Last year, Hershey’s made one of their strongest moves in a decade with its Gold Peanuts & Pretzels Bar, utilizing a caramelized creme “golden” base over the usual cocoa. It’s a masterpiece in the realm of mainstream sweet and salty bars and Hershey’s is wasting no time at all pumping out new ways for us to consume their latest behemoth.
After collaborating with 7-Eleven to make a drinkable cappuccino version of the bar, the chocolate company opted to make sweet, sweet food love with one of the greatest treats in the fast food universe – Krispy Kreme’s Original Glazed. The new limited-time Hershey’s Gold Doughnut takes the O.G. and tops it with pieces of Hershey’s Gold and a salted caramel icing.
The aroma is strong. The leading smell is the ample Gold bar pieces, which carry a sweet nuttiness akin to peanut brittle, accented by the extra push of salty caramel and the unmistakable golden aura of fried yeast dough. The salted caramel icing is perfectly drizzled on top of the already amazing original glaze and studded with so many candy pieces that it left a handful of bits at the bottom of the bag like coveted escaped french fries.
Biting into this golden trophy of a doughnut reveals some of the most immaculate textures the fast food world could ever provide, and boy is it SWEET. The soft and fresh bouncy glazed doughnut is taken to new heights with the added chew of the Gold bar pieces. The crunch of the pretzels and peanuts provide a stark contrast to the fluffy base.
The only flavor that doesn’t come through as strongly as I would like are the peanuts. But the creamy, fatty essence of the golden chocolate does well to bring a bit of extra depth to the overall profile. The salted caramel icing is aggressively sweet but has a legitimate salty pop and thick sticky texture that makes it stand out from the original clear glaze.
The ultimate test of this glazed greatness is to see how it holds up in the microwave – and my god does it deliver. A quick 8-second zap in the micro launches the flavors and textures into the melty, salty stratosphere for a taste that made me throw my head back in euphoria. Everything is heightened, the caramel fully activated, and the bar pieces are still firm enough to deliver a slightly melted chew atop the fried gooey decadence.
This is a wonderful doughnut, but in the grand scheme of the sweet and salty symphony it’s missing a bit of bass. While the treble is through the roof with very high highs of sweet and salty sending my upper register through the roof, I’m missing a bit of balance to weigh the flavors down and complete the movement that spawns an encore. It’s a worthy update to the very strong original, but short of the perfect score.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 doughnut – 280 calories, 15 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $1.89
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Awesome sweet and salty flavors. KK didn’t mess with their perfect glaze. Caramel is actually salted. Microwaving it will cause euphoria.
Cons: Peanuts get lost a bit in the mix. Can be overwhelmingly sweet and salty without enough fat to balance.