REVIEW: Peanut Brrr-ittle M&M’s

Peanut Brrr ittle M M s

While the weather on this packaging is frightful, Mars has launched a new seasonal M&M’s flavor that they hope you think is delightful.

Just in time for the holidays, Peanut Brrr-ittle M&M’s have popped up on Target shelves. To be honest, I wouldn’t have pegged peanut brittle as a holiday flavor, but my recent internet searches suggest that homemade peanut brittle makes a great Christmas gift. A terrible gift, but a gift nonetheless.

It’s also possible that Mars only chose Peanut Brrr-ittle for the punniness of the name. If that’s the case, I’m glad that Brrr-occoli or Brrr-ussel Sprouts didn’t make it past the testing phase.

Since these M&M’s are a Target exclusive, you’ll have to journey through the holiday labyrinth that is the Target Christmas section. If you can avoid the shattered ornaments on the ground, the unorganized stockings strewn about, and the incessant droning of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” from a chorus of battery operated gyrating conifers, you’ll land upon the Peanut Brrr-ittle M&M’s nestled between the other holiday varieties.

Peanut Brrr ittle M M s 2

Upon opening the bag, I was greeted by what looked like a traditional package of holiday Peanut M&M’s. I did a double take – had I picked up the wrong bag on the shelf? Had there been a horrible error on the M&M’s assembly line? Thankfully not – the smell of these M&M’s is very different from the traditional variety, a strong dark caramel scent that borders on artificiality.

Those same caramel notes come through in the taste, similar to what you’d find between the peanuts in a traditional brittle. While the basic peanut still sits in the center of each candy, the chocolate coating offers the aforementioned caramel flavors with hints of a more roasted flavor, similar to a hazelnut. I found the flavoring to be inconsistently applied across the M&M’s I sampled (read: most of the bag), as some tasted more heavily of the normal peanut interior, and some bordered on an overwhelmingly artificial caramel coffee creamer flavor.

Peanut Brrr ittle M M s 3

While I found these M&M’s to have a jarring taste at first, I warmed up to them over time as I got used to the nontraditional flavor. I will say that it’s difficult to eat more than a handful of these at each sitting, as the peanut brittle taste does get a little bit overpowering the more you munch.

Thankfully, the Peanut Brrr-ittle M&M’s feature a RESEALABLE ZIPPER! (their emphasis, not mine), so you can save a few to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve.

Overall, these M&Ms are a perfect way to get your peanut brittle fix without any of the danger of burning yourself with hot sugar on the stove.

(Nutrition Facts – 1.5 ounces – 220 calories, 12 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 20 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 22 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.19
Size: 8 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Caroling while eating. Roasted, caramel flavor. Oh so punny. RESEALABLE ZIPPER!
Cons: Stocking slalom on the way to the shelf. Overwhelming in large quantities.

REVIEW: Coffee Nut, Honey Nut, and Chili Nut M&M’s (M&M’s Flavor Vote)

Coffee Nut, Honey Nut, and Chili Nut M&M's (M&M's Flavor Vote)

Let’s get one thing straight: Peanut M&M’s are the best.

Well, technically, Peanut Butter M&M’s are the best, but the classic whole-roasted peanut M&M’s, represented by the overly optimistic, decidedly plump yellow guy, are right behind them.

Don’t agree? Sorry, you’re in the minority. Pretty much anyone with a computer and a sweet tooth will rank either Peanut Butter or Peanut M&M’s at the top of the M&M’s kingdom, which if you ask me is a not to be overlooked accomplishment given that Mars has mostly been focusing flavor additions more in the white chocolate and milk chocolate spectrum.

Well, Mr. Yellow Guy is finally getting the last laugh, because M&M’s has introduced three new Peanut flavors that America will get to choose from before the winner gets rushed into the regular M&M’s rotation. And by last laugh, I mean literally last. He is, after all, about to get eaten.

Coffee Nut M&M's 1

First up is the Coffee M&M’s. As anyone from Canada knows, coffee and candy just belong together (Dear Canadians: I live in Texas, please mail Coffee Crisp.) These are really awesome, and get my vote for the next Peanut flavor.

Coffee Nut M&M's 2

While I was hoping for an earthy, robust roasted coffee finish that gradually overtakes the sweetness (like you might get in a chocolate-covered expresso bean), I can’t complain about the mocha vibe that resonates as soon as the shell begins to dissolve, even if it is a mocha vibe with seven extra pumps of vanilla syrup and four Splendas. Come to think of it, these taste a lot like coffee Jelly Belly beans, except with a peanut. Frankly, that makes them all the better.  

Honey Nut M&M's

Moving right along, I imagine the idea for Honey Nut M&M’s came into being at the weekly golf outing of yellow anthropomorphic food spokespeople. Given the natural friendliness of both the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee and the Yellow M&M’s guy, this flavor combination was bound to happen. I was also bound to like the flavor given the fact that Honey Nut Chex is in my Top 10 cereals of ALL TIME, but unfortunately the M&M’s didn’t live up to expectations. The characteristic almond flavor of Honey Nut Cheerios is definitely present as soon as you get at the chocolate, but a weird and distracting artificial sweetness comes with it.

I was hoping, if nothing else, the peanut would have the salty and caramelized texture of a honey roasted peanut, but this wasn’t to be. Not that a whole peanut in a milk chocolate shell is that much of a disappointment, but Honey Nut M&M’s weren’t nearly as good as they should have been.

Chili Nut M&M's

Finally, Chili Nut M&M’s push M&M’s into new territory, namely the somewhat fading food trend of pairing chocolate with spicy food. These are interesting; they’re not fireballs by any mean, but there’s an initial cinnamon red hots flavor that enters your mouth as soon as the shell starts to dissolve. A tingling backheat resonates through the milk chocolate, and then really comes on strong once you crunch through the peanut. The last sensation you get is cayenne burn that lasts for a couple of seconds after you’ve finished. I know its tantamount to declaring the wuss card, but I’ll admit it: I needed to grab a glass of water after eating these. All in all, it’s an interesting combination if you’re a heat seeker, although more of a mild annoyance if you’re just a standard M&M’s eater.

Adding to the Peanut M&M’s lineup was long overdue, but I’d be lying if I said any of the new flavors catapulted to the top of the M&M’s flavor list. While Coffee Nut is a welcome addition, the other two flavors taste more like novelties than anything else. And even though I don’t think any of them take a lot away from the smooth milk chocolate and crunchy roasted peanut taste of our adorable yellow friend, I will say there’s something about the classic that’s just hard to improve on.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pack or 49 grams – 250 calories, 120 calories from fat, 14 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 25 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: 88 cents each
Size: 1.75 oz.
Purchased at: CVS
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Coffee Nut)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Honey Nut)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Chili Nut)
Pros: Coffee Nut flavor has lasting notes of coffee and vanilla. Familiar crunchy shell roasted peanut, and smooth milk chocolate of Peanut M&M’s. Yellow anthropomorphic food spokespeople golf outings.
Cons: None of the flavors beat the classic Peanut M&M’s. Not an overly robust coffee finish. Honey Nut flavor has cloying artificiality. No honey roasted peanut. Chili Nut M&M’s only brings heat, not additional flavor.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis

Limited Edition Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis

I don’t give out candy to children on Halloween.

Call me a Halloween Scrooge, a recluse, or someone who doesn’t watch enough Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network to know what kids are dressing up as today, but I don’t do it because I’m a hermit, cheap, or getting tired of kids pretending they’re Harry Potter.

I don’t pass out candy on Halloween because I eat it all before I have a chance to give it away.

I can’t help it. I buy the good stuff, like M&M’s, Twix, Nestle Crunch, Milky Way, Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Nerds, and I intend to pass them out to ensure local dentists will have work, but by the time Halloween rolls around I’m out of candy and I no longer fit into my sexy pirate outfit.

To prevent me from eating the candy, I could pass out frown-inducing sweets, like candy corn (blech!), chocolate coins (more worthless than pennies), Smarties (there’s nothing smart about them), Good & Plenty (not good and, unfortunately, there are plenty of people passing them out), Now and Later (there’s never a good time for this candy), cheap gum (gum from 1980s baseball card packs have better flavor), or Sixlets (more like Sixlet’s Not). However, I don’t want to be known as the Asian guy dressed up as a sexy pirate who gives away junk candy that’ll end up on my lawn the next morning. Instead, I want to be the Asian guy dressed up as a sexy pirate who passes out candy so awesome that children will think the stomachache they woke up with was sooo totally worth it.

However, it looks like I might be giving away some candy this year because I’m having a slightly hard time getting through a bag of these new Caramel Apple Milky Way Minis.

Limited Edition Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis Closeup

The new seasonal candy combines caramel and flavored nougat coated with milk chocolate. Each piece smells like the fruity and sweet aroma that wafts out of a Whitman’s Sampler after opening it. If you’re one of those douchebags who tries to appear cool by throwing food in the air and catching it with your mouth, these mini Milky Way are mouth-catchable and I hope a bird poops in your mouth when you open it to try and catch a piece.

If you’re expecting this candy to taste like a caramel apple, let me crush your hopes and dreams by telling you they don’t. Even if you used your front teeth to completely scrape off the thin layer of milk chocolate, the small morsel of nougat and caramel you’re left with also doesn’t taste like a caramel apple.

The nougat contains the apple flavor (along with a bit of nutmeginess), although at first it’s hard to determine it has an apple flavor. The apple is a bit more noticeable in the aftertaste, which is when it also become a bit more artificial tasting. The caramel tastes, unsurprisingly, like the caramel in regular Milky Way bars and does an equally awesome job of sticking to my teeth.

Although the artificial apple flavor is faint, my tongue gets sick of it before it reaches the five piece serving size. And that’s why it’s taking me so long to finish this bag. Now you might be thinking if I don’t complete enjoy them, then Trick or Treaters will feel the same. That’s true, but they’re much better than candy corn, chocolate coins, Smarties, Good & Plenty, Now and Later, cheap gum, and Sixlets.

(Nutrition Facts – 5 pieces – 190 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Limited Edition Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis
Purchased Price: $3.29
Size: 11.50 ounces
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: It’s not bad at first. Better than candy corn, chocolate coins, Smarties, Good & Plenty, Now and Later, cheap gum, and Sixlets. Pleasantly chewy.
Cons: Doesn’t taste like caramel apples. Apple flavor is weak and artificial. Candy corn, chocolate coins, Smarties, Good & Plenty, Now and Later, cheap gum, and Sixlets. Not being able to fit into my sexy pirate costume.