Archive for the 'peanut butter' Category

More truffles from Hedonist

December 4th, 2009 by Rosa

I’ve previously sung the praises of Hedonist Artisan Chocolates on this blog, and today, I’m adding to the chorus. Unfortunately, because they shake up their line up so much, I’m no longer sure these truffles are even still available. Oops. On the plus side, that also means that they’ve got new flavors out!

These are a custom assortment that I chose (and, unlike the previously reviewed autumn collection, paid for) myself. I love that Hedonist lets you write down your order and then turns that into your chocolate guide. From left to right in the above photo, I’ve got cardamom, peanut butter and honey, imperial stout, ginger pop rock, and sesame.

Cardamom, a rolled truffle, is by far my favorite of the bunch. There’s an intense, almost savory note to the truffle that makes it wonderfully earthy. It’s a great flavor pairing that’s astoundingly delicious.

Peanut butter and honey (above) is a molded milk chocolate truffle with a fun skull stenciled on top. The peanut butter inside is dry, with a slight grain to it (similar to the texture of a Reese’s).  It’s super peanut-y, with a tinge of sweet and a slight saltiness to the finish. The honey and the milk make it a little too sweet for my taste, but it’s otherwise good.

Imperial stout is another rolled truffle (below). It tastes of cocoa with a dark yeastiness, with a finish that’s reminiscent of the scent of Guinness. Ever since I had Guinness for breakfast as a college freshman, I’ve generally avoided dark beers, so this wouldn’t be a truffle I’d pick out again, though I did enjoy tasting it.

Ginger pop rock was a hollow, heart-shaped dark chocolate shell filled with flavorless pop rocks and bits of candied ginger. It adds a fun effect to the fairly familiar (to a candy blogger, at least) combination of chocolate and ginger.

I tasted this one about 2 weeks after I’d bought it, so the pop rocks had softened a bit from moisture. They were still poppy and fun, but I’ve now learned that pop rock truffles should be consumed as soon as possible for maximum crunchiness.

Last, but not least, the sesame truffle was a molded milk square sprinkled with sesame seeds. Unsuprisingly enough, it tastes similar to the bark, just creamier because it’s a ganache, and maybe a tad heavier on the salt and sesame oil. I think I prefer it in bark form because you get a bit more crunch that way, but the truffle incarnation is nice as well.

All in all, I’m happy with the five truffles that I chose. As I write this from my notes, weeks after I first tasted them, I wish I had more of the cardamom, so that gets a ZOMG! Sesame merits an OMG for its surprising and surprisingly delicious flavor combination, while the rest hover around an O/OM. While all are expertly crafted and well-made, they do run the ratings gamut solely based on my personal flavor preferences.

Category: chocolate, Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, O, OM, OMG, peanut butter, review, ZOMG! | 1 Comment »

Snyder’s Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwich Dips

October 23rd, 2009 by Rosa

I got this bag of Snyder’s Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwich Dips in my Halloween grab bag from the NCA. I’m glad that I did, because they were delicious and because I would never have thought to buy them myself for the blog, as they’re only sort of candy.

They’re a peanut butter and pretzel sandwich coated in sweet Hershey’s milk chocolate. The chocolate is kind of greasy, and I’d prefer something of nicer quality, but it does its job okay.

It doesn’t look all that impressive though. Imagine how great it would be with a shiny, glossy coat!

The pretzel portion is great – just crackery and salty enough to stand up to the sweet milk chocolate coating and make you take notice, but not so salty as to make you thirsty.

There isn’t much peanut butter, but there’s just enough to add a roasty nuttiness that’s quite enjoyable. The pretzels are round waffles, and the peanut butter sort of seeps into the grids.

All in all, I think they’re an awesome mix of textures and flavors. They remind me of the Take 5, only with real chocolate (cocoa butter’s on the ingredients list; hooray! Along with PGPR, less hooray…). An OM.

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

Strawberried Peanut Butter M&M’s

October 16th, 2009 by Rosa

I had been looking for Strawberried Peanut Butter M&M’s for ages, since they first starting popping up in the candy blogosphere.

They were released as a limited edition promotional tie-in for the Transformers sequel, and I finally found them a week or so ago in a local discount grocery store. Only in a giant bag, but oh well. Now I have roommates who eat chocolate to share with!

Strawberry, peanut butter, and chocolate are an unusual flavor combination to find in candy, though it makes perfect sense. Peanut butter and chocolate are great together, and strawberry jam and peanut butter are a classic, so why not combine the three components?

The M&M’s are colored to look like those three elements: brown, red, and orange with light red specks. I’m not sure if that was the intention – maybe they were going for fall colors? – but I appreciate the color scheme.

Like regular peanut butter M&M’s, they’re irregularly sized and lopsided. Also like peanut butter M&M’s, they’re a peanut butter spheroid (oblate, to be precise) surrounded by chocolate, which is covered by a sugar shell.

These guys smell like artificial berry with an undertone of chocolate. No peanut butter scent comes through. When bitten into, there’s the usual M&M’s crunch, then a burst of sweet strawberry fruitiness that finishes with a cloyingly artificial tinge.

Beneath it all, there’s the underlying flavor of creamy peanut butter. It’s reminiscent of cheap jarred peanut butter, as it’s not that roasty or nutty.

The flavor combination really works well, but it’s a tad too sweet for me, mostly due to the artificial fruit finish. I mostly enjoy them when I eat them, but I can’t handle more than a few at a time (built in portion control – maybe not necessarily a bad thing?). I can’t decide if I’d buy another bag of these or not. Normally, I’d say no, but they are a limited edition…

They get an O from me. My roommates seemed to like them more, as the bag didn’t last long in the living room.

Category: chocolate, limited edition, M&M's, Mars, O, peanut butter, review | 1 Comment »

Reese’s Whipps

September 28th, 2009 by Rosa

This Reese’s Whipps bar had been sitting around my stash for a while. I bought it ages ago when it was new-ish and on sale at Walgreen’s, but I never dug in earlier because I wasn’t that excited about it.

The wrapper calls it “light and fluffy peanut butter flavored nougat.” It’s actually peanut butter flavored nougat, surrounded by a thin layer of peanut butter, all covered by a chocolate coating.

I didn’t find the nougat to be at all fluffy. I found it pretty dense and chewy, completely unlike the truly fluffy nougat of a 3 Musketeers bar.

The bar was a total sugar bomb. It tasted mostly of sweet, with some strong nuttiness coming from the peanut butter layer. The chocolate was totally overwhelmed by the sweetness of the whole thing.

I found the bar to be overwhelming overall. Too, too, too much. A .

Category: --, chocolate, peanut butter, Reese's, review | 1 Comment »

Dove Promises Milk Chocolate with Peanut Butter

May 6th, 2009 by Rosa

Dove Promises’s newest product, milk chocolate with peanut butter, is heading into bold territory by trying to hone in on Reese’s audience. Challenging Reese’s is no small feat – they’ve really perfected the chocolate/peanut butter balance, both flavor and texture-wise, and they’re a brand behemoth. It may not be entirely fair to judge Dove against Reese’s, but the comparison is unavoidable.

So how’d they do? The Promises are covered in classic smooth and creamy Dove milk chocolate and filled with a similarly silky peanut butter filling. The milk chocolate was soft rather than snappy, making the whole Promise rather pliable.

The peanut butter filling was nutty, but not roasty, and could have been saltier. Reese’s has done so well precisely because its peanut butter is salty enough to really stand up against the chocolate. Dove’s could have been stronger. Still, Dove did at least manage a decently balanced chocolate to peanut butter ratio.

All in all, not a bad effort. They look slightly nicer than Reese’s miniatures, and they’d fit in nicely with a mix of Promises for a living room candy bowl. But if I have a peanut butter/milk chocolate craving while I’m in the candy aisle, I’d go with a Reese’s instead. An O.

Category: chocolate, Dove, O, peanut butter, review | 3 Comments »

Schocolat – Part II

April 29th, 2009 by Rosa

A continuation of Monday’s review, the next five chocolates in my Schocolat box.

First up at the top, a salted caramel that wasn’t in their chocolate guide, I guess because they’re usually sold in boxes of all caramels. As with the bunny chew from Monday, it’s a stiff caramel that really gets in your teeth. The salt offsets the brown butter flavor nicely, though I wish the flavor developed a bit more as you chew it. Still, a lovely treat and OM-worthy.

Moving clockwise is what I think is a Gianduja, “layers of hazelnut flavored milk and dark chocolate dipped in milk chocolate finished with a candied hazelnut.” I say think because it tasted more like peanut butter than Nutella to me and my friends. Sadly, the nut topping was so candied that I couldn’t tell what kind of nut it was.

The dark and milk layers were visible in the super stiff ganache, and the whole thing had a roasty nuttiness with a creamy chocolate finish. An OM, regardless of my nut uncertainty.

Next is the round rolled-then-enrobed truffle, the only one in the box that wasn’t molded and another one that was off the guide. My friend Rita bit into it first and made a blech face. Surprise! It’s banana, which Rita is allergic to.

Specifically, it’s a white chocolate ganache. It has a strong banana flavor with a sweet, white chocolate finish. The dark chocolate coating was studded with bits of candied almonds. Nice, but not for me (or Rita), so an O.

The skinny gold ingot shaped chocolate is the Golden Cinnamon, “milk chocolate ganache flavored with gold-schlager cinnamon liquor surrounded in dark chocolate and gold flecks.”

The creamy ganache had a light, barely noticeable cinnamon spice and heat to it, with more cinnamon in the finish. A lovely, perfectly balanced blend that gets an OMG.

And last for today, the dark and milk domed truffle that’s also off guide. It’s definitely peanut butter with a super roasty finish. An O, not because it’s bad, but because I’m not that big on peanut butter.

It also makes me more sure that we correctly identified the Gianduja. I think the Gianduja didn’t taste hazelnutty enough because it was made with actual hazelnut butter, thus the more-subtle-than-Nutella flavor.

So – back on Friday for the rest of the box. It gets even better!

Category: caramel, chocolate, nuts, O, OM, OMG, peanut butter, received as gift, review | Comments Off on Schocolat – Part II

Hedonist Artisan Chocolates

April 1st, 2009 by Rosa

I was in Rochester, NY last week and came across a delightful little chocolate shop called Hedonist Artisan Chocolates. While there I struck up a nice conversation with one their chocolate makers (perhaps the proprietor?) and partook of their generous free samples of just-made rolled champagne truffles and some bits of chocolate bark. The great samples convinced me to buy two of their ever-changing selection of handmade truffles: molasses ginger and peanut butter cayenne.

The molasses ginger (left) was a square of molasses ginger flavored ganache covered in dark Valhrona and topped with a tiny piece of candied ginger. It was fresh and tasted amazing. The ganache was creamy but not greasy and had a distinct fresh ginger flavor without the less pleasant bite that real ginger has. I didn’t get any direct molasses notes, but there’s a mellow sweetness that permeates throughout. The little dab of candied ginger was a wonderful touch that again, brought ginger flavor without any bitter notes. All this was nicely juxtaposed against the snappy shell of good quality dark couverture.

Peanut butter cayenne was topped with a little half peanut. The filling in this was stiffer and slightly gritty. It initially starts with a roasty fresh nuttiness before giving way to a lingering cayenne burn. The heat is more intense than other chili chocolates, so it may not be for the faint of heart, but I loved it.

Both truffles were great, if not exactly cheap at $2 a bite. Still, they get a ZOMG! for their high quality and wonderful flavors. There were other interesting sounding flavors that I didn’t try (like raspberry wasabi and lapsang souchong), so I’m sure that I’ll revisit Hedonist Chocolates again and again once I move to Rochester.

That’s right – I’m moving to Rochester! I get my BA in psychology/neuroscience at the end of May, and sometime during the summer, I’m starting a two-year stint as a research assistant/lab manager at the University of Rochester. The decision to move there wasn’t an easy one to make, especially since my other option was a fully funded, generously stipended year in a Master’s program at Cambridge University (back in England, with British accents and Cadbury and Haribo…), but Rochester made me a great offer full of great opportunity. Besides, it’s close to Canada, so I’ll still get to explore an international candy scene while there!

Category: chocolate, Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, peanut butter, review, ZOMG! | 5 Comments »

Q.bel All-natural Chocolates – Wafer Bars

February 23rd, 2009 by Rosa

Last Friday, I reviewed and greatly enjoyed Q.bel‘s wafer rolls. Today, I tackle the wafer bars, the wafer roll’s squatter, squarer cousin. Like the wafer rolls, the wafer bars come in three versions: milk chocolate crispy rice, dark chocolate crispy rice, and milk chocolate peanut butter.


The two crispy rice wafer bars were wafer cookies sandwiching chocolate cream, topped with rice crisps, and enrobed in milk or dark (pictured below) chocolate. The wafer cookies were mostly bland and provided more texture than taste, while the crispy rice provided both, adding an airy crunch and a heavy, toasted flavor. The milk and dark chocolate were the same as that of the wafer rolls. If you need a flavor profile review, the milk was dusky and creamy while the dark chocolate was earthy with a fruity sweet finish. Overall, I found these to be a bit overly dry from their starchy components but still quite yummy. An OM.

The peanut butter wafer bars lacked the crispy rice that topped the other two, so it had a less bumpy appearance and instead was all gorgeous, sumptuous ripples. The peanut butter was between the layers of wafer cookie and had a salty, creamy finish. It was not as nutty or as roasty as the peanut butter of the wafer rolls, which was a bit disappointing. On the plus side, it did nicely mitigate the dryness of the wafers, so much so that the bar feels overly rich. I give it an O, but I think peanut butter lovers would enjoy this more than I did.

The Q.bel line-up, as a whole, did great, with the wafer rolls coming out on top in my book. On the one hand, I’m glad that Q.bel mailed me so many samples, as I’ve definitely been enjoying them and enjoying giving them away and hearing about how much others like them. On the other hand, I’ve been eating at least two packs a day, which is wreaking havoc on my waistline. I recommend trying them, but trust me, you don’t want to have a case of each lying around. The temptation is terrible.

Category: chocolate, cookie, O, OM, peanut butter, review | Comments Off on Q.bel All-natural Chocolates – Wafer Bars

Q.bel All-Natural Chocolates – Wafer Rolls

February 20th, 2009 by Rosa

When reviews of Q.bel chocolates started hitting the candy blogosphere, I was intrigued. It’s not often that Cybele bestows a candy with a 10 out of 10 rating, and Q.bel managed to nab the honor.So when Q.bel asked me if I wanted free samples to review, I eagerly said yes. I’m so glad that I did.


Q.bel (the Q is for quality; the bel is for Isabel, the wife of the creator. When will I get a delicious candy named after me?) chocolates come in two types, wafer rolls and wafer bars, with three iterations of each: milk, dark, and peanut butter. Today, I’ll cover the wafer rolls. The wafer bars will be reviewed on Monday.

The wafer rolls were crispy, crunchy, fresh, and flaky wafer cookie rolls filled with chocolate or peanut butter and enrobed in more chocolate. The milk chocolate of the milk chocolate wafer roll (center) is wonderful – rich and creamy, but not too sweet, and with a dusky finish, earning it an OMG.

The peanut butter wafer roll (right) is covered with the same milk chocolate, but it’s filled with salty, thick peanut butter that tastes fresh roasted. The overarching finish of the peanut butter lingers a bit, and I found it a bit overpowering for the chocolate. An OM from me, but peanut butter lovers would absolutely adore this.

My favorite of the wafer rolls was the dark chocolate wafer roll (left). The dark chocolate and wafer were an amazing match. The dark chocolate had an earthiness to it, but its finish was sweet and fruity, which needed the cookie wafer to cut it. It gets a bit cloying in the finish, but if you have enough self control to stop after one roll (I don’t), it’s perfect. A ZOMG!

I highly recommend you check these all-natural chocolates out. Q.bel is doing a huge rollout in Whole Foods, so look for them there. They’re probably a bit pricier than your average candy bar, but these are not your average candy bar. And check back on Monday for my review of their wafer bars!

Category: chocolate, cookie, OM, OMG, peanut butter, review, ZOMG! | 1 Comment »

Necco Sky Bar – an abortive review

February 4th, 2009 by Rosa

I tried. I really, really tried to give the Necco Sky Bar a fair shake of a review. It’s a retro bar and is deliberately marketed as such, with it’s matte-looking wrapper, photos, and font. Nostalgia is about all this guy’s got going for it.

The bar is billed as “4 flavors in milk chocolate.” It comes in four segments, each imprinted with the word “Necco.” One segment is filled with caramel, another with vanilla, another with peanut, and the final one with fudge. Wait – I take that back. Let’s try that again. One segment is filled with “caramel,” another with “vanilla,” another with “peanut,” and the final one with “fudge.”

Why the quotation marks? Because the fillings vaguely tasted like rude approximations of what they were labeled as, but to call them a real caramel or vanilla or fudge or peanut butter would be a travesty. They were nasty goops, all of them. And nasty goop inside poor quality milk chocolate just makes for more nastiness.

I took a small bite out of each of these for the sake of candy blogging science, but I couldn’t bring myself to eat those bites slowly or thoughtfully. I just wanted the nasty swallowed and as far away from my taste buds as possible. So, readers, that is why I have no descriptions for you. All that’s in my tasting notebook is “nasty goo” and a giant scribble.

Usually I give my tasting leftovers to friends. The Sky Bar I tossed, as I thought it too horrible to inflict upon others. A definite that caused me to hover my mouse over the box that would’ve categorized this as “not candy”. If you don’t believe me, check out fellow Sugar Savvy writer Sylvie’s take. She didn’t hate it as much as I did, but she also found it disappointing.

Category: --, caramel, chocolate, Necco, peanut butter, review | 3 Comments »