Archive for the 'peanut butter' Category

Nestle Crunch Girl Scouts flavors – Thin Mints and Peanut Butter Creme

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 | 2 Comments »

Recchiuti Asphalt Jungle Mix

March 16th, 2012 by Rosa

A little over a week ago, I discovered the new eater of my minimal grad student disposable income: A Southern Season. It’s a megalopolis of gourmet goods: fine meats and cheeses and chocolates and pastas and pastries and spices and candy…

I wanted to eat all the things! But all the things were too expensive, so I splurged on a few high end pieces from Recchiuti and Vosges. Today, I’m starting with the high-ending-est of them all: Recchiuti’s Asphalt Jungle Mix, which was a super splurgey $19.99 for a 6 oz box.

Why the crazy profligate spending? I remembered Cybele writing positively about it and David Lebovitz raving about it. Though now that I revisit David Lebovitz’s post, I see that he’s lucky enough to be buddies with Mr. Recchiuti and didn’t have to pay for his mix…

The minimalist box calls them “a riot of burnt caramel hazelnuts & almonds, cherries two ways, and peanut butter pearls.” Let’s break them down, shall we?

Burnt caramel hazelnuts and almonds were chocolate covered and cocoa dusted. Those hazelnuts were awesomely roasty and crunchy and hazelnutty – they tasted incredibly fresh – with a tinge of burnt sugar sweetness to the finish and a overall cocoa sweetness.

Similarly, the almonds were intensely nutty and sharply crunchy. If there was burnt caramel to these, I didn’t notice it, but I still loved the intensity of toasty nuts.

Cherries one way was a cocoa dusted, chocolate-covered candied cherry. It was juicy and slightly moist and chewy, bright and flavorful with a slightly boozy finish. This was my favorite of the bunch, as it positively burst with flavor.

Cherries the other way was a dried cherry covered in dark chocolate. That cherry center brought an amazing flash of fruity sweetness that was slightly tart. It was good, but the other way was better for me.

Finally, peanut butter pearls were really fun. They were little balls of milk chocolate peanut butter with a dark chocolate center that then contained a little ball of crisped rice. A Matroyshka treat!

It started out with a creamy milk chocolate and the texture of the rice crisp, then transitioned to an extreme peanut butter nuttiness that finished with a flash of salt. Peanut butter lovers would love this.

This mix was tasty and delicious. But at $53/lb, I can’t see myself ever buying these again; they’re just too expensive. Though I did love those chocolate candied cherries… An OMG for the candied cherries and an OM for the rest.

Category: chocolate, nuts, OM, OMG, organic, peanut butter, Recchiuti, review | 3 Comments »

Sanders Peanut Butter Crispies and Milk Chocolate Pecan Titan

October 14th, 2011 by Rosa

Today I’m wrapping up my coverage of the Sanders chocolates that I bought in a hospital gift shop. In case you missed it, I reviewed their Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel on Wednesday.

Today I’m covering the Peanut Butter Crispies (top) and Milk Chocolate Pecan Titan (bottom right).

Was it a coincidence that the Peanut Butter Crispies came in an orange wrapper? I wonder how often candy companies try to emulate Reeses’ orange wrapper when packaging their own peanut butter candies.

Like the Sea Salt Caramel, the chocolate here was fairly standard. The peanut butter center was nutty and dry, like a reconstituted powder. It tasted mild and natural, like freshly ground peanut butter.

The crispies were great. They were almost impossibly light, with a great puffy air crunch. It made the chocolate nearly irridescent!

My only complaint was that the treat needed just a hint more salt to really bring about that perfect marriage of sweet chocolate to nutty peanut butter. An OM.

Finally, the Milk Chocolate Pecan Titan. As best as I could tell from the image on the wrapper, it was basically a pecan turtle.

The sweet milk chocolate hid a creamy caramel with tiny bits of roasted pecans. The pecans here were mildly flavored and brought just a light nuttiness. I wished they had a stronger nuttiness.

The caramel here, too, was lacking oomph. It was somehow more mild here, perhaps without the salt of the Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel to punch it up.

The treat was okay but paled in comparison to the other two. An O.

 

Category: caramel, chocolate, nuts, O, OM, peanut butter, review | 1 Comment »

Whisper

September 7th, 2011 by Rosa

I found this Whisper bonbon at the local Dollar store. I was in there on a failed expedition for clothes hangers (still working on setting up the new place!).

It was labeled “Milk Chocolate Bonbon” at the top. The whole thing was about the size and shape of a golf ball with the bottom third cut off.

The outer coating was a creamy, soft, and sort of greasy milk chocolate. That greasiness must be due to the preponderance of soybean oil in the ingredients list. Yum!

The chocolate had a light cocoa duskiness and over the top sweetness to it. It reminded me of hot cocoa – the kind that’s made from mix out of a paper envelope.

Immediately below the chocolate was a light wafer shell. It added a stale crunch that didn’t do enough to offset the sweetness of the chocolate coating.

That center filling was comprised of thick and creamy peanut butter. It was lightly salty and rather nice.

For a cheap dollar store find, this turned out to be surprisingly tasty, mostly thanks to the nice salty-sweet balance to the center. Unfortunately, the wafer shell was a tad too stale, and the chocolate coating was a tad too sweet for it to make it past an O.

Category: chocolate, cookie, O, peanut butter, review | 2 Comments »

Palmer Peanut Butter Crispy Yums

May 27th, 2011 by Rosa

On Wednesday, I reviewed some free samples of Palmer‘s Kiddie Chow. Today, I’ll cover their Peanut Butter Crispy Yums, which were also included in my free sample shipment.

They came in the same-sized tub as the Kiddie Chow, but because the Crispy Yums were denser, the tub was 12 oz. rather than 7.

Despite their Crispy Yum moniker, the peanut butter centers were actually rather soft. The crispiness came from little rice crisps that were mixed into the filling. It was still a nice textural touch; it was just that I was expecting something more like a Butterfinger.

The filling had a nice peanuttiness that paired well with the chocolate coating (real chocolate!). I felt that it was lacking salt, however.

Just a bit more saltiness would have made for a nicer salty/sweet contrast with the chocolate. That saltiness is what makes Reese’s so successful!

I liked that the treat was a novel confection. While the flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter was a classic one, the soft center/crispy rice/melting chocolate mix was unusual.

I could have used more peanut flavor and more saltiness, but I still found the treat to be enjoyable. I left the rest of the tub out at work, and it quickly disappeared. An OM.

Category: chocolate, OM, peanut butter, review | 1 Comment »

Butterfinger Snackerz

April 13th, 2011 by Rosa

Butterfinger Snackerz are a relatively new addition to the Butterfinger lineup. I got mine as a free sample as part of a gift bag from the National Confectioners Association.

The front of the wrapper called them, “crispy bite-size candies with a smooth Butterfinger-flavored center, ” while the back anointed them, “crispy, chocolatey bite-sized treats with a smooth Butterfinger candy-flavored center then topped with a peanut-buttery drizzle.”

Why am I sharing both descriptions? Because the back is far more telling than the front – the keywords “chocolatey” and “peanut-buttery” indicate the presence of neither real chocolate nor real peanut butter. Hooray!

The Snackerz are about thumbnail sized. They had a hollow “peanut butter” schmear in the cetner which was surrounded by a candy crisp shell, all dipped in “chocolate” and prettily striped with more “peanut butter.”

The candy crisp had a great textural crunch, like superthin shards of toffee, and a light peanut flavor. There was a nice saltiness to balance the sweetness of the confection.

The chocolate, however, was less impressive. It had a muted cocoa flavor that was practically non-existent. That’s what you get when you make your “chocolate” from palm oil!

I think this would be awesome if it were mixed into ice cream or baked into cookies (as long as the texture could be preserved through baking), but on their own, they’re rather meh thanks to the lack of true chocolate flavor. An O.

Category: chocolate, Nestle, O, peanut butter, review | No Comments »

Bees and Beans Winter Line

December 17th, 2010 by Rosa

I got a lovely assortment of Bees and Beans’s candy bars as a free sample. They’re “handmade from whole ingredients in small batches” using local ingredients from Portland, Oregon.

There are three bars in the winter line: the Coffee bar, the ‘Bert bar, and the Honey bar.

The Coffee bar was “coffee caramel with toasted walnuts hand-dipped in 70% dark chocolate. It smelled dark and roasty, just on the delicious side of nearly-burnt.

It tasted dark and deep upon first bite. The caramel had a light pull to it and tasted of roasted coffee with a light bitterness.

The walnuts were mixed throughout the caramel. They added a serious crunch and a nutty, oily aroma. Finally, the chocolate added a layer of deep cocoa. An OM.

The ‘Bert bar was “milk chocolate, filberts, peanut butter, and crispy rice hand-dipped in 70% dark chocolate.” Its filling was a mix of milk chocolate embedded with large chunks of filbert nuts and crunchy, crispy rice.

There was a hint of peanut butteriness to the flavor as a light undertone. It mostly tasted of toasty crisped rice and the nuttiness of the filberts. There was noticeable sea salt sprinkled throughout that added a nice sparkle. An OMG.

The honey bar was my favorite of the bunch. It was “honey caramel with filbert nougat hand-dipped in 70% dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt.”

The bar was comprised of a thick layer of a soft, not-at-all sticky caramel topped with a filbert-studded layer of sweet and soft nougat, all covered in dark chocolate with a sprinkle of sea salt crystals.

Holy cow was it delicious! The nougat had a wonderfully light roasty nuttiness from the filberts, but it was the honey caramel that set this bar apart. It was absolutely limpid, with a pure honey tinge and a light hint of deep butterscotch to the finish.

The chocolate took a nice supporting role here, while the sprinkles of salt highlighted the caramel and chocolate. It was a perfectly balanced mix of flavors and textures. A ZOMG!

If you don’t live near Portland, Oregon, where these bars can be found in stores, you can get them from Etsy. They don’t come cheap, at $20 + shipping for a set of 4 bars, but those Honey bars are totally worth it!

Category: caramel, chocolate, coffee, nougat, nuts, OM, OMG, peanut butter, review, ZOMG! | 3 Comments »

Berkshire Bark – Pretzelogical

July 14th, 2010 by Rosa

I recently had the chance to visit Cornell for big kid science camp. The drive from Rochester to Ithaca is a gorgeous wind through the Finger Lakes region, and I stopped at a cidery along the way. It was there that I picked up this Berkshire Bark bar.

The blurb on the back of the box: “Berkshire Bark is handmade… Premium quality Belgian dark and milk chocolate holds together pretzels, homemade sea salt caramel, and natural peanut butter.”

I appreciated the artisan nature of the bar, which contains only natural ingredients and no preservatives. And it sounded like a delicious combination – pretzels and salted caramel and chocolate? Yes, please!

Unfortunately, I found the execution to be less than stellar. The chocolate was way too sweet, so sweet that it burned my throat. It was also quite soft, almost fudge-like in texture, and it melted in my fingers (you can see some of my fingerprints on the bar in the below photo).

And that sea salt caramel that sounded so delicious? It was not at all caramel-like in texture. Instead, it was grainy and lacked depth to its flavor. It reminded me of my caramel-flavored calcium chews.

I did enjoy the addition of the pretzels. Their crispiness and starchy flavor worked well with the sweet chocolate. The nuttiness from the peanut butter was also quite nice.

The bar was a nice mix of salty, crunchy, and creamy, but it was unreasonably sweet, and the caramel was disappointing. If they could ratchet down the sweetness and up the caramel-flavor of the caramel, this bar would be a show-stopper. As it is, an O.

Category: caramel, chocolate, O, peanut butter, review | No Comments »

Ooh La La Candy Cupcakes

May 19th, 2010 by Rosa

Ooh La La Candy isn’t a candy company per se. Rather, they’re a candy packaging – or repackaging company – with the tag line, “Style and Taste.” Their wares include candy greeting cards and candy gift boxes, which are pretty cute and clever.

What really caught my eye, however, were their candy cupcakes. I got to try a couple for review: Peanut Butter and Jelly and Cupcake Couture.

The candy cupcakes were really just cutely and cleverly packaged bags of candy. The candy is encased in plastic wrap and then taped to a cupcake liner with a hidden lift.

The cupcake liner is, in turn, taped to the bottom of a clear display box. I had some issues getting the cupcakes out of the box for photographing without totally crushing the paper liner and ruining the cupcake shape.

Peanut butter and jelly was a mix of peanut butter chips and blueberry (or grape jelly? The website itself is confused, but the letter I got said blueberry) jelly beans topped with a non-branded peanut butter cup.

I don’t think the jelly beans taste like blueberry or grape jelly, but they do taste sweet and like a dark fruit. When eaten alone, they have a musty undertone, but that disappears when they’re eaten in combination with the peanut butter chips.

The pairing of the jelly beans and the peanut butter chips is surprisingly spot on. There’s some textural disparity, as the chips sort of melt and crumble while the jelly beans are chewy, but the flavor mix is a harmonious blend of sweet and salty and fruity and nutty.

Cupcake Couture was composed of black and pink Sixlets (I didn’t even know they came in those colors!) and was topped with a big pink gumball. My gumball placement was a bit off-center, which gave the cupcake an invitingly jaunty look.

The color combination was super chic. Sixlets aren’t exactly the pinnacle of fine chocolate – they’re spherical chocolates with a crunchy candy shell and a funny poor-quality-chocolate aftertaste – but they look great in Ooh La La Candy’s hands.

In the end, with Ooh La La Candy, you’re really paying for the packaging rather than for the candy. Since they don’t actually make the candy, I don’t think it’s fair to give them a rating (though the peanut butter and jelly combination is inspired!), but I will say that the candy cupcakes are seriously cute and charming.

These cupcakes aren’t something to buy for yourself; they’re meant to serve as gifts or party favors to coo over. If you wanted to save money or use your choice of candy, I don’t think it would be too difficult to make your own version (I can just imagine some Bridezilla forcing her bridesmaids to make 500 candy cupcakes in her wedding colors).

And if you want to save money but are too lazy for candy arts and crafts, Ooh La La Candy has been kind enough to set y’all up with a ZOMG, Candy! discount code. “ZOMG” as a coupon code will get you 20% off your entire order anytime throughout the summer, and it can be used on top of their current 10% off 3 or more cupcakes promo.

Category: chocolate, jelly candy, novelty, peanut butter, review | 1 Comment »

Zagnut

March 5th, 2010 by Rosa

According to its entry on Hershey’s website, the Zagnut has been around for ~80 years now (I think Hershey’s needs to update their mathing). Wikipedia says that it used to be owned by the Clark Company, though how Hershey’s ended up with Zagnut and Necco ended up with the Clark Bar, I don’t know. Cybele didn’t know either.

I do know that I found it tasty, and like the Clark Bar, it made me wonder how I’d never had one before. Mine came in a gifted sample box from Munchies Sweets and Treats, but I do believe I’ve seem then in Wegmans, housed in the retro candy display.

The bar was described as “crunchy peanut butter – toasted coconut.” It had the flaky layered center of a Clark Bar, plus an outer layer of what looked like compressed nuts.

The golden bar was super crisp. As I bit into it, there was a lovely crunch, and flakes well, flaked off. I also noticed tiny bits of peanuts in the texture.

It tasted mostly of peanuts/peanut butter with a touch of coconut to the finish. Some of it got lodged in my molars a tad, like brittle, but it wasn’t nearly as bad a teeth situation as you get with Butterfingers.

I loved the texture, with its mix of flaky and crispy, and the nutty/coconutty flavors were nice as well. I’m definitely a newly converted Zagnut fan. An OM.

Category: coconut, Hershey's, nuts, OM, peanut butter, review | 1 Comment »