Heath Pieces

North Carolina has a great chain of drive-thru restaurants, Cook-Out, that feature an elaborate variety of milkshakes. I like Heath bar bits in my Cook-Out milkshakes, so I jumped at the chance to buy these Heath Pieces when I saw them on the shelf.

Heath Pieces are another extension of the Hershey’s Pieces line. For a long time, it was just Reese’s Pieces, but they’ve since added other chocolate bar flavors that I’ve previously reviewed, including York Peppermint Patty Pieces and Almond Joy Pieces.

Heath bars are chocolate and toffee (previously reviewed here), and the Heath Pieces are “milk chocolate and toffee candy in a crunchy shell.” The conveniently resealable bag was full of spherical candies in a trio of fall colors – light brown, dark brown, and golden yellow.

Most of them were M&M shaped, but a few irregular Pieces slipped through the quality control check and came out with funky shells. Those shells were crunchy, as were the bits of toffee within.

The Heath Pieces were quite sweet, with caramel milk chocolate flavors and a scorchy, buttery undertone from the toffee. Some Pieces had larger toffee bits than others, so the chocolate-toffee balance varied from bite to bite. I preferred the toffee heavy bites.

I simultaneously found them too sweet and so sweet that they were a bit addictive and quite poppable. I may buy them again for ice cream mix-ins in the future, so an OM.

Kit Kat Minis

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.

Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme and Cookies ‘n’ Milk Chocolate

I remember Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme from my childhood. I think the Cookies ‘n’ Milk Chocolate are a newer addition, within the last few years.

By the way, this whole ‘n’ thing is crazy annoying. An ampersand takes up the same amount of space but is grammatically correct.

Both bars were crammed full of crunchy bits of chocolate cookie which tasted like Oreo cookies. Cookies ‘n’ Creme had a base of “creme” that was supposed to emulate white chocolate but, as Cybele pointed out, wasn’t really white chocolate, as it was mostly made of vegetable oils.

The “creme” was sweet with a slightly sour fake vanilla flavor, like canned frosting. Though it’s not a high quality base by any means, it is a classic. To me, it just goes well with the bittersweet cookie bits, but that’s probably my nostalgia getting in the way.

Cookies ‘n’ Milk Chocolate had a milk chocolate base that had Hershey’s characteristic slightly sour tang to the finish. The milk chocolate seemed to make the cookies taste even more chocolatey.

I loved the Cookies ‘n’ Creme as a kid. These days, I won’t turn down a free miniature version of it or the Cookies ‘n’ Milk Chocolate (I got these from work), as the cookie bits are a nice departure from the norm, but I wouldn’t go out an actually buy them myself. An O.

Hershey’s Bliss Creme de Menthe Meltaway

Someone left a bag of these Creme de Menthe Meltaway Hershey’s Blisses in lab. I’ve never reviewed Hershey’s Bliss before since I’ve never found them interesting enough to buy, so of course I jumped at the opportunity to steal one for reviewing.

The Creme de Menthe Meltaway Bliss was a domed square of chocolate that came in a shiny, cheerful emerald green foil wrapper.

It was quite pretty when bitten into. The center stripe of pale mint green contrasted nicely with the brown of the chocolate.

The chocolate had a soft bite. The melt was extremely thick and had a barely perceptible grain to it.

The mint center was a soft ganache that was thick and creamy, if a little fatty feeling. The peppermintiness was noticeable but fairly mild. Definitely less intense than a York Peppermint Patty.

This Bliss was like mint chocolate chip ice cream condensed into a single bite of chocolate. It reminded me of an Andes but larger and with a more satisfying mouthfeel.

I liked it more than I thought I would, perhaps because mint chocolate chip is one of my favorite ice cream flavors. Still, I wish the mintiness was stronger, so an O.

Hershey’s Kiss – Air Delight

This Hershey’s Kiss Air Delight is the newest addition to the Hershey Kiss line-up. It’s basically aerated chocolate in Hershey Kiss form.

I was a total sucker for the packaging here – I loved the retro polka dotted look of the wrapper. The Kiss itself looked like a normal Kiss until I bit into it.

The inside, as expected, contained a network of bubbles. They weren’t as neatly spherical as those of other aerated chocolates that I’ve reviewed and photographed.

The chocolate of this Kiss had a soft, instant compression. It just squished in my mouth before yielding a thick melt that coated my mouth. I didn’t notice the aeration beyond the squish factor and an overall lightening of the Kiss.

The flavor was classic Hershey’s: mild cocoa with a slight sour tinge. It was a fun take on the classic Kiss but not unique enough for me to want to just buy them for their own sake. An O.

Cybele reviewed these before they even officially hit the market. You can check out her take here.

Dagoba Xocolatl

Here’s another bar from the Dagoba line, the Xocolatl. It’s described as “rich dark chocolate, chilies, and nibs.”

It had a 74% base, perhaps the same chocolate that made up the New Moon? The chocolate had a dry and crunchy snap.

It was tough for me to get a flavor profile from this bar because the fiery heat from the chilies was overwhelmingly hot. It wasn’t a slow, pleasant burn. Instead, it was the intense, immediate heat of cayenne pepper.

The spiciness lingered in the finish and kept my tongue tingling. I usually love chili chocolate, but this had far too much chili burn that completely displaced the chocolate’s flavor. An O.

Dagoba Chocolates – Milk and New Moon

I received a couple of Dagoba chocolate squares in my American Chocolate Week Chocolate Gift Pack: Milk and New Moon.

I’d reviewed the Milk before, but that was years ago, and it was nice to take another gander at it with a much darker Dagoba bar for contrast.

The Milk was 37% cacao. The coloring was dark for a milk bar (left in the photo below). It had a snappy break and a smooth but not thick melt.

It had a nice complexity – woodsy and dark with burnt caramel notes. I found it quite enjoyable, so an OM.

The New Moon was labeled as “rich dark chocolate” and had 74% cacao (right in the photo above). Its melt was on the grainy side.

The chocolate had a burnt tasting edge with extremely fruity notes of cherry. There was a slight bitterness that persisted in the finish that I didn’t appreciate. An O.

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Drops

I got to try this small, sample-sized bag of Hershey’s Drops as a free sample via the National Confectioners Association.

It’s hard for me to envision these Drops as anything but a wannabe M&M’s competitor. Even Drops’s slogan of “No candy shell – No mess” calls to mind the M&M’s catchphrase, “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”

The Drops were spheroids, like M&M’s, but they were significantly larger and more irregularly shaped. All of them were imprinted with the Hershey’s logo, which stood out in sharp contrast to the brown Drops.

The flavor was that of classic milk chocolate Hershey’s, with that distinctive sour finish. It’s not the classiest chocolate, but it’s certainly a classic!

The chocolate was surprisingly solid. I was expecting a creamy melt. Instead, it didn’t melt so much as dryly dissolve.

The Drops was a suitable shape for a chocolate vehicle, but it lacked the textural contrast of a candy shell and the nice, tongue-coating melt of M&M’s. It was nice to try them, but I wouldn’t buy them. An O.

Holiday Hershey Kisses

These holiday Hershey Kisses, Mint Truffle and Candy Cane, have been around for a while, but I’ve never reviewed them before. They were out at an event that I attended, so I slipped a few into my pockets to write about later.

The Mint Truffle Kisses came wrapped in green foil with little snowflakes. The center was an unnaturally bright sea green, while the outer shell was chocolate.

It tasted similar to an Andes mint. The mint flavor was strong, fresh, and effervescent while the milk chocolate had a sour finish. Ahh, Hershey’s signature flavor profile… An OM.

The Candy Cane Kiss’s wrapper was silver with little red canes. The Kiss itself had a red and white striped outside. The inside was solid white chocolate flecked with little dots of red nonpareil.

The white chocolate was quite sweet with a milky sourness that was especially strong in the finish. There was a light milky dairy flavor to it, but it mostly tasted of meh quality white chocolate with a hint of peppermintiness.

I enjoyed the textural contrast of the nonpareils – they brought a great crunch – but I was not a fan of the white chocolate, so this gets an O.

All in all, not bad for holiday-specific treats and definitely tastier and more interesting than the originals!

York Peppermint Patty Pieces

After I tried and loved Almond Joy Pieces, I thought it was worth giving the rest of the line-up a try, so I picked up this bag of York Peppermint Patty Pieces.

York Peppermint Patty Pieces

They’re described as peppermint flavored dark chocolate candy in a crunchy shell. They are sugar-shelled lentil candies, approximately M&M sized.

The York Pieces have a jaunty color scheme of pure white and bright navy blue. Like the Almond Joy Pieces, the sugar shell on these is thicker than that of M&Ms.

York Peppermint Patty Pieces

The chocolate within is solid, with a cool and fatty melt – emphasis on the fatty. It feels almost slippery as it melts but lingers as a matte finish on the tongue when it’s gone.

The chocolate has the airy essence of peppermint oil, but the flavor isn’t too heavy-handed, allowing the dark cocoa powder notes of the chocolate to come through.

York Peppermint Patty Pieces

The Conclusion?

I enjoyed them, but they weren’t nearly as tasty or as exciting as the Almond Joy version. When I eat Almond Joy Pieces, I don’t want to stop snacking on them. The York Pieces weren’t so addictive that I couldn’t make my bag last for weeks.

I think they could be fun to bake with. In some homemade take on a Thin Mint, perhaps? I feel these deserve an OM. Since that was the rating that I gave the Almond Joy Pieces, they’re getting upgraded to an OMG.