REVIEW: Caramel Cold Brew M&M’s

Can you ever have too much coffee and chocolate? M&M’s doesn’t think so, and the brand rarely steers me wrong. I recently reviewed and loved Espresso M&M’s, so another coffee-flavored variety came as a welcome surprise to this candy fiend. This time, the flavor inspiration is Caramel Cold Brew, represented in the milk chocolate M&M’s through coffee flavor and a chewy caramel center.

(For coffee novices, cold brew is made by steeping coarse ground coffee beans in cool water for long periods of time. The resulting concentrate is diluted with water or milk and can be served cool or hot with various flavorings. For coffee aficionados, the ingredients list includes natural and artificial flavoring, so I can’t speak to what extent the cold brewing process was honored during the production of these M&M’s. Rage as you must.)

Even though caramel filling is not new to M&M’s, I was surprised to find the chewy center rather than a caramel-flavored chocolate core. I do not think of texture when I think of cold brew. If you are chewing your cold brew, you might want to double check the expiration date of the milk you added to it.

Luckily, chewy caramel centers are delicious, so I couldn’t hold the choice against the M&M’s. Also, the caramel appears to be doing double duty here by holding the coffee flavor. The milk chocolate tastes like the standard chocolate component of a Plain or Peanut M&M, while the caramel has a robust, bitter-edged coffee flavor. I determined this after several rounds of carefully nibbling the chocolate off one M&M, then tasting its center separately. This process made me look like a hamster cracking apart a sunflower seed with its wee teeth, but that’s showbiz, baby.

However you eat Caramel Cold Brew M&M’s, the experience is interesting. There is an initial strong burst of coffee flavor that pairs beautifully with the chocolate and caramel. As you work the caramel center, the coffee taste fades, and the buttery glory of the caramel takes over, retaining a hint of coffee flavor. If you asked me to guess, I would have wondered if the world had been granted Kettle Corn M&M’s. The hint of coffee deeply flavors the caramel and gives it a brown butter or toffee vibe that lasts for most of the eating experience. The caramel paradoxically provides and dilutes the coffee flavor, but I guess I’d rather have my coffee diluted by caramel than by an ice cube that could sink the Titanic.

That initial coffee burst, though, removes all doubt of the product’s intention. The coffee aftertaste is also really strong, as though I spent all day drowning my sorrows in my favorite cafe, which I’m not scheduled to do until later in the week.

Like Caramel M&M’s, these candies are on the larger side and come in a rainbow of colors (no coffee-colored shells here). If you love that product, the enhanced flavor of Caramel Cold Brew M&M’s will pep you up come snack time or coffee break.

Purchased Price: $4.69
Size: 9.05 oz (256.6 g) stand up pouch
Purchased at:
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 1 oz serving, or about 11 candies) 130 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Twix Cookie Dough Ice Cream

“My goodness, the cookies are crunchy!”

Those were the first words to pop into my head after tasting a spoonful of Twix Cookie Dough Ice Cream. It wasn’t, “Dear Lord, the caramel swirl is so gooey!” Or, “Hot skippity damn, the cookie dough bites are so cookie dough-y!” Or, “Oh my, the vanilla flavored reduced fat ice cream with artificial flavor added is so creamy!” The Twix caramel cookie bar pieces shouldn’t be the most memorable components of this new ice cream from Mars, but they are to me, and that’s probably not a good thing.

However, I do have to say they’re crunchier than the actual cookie in a Twix bar. Granted, I did get this pretty much straight from the factory, thanks to Mars. Also, while they’re chocolate-coated and apparently have caramel, I didn’t taste either. Maybe their crunch might be distracting me from noticing.

Despite the caramel swirl and the crunch from the Twix cookie pieces, I couldn’t shake the thought that this tasted like a typical chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. The cookie dough bites have the same flavor and soft, gritty texture as they do from other brands. But while they’re somewhat plentiful, their size isn’t impressive compared to the gobs in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

“Vanilla flavored reduced fat ice cream with artificial flavor added” isn’t the most tantalizing string of words, but the sweet and creamy vanilla base does the job of allowing the cookie dough flavor to come through whenever your spoon scoops one up.

Twix Cookie Dough Ice Cream is adequate, and I happily ate the entire pint to satisfy my sweet tooth. But I wish this had chopped Twix Cookie Dough Bar pieces with the cookie dough bites. That might’ve helped make this pint a bit more memorable.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free product sample from Mars. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 16 fl oz
Purchased at: Received from Mars
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 220 calories, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 27 grams of sugar (includes 17 grams added sugar), and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: White Chocolate Marshmallow Crispy Treat M&M’s

I found White Chocolate Marshmallow Crispy Treat M&M’s at Sheetz on the first day I bothered to leave my home post-holiday and post-blizzard. Nestled on the shelf between springtime staples Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs and Cadbury Creme Eggs, these new M&M’s consist of marshmallow-flavored white chocolate and a crisped rice center.

Although Mars previously released White Chocolate Marshmallow M&M’s in 2019, I was intrigued by the product and wondered: “Could White Chocolate Marshmallow Crispy Treat M&M’s be the perfect springtime treat?” If spring is the season of rebirth and renewal, fruit and floral flavors should step aside. Marshmallows deserve the springtime crown. After all, crispy cereal treats promise a second life to those stale marshmallows that never made it into your cocoa mug this winter. Still very much in the depths of winter, I look forward to renewing my pantry long before the first day of spring arrives.

Eager to test my theory and the product, I bought a Share Size package and was struck by the candy’s beautiful pastel color palette of yellow, blue, coral, and pink. Generally small and pebble-like, these M&M’s are smaller than the standard plain variety, comparable in size to the recent Milk Chocolate Honey Graham flavor. However, these M&M’s vary widely in size and shape. This variance, coupled with the candy’s lovely colors, reminds me of colorful aquarium gravel (aka “Forbidden Fruity Pebbles”) in the best possible way.

The small bites proved to be a great choice because the crispy center core added satisfying texture and balance to the white chocolate’s sweetness. The texture definitely enhances the candy and is a perfect representation of a crispy cereal treat. Even though the texture suggests crispy cereal treat so strongly, the marshmallow flavor underwhelms. It’s subtle and hard to recreate. This attempt reminds me of marshmallow fondant: sugary with a hint of artificial vanilla. The taste is definitely not bad, as evidenced by how easily I downed half a bag. The flavor just reminds me more of “white chocolate with a memory of marshmallow” than actual marshmallow.

This next detail didn’t factor into my rating, but I felt the need to share. Because the candies are irregularly-shaped, some of the M’s do not appear fully on every shell. At first, I thought the partial M’s were intended as other letters, spelling out a spring-themed message. For someone who loves words, I am terrible at Scrabble, especially when the only letters at my disposal are M, N, U, and I. (Plus that sideways M that looks like an E.) U MINE? Yikes.

Overall, the crispy texture of White Chocolate Marshmallow Crispy M&M’s offers an improvement upon the 2019 White Chocolate Marshmallow variety. I liked them less than other white chocolate offerings, especially the Key Lime Pie flavor. Maybe fruit flavors should keep the springtime flavor crown, but marshmallow should be assured that there is no shame in second place.

Purchased Price: $2.89
Size: 3.22 oz (91.3 g) – Share Size
Purchased at: Sheetz
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 1 serving, or 1/3 Share Size package) 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Milky Way Cookie Dough Bar

What is it?

The Milky Way Cookie Dough bar consists of caramel and cookie dough-flavored nougat enrobed in milk chocolate. Look for its pink metallic wrapper beckoning to you from the candy aisle.

How is it?

The weight of my expectations fell on this Milky Way’s nougat, which is responsible for the bar’s cookie dough flavor. Cross-sectioned, the bar doesn’t look very different from a classic Milky Way. The nougat is a couple of shades darker, but it still has the fluffy texture one would expect from the brand. I thought I might find tiny chocolate chips flecked in the nougat to drive home the cookie dough theme, but no dice.

It takes a few chews for the cookie dough flavor to come through, and once it does, it is lovely. The nougat tastes buttery with hints of vanilla, a combination that definitely recalls cookie dough. Some textural element — those missing chips or a chewier nougat, maybe — could have reinforced that sensation of plucking gobs of cookie dough from the mixing bowl. But Milky Ways are all about their smooth centers, so I understand and respect the choice not to deviate too far from what is already a great thing.

Combined with the milk chocolate and caramel, this variety of Milky Way is a tempting addition to the candy aisle. I would choose Milky Way Cookie Dough over the classic Milky Way, but probably not over Milky Way Midnight (a criminally underrated bar).

Anything else you need to know?

Because one cookie is never enough, Twix has also recently released a Cookie Dough variety. Now you’ll have two metallic pink wrappers beckoning to you from the candy aisle.


As any cookie dough recipe might attest, minor substitutions can yield positive changes. The Milky Way Cookie Dough bar’s flavorful nougat is simple, but it creates a delicious twist on a classic.

Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 3.16 oz (89.6 g) – Share Size
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 1 serving, or 1/2 Share Size package) 210 calories, 8 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 28 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Espresso M&M’s

Espresso M M s Bag

Although I’m not a big coffee drinker, I love coffee-flavored sweets. They give me the hit of the distinctive flavor I love, often with added sweetness and texture. Nor will a slice of tiramisu or a scoop of coffee ice cream force me to endure a case of the jitters or that pesky co-worker asking me, “Would you like some coffee with your milk and sugar?” for the 1,208th time. The joke wasn’t funny the first time, Brenda.

Espresso M M s Mug

New seasonal Espresso M&M’s, then, very much appeal to my caffeine-conscious ways. I picked up a bag from the holiday display at CVS, and two things surprised me. First, upon opening the bag, I did not detect a strong coffee scent. The large brown, beige, and red candies smelled like a bag of semisweet chocolate chips, not the natural flavors promised to me by the package’s list of ingredients. How could the M&M’s remind me of sipping a hot beverage in a cozy cafe without the powerful scent of roasted coffee beans? Second, I had expected the M&M’s to consist solely of dark chocolate, which lends itself well to espresso’s concentrated flavor. Instead, they contain both milk and dark chocolate.

Espresso M M s Innards

Luckily, there was a third surprise in store: the first two surprises turned out to be nothing to worry about. The M&M’s have a strong, concentrated flavor that tastes like a shot of espresso but still honors the candy’s chocolate identity. The milk chocolate center of each M&M offers sweetness, but the surrounding dark chocolate gives a satisfying bitter edge. Together, the combination is delicious.

The flavor of Espresso M&M’s reminds me of chocolate-covered espresso beans, another treat that turns coffee into intensely flavorful candy. Although I like the taste, I just can’t get past the gritty texture of the beans and their tendency to haunt my gum line with black specks. The Espresso M&M’s smooth chocolate center was a welcome departure from that texture, making them a good alternative to other coffee-inspired snacks. (No offense to the Coffee Nut Peanut or Crunchy Espresso varieties of yore.) Like a cup of espresso itself, the M&M’s allow a simple but strong flavor to shine unadulterated.

Espresso M M s Spill

I shared my M&M’s with a relative who, despite our familial sweet tooth, is the opposite of me in regards to java: she loves coffee and prefers hers as black as a panther collecting charcoal on a moonless night. However, she does not typically like coffee-flavored things. The fourth surprise of the Espresso M&M’s experience was hers: she really enjoyed them!

For lovers of coffee and chocolate of all varieties, Espresso M&M’s will be a hit this holiday season. I’ll take a double shot, please!

Purchased Price: $4.49
Size: 7.44 oz (210.9 g) bag
Purchased at: CVS
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 1 ounce/about 16 pieces) 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 10 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.