Klondike, the Candy – Mint Chocolate Chip

On Monday, I reviewed the new Klondike Caramel candy. Today, I’ll cover the other flavor that it comes in, Mint Chocolate Chip. Both flavors were free samples that I talked my way into at the Sweets and Snacks Expo back in May.

The Mint Chocolate Chip was described as “mint chocolate chip center covered in a dark chocolate flavored coating.” Like the Caramel, “chocolate flavored” coating means that the coating features palm kernel oil rather than cocoa butter, making it mockolate rather than real chocolate.

Semisweet chocolate, however, was next on the ingredient list after palm kernel oil. My guess is that the chocolate bits inside the mint chocolate chip filling are real. Honestly, why not just go real chocolate all the way?

The Mint Chocolate Chip Klondike candies didn’t travel as well as their caramel brethren. They got a bit squashed because their filling was softer.

That filling was an unnaturally bright shade of green – as you’d expect for Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream! The texture was like a fondant. It was very thick and solid, yet gave instantly when bitten into and melted in my mouth like buttercream frosting.

It was quite pepperminty and tasted so sweet that it burned my throat but also had a slightly bitter aftertaste. The chocolate bits inside the filling were few and far between (note how they’re missing in that cross section), and any true chocolate flavor they could have brought was pretty effectively masked by the intensity of the mint.

I love mint chocolate chip ice cream, but I didn’t particularly care for these. I wasn’t a fan of the texture of the filling, and I found the whole thing far too sweet. An .


Klondike, The Candy – Caramel

When I was a kid, I remember those “What would you do-oo-oo? For a Klondike Bar?” commercials being ubiquitous. Just typing that in has the jingle playing in a loop in my brain…

At the Sweets and Snacks Expo in May, Flix Candy was showing off their new Klondike candies. I got a free sample of each flavor, Caramel and Mint Chocolate Chip, for review. I’ll cover the Caramel today and save the Mint Chocolate Chip for Wednesday.

Caramel was described as “caramel center covered in a milk chocolate flavored coating.” Regular readers of the blog should hear alarm bells right now: “chocolate flavored” is a euphemism for “not actually chocolate”. In this case, it’s palm kernel oil instead of cocoa butter.

Because of that swap, the mockolate had some greasy looking spots. It didn’t make much of a flavor impression, as the caramel really dominated the flavor profile.

The caramel was soft and sweetly chewy with a light butterscotch finish. It got stuck in my teeth a bit but easily dissolved away with a little time.

I found this inoffensive. The caramel was okay, if not the best, and the mockolate wasn’t noticeably fake, beyond the greasy sheen that it imparted. Still, there are better mass market chocolate covered caramels out there, like Riesens. An O.

Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisp – Milk Chocolate flavor and Peanut Butter flavor

On Monday, I reviewed Skinny Cow‘s Milk Chocolate Dreamy Clusters. Today, I’m covering their Heavenly Crisp bars in Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate, which were also free samples from their booth at Sweets and Snacks.

Both bars were 110 calories and described as “delicate wafers layered with delicious milk chocolate creme” or “delicious peanut butter creme”.

They were also coated with a thin layer of fake chocolate, as indicated by the label “milk chocolate flavor”. Hooray mockolate! Milk chocolate flavor had a white decorative drizzle; peanut butter’s was golden brown.

Palm oil appears several times in the ingredient list in various forms, and cocoa butter is completely missing; hence the mockolate designation. They were a mess to unwrap, as the mockolate was all melty and messy, even at room temperature.

The wafers, at least, were great. They were the lightest, airiest wafers that I’ve ever encountered in candy. Must help keep the calorie count low! They added a pleasant, if flimsy, crunch and a neutral toastiness.

The milk chocolate flavored version did have a nice malty cocoa flavor, likely due to the cocoa powder on the ingredient list. It had a well-balanced, light sweetness that went well with the toasty wafers.

Peanut butter flavor had actual peanuts and added a roasted nutty flavor. It felt a little pastier in my mouth than the chocolate did and didn’t stand up as nicely against the wafers.

I really like the light crunch of the wafers and how they played off the light sweetness of the other ingredients, but the lack of real chocolate was a bummer that brought these bars down. An O.

You can read Cybele of Candy Blog’s take on these. I agree with her assessment to pass these over in favor of chocolate with you know, actual chocolate.


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.

Kranky K

After Wednesday’s disaster of a Ricolino product review, I thought it would be nice to close out the week with a Ricolino product that I really liked. This bag of Kranky K was also purchased at a local Hispanic grocery store.

The wrapper described them as “corn flakes with chocolate flavoring coating”. Again, the “chocolate flavoring” was a little worrisome – would this be another mockolate disaster?

While the ingredients list had hydrogenated palm oil instead of cocoa butter, it did at least have cocoa. And the amount of chocolate flavoring was so thin that it masked the lack of true chocolate.

The cornflakes brought a wonderfully firm and crisp crunch and a hearty toastiness in flavor. They were solid, stiff flakes; no Special K-style flimsy wimpiness here.

The coating had a light cocoa flavor with an undertone of maltiness. They were understated in their sweetness and acted as a great foil against the starch of the cornflakes.

My only complaint is that there was a slight hint of chalkiness to the finish. I bet that could’ve been helped by using actual chocolate!

I was surprised at how well this simple, unassuming treat worked. It was a nice mix of textures and flavors. An OM.

Not Just Cereal

Not Just Cereal is “the first chocolate-coated cereal snack…that combines the flavor and crunch of your favorite cereal covered with a smooth, milk chocolate layer.” They’re currently available at Walmart; I got mine as free samples from their PR people.

They come in four flavors: Fruity O’s, Honey Toasted O’s, Toasted Rice, and Cinnamon Crunch.

The Fruity O’s are off-brand Froot Loops covered in a mix of milk chocolate and mockolate (the ingredients list both milk chocolate and milk chocolate flavored coating). I didn’t think I’d like them, as I’m usually pretty picky about my fruit and chocolate combinations.

The coating was shiny and soft and tasted like a mix of cocoa and artificial sweetness. Surprisingly enough, the fake Froot Loops worked well with the chocolate/mockolate combination.

The cereal brought a nice crunch and an artificial fruitiness that conveniently masked the slightly not-quite-right-ness of the chocolate coating.

Since the Fruity O’s were good, I figured the Honey Toasted O’s would be even better. These are off brand Honey Nut Cheerios coated in the same chocolate-ish coating.

I don’t know if I got an off box or what, but mine tasted slightly stale. I didn’t particularly care for the vague corniness of the cereal, or its fake honey tinge.

The Toasted Rice was off brand Rice Chex. The blandly crispy rice worked well with the chocolate/mockolate coating by tempering the chocolate’s over-sweetness.

I really enjoyed flattening the little cereal pillows against the roof of my mouth with my tongue. After a few too many, however, the chocolate got cloying.

I should point out, though, that this is the first of the Not Just Cereals that I enjoyed enough to eat so much that I got that cloying feeling.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch is one of my favorite snacking cereals, so I was excited about the milk chocolate flavored Cinnamon Crunch. It wasn’t as airy as the Toasted Rice, but it still brought a nice crunch.

I loved the combination of the crunchy, chocolatey, cinnamony cereal (how’s that for alliteration?). But for some reason, there was an odd, faint mintiness to the finish. It wasn’t off-putting, exactly, but I could’ve done without it.

Still, the Cinnamon Crunch were my favorite of the bunch, and I managed to eventually eat the whole box, so they get an OM. They’re followed by the Toasted Rice and the Fruity O’s (Os), and finally the Honey Toasted O’s ().

I might buy the Cinnamon Crunch again (hence the OM), but I think I’d prefer to make my own, where I could control the quality of the chocolate. Realistically, though I may just stick with making puppy chow.

Bubu Lubu

Over spring break, the Yale Concert Band went on tour to Mexico. I, unfortunately, was not able to join them. On the plus side, kind friends brought me back Mexican candy, and their trip reminded me of all the Mexican candy in my stash (bought back home in Austin, TX and in a little candy shop in Pilsen, Chicago, IL) that I’ve yet to review. Today’s review is a Bubu Lubu, which I’m pretty sure is from an H.E.B. in Austin.

I bought the Bubu Lubu because it promised chocolate-covered marshmallow. Specifically, it’s “strawberry flavor jelly and marshmallow with chocolate flavored coating.” Chocolate flavored? Ooh boy – that’s a mockolate alert right there.

For the Bubu Lubu, however, the mockolate wasn’t that bad, perhaps because it was presented as a super thin layer of mockolate coating. It tasted pretty sweet but was otherwise unremarkable but also inoffensive. The texture may have been a bit off, but again, it was so thin that it was hard to tell.

The strawberry jelly was texturally surprising. I expected goo or jam. Instead, it was more gelatinous, like the texture of a fruit gem center. I thought the flavor was more raspberry than strawberry. Finally, the marshmallow that made up the bulk of the treat was foamy, springy, and unremarkable.

The Bubu Lubu isn’t bad, but it’s also not good, so it gets the dubious distiction of an indifferent . On the plus side, the nutrition facts are pretty good because the treat is mostly marshmallow: 126 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 2 grams of saturated fat. Still, I’d rather expend my discretionary calories on something that tastes good and is a bit more interesting and satisfying.

5th Avenue

On Monday, I reviewed the Butterfinger. Today’s review is of the 5th Avenue, a highly similar but less well known peanut butter bar made by Hershey’s.

The 5th Avenue is “crunchy peanut butter in a rich, chocolatey coating”. If you’re new to the candy blogging world, you should know that “chocolatey” is candy marketing speak for “not made of real chocolate”. Yum… Still, it fared better than most mockolate bars did.

The peanut butter layers of the 5th Avenue were nice, crisp, and peanut buttery. As a bonus, they didn’t get lost in the nooks and crannies of my teeth like the Butterfinger’s did. And the chocolately coating was super sweet but actually wasn’t that bad, especially compared to that of the Butterfinger. At least the 5th Avenue’s coating had some cocoa flavors to it.

All and all, the 5th Avenue turned out to be a nice combination of salty and sweet, though I personally would’ve tempered the sweet just a bit. I give it an OM, though it may have the advantage of framing effects, as I tasted it alongside the Butterfinger.

And if you want a second opinion, here’s Cybele’s take on a head-to-head match-up of the two.

Hershey’s Whatchamacallit

Hershey’s Whatchamacallit is a bar that I’ve seen on grocery store shelves all my life but had never bothered to pick up, probably because I had no idea what was in it. While candy bars like Twix and KitKats had a strong advertising push during my childhood, the Whatchamacallit was neglected.

The wrapper claims peanut flavor crisp, caramel, and rich chocolatey coating. The bar was texturally wonderful with a crisp, sharp crunch. The crunchy rice crisps that made up the center of the bar had a salty, super nutty peanut butter flavor, and there was just enough caramel in the form of a thin ribbon to add the sweetness needed to balance out that peanut butter taste. Because the coating was marked as “chocolatey”, it’s probably not real chocolate, but it was a super thin layer, so the fake mockolate (Cybele’s term) did not noticeably detract.

A definite OMG for this bar. I wish I’d discovered it earlier. The only downside is that the bar is extremely high in fat (especially saturated fat) and calories, so sadly, it’s not a chocolate bar to eat on a daily basis.