Friday, December 15, 2017

Lindt Limited Edition Gingerbread Milk Chocolate Truffles

 I'm such a fan of the wide new array of Gingerbread flavored Christmas sweets in the candy aisle this year. It's such a fantastic flavor for Wintertime and so refreshing after the onslaught of Pumpkin Spice in the Autumn. Also, ginger, cookies, and chocolate go so beautifully together so it's hard to go wrong with this special flavor. Ginger is wonderful. And Lindt has honed in on traditional gingerbread beautifully in these truffles. Picture Lindt's fantastic smooth milk chocolate truffle filling (perfection) infused with the robust and dark notes of ginger and molasses. This isn't sweet gingerbread with tons of icing. This is gingerbread with soul and spice and depth. It really works. That said, I wonder if dark chocolate might work even better? I'd love to find out. In the meantime, these will do beautifully throughout this holiday season.

Score: 4

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Repeat Christmas Favorite: Peppermint Crunch Junior Mints

This is my sixth year running touting the glories of the annual limited edition Christmas holiday Peppermint Crunch Junior Mints (read past reviews here). I adore them. I love them even more than the traditional Junior Mints and that's an achievement because it's nearly impossible to improve on the original. That tiny bit of sugary crunch adds the ideal element on top of the creamy mint center and bite of dark chocolate. Try them if at all possible during the Christmas holiday season before they disappear again.

Score: 5 (5! 5!!!)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Trader Joe's Apple Cider Caramels

As opposed to the strident artificial Jolly Rancher- type apple flavoring embedded in Hershey's Caramel Apples, Trader Joe's Apple Cider Caramels trend far more to natural flavors. The caramel remains center stage while a subtle apple flavor is infused within the buttery creamy base. I love the consistency of the central caramel, well contained within a firm dark chocolate structure. Well worth a taste-test! Thanks Kara, Mark, Conor and Ronan!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Christmas Treats in the Candy Aisle: Peeps Peppermint Bark Delights

Of all of the Peeps Delights series, the Peppermint Bark flavored marshmallows dipped in Dark Chocolate are among my favorites. Peppermint and marshmallows are a natural pairing, and the peppermint's crisp notes off-set the mellow nature of the marshmallow. Dark chocolate adds a bit of depth to each bite and the sugar crystals lend a tiny bit of crunch. It's good stuff. If you're delving into the Peeps pool this holiday, I recommend reaching for these Peeps Peppermint Bark Delights.

Score: 4

Peeps Reviews Past (click each name to link to review):
Flavored Peeps
Apple Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Caramel Fudge  
Blueberry Delight Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Creme Fudge
Blue Raspberry Flavored Marshmallow
Bubble Gum Flavored Marshmallow
Candy Cane Flavored Marshmallow
Candy Cane Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Dark Chocolate  
Candy Corn Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in White Chocolate
Cherry Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Dark Chocolate 
Cherry Flavored Marshmallow Drizzled in Dark Chocolate
Chocolate Mousse Flavored Marshmallow
Coconut Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Dark Chocolate
Gingerbread Flavored Marshmallow
Hot Cocoa and Cream Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in White Chocolate
Lemonade Flavored Marshmallow 
Lemon Delight Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Lemon Fudge 
Maple Brown Sugar Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in White Fudge 
Mint Flavored Marshmallow Covered in Milk Chocolate
Orange Creme Flavored Marshmallow 
Orange Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Orange Fudge
Party Cake Flavored Marshmallow 
Raspberry Flavored Marshmallow Covered in Milk Chocolate 
Red Velvet Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in White Chocolate
Sour Cherry Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Lime Fudge
Strawberry Creme Flavored Marshmallow
Strawberry Creme Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Milk Chocolate 
Strawberry Delight Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Creme Flavored Fudge 
Strawberry Flavored Marshmallow
Sugar Cookie Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in Milk Chocolate
Vanilla Creme Flavored Marshmallow

Traditional Peeps
Peeps Bunnies
Peeps Spooky Cats
Peeps Chicks (Blue)
Peeps Chicks (Green)
Peeps Christmas Trees
Peeps Easter Eggs
Peeps Ghosts 
Peeps Hearts
Peeps Minions
Peeps Monsters
Peeps Pumpkins
Peeps Snowmen
Peeps Tombstones 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

For Those That Were Naughty: Palmer Double Crisp Lumps of Coal

Palmer's Christmas Double Crisp Coal isn't the highest level of chocolate--not even mid-level. On the other hand, there is something so visually appealing about these shining black foil-wrapped pieces of "coal". They're very chic. I want to have a bowl of them in my living room year-round for guests.

Score (Double Crisp): 3
Score (Visuals): 4

Monday, December 4, 2017

Reese's Peanut Butter Santa's Helpers

There is no way to improve on perfection so Reese's Peanut Butter Cups have kept the same recipe but evolved into a new form for the Christmas candy season. Reese's Peanut Butter Santa's Helpers are peanut butter cups molded into half-egg shapes and wrapped in festive foil wrappers emblazoned with elves, reindeer, gingerbread men, and of course, Santa. Great for holiday hosting, Christmas stockings, and late-night snacking.

Score (a merry Christmas): 5

Friday, December 1, 2017

New Obsession: Hershey's Gold Peanuts & Pretzels


This new Hershey's Gold Peanuts & Pretzels bar sat in my cupboard for a week or two before my curiosity got the best of me. Somehow, a non-chocolate "caramelized creme" base didn't seem all that appealing? What is caramelized creme? The company doesn't really explain. The bar, however, had me at hello. I still don't know what caramelized creme is, but each bite of the bar is a vibrant and comforting combination of buttery sweet cream with salty bits of peanuts and pretzels suspended throughout. The salty and sweet, the cream and butter, the smooth mixed with crunchy crystalized bits--it's an incredible combination. Other candies have flirted with these elements but Hershey's goes all-in here. I am obsessed, and also admire that this mass-market candy bar is entirely unique to the market--most definitely a rarity. Give one a try!

Update: I just found out via Hershey's website that this special golden bar has been released to honor Hershey's sponsorship of the United States Olympic team in the Winter 2018 games.

Score (unique and new to market): 5
Score (flavor and texture combo): 5
Score (quality of ingredients): 3
Score (what is carmelized creme?): 3

Monday, November 27, 2017

Uha Ninja Cola Hard Gummy

I love the packaging on these Ninja Hard Gummies by Uha in Japan. It won me over at first sight. The taste is pretty good, too. I don't love a cola-flavored gummy but cola flavoring tastes nothing like Coke or Pepsi to me. That said the extra hard chew of the gummy gives a nice substantive and long-lasting chomp, and the outer casing lends a little slow fizz to the mix, which is great. If you can find a package of these Ninja Hard Gummies, definitely give them a try!

Score (packaging): 5
Score (flavor): 3
Score (long-lasting gummy chew): 4

Friday, November 24, 2017

From Mars China: Snickers Oats and Peanuts

Dreams do come true! I read about Snickers Oats & Peanuts (exclusive to Asia) awhile ago and reticently accepted the fact that it was unlikely I would ever encounter this enticing variety of Snickers bar. Recently, however, I was lucky enough to travel to Hong Kong and right there in the 7-11 of the Central Kowloon Business District, the Snickers Oats and Peanuts bars appeared. It was all worth the wait. As predicted, oats are a fantastic addition to any chocolate and peanut and caramel amalgam. Co-taste-tester Mark agrees that more oats would improve the candy bar even more. There is so much sweet caramel that the oats would help the peanuts offset the sugar with more natural flavors. Honestly, these Snickers Oats should start a whole trend of adding oats into chocolate bars--it's a great combination!

Score: 4