REVIEW: Hershey’s Caramel Whipped Topping

Hershey s Caramel Dairy Whipped Topping

What is Hershey’s Caramel Whipped Topping?

Hershey’s Caramel Whipped Topping joins the Milk Chocolate and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup toppings as one more option to add a bit of pizzazz to your desserts.

How is it?

Is anyone else amazed by canned whipped cream? It takes at least five minutes to whip actual cream with my KitchenAid mixer, but this stuff explodes from the can fully formed in a split second. It’s like magic. I mean, I could certainly do a few minutes of internet research and learn the science behind it, but I’d rather assume dark magicks with some wizard opening a portal to a pocket universe of pre-whipped cream, no doubt.

Hershey s Caramel Dairy Whipped Topping 2

The name of the game for whipped cream is to complement a dessert without dominating it. A bit of sweetness and maybe a hint of vanilla is all it usually takes. Alone, this topping has the creamy sweetness one expects, with enough caramel flavor to make it interesting. The flavor is closer to butterscotch, with the characteristic sharp bite. (As a kid, I thought scotch would taste like butterscotch and was sorely disappointed when I finally tried it. I became less disappointed with time.) Despite the butterscotch flavor being stronger than expected, I don’t think it will overwhelm your treats.

Is there anything else you need to know?

I suspect a sizable portion of canned whipped topping never really tops anything unless dispensing directly on one’s tongue counts. Yet, Hershey’s prominently displays its whipped cream atop a brownie and coffee on the product’s can, so I doubt “spray directly into your mouth” is a serving suggestion. It appears Hershey’s expects this to be artfully swirled on a double-layered fudge brownie with a gooey caramel layer and an expertly crafted coffee beverage. I have some lukewarm gas station coffee and a half-eaten M&M’s brownie.

Hershey s Caramel Dairy Whipped Topping 3

The tepid coffee was still warm enough to slowly melt the cream, which lent a bit of needed creaminess to the otherwise mediocre coffee. If you’re looking to add something special to your morning cup, this is a good option. The brownie, on the other hand, didn’t benefit from the addition. Prepackaged brownies often have a chemical-like aftertaste, and the butterscotch flavor of the whipped cream only accentuated that. I have no doubt this whipped cream would be great on a better brownie, but it does nothing to elevate a bad one.

Conclusion:

Hershey’s Caramel Whipped Topping makes a great addition to your dessert. It adds a hint of caramel flavor without losing the creamy goodness one looks for in whipped cream.

Purchased Price: $4.39
Size: 7 oz. can
Purchased at: Festival Foods
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 2 Tbsp): 10 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 5 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Fillows Creme Filled Cereal (Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme and Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll)

General Mills Fillows Hershey s Cookies  n Creme Cereal

Can I say that of all the cereal types here-to-now discovered by humanity, stuff-filled cereals by far have the most potential? Yes, I know corn loops, toasted oat rings, whole wheat squares, and (maybe) even sweet seasoned crisped rice all have roles to play in a complete breakfast, but the flavor-stuffed cavities of cereals like Kellogg’s Krave are structurally in another dimension.

Think of them as the chocolate eclairs of the cereal world. Don’t like eclairs? Fine, a creme-filled donut. And thanks to General Mills’ new Fillows cereal, we now have a competitor to Kellogg’s Krave.

Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme

General Mills Fillows Hershey s Cookies  n Creme Cereal Wading in Milk

Call me an overly visual taster, but the appearance of chocolate squares with the promise of a creme filling inside made me expect the taste of Oreo cookies. However, I was massively disappointed when, on the first bite, the cloying taste of nothing but vanilla and sugar assaulted my taste buds. With the oh-so-slightest hint of cocoa on the backend, each square felt like a façade, as if I’d been served a veggie burger instead of a bleeding disc of cow. This marked the high point of my cereal disillusionment for the day.

To be fair, Hershey’s do not make Oreo cookies; they make Cookies ‘n’ Crème candy bars. And with that as a baseline, I tried the cereal again and appreciated it more for its unabashed vanilla sweetness. Still, there are some off flavors going on — notably, an artificial marshmallow taste that really seems to come out in milk. They don’t help the cereal stay true to either cookies ‘n’ creme the bar or the flavor.

General Mills Fillows Hershey s Cookies  n Creme Cereal Spoon

That, to be honest, might be part of the problem. Cookies ‘n’ Creme Fillows are too sweet to be enjoyed with milk, and probably on the verge of being too sweet for most people as a snack (full disclosure: I’m not like most people). But at least when eaten dry the cocoa becomes a little more rounded, with a mild but enjoyable Cocoa Puffs flavor. It’s lost in milk, though, which makes the cereal a slight disappointment.

Purchased Price: $3.64
Size: 22 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (3/4 cup) 230 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll

General Mills Fillows Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll Cereal

The legacy of bakery-inspired cereals is a mixed bag. While there are some great ones — such as Kellogg’s bygone Cinnabon cereal — more often than not even the good ones don’t really taste like donuts or french toast or cinnamon rolls.

Let me be real with y’all: Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll Fillows legitimately tastes like a cinnamon roll. What’s more, they might even be better than an actual Pillsbury cinnamon roll.

General Mills Fillows Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll Cereal Wading in Milk

Like the Cookies ‘n’ Creme Fillows, these are overwhelmingly sweet at 19 grams of sugar per 52 grams of cereal. However, the sweetness feels like a match with the concentrated cinnamon flavor. Even eaten dry, there’s a certain richness in each square, mimicking the gooey buttery interior of a cinnamon roll. This flavor heightened in milk, where the squares take on an indulgent churros appeal.

General Mills Fillows Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll Cereal Spoon

Granted, when you review cereal you learn to write a lot of vague crap, but let me state this unequivocally: This is the best Cinnamon Roll cereal I’ve had in 30 years of eating processed sugar for breakfast. Buy this.

Purchased Price: $3.64
Size: 22 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (3/4 cup) 230 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Overall, it’s good to see General Mills partner with Hershey’s and Pillsbury to join the filled cereal market. While the Cookies ‘n’ Creme flavor doesn’t seem to work in a cereal, they’ve definitely found a winner with the Pillsbury Doughboy. Let’s hope it sticks around.

REVIEW: Hershey’s Lava Cake Kisses

Hershey s Lava Cake Kisses

Money can’t buy love, but it can buy a bag of kisses.

Such thoughts echoed through my mind as I stood in the checkout line, suddenly realizing that purchasing Valentine’s candy for myself is only one level less sad than making dinner reservations for a party of one.

Hershey s Lava Cake Kisses 2

Featuring a molten core surrounded by a shell of rich dark chocolate, Hershey’s Lava Cake Kisses are the newest holiday-themed addition to the famous family of tear-drop shaped candies. Cascading from the bag, veiled in adorable heart-stamped foil, these chocolates seem to be a reminder to all the all the single ladies (and gentlemen, I suppose) that Hershey’s is always able to provide comfort on long and lonely nights.

Out of the foil, each Kiss seems unassuming when compared to one of its milk chocolate cousins, with a slightly darker hue being the only hint pointing towards these being anything out of the ordinary. Unassuming looks aside, these are a fun riff on a classic treat.

Hershey s Lava Cake Kisses 4

While not super-dark, the chocolate is noticeably more mature than Hershey’s usual offerings and works well for building the shell of each candy. Even so, the filling of each confection completes the experience.

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As advertised, it’s gooey, chocolatey, and makes these otherwise unoriginal goodies into a unique and delicious treat that tastes similar to their decadent inspiration.

If eating a couple of Lava Cake Kisses leaves you craving the traditional dessert, Hershey’s has you covered, being thoughtful enough to print a recipe for homemade ones on the back of each bag.

Hershey s Lava Cake Kisses 5

Hershey s Lava Cake Kisses 6

As a novice home-baker, I decided to give the recipe a whirl, and the resulting cake/brownie hybrids were even better than the chocolates used to make them! All of them turned out dense, fudgy, and perfectly molten in the middle, thanks to impaling three Kisses into each ramekin of cake batter before baking. Considering how easy they were to make, I could ultimately see baking a batch of them as a fun at-home date idea, or something to do on a rainy day.

Even if I spend this Valentine’s Day watching TV by myself, I wouldn’t mind using these Kisses to drown out my single person’s sorrows. I hope Hershey’s decides to make this a regular seasonal flavor because it’ll be disappointing if I don’t come across it next year.

Purchased Price: $2.98
Size: 9 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (6 kisses) 120 calories, 7 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 14 grams of total sugars, 14 grams of added sugars, and 1 gram of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Hershey’s Milk Chocolate & Reese’s Pieces Bar

Hershey s Milk Chocolate  Reese s Pieces Bar

What is the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate & Reese’s Pieces Bar?

The love child of a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar and Reese’s Pieces, or as the Hershey’s marketing folks put it “the ultimate celebration of the top two iconic chocolate franchises that will melt your heart to pieces for a once-in-a-lifetime epic treat.”

How is it?

Hershey s Milk Chocolate  Reese s Pieces Bar 2

Based on the aforementioned tagline, I was fully prepared for a life-changing, out-of-body experience that I would eventually tell my grandchildren about. Sadly, the little yet-to-be-born rascals will instead have to listen to other stories, like the time I saw The Rock at the airport. But despite not quite living up to the WWE-style marketing hype, this is a tasty treat.

Hershey s Milk Chocolate  Reese s Pieces Bar 3

The Reese’s Pieces stand out nicely from the milk chocolate and provide a solid crunch that is obviously absent from a plain chocolate bar. The candy also adds a light peanut butter flavor that complements the creamy chocolate perfectly without making you think you are just eating a flattened peanut butter cup.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Hershey s Milk Chocolate  Reese s Pieces Bar 4

If the photos don’t give it away, the Reese’s Pieces are actually minis. There is also a king size version of this, but I didn’t have any luck finding it. If that one has a thicker bar with full-size Pieces, it might offer a bit more crunchiness. Also, whoever designed the wrapper apparently doesn’t believe in equality in the candy world, because the Hershey’s part covers much more than half.

Conclusion:

At first glance, I figured this wouldn’t be much different than just chucking some Reese’s Pieces in my mouth along with a bite of a Hershey’s bar, but having the Pieces embedded in the chocolate takes this to the next level. It might not be an epic candy creation — like Reese’s Pieces were — but it’s a nice change of pace from the standard chocolate bar.

Purchased Price: $1.29
Size: 1.55 oz. bar
Purchased at: Walgreens
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bar) 220 calories, 12 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 66 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 25 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Hot Cocoa Hershey’s Kisses

Hot Cocoa Hershey's Kisses

What are Hot Cocoa Hershey’s Kisses?

Since real kisses are so hard to come by these days, I figured I’d continue my hot cocoa kick with Hot Cocoa Hershey’s Kisses that feature milk chocolate with marshmallow creme.

How is it?

Hot Cocoa Hershey's Kisses 2

I’m gonna start with a bit of a prediction – I think most people will enjoy these more than I do. That being said, I do like them. I just thought I’d love them.

The Kiss casing is standard Hershey’s fare – or “fair” depending on your thoughts of Hershey’s chocolate.

Hot Cocoa Hershey's Kisses 3

The marshmallow crème center is the star of the show, but like Hot Cocoa M&M’s, it doesn’t necessarily scream “marshmallow!”

The first taste of marshmallow that hits reminded me of a standard cereal marbit, but that quickly got lost in the chocolate.

I kept being reminded of a “brownie batter” flavor as I was eating them, but I’m confused as to why a regular Kiss and marshmallow flavored crème would give me that impression. Nevertheless, that’s what I kept tasting.

Is there anything else I need to know?

I dug the texture of these Kisses.

The crème is softer than usual and quickly melts in your mouth, almost giving you a hot cocoa marshmallow sensation. I’d say the texture is somewhere between the outer chocolate, and the type of marshmallow you’d get in a Russell Stover chocolate marshmallow Santa.

I still couldn’t get past that brownie batter taste. To borrow a poker term, these were a “little too rich for my blood.” I let three melt in my mouth and wanted to chug a bottle of water.

Conclusion:

Like I said, you’re gonna like these more than I did. Still, the center and the texture make Hot Cocoa Hershey’s Kisses worth picking up.

Actually, as I was eating these, I kept thinking of one thing – Hershey’s Hugs. These were kinda like inferior Hugs. Do Hugs still exist? I miss Hugs – both the candy and the warm embrace.

I’m very lonely.

Purchased Price: $3.33
Size: 10 oz. package
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (7 Kisses) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Hershey’s Popcorn

Hershey's Popcorn 1

Making caramel corn is a subtle art.

Compared to regular popcorn, it has a lot more elements that have to be executed well in order for the final product to be spectacular. There has to be enough of it to carry its flavor, but it can’t be so glopped on that the popcorn is in a cocoon of sugar.

The toppings have to complement the caramel, and they have to be evenly distributed to allow most of the pieces to get some drizzle. Don’t forget about the salt, either! There has to be enough of it to balance out the sweetness from everything else, but there also can’t be so much that the entire experience veers off towards the savory side.

Given that caramel corn has so many things going on at the same time, it’s easy to see why most seem to fall short in one aspect or another. Not one to back down from such a challenge, Hershey’s has decided to give us not one, but two new takes on this classic treat!

Hershey’s Popcorn Milk Chocolate

Hershey's Popcorn Milk Chocolate

With its Milk Chocolate variety, Hershey’s topped each cocoa-and-caramel-coated kernel with a drizzle of its signature milk chocolate. Everything about it, from the delicious cocoa aroma emanating from the caramel to the smooth drizzle, was all about showing off what Hershey’s is famous for.

In fact, it featured milk chocolate so much that the caramel got a little lost along the way. While the coating helped keep the popcorn fresh, its caramel flavor was difficult to notice among the chocolate elements.

Hershey’s Popcorn Sea Salt Caramel

Hershey's Popcorn Sea Salt Caramel

Surprisingly, the Sea Salt Caramel version shared this issue. In the absence of the milk chocolate drizzle featured in the other variety, the play between the cocoa and caramel in the coating here created a scent and taste that reminded me of a toasted marshmallow. Don’t get me wrong – this version is tasty, too – but its name is a bit of a misnomer.

The one thing about it that rings true is the “sea salt” part. It has a more noticeable salt level if you compare it with its Milk Chocolate brother. Even so, it never quite reaches the level of being too savory. Instead, I welcomed the extra saltiness to counter the whole toasted marshmallow-esque vibe going on.

Hershey's Popcorn

Did Hershey’s Popcorn rise to the sweet-and-salty challenge of caramel corn? All in all, I’d say it did well! I found both to be yummy and wouldn’t have a problem watching a movie with either flavor beside me. Now if theaters could sell this stuff!

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – Sea Salt Caramel – 120 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 17 grams of total sugars, 16 grams of added sugars, and 1 gram of protein. Milk Chocolate – 110 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of total sugars, 15 grams of added sugars, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.98 each
Size: 6 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Sea Salt Caramel)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Milk Chocolate)
Pros: Good balance between sugar and salt. Signature Hershey’s chocolate. Perfect snacking companion for movies!
Cons: Chocolate overpowered the caramel in both flavors. Sea Salt Caramel tasted more like a toasted marshmallow than it did like caramel. Not sold at the movies.