Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Girl Scout Cookies Cereals: The Newest Incarnation

photo courtesy of General Mills via grubstreet

Girl Scouts Cookies have been cross-branded with Nesquik milk, Nestle Crunch bars, and Lip Smackers lip balms, to name just a few. And now word over at has it that Girl Scout Cookies Cereals, in Samoas and Thing Mints flavors, will debut on the market in January. I'm doubtful about the Thin Mints cereal flavor, but believe that the Caramel Crunch could be delightful! I certainly intend to try both.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Christmas Offerings: Russell Stover Hot Cocoa Candy Bar

The idea behind Russell Stover's Hot Cocoa Candy Bar is a nice one--enveloping layers of chocolate and vanilla marshmallow in a layer of milk chocolate. The end result should taste like a sip of hot cocoa in theory but, sadly, in reality it does not. The major issue is the "cocoa-infused" chocolate marshmallow. The chocolate flavor is so artificial, it taints all the other elements. There are a number of delicious Russell Stover holiday offerings, but I'd definitely skip over this one.

Score: 2

Russell Stover Varieties:
Russell Stover Apple Pie in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Banana Whip in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Birthday Cake in Milk Chocolate 

Russell Stover Caramel and Marshmallow in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Caramel Apple in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Carrot Cake in White Chocolate
Russell Stover Chocolate Marshmallow in Milk Chocolate

Russell Stover Chocolate Wedding Cake in White Chocolate
Russell Stover Coconut Cream in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Cookie Dough in Milk Chocolate 
Russell Stover Lemon Cake in Dark Chocolate 

Russell Stover Maple Cream in Dark Chocolate 
Russell Stover Orange Marshmallow in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Orange Cream in Dark Chocolate  
Russell Stover Peanut Butter in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover (Extra Crunchy) Peanut Butter in Milk Chocolate 
Russell Stover Pineapple Whip in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Pumpkin Pie in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Red Velvet Cake in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Sea Salt Caramel in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Strawberry Creme in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Strawberry Cream in White Chocolate 
Russell Stover Wedding Cake in White Chocolate

Monday, November 28, 2016

Hammond's Cookie Butter Candy Bar

I count myself as a big (BIG) fan of Speculoos, not to mention an early adopter, long before this wave of Speculoos products on the market of late. I also love Hammond's chocolate and the company's innovative candy bar flavors and high quality ingredients. Unfortunately, though, this Cookie Butter candy bar lacked a wow-factor. The ginger speculoos cream has a good ginger cookie flavor and consistency but it gets lost in the thick slabs of milk chocolate encompassing the thin pockets of cookie cream. The ratio is off. I want the cookie cream to burst out of a thin casement of chocolate, maybe even dark chocolate.

Score: 3

Friday, November 25, 2016

Milka Choco Wafer Bar from the Czech Republic

The Milka Choco Wafer, hailing from the Czech Republic, is about as close to wafer bar perfection as the traditional recipe goes. We're talking layers of vanilla wafers and chocolate cream all enrobed in milk chocolate. There are all kinds of crazy variations on the market, but it would be hard to improve on the creamy Milka chocolate, soft and rich chocolate cream, and ultra light wafers presented here. Thanks for this one, Mom!

Score: 4

Wafer Bars Past:
Bingo Serenata Double (Greece) 
Bocadin Wafer Bar (Mexico)
Johnny Krocker Milk Wafer Bar (Ukraine)
Karin Blume Orange Mille Feuille Chocolate Bar (Japan)
Kit Kat Caramel (United States)
Kit Kat Cheesecake (Japan)
Kit Kat Chunky Mint (England)
Kit Kat Cookies & Cream (United States)
Kit Kat Milk Coffee (Japan)
Kit Kat Muscat of Alexandria (Grape)(Japan) 
Kit Kat Orange (United States)
Kit Kat Royal Milk Tea (Japan)
Mama Mia Wafer Bar (Poland)
Manner Original Neapolitan Wafers (Vienna)
Milka GoFree Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Wafer Bar (United States)
Nestle Nesquik Wafer Bar (Turkey)

Nestle Tin Larin Wafer Bar (Mexico) 
Tiki Gold Wafer Bar (Trinidad/ Tobago)
Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Biscuit (Scotland)
Ulker Chocolate Wafer Bar (Turkey)
Ulker Cokonat (Turkey)

Ulker Dido (Turkish)  

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Newsworthy: Ample Hills Creamery Serves Up Limited Edition Gilmore Girls Ice Cream

image courtesy of ample hills creamery

Please excuse my flurry of excitement. Unless you're a Gilmore Girls fan, this post may seem superfluous. For true fans, though, this is Big News. Ample Hills Creamery of Brooklyn has made a special Gilmore Girls ice cream, called They Scoop Gilmores, Don't They, in honor of the upcoming reunion special (to run on Netflix beginning at midnight on November 25. Hooray!). Ample Hills Creamery makes incredibly good ice cream and I'm more than happy to engage with (or propel) Gilmore Girls hysteria. Fittingly, the flavor features Coffee and Chocolate Pudding ice creams with snickerdoodle cookie chunks and pink sprinkles. If you don't happen to live in Brooklyn, you can order the ice cream for a limited time from the Ample Hills webpage

Monday, November 21, 2016

Christmas Sweets: Gobstopper Snowballs

There's nothing new flavor-wise with Gobstopper Snowballs. They're the same maddeningly-solid jawbreakers as before. They look nice, though, thematically colored for Christmas, like glistening tree ornaments. Only the white ones replicate snowballs, so the name is a little bit incongruous, but they're a festive treat nonetheless.

Score: 3

Friday, November 18, 2016

Modest Chocolate from Korea: Lotte Nude

Much like its flashier counterpart, Glico Pocky cookie sticks dipped in chocolate, Lotte Nude cookies satiate one's sweettooth in a very simple and pleasing manner. The cookie sticks are light and not too sweet. The layer of milk chocolate makes each crunchy bite feel decadent. I'll admit I went for Korean-manufactured Lotte Nude for the packaging. The nude cookie sticks are filled rather than dipped, actually doubling Glico's Pejoy line (click to read review here). I do love the sweet simplicity of these and would love to keep a supply of these, and/or Pejoys, in my cupboards.

Score: 4

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

News Flash: The Shrinking Size and Changing Form of Iconic Toblerone Bar

 Compare and contrast: iconic Toblerone bar shape (photo by obsessivesweets)

Compare and contrast: proposed smaller bar (photo courtesy of AP Photo via Chicago Sun Times

People don't consider how tied they are to the aesthetics and nuances of their favorite chocolate bars until change is proposed. Right now European Toblerone fans are aghast as the company has announced that due to rising costs the company will diminish the size of the bar, thus changing the bar's iconic shape. There will now be more pronounced spaces between the chocolate peaks. From this blogger's perspective, better for the company to accommodate the rising costs of production by lightening up the substantial bar rather than diminishing the quality of the ingredients. 

To read more in-depth coverage go to:

Chicago Sun Times, "Thin Peaks: Birtons grumble as Toblerone chocolate shrinks," November 9, 2016.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Winter Edition Ritter Sport Vanilla Chai Latte

Ritter Sport's new Winter Edition Vanilla Chai Latte chocolate bar did not taste at all to me like the genuine beverage. Instead, the powdery filling was a strong vanilla base with a bunch of cinnamon and nutmeg flavorings thrown in. It was far too sweet, and the filling's consistency was so dry. I love the Ritter Sport line, but this one was a clear miss.

Score: 2

Friday, November 11, 2016

Christmas Candy Season, Already: Shimmery White Chocolate m&m's

Shocking as it is to the system, so close to Halloween, Christmas Candy season is upon us. As nothing can stop the onslaught of holiday sweets to come, I'm pleased to start with something good. Shimmery white chocolate m&m's were somewhat of a surprise visually. I had expected a garish silvery shine to the shells, rather than the more subtle gold-flecked tones to the red and green shells. They're really quite pretty. I wish the white m&m's were similarly gold-speckled rather than finished in a matte white. It detracts from the the overall glow. If you like white chocolate, you'll enjoy the flavor. No surprises there, especially if you've tasted one of the white chocolate m&m varieties of the past.

Score (holiday aesthetics): 5
Score (flavor): 3

Monday, November 7, 2016

Project 7 Gourmet Gum: Rainbow Ice

Big thumbs up to Project 7 for their scrumptious sugar-free Rainbow Ice flavor. It tastes uncannily like the real thing and I found myself double-checking the packaging to make sure that it's sugar-free. It sure doesn't taste like it. The only complaint--the flavor burst dissipates all too quickly.

Score: 4

Friday, November 4, 2016

Autumn Delights: Hershey's Caramel Apples

I really like the idea of these new Hershey's Caramel Apple filled milk chocolates. Caramel apples constitute the best Autumnal flavor, and the idea of that flavor contained within a solid two-bite piece of milk chocolate is totally enticing. That said, I think these individually-wrapped bonbons disappointed in their execution. I didn't love the apple flavor in the caramel. It was really strong and artificial. I was hoping for a more subtle, warm apple flavor--more like Baked Apple than crisp Granny Smith. Also, the ratio of chocolate to caramel was off. I understand that they needed to make the chocolate shell solid in order to keep the caramel from oozing, but there was not nearly enough caramel to balance out the chocolate. The result? A whole lot of chocolate, strong essence of Apple, but the caramel gets lost in the mix.

Score: 3

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Travel Snapshot: 125 Years of La Campana Turron, Barcelona

Traditional Turron candy goes back over 500 years to Spain's Moorish roots. It's a hard nut-based nougat or brittle, almonds or other nuts roasted with plentiful honey and egg white sometimes added in to cohere the mixture. La Campana has been perfecting the traditional turron, along with innovating cutting-edge varieties of the classic treat, since 1890. The small shop has perfected the craft and one instantly knows that they have landed in the hands of masters. Peaches are suspended within one type of turron; creamy marzipan is blended into another flavor. They're all incredible. If you're in Barcelona, this shop is well worth a stop.