REVIEW: Reese’s Stuffed with Crunchy Cookie Cups

Reese s Cookie Crunch Cups

I want a chocolate chip cookie stuffed in a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

But, sadly, while the insides of a Reese’s Crunchy Cookie Cup look like a chocolate chip cookie, it’s the same peanut butter studded with bits of chocolate cookies (think Oreo).

Announced back in March as part of Reese’s CUPfusion rebrand to CUPspiracy, this cookie iteration follows the Reese’s Pieces Stuffed Peanut Butter Cups. Like the Pieces version, these look exactly like the regular cups on the outside. The ones I had looked like they had a rough going with the summer heat and the sun won, so they weren’t the typical smooth and round cups.?
Reese s Cookie Crunch Cups 2
?The Reese’s food scientists must have heard my fellow TIB food reviewer’s gripes about the Pieces’ lack of texture in its stuffed peanut butter cups, because they turned it all the way up this time. But, that’s all it offers.

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I was disappointed to find that it mostly tasted like a regular cup. I found the lingering chocolate peanut butter aftertaste to be a tad bit saltier than usual, which is the cookie bits doing. As a habitual ice chewer, I enjoy crunchy textures but I expected so much more than JUST texture and an ever so slight taste difference.

Like a looping slow-motion replay on a contentious referee call, I ate cup after cup for a total of four cups just to be sure I wasn’t missing something. I had little bites and big bites with swishes of water in between to cleanse my palate. Unfortunately, I came to the same conclusion…four times. Cue the sad trombone because we’ve all been played by the Reese’s marketing team.

While the chocolate cookie bits don’t provide much flavor, if you’re a Reese’s diehard like I am, you’ll still get to enjoy the classic peanut butter and chocolate combination. And that’s better than nothing.

But for now, I shall continue to wait for my something — a chocolate chip cookie stuffed in a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cups – 200 calories, 90 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 21 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $1.59
Size: 1.4 oz/2 cups
Purchased at: 76 Gas Station
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Texture! It still tastes like a good ol’ Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Cons: The only difference is the texture. I want a whole chocolate chip cookie stuffed in a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

REVIEW: Reese’s Popped Snack Mix

Reese s Popped Snack Mix

3 hours.

2 Netflix marathons.

1 snack mix to rule them all.

And as one who has come to understand her entire cinematic history through the haze of popcorn, pretzels, and candy-coated pieces, this newfangled Reese’s snack mix, with its images of poofs, pops, and peanut-infused delights, holds deep hope…and with that hope, the inherent danger of disappoint. But let us not be swayed by fear of defeat! If you, like me, have ever wondered what it would be like to have the concession stand throw your Reese’s in your popcorn bucket and drizzle it in chocolate, now is your time! Rise up! Get thee to the Target! Destiny awaits…

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And destiny does not disappoint.

Crunchy, poofy, crispity, fudgy, melty, snappy, and all around chompity, this mix has enough textures to push Snap, Crackle, and Pop into retirement. The popcorn serves as the snacky backdrop and is voluminous, distinctly crisp, and drizzled in fudgy chocolate goo. The pretzels (which tend to be throwaways for me) are refreshingly crunchy and have solid speckles of salt.

On the sweeter side of things, the plentiful mini Reese’s cups dot the snack landscape like so many Super Mario coins, providing at least one or two bursts of chocolate and peanut butter in each handful, while the giant, mildly mutated candy-coated peanuts are more like Dragon Coins: a bit rarer, but, when you find them, they bring a wallop of flavor as they’re doused in sweet, sweet peanut butter. Basically, they’re a Peanut M&M, but in Reese’s Pieces form.

The peanut butter used throughout has that wonderfully distinct Reese’s grit that strikes a common ground between creamy and crunchy peanut butters. Taken as a whole, the experience will delight to the extent that you may find yourself asking: How can I better integrate this mad science into my daily life?

A great question! Let’s see what we can do. Let me just take a look at the ingredients…

Reese s Popped Snack Mix 3

Do you see that? Wheat! Milk! Nuts! This stuff is basically a confused granola bar, that great king of go-to snacks, making it perfect for absolutely any occasion that strikes your fancy. Plus, it’s totally good for you. Trust me. I’ve dated a doctor.

Reese s Popped Snack Mix 4

Let us not hesitate to celebrate the simple genius that is the combination of crunchity peanut butter and creamy, sweet chocolate. While not revolutionary, this mix is delicious enough to make even the most despised movie sequel moderately enjoyable. It’s chocolatey, salty, crunchy, sweet, peanut buttery goodness, all freshly sealed and ready to roll. If you’re frustrated with current snack mix varieties, don’t punch a hole in the wall! Go out and get you some therapy, then celebrate your newfound sense of self-worth with some Reese’s Popped Snack Mix. You will have no regrets.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 130 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 8 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Good amount of Reese’s Cups. GIANT, charmingly mutated, peanut-filled Reese’s Pieces. Not too many pretzels. May inspire newfound sense of self-worth. Super Mario.
Cons: Lots of popcorn…maybe too much? Would love more giant Reese’s Pieces. Makes you think of 18,000 other Reese’s-themed things that could go in a snack mix. Disappointing movie sequels. Thinking about Snap, Crackle, and Pop’s retirement home.

REVIEW: Twix Dark

Twix Dark

Chocolate is a funny thing. Almost everyone loves it, few despise it, and most people, when you start chattin’ it up about the candy aisle, have strong feelings about types of chocolate – most notably dark and white.

While standard milk chocolate is agreeable to most palates, some find white too sweet or boring, and others find dark too strong or bitter. Seemingly running out of ideas, or, being struck with the idea of brilliance in simplicity, it’s more common these days that candy companies put an alternate choco-spin on an already existing product than come out with an entirely new one to see how their classic bars stand up to the light or the dark.

The latest of this hot trend is Twix Dark, which takes the signature cookie and caramel mashup of the original and dunks it in a dark coating.

Twix Dark 2

The first thing that jumps out at me when opening the package is that the bar seems smaller, and upon comparing it to the original I can confirm that it is shorter in both width and height than the milk version.

After further investigation, it turns out that Twix actually has different sized bars in their regular and king sized versions, with slightly smaller ones in their king sized, clocking in at 110 calories instead of 125 for both varieties – interesting.

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Flavor-wise, the dark chocolate is thin, smooth, sweet, and reminds me a lot of the chocolate coating on a Milky Way Midnight with a touch more creaminess. It isn’t super dark, more semisweet, and while it’s definitely different from the milk chocolate Twix, it’s only slightly bitter and melds with the caramel well in a cohesive and not too dominant way.

The chocolate is almost too thin for my taste and seems thinner than on the original version, but the balance between the components is on point and the flavors feel focused and refined.

Twix Dark 4

The cookie, as expected, is crunchy, crumbly, and dry, with a slight butteriness that steers far away from shortbread but isn’t bland either. The caramel is soft and sweet with the perfect ratio of dense and chewy providing most of the sugar burst I want from a candy bar. The dark chocolate really comes into play here, as the overall flavor is less sweet and buttery than on the milk chocolate version.

Through and through, it’s a Twix, covered in dark chocolate, and done really well. Unlike the White Twix, which suffered greatly from a low quality, bland white coating, and the Peanut Butter Twix, which I find falls flat, the chocolate here is executed well and is just as enjoyable as a regular Twix. It’s a more complex, less sweet and buttery experience with a more chocolate-focused profile than the original, and while I can’t say it’s better than the O.G., I like it, and will definitely buy it again.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – 110 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 35 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 1 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $1.49
Size: 3.02 oz (4 To Go)
Purchased at: Vallero
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Smooth and creamy dark chocolate. Classic Twix taste. Not too sweet. Great shiny purple wrapper.
Cons: Chocolate coating a little thin. Less buttery than the original.

REVIEW: Flavor of Texas BBQ PayDay Bar

Flavor of Texas BBQ PayDay Bar

This bar I bite fills me with fright!

*clap clap clap clap*

Deep in the heart of Texas!

I guess it’s more like right on the coast of Jersey, where I was finally able to track one of these Frankenstein monsters down.

What in the holy hell is this thing? BBQ peanuts and caramel? Not since Lay’s Cappuccino Potato Chips have I been so fearfully intrigued by a new snack concoction.

The Flavor of Texas BBQ PayDay is one of Hershey’s new Flavors of America candy bars. Calling this “candy” is definitely a bit of a stretch. Then again, PayDay was probably never at the top of your “candy” crave list anyway, now was it?

When was the last time you bought one? It’s been a while for me. I feel like I haven’t bought one since the limited honey roasted version was on shelves. Regular PayDays are fine, but what’s the point of getting one when you can just get a Snickers or something? Very rarely will I NOT want chocolate.

Honey roasted peanuts will get me to buy anything though. They are criminally underutilized. Will I feel the same about BBQ peanuts? That’s the question of the day.

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Aesthetically, PayDay is one of the least appetizing candy bars to look at. I won’t go into detail why, but you can use your imagination. This one looks just like a normal one caked in Doritos dust.

The bar smelled like a sweet BBQ sauce, but that was expected. BBQ based products usually hit the mark in the olfactory department.

To start I plucked a few peanuts off and ate them solo. They ticked all the BBQ sauce boxes you’d want them to – nice smoky flavor, not too spicy, not too salty, and a bit tang. I’d eat a bag of these.

So, the BBQ element was on point, now was time to bite the proverbial bullet.

It was weird, but I already knew it would be. “Weird” is not always a bad thing.

Flavor of Texas BBQ PayDay Bar 4

The caramel bar isn’t overly sweet, so there wasn’t the Civil War battle of opposing flavors in my mouth that I anticipated. The BBQ flavor was more prominent on the peanuts alone. When mixed with the sweet caramel element this tasted a little like molasses I guess? I had trouble pinpointing it exactly. I guess this was like a sweet BBQ sauce with a molasses or maple syrup mixed in for sweetness. I think that was what they were going for, and they definitely succeeded.

While the overall flavor was solid, this was a textural treat more than anything. The peanuts were as fresh as I could’ve hoped for, and had a good overall bite to them. I’ve always appreciated the center of a PayDay being closer to nougat than regular caramel, so it’s never too sticky. They married perfectly.

Texas BBQ PayDay is a weird and ambitious effort from Hershey’s. I won’t pretend I’m aching to try it again, but I’d recommend giving it a shot. Maybe there’s a brave soul out there who might want to melt chocolate over this bad boy and really go for broke. I imagine that’d be a major test for the taste buds, but hey if this ain’t bad, that may be great.

So yeah, if you want to try a funky unorthodox snack, this is probably for you. If not, there are five other Flavors of America available from Hershey’s. Hit the road.

(Nutrition Facts – 230 calories, 100 calories from fat, 12 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 24 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: 83 cents
Size: 1.85 oz. bar
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Texture was perfection. Not too salty, spicy, or sweet. Ambitious. The price was right. I dig the Flavors of America line.
Cons: Maybe a little too ambitious? Chocolate or Honey Roasted PayDays not being a year round candy options. No famous BBQ sauce brand tie-in as far as I can tell.

REVIEW: Reese’s Flavor of Georgia Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cups

Reese s Flavor of Georgia Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cups

Since I’ve lived pretty much my entire life in the metro-Atlanta area, I suppose I’m one of the more qualified people out there to judge the authenticity of Reese’s newfangled, Georgia-themed P.B. cup. Well, nice try, Hershey, but this thing is about as genuinely Georgian as a nasally accent, adequate public transportation, and unsweetened tea.

OK, I get that the two big Georgia food stereotypes are peaches and peanuts. But if you’re going to take the lazy, uninspired route, at least make sure it’s the RIGHT kind of stereotypical foodstuff. In all my 30-something years in Georgia, not ONCE have I ever seen anyone at a roadside stand hawking honey-roasted peanuts.

Reese s Flavor of Georgia Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cups 2

In fact, the ONLY type of peanuts people in these parts seem to eat are the boiled variety – and to be frank, I think I actually would’ve enjoyed that more than this half-hearted “Flavors of America” offering.

This may very well be the least special “special edition” gimmick food of all-time. Not only is the advertised “honey roasted” flavor faint, it’s practically non-existent. Yes, there is some oily stuff in and around the cups, and the interior peanut butter at least looks a little slicker than your normal cup, but in terms of taste, this thing is virtually indistinguishable from your regular old Reese’s. I wound up buying two packages, just to see if the first one I ate was defective. Well, four special edition cups later and it’s distressingly apparent; this L-T-O product is basically the same thing as the standard product!

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You know the product formula is fouled up when consumers have to literally FOCUS on what they’re eating to pinpoint the flavor. It doesn’t matter how slow you chew them or how hard you try to let the flavor seep into your tastebuds; simply put, the “honey-roasted” flavor just isn’t there.

I’m a big fan of Reese’s, but this product is a colossal disappointment. Granted, it still tastes pretty good, but the whole point of L-T-O products is to give consumers something different – if not in terms of flavor, at least in terms of aesthetics.

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If Reese’s can release pumpkin-shaped cups for Halloween, they easily could’ve made regular-flavored cups shaped like famous Georgia iconography like, I don’t know, the silhouette of a Waffle House or a zombie from The Walking Dead or the Falcons logo (which, for bonus realism, could fall apart when you only have a quarter left to eat.)

From Coca-Cola-soaked pecan pie to Gladys Knight’s chicken and waffles (no, that’s a real thing, I promise you), my home state offered plenty of interesting, novelty food options for Reese’s to consider. And with all that potential on the table, how disappointing that they ultimately decided to aim this low with their final effort.

(Nutrition Facts – 220 calories, 110 calories from fat, 13 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 22 grams of sugar and 5 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.49
Size: 2 cups
Purchased at: CVS
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Overall, the product does taste pretty good. And at least the packaging is pretty.
Cons: It tastes just like a regular Reese’s cup. The “honey-roasted” flavor is so slight, I’m not entirely sure it exists. Realizing we could’ve had a Chick-Fil-A Icedream Cone flavored Hershey Bar or a Peach Cobbler Mr. Goodbar instead of this seasonal snoozer.