Some new Reese’s products are announced with great fanfare —- social media announcements, television commercials, or (as I like to imagine) a red carpet dotted with Reese’s Pieces to lead the way to the closest candy aisle. Other products seem to surprise us, one day gracing shelves with an air of nonchalance that makes you think they’ve been around for years.
For me, at least, the Reese’s Crunchy Peanut Bar falls into the latter category. After all, it seems like a simple idea and consists of everything Reese’s does best: chocolate, peanut butter, peanut butter creme, and, of course, crunchy peanuts. When I first saw the bar in stores, I wondered if it was the Cheshire Cat of Reese’s products, disappearing and re-appearing to play tricks on my mind, until social media confirmed its brand-new status.
Despite its unassuming entrance into the Walmart checkout and, therefore, my growing sugar stash, one thing about the bar isn’t unassuming: its size. This King Size packet contains one hefty bar, which comprises three servings of Reese’s goodness and measures about 3/4 of an inch in thickness.
The combination of flavors in Reese’s Crunchy Peanut Bar is a sweet-and-salty lover’s dream. Inside the standard chocolate coating are a substantial layer of peanut butter and lots of roughly chopped peanuts, densely packed and held together by peanut butter and creme. The peanuts are the dominant force, providing a nice hit of salt that plays beautifully with the other components. The bar has a greater peanut-to-filling ratio than any crunchy-filled peanut butter cup I’ve tried and maybe even enough peanuts to make a PayDay feel insecure.
Although the wrapper lists peanut butter and peanut butter creme as separate components, they taste similar and are initially hard to distinguish. The visible layers of soft peanut butter filling are deliciously sweet with a lighter, smoother texture than your standard Reese’s filling.
Meanwhile, the subtle peanut butter creme seems closer to a peanut butter-flavored version of the “white creme” (oil-based white chocolate substitute) that we all know. Delicate layers of hardened creme are remarkable more in function than taste, acting as a binding agent to hold the peanuts in place. Because of this, the bar crumbled apart easily, like a dessert bark, and sometimes felt like an odd choice. At times, I wished for more of a creamy element to add some moisture, especially when the loose peanut crumbles felt like trail mix in my mouth.
If you are a believer in the peanut butter war that pits Team Crunchy against Team Creamy, the Reese’s Crunchy Peanut Bar is definitely a victory for Team Crunchy. As a member of Team I Shouldn’t Have to Choose, I enjoyed this new product, but found it easy to detect small flaws due to its simplicity. Peanut fans will revel in Reese’s latest release, while others yearning for more daring or complex flavors might find that, among other options, this bar fades into the background.
Purchased Price: $1.48
Size: 3.2 oz (90 g)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 1/3 bar) 170 calories, 12 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.