Choxie Gingerbread Truffle Bar

January 3, 2008

I picked up this bar in a gift set of three Choxie Truffle Bars. It was the Milk Chocolate Collection, which also contained Creme Brulee and Peanut Butter Pretzel. Those reviews will be appearing over the next few weeks, along with reviews of the three bars in the Coffee Collection. Lots of Choxie coming your way, but I’ll try to space it out.

The Choxie Truffle Bars are thick slabs of an outer layer of chocolate and a truffled center. It’s split into eight rectangles. The Gingerbread Bar is milk chocolate filled with a slightly darker truffled center and gingerbread pieces.

I’ve already expressed my love of gingerbread in my Frey Gingerbread review, so comparisons are inevitable. While I found the Frey bar perfectly balanced, this bar leaned a little too heavily toward the chocolate. Mind you, it’s good chocolate – not too sweet with a lovely melty center. The problem is that there aren’t enough gingerbread pieces. They are few and far between, lending only a hint of gingerbread, not the full-on flavor that I crave.

Ingredient Watch: All clear.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 1/2 a bar. There are 200 calories, 14g of fat, 15g of sugar, and 2g of protein per serving.

Rating: 7/10

Name: Milk Chocolate Gingerbread Truffle Bar
Brand: Choxie (Target)
Store: Target
Price: $1.66 (in a set of 3 for $5)

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Frey Gingerbread

January 2, 2008

I know I said the Mint M&Ms were the last of the my holiday items, but I lied. I have two gingerbread bars to review, and I suppose they’re considered seasonal. Today we have the Frey Gingerbread, and tomorrow, a Choxie bar.

I love ginger in all it’s forms: fresh, crystallized, or ground spice. I especially love gingerbread cookies around the holidays. To my delight, Gingerbread was one of the three limited edition holiday flavors released by Frey this year. (The others are Fruit & Nut and Cinnamon & Coriander.)

I opened the package expecting to see chunks of gingerbread cookie in the chocolate. I didn’t. In fact, the top of the bar was perfectly smooth. The bottom revealed tiny indentations, and indeed, the cookie bits in this bar are very tiny. They are hardly visible, even after biting into the bar.

The cookie pieces may be tiny, but they are abundant! The bar is crunchy and full of gingerbread flavor. I find the spicy ginger and nutmeg to be the perfect compliment to the sweet milk chocolate. The balance is spot on. The chocolate could have easily overwhelmed the gingerbread, and vice versa, but they aren’t competing here.

I’m not sure if Target still has these out. But I do hope they have them again next year!

Ingredient Watch: Nothing suspect here. Kudos to Frey!

Nutrition Breakdown: Each bar contains 2.5 servings. Each serving contains 210 calories, 11g of fat, 24g of sugar, and 2g of protein.

Bottom Line: Yummy!

Rating: 9/10

Name: Gingerbread
Brand: Frey
Store: Target
Price: $1.50


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)


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