Whoopie Pie vs. Oreo Cakester

June 17, 2008

This is an addendum to yesterday’s Whoopie Pie post.

A while back I posted a recipe for chocolate sandwich cookies, which were basically homemade Oreos. Katie asked if they were like the Oreo Cakesters, which I thought were more like Whoopie Pies at the time. So when I made the Whoopie Pies, I bought a box of the Cakesters for comparison.

They taste nothing alike, and the texture’s not very similar either. The Cakesters taste just like an Oreo, but are softer. They’re still a little chewy though, and not nearly as tender as the Whoopie Pies. They’re somewhere in between the cookies and the pies, I think. (Katie, you were right!)

The Cakesters are a lot smaller than I expected too. The picture above is comparing it to the smallest Whoopie Pies that I made. They come two cakes to a package for a total of 250 calories.

I wasn’t too crazy about them. I ate one cake and gave the rest of the box to my brother. But really, they taste just like Oreos. If you like those, you’ll like these.

Nabisco also sells Oreo Chocolate Creme and ‘Nilla Cakesters.


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.


Pucca Choco Pretzel

April 14, 2008

The Japanese know how to do cute, and their sweets are no exception. These little fish-shaped pretzel-cookies are filled with “choco cream” — think of an inside-out chocolate covered pretzel. They are absolutely adorable. In addition the the fish, my box contained at least one octopus-shaped cookie. I thought it was deformed at first, but then I noticed that octopus shapes were featured on the box. So, sorry octopus. You’re aren’t deformed; in fact, you’re just as cute as your fish-shaped companions!

Unfortunately, my infatuation with these starts with the cuteness and abruptly ends with the flavor.

The pretzel shell is nice and crunchy, but it’s really nothing but a bland cracker. It has no taste, not even a hint of salt. That’s a shame, because I really love the salty-sweet combo of a chocolate covered pretzel.

The “choco cream” is a mixture of sugar, vegetable shortening, cocoa mass, and powdered milk. I’m not loving it or, well, even liking it. The taste is tolerable — it has a strong dairy component and is slightly malty. The texture, however, is terribly greasy and coats my mouth unpleasantly.

Overall, these are cute, but the taste and especially the texture of the filling killed these for me. I believe they also come in a strawberry flavor.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 4 cookies. There are 80 calories, 4.5g of fat (2.5g saturated), 4g of sugar, and less than 1g of protein per serving.

Rating: 4/10

Name: Pucca Choco Pretzel
Brand: Meiji
Store: World Market
Price: $1.50
Weight: 1.76 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.


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


Ritter Minis Assortment

January 23, 2008

I love assortments like this because I get to try a bunch of different flavors without having to buy full-sized bars. This assortment of Mini Ritter Sport bars contains nine bars in seven flavors – there were two Yogurt and Knusperflakes. Each mini bar is 2×2 for a total of four squares, or one-fourth the size of a regular Ritter.

Vollmilch / Milk Chocolate:
This is the base for most of the other bars in the assortment. It’s a sweet, rich milk chocolate with strong dairy notes. I’m pretty fond of it. Rating: 7/10

Hazelnuss / Hazelnuts: Here we have chopped hazelnuts in milk chocolate. Sweet and nutty; simple but effective. Rating: 8/10

Knusperflakes / Corn Flakes:
This is milk chocolate with corn flakes. In the US, crisped rice candy is very common, but corn flake bars are rare. That’s odd, considering we are the biggest corn producers. It’s also too bad, as corn flakes add more flavor and crunch than crisped rice does. I’m really like this, but I’m already a big fan of corn flakes with sweets – I love corn flakes in ice cream. Rating: 8/10

Knusperkeks / Butter Biscuit:
This is a butter cookie/cracker covered in milk chocolate. There is also a layer of chocolate creme, but it didn’t stand out from the chocolate coating. The soft flaky cracker goes well with the chocolate. Rating: 7/10

Marzipan / Marzipan: This is the only bar in the assortment without a milk chocolate base. Instead we have semi-sweet chocolate filled with marzipan. I’d never had marzipan before, but I love almonds, amaretto, and anything made with almond extract. Marzipan seems right up my alley, but alas, I didn’t enjoy this. It has strong alcohol flavor and an unpleasant sandy texture. I only detected a hint of almond after the alcohol taste faded away. I’m not sure if I don’t like marzipan, or if I didn’t like this marzipan. Rating: 4/10

Nugat / Praline: This is not what I was expecting – it’s not what I would call nougat or praline, but on second thought, praline is often used to describe European filled chocolates. Anyway, this is milk chocolate filled with a thick hazelnut creme. It’s quite nutty, a little sticky, and perfect for hazelnut nuts like me. Rating: 9/10

Joghurt / Yogurt: This is interesting: milk chocolate filled with a dense yogurt creme. I was prepared to dislike it. I love plain yogurt and eat it almost daily, but chocolate seemed like a bad combination. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really liked this. It’s tangy and a little sour, like plain yogurt. Not for everyone, but I quite enjoyed it. Rating: 7/10

Ingredient Watch: Clear. Ritter uses quality ingredients – “Quality in a square.”

Nutrition Breakdown: This is approximate, depending on which bars you eat. Serving size is 2 bars. Each serving contains 180 calories, 11g of fat, 19g of sugar, and 2g of protein.

Name: Ritter Sport Minis
Brand: Ritter Sport
Store: World Market
Price: $3.49


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)