December 20th, 2013 by Rosa
I first tried Jer’s Peanut Butter Bars over a year ago when I bought and reviewed the Cara Mella version. I loved it so much that I kept my eyes peeled for additional flavors every time I visited Cost Plus World Market, but I wasn’t able to find them again until just a few weeks ago.
This time, I bought the Pretzo Change-o, which was described as “all natural premium peanut butter center mixed with sweet and salty pretzel bits covered in milk chocolate.” Each box contained two individually wrapped long, skinny, flat chocolate bars.
The peanut butter filling was dry and crumbling. It tasted quite salty and strongly nutty, like the center of a Reese’s peanut butter cup, only extra amped up and with higher quality ingredients.
Little pretzel bits were mixed into that filling that added some crunch and starch – and maybe even more saltiness? The milk chocolate coating added sweetness and some cocoa flavors that tried to balance out the peanut butter center.
I liked that it was like a flavorful, crunchy peanut butter cup in a different shape, but I found it too salty. I think a little more sweet chocolate to balance out the salty peanut butter would have helped. An O.
Category: chocolate, O, peanut butter, review |
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December 7th, 2012 by Rosa
Many of the free samples that I got at Sweets and Snacks were in “not for retail sale” packaging. Usually that just meant that they weren’t properly labeled with nutrition facts and ingredients, but in the case of these Clark Bites, the packaging was radically different from their final form.
The yellow Where’s Zipper packaging had a link to a website with the backstory for these Bites. The Squirrel Nut Zipper was mad at Clark Bars, so it tried to blow them up, which turned them into these 1-inch squarish bites.
I’ve previously reviewed and enjoyed regular Clark Bars. They’ve been reformulated since my last review; now they’re made with real milk chocolate, and the Clark Bites are too.
Most of my Clark Bites’ centers were this peanut butter toffee mixture that cleaved and crumbled and shattered when bitten into. I had one weird Bite that was entirely cleaning cleaving toffee (no shattering!), but I think that was an anomaly.
Those centers tasted lightly nutty with lots of brown sugar sweetness. The milk chocolate coating was quite thick, which amped up the sweetness of the chocolate to a level that was a bit too much for me and got cloying after a Bite or two.
I approve of the switch to real chocolate, though I think a milder, malty milk chocolate or a dark chocolate would’ve worked better for me. I still love that peanut butter/toffee center, though, and I enjoyed these when I ate them one at a time, so an OM.
Cybele of Candy Blog reviewed these in their current packaging and gave them an 8/10.
Category: chocolate, Necco, OM, peanut butter, review |
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November 30th, 2012 by Rosa
I’m so terrible about impulse buys at Trader Joe’s. Everything looks awesome! Like these Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Truffles.
What a mouthful of a title! Which came with a mouthful of a blurb on the box: “our three most popular flavors combined to create a sensational, sweet, salty bite. Rich, melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolate truffles with a creamy peanut butter center, layered with buttery caramel and a subtle salty finish.”
Each truffle came individually wrapped in shiny copper mylar. They were gorgeously shiny domes, the shape of giant gumdrops.
The chocolate at the bottom of the dome was much thicker than the chocolate of the upper shell. That chocolate had a nice snap and a smooth melt with an incredibly deep cocoa flavor.
The caramel was liquid and runny and left a light grain after most of it had melted away. It tasted of sweet butterscotch, with an especially buttery finish.
The peanut butter was smoothly creamy with a dry nuttiness. The nuttiness was noticeable even against the chocolate and caramel, but I wish it had been nuttier.
The truffle was a delicious mix of sweet and salty and nutty. I think the peanut butter flavor could’ve been turned up more, but it was still a darn good mass-produced truffle. An OM.
Category: caramel, chocolate, OM, peanut butter, review, Trader Joe's |
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September 21st, 2012 by Rosa
I found these Jer’s Peanut Butter Bars on my last trip to Cost Plus World Market (thanks for the birthday coupon!). I nearly missed them – they were shelved a ways away from most of the store’s other candies – and I’m glad that I saw them and picked up a box.
I chose the Cara Mella flavor because it was the most tempting: “All natural Valencia peanut butter center and creamy caramel covered in dark chocolate.” Yes please!
The box contained two decent-sized, individually wrapped bars. Mine got a little squashed – a few dribbles of caramel peeked through the cracked dark chocolate shell. That dark chocolate had a wonderfully dusky and deep cocoa flavor with a lightly sweet finish.
The peanut butter center was topped with a layer of caramel, and the two combined in a salty-sweet dream. The caramel was sweet with a slight burnt sugar tinge and a salty hit to the finish. It was sticky and chewy and got stuck in my teeth a little.
The peanut butter center had bits of rice crisps that added a great crunch. That, along with some tiny bits of peanuts, provided a nice textural contrast to the chewy caramel and melting chocolate.
Finally, the peanut butter flavor itself was great. Its roasted nuttiness was strong enough to stand up to the sweetness of the chocolate and caramel.
I had blanched a bit at the $2.99 price tag, but I shouldn’t have, as it works out to $1.50 for each 1.5 oz bar. A little pricier than Snickers bars, sure, but definitely a good buy for the quality that you get. An OMG for an addictive mix of textures of flavors.
Category: caramel, chocolate, OMG, peanut butter, review |
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August 22nd, 2012 by Rosa
On Monday, I reviewed Skinny Cow‘s Milk Chocolate Dreamy Clusters. Today, I’m covering their Heavenly Crisp bars in Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate, which were also free samples from their booth at Sweets and Snacks.
Both bars were 110 calories and described as “delicate wafers layered with delicious milk chocolate creme” or “delicious peanut butter creme”.
They were also coated with a thin layer of fake chocolate, as indicated by the label “milk chocolate flavor”. Hooray mockolate! Milk chocolate flavor had a white decorative drizzle; peanut butter’s was golden brown.
Palm oil appears several times in the ingredient list in various forms, and cocoa butter is completely missing; hence the mockolate designation. They were a mess to unwrap, as the mockolate was all melty and messy, even at room temperature.
The wafers, at least, were great. They were the lightest, airiest wafers that I’ve ever encountered in candy. Must help keep the calorie count low! They added a pleasant, if flimsy, crunch and a neutral toastiness.
The milk chocolate flavored version did have a nice malty cocoa flavor, likely due to the cocoa powder on the ingredient list. It had a well-balanced, light sweetness that went well with the toasty wafers.
Peanut butter flavor had actual peanuts and added a roasted nutty flavor. It felt a little pastier in my mouth than the chocolate did and didn’t stand up as nicely against the wafers.
I really like the light crunch of the wafers and how they played off the light sweetness of the other ingredients, but the lack of real chocolate was a bummer that brought these bars down. An O.
You can read Cybele of Candy Blog’s take on these. I agree with her assessment to pass these over in favor of chocolate with you know, actual chocolate.
Category: cookie, mockolate, Nestle, O, peanut butter, review |
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August 8th, 2012 by Rosa
I got these free samples of Boyer’s Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and their Butterscotch Smoothie Peanut Butter Cups at Sweets and Snacks this year. They’re an old school candy company that was founded during the Great Depression.
My cups got a little squashed and cracked by the time I got to unwrapping them. Each package contained two cups.
The milk chocolate of the milk chocolate peanut butter cup had crumbled a bit around the edges. It was extremely sweet and melted thickly on my tongue with a cocoa finish.
The peanut butter center was quite dry and crumbly and turned into a thick, dry paste on my tongue. It had a strong nuttiness to it, which was great, but I also found it overwhelmingly salty – less great.
The sweet chocolate helped some to temper that saltiness, but I still found it to be too salty. The nutrition facts reports 115mg in 2 cups, which doesn’t sound like much, but it certainly tastes like much.
Smoothie Butterscotch was a lighter golden caramel fudge color. Its coating was sweet and creamy and sort of fake-buttery tasting, with little bits of peanuts in the top layer that added a great fresh roasted nuttiness.
The center, however, had the same dry saltiness. Because the butterscotch coating was sweeter than the chocolate, it stood up to the salty center a little better.
I like the general flavor of these treats, and I like sweet and salty flavor combos, but these were a bit too much on the salty. I can’t handle more than half a cup at a time, though I did enjoy the halves enough to give these an O.
Category: chocolate, nuts, O, peanut butter, review |
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August 3rd, 2012 by Rosa
I got these Megaload Sweet and Salty cups as free samples at Sweets and Snacks. At the time, they were transitioning from the Overload name to the Megaload brand, so my samples were in unbranded packaging. You can see what the packaging looks like on their website.
They come nestled in a row in a plastic tray that does a nice job of protecting them. Mine survived the trip from Expo to Chicago apartment to Durham just fine.
The Sweet and Salty cups were peanut butter cups topped with different types of covered pretzels. One was milk chocolate, one was white fudge, and the third was peanut butter fudge.
The chocolate peanut butter cups were perfectly smooth and creamy, with a thick and pasty peanut butter center. There was a mild nuttiness from that peanut butter – I wish it were stronger.
The pretzel toppings added a great contrast with their crunchiness. Quite honestly, I couldn’t really taste the differences in the different pretzels. They were all salty with the nice bready yeastiness that you expect from pretzels, but any flavor subtleties were dominated by the sweetness of the chocolate.
I was super impressed that the pretzels maintained their crunch factor while sitting in the packaging – those fudge coatings probably helped seal out any moisture/stale-making invaders, and I loved the mix of creamy and crunchy textures.
The ratio of the flavors, however, were a bit off for me. I wanted more pretzel toastiness or peanut butter nuttiness to balance out the sweet chocolate. Or just less sweet chocolate, I guess.
Still, I thought it was a great idea to put peanut butter cups and pretzels together. An O.
Category: chocolate, O, peanut butter, review, white chocolate |
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July 23rd, 2012 by Rosa
I got this Peanut bar as a free sample from the Justin’s booth at Sweets and Snacks, along with the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups that I reviewed last Friday. The wrapper describes it as “dark chocolate, peanuts, caramel, nougat.”
The bar was a bottom layer of stiffly chewy nougat topped with peanuts and caramel, then all covered in dark chocolate. The whole bar was on the lumpy side and had an uneven texture when chewed.
The caramel top layer was softly chewy and tasted lightly sweet with a tinge of burnt sugar to the finish. The bits of peanuts were pretty ensconced in the caramel. They had an incredible roasted nuttiness to them that really elevated this treat with its fresh flavor.
The nougat layer was jaw-workingly chewy and tasted of toasty starch, a hint of marshmallow sweetness, and a dry peanut roastiness. I think there may have been peanut butter mixed into it.
I really enjoyed this treat. It wasn’t too sweet and had a wonderfully fresh peanuttiness throughout the bar that somehow made it feel more wholesome. An OM.
Category: chocolate, nuts, OM, organic, peanut butter, review |
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July 20th, 2012 by Rosa
I’ve never been an, “OMG PEANUT BUTTER!” person, so though I’ve seen Justin’s peanut butter cups at Whole Foods for ages, I’ve never felt the urge to pick up a pack. When they were being given out as free samples at Sweets and Snacks, however, I made sure to get one!
The cups came two to a pack, each sitting loosely in a little white paper cup. They were gorgeous and well-formed, with well-defined fluted edges.
The dark chocolate was creamy with a smooth melt that had a lightly fatty airy feel. It tasted of dark chocolate cocoa with a hint of fruity finish – maybe cherry?
The peanut butter in the center was quite dry with a slight grit and the occasional larger bit of not-fully-ground nut. It had a great roasted golden nuttiness and a salty finish.
While saltiness is usually a boon in a chocolate+peanut butter treat, here the salt was just a bit too heavy-handed for my taste.
Still, I really appreciated the elevated quality of the fresh-tasting peanut butter. I’m going to hunt down the milk chocolate version of these to see if the sweeter milk chocolate is a better balance for the relatively saltier peanut butter. An O for the dark chocolate version.
Category: chocolate, nuts, O, organic, peanut butter, review |
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July 16th, 2012 by Rosa
Nestle Crunch’s Girl Scout inspired candy bars made quite the splash when they were teased. I finally managed to find them at my local Dollar General store (where very few things still cost a dollar, by the way).
The new bars came in Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Creme (based on Tagalongs or Peanut Butter Patties, depending on which bakery makes your cookies), and Caramel & Coconut (Samoas or Caramel deLites). I’ll cover the first two today and save the last for Wednesday.
Thin Mints was described as “dark chocolate cookie wafers and mint chocolate creme, topped with airy crispies.” Those wafers were crisp and airy with a thin cocoa flavor. The rice crisps that topped it added a nice crunch as well.
The mockolate coating that draped the bar was thin and melty, thanks to the palm oil in the ingredients, yet it somehow felt pasty in my mouth. The mint creme added a creamy and light minty finish that was more mild than I remember real Thin Mints being.
Peanut Butter Creme was “cookie wafers and peanut butter creme, topped with airy crispies.” Its wafer cookies were thicker than those of the Thin Mint version, so they brought a more sizeable crunch.
The peanut butter creme was salty and nutty and tasted just like peanut butter straight out of the jar (not that I’d ever do that…). While the nutty flavor was great, it dominated any chocolate-esque flavors that the melting and peeling off mockolate coating carried.
While these were a fun take on nostalgia tinged cookies, I don’t think either of them were worth a repeat buy. If Nestle had chosen to use higher quality ingredients – namely, real chocolate – maybe we could’ve had a limited edition that would actually be missed. An O for both.
Cybele managed to find these much earlier than I did, and Serious Eats wrote about them as well, if you want other opinions.
Category: cookie, limited edition, mint, mockolate, Nestle, O, peanut butter, review |
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