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.


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.

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)

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