It’s the most wonderful time of year for junk foodies. Post-Christmas clearance candies mingle near Valentine’s Day conversation hearts, while Easter specialties gradually inch into the seasonal aisle like budding spring flowers.
At the same time, highly-anticipated new products from our favorite brands emerge to ring in the New Year. A new and limited time spring offering, Reese’s Mallow-top Peanut Butter Cups have been at the top of my wish list, so I was thrilled to find them early. (With the thrill came some relief because when overlapping holiday products stimulate my anxieties about whether time is an illusion, usually my blood sugar is low.)
Delivered by the Baby New Year Bunny Cupid via the CVS candy aisle, Mallow-top Peanut Butter Cups contain the classic Reese’s peanut butter filling, encased by a dual-flavored shell. The bottom half of the cup is standard milk chocolate, while the top is marshmallow-flavored white crème. Unwrapped, the cup’s contrasting colors are pretty, achieving a similar look to fall’s half-green Franken-cups.
Recently, Reese’s has brought us varied fillings galore, so a flavored shell feels like something special. In order to savor the marshmallow coating appropriately, I delicately severed the top portion of the cup to test it first. The crème has the sweet vanilla-tinged flavor of a marshmallow, but it is extremely subtle. Although its gentle flavor prevents an artificial quality that anything “flavored” can sometimes bring, the subtlety comes as a surprise because the white crème smells so strongly and convincingly of marshmallow. Overall, the crème is a bit of a disappointment, especially when compared to the recent Witch’s Brew Kit Kats, which I feel created a more successful marshmallow flavor.
In news that will surprise no one, the Mallow-top’s three components together taste good overall. But again, the subtlety of the marshmallow white crème underwhelms. While marshmallow flavor is discernible in the first bite, it is quickly overpowered by the familiar peanut butter and milk chocolate combination. With a clean palate and the taste buds of a trained sommelier, you might not need to read the product wrapper in order to know that marshmallow was the intended flavor.
I am not saying that Reese’s Mallow-tops are not worth a try, especially because marshmallow flavors and textures can be polarizing. Because I like a fluffy, chewy, or gooey marshmallow, I definitely missed that textural quality in this product and might have preferred a Big Cup with a marshmallow fluff and peanut butter center.
I suspect that people who will enjoy Mallow-tops include: Reese’s fans who find themselves torn between the milk chocolate and white crème varieties, anyone who prefers hot cocoa with tiny marbits versus puffed marshmallows, and my friend Jenn, who enjoys the flavor of marshmallows but thinks sticky food is gross. Meanwhile, people who will be disappointed in the product include fluffernutter sandwich fans, white chocolate/crème haters, and those rogues who use peanut butter cups instead of chocolate bars in their s’mores.
Overall, Reese’s Mallow-top Peanut Butter Cups are a step in an interesting direction, but the brand is definitely capable of doing more to strike the right balance between invention and tradition.
Purchased Price: $4.59
Size: 7.8 oz. bag
Purchase at: CVS
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 2 cups) 180 calories, 10 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.