Skinny Cow Dreamy Clusters – Milk Chocolate

Ira Glass had a great quote in his recent NY Times interview: “I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, I only believe in pleasures. People who call reading detective fiction or eating dessert a guilty pleasure make me want to puke. Pedophilia is a pleasure a person should have guilt about. Not chocolate.

I agree with Ira (because we’re on a first name basis, of course) 100%. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying sweets – as long as you’re not eating yourself into a diabetic coma.

Skinny Cow isn’t as horrible about inducing chocolate shame as other brands have been, but the whole idea of diet candy is still pretty silly. Also what’s up with the name “Skinny Cow”? Are consumers the Cow that wants to be skinny?

The wrapper of this package of Dreamy Clusters, which I got as free samples at Sweets and Snacks, prominently noted that it has 120 calories. It also shows 5 clusters, which is exactly how many were in my pack.

The clusters were described as “crunchy crisps and creamy caramel drenched in milk chocolate.” Each lumpy cluster was between quarter and half-dollar-sized.

The crisps were indeed crunchy. I think they were rice, as rice flour was in the ingredients list, but they were far stiffer and more substantial than any rice crisps I’ve ever had before.

The caramel was chewy but not sticky. You can see from the photo that it had a little stretch but not much pull. It tasted darkly sweet and, though rather one note, was enjoyable enough.

The milk chocolate coating on the clusters was real milk chocolate with actual cocoa butter. Hooray! It was mild and generic tasting, with no notable caramel or dusky cream notes, but again, pleasant enough.

These presented a tasty mix of flavors and textures, like bite-sized 100 Grand bars (which I love). The extra crunchy crisps really elevated these to an OM rating. I think the marketing is dumb, and 5 per pack ain’t much, but portion control is the point here, I suppose.

Candy Blog’s Cybele reviewed the dark chocolate version of these over a year ago.

Nestle Crunch Girl Scouts – Caramel & Coconut

Monday I reviewed two of the three limited edition Nestle Crunch Girl Scout cookie inspired candy bars that I found at my local Dollar store. Today, I’m covering the third, Caramel & Coconut, inspired by Samoas/Caramel deLites.

This was described as “cookie wafers, coconut caramel creme and chewy caramel, topped with toasted coconut.” Like the other two bars, this one was made with palm oil instead of cocoa butter, so no actual chocolate.

For some reason, the mockolate coating here held up much better instead of melting all over the place. Perhaps because it was lacking the other two’s airy crispies, this also got an additional adornment of caramel colored stripes on top.

The wafer layers were quite crisp and tasted of toasty cookie and sweetened coconut flakes. They were topped with a noticeable layer of squishy and sweet caramel with bits of coconut in it that squeaked between my teeth.

I thought this bar did a great job of capturing the flavor of Samoas in chocolate bar form – sweet, amber caramel and light chocolate flavor plus coconut nuttiness. It was a little overly sweet for my taste, but I feel the same about Samoas. I think the mockolate is less of an issue here since its problem texture and flavor gets lost when mixed with the caramel.

These are the only one of the three bars I’d want to eat again, but it skews a little too sweet and artificial to gain a boost in rating. Another O.


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

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.

Guest Post: Nestle Kit Kat Chunky Caramel Duo

Globe-trotting Neil (it’s so unfair how easy it is to travel between European countries!) has another across the pond review for you. ~Rosa

As promised, I have some posts up my sleeve. While waiting for dinner to cook tonight, I thought I’d simultaneously have a snack and feel productive by writing this. I pulled out a Nestle Kit Kat I picked up on a recent trip to London: Kit Kat Chunky Caramel Duo.

The package promised “Crisp wafer pieces with a caramel creamy topping (20%), covered in milk chocolate (60%).” Well, that’s sort of what I got.

The milk chocolate looked fairly standard – a bit beat up from my travel, for sure. The bars themselves are fairly thick. The two side by side are about the width of my wrist, which, let’s be honest, is not that impressive.

Eating it was sadly also not that impressive. The caramel just didn’t come through at ALL. It’s like the “creamy topping” had at some point just dried up to match the consistency of the wafer. No caramel flavor or contrasting texture.

Though it’s been in my cupboard since January, the label says it’s good through July, so it shouldn’t have gone stale in that time. I’m inclined to think it just wasn’t that caramelly to start with.

I set aside the second chunk for another time. It will probably be after dinner, sure, but I don’t see myself tracking this down in future travel. An O for the Duo.

Oh Henry

The Oh Henry bar is an old school classic that’s been around since the 1920’s. In my experience, they’re pretty low profile – I see them in the candy aisle and in occasional fun size mixes, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen advertisements for them.

They were labelled as “peanutty, caramel, fudge bars in milk chocolate.” There were two bars in the package.

The bars were solid, dense little logs. The fudge and caramel insides were chewy but not sticky and quite grainy. That combination of caramel-flavored fudge packed a powerful sugar rush wallop.

Half peanuts dispersed throughout the bar added a light crunch to the texture and a strong nuttiness that did little to dispel the sweetness. The chocolate had a mild cocoa flavor that was totally overwhelmed by the fudge center.

While the make-up of the bar sounded promising, it was entirely too sweet for my taste. A glass of milk helped with the cloying sweetness, so an O – but it just barely escaped getting a — rating.

Kit Kat Uji Matcha

I got this Uji Matcha Kit Kat as a free sample from Uji Matcha is a specific blend of green tea, and it’s one of the many flavors of Japanese Kit Kats.

The Kit Kat fingers were pea green colored. Even though I’ve reviewed quite a few matcha chocolates on this blog, I still find their coloring to be shocking.

They tasted creamy with a light herbal undertone and had an almost bitter lingering finish. They had no chocolate flavor – it was all tea and dairy.

I liked the crisp crunch of the cookies, but I’m not a big fan of tea in general, and matcha-flavored chocolates just really ain’t my thing. An O.

Kit Kat Framboise

These Kit Kat Framboise were free samples from I love trying different varieties of Japanese Kit Kats! I’m also amused that these Japanese Kit Kats were named in French – framboise means raspberry.

Everything about this Kit Kat was pretty. The pink polka dots and ribbon on the outer box made it look like a little present, and the inner wrappers were pleasantly retro with their pink polka dots and chocolate brown tips.

The fingers themselves were pretty as well. The wrapper’s color combination of pink and chocolate brown was echoed in the actual chocolate: the creme filling between the wafers was pale pink.

It smelled pretty artificial, but thankfully, that scent didn’t detract from the Kit Kat’s taste. It had a strongly bright berry flavor with slightly seedy raspberry notes. The flavor packed enough of a punch to stand up to the creamy, dusky milk chocolate.

The wafers were crunchy and toasty and provided a nice contrast that highlighted the fruity chocolate. I loved this and wish it was available in the U.S. An OMG.

Butterfinger Snackerz

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.

Nestle Galak Pop Ri

I thought it would be nice to close off nearly two weeks’ worth of Neil’s guest reviews with a review of some Dutch candy that he gave me. Presenting Nestle’s Galak Pop Ri.

As best as I can tell, Nestle Galak is the white chocolate umbrella brand, while Pop Ri indicates the presence of puffed rice bits. Galak comes in other forms, including a delectable sounding Speculoos.

The bar came segmented, with a little Nestle logo imprinted on each. When I snapped off a chunk, the break was dry.

The white chocolate lacked creaminess. It tasted sweet and fruity and was surprisingly bright for white chocolate. Unlike other white chocolates, this lacked any vanilla flavor.

The puffed rice bits were great: crunchy and crisp. It was basically like a Nestle Crunch White but with a much higher chocolate to crisp ratio.

As you can see in the above photo, there was a pretty hefty layer of chocolate floating above a single layer of rice crisps. If I remember correctly, the American Crunch White features rice crisps evenly distributed throughout the entirety of a thin bar.

I enjoyed the bar, but I’m not a big white chocolate person. When I do eat it, I prefer it to be creamy, which this lacked. An O.

Japanese Kit Kat – Wasabi

As promised, here’s my review of the Wasabi flavored Japanese Kit Kat from my globetrotting friends Nana and Justin. My review of the Sweet Potato version that they also sent along posted on Wednesday.

These also came individually wrapped, two to a package, and were a pale green. The famous Kit Kat wafers were dry and crispy and covered in wasabi tinted white chocolate. They smelled neutrally sweet.

The chocolate tasted first of sweet, milky cream. Then a light horseradish kick came through. All of that kick was totally through the olfactory system – when I pinched my nose, it wasn’t noticeable.

There wasn’t any noticeable chocolate flavor, just creaminess with a slight spiciness. It had just the right amount of kick to make it weirdly addictive and intriguing. Any more would have been overwhelming, while any less couldn’t have been noticed.

I give this an OM. It earned the extra M through sheer novelty, but I truly enjoyed the confection. Nana was less of a fan.

I have about a half dozen of each weird flavor to give away. My way of passing on Nana and Justin’s generosity! For a chance to win some Wasabi and Sweet Potato Kit Kats of your own, leave a comment on the ZOMG, Candy!’s Facebook discussion page for a chance to win at least one of each. I’ll randomly select three winners on February 11th, midnight EST, so get your comments in before then!