.9 oz.

Twix Java

February 21, 2008

The Twix is a tease. It offers a perfect combination of ingredients — shortbread cookie, caramel, and chocolate — but each ingredient shirks it’s job. This doesn’t make for bad candy, but it’s displeasing when you think about what the bar could be. I feel cheated every time I bite into one. Somehow, I always forget that I find them rather bland. (Maybe I’ll remember next time.)

Still, I was pretty excited when I heard about the limited edition Twix Java a few months back. I love coffee and chocolate together, as you might gather from some of my past reviews.

I was apprehensive when I saw that this utilized a chocolate cookie, especially after the greasy bit that was the Twix PB. Fortunately, the cookie here is much better, though lacking in flavor. It does lend a pleasing crisp, sandy texture. The caramel is where we get the flavor. It’s not your typical sweet, buttery caramel; instead it holds a surprisingly authentic coffee flavor. These coffee notes come with a welcome note of maple, and the milk chocolate coating sweetens it up just a bit more.

I first spotted it at the end of January, but I’m not sure how much longer they’ll be around, so you might want to grab it while you can. I prefer this to the regular Twix, and wouldn’t mind seeing it added to the regular line… and maybe as a fun size or a mini?

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is one package (two cookies). Each serving contains 280 calories, 15g of fat (11g saturated), 27g of sugar, and 3g of protein.

Rating: 7/10

Name: Twix Java
Brand: Mars (USA)
Store: Walmart
Price: $0.59
Weight: 2.0 oz.

Snickers Nut ‘n Butter Crunch

January 15, 2008

First, I think Nut ‘n Butter Crunch is a terrible name. What’s even worse is the description: “milk chocolate, peanuts and creamy peanut butter taste.” Um, peanut butter taste? What on Earth is that?

Honestly, I can’t really tell you what peanut butter taste is, even after eating the bar. I guess Mars couldn’t think of anything better to call it either. To me, it’s a cross between caramel and nougat, which is fitting because those are the components of a regular Snickers. It’s chewy, slightly sticky, and tastes like peanut butter — though not as strongly as I expected.

It’s very good, though I don’t think it’s better than a regular Snickers. It’s well padded with peanuts, so it is pretty crunchy. With all the peanuts and peanut butter, I expected it to be a little saltier. It’s sweet and quite satisfying, even though it’s a little smaller than a regular Snickers.

It’s labeled as a limited edition — I hope they change the name if they decide to add it to the regular line. I’m not sure when this came out, but it’s already been covered by Cybele at Candy Blog and Sera at Candy Addict. I may be a little late, but that’s okay.

Ingredient Watch: Contains high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and partially hydrogenated oils.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is one bar. Each bar contains 250 calories, 15g of fat, 21g of sugar, and 5g of protein.

Rating: 7/10

Name: Snickers Nut ‘n Butter Crunch
Brand: Mars
Store: Walgreens
Price: $0.69

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)

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

Dove Dark Chocolate

November 28, 2007

Dark chocolate is very fashionable these days, but I can’t think of many “convenience” dark chocolate bars. When I say convenience candy, I mean the candy that most people buy — the candy at the checkout aisle. In fact, the only plain dark chocolate convenience bars that I can think of are the Hershey’s Special Dark and the Dove Dark Chocolate. Or am I missing something?

Most chocolate lovers wouldn’t call this dark chocolate. It contains milkfat, and the first ingredient is sugar. But I think this works. It’s a convenience candy, so it’s meant to appeal to the general public. Really dark chocolate can be a bit of a shock to people who are used to milk chocolate. I think this bar is a good introduction to dark chocolate.

Dove chocolate is always very smooth, and this is no exception. It melts excellently. It’s sweet, but still has the deeper chocolate flavor that I expect from dark chocolate. There’s better chocolate out there, but not much at 50 cents a bar.

Rating: 7/10

Name: Dove Rich Dark Chocolate
Brand: Mars
Store: Walmart
Price: $0.50