Hershey’s Nut Lovers Miniatures

March 31, 2008

A few weeks ago, I admitted to not liking nuts as a kids. These days, however, I am a certified nut lover. I like the simple combination of nuts and chocolate. The Nut Lovers Miniatures have been trying to get my attention for a while now, so I finally gave in and bought them.

Extra Creamy Milk Chocolate with Cashews:
While I love to eat cashews out of hand, I think they have a hard time standing up to chocolate. That’s certainly the case here. There are just a few pieces of chopped cashews strewn throughout the chocolate. It’s just enough to lend a mild nutty flavor and a slight salty bite, nothing more. It needs more cashews.

I always find the extra creamy milk chocolate to be off-putting. It’s just not Hershey’s chocolate. It’s less chocolate-ty, and it trades the classic tangy yogurt notes for something more akin to sweet whipped cream. It’s not bad, per se, but come on Hershey, don’t be afraid to be yourself! (To their credit, the cashews would definitely be lost in traditional Hershey’s chocolate.)

Made with Chocolate and Peanuts: Mr. Goodbar, what have they done to you? It makes sense that this would be included in the mix, but not redressed as “made with chocolate and peanuts.” I guess the name Mr. Goodbar doesn’t fit in with the rest of the mix, but they could have kept it as a simple Hershey’s with Peanuts. *sigh* I think I let these things get to me too much.

Despite the name change, this is the same Mr. Goodbar that you find with the traditional Miniatures. It’s only bar in the mix with a sufficient amount of nuts, I think. I love ‘em. The simple combination of peanuts and chocolate is great.

Milk Chocolate with Almonds: Here’s another familiar face, but in name more than composition, opposite our dear Mr. Goodbar. The full-sized Hershey’s with Almonds employs full-sized almonds, but we’ve got crushed almonds here. It’s a disadvantage; there aren’t enough almonds to get a satisfying crunch or flavor.

Pecans and Crème: I was wary of this one. I wasn’t sure how pecans would go with white chocolate confection. After tasting this, I think it could be a decent combination, but there aren’t enough pecans here to make a fair assessment. The white confection is overly sweet and tastes strongly of vanilla. The occasional pecan is pleasing, but these were mostly a miss for me.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 5 pieces. There are 220 calories, 14g of fat (7g saturated), 21g of sugar, and 4g of protein per serving.

Rating: 6/10 (because Mr. Goodbar rules)

Name: Nut Lovers Miniatures
Brand: Hershey’s
Store: Target
Price: $2.00
Weight: 11 oz.


Elmer’s Easter Eggs I

March 6, 2008

(Part II of the Elmer’s roundup will be up tomorrow — there is only so much candy that I can eat at once!)

Elmer’s is a candy company located in Ponchatoula, LA, which is only about 75 miles from me. I’ve always been aware of their products, but didn’t realize they were a local company until a few months ago.

Elmer’s makes a lot of boxed Valentine’s chocolate. I’ve haven’t tried these — they’ve never appealed to me — but I think they’re pretty widely distributed. I’m much more familiar with their Easter products, which include Gold Brick Eggs, Pecan Eggs, and several other products. I think distribution of the Easter fare may be limited to the South.

When I was a kid, I would inevitably get several Elmer’s products in my Easter baskets. This was always a disappointment. I had nothing against Elmer’s, but most of their products featured nuts — and I didn’t like nuts. I know, I know… I was young and naïve, give me a break.

While I devoured Robin’s Eggs, chocolate rabbits, and Peeps, Elmer’s candy sat behind. (Well, not really, I think my parents ate it.) I figured it was about time I gave Elmer’s a chance.

Eggceptionals: This product looks familiar to me, but I don’t remember receiving these. I probably would have eaten them. It’s peanuts and caramel enrobed in milk chocolate The idea is comparable to the Snickers Crème products, which have no nougat. However, unlike the Snickers products, which have a fairly soft caramel, the caramel here is firm. I mean seriously firm; I think it could pull a filling out. I can appreciate a firm caramel on its own, but in a candy bar… not so much.

I like a buttery or salty caramel, but this here is pretty bland. It’s not even super sweet, which could be a good thing. The chocolate is pleasant, and the peanuts are fresh. They give the whole thing a nice, nutty flavor, but the caramel kind of kills this one for me. It’s not bad, but I’ll stick to the Snickers Crème Eggs.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is one piece. There are 130 calories, 5g of fat (2g saturated), 14g of sugar, and 2g of protein per serving.

Rating: 5/10

Pecan Egg: My mom would always eat these. I always thought the Pecan Egg was a lump of pecans. It’s actually nougat covered with caramel and chopped pecans.

How does it taste? Think butter pecan ice cream, and you’re pretty much there. The nougat is soft, but firm enough to hold it’s shape. It’s very sweet and tastes strongly of vanilla. The caramel is very buttery, lending to that somewhat fake butter flavor that I associate with butter pecan ice cream. The pecans could be crunchier, but they are adhered with sticky caramel, so they’re going to absorb some of that moisture.

In all, the flavors blend well together, and this is pretty good. I’d like to give it a try frozen.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is one piece. There are 130 calories, 6g of fat (0.5g saturated), 14g of sugar, and 1g of protein per serving.

Rating: 6 /10

Name: Eggceptionals/Pecan Egg
Brand: Elmer’s
Store: Walgreens
Price: $0.34/$0.50
Weight: 1 oz. each

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

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

Goo Goo Peanut Butter

November 8, 2007

The Goo Goo Cluster is made by the Standard Candy Company in Nashville, TN. It’s one of the few surviving regional candies. I’m not sure if you can find them outside of the South. I’m in the New Orleans area, and I can find Goo Goos at discount stores and the “mom and pop” grocery store (a dying breed themselves) in my town. I don’t ever see them at the big grocery chains.

The Goo Goo Cluster comes in the original, Supreme, and Peanut Butter version. I’ve tried the original and Supreme before, but this is my first Peanut Butter. I picked it up at a discount store even though it was due to expire in a month. I kind of regret that now, because it would probably get a better review if it were fresh. But I’ve got to take what I can get.

A Goo Goo Cluster is peanuts, marshmallow, and caramel covered in milk chocolate. The Goo Goo Peanut Butter is just peanut butter and peanuts covered with milk chocolate. It’s not very attractive — it’s just a plop of ingredients — but it has it’s charm.

The peanuts obviously weren’t fresh. They weren’t crunchy, but they were awfully salty. The whole thing was too salty for me. The chocolate didn’t add enough sweetness on it’s own. I think they should have added (or rather, kept) either the caramel or marshmallow from the original Goo Goo. This would have added more sweetness and kept it more true to the original. It’s just too much peanut butter.

While this bar has definite problems, I know it would have been better had it been fresh. I’ll consider giving it a second chance if I find a fresh one.

Rating: 5/10

Name: Goo Goo Peanut Butter
Brand: Standard Candy Company
Store: Big Lots
Price: $0.40

Snickers Creme Pumpkin

October 29, 2007

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Snickers Creme Pumpkin. When I think of creme/cream in candy, my first thought is of something sweet and milky. My second thought is of something with a custard-like consistency.

But in the world of Snickers, creme apparently means “no nougat.” The Snickers Creme Pumpkin is just caramel and peanuts covered with milk chocolate; the regular nougat is missing. I don’t have a regular Snickers to compare it to, but the caramel seems slightly runnier than usual; perhaps this contributes to the creme bit.

Aside from the name, I really liked the Snickers Creme Pumpkin. It was cute, like a tall, slim Jack-o-lantern. All of the flavors come though, especially the peanuts. There aren’t a terrible lot of them, but the nutty and salty flavors are very clear. It’s almost like peanut flavored caramel. I don’t miss the nougat, but I haven’t had an actual Snickers in some time, so I can’t say how it compares.

I like the scaled down size, so I hope they introduce something similar for the other candy holidays. One reason I don’t eat Snickers often is because it’s just too much. It’s nice to be able to pick this up. I might try to grab a few more if they go on sale after Halloween.

I am a bit annoyed that the nutrition facts aren’t printed on the wrapper. I sent an email requesting the information, but it’s been over a week and I haven’t heard back from them. Boo Snickers!

Other than that, this was pretty darn tasty.

Rating: 8/10

Name: Snickers Creme Pumpkin
Brand: Mars
Store: Walgreens
Price: $0.50