Back in the good ol’ medieval days, when the world used catapults and ate turkey legs the size of canoe paddles, some hungry, conquering genius gathered a bunch of leftovers and root vegetables, shoved them in the oven, and called it a recipe. Thus, the lumpy, bumpy carrot cake was born.
Now, for those yet to be familiarized, a carrot cake is a spice cake that had dashed dreams of being a fruit cake: it’s fluffy cake crammed with all sorts of this-n-that’s (raisins, carrots, maybe some pineapple) and topped with a honking slather of buttercream or cream cheese frosting. Its warm spices have been known to carve a soft spot in the calloused hearts of one-eyed sailors and, when placed before me, it disappears.
Unfortunately, I’m no baker, so when I heard the folks at Mars were serving up that experience in a lentil-shaped white chocolate confection, I sped, tight-knuckled, pedal-to-the-floor, to the nearest Walmart to dig them from their hiding spot in the dusty display case.
These are pudgy ovoids, notably bigger than a regular M&M. If you’ve had the white chocolate limited edition, you have a feel of what we’re dealing with here: they’re a smidge wider in diameter than milk chocolate M&M’s and have a rounder belly.
See? They’re huge.
The colors come in a trio of light orange, green, and beige, which not only stays with the theme of “carrot colors” but also reinforces my inner belief that all good things come in threes, and it’s always nice to have my inner beliefs spontaneously reinforced.
Like its white chocolate cousin, these sweet bits have a thicker shell, adding a crunch before the white chocolate filling, which is soft, sweet, milky, and melts as fast as the memories of those poems I had to recite back in high school (“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…” [she shudders])
One of the biggest problems I’ve faced in white chocolate M&Ms of the past is that, due to all that sweetness, it’s hard to eat more than a handful without passing out cold on the floor from a belligerent sugar rush to my frontal lobe. I celebrate with such gluttonous joy to find that these are far easier to eat. These start off sweet and, while there are no visible spices, there is a certain cinnamon/nutmeg-ish vibe that comes in the middle to contrast with the white chocolate, encouraging a higher ratio of consumption. They may give me a root canal, but I don’t care. That yoga teacher I took classes from three years ago told me to stay in the present, so I shall enjoy these right now…
In the end, eating these makes me want to do something good for the world. Like adopt a rescued guinea pig. Or educate elementary school kids about the importance of their credit score. Or pay those library fees I’ve neglected for four years. These are a solid rendition of a seasonal offering: creative enough to be pushing the boundaries, but familiar enough to inspire mouth-shoving tendencies. What’s even more exciting is that Mars took a risk and it paid off. The only downside is that I’m running out of them…and fast.
(Nutrition Facts – 1.5 oz. (about 1/4 cup) – 220 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of potassium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 28 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)
Item: White Chocolate Carrot Cake M&M’s
Purchased Price: $2.88
Size: 9.9 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart*
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Bigger than the average M&M. Smooth melt. Crunchy shell. Spice taste balances white chocolate. Spontaneous reinforcement of inner beliefs. Rescued guinea pigs.
Cons: Never enough in the bag. Limited time. Only available at Walmart. Poobahs. Poems memorized in high school. Disco-ball-related accidents.
*If there’s a miff I have with these, it’s how hard they are to find. They’re available at “select” Walmarts only, which may or may not involve a fill up of your gas tank (a tragedy within itself)