REVIEW: Limited Edition Twix White

Limited Edition Twix White

I think the Walmart cashier was flirting with me when I bought this new Twix White. She smiled and made a little joke that I’m “not supposed to eat white after Labor Day.”

That’s actually what she said.

While I applaud her for not being a total mope, and while I did give her a courtesy laugh, that didn’t stop me from gazing at the self-service registers longingly.

I’d made my first blunder of the day; hopefully Twix White wouldn’t be the second.

Twix, which everyone knows stands for “Twiggy Sticks” have been available in the U.S. since 1969. Outside of a previous limited run in 2005, the white chocolate variety hasn’t been available until now. Just don’t get too attached, because these are also labeled “Limited Edition.”

The latest Twix commercials have informed me I’m supposed to pick a winner between the Right Twix bar and the Left Twix bar, so I ate them with that in mind.

Upon opening the package and taking a big whiff that basically smelled like nothing, I opted to go with the Left Twix cookie first. Yes, Twix insists on referring to itself as a “cookie” instead of a “candy bar,” which for some reason bugs me to no end. You’re a candy bar, Twix. Own it.

The texture of the Left Twix was exactly as I expected — perfect. Twix is one of my favorite candies texture wise, because of the delicious and easy to chew layer of caramel. I never have to worry about it getting stuck to my teeth because it immediately mixes with the crunchy cookie center and the outer chocolate so well.

Limited Edition Twix White 2

The White Chocolate coating had a standard white chocolate flavor I’d tasted in the past, but it was actually milder than I expected. Without that instant punch of chocolate, I feel like I definitely tasted the cookie and caramel a lot more here than with a normal Twix.

This might sound crazy, but between the caramel, the cookie, and the mild white chocolate, there was a slight saltiness in each bite. The white chocolate’s sweetness didn’t really shine through until the very end, and the aftertaste was still pretty weak.

Limited Edition Twix White 3

I’m not sure white chocolate, especially the kind used here, has enough flavor to carry a Twix bar. I guess I like my white chocolate to be overly sweet. I’m talking “have two bites then take a break” sweet. There isn’t as perfect a marriage of flavors here like there is in a regular Twix. Overall, I found the Left Twix to be pretty boring.

The Right Twix however was in-cred-ible! Wow! I don’t know what they’re doing over at Right Twix, but good lord was this “cookie” fantastic!

I’m just kidding. Those commercial are dumb. They tasted exactly the same — boring.

It’s a shame too, because this was one of the freshest Twix I’d had in a long time. Not since Mo, Sol, or Lem stole George Costanza’s Twix from that car dealership vending machine have I had a Twix this fresh, and I eat a lot of em. I already bought a bag of Mini Twix to give out to trick or treaters on Halloween. The bag won’t survive beyond October 25th. Believe me.

While these weren’t a huge hit for me, I do appreciate this slow burning trend of white chocolate-izing our favorite candy bars, and I really hope it continues until there are none left.

In the end, Twix White pales in comparison to regular Twix.

I’d appreciate a courtesy laugh for that one.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cookies – 230 calories, 110 calories from fat, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: 78 cents
Size: 1.62 oz
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Great texture. The never failing Twix caramel. White chocolate-izing our favorite candy bars. The underrated Seinfeld episode I referenced. Well meaning cashiers. Great price.
Cons: Mild white chocolate. Twix not actually standing for “Twiggy Sticks.” Stupid ads. Twix shunning its candy bar heritage. Finishing the Halloween candy before Halloween. Courtesy laughs.

QUICK REVIEW: Hershey’s Caramel Apple Filled Milk Chocolates

Hershey's Caramel Apple Filled Milk Chocolates

The apple-flavored caramel oozing into my mouth once I broke it from its chocolatey womb was the only real satisfaction I got out of these new Hershey’s Caramel Apple Filled Milk Chocolates. The feeling took me back to the days when I ate Fruit Gushers or chewed bubble gum with a liquid center.

But once that caramel filling hit my taste buds, those pleasant memories turned into perplexing musings. There’s something off about the caramel. Maybe it’s the ingredient that’s trying to emulate the tartness of an apple. Maybe my taste buds are revolting because it expected pumpkin spice this time of year. I’m not sure.

But what I do know is that I opened this package a week ago and it’s still five-sixths full. Wait. Lemme go pessimistic because this is a negative review. It’s only one-sixth empty. I don’t even know if I want to give these away to trick-or-treaters for fear of retribution.

Look, I think the flavor is a bit off, but I can see others enjoying these chocolates. Maybe the trick-or-treaters will like them. It does have a flavor that most would instantly recognize as caramel apple. The exterior is the Hershey’s milk chocolate you know and love and have to suck off your fingers if you hold them for too long on a day that 75 degrees or warmer. And they do come in fun apple shapes. But, I don’t think the caramel works.

Hershey's Caramel Apple Filled Milk Chocolates 2

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 10 oz bag
Purchased at: Walgreens
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (4 pieces) 190 calories, 80 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Trader Joe’s Quasar Bar

Trader Joe's Quasar Bar

Each Halloween, we are given an invitation to be That Place.

You know. The one at the top of the hill with the full-sized Take 5’s and Reese’s Pumpkins that’s decked out with trap doors, creaky porch stairs, and an abandoned basement that’s haunted by Captain Windemere, the one-eyed Disc Jockey who refused to play special requests.

That Place? Is the coolest place in town.

And you and me? We could be That Place. But first, we gotta find, taste, and stock up on the best full-sized candy out there.

So it is that, in a spot of convenient timing, Trader Joe’s gives us not one, but TWO full-sized candy bars to consider for the occasion: the Quasar and the Boffo, here to compete with Milky Way Midnight and Snickers. The Milky Way-ish Quasar is the first runner up for consideration. Let’s see how it goes.

Trader Joe's Quasar Bar 2

In a shape that may or may not look like the CTA-102 qausi-stellar object, this bar sports an impressively smooth coating that tastes of fudge, coffee, and Dove semisweet chocolate while the nougat provides an earthy fluffiness that reminds me of a malted milkshake. The caramel rounds things off with a hefty dose of stretchy toasted sugar. Taken together, there’s fluff, snap, and stretch, which sounds like it came straight from Richard Simmons’ 1995 classic, “Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2: An Aerobic Concert.”

And while that’s all well and good, it’s time for the true test: Milky Way Midnight v. Quasar.


Trader Joe's Quasar Bar 3

First off, who needs carbon dioxide and stardust? If I’m reading this right, our universe is made of chocolate, caramel, and nougat, which makes me want to quit my job and hop on-board the next spaceship. Look out NASA! Here I come!

Confectionary-driven occupational transitions aside, let us put our science cap on and compare the differences.

Biting in, the Milky Way is softer and fluffier than our Trader Joe’s compatriot. The caramel is thin, but powerful in its toasted-sugar-and-vanilla way. The dark chocolate, on the other hand, serves as little more than a crispy shell that tastes of air, wood shavings, and disappointment. The center nougat works double-time in hopes to make up for the chocolate by giving us a double punch of bright vanilla, but it can’t quite edge out what’s been lost in the chocolate.

On a second chomp of the Quasar, the nuances are front and center. Alongside the malt, sugar, and chocolate, there are hints of brown sugar and toffee in the caramel while the milk chocoltiness of the nougat and the semi-sweetiness of the coating balance off each other in a way that would make Count Chocula jealous. The nougat takes a little more jaw work than its competition, but the chocolate is richer and the caramel is stretchier. Without a doubt, Quasar, you are my new Milky Way.

Trader Joe's Quasar Bar 4

Everything I know about Quasars I learned from Professor Higgins, Power Rangers, and these bars, and, while spatial distortions of gravity, magical swords, and chocolate bars seem dissimilar, they are connected by their capacity for their sheer, unlimited awesomeness. This bar reinforces that: the chocolate is just sweet enough, the caramel is stretchy, and the nougat is fluffy and light. In flavor, texture, and sheer “I want to eat that again,” the Quasar gobbles up the Milky Way Midnight, not even looking back as it cleans its teeth with a toothpick.

But are they good enough to make me That Place this year? I have hope.

Now I just need to find the ghost of a one-eyed Disc Jockey…

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – 220 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 30 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: 99 cents
Size: 1.8 oz
Purchased at: Trader Joe’s
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Balance of milk and dark chocolate flavors. Thick, stretchy caramel. My new Milky Way. Quasar CTA-102. “Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2: An Aerobic Concert.”
Cons: Nougat takes some jaw work. Making Count Chocula jealous. The ghosts of Disc Jockeys who refuse to play special requests.

REVIEW: Hershey’s Cookie ‘n’ Mint Bar

Hershey's Cookie 'n' Mint Bar

As I kid I wanted nothing more than to go to Disney World. My parents had other plans and made me wait. Every time I asked about it, they said things like “patience is a virtue,” “you won’t appreciate it as much until you’re older,” and “get out of our house already, freeloader.”

While they eventually gave in to my incessant whining, said parents dragged my brother and me to Hershey Park twice in the meantime. For that, I always used to think of it as a second-tier vacation spot.

Now, I’m older, wiser, nostalgic, and I have to say, Hershey Park is bar none the best theme park named after a candy I have ever been to!

Hershey, Pennsylvania smelled like chocolate! They had rides that stacked up with other theme parks. There was a mascot dressed like a pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups! I mean, you’re cool Mickey, but you’re no peanut butter cup.

Hershey Park was as close as I’d ever get to touring Willy Wonka’s factory.

Out of all those memories, there was one thing that somehow always stood out – the free chocolate bar at the end of the tour. It was the freshest, most perfect Hershey’s bar imaginable and for that I’ve always had a soft spot for Hershey’s.

I could already predict what I was in for with the Hershey’s Cookie ‘n’ Mint Bar. It smelled just like an Andes after dinner mint, or Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookie. (Aka “Grasshoppers,” if you’re a heartless heathens who refuses to help out the Girl Scouts.) Chocolate and mint may not be your favorite flavor combination, but you can’t deny the smell is fantastic. Go ahead and deny it. I dare you.

Hershey's Cookie 'n' Mint Bar 2

The candy bar tastes like a Thin Mint with less cookie. I think I prefer the ratio here. They could have just called this a “Thinner Mint” bar. The chocolate is the star of the show, instead of it being just a light coating on a cookie. The texture is exactly the same as Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Cream bars.

The chocolate taste is distinctly Hershey’s. Hershey is the only chocolate I can pinpoint blindfolded. Actually, I could probably nail Cadbury too, but beyond that? I’m not so sure.

Here’s the kicker — the Cookies ‘N’ Mint bar is not standard Hershey’s milk chocolate, but rather mint milk chocolate. I assumed the mint would be in the cookie bits, but those are apparently just chocolate flavored. The base Hershey’s chocolate itself is where the mint is.

With that said, I couldn’t really tell. I would have believed there were mint chocolate cookie pieces in regular Hershey’s chocolate if the wrapper didn’t specify.

Hershey's Cookie 'n' Mint Bar 3

So all in all, this was a success. I’d easily put this on par with Hershey’s Cookie ‘N’ Cream bars. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Cookies ‘N’ Mint become a candy stand mainstay. Other than Junior Mints and York Peppermint Patties, there aren’t that many chocolate/mint staples available in your corner store.

I also don’t see why mini versions of Cookies ‘N’ Mint can’t sneak into Hershey’s mixed bags with the Krackel’s, Mr. Goodbar’s, and Hershey’s Dark’s of the world.

I realize it’s a lot to ask of that big shot Mr. Goodbar to put his ego aside and share a bag with an additional flavor, but it’s time for him to accept the times.

It appears Cookie ‘N’ Mint are going to be taking up permanent residence on candy racks nationwide, so no need to book that trip to Hershey Park to try one.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – 220 calories, 100 calories from fat, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: 78 cents
Size: 1.55 oz
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Balanced flavors. Great texture. Pleasant aroma. Walking Reese’s Cups. Hershey Park’s Hershey handouts. Lessons in patience. Helping the Girl Scouts.
Cons: Couldn’t really tell it was mint chocolate. That egomaniac Mr. Goodbar. Whiny kids. Dissing the Girl Scouts.

REVIEW: Brach’s Brunch Favorites Candy Corn

Brach's Brunch Favorites Candy Corn

Who’s up for some sugar wax?

Brach’s is back once again with a new concoction – Brunch Favorites Candy Corns.

I can’t tell you the last time I had “brunch.” I had a Taco Bell Lupper yesterday, but brunch? It’s been a while. I don’t even really know which foods I associate with brunch. I just think all you can eat buffet or Eggs Benedict, which I’ve somehow never had in my sheltered life.

Because of my lack of brunch sophistication, I “blind” bought these like they were a mystery bag. I paid the flavors no mind because I wanted to try and guess which each was simply by taste. I caught one had pancakes, but I honestly didn’t even absorb what the others were. I tried to look away as to not have the flavors in my subconscious, even as I took pictures.

You don’t believe me, do you?

Humor me.

When I tore ope the Ziploc style bag that I can NEVER reseal, I was hit with a blast of maple. It was pleasant, but also had a “stale” air to it, if that makes sense.

Brach's Brunch Favorites Candy Corn 2

These were my guesses prior to confirming the flavors.

1. Brown, Pink, and White – This was strawberry for sure. There was also a touch of maple. I guessed these were the pancakes with strawberry syrup?

2. Yellow, Tan, and Yellow – These were buttery and had the same maple notes, but reminded me of marshmallow. My guess was “who the heck knows. Canadian Marshmallow treats or something.”

3. Brown, Yellow, and Light Brown – These tasted like a chocolate cookie/brownie batter prior to cooking, but had a bready taste as well. I pegged them as a dessert. Honestly, they tasted like every chocolate candy corn I’d ever had.

Here’s a very specific flavor I tasted as I munched all at once. Have you ever ordered a diner stack of pancakes that took too long to eat? I kept thinking of that – a cold, syrup soaked pancake with a clump of butter.

After all that, I checked the bag. Ok, so I was kinda on the right track.

Humor me.

Number 1 was Waffles and Strawberry. Number 2 was French Toast and Maple Syrup, and number 3 was Chocolate Chip and Pancakes. Oh.

Brach's Brunch Favorites Candy Corn 3

That’s it? Are these exclusively “brunch” flavors? To me that “unch” is really stretching it. It seems like they just started with the same base flavor and added strawberry, chocolate, and maple to each separately.

I realize there aren’t many “brunch” foods that can made into a candy corn flavor. Unless Brach’s wants to go Jelly Belly on us and make Shrimp Cocktail and Mimosas, I guess this is pretty much the best they could do. The problem is waffles, pancakes, and French toast taste similar. When you try to mimic those flavors in this form they’re all pretty indistinguishable. Maybe “Brunch Favorites” wasn’t the best idea.

My biggest problem is that no matter what flavor candy corn is, it always just ends up tasting like regular candy corn in the end. I think it has to do with the fact candy corn has such a unique and distinct texture. By the time I chew up the waxy cones it just elicits thoughts of every other candy corn I’ve ever had. Is it just me? While eating all three at once, strawberry shined through, but it still just ended up tasting like candy corn. Like wax that turns into a clump of wet granulated sugar.

These are decent at best. I wouldn’t skip brunch for them.

(Nutrition Facts – 19 pieces* – 140 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 28 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 15 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Standard fare candy corn. Brach’s trying to branch out more. The strawberry corns had “natural” flavors if you’re into that. These are still a solid candy bowl filler.
Cons: A stretch of the word “brunch.” There was considerably more French Toast than the other 2 flavors. Cold Pancakes. Leave the butter to real corn. These damn Ziploc packages. Only at Target. *The fact they couldn’t just calculate 20 pieces bothers me to no end