January 31st, 2014 by Rosa
This Kooky candy bar was an impulse buy at the checkout line of my parents’ neighborhood grocery store, HEB. It’s a knockoff Twix that was shelved with a knockoff Snickers, 3Musketeers, and Milky Way, but I chose to buy the Kooky because it was on sale (3 for $1 instead of 2 for $1).
The Kooky called itself “biscuit and caramel covered with milk chocolate” with the tagline “That’s the way the Kooky crumbles” (groan). Like a Twix, there were two fingers per package.
The caramel with stiff and a little chewy. It tasted sweet with scorchy butter notes. I found it quite enjoyable, especially for a mass-market bar.
I also liked the biscuit layer. The cookie was dry and crumbling with some nice toasted notes that gave it some complexity.
Finally, the sweet milk chocolate coating was fairly standard. I had just the slightest tinge of a sour burn in my throat after I polished off one of the fingers, but I didn’t feel like it was too sweet since it was balanced out by the cookie.
I didn’t have a Twix to do a side-by-side comparison on this treat, but I think I actually would prefer the Kooky – I really enjoyed the darker flavor tinges that the toasted cookie and caramel brought. An OM.
Category: caramel, chocolate, cookie, OM, review |
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January 27th, 2014 by Rosa
Hello Panda is Meiji‘s answer to Lotte’s Koala’s March: cream-filled cookies imprinted with cute animal cartoons. I got a couple of boxes to try in my free MunchPak samples, first in Strawberry and the following month in Double Choco.
The Hello Panda biscuits were either round or round with ears, like teddy bear heads. The Strawberry version was vanilla biscuits with strawberry cream, while Double Chocos were chocolate biscuits with “choco” cream.
Compared to the Koala’s March, the Hello Pandas had a more substantial crunch and a greater cookie to filling ratio. Strawberry’s biscuit was lightly sweet, while the center strawberry cream had the texture of a solid frosting and a floral sweetness to its artificial strawberry flavor.
The chocolate cookie of the Double Choco was darker in both appearance and flavor. It had a slight cocoa bittersweetness, like a mild Oreo cookie, and its chocolate filling was creamy with a slightly greasy feel.
I liked the Double Choco better than the Strawberry, which was too artificially floral for my taste. I did wish, however, that the Double Choco had more intensity of chocolate flavor and wasn’t quite so greasy. An O for both.
Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, Meiji, O, review |
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January 6th, 2014 by Rosa
Lotte’s Koala March are “chocolate crème filled cookies” that can be found in Asian grocery stores in America. I recently got a free box from the folks at MunchPak, along with Koala March competitors Hello Panda (which I will review later).
The pillow-shaped cookies are imprinted with adorable pictures of koalas in various garbs and doing different activities. The biscuit portion was dry, crunchy, and airy, with just the barest hint of sweetness.
Each hollow cookie had chocolate in its center. Though it was depicted as limpid on the package, the chocolate filling wasn’t quite so fluid in reality. Instead, it was softer than solid chocolate but not quite a ganache, and it tasted of lightly semisweet chocolate.
The mix of crunchy plain biscuit and semisweet soft chocolate was quite tasty, and it was fun to look at the different koalas and try to guess what they were doing. Where is the be-suited koala off to, I wonder? An OM.
Though I could do without the silly “trading cards” that were built into the packaging:
Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), chocolate, cookie, Lotte, OM, review |
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October 16th, 2013 by Rosa
This Milka & Oreo came to me via a visiting German student in the lab. It was a gift for the lab to share, so I couldn’t take it home to photograph in my usual set-up.
Instead, I managed to snag some shots with my fancy new iPhone (finally gave up on my dumb phone when the 9 button no longer worked) before my labmates tucked into the bar. I gotta say, I think my new camera phone is at least as good as, if not better than, my now 5 years old digital camera.
The Milka & Oreo was a Milka milk chocolate bar filled with Oreo cookies and cream. That Milka chocolate was wonderful – there was just a thin top and bottom layer of it, but it was substantial in texture (thick and creamy) and flavor (luscious caramel notes).
The offwhite cream center was sweet with notes of dairy and vanilla frosting. It was chock full of hearty bits of Oreo chocolate cookies, which tasted of bittersweet dark cocoa.
Those cookies were incredibly crunchy. I was astounded as to how they maintained their crunchiness while surrounded by all that cream.
I found this bar to be quite addictive. The flavor and texture mix was great, with the melting and sweet caramel milk chocolate contrasting nicely with the robust crunch of the darker chocolate Oreos. An OM.
Category: chocolate, cookie, European, Milka, OM, review |
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October 2nd, 2013 by Rosa
While I was in Pittsburgh for a conference, my former labmate and awesome Pittsburgh host took me to one of the best grocery stores ever: the Giant Eagle flagship. It was at least as good, if not better, than the flagship Wegmans in Pittsford, largely due to its incredible candy selection.
I picked up a few local confections from Sarris Candies. First up, this S’mores treat, which was described as ”marshmallow & graham cracker covered in our creamy milk chocolate”.
I was nervous about keeping this bar intact and unmelted throughout my travels. Thankfully, this was a hardy bar, and I unwrapped it at home to find it unscathed, with all its chocolate drizzle ribbons intact.
The outer milk chocolate shell was thick and sweet and creamy. It featured strong caramel undertones to its dairy chocolate flavor.
Inside, the 1.5 oz bar held a bottom layer of graham cracker topped with a white foamy marshmallow. The marshmallow was sweet and softly squishy, adding a nice textural contrast to the cookie and the melting chocolate.
The graham cracker cookie was quite crumbly and slightly crunchy. Its graham flavor was mildly sweet, which did a nice job of cutting the sweetness of the chocolate and keeping the treat from becoming too cloying.
I ate the whole thing in one sitting (rare for me!), partly because it wasn’t that big compared to regular candy bars. It gets an OM, and I wish I’d bought more. The Sarris website recommends microwaving these for a few seconds to make them extra gooey, which I’d like to try.
Category: chocolate, cookie, marshmallow, OM, review |
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June 12th, 2013 by Rosa
One of the big things at Sweets and Snacks last month was miniaturized versions of larger treats. These mini versions were different from fun-sized candy bars that you see around holidays. Instead, they were unwrapped and packaged loosely in a larger bag.
The Hershey’s booth was passing out free samples of King Sized bags of Kit Kat Minis. In the rest of the world, Nestle makes Kit Kats; in the U.S., they’re made by Hershey’s.
By my guess, it took about 4 Kit Kat Minis to equal one Kit Kat finger. Each little mini was stamped with the Kit Kat logo.
They tasted just like regular Kit Kats, only with a higher chocolate to crispy wafer ratio. The milk chocolate was uber sweet with a sour tinge to the finish – very Hershey’s in flavor.
The crispy wafer centers added a pleasant crunch and helped mitigate the super sweetness of the chocolate. I used to love Kit Kats as a kid, but they’re now too sweet for me (Kit Kat Darks are better in my book).
If you like regular Kit Kats, these should be a buy for you – unless you have portion control problems. The unwrapped format makes them easily poppable! An O.
Category: chocolate, cookie, Hershey's, O, review |
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May 6th, 2013 by Neil
Here’s another guest post from ex-pat friend Neil! ~Rosa
A staple of Dutch towns is the HEMA department store. I dither on its American equivalent. K-Mart? Target? Everything there is their own brand, from clothing to sausage to the carpet cleaner.
Often, when you ask a Dutch person “Where would I buy a…”, the answer is “HEMA”. I discovered recently that they have candies I’m curious about. To that end, I bought a huge bag of mini caramel & biscuit bars.
Each bar is about 3 inches long. The form is your basic, chocolate-covered candy bar. It turns out it is tough to cleanly eat these.
[Note from Rosa: Do these individually wrapped chocolate bars remind anyone else of wrapped tampons?]
The chocolate flakes fall, the biscuit crumbs drop, and the caramel threads stretch. This mess is the least of the bar’s issues.
The chocolate taste simultaneously involves acidity and salt. The caramel falls flat, flavorwise. And the biscuit is there for just texture, it seems.
My officemate may have put it best when saying that this is trying to be a Twix, and failing miserably. They’ve become an office snack for when I’m desperate for sugar but not discriminating on any other level. These rate a –.
Category: --, caramel, chocolate, cookie, European, guest post, review |
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April 17th, 2013 by Rosa
Cookies? Why am I reviewing cookies on my candy blog? Because these Laceys Cookies are more or less made out of almond brittle and chocolate, so they’re basically candy. Plus they’re freakin’ delicious.
The Laceys were two rounds of thin almond brittle cookies, about 2.5 inches in diameter, sandwiching a generous layer of bittersweet chocolate. Flour was near the end of the ingredients list, and I really couldn’t tell that there was any flour in these at all in terms of texture or flavor.
The cookie portions were sweet and crisp with a solid crunch. I’d guess that they were about 50% chopped almonds and 50% butter toffee/brittle.
The generous proportion of almonds brought a wonderfully roasted nuttiness, and the cookies finished with a toasted butteriness from the toffee. That toffee cleaved and crumbled without any hint of doughy cookieness.
The bittersweet chocolate center had a great duskiness to it and a light sweetness that didn’t overwhelm the cookies. Instead, it complimented the nutty butteriness of the toffee cookies.
A delicious, quickly disappearing treat – OMG.
Category: chocolate, cookie, nuts, OMG, review, toffee, Trader Joe's |
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March 27th, 2013 by Rosa
As I’ve noted before, one of the many perks of being a candy blogger is that friends who travel to exotic places often bring me back candy presents. My friends Ariel and Logan returned from a mini-vacation in Bermuda with a couple of candy gifts for me, including this Cadbury Time Out.
The wrapper described its contents as 2 milk chocolate covered wafer fingers with milk chocolate centres. The obvious comparison here is with Kit Kats. In fact, I found these to be even better.
Each finger was about five inches long and less than half an inch across. I was happy that they came two to a package, though I sort of wish there were more. Because I already ate them both (in two sittings, at least).
The wafer cookies were crisp and toastier than Kit Kat’s version. Instead of the cream that Kit Kats have, the two wafer cookies sandwiched a layer of folded chocolate, which made the Time Out taste really rich and chocolatey.
The chocolate was the best part. It had a surprisingly complexity for a mass-produced bar, lots of bittersweet coffee notes that kept it from being overly sweet. Instead, it tasted like a well-balanced, grown-up treat. An OM.
Category: chocolate, cookie, OM, received as gift, review |
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February 8th, 2013 by Rosa
This week’s review items come courtesy of Nana and Justin, a couple of college friends of mine who are living, teaching, and blogging in Japan and who are kind enough to mail me Japanese goodies from time to time. I’m closing out the week with a review of a Japanese Kit Kat that is a Kyoto speciality – it’s Yatsuhashi flavored!
What is Yatsuhashi, you ask? Wikipedia to the rescue! Apparently, it’s a famous regional dessert of Kyoto that’s made of glutinous rice flour, sugar, and cinnamon.
The Yatsuhashi Kit Kat had classic Kit Kat‘s flaky, crisp wafers but was covered with a crumbling white coating. Alas, the coating was falling to pieces by the time the Kit Kats got to me, so I wasn’t able to get a good glamour shot.
Nana and Justin and others have sent me Japanese Kit Kats for review that all arrived in pristine shape, so I think the disintegration was due to the fact that the coating was frosting-like, whereas other coatings have been chocolate-based. Still, though it didn’t look that great, it tasted awesome!
The white coating melted mostly smoothly on my tongue and tasted like vanilla frosting made from fresh cream. Every once in a while, I hit a crunch from a grain of granulated sugar. The whole thing was topped off by a sweet cinnamon kiss that floated above the sweet and crunchy confection.
It sorted of reminded me of Cinnamon Toast Crunch or a crunchy Snickerdoodle, except that the vanilla frosting coating had a dairy freshness to it that made it even better. Yet again, I must lament that the Kit Kat flavors available to us in the U.S. are pretty lamely tame in comparison to what’s available in Japan. An OM.
For alternative takes, check out Eataku’s review (which clued me in on the proper name for this treat) or Jim’s Chocolate Mission (which helped confirm that I had the right name for these guys).
Category: Asian (China, Japan, and Korea), cookie, Nestle, OM, review |
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