REVIEW: Hershey’s Sugar Cookie Candy Bar

Hershey s Sugar Cookie Candy Bar Wrapper

What is Hershey’s Sugar Cookie Candy Bar?

Sugar cookie flavored white crème and red and green cookie pieces make up this seasonal bar.

How is it?

I’m a simple woman: I see red and green cookie pieces embedded in a snow white bar of chocolate, and I smile. This bar has a fun and festive appearance, but it is not just a Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Crème bar dressed up in a Santa suit.

The crème’s sugar cookie flavor distinguishes it from your everyday white crème. Behind its super sweetness are high notes of vanilla and butter, which especially contributes to the richness of the bar. The flavor reminds me a lot of birthday cake flavored white chocolate, which I love but prefer in small doses due to its intense sweetness.

Hershey s Sugar Cookie Candy Bar Split

As I nibbled on the bar (which was broken into irregular pieces due to shipping, not my brute strength), I reached a similar point of diminishing returns. The richness that makes the crème a treat can become cloying after too many bites.

Hershey s Sugar Cookie Candy Bar Innards

The bar’s pretty cookie pieces do not impart a lot of flavor on their own. Although they contain an extra hint of sweetness, their texture is what satisfies. The pieces are light, crispy, and generously sprinkled throughout the bar.

Anything else you need to know?

You can also find Sugar Cookie flavored white crème in Hershey’s Kiss form. From what I remember of the Kisses, the crème tastes very similar, although the bar’s buttery taste stands out more. The shape of the bar also lends itself to a more even distribution of cookie pieces.

Hershey s Sugar Cookie Candy Bar Closeup

Conclusion:

Hershey’s Sugar Cookie Candy Bar combines the butter, vanilla, and sugar flavors of your favorite sugar cookie recipe and adds a colorful crunch. However, the flavor is incredibly rich, so if you leave one for Santa Claus this year in lieu of cookies, don’t be offended if he leaves a few pieces behind.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free sample from Hershey’s, which did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 1.55 oz (43 g) bar
Purchased at: Provided by Hershey’s
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 230 calories, 12 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: M&M’s White Chocolate Pretzel Snowballs

White Chocolate Pretzel Snowballs M M s Bag

What are M&M’s White Chocolate Pretzel Snowballs?

M&M’s extends its decades-long promise, this time creating snowballs that won’t melt in your hand. These seasonal M&M’s feature white chocolate surrounding a crunchy pretzel center.

How are they?

White Chocolate Pretzel Snowballs M M s Colors

The flavor combination of white chocolate and pretzels isn’t bad, but it’s not M&M’s most memorable offering. The main problem is the inconsistency from candy to candy. Some pieces have a very thin white chocolate shell and/or little to no salt on the pretzel ball. For every one sweet and salty snowball, five bland ones follow.

White Chocolate Pretzel Snowballs M M s Innards

The pretzel centers are satisfyingly crunchy. That texture plus the white and blue candy shells, which evoke the colors of Hanukkah or icy landscapes, would make the M&M’s a nice addition to a holiday snack mix. You could call it a “wintry mix” to the delight/chagrin of your party guests.

Although the crunch is the highlight of the M&M, it is an interesting choice for candy designed to mimic snowballs, which are obviously made of softer stuff. A crunchy snowball makes me think of that one sadistic kid in every neighborhood who packs snowballs full of gravel and ice. That kid deserves no wintry mix.

Anything else you need to know?

If you live in the Snow Belt like I do, you know you are at the mercy of nature’s whims. Luckily, you can always choose whether you want a light shower or heavy storm of M&Ms. In addition to the 7.44 oz bag I found, M&Ms White Chocolate Pretzel Snowballs are available in Single and Share Sizes.

Conclusion:

White Chocolate Pretzel Snowballs M M s Festive

Despite a great crunch, M&M’s White Chocolate Pretzel Snowballs lack the sweet and salty punch needed to make an exceptional seasonal flavor. On a scale from 1-10, with 1 being a snowball to the face and 10 being a surprise snow day, I’d give these a 6: a pleasant-enough sled ride despite the cold.

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 7.44 oz (210.9 g) bag
Purchased at: CVS
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 1 ounce/about 12 pieces) 130 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Gingerbread Cookie Kit Kat

Gingerbread Cookie Kit Kat Bag

Have you ever designed an overly-ambitious gingerbread house, complete with stained glass sugar windows and a peppermint cobblestone walkway? Or maybe you’ve sipped a hot gingerbread latte during a break from a long day of errands? At least once you must have exclaimed “Not the gumdrop buttons!” as you plucked the candy accents from a gingerbread man!

If any of the above statements ring true to you, Kit Kat’s limited edition holiday flavor may reinforce gingerbread’s status as the season’s most beloved and nostalgic flavor. Available in miniature size to suit your candy dish, Gingerbread Cookie Kit Kats feature a gingerbread-flavored crème coating its classic crispy wafer.

Gingerbread Cookie Kit Kat Wrapper

To achieve their characteristic taste, gingerbread cookies usually require molasses and a mixture of ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves—among other spices, depending on the recipe. That might sound like pumpkin spice warmed over, but it’s all about the different ratios. I trust my measuring spoons and my memory of elementary school math to distinguish my pie and chai spices from my gingerbread spice, but I was curious if Kit Kat could achieve a successful flavor balance in such a small confection.

Gingerbread Cookie Kit Kat Creme

Opening the bag, I caught a soft whiff of maple. The Kit Kat itself, covered in a caramel-colored crème coating, smelled like brown sugar. At this point, my spicy sense was not tingling.

The flavor, however, is fully gingerbread. The coating has white crème sweetness at its base, which reminded me of a gingerbread house’s royal icing spackle or the wee details on a gingerbread man. The crème combines a mellow mixture of warm spices with notes of brown sugar in the background. At the very end of the bite, I tasted a slight kick of ginger that lingered for a few moments in the aftertaste.

Gingerbread Cookie Kit Kat Wafers

Checking the ingredients list, I saw no hint of specific spices, just “natural and artificial flavors.” The candy’s realistic flavor — ginger hint especially — can mean only one thing: Kit Kat’s food scientists are becoming too powerful.

Kit Kat nails its limited edition flavors more often than not, but Gingerbread Cookie Kit Kats are especially hard to find fault with. The spice flavor is realistic without being overwhelming. The sweetness is multidimensional, and the crispy wafer completes the simple, delightful bite. It may be my favorite seasonal Kit Kat flavor yet.

In fact, I enjoyed this so much that its flavor actually evoked a Proustian moment, an involuntary memory triggered by a sensory experience. After my second or third, a particular iced gingerbread cookie that was once a staple of my childhood resurfaced in my memory. Even though I haven’t thought of that cookie in years, the memory inspires me to break out the recipe for the holidays this year. In case my measuring spoons or math skills fail, I’ll keep a stash of Gingerbread Cookie Kit Kats nearby.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free sample from Hershey’s, which did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 8.4 oz (238 g) bag
Purchase at: Provided by Hershey’s
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 4 pieces) 170 calories, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Reese’s Peanut Brittle Peanut Butter Cups

Reese s Peanut Brittle Peanut Butter Cups Bag

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.

Reese s Peanut Brittle Peanut Butter Cups Unwrapped

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.

Reese s Peanut Brittle Peanut Butter Cups Split

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 Peanut Brittle Peanut Butter Cups Lonely

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.

REVIEW: Frosted Mocha Latte Pop-Tarts

Frosted Mocha Latte Pop Tarts Box

What are Frosted Mocha Latte Pop-Tarts?

Pop-Tarts brewed up a chocolate- and espresso-inspired pastry that won’t require you to wake up early to beat the rush at your favorite cafe.

Exclusive to Walmart, Frosted Mocha Latte Pop-Tarts are sold in a value pack of 16 pastries. I think this falls somewhere between grande and venti on the Pop-Tart/Coffee Equivalency Scale.

How are they?

Frosted Mocha Latte Pop Tarts Whole

Upon rustling open that iconic silver wrapper, I was impressed that Frosted Mocha Latte Pop-Tarts took the “frosted” descriptor seriously. A generous layer of white icing, topped with a light brown squiggle, covers each pastry. The icing doesn’t impart much flavor, but it acts like a crisp shell of sweetness that enhances each bite.

Frosted Mocha Latte Pop Tarts Filling

Although its strong coffee aroma beckons, the pastry crust is typical Pop-Tarts fare: dry, crumbly, and subtly chocolate-flavored. If you’ll indulge the topical metaphor, the pastry is like an old coffee mug: functional and not too exciting by itself, but a wonderful support for flavor-packed filling. Rich and thick, the Pop-Tart filling perfectly balances chocolate flavor with a strong, realistic coffee taste. It’s not too sweet and manages to maintain some bitter notes, which are really interesting and surprisingly nuanced.

Frosted Mocha Latte Pop Tarts Split

Because the toaster at my office has been emitting sparks (and if I’m going to set the place on fire, it’s going to be in a completely different context), I warmed a Pop-Tart in the microwave for about 10 seconds. I highly recommend this method. The warmth softens the crust and the filling, waking up the already-impressive coffee flavor. It provides all of the comfort of a hot drink with none of the caffeine jitters.

Anything else you need to know?

A few years ago, Pop-Tarts released a limited edition Chocolate Mocha flavor as a tie-in with Dunkin’ Donuts. The Frosted Mocha Latte flavor looks almost identical to that product. If you’ve tried both, share your comparisons in the comments below.

Conclusion:

Frosted Mocha Latte Pop-Tarts deliver strong flavor with the right balance of sweet and bitter notes. Whether you’re a kid with grown-up tastes or an adult who isn’t afraid to indulge in a favorite childhood brand, this flavor warrants a refill.

Purchased Price: $3.94
Size: 27 oz (768 g) box (16 pack)
Purchased at: Walmart (Exclusive Flavor)
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 2 pastries) 360 calories, 9 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 400 milligrams of sodium, 69 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 36 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.