Jelly Belly Pea & Carrots

I’m not sure if these Peas & Carrots mellocreme candies from Jelly Belly are a seasonal Easter treat or not. My little bag was bought at the dollar store, where it was shelved with other Jelly Belly treats. Still, peas and carrots nicely fit in with springtime and bunnies, so it would make a good Easter candy.

Most people probably know mellocreme from candy corn. The peas and carrots had the same grainy, chewy-squishy texture of candy corn, but the flavors were very different.

The orange sherbet flavored carrot cylinders were shaped like Mike & Ikes. They started off tasting like orange sherbet or an orange creamsicle, with a slight orange flavor and a strong dairy component. The finish was a little plasticky/waxy.

The peas were supposed to be green apple flavored and did a pretty spot on job of looking like real peas. They carried just the faintest whiff of artificial green apple flavor – I thought they tasted mostly really off-puttingly medicinal.

While these were a cute idea and fun to play around with, I was not a fan of how they tasted. The fruity flavors were a little off, and the downsides of mellocreme (its weird waxiness and finish) were harder to hide behind such mild flavors. A .

Cybele from Candy Blog reviewed them a year ago, if you want a second opinion.


Russell Stover Iddy Biddy Bunnies

These Iddy Biddy Bunnies were a seasonal Easter treat from Russell Stover. My 1.7 oz bag advertised 60 pieces and noted that the bunnies on the wrapper were “Actual Size!”

The bag of chocolate smelled sweetly chocolatey, like Hershey’s chocolate syrup. The molded bunnies were, as promised, Iddy Biddy indeed – just under an inch from ear tip to bunny bottom.

Each bunny was solid milk chocolate with a thick, tongue-coating melt that felt creamy and rich. It tasted sweet with notes of dusky caramel and vanilla with a bright finish.

These were a tad sweeter than I usually like my milk chocolate, but I was willing to overlook that because their great texture made up for that. 60 pieces per bag felt like a lot, making these great for snacking. A little lasts for a long time!

These were a fun and tasty Easter treat. You could probably get the same snacking idea with chocolate chips, but something about the little bunny shapes kept me from popping more than one at a time, which is not generally how I snack on chocolate chips. An OM.

Black Forest Juicy Oozers Gummy Cracked Eggs

Hi readers! Sorry I was AWOL on reviews last week – I was road-tripping and out of the town the previous weekend and fell behind on life.

I’m back now with some drug store buys from my pre-road trip snack shopping. First up, Black Forest‘s Juicy Oozers Gummy Cracked Eggs.

These were a seasonal Easter product. Mine came in a 1.5 oz single-serving bag. The Easter branding was actually fairly subtle, as the dominant color scheme was magenta rather than pastel.

The egg shaped gummies were about the size of my thumbnail. They were molded with little cracks on the surface, and each was filled with a bright yellow oozy liquid.

While I get that the ooze was supposed to approximate egg yolks, it seemed a little too close to the real thing. Plus its bright coloring looked extra yolky against the muted pastels of the gummi shells.

The gummies had a firm chew with a clean bite and zero stickiness. All had a sweet brightness to their flavors, which was elevated by the bright, sweet tartness of the yellow ooze.

White tasted like a mix of yogurt and pineapple. Green started off yogurty, then became tarter.

Pink tasted of muted berry notes, which were piqued by that tart oozy center, and purple just tasted generically fruity and sweet to me.

These were simple treats, but I thought they were done quite well. Their flavors were strong and not too sweet, and the tart goo kept things interesting. An OM.

Peterbrooke Chocolatier Wonder Egg

Usually companies (or their PR firms) contact me to get my address and ask about my review policy before sending me free samples. This Peterbrooke Chocolatier Wonder Egg arrived without warning. It was a nice surprise and made waves at lab due to its impressive size.

This chocolate egg was ginormous (shown below with jelly bean for size reference). It was nearly six inches long and weighed almost 1 pound. Four ounces of that pound was chocolate-covered popcorn that was hidden inside the hollow chocolate egg.

The milk chocolate shell was about half a centimeter thick. It had a thick melt and was extremely sweet. I caught some dairy caramel notes and a slightly sour finish due to the sweetness level. Some bites ended with a toasty note from the popcorn in the center.

The popcorn clusters varied in size and chocolate coating amount. Some clumps were made of several pieces while others were single or partial bits.

The popcorn tasted fresh and toasty with a healthy dose of saltiness. Many of the pieces carried the yellow sheen of butter.

The mix of chocolate and salty popcorn was addictive and kept me popping, but the mix of chocolate and butter was odd. I wish the popcorn was caramelized instead.

Finally, the cute little bunny that decorated the egg was made of sandy sugar, like a sugar cube. It instantly crumbled when bitten.

The milk chocolate was nice, if not exceptional, and the popcorn was a decent sweet and salty treat, though I could have done without the butter component.

These Wonder Eggs retail for $25. That’s more than I would spend on it, mostly because I don’t need that much chocolate, and I don’t celebrate Easter.

They’re significantly cheaper than Hotel Chocolat’s giant chocolate eggs, but Hotel Chocolat uses a higher caliber of chocolate. The Wonder Eggs aren’t a gourmet treat, but they’re an affordable, statement-making Easter centerpiece/dessert. An O.

Cadbury Popping Mini Eggs

I found these Cadbury Popping Mini Eggs in Canada. I love Cadbury Mini Eggs and always try to snatch them up around Easter time, so I was super excited to try them with a popping twist.

Tiny print on the bottom of the wrapper called them, “solid milk chocolate eggs with popping candy in a crisp candy shell.”

On the outside, they looked identical to regular Mini Eggs – same tiny egg shape, same matte candy shell, same slight speckling. All the fun was hidden inside!

The milk chocolate was the same as that of regular Mini Eggs: lusciously thick and creamy with dusky, caramel tones. In the Popping Mini Eggs, however, that melt was interrupted by the texture of the popping crystals.

Those poppers added an crackly tickle in the mouth. For me, it was mostly experienced in the back of my throat.

The feeling was fun and rather surreal, like holding tiny live jumping creatures in my mouth. As far as I could tell, they didn’t affect the taste at all.

When I eat regular Mini Eggs, I like holding them in my mouth and letting the sugar shell melt away and meld into the thick milk chocolate within. With the Popping Mini Eggs, I preferred to crunch through the shell and chomp right to the popping-ness.

The popping was a fun addition to an already tasty treat. I can’t decide if I like these better than the regular version. I think the Popping Mini Eggs are fun, while the regular Mini Eggs feel more indulgent because it’s easier to experience their melt. These get an OM.

Hedonist Farm Egg Truffles

Usually I review Easter candies after the holiday is over – love those steep next day sales! But today, I’m actually reviewing an Easter product before Easter, thanks to free samples from Hedonist Artisan Chocolates.

These Farm Egg Truffles are made to look like (aka are not made from) farm eggs. They are mind-bogglingly gorgeous with their shiny, speckled shells. Each truffle was about the size of a real egg, if that egg were cut in half and left with a flat back.

They came in Bittersweet (dark brown with white speckles), Peanut Butter (light brown with dark brown speckles), and Coconut (white with yellow streaks and blue-green speckles).

Bittersweet lived up to its name. Its ganache was dry, rich, heavy, and thick, with almost no sweetness.

It tasted of pure chocolate goodness, lots of genuine dusky cacao flavors, and a lightly smoky cocoa finish. Sometimes simple can be so good!

Peanut Butter had a dry and crumbly peanut butter ganache. I polished off the whole thing before I remembered that I had meant to retake the cross-section photo – there were whole roasted peanuts hidden in there as well!

The whole peanuts were a great addition – dry and crunchy with a strong, roasted nuttiness. They also carried a perfect hint of saltiness that really made the classic chocolate and peanut butter combination sing.

Coconut had a thin, white chocolate shell with a lusciously creamy ganache. The white chocolate was high quality, very mellow, lightly sweet, and full of vanilla goodness.

Strands of coconut were mixed into the ganache, which added a textural contrast – that special squeaky chewiness that coconut has – and a lovely floral nuttiness.

I’m a little ashamed to say that I ate all three of these in one sitting. My friends were disappointed to learn that there was none left to share, though they delighted in eating the extra Easter truffles that Hedonist also sent me.

Peanut Butter and Bittersweet get OMGs while Coconut gets a ZOMG! For the sake of my waistline, it’s probably good that these are a holiday-specific treat.

It looks like noon on April 20th is the deadline if you want to order some for yourself in time for Easter. I promise they’ll draw oohs and ahhs and yums!

Milk Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Peeps

In general, I don’t believe in buying seasonal treats when they’re actually in season. They taste great throughout the year, and they’re cheaper when you buy them in post-holiday sales!

Just Born was the buzz of the candy/food blogosphere when they announced their chocolate-covered Peeps. I wasn’t going to review them since Easter is long gone, but I decided that they merited one because I felt that they weren’t worth the hubub.

They were pretty cute, as they managed to maintain the Peeps chick shape. I appreciate the pseudo-eyeball touch! They were also pretty fragile – the chocolate coating cracked pretty easily.

Taste-wise, though, they were just kind of meh. The milk chocolate was Hershey’s style. In other words, too sweet, rather grainy, and tinged with sourness.

The marshmallow inside was entirely yellow, unlike regular Peeps which are white with a colored outer layer. It tasted mostly of sugar.

The texture, however, was lovely. Check out the fluffy air bubbles! It was super soft and squishy, like homemade/gourmet marshmallows are. I guess the chocolate coating is a great air barrier and helps keep the marshmallow fresh.

I wouldn’t buy these again, on sale or at full price, but they’re totally innocuous. An O.

Hawaiian Punch Jelly Beans

I was just in Target this past weekend and saw that they already had an endcap of Easter candy on display. It’s still January! Ridiculous as that was, it at least served the purpose of reminding me that I’ve been sitting on some jelly bean tasting notes from last Easter-ish (ish because I bought them after Easter. I love post-holiday candy sales!)

There’s nothing on the packaging of Hawaiian Punch Jelly Beans to indicate that they’re holiday-specific. I think I caught them on sale post-Easter, though, so I’m not sure if these guys are available year-round. They’re made by Brach’s, and they boast of containing loads of vitamin C and real fruit juice.

I find the real fruit juice/pectin claim amusing, as they come in colors that are definitely not found in nature. “Hawaiian Punch” (dark red) has a deep artificial red candy flavor. I can’t remember what Hawaiian Punch the drink tastes like, but I imagine it’s similar to that.

“Fruity Juicy Red” (pinkish red, I think) just tastes generically of red hard candy, while “Green Berry Rush” (kiwi green in the back) tastes mutedly of green apple.

“Berry Blue Typhoon” (psychedelic blue) tastes of gnarly artificial blue raspberry flavors. “Lemon Berry Squeeze” (not pictured but probably yellow) had a sweet and tart lemon flavor with a cherry finish.

“Mango Passionfruit Squeeze”  (yellow-orange with orange speckles; the prettiest ones, I think) had a decently authentic mango finish to the flavor, with that slight seediness that you get as you eat closer to the pit. Finally, “Orange Ocean” (orange) just tasted sweetly of muted citrus.

While there was nothing wrong about these guys, per se, I found them generically sweet with flavors that were too weak to hold up in the strong Easter jelly bean market (check out a 2008 round-up from Candy Addict; Cybele from Candy Blog has also reviewed loads of them).

Hawaiian Punch Jelly Beans get an O, with the caveat that it looks like they may have been reformulated since I bought them – Candy Warehouse has a photo of them with far more speckles than mine had – so they may taste different now.

Len Libby Chocolates

Back in March, over spring break, a few friends and I visited Len Libby while we were in Maine. Because it’s not every day you’re within driving distance of a life-size chocolate moose. Meet Lenny (and a mama bear and her cub made from solid dark chocolate):

Though we’d dropped in just to see Lenny, and though I’d just tasted my chocolate fill at Haven’s Candies, I couldn’t leave one of Maine’s main chocolate stores without buying something. I walked out with a few chocolate eggs (remember, the visit was just before Easter) and two chocolates.

The right chocolate was (I think) a molasses chew. The nougaty filling was a bit on the stiff side, but that may have been due to the cold weather. Flavorwise, the chew was unexpectedly dark, with liqueur/rum notes and a light fruitiness. An OM.

The left chocolate was also some sort of chewy nougat thing, the name of which I can no longer remember because I didn’t bother to write it down. Oops. But it wasn’t that interesting. It was softer than the molasses chew with berry notes. An O.

I realize that reviews of seasonal Easter chocolate isn’t very helpful in July, but I’m pretty sure Len Libby makes non-egg versions of these chocolates. By the way, Len Libby sells a wide assortment of chocolate eggs; I just picked out three to buy and took tasting notes on two (the milk peanut butter wasn’t especially interesting).

I picked the milk and caramel marshmallow (right most, unwrapped) because I hoped it would be like the See’s Scotchmallow that I love so much. Sadly, it couldn’t compare. The sweetness of the milk chocolate overpowered everything. An O.

I chose the dark chocolate and coconut (bottom left) with trepidation. I’ve never liked Almond Joys or Mounds bars, so I wasn’t sure if I’d like this. Surprise! It was delicious. The nutty coconut flavor was fresh and paired wonderfully with the dark chocolate. And, unlike in lesser chocolate/coconut bars, the coconut was a smooth paste without that fake graininess that I can’t stand. An OMG.

So, Len Libbey is worth a visit if you’re in the area. If I remember correctly, they had free samples out; I was just too full from Haven’s to take advantage of them.

Giant Chewy Nerds

This Easter, Nestle/Wonka introduced a new jelly bean: Nerds Bumpy Jelly Beans. The candy blog world pretty much raved about them (Candy Blog and Candy Addict were just two who gave them high marks). When I picked up a couple of bags in post-Easter sale season, I loved them too, but because they had already been so written about, I saw no need to add my voice to the chorus.

Until now, that is. Easter is all about rebirth – resurrection from a religious standpoint, spring and green things and baby animals from a non-religious perspective – and, fortunately for candy lovers, Nerds Bumpy Jelly Beans have been reborn as Giant Chewy Nerds (for the record, the Nerds Bumpy Jelly Beans I bought; the Giant Chewy Nerds were sent to me from Nestle). The Giant Chewy Nerds packaging may not be as cute without the bunny eared Nerds characters, but the candy itself is the same and just as addictive.

As Candy Addict Blog noted, these are ridiculously addictive. They have a soft jellybean inside covered with a thin, hard, bumpy, crumbly flavored Nerds shell. I really think it’s the textural contrast between the crunchy shell and the chewy inside that make these so darn hard to stop popping in your mouth.

Pink is strawberry, a sweet and fruity/floral flavor with a lightly sour tinge. Grape is artificial, grape-soda niceness. Green I thought was green apple (Candy Addict says its watermelon), which I found to be the weakest of the bunch. Too much sugary sweetness, not enough tart, fruity flavor. Orange was tart and tangy and orangey and delightful. The yellow lemon is my favorite of the bunch, a strong and bright lemon juice flavor that’s not at all floor-cleaner artificial.

These get an OMG from me. I personally think they could go even more sour or a little less sweet, but they’re deliciously addictive as is. While I’m glad that they’re back, I don’t think I would buy them again for purely selfish, lack of self-control issues, as it frightens me how quickly I can chomp through a bag of these. And then I feel ill and guilty. Incidentally, the sales rep who sent me these also included a bunch of SweeTarts in the package because she’d read about how I loved them. I have the same issue with SweeTarts in that I’ll eat too many at once and then will feel sick.