REVIEW: Hershey’s Whozeewhatzit Bar

Whozee1 pkg

What is Hershey’s Whozeewhatzit Bar?

Whozeewhatzit – that sounds like that old defunct Hershey bar Whatchamacallit. What’s that you say? Whatchamacallit was never discontinued? Are you sure? Still to this day? Really? Oh, yeah, there it is right by the register. Huh. Look at that.

It turns out Whatchamacallit never left us. It’s just been hiding in plain sight while Hershey bars, Kisses, and Kit Kats got fancy new flavor releases. Well, now it’s Whatcha’s time to shine with a new spinoff! Whozeewhatzit features a thick slab of cocoa crisps topped with a thin layer of peanut butter creme instead of Whatcha’s peanut butter crisps with caramel on top. They’re both covered in a layer of chocolate.

Whozee2 inside

But wait, didn’t Whatcha have a short-lived little sister in the late ‘00s? Thingamajig? With cocoa crisps and peanut butter creme and a red wrapper… hmmm… that sounds familiar…

How is it?

It had been a long time since I’d had a Whatcha, so I grabbed one to refresh my memory. I recall it being a tasty treat, but it didn’t dazzle me the way other Hershey products have.

They both had thick and rocky centers, a bit like trail bars in texture, and a basic Hershey milk chocolate coating. The crisps were densely-packed but airy, the creme layers just skimmed over the top. The difference came in the flavors. The Whatcha was intensely peanut-buttery with the caramel taking a back seat. The Whozee was half cocoa, half PB. They were both delicious, but the Whozee flavor combo gave the bar a lightness that I preferred. I would buy it again over the Whatcha. Hardcore PB fanatics might prefer Whatcha.

Whozee3 closeup

I’ve never had the Thingamajig, so I couldn’t directly compare, but it looks exactly the same in photos. If you’ve tried both, comment below and tell us if they’re dupes.

Also, just look at these Roy-Lichenstein-inspired power pop wrappers. So pretty.

Whozee4 wrappers

Anything else you need to know?

The Whozee got its name from a contest that I hadn’t even heard about, so congrats to Lisa M. But until I see photos of you waving dollar bills and biting into a prototype bar, I will assume you’re the pen name of a marketing executive.

Conclusion:

I find the Whozeewhatzit an improvement on the original Whatchamacallit, which was already a decent, if overlooked, candy bar. Diehard peanutbutterers could be just a tad disappointed, but if you like-but-don’t-live-and-breathe PB, definitely give it a go.

Purchased Price: 2 for $2.00 (on sale)
Size: 1.6oz bar
Purchased at: Walgreens
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bar) 250 calories, 14 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 21 grams of sugar, including 19 grams of added, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Reese’s Snack Cake

Reese s Snack Cake Package

What are Reese’s Snack Cakes?

Each snack consists of a chocolate cake layer topped with Reese’s peanut butter creme and covered in milk chocolate.

How are they?

Reese s Snack Cake Exterior

When I unwrapped my package of Reese’s Snack Cakes, I was expecting a take on a Hostess CupCake or Zinger: a supple, airy sponge slicked with icing. What I found looked more like a candy bar: two chocolate-coated rectangles nestled in a cardboard sleeve, compact and entirely coated with milk chocolate.

Intrigued by the snack’s appearance (and anything involving peanut butter), I felt this warranted deeper investigation. Because I’m weird, I like to analyze snacks layer by layer, pretending that I’m a junk food scientist studying a sugary ecosystem. Here are my findings:

The milk chocolate coating is smooth and creamy. It tastes like what you’d find in the candy aisle, but a little sturdier and less prone to melting.

Next, the peanut butter creme has the delicious flavor of Reese’s filling, but with textural differences that remind me of marzipan or even hard fudge. It is soft, but dense and malleable enough that the layer can retain its shape when separated from the cake.

Reese s Snack Cake Innards

Finally, the cake layer is difficult to classify. Its deep cocoa flavor pairs well with the other cake components, but its texture is unsuccessful. Dense, dry, and crumbly, it is barely a cake. It tastes like a cake deprived of moisture or air, with all of its crumbs squeezed together. It brings to mind protein-enhanced snack bars (think Protein One), and with six grams of protein, it could probably pass as one more easily than it could pass as a cake.

Overall, the peanut butter and chocolate outshine an unsuccessful cake, which should have been the star of this snack. A different product name would have helped to leverage expectations, but the result is not Reese’s strongest offering.

Anything else you need to know?

Reese s Snack Cake Size

In press releases, Reese’s has billed its Snack Cakes as breakfast or mid-morning snacks. Given both the product’s candy bar sweetness and lack of resemblance to cake, I don’t understand the breakfast connection. Coffee cakes, muffins, and scones will not need to fight these snack cakes for space at the brunch table.

Conclusion:

Decidedly un-cakelike, Reese’s Snack Cakes deliver on the classic chocolate and peanut butter pair, but are worth less than the sum of their parts.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 2.75 oz pack (2 cakes)
Purchased at: Sheetz
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 380 calories, 21 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 45 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 33 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate Meltaway Roses

Hershey s Kisses Milk Chocolate Meltaway Roses Bag

What are Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate Meltaway Roses?

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Hershey’s has given us Kisses with a meltaway chocolate center, wrapped in rose-print foil with green plumes. (“Plumes” is the official name of the little strips of paper, but if I have to explain it, it’s easier just to call them strips of paper.)

How are they?

These are certainly more interesting than standard Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses. If you simply chomp them, they are much softer.

The shell is the same as other filled Kisses; it’s a little shinier than plain milk chocolate.

Hershey s Kisses Milk Chocolate Meltaway Roses Hearts

As for the filling, “meltaway” is an apt description. It does melt and dissolve faster than regular chocolate (milk or dark). It seems darker, both color-wise and flavor-wise, than regular Hershey’s chocolate, even though it’s still milk chocolate. I wonder if Hershey’s got its inspiration from candy truffles found in those heart-shaped candy boxes.

Really, though, my palate isn’t sophisticated enough to describe or recognize what makes the filling so different. Overall, the effect of these Kisses is “chocolate with other chocolate.”

At first, I was a little disappointed. But after eating more, I really enjoy them. Chocolate with chocolate is not a bad thing, and the textural contrast is more enjoyable than plain chocolate by itself.

Anything else you need to know?

Hershey s Kisses Milk Chocolate Meltaway Roses Bowl

I appreciate the rose-themed wrappers, but I don’t think they’re significant enough for “Roses” to be the product’s name.

Conclusion:

Hershey’s Kisses are a classic Valentine’s Day treat, but these Meltaway Kisses take the holiday standby up a notch.

Purchased Price: $2.98
Size: 9 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (7 pieces) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, 14 grams of added sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Key Lime Pie M&M’s

Key Lime Pie M M s Bag

Scheduled for a spring release, Key Lime Pie M&M’s made an early appearance at my local gas station in Pennsylvania. Punxsutawney Phil assures me that this is a sign we are in for an early spring, so what better way to celebrate than by digging into these lime-flavored white chocolate M&M’s? As a fan of both real white chocolate and last year’s Orange Vanilla Cream M&M’s, I was excited to try out this new citrus-inspired treat.

Larger than your standard plain variety, Key Lime Pie M&M’s have an appetizing scent, a mixture of sweet cream and citrus that somehow manages not to smell like hand lotion or furniture polish.

Key Lime Pie M M s Colors

The shell colors include shades of Kelly and pastel green to represent Key limes and pie filling, as well as off-white/eggshell to evoke whipped cream or a lightly-baked pie crust. The color combination is appealing, not only because it looks like components of Key lime pie, but because the colors match the outfit Ms. Green is wearing on the wrapper, which I think she would appreciate.

The white chocolate’s taste captures the essence of a lime pie filling, where sweet creamy or whipped filling is combined with a lime element. While Key lime pie purists might describe the creaminess as uncharacteristic of a Key lime’s sharp acid, the resulting balance in the M&M is really delightful.

Key Lime Pie M M s Innards

The white chocolate tastes mellow and un-cloying in its sweetness while the lime is refreshing and not too tart. (I don’t know that I’ve ever described white chocolate as refreshing before, so definitely take that as a sign of an interesting bite!) As I ate more, the lime flavor seemed to grow stronger, as did a pleasantly zesty aftertaste.

Of course, your mouth will not pucker from eating these M&M’s as it would a sour candy. On a 10-point scale of sourness with 1 being, say, a plain, humble noodle and 10 being a straight-up lemon wedge, these hover around 3 or 4. Anyone who loves that pucker a sharp lime curd or limeade brings may be disappointed, but I think the balance is really successful in terms of highlighting both the lime and white chocolate flavors.

Absent from the M&M’s is a pie crust flavor, which I am honestly okay with. A graham center, or even a standard crispy one, would have been fun way to add some texture, but the quality of the M&M does not suffer without one.

Although I have never won a blue ribbon in my county fair’s pie contest (I will one day — watch out, Mrs. Johnson!), I know that over-zesting citrus can lead to a bitter pith. Luckily the flavor of Key Lime Pie M&M’s didn’t leave me much to be bitter about. I’m sure I’ll be buying them again well into spring.

Purchased Price: $2.19
Size: 2.47 oz. Share Size bag
Purchased at: Sheetz
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 35g or 1/2 pack) 170 calories, 9 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 23 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Reese’s Mallow-top Peanut Butter Cups

Reese s Mallow top Peanut Butter Cups Bag

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.)

Reese s Mallow top Peanut Butter Cups Layer

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.

Reese s Mallow top Peanut Butter Cups Innards

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.

Reese s Mallow top Peanut Butter Cups Individual

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.

REVIEW: Snickers Crisp Black Rice Wafer and Snickers Crisp Purple Sweet Potato Wafer

Snickers Wafer Wrappers 1

What is Snickers Crisp Black Rice Wafer and Snickers Crisp Purple Sweet Potato Wafer?

Snickers recently released the least Snickers-y Snickers ever. It’s a 6-layer wafer bar! It’s from China!

Ground floor – crispy wafer.

Second floor – black rice or purple sweet potato flavored creme filling.

Third floor – wafer.

Fourth floor – caramel peanut creme filling.

Fifth floor – wafer.

Sixth floor – chocolate coating!

Snickers Wafer Layers 2

There hasn’t been a wafer cookie Snickers yet, nor anything with this many layers before. The flavors may seem odd to the American eye, but purple sweet potato is a common dessert ingredient across Asia and black rice is often used in sweet breakfasts and desserts in Thailand and Indonesia. I couldn’t find any info about why Snickers chose this format, these flavors, and why now.

Snickers Wafer Interior 3

How are they?

These tasted like the flavors of a Snickers dialed down, with the texture of a foam packing peanut. That sounds dire, but it’s not. Foods have gotten so cranked up with spicy/sour/sweet that it was nice to have a break and try something quiet.

Snickers Wafer Potato Fill 6

In the wrapper, these both had a strong peanut butter aroma. I tasted each layer individually at first. The wafers are exactly what you’d expect – bland, tasteless papery stuff. The caramel peanut layer was very peanutty, not very caramely, and not very sweet. There are crispy peanut bits in all the creme filling layers that give it a little crunch.

Both of the creme layers here were dry and crumbled when I tried to separate them. The purple sweet potato layer tasted earthy but not as intensely as matcha, for example. The black rice creme tasted like LITERALLY NOTHING.

Snickers Wafer Ricefill 5

The chocolate layer was where all the sugar and flavor action was. When I nibbled a piece of it alone, it didn’t taste particularly sweet, but the bar as a whole was a 6-out-of-10 on the sugar scale. I knew the other layers weren’t bringing anything to that table, so it HAD to be the chocolate. It also had an undefinable fruity tang to it. So mysterious.

Anything else you need to know?

Loving the packaging here – the pastel pink and purple is such a nice change from Snickers’ usual primary colors and earth tones.

Conclusion:

Overall, a nice but subdued wafer bar with a hint of fruit. If you like fresh-pressed, natural peanut butter, you will love these. If you’re a resident of Guy Fieri’s Flavortown, give these a pass. If you’re living in Flavortown but need to take a zen vacation for a few minutes, they might be worth the gamble.

Purchased Price: $42.99 + free shipping (24 bars, 12 of each flavor)
Size: 31 g bar
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (approx 1 bar) Snickers Crisp Purple Sweet Potato Wafer – 174 calories, 11 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 43 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of protein. Snickers Crisp Black Rice Wafer: – 174 calories, 11 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of protein.