REVIEW: Limited Edition Cherry Cordial Delight Peeps

Limited Edition Cherry Cordial Delight Peeps

As far as childhood traumas go, cherry cordials are on the “Really, why didn’t you address this with your therapist?” list.

At seven years of age, my first efforts with cordials were an immediate disaster with red cherry, fondant, and shards of milk chocolate splashing all over my favorite Looney Tunes t-shirt (how I loved that shirt!). I tried to wash it out, but alas, not even Snuggle the Bear could save that humble garment. While I loved the taste of the cordial, fear of ruining the rest of my favorite t-shirts detracted me from ever returning to cherry cordials again.

Until today.

It seems Peeps, in all their tidy, poofy, non-goo-filled selves, are inviting me to make amends with my cherry cordial childhood traumas by putting those flavors into marshmallow form, which is a good thing because chocolate, cherry, and sugar? That’s a recipe for a party.

Limited Edition Cherry Cordial Delight Peeps 2

Right out of the cellophane, the smell makes it clear that chocolate and cherry run the show. If you’ve ever wanted Febreze to make an air freshener that smells like maraschino cherries and brownie batter, this is for you: the bright, sugared cherry aroma completely absorbs the smell of anything within a two-foot radius.

And that smell immediately transports into the flavor. These fluffy little devils hold nothing back, going full-throttle for artificial cherry. Biting in, the red crystal sugar flecks crisp through before breaking into a white marshmallow fluffier than the luxury bath towels at the Ritz.

Limited Edition Cherry Cordial Delight Peeps 3

The cherry flavor harkens back to a cherry popsicle or Skittle: a little tart, extremely sweet, and mildly bitter. The dark chocolate, while not astounding, is also not palm oil gunk.

On its own, it’s like a mock-up of a Dark Dove Promise, adding a woodsy note with a bit of brownie batter sweetness, but, when taken with the marshmallow, the chocolate gets swept away in the wake of cherry flavor. This can be overwhelming as the cherry, when taking in multiple bites, starts verging on medicinal, harkening back to days of tissues and trying to stomach cherry cough syrup. Those are sad days. There is no need for sad days.

Limited Edition Cherry Cordial Delight Peeps 4

It has occurred to me that there will be a time, probably soon, in which I have a traumatic encounter with a chicken that somehow deters me from eating chickadee-shaped products. Until then, I will keep trying all the versions of Peeps, holding that particular fear, reluctance, and joy that comes with peculiar flavor efforts.

These particular Peeps could’ve suffered (as they sometimes do) by being a little too sweet, but the monitored three-chick pack kept things in check. The biggest downfall was the extent to which the fake cherry flavors muscled out the chocolate, but, taken as a whole, these reminded me of cordials: cherry takes the lead, fondant (or sugary marshmallow) stands as a sidekick, and chocolate is a background character. Not an unimportant character, per se. More like the Cabbage Vendor in Avatar: adding color and depth without being allotted much time for development.

All that said, if you love cherries, sugar, and chickadees that stare at you ominously, these are worth dishing out $1.99 to give ‘em a shot.

(Nutrition Facts – 3 Chicks – 150 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 10 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, Less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 28 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Limited Edition Cherry Cordial Delight Peeps
Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 3 pack/1.5 oz.
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Cherry cordial flavors in marshmallow form. Cherry flavor similar to cherry Skittles. Quite puffy. Crispy sugar outside. No goo is involved. Non-palm-oil chocolate is used. The Cabbage Vendor in Avatar
Cons: Cherry overpowers chocolate. Red dye adds bitterness. Chickadees stare at you ominously. Childhood traumas involving cherry cordials. Non-childhood traumas involving chickens.

REVIEW: Peeps Sugar Plum Delight

Peeps Sugar Plum Delight

And so it was, not 72 hours ago, that I descended upon the Target, clawing like a manic puppeteer on a shopping spree at Joann’s Fabrics as I wrestled through the bips, bobs, and bags for anything in a green-and-red aluminum. I bought 3 bags of Reese’s Bells. I am not ashamed.

Indeed, I have ardent, unapologetic feelings about seasonal candy, which, unlike the rest of my life, can be expressed succinctly: EAT ‘EM ALL! So, when I finally came up for air from my shopping spree, half entranced by chocolate and fa-la-la-la-la’s, I was surprised to spot this dapper trio of chicken-shaped marshmallows in a shade of purple that seemed stuck between a grape SweetTart and a very sad Easter Bunny. I had never been so simultaneously filled with curiosity, terror, and excitement.

Peeps Sugar Plum Delight 2

They come out of the wrapper smelling of dried plums. It’s not a familiar candy smell, but, as a plum appreciator, I can’t help but admire the little buggers for going all-in to their pruney identity.

And the Peeps got all mid-level, budget-string classy up in here, what with each little chicken sporting a white fudge tux-and-tails on its rump. I love this stuff. It may not be actual chocolate, but, each time I’ve tried it, I can’t deny how its smooth melt and sugary vanilla sweetness adds a little something special to anything it touches. Fact: the easiest way to improve a mediocre marshmallow is to shroud it in fudge.

The taste of these plumy poultries is new, where “new” is defined much in the same way that a hamster might feel if it were to take a trip to an anti-gravity room at NASA: unfamiliar, wacky, and a little off.

Like all Peeps, they highlight the cool, sugary realms of the marshmallow before allowing the artificial flavoring to take hold, and that flavoring? Never lets go. It has a certain figgy jaminess followed by a bitterness that’s pretty jarring. Of course, really old dried plums (prunes) do have a certain bitter note on their tails, so maybe the bitterness makes them true-to-form and complex, which may make them trendy according to the Tastemakers of America…but who are these Tastemakers of America? And why do they like old prunes so much??

Mysteries-that-can’t-be-solved aside, the smooshy texture of the Peep itself mimicked that of a plum/prune: gritty, squishy, gooey. While the bitterness overran my tasting experience, the texture, coupled with the sweet, smooth white fudge, made for an inoffensive, new perspective in marshmallow potential.

Peeps Sugar Plum Delight 3

What is it about these three chickadees that keeps me coming back? They’re but mere overpriced marshmallows in cellophane, and yet there is something I admire about them. Is it their chicken shape? Their peculiar flavor options? The way they stare out in misshapen, googly eyed wonderment?

I do not have the answer, but sometimes curiosity outweighs logic. As for these three chicks, I’m not sure if I liked ‘em. The bitterness overpowered what could’ve been an innovative new take, but I wasn’t completely appalled by them either. They’re fascinating, if only for the high degree to which they mimic a prune in candy form. Peeps, I give you an “A” for effort, but the bitterness just knocked ‘em off the running. But, hey, don’t feel down. Sometimes you swing for the fences and hit a home run. Other times, you hit it into the dugout and knock the Gatorade cooler onto the manager.

(Nutrition Facts – 3 chicks – 150 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 29 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein..)

Item: Peeps Sugar Plum Delight
Purchased Price: $1.79
Size: 3 Chicks/1.5 oz.
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Kinda tastes like a sugared prune. Not appalling. Sweet fudge. Googly eyes. Hamsters in Anti-Gravity.
Cons: Kinda tastes like an especially old prune your grandmamma left out in the jar. Pricey. Metallic aftertaste. The color of a sad Easter Bunny.

REVIEW: Peeps Pumpkin Spice

Peeps Pumpkin Spice

For someone who is patently terrified of being pecked to death by chickens, I consume a large number of poultry-themed products. Chicken-in-a-Biskit. Donald Duck orange juice. Lemonade Peeps.

Have I mentioned the giant chocolate hen I tried to make after watching the Jacques Torres classic, “Chocolate on the Farm”? There is a reason I do not own a chocolate store.

You would think I would have worn out my consumption on bird-themed objects by now.

I have not.

Peeps Pumpkin Spice 2

Continuing in my inane tradition to contribute to the financial wellbeing of the Just Born Company, I shelled out the $1.99 for my pack of 3 Peeps Pumpkin Spice and promptly consumed them in 82 seconds. The sugar and vanilla presides, both in smell and in flavor, while a touch of cinnamon-nutmegy earthiness lingers at the end. The spice isn’t too strong by any means, but it goes just far enough to help round out the hyper-sweet nature of marshmallow, giving it a slight “cinnamon roll” edge.

The chew is mightily squishy while the fudge is sweeter, meltier (not a word), and more questionably sourced than all the Cool Whip of my grandma’s Jell-O cakes, but what can I say? I dig ‘em.

Even with their waxy eyes and red dyes, all that chemical mish-mosh combines with the sweet spice to give these Peeps a unique zing. While I enjoyed mine in their unaltered form, I imagine these fitting just fine in some hot chocolate or, if you have a pair of scissors and some gumption, chopped into fall-inspired bowl of Lucky Charms.

I bet 9 out of 10 scientists agree that it is more fun to start your day with a bowl of chicken-shaped marshmallows, and that one other scientist who disagreed probably had a traumatic encounter with a burnt s’more as a child, so you should ignore him. Enjoy your marshmallows for breakfast.

Peeps Pumpkin Spice 3

Look, I try to eat sophisticated sometimes, but it’s about as useful as saying I want to go to the symphony when all I really wanna do is play Donkey Kong in my turtle pajamas. The most fun proposal wins, and Peeps are audaciously fun.

Despite being overpriced and promoting tooth decay, I am likely to purchase these again, if only because they have nudged me toward the compelling notion that food created in the spirit of fun is intrinsically more delicious. Even Peeps’ Carnauba Wax googly eyes appear mesmerized by the world around them and, thus, encourage me to look at the world in the same curiosity-driven light. On taste alone, I give these a 7. For diversity, fun, and encouraging a more creative life outlook, let’s bump them up to an 8.

(Nutrition Facts – 3 chicks – 160 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3.5 gram of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 30 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Peeps Pumpkin Spice
Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 1.5 oz. package/3 chicks
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Smooshy. Well-balanced spice with sweet. Melty fudge. Potential for bowl of Lucky Charms. Playing Donkey Kong in turtle pajamas. “Chocolate on the Farm.”
Cons: Carnauba wax eyeballs. All the dyes of the rainbow. So much sugar, so much potential for tooth decay. Failed attempts to become a chocolatier. Traumatic encounters with s’mores.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Red Velvet Peeps

Limited Edition Red Velvet Peeps

You people. You marshmallow lovers. You raucous, inscrutable, dangerously admirable marshmallow lovers. Turns out, you’ve made 232,000 Google pages devoted to “Peeps marshmallow recipes.” You have such daring. Such skill. Such eschewing of tradition. You put Peeps on your peanut butter sandwiches, in your pancakes. Sometimes, you just smack out your miniature flamethrower and torch those suckers up. Surely, I have stumbled into my confectionary tribe. You do realize this will only lead to mischief.

For example, if I were to find myself with two packs of specialty Peeps the day after Thanksgiving, who would stop me? Certainly not you. Certainly not Target. And certainly not this Peep staring at me with its big ol’ waxy eyeball.

Limited Edition Red Velvet Peeps givin' me the stink eye

And for that, I am grateful because straight from the plastic veneer, Photoshopped with candy canes cut straight from the Windows 92 Clip Art book, the chickadees tumble out like gangbusters: sandy and sugary on the outside with a white fudgy coating glistening on their chickadee rumps, these might be confused for the fowl that grace the lakes of a Sugar Plum Fairy. Oh sure, they’re just glorified gelatin, but dear god, isn’t that what Peeps are all about? How can we expect anything more? How???

Because Peeps is making a promise here. A promise to dish out the Red Velvet Cake in all its cocoa-y, sugary, acidic glory. A promise to which they [somewhat] live up to.

Limited Edition Red Velvet Peeps 3 little Velvets all in a row

These little mallows are sweet. Straight up sugary. Unquestionably red. The inside is sweet and cocoa-y like Duncan Hines cake batter mixed with chocolate Jell-o pudding. The outside sugar crust has the taste and texture of fine sanding sugar, but with a slight mineral aftertaste, like the faint tarnish of a cast iron skillet (because the party hasn’t started until Red #40 brings the bite of metallic cookware, am I right?)

Thankfully, the white fudge is there to pick up the slack with melty, smooth sweetness. Traditionalists, be forewarned: this isn’t cream cheese icing. Heck, it’s mainly palm kernel oil and dextrose, but it does have a quick melt and is dappled with little sprinkles, making a good show for those who subscribe to the buttercream predilection. If you like your icing sweet, dig in, but, if you’re sensitive to sugar overdose, you may feel like you’re being smacked in the head by a tetherball. Only you can know your limits. Just make sure you bring a graham cracker. S’mores will be in your future.

Limited Edition Red Velvet Peeps Peeps cross section

It’s easy to think of new products as a long chain of evolving improvements, as a never-ending advancement toward largeness and complexity, but Peeps knows not to flatter itself with such delusions. They thrive, nay, celebrate the creation of the same marshmallow sensation over and over. These Peeps are a pretty good riff on that variation. At the best of times*, they made me feel like I was eating cake batter straight outta Martha Stewart’s golden Kitchen Aid. Other times, I felt like I was eating the crust of a rusty nail.

*The worst of times was when I had just put lotion on my hands and wrestled to open the package for 15 minutes.

Aftertastes and mistimed use of moisturizer aside, these Peeps provide marshmallow lovers something different while still sustaining the unique, smooshed Peeps signature. Sure, they may not be astounding, but they remind me that, even when life’s not astounding, I can be grateful that it doesn’t completely suck.

Limited Edition Red Velvet Peeps Red Velvet Peeps teach us a life lesson

(Nutrition Facts – 3 Chicks/1 pack – 150 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 30 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein..)

Item: Limited Edition Red Velvet Peeps
Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 3 Peeps Pack
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Doesn’t completely suck. Duncan Hines cake batter. Squishy. Festive fudge glaze. Reason to make s’mores. Reason to pursue Mischief. Windows 92 Clip Art.
Cons: Doesn’t completely suck. Red #40 tastes like a cast iron skillet. Glaze is mainly palm oil and dextrose. Getting smacked by a tetherball. Poorly timed use of moisturizer.