Choxie Key Lime Bar

June 3, 2008

I crave fruit year-round, but with the heat comes the craving for citrus. My favorite citrus flavor is lime. Of course, the fruit itself is a bit tart to eat alone, so I’m constantly looking for recipes that utilize limes, as well as lime-flavored things.

Enter Choxie’s key lime bar. I was wary, partly because Choxie products have been hit or miss with me, but also because fruit and chocolate combos aren’t usually my favorite.

This is a dark chocolate bar filled with key lime flavored white chocolate and studded with graham cracker pieces. The aroma is a mix of dark chocolate and citrus-scented cleaning product… not exactly appealing, but I soldiered on.

The dark chocolate was ashy, but still decent on it’s own, but it doesn’t work well with the filling. However, to be fair, I don’t think anything would work well with this filling. Keeping with the scent, it tastes like a cleaning product — bitter and artificial. The graham bits are more like crumbs, and are fairly evenly distributed throughout the bar. They don’t add any flavor, but they give the bar a grainy/crunchy texture, depending if you let it melt or bite right in.

Bottom Line: Ick.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 1/2 bar. There are 200 calories, 13g of fat (9g saturated), 17g of sugar, and 2g of protein per serving.

Rating: 2/10

Name: Dark Chocolate Key Lime Truffle Bar
Brand: Choxie
Store: Target
Price: $2.00
Weight: 2.5 oz.

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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.


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.


Ritter White Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts

April 16, 2008

My confession? I enjoy — maybe even love — white chocolate. Well, it’s not much of a confession — I’m not ashamed! It just seems that many people have a distaste for the stuff. That’s fine; everyone has their personal tastes. However, I wonder if more people would like white chocolate if they tried good (or heck, even real) white chocolate. I liken it to dark chocolate. A lot of people try Hershey’s Special Dark and avoid dark chocolate thereafter. But a nice Endangered Species bar or even a piece of Dove might turn them over to the dark side.

White chocolate is similar, but a good white chocolate is even more elusive than a good dark. The white confection that Hershey’s puts out doesn’t even qualify as white chocolate. A bit of the cocoa butter is replaced by other fats, such as tropical or hydrogenated oils. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t guiltily indulge in these things sometimes, but it really ruins the texture and flavor profile of the white chocolate.

I’ve looked around, but a good, readily-available white chocolate bar is hard to come by. I’ve tried and loved Green and Black’s, but the store no longer stocks that variety. Curses.

Enter the Ritter White Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts. It delivers real white chocolate, bits of crisped rice, and a nice chunk of hazelnut in every bite. I love the texture of this bar. The chocolate is creamy, the hazelnuts are crunchy, and the rice bits are crispy. The rice brings a hint of malt to the party, but the major flavors are the chocolate and hazelnuts, which balance each other nicely. The hazelnuts never let the chocolate become too cloying.

This may not be the epitome of white chocolate, but I love the combination with the hazelnuts, it’s inexpensive, and it’s easy for me to come by. Ritter and I are forming a nice relationship, and this could become my go-to white chocolate bar.

Show some white chocolate a little love. If he still doesn’t capture you’re heart, he’ll understand. He just wants a chance!

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 6 squares. There are 210 calories, 14g of fat (7g saturated), 17g of sugar, and 3g of protein per serving.

Rating: 9/10

Name: White Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts
Brand: Ritter
Store: World Market
Price: $1.99
Weight: 3.5 oz.


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.


Frey Cinnamon and Blood Orange

February 19, 2008

The first thing I notice when I open a product to review is the smell. That was definitely the case with this bar. No, there was no horrific odor or sublime aroma. It just smelled strange, and rather familiar at that. I stared at it for a minute before I realized what it was – this bar smells like a mix of Juicy Fruit and Big Red gum.

I know. Odd, right? I wasn’t too keen on tasting chocolate that smelled like chewing gum, but I sucked it up and tried it anyway.

This is a white chocolate bar with “a fruity touch of blood orange and cinnamon flavor.” I found the white chocolate to be slightly waxy, but not unpleasantly so. The sweetness isn’t too overwhelming, and the other flavors certainly stand out.

The cinnamon flavor is definitely of the fake Big Red variety. It more akin to Red Hots than the actual spice. However, it’s not spicy at all, as Big Red can sometimes be.

Now, I haven’t actually had a blood orange, so I can’t tell you if the fruit flavor is authentic. My assumption is that it isn’t. It’s citrusy, and yes, a little too reminiscent of Juicy Fruit. The little orange bits throughout the bar (blood orange granules, according to the ingredients) are rather tart and acidic.

I didn’t like this very much. I’m not a huge fan of fruit and chocolate to begin with, and the chewing gum comparisons were very off-putting.

Nutrition Breakdown: There are 2.5 servings per bar. Each serving contains 240 calories, 16g of fat (10g saturated), 19g of sugar, and 2g of protein.

Rating: 4/10

Name: Cinnamon and Blood Orange
Brand: Frey
Store: Target
Price: 1.66 (reg 1.99)
Size: 3.5 oz.


Choxie Kona Coffee Truffle Bar

January 21, 2008

Ah, coffee. The word means Starbucks for many, but for me it means a grinder and a French press. I have friends that find this impressive. That’s funny, because trust me, I am far from a coffee connoisseur. I can’t differentiate between different types of coffee, so I can’t tell you if this Kona coffee bar has a true Kona coffee flavor.

I can tell you that it’s very reminiscent of a Starbucks drink. It’s rich and dessert-like – indecently sweet, but very good. The white chocolate center is flecked with ground espresso beans and is surrounded by milk chocolate. It tastes like coffee loaded with yummy creamer – specifically, vanilla and hazelnut creamers.

Most of the Choxie truffle bars have quite good, if a bit sweet. My problem with them is that they’ve lacked promised ingredients: no pretzels in the Peanut Butter Pretzel bar, not enough gingerbread in the Gingerbread bar. This bar doesn’t promise any bits and pieces, so there is no disappointment! That’s good, because I really enjoyed this bar and want to give it a high rating. Note, however, that it may be too sweet for some.

This is first of three bars from the Coffee Lover’s Gift Collection that I picked up around Christmas. The others are Coffee Toffee and Dark Chocolate Espresso, which I’ll review in the coming weeks. I’m pretty sure that all these bars are available individually.

Ingredient Watch: Clear.

Nutrition Breakdown: Serving size is 1/2 a bar. There are 200 calories, 14g of fat, 18g of sugar, and 2g of protein per serving.

Rating: 8/10

Name: Milk Chocolate Kona Coffee Truffle Bar
Brand: Choxie
Store: Target
Price: $1.66 (in a set of 3 for $5.00)