Maybe it’s my short attention span or the fact that I can barely watch Hocus Pocus without having nightmares, but I enjoy seeing autumn wind down as anticipation for winter holidays grows. Swapping snowmen for skeletons and poinsettias for pumpkins has become a familiar, comforting routine in transitioning from one holiday to the next.
As the shelves of my local stores trade fall staples for time-honored winter favorites like peppermint and hot cocoa, Reese’s caught my attention with something unique. The brand’s newest offering features a peanut brittle-flavored crème cup stuffed with a mixture of peanuts and peanut butter filling.
While peanut brittle wouldn’t have been my number-one answer in a holiday food-themed episode of Family Feud, it makes sense. You find that delicious hard candy nestled in gift tins, offered at holiday potlucks, and as the object of longing gazes from your elderly relatives who just might risk their dentures for a taste.
Reese’s Peanut Brittle Peanut Butter Cups will be available in miniatures, King Sized, and Big Cup varieties across retailers, and I snagged a bag of miniatures. Honestly, I was half-expecting the “peanut brittle-flavored crème” to be the same peanut butter-flavored crème you find in Ultimate Peanut Butter Lovers Cups, with the “brittle” label tacked on as a bit of holiday razzle dazzle to get you humming “White Christmas” in October.
But upon opening the bag, the candy’s aroma indicated I was in for something a little different. It smells a lot like kettle corn–like caramelized sugar with butter and peanuts–and has me begging for a Reese’s/Yankee Candle collaboration.
The cups not only live up to their intoxicating scent, but also really deliver on the peanut brittle flavor. The creamy shell tastes like a combination of white chocolate, peanut butter, and caramelized sugar. It reminds me of the short-lived Hershey’s Gold bar, which had a caramelized crème base that tasted nutty. The peanut brittle crème here tastes very similar, but a touch sweeter, creamier, and with fewer toasty notes.
The filling pairs creamy peanut butter with crunchy peanut pieces. The filling is pretty salty, which balances the crème cup’s sweetness. My cups only had a few peanut pieces resting near the bottom of the cup. Candied peanuts may have added an additional brittle-like crunch–as well as potentially dangerous sugar shards. (Considering that the process of making peanut brittle involves boiling sugar goo to dangerously hot temperatures, fans of the stuff live on the edge already.) When eaten in one bite, however, the cup’s flavors compensate for the generally soft texture. The flavor combination reminds me of finding a salted peanut studded in a piece of sweet brittle.
Reese’s products have always been one of my favorites, whether they adorn a holiday cookie or fill my trick-or-treat bag. Although some of their recent products have underwhelmed (see: Reese’s Mallow Cups, Reese’s Snack Cakes), Reese’s Peanut Brittle Peanut Butter Cups nail the peanut brittle flavor and serve as an unexpected homage to a traditional treat. Whether you are bored by brittle or have your grandmother’s recipe committed to memory, any Reese’s fan will be pleased with this sweet-and-salty holiday treat.
Purchased Price: $4.49
Size: 7.4 oz (209 g) bag
Purchased at: CVS
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 3 cups) 140 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.