There are certain flavor combinations that are self-explanatory.
Whether it’s in Pop-Tart or donut form, s’mores is going to have elements of graham, chocolate, and marshmallow. While something birthday cake-flavored is going to taste like frosting, vanilla cake, and seven-year-old stale sprinkles.
Triple Chocolate is a bit more ambiguous. I feel like there was a time in my life when triple chocolate meant you were getting blasts of dark, milk, and white chocolate in one bite. Those days are long gone, shattered by internet killjoys armed with an air of self-importance and a Wikipedia link explaining that white chocolate IS NOT chocolate.
Subsequent moralizing about faux white chocolate’s adverse dietary effects, not to mention the gentrification of all things cocoa-related, caused candy companies to shop the free agency market to assemble a dream team of chocolate role players.
Bittersweet, German, ganache, fudge, semisweet, Mexican, nibs, chocolate marshmallow, and “chocolaty” have all had their five minutes of fame in the trifecta, but for Hershey’s latest take on its Cookie Layer Crunch Bars, chocolate cookie pieces and chocolate crème join the milk chocolate rectangles.
Let’s get this out of the way: The graphic designer doing the box artwork should get a raise because the detail on the box is hardly what you see when you bite into each three-square bar.
For example, the box artwork makes the chocolate crème look like the cocoa equivalent of molten lava, but if there’s any ganache-like viscosity to the crème, Hershey’s must have left it in the factory. To be honest, it’s hard to pick out the crème as a distinct textural element at all.
Thankfully, there is some truth in advertising.
The crème, although chameleon-like in appearance, has a rich dark chocolate flavor that dissolves on your tongue and finishes each bite. It works especially well because it’s a nice contrast to the crunchy Dutch chocolate taste of the cookie pieces, which remind me of Chips Ahoy! Double Chocolate Cookie Thins.
As much as I like the cookie pieces and the crème, I couldn’t help but think the bar gets dragged down by the run-of-the-mill chocolate shell. There’s nothing wrong with the taste and texture of Hershey’s milk chocolate per se, but its familiarity and rather pedestrian chocolate taste frame the entire bar in an air of, well, averageness.
Average chocolate shell aside, Hershey’s Triple Cookie Layer Crunch Bars are a cool upgrade from the original bar. It also makes a strong case that triple chocolate (the flavor, that is) should keep cookie pieces and crème around for another season.
(Nutrition Facts – 2 pieces – 210 calories, 13 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 6.3 oz. package/9 pieces
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Awesome crunchy cookie taste in candy bar form. Chocolate crème gives the filling a rich dark chocolate complexity. Premium aesthetic in the packaging.
Cons: Chocolate crème is underrepresented and doesn’t have the gooey texture it does in the promo pic. Hershey’s milk chocolate feels pedestrian alongside other chocolate elements. The inability of candy and snack companies to assemble a triple chocolate dynasty.