Crispy Cat Candy Bars

Crispy Cat bills itself as “the first candy bar made with organic ingredients” and currently comes in three flavors: mint coconut, toasted almond, and roasted peanut.I was lucky enough to get a free sample of each for review purposes. The Crispy Cat candy bars boast an impressive list of credentials; in addition to containing 70% organic ingredients, they’re dairy free, gluten free, non gmo, without preservatives, vegan, and kosher.

These arrived on a warm day, and my New Haven apartment doesn’t have air conditioning, so I stuck them in the fridge to keep them from melting. On the wrapper, a little cartoon version of Joel Schantz, the owner, exhorts you to “Try ’em cold!” so I tried the Toasted Almond straight out of the fridge. It was super dense in its chilled state, and when hardened, the almond bits and crispy rice lost some of their nutty flavor. I liked it better when I let it warm up to room temperature, where it became softer and more pliable (though the texture of the bar also became a bit grittier). Then the rice crisps’ flavor became more noticeable and appreciable. In both temperature states, the thin chocolate layer wasn’t much to crow about.

The Roasted Peanut was quite similar to the Toasted Almond. I first tried it at room temperature. The nuttiness of the peanuts really came through, so I buy the roasted moniker. Here the chocolate layer was more present – I think the bar was less high than the almond version, which may have made for a higher chocolate to filling ratio – and left a slightly too sweet finish. The press release I received claimed that the Roasted Peanut and Toasted Almond tasted similar to Snickers. When the bars are at room temperature, I would disagree with that, as the Crispy Cats lack caramel, which is a big part of Snickers. But when I stuck the Roasted Peanut in the fridge, it became more Snickers-like. Or at least more chilled-Snickers-like. The rice crisps lost their airiness and somehow took on a surprising resemblance to rock-hard caramel in both texture and flavor. A glance through the ingredients showed that organic molasses was a rice crisp ingredient, which solves that mystery.

I liked the Mint Coconut Crispy Cat much better than its two counterparts. That same press release said that it would be reminiscent of a Girl Scout Thin Mint. Again, I disagree, but this time I’m going to do Crispy Cat one better. The Mint Coconut is like the love child of a Thin Mint and a Caramel Delight. The mint and coconut flavors were both light, yet just present enough, at least on the first bite. After that first bite, when the taste buds are a bit inured to the flavors, the successive bites are less exciting, but still pretty good. This bar was soft and melted at room temperature while the other two held firm, probably because all the coconut in this bar gave it a rather frighteningly high saturated fat count (9 g, 45% of your RDA). I chose to eat this at the rate of about a bite a day in an attempt to spread out the saturated fat splurge.

As candy bars, these don’t quite fit the bill, for they contain such a thin layer of chocolate and are so chock full of wholesome that they make me think of energy bars or meal replacement bars (though these days, the distinction between those and candy bars can be hazy; usually it’s the meal replacement bars that are too much like candy bars to be healthy). I’d consider chomping one of these in place of my usual Clif Bar. As a candy bar, the two nut varieties gets an O while the Mint Coconut gets an OM.

Crispy Cat’s mantra of “sustainability, health, and wellness” is clearly defined in their product, and they make a sweet splurge that’s not as bad for you, or for the earth, as traditional candy bars.