Emily’s Chocolate Covered Berries and Cherries

June 25, 2008

I don’t often seek fruit flavors with my chocolate, but I do love chocolate-covered fruit. Give me a pot of melted chocolate and an assortment of fresh fruit, and I’m one happy blogger.

I received these samples of Emily’s dark-chocolate-covered fruit, and I was intrigued. The only dried fruit I’ve had covered in chocolate are raisins. It’s the only thing (that I know of) that’s widely available. The addition of chocolate covered strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, and cherries is certainly a welcome one, especially for the summer.

I like Emily’s packaging. It’s simple and clean, but still attractive and practical. The bags are resealable, which I really appreciate.

The berries themselves are lovely, shiny little things, thanks in part to a coating of confectioner’s glaze. They’re all covered in the same rich dark chocolate, which is quite good, if a tad sweet.

Strawberry, Cherry, Blueberry, Cranberry

Strawberries: You may expect the strawberry to be lost in that thick coat of chocolate, but trust me, that berry packs a lot of flavor. The strawberry is a perfect compliment to the dark chocolate, and the balance is great. Even though it’s a dried strawberry, it still tastes fresh and juicy to me. What can I say? I really loved these. Rating: 9/10

Blueberries: These are good, but inconsistent. The larger berries are great, right up there with the strawberries. They pack a great blueberry flavor that balances nicely with the chocolate. This balance is lost with the smaller berries, which are overwhelmed by the thick chocolate coating. The result is more like a mild blueberry-flavored chocolate. It’s still tasty, but they aren’t reaching their potential. Rating: 7/10

Cranberries: Like some of the blueberries, all of the cranberries were overwhelmed by their chocolate coating. These reminded me a lot of Raisinets, just with more (and better) chocolate. Again, they were tasty, I just wanted more cranberry out of these. Rating: 6/10

Chocolate Covered CherriesCherries: While the berries are sweet, the cherries are very tart, making for an excellent contrast with the chocolate. If you like sour cherries, these are a real treat. They’re a little overwhelming if you eat too many at once, but two or three after dinner makes for a nice dessert. Rating: 8/10

Bottom Line: I liked all of these, but I thought the Strawberries and Cherries were the standouts — I would buy those again.

Name: Dark Chocolate Covered Berries
Brand: Emily’s
Price: Samples, but they retail for 3.99 each.
Store: Samples, but retail partners are listed here.
Weight: 6-7 oz each.


Toblerone One By Ones

April 21, 2008

Toblerone One by Ones are individually wrapped Toblerone peaks. There are five varieties in the box. My box included nine milk, four white, four milk/white, three praline, and three dark for a total of 23 pieces, close to the box’s specified amount of 20 chocolates.

Dark (black): This one is a slightly fruity, semi-sweet chocolate. It’s far too sweet for my tastes — that often tends to be my problem with dark chocolate. There’s nothing to balance out the sweetness, and the actual chocolate flavors are overwhelmed. I didn’t get any of the honey or almond nougat flavors here.

Praline (red): I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with this one. It’s not bad, but I was hoping for a hazelnut filling, like the Ritter Praline. Instead, it’s a milk chocolate piece with a soft milk chocolate cream filling. The innards are studded with nougat, but the outside is not — that’s how you can tell it from the milk chocolate piece when unwrapped. The taste is quite milky and a little musky. It has a truffle-like melt which is quite nice. I didn’t get the nougat much in this one either.

Milk (yellow): I like this one. I taste coconut, and I love that compliment to my chocolate. I’m not sure where the coconut flavor is coming from, but I won’t complain. The chocolate is quite milky and not too sweet. The strong dairy flavor is brightened up by the honey nougat. It’s not stellar, but it’s solid.

White (white): This is easily the milkiest white chocolate that I have ever had. The dusky milk notes really tone down the sweetness and work well with the vanilla and honey notes. I like it.

Milk/White (blue): This one is adorable. It looks like a little snowcapped mountain, which I’m sure is what they were going for. The (rather boring) name is self-explanatory. It’s a combo of the milk and white chocolates. The white chocolate brings a little more vanilla to the party, but it mostly tastes like the milk chocolate.

Overall, I liked these. They’re attractive candy dish filler, and there is a little something for everyone. I liked all the pieces aside from the dark, which wasn’t actually bad.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 5 pieces. There are 220 calories, 13g of fat, 25g of sugar, and 2g of protein per serving.

Rating: 7/10

Name: Toblerone One By Ones
Brand: Kraft
Store: Wal-mart
Price: $3.88
Weight: 7.05 oz.


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.


Elmer’s Easter Eggs II

March 10, 2008

One thing I forgot to mention in the first leg of the Elmer’s roundup was that it’s pretty cheap. These here were three for a dollar.

Sometimes cheap things bring pleasant surprises. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Here are examples of each.

Gold Brick Egg: I remember these. I would always get at least a couple in my Easter basket and would never eat them because they contained pecans. If the formula was the same then as it is now, I had little to worry about. There are practically no pecans here, and that’s a problem if you’re going to call it a “pecan melt-a-way.” There are a few pecan chips, which is what you see in the photo, but it’s not nearly enough to add flavor. I don’t like it when candy lies.

On to the chocolate. It doesn’t get much better here. It tastes more of fudge than chocolate… which is okay, I guess. I thought it might be fake!chocolate, so I checked the ingredients. Like the Dove Truffle Egg, this is chocolate filled with a “melt-a-way” filling. In the Dove Egg, coconut oil is used to create that silky texture. In the Gold Brick Egg, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil is used. It’s certainly not quality ingredients, but I don’t know that I’d call it mockolate. (The outer layer of chocolate is quite real.)

In the end, I’m concerned with the taste. It’s not offensive, just bland. I don’t like or dislike it. It was cheap and it‘s a classic/novelty, so I considered giving it a 5. Then I remembered that it lied about the pecans. That demoted it to a 4.

Nutritional Breakdown: Serving size is one piece. There are 160 calories, 10g of fat (7g saturated), 16g of sugar, and 1g of protein per serving.

Rating: 4/10

Heavenly Hash: Let’s move on to something much better. Marshmallow and almonds enrobed in milk chocolate? Sounds great to me! The chocolate coating is fine, nothing outstanding, but perfectly acceptable. The marshmallow is a bit sweet, but the texture is nice — soft, moist, and stretchy. Now the almonds… yum! The almonds are great. They are whole, crunchy, fresh, and perfectly roasted. The nuttiness cuts through the sweetness and gives the piece a nice balance. Unfortunately, there were only two or three almonds in mine. I would really love (and certainly be willing to pay more than 33 cents for) this if it had more almonds. Still, it’s quite good.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is one piece. There are 160 calories, 6g of fat (3g saturated), 23g of sugar, and 1g of protein per serving.

Rating: 7/10

Name: Gold Brick Egg / Heavenly Hash
Brand: Elmer’s
Store: Walgreens
Price: $0.33 each
Weight: 1 oz / 1.33 oz


A Russell Stover Easter

March 4, 2008

When I first saw these I thought, ‘Russell Stover duped the Cadbury Crème Egg!’ I should have given them a little more credit, as these are bit different.

However, these do bear some resemblance to the Cadbury Crème, so I’ll preface this roundup with this statement: I’ve never liked Cadbury Crème Eggs. They’re too sweet for me. While I enjoy sweet chocolate, I’m not one for straight up sugary-sweetness. So, if you like the Cadburies, you’ll probably disagree with my assessment of these.

(I do, however, love that clucking bunny.)


Vanilla and Chocolate Crème: This is a milk chocolate shell filled with a sticky, liquefied vanilla fondant and a chocolate “yolk.” The filling is sugary-sweet — so much that it burns my throat. It doesn’t scream vanilla to me; it just sort of whispers it after assaulting me with sweetness. The chocolate yolk blended with the vanilla so that I couldn’t discern any distinct flavor.

The chocolate shell is good, and not too sweet, but is really overpowered by the filling. If you like Cadbury Crème Eggs, this might be for you, but it’s a bit too sweet for me! Rating: 4/10


Chocolate Crème: I hoped that the chocolate crème would be less sweet, but it’s still throat-searing. It’s not particularly chocolate-ty, just slightly fudgy. It reminds me a bit of chocolate syrup.

The texture of the filling is nice and thick. It’s quite viscous, so you don’t have to worry about it dripping all over you — unless it’s hot, I guess. It’s also very shiny, and I like shiny things. :P Rating: 5/10


Dark Chocolate Crème: This contains the same chocolate crème, but with a dark chocolate shell and a vanilla yolk plopped inside. The chocolate shell is good — not too sweet or bitter — and has a nice snap. Still, it’s not enough to tone down the sweetness of the filling. I think this would benefit from thicker sides. I ended up scooping a bit of the filling out with my fingers and eating the remains — it was pretty good that way, but my fingers were all sticky. Rating: 5/10

Marshmallow and Caramel: Don‘t worry, I’m actually quite fond of this one! The marshmallow filling is, surprisingly, not very sweet. It’s quite moist; in fact, it feared it would be greasy, but the mouth-feel was just fine. The yolk is a dollop of sweet, buttery caramel. All of the flavors — the marshmallow, caramel, and chocolate — work very well together.

Russell Stover also makes an enrobed Marshmallow and Caramel Egg, but this is very different — I like it better! Rating: 7/10

Cybele at Candy Blog also reviewed these.

Name: …Eggs.
Brand: Russell Stover
Store: Walgreens
Price: $0.50 each
Weight: 0.9 oz (marshmallow) and 1.2 oz. (the others)


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.


KitKat Extra Crispy

February 4, 2008

The KitKat has many forms. This one is Extra Crispy, with “twice the crisp as the regular KitKat.” I don’t think that’s a fair comparison. This bar is like the BigKat – a single giant KitKat finger. Of course it’s going to be crispier – there’s more room for wafers! T

hat being said, I think the wafers here are a little thicker than usual, but I can’t be sure without anything to compare it to. I’d actually like to compare it to the BigKat to see what the difference is.

So, it’s sweet, it’s milky, it’s crispy – it’s a tall KitKit bar! I don’t think this tastes much different than a regular KitKat. It’s a little crispier and the chocolate sides are much thicker, but the taste is still very similar. I do think the thick walls of chocolate throw off the balance.

I prefer the format of the regular KitKat. It’s easier to share or save. It also lends itself better to my preferred method of KitKit consumption. I like to eat the chocolate off the sides and then peel each individual wafer away. That’s not as much fun with this giant finger.

But in the end, it’s a KitKit, and it tastes good.

Ingredient Watch: Contains PGPR.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is one bar. Each bar contains 230 calories, 12g of fat, 23g of sugar, and 3g of protein.

Rating: 7/10

Name: KitKat Extra Crispy
Brand: Hershey’s
Store: Walgreens
Price: $0.69