REVIEW: Twix Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Bars

Twix Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Bars

What is the Twix Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Bar?

Depending on how you choose to see it, these are either a new twixt (get it?) on the existing Twix ice cream bars or a meltable version of the Twix Triple Chocolate candy bar. The chocolate shell remains the same as the original ice cream bar, but the vanilla ice cream and cookie bits are now chocolate. The filling is not the chocolate caramel of the candy bar, but the same gooey caramel of the O.G. ice cream bar.

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How is it?

I was a tiny bit disappointed that neither iteration of the Twix ice cream bar maintains the classic Twix cookie-on-the-bottom construction. It’s what makes a Twix a Twix. But I didn’t linger long on this because I was won over by its taste on the first bite.

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These were straight up delicious, and the experience was more than the sum of its parts. The fluffy ice cream had a strong hot cocoa essence, which was unexpected in a cold item. The cookie bits brought a nice crunch and a darker chocolate. The coating, while a standard milk chocolate, brought us to three different chocolate profiles, which I loved. The caramel filling wasn’t anything special but was tasty and a little on the thin side, which works well with ice cream.

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Is there anything else you need to know?

Whatever you do, do not peel off the top layer of chocolate coating. The visual of these bars naked is something out of an HR Giger nightmare. I’m pretty sure those cookie balls are hatching in my belly right now…

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Yeesh.

Conclusion:

Do not wait for sunburn season to find these. Chocolate fans, Twix fans, Alien fans – they’re well worth a try. They might be my go-to summer treat. Just don’t look under the hood.

Purchased Price: $4.29
Size: 11 oz. box / 6 bars
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bar) 160 calories, 9 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 grams of fiber, 15 grams of total sugars, 13 grams of added sugars and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: White Chocolate Marshmallow M&M’s

White Chocolate Marshmallow M M s

What are White Chocolate Marshmallow M&M’s?

Because a bag of novelty-flavored M&M’s is easily stuffed into a bright plastic egg basket, Mars is dropping another installment of its special edition Easter flavors! This time, it’s white chocolate with marshmallow.

How are they?

You know how when you see cooking show contestants using the same batter/dough/base for multiple items, they are mostly likely not going to win? That’s what these M&M’s taste like. They’re essentially the same as the basic white chocolate M&M with the tiniest hint of another flavor zipping by at light speed.

White Chocolate Marshmallow M M s Plated

In this case, the flavor isn’t even the marshmallow advertised – it’s closer to fondant icing. You know how cooking show judges howl in disappointment when cakes or cookies get covered in fondant? It’s a polarizing flavor. Fondant is supposed to taste like marshmallow, but is more like what a replicator on the Enterprise that needs a tune-up would spit out.

The good news is there’s so little of it – and the white chocolate is dominant enough – that if you don’t know what fondant is, you might not even notice it here. I’ve been making cakes with it for 18 years, so I’d recognize that sugary dough anywhere.

White Chocolate Marshmallow M M s Pastels

While they taste perfectly pleasant (relying on the strength of their white chocolate base flavor), there’s a huge wasted opportunity here and I’m deducting points for that. Why didn’t they play around with texture? Swap out the crispy malted filling of the M&M’s Mini Eggs with a breakfast-cereal-style marshmallow center?

White Chocolate Marshmallow M M s Innards

Is there anything else you need to know?

The flesh-toned M&M’s are back in this mix, which is odd because they don’t seem to relate to the flavor here. As a color combination, I didn’t love it.

Conclusion:

If you love the white chocolate M&M’s, they’re not a bad purchase with lowered expectations. If you vehemently hate fondant and/or are a cooking show judge, proceed with caution.

Purchased Price: $3.19 (on sale)
Size: 8 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 oz./16 pieces) 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 15 grams of total sugars, 17 grams of added sugars, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Oreo Music Box

Oreo Music Box 1

Oreo ended 2018 in peak novelty fashion with the release of the Oreo Music Box – a tiny turntable that “plays” Oreo cookies. Place any regulation-size Oreo on the disc and you’ll hear a selection of pre-loaded music. You can also record your own audio that subsequently gets tacked onto the start of the music. It comes in a tin with a selection of Oreos inside (as if anyone who would buy this doesn’t already have a stash?)

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I was really happy to see an Oreo holiday item that wasn’t flavor-related. I love the flavor releases, but I appreciate it when well-known brands go deep with imagination and whimsy. This product debuted in China in Fall of 2017. I was thrilled to hear it was landing on our shores and even more so to find one under my Christmas tree.

Oreo Music Box 3

The music box itself felt surprisingly sturdy, despite the cardboard and plastic exterior. When I placed an Oreo on and moved the stylus into place, it did “play” music. The volume was decent, and audio quality was exactly what I expected – not great, but not bad for what was essentially a novelty toy.

Oreo Music Box 4

As promised, as I bit chunks from the cookie, the music tracks changed. Each cut was a slightly different take on a vaguely familiar tune I think I’d heard in past Oreo campaigns. Adorable! I was a little disappointed there was no way to program your own music or audio beyond the 30-second record feature.

Oreo Music Box 5

The record feature also worked fine, although the volume was a notch lower than the pre-loaded music and the instructions had error in them. (The double red light never appeared – it went right to green and was recording.)

Oreo Music Box 6

I say “play” in quotes because this music box doesn’t work like a record player. It’s not reading information stored in the cookie. It’s reading the presence and position of an object on the turntable to trigger a programmed audio clip.

As best I can tell, it works based on five sensors on the turntable. As long as one of them is covered by a solid object, it will spin and “play.” I tried it with various objects – a Wheat Thin, a pat of butter, a quarter and a tiny slip of paper. The only one that didn’t work was the paper, I suspect because the light in the stylus could shine through to the sensor.

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This is a great gift for an Oreo-lover or toy for a child. It’s cute and does exactly what it says. I loved it. It’s well-made and could last, but the limited audio options make it something that may not hold attention long. The price point is a bit high for a novelty you use a handful of times, but possibly worth it in sheer delight.

Music Courtesy of Loyalty Freak Music.

Purchased Price: $19.99
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Amazon
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: N/A

REVIEW: Festive Limited Edition Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Cinnamon (United Kingdom)

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Cinnamon

What is the Festive Limited Edition Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Cinnamon?

Coca-Cola has introduced a new cinnamon-tinged variety of Coke Zero (excuse me – Coke Zero Sugar) – only during the holiday season and only in the UK.

How is it?

There was just a basic Coke aroma inside the bottle. No trace of cinnamon, which is unusual since I find most “flavored” items rely heavily on scent.

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Cinnamon 2

The first mouthful read “Coke Zero” for a good two seconds before the cinnamon announced itself. It was a good, middle-of-the-road cinnamon – present but not overbearing. I didn’t find it to be glaringly artificial, either. This wasn’t Pepsi Fire – it wasn’t bringing heat, just a mild spice, which I really appreciated.

Coke Zero Sugar Cinnamon would make a great party drink for teetotalers who want a little extra something besides the usual soft drinks, but it would also make a great base for cocktails. How about a rum and Coke Zero Cinnamon with a splash of orange liqueur? Call it a “Christmas Potpourri.” Or don’t, because that’s a terrible name for a beverage.

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Cinnamon 3

Is there anything else you need to know?

This might be a tough find. Released in October, it is only appearing until the end of December. It was already scarce in the city centers I visited in Scotland. I only saw it in one Tesco, after I’d half given up searching for it in about a dozen other groceries and convenience stores.

Editor’s Note: If you’re SUPER eager to try it, there are folks on eBay selling bottles for ten times the selling price, plus shipping.

Conclusion:

Coke Zero Cinnamon was a pretty good (temporary) addition to the Coke lineup – a mild and tasty cinnamon shot. I can’t see this as a year-round flavor, but I would certainly repurchase it during the holidays. It’s worth a try if you can get it. I hope it’s released stateside, but will we have to wait until next year?

Purchased Price: £1.25 (approximately $1.57 USD)
Size: 500 ml bottle
Purchased at: Tesco
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 250ml) 1 calorie, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of sugars, 0.03g salt
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QUICK REVIEW: Kit Kat Chocolatory Special Strawberry Maple (Japan)

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What is Kit Kat Chocolatory Special Strawberry Maple?

While in Tokyo recently, I made a stop at the Kit Kat Chocolatory store & café and brought home some goodies. Kit Kat, the king of novelty-flavored candy bars, has rolled out a Strawberry Maple variety for their Chocolatory retail outlets in Japan.

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How is it?

These Kit Kats have a strong, pleasant, but artificial, strawberry aroma. Like a bowl of Frankenberry doused in Strawberry Quik. No trace of maple yet.

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Strawberry was definitely in charge of the flavors. The taste was in line with the scent profile – nostalgic fake berry. I love this flavor, but it’s present everywhere – including multiple Kit Kats – so it didn’t excite me here.

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I only picked up the maple after the strawberry taste faded away, and even then it was subtle. If I wasn’t expecting maple, I don’t think I would have noticed it at all. The more I ate, the less I tasted it. This was disappointing since I’m a huge maple fan.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Google translate amuses me to no end. The translation of the text inside the box lid reads: “You can enjoy exquisite harmony with maple smelled faintly. With fresh strawberries.”

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Conclusion:

These are pleasant, but like the Ruby Kit Kats, they’re too familiar to feel special. If you’re a strawberry fanatic, seek them out. Otherwise, give them a try if they meander into your world, but don’t make an effort. If you’re a maple fan, pass on these – it’s just not there.

Purchased Price: 400 yen (approx. $3.52 US)
Size: 46.4 g box (4 mini bars)
Purchased at: Kit Kat Chocolatory main store, Ginza, Tokyo
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 11.6g bar) 64 calories, 3.7 grams of fat, 4-24 milligrams of sodium, 7.3 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.48 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Kit Kat Chocolatory Special Butter (Japan)

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What is Kit Kat Chocolatory Special Butter?

While in Tokyo recently, I made a stop at the Kit Kat Chocolatory store & café and brought home some goodies. Now, there’s always one errant flavor in the group that everyone raises an eyebrow at and this is it: butter.

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I’ll let the Google translation of the text inside the box describe them: “I kneaded butter powder between the layers of the wafers, making full use of the sweetness of chocolate, I finished it tastefully to feel the richness of butter.”

How is it?

The aroma inside the package reminded me of baking and raw dough. The taste was an instantly familiar one, yet novel to this format – creamed butter. When making cookies, you usually start by mixing sugar and butter together – creaming. Those of us with no willpower are very well-versed in the flavor of creamed butter, and this Kit Kat has captured it perfectly.

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I thought these would be less sweet and heavier on the butter, which is why I wasn’t sure about them at the start. I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed them. If you prefer your sweet/butter ratio on the savory side, you probably won’t like these. But if you’ve had your hand slapped by Mom or Grandma for dipping into the mixing bowl early, you’ll love them.

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Is there anything else you need to know?

I now regret only buying one box.

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Conclusion:

I’ll just say it – I loved Butter Kit Kats. If you’re buying gifts for a baking junkie, track these down. If you’re a novelty junkie, track them down. If you’re a butter junkie, they’ll still make you happy, but not as ecstatic as the baking freaks. But that’s probably OK since your heart might explode if they did.

Purchased Price: 400 yen (approx. $3.52 US)
Size: 46.4 g box (4 mini bars)
Purchased at: Kit Kat Chocolatory main store, Ginza, Tokyo
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 11.6 g bar) 65 calories, 3.8 grams of fat, 4-24 milligrams of sodium, 7.2 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.45 grams of protein.