REVIEW: Hershey’s Vampire Kisses

Hershey s Vampire Kisses Bag

What are Hershey’s Vampire Kisses

Just in time for the Halloween season, Hershey’s has introduced Vampire Kisses, a variation of its classic milk chocolate candy. Along with the chocolate, it’s filled with strawberry-flavored crème.

How are they?

Hershey s Vampire Kisses Chocolate

The milk chocolate shell is the same tangy butyric acid-infused Hershey’s chocolate to which American consumers are accustomed. I’ve recently heard the flavor described as “yogurty,” which is all I can think of when tasting it now.

Hershey s Vampire Kisses Filling

According to the package, the filling is a strawberry-flavored crème, but there’s a lack of distinct strawberry flavor in it. It’s better described as generically fruity and without creaminess either.

Though, in a bit of flavor serendipity, the combination of acidic chocolate and fruity filling combine to remind me of the berries and Greek yogurt parfait I had for breakfast. I doubt that’s intentional.

Anything else you need to know?

The fanged Kisses depicted on the packing suggest that the candies themselves have been turned to undead creatures of the night. That’s ridiculous, of course. Instead, I propose that these are candies meant for vampires. Here’s how I think some famous blood-suckers would consume a Vampire Kiss.

Count Orlok – This rodent-looking guy nibbles the top off, then attempts to suck the strawberry filling out. Unfortunately for Orlok, I can confirm that the filling is much too viscous to be consumed in this way.

Vlad “The Impaler” Dracula – Individually, with a toothpick. It can be done, but the candy shell is liable to crack unless it’s well-chilled, and no self-respecting vampire is going to devour a victim that’s gone cold.

Louis de Pointe du Lac (A.K.A. Brad Pitt in Interview with a Vampire) – After monologuing about the dark-as-night chocolate and filling sweet as the crimson sun at dawn that shall never again greet him, Louie quickly tires of them, lamenting that each Kiss is dust to his undead palate.

The Count – This denizen of Sesame Street knows that these are 55 individual Kisses in his bag. Being a nobleman with an appreciation for aesthetics, he doesn’t eat any since 55 is such a pleasing number.

Edward Cullen – Edward’s fervor for Hershey’s Kisses is unparalleled, but he knows that to succumb to temptation inevitably leads to their destruction. He keeps a bag in the back of the cupboard, knowing it’s only a matter of time before he gives in.

Angel/Angelus – Angel, the beau of Buffy, the vampire slayer, would never risk a Kiss. Kisses lead to more intimate encounters, which lead to the one moment of perfect happiness that would rip his soul away, turning him to the evil Angelus. Angelus is a total chocoholic, so he eats the entire bag.

Conclusion:

In fiction, a kiss from a vampire (that is, being bitten) has one of two consequences. Either you’re turned superhuman being beyond human reckoning, or you’re a left a lifeless husk drained of all vitality. There’s not much in-between, which is why these candies falling into mediocrity is so disappointing.

Purchased Price: $3.59
Size: 9 oz bag (255g)
Purchased at: Piggly Wiggly
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (6 pieces) 120 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 20 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 16 grams of sugar including 13 grams of added sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Chocolatey PayDay Bar

Chocolatey PayDay Bar Wrapper

What is the Chocolatey PayDay Bar?

One of the simplest candy bars gets a new(ish) makeover. PayDay’s signature salted peanuts and caramel get dunked in chocolate for a new bar that looks awfully familiar.

How is it?

Chocolatey PayDay Bar

Unwrapped, you could have fooled me into believing it’s a Baby Ruth, a candy bar I think very fondly of that doesn’t get enough love. In a world full of Snickers and Nutrageous, there’s only so much room for the chocolate-peanut combo, but PayDay isn’t afraid, and its take is quite good.

Chocolatey PayDay Bar Interior

What makes this bar different from the one it looks identical to is the absence of nougat. While PayDay’s signature core is certainly nougat-adjacent, it isn’t quite as sweet. It’s a bit richer with a roasty caramel flavor coming through. The chocolate is typical Hershey’s quality, which is totally serviceable (“chocolatey”), but what allows this bar to stand out is its saltiness.

While not overwhelmingly salty, the savory and sweet balance is much better than your average super sweet wrapped confection. I really like the way the salt activates the chocolate and complements the fatty nuts.

Anything else you need to know?

I’ve always enjoyed the original PayDay but found it to be a bit one noted after a couple of bites despite its fun soft yet crunchy texture. The chocolate coating takes care of that problem and makes it more of a classic sugary experience.

Conclusion:

While this new(ish) treat certainly isn’t reinventing the wheel, it’s a combination of familiar and delicious flavors that any Snickers-lover will definitely enjoy.

Purchased Price: $1.47
Size: King Size (3.1 ounces)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/3 pack) 140 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Witch’s Brew Kit Kat

Witch s Brew Kit Kat Bag

What is Witch’s Brew Kit Kat?

Hershey’s has turned witch’s brew into its latest Kit Kat flavor. What does witch’s brew taste like? Well, it aligns perfectly with Halloween, witches, and the color green: marshmallow!

Wait…marshmallow??

How is it?

Witch s Brew Kit Kat Layers

As with the other limited edition Kit Kats, the flavor lies in the light-green-colored crème coating. The inside is standard Kit Kat fare.

Does Witch’s Brew taste different from standard Kit Kats with white crème? Yes!
Does it taste like a marshmallow? I guess so. It’s sweeter than white crème, but marshmallows are not known for their strong flavor.

Is it enjoyable? Yes!

Anything else you need to know?

Though the flavor has a dubious connection to our beloved October holiday, I adore the witch on the package! There was an old episode of Bewitched where Samantha and her aunts were furious that Darrin’s client wanted an ugly crone on his Halloween candy packaging.

Witch s Brew Kit Kat Cauldron

This Kit Kat witch might be green and warty, but she’s so adorable that Samantha would hopefully approve. Well done, Hershey’s design team!

Conclusion:

Marshmallow seems like a lazy and forgettable flavor for witch’s brew. I mean, is that really what you get when you mix the eye of newt and toe of frog? But even though trick-or-treaters might forget this Kit Kat once they have finished their Halloween haul, at least they’ll enjoy it while it’s around.

Purchased Price: $3.50
Size: 9.8 oz bag
Purchased at: Dollar General
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 packages) 140 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of sugar, 11 grams of added sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Chocolate Bar

Hershey s Cookies  N Chocolate Bar

What is Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Chocolate Bar?

I imagine that the Hershey’s product development team, having run the gamut by adding nuts, candies, pretzels, and even uh…air to its chocolate bars, must have turned to Xzibit in a moment of desperation for their latest offering.

After a period of intense thought, he came back to them and said, “Yo dawgs, I heard you like chocolate, so I put some chocolate in your chocolate, so you can eat some chocolate while you eat your chocolate!”

Presenting the Hershey’s Cookies “N’ Chocolate Bar.

How is it?

Hershey s Cookies  N Chocolate Bar Bricks

The familiar flavor of Hershey’s milk chocolate with its light, butyric acid tang is the dominant flavor here. The chocolate cookie inclusions are the same as with the cookies and crème bar, but without the creamy white chocolate to offer contrast they only add a bit of textural interest. They’re like the puffed rice in a Crunch Bar that way, though these are much heartier. Anyone who has eaten a Hershey’s chocolate bar (a.k.a. everyone) has tasted this before.

Hershey s Cookies  N Chocolate Bar Innards

Is there anything else you need to know?

The Xzibit meme is more than ten years old, which is so long in Internet years that one almost expects to find it written on a clay cuneiform tablet. The fact that I remember it tells you that I’m old, and so I claim the privilege of being a crotchety old man to say: People eat chocolate wrong! And it’s because of bars like this!

Chocolate is best enjoyed by allowing it to luxuriously melt in your mouth. You know, like the famous old person candy Werther’s Original. If you do that with Hershey’s Cookies’ N’ Chocolate Bar, you end up with a mouth full of soggy cookie bits. And so people are taught to munch down on their chocolate, and the world spins further off into chaos.

Conclusion:

There’s nothing to particularly recommend about this candy bar. The cookie bits add texture, which some youngsters may like, but do nothing to heighten its flavor.

Purchased Price: $1.48
Size: 2.5 oz./70 grams (King Size)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (35 grams) 170 calories, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 18 grams of sugar including 16 grams added sugar, and 3 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Chips Ahoy Made with Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and Reese’s Pieces

Chips Ahoy Made with Hershey s Milk Chocolate and Reese s Pieces

If candy had big egos, how would Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and Reese’s Pieces would feel about Chips Ahoy Made with Hershey’s Milk Chocolate also containing semisweet chocolate chips and Chips Ahoy Made with Reese’s Pieces also containing peanut buttery chips?

I imagine Hershey’s Milk Chocolate would be like, “I am THE Great American Chocolate Bar, and I’m not going to share cookie space with something that has semi- in its name.”

And I think Reese’s Pieces would say something like, “I’m not only beloved on this planet, but extraterrestrials also love me. So I don’t want peanut buttery chips around me to taint my galactic flavor.”

Because cookies can’t express themselves, I’ll do it on their behalf. I wish the chips were left out, and they were baked with only the Hershey products. But, even though that’s not the case, these are some tasty treats.

Original Chips Ahoy have a unique flavor, and obviously, the addition of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate changes that. But are these an improvement over the original?

Chips Ahoy Made with Hershey s Milk Chocolate

They are, but it’s a slight enhancement. I do appreciate there are chunks of the Hershey’s chocolate that dwarf the semisweet chips. The milk chocolate makes the cookie taste a bit sweeter than the original and brings a different texture that’s noticeably softer and melts easier than the darker chips.

But just like Original Chips Ahoy have a unique flavor, so does Hershey’s chocolate, and it was hard for my taste buds to detect it while eating the cookie. That’s not a bad thing, just something I noticed. Also, these seem crispier than regular Chips Ahoy and the Reese’s Pieces version.

Chips Ahoy Made with Reese s Pieces

Speaking of those, if you think about it, seeing Reese’s Pieces in cookies was something we’d eventually see because, let’s be honest, Reese’s has stuffed the peanut buttery candy buttons into everything else the brand offers, so it was time to expand out a little.

Those bites with a Reese’s Pieces had the flavor of the candy and an extra crunch from the shell. But because they’re not equally distributed throughout the cookie (something that’s also the case with the Hershey’s one), there were many bites with only the peanut buttery chips. Those tasted like a typical peanut butter cookie, but lighter in flavor. But despite those issues, I really enjoy these.

If I have a craving for inexpensive mass-produced cookies and these two are still on shelves next to Original Chips Ahoy, I’d choose either one over the classic. But, between the two new products, I’d give a slight edge to the Reese’s Pieces, but that’s because of my bias as an extraterrestrial.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free samples. Doing so did not influence my review in any way.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 9.5 oz.
Purchased at: Received from Nabisco
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Hershey’s), 7 out of 10 (Reese’s)
Nutrition Facts: (2 cookies) Hershey’s – 160 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 9 grams of added sugars, and 1 gram of protein. Reese’s Pieces – 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 8 grams of added sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Pretzel Bites, Cookies ‘N’ Crème Cookie Bites, and Milk Chocolate Cookie Bites

Hershey s Bites 1

What are Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Pretzel Bites, Cookies’ N’ Crème Cookie Bites, and Milk Chocolate Cookie Bites?

Hershey’s latest innovations are a group of familiar flavors in tiny ball format. Why? Because you just vacuumed up the last batch of small, round snacks that rolled into the deep recesses of your home in 2019.

There are two varieties of cookie bites – one vanilla cookie with milk chocolate coating, one chocolate cookie with white crème coating – and pretzel bites with a milk chocolate coating.

How are they?

I really wanted to try these because I am both a choco-pretzel fiend and a cookies & cream fanatic of the highest order. I was less interested in the vanilla cookie/chocolate combo.

Hershey s Bites 2

First thing, I was surprised at the size of them. I saw that the main photo on the package was enlarged, but I figured they’d be Whoppers-sized, like the rest of the images on the bag. Nope – teensy. The cookie bites were 1/2″ wide and the pretzel bites slightly larger. The bag was only half-full. Disappointing, but not a deal-breaker.

Hershey s Bites 3

The chocolate and white crème coatings were exactly what I’d expect from Hershey’s – delicious, but in this case, not ground-breaking. The texture was good – crunchy, but not too hard. I wished the pretzel balls were a tad saltier, though (if I’m doing sweet/salty, I’m going hard). I prefer Pretzel M&M’s to these.

Funny enough, the Milk Chocolate Cookie Bites – that I didn’t care much about at first – were the standouts here. Maybe because the vanilla cookie/chocolate coating combo isn’t as popular right now, so it’s not a well-worn flavor. When I bit into them, they tasted exactly like those not-Oreo vanilla cookies that I ate in my youth. It felt surprisingly nostalgic.

Hershey s Bites 4

I think there’s something of interest in the Milk Chocolate Cookie Bites because of the generally neglected vanilla cookie flavor profile, and would buy them again. The other two, however, seem like duplicates of existing products, just in a smaller, slightly different shape that I don’t think anyone was clamoring for. Maybe they should’ve marketed them as a mix of all three bites in one bag – like a flavor roulette – which one will you get?

Hershey s Bites 5

Is there anything else you need to know?

These things are HIGHLY mobile and slippery. I dropped at least five that I had to hunt for after they promptly rolled away.

Conclusion:

If you’re looking for something new, try the Milk Chocolate Cookies Bites. If you’re looking for solid, good old-fashioned Hershey flavor, try any of them. I’m not completely sure why they exist, but here they are!

Purchased Price: 3 for $12 (on sale)
Size: 7.5 oz. bags
Purchased at: Hershey’s Chocolate World
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Pretzel Bites), 7 out of 10 (Cookies ‘N’ Creme Bites), 8 out of 10 (Chocolate Cookie Bites)
Nutrition Facts:Milk Chocolate Pretzel Bites: (30g – 17 pieces) 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of total sugars, 12 grams of added sugar and 2 grams of protein. Cookies ‘N’ Crème Cookie Bites: (30g – 21 pieces) 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 13 grams of total sugars, 11 grams of added sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Milk Chocolate Cookie Bites: (30g – 26 pieces) 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 14 grams of total sugars, 13 grams of added sugar, and 2 grams of protein.