Almond Joy Pieces

I thought I nabbed a candy scoop with these Almond Joy Pieces. A quick Google revealed that, they’ve been out for nearly a year now, and Candy Addict and Candy Blog‘s already covered them! Guess it just took me a while to come across them in stores.

Hershey’s basically extrapolated their Reese’s Pieces concept to other candy bars (there are also Special Dark and York Pieces). The Almond Joy Pieces were described on the bag as “milk chocolate, coconut, and almond candy in a crunchy shell.”

While most of them were generally oblate spheroids, quite a few of them were wonkily shaped, and even the nicer ones were a little bumpy around the edges. I think this may be due to the bits of almond and coconut in the chocolate.

The shells were super crispy and loudly crunched in my mouth. They came in blue, brown, and cream.

The Pieces tasted of super sweet chocolate with coconut and an underlying nuttiness. The coconut had a nice floral finish. Every once in a while, I hit an almond-heavy Piece in which the almond overpowered the coconut.

There was a definite grittiness when the Pieces were nearly gone, due to the bits of almond and flakes of coconut. But the grittiness wasn’t unpleasant by any means, and there was never a risk of stuff getting lodged in my teeth.

I wish they were a tad less sweet, but otherwise, it’s a great mix of flavors, and I loved the crunchiness of the Pieces. They were poppable and tasty, and they crunched beautifully. An OMG.


Hershey’s Zero bar‘s claim to fame is its white coating. Specifically, it’s “caramel, peanut and almond nougat covered with white fudge.”

Mine came free, courtesy of Munchies Sweets and Treats.  It was a bit too abundantly full of caramel, I guess, as my bar’s trademark white coating was streaked with it.

The bottom layer of nougat was faintly sweet chocolate with strong almond extract notes. Every once in a while, I hit an actual peanut, which introduced a bit more nuttiness, but the almond extract was the predominant player.

The nougat was covered with a stripe of sweet and serviceable caramel. The white fudge coating was milky and overly sweet.

Overall, I found this bar to be too sweet, and its flavors weren’t distinctive enough. I needed to eat it slowly and carefully to pick out the different flavors, as they got all mushed together and masked by the sweet. An O.


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.

Snyder’s Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwich Dips

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.

Reese’s Whipps

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 .

Dagoba Super Fruit

It was bound to happen. I bought and wrote a review for a candy that I’ve already written about: the Dagoba Super Fruit bar. But I’m publishing it anyway, as it’s far more thorough than my first review of it.

In my defense, the bar’s wrapper has changed, so I um… didn’t recognize it?

The chocolate smells dry and dusky, and it tastes that way too. The melt is dry, and the texture is just shy of chalky. It makes me think of cocoa powder, in a good way.

The bar itself is a 74%, with bits of acai, currants, and goji berries. Every once in a while, you come across a bit of dried fruit, which delivers a powerful hit of sweet red berries.

I came across a currant, which was chewy, and some other slightly crunchy dried fruit that was either the acai or the goji.

I wish there were more fruit bits. They were too few and far between, and I didn’t want to eat the whole bar to get a good feel for it. Still, it was good, and my original OM rating stands. But Dagoba, stop being so stingy with your super fruits!

Starbucks Caramel Macchiato and Caffe Mocha Truffles

Today brings us reviews of two more chocolates from Starbucks, their Caramel Macchiato and Caffe Mocha truffles. I gave the Chai Truffles a meh review last time, but I had coupons, so I went ahead and bought more to try.

The truffles are billed as “marvelous milk chocolate [enveloping] caramel centers infused with our Espresso Roast coffee.” Out of the box, they smelled overwhelmingly sweet and looked perfectly molded. A cross section reveals a fairly thick milk chocolate coating covering a smooth truffle center.

The smooth truffle center was cloyingly sweet, and I didn’t get any caramel notes because the sweetness was so overwhelming. The milk chocolate coating also overwhelmed the truffle filling. There was a slight bitterness to the finish – I guess that was the coffee part? An O.

I liked the Caffe Mocha truffles, “lucious milk chocolate [embracing] creamy mocha centers infused with our rich Espresso Roast coffee”, much more. The molding was prettier here, with two coffee beans stamped on the top. I thought they covered an actual espresso bean, but alas, they were made of chocolate. Boo. I guess it would’ve been too expensive to make the effort of putting real beans on the truffles.

The center, like that of the caramel macchiato truffle, was smooth and creamy. It had a strong, deep roasty coffee flavor that went well with the chocolate coating. The chocolate shell was thinner in this truffle, so it was far better balanced. It was like eating a smooth chocolate-covered espresso bean. Highly enjoyable and worth an OMG.

Hershey’s Barbie Doll – Giveaway

When I was a kid, I didn’t play with Barbies much. It wasn’t because my parents were afraid that she’d give me body image issues or anything like that (though if I had a daughter of my own, I probably wouldn’t give her Barbies for that reason) – it’s because we were too po’. My parents immigrated from China just before I was born. When I was young, we lived off my father’s tiny grad student stipend, which left little room in the family budget for Barbies. Now that we’re financially comfortable (though that financial comfort will disappear once I graduate from college and attempt to be financially independent), I’m too old for Barbies.

Or so I thought. When Mattel approached me about doing a giveaway of their new limited/collectors’ edition Hershey’s Barbie Doll, my first thought was, “I want one!” And because Mattel is so nice, I got one!


She’s “adorned with a fun and flirtatious cocktail dress in a rich milk chocolate brown, accented with twinkles of silver,” just as the press release promised. And killer shoes, which weren’t touted in the fact sheet that I got. Yes, I’ll never be able to walk en point in heels, and I’ll never have Barbie’s impossible figure, but I’m old enough to accept that and enjoy my Hershey’s Barbie for what she is – a neat collaboration between two old and beloved American institutions.

And, thanks to Mattel, I’m running a giveaway for a second doll, so that one of you can have one to enjoy as well! One randomly selected reader (U.S. only, please, unless you’re willing to pay your own shipping) will win a Hershey’s Barbie. To enter, leave a Barbie or Hershey’s related comment on this post with a valid email address by midnight on Friday, April 17th.

Good luck! And if you don’t win, you can still buy your own at Toys R Us, Hershey’s stores, select U.S. retailers, and at .

NOTE: This contest has now closed. Winners posted here!

Hershey’s Symphony Almonds and Toffee Chips

After Monday’s review, a Heath vs Skor showdown, I thought I’d continue the theme of chocolate + toffee with a review of Hershey’s Symphony of the Almonds and Toffee Chips persuasion. I think Hershey’s Symphony is a funny line – it doesn’t get much recognition or advertising, so it’s not especially distinctive, yet it’s been around for nearly as long as I’ve been alive (since 1989) and is pretty easy to find. There must be something redeeming about it to keep it around. Meanwhile, Joseph Schmidt’s line of truffles gets the axe. Sigh…

I think the Symphony line is supposed to be notable for the creaminess of the milk chocolate. I don’t quite get the name, especially since they make a plain milk chocolate Symphony, and the word Symphony conjures up images of complexity, but I do appreciate the effort of the packaging, with horizontal lines are probably meant to evoke the lines of a music staff. I wonder if the word Symphony could have been rejiggered to have a treble cleff as the S.

Underneath the wrapper, the bar has the big, traditional HERSHEY’S block logo on it, with what I consider to be the classic Hershey’s Almond bar shape – the rectangle with the arched curve to it. You can see the bits of almond and toffee in the cross section.

The bar was extremely nutty smelling thanks to the almonds. Unlike the Skor and Heath bars, which are toffee with chocolate, this was chocolate with toffee. And nice chocolate, too! The chocolate was creamy with a thick melt and a fruity finish, definitely different and superior to regular Hershey’s milk chocolate.

The almonds were in pretty big chunks and few and far between, so I didn’t come across them too often. The toffee added a bit of flavor but contributed more in texture, with a nice, cleaving crunch. Overall, it was a pleasant combination of tastes and textures. I’d give the bar an OM, and I wonder why the Symphony line doesn’t get more cred.

Skor versus Heath

Back when I reviewed the Daim bar, I wondered what the difference was (or if there was a difference) between Skor bars and Heath bars. Ostensibly, they seem identical: both are chocolate covered crunchy toffee bars, and both are made by Hershey’s. But since it doesn’t make sense for Hershey to make two identical products, there must be something that sets them apart. Let’s find out, shall we?

They’re somewhat differently described on their wrappers: Skor is “delicious milk chocolate/crisp butter toffee” while Heath is a “milk chocolate English toffee bar.” I already kind of take issue with the Heath description, as English toffee is chewy like caramel, but whatever.

Cross sectionally, the bars look somewhat different. I’m 95% sure that the Heath is on the left and the Skor is on the right (this review backs me up), but I took the picture so long ago that I’m no longer positive. As you can see, both have the same rippled chocolate coating, but one’s toffee is more yellow/gold (left; Heath?), while the other’s is more dark brown.

Tastewise, they differ as well. Skor’s darker colored toffee also tasted darker. It was sweet with a touch of duskiness. The Heath bar had a brighter sweetness that was unpleasantly cloying, and its toffee tasted more buttery, with a super sweet finish.

I’d give the Skor the edge in the match-up, so it gets an OM while Heath gets an O. Skor may benefit from reference effects, however. Who knows; I could’ve given it an O if I’d just tasted it alone.