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: 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: White Chocolate Strawberry Shake M&M’s

I must admit that my relationship with these new White Chocolate Strawberry Shake M&M’s – whose rosy, heart-filled packaging seems tailor-made for Valentine’s Day – began with a bit of a shock. In my state of simultaneous and equally intense hunger and excitement, I may have forgotten to actually look closely at the bag, which clearly shows the three M&M colors that less impatient consumers can expect, before ripping it open. So I was baffled to see a sea of green in addition to the more strawberry-centric reds and pinks.

Of course, I’d already spent a not-insignificant portion of my own green to secure this bag (this flavor doesn’t seem to be widely available yet, so in my eagerness to review, I purchased – and, sure, overpaid for – these from a third-party seller on, so a little confusing coloration wasn’t going to deter me. Plus, I guess you could argue that the green represents the stem of the strawberry? Alternatively, maybe it was just an excuse to get that glamorous green M&M mascot on the packaging, and that’s fair!

Anyway, the aforementioned frenzied bag tearing released a welcome cloud of sweet smells into my room, appropriately strawberry-y but with a strongly saccharine underlying note that seemed ever so slightly artificial, a tell-tale sign of white chocolate’s presence. I reached into the generously filled bag to start my taste test and was immediately amused that the size and shape seemed to vary for each individual piece, from “normal M&M that just put on some weight during the holidays” to “Noticeably Larger and Chunkier” to “DOWNRIGHT SPHERICAL.”

So, how do these sometimes mysteriously colored, pleasantly fragrant, and appealingly rotund M&M’s actually taste? Anyone fearing that the “White Chocolate Strawberry Milkshake” name was just a ploy to re-release an old flavor under a fresher title (2016’s White Strawberry Shortcake might come to mind) can rest assured that they actually live up to the moniker quite well.

The “milkshake” element promises a creaminess that is certainly delivered, with the white chocolate providing a lovely, rich, just-short-of-being-too-sweet base for the strawberry flavor, a mellow, floral fruitiness that is identifiable but not overpowering. Sure, this means that the general taste skews a tad more milkshake than it does strawberry, but with my (some might say controversial) love of white chocolate, that wasn’t a problem for me. I can see others begging to differ, but hey, we’re here on a blog that reviews junk food, not fruit! I particularly enjoyed the texture too – you know that oddly satisfying snap when you break through an M&M’s candy shell and sink your teeth into the smooth, rich chocolate within? Since these are so hefty, that moment is gloriously amplified.

The recommended serving size is 16 pieces, and if all my praise-singing thus far isn’t enough of a testament to how tasty they are, I should also let you know that in the course of reviewing I consumed significantly more than that without even realizing. Pringles talks a big game with its “Once you pop, you can’t stop,” but I think these are addictive enough to merit their own rhymey slogan too. “Once you M&M, you won’t condemn”? … Okay, it’s a work in progress. One I won’t mind brainstorming over just a few more handfuls!

Purchased Price: $6.25
Size: 7.44 oz bag
Purchased at:
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (16 pieces) 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 18 grams of sugar, and 1 gram 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.

REVIEW: M&M’s Munchums

M M s Munchums Pouch

What are M&M’s Munchums?

M&M’s has taken a fancy new natural approach by kicking the candy coating to the curb in favor of a crunchy baked shell.

How are they?

M M s Munchums Bowl

They’re one of the five best M&M flavors I’ve ever had.

Let me walk that back a little…

These are clearly different from the usual M&M, but I don’t care; they destroy most of them, especially the classic brown bag originals.

These are not so much pieces of candy as they’re tiny little chocolate chip cookie balls, and they’re good chocolate chip cookies at that.

M M s Munchums Innards

They start with a chocolate crispy core, which I was already pumped about as Crispy M&M’s are also in my top five. The core is encased in the standard chocolate, but the real marvel here is the shell, which has a perfectly crispy baked flavor that reminded me of a Famous Amos-type cookie.

Now you’re probably thinking, “So what, plenty of cookies use M&M’s,” and you’re right, but I just found this inverse to be much more exciting. I don’t know why, but I really loved the flavor of this bite-sized “candy.” Usually, if M&M’s releases a flavor with the promise of “cookie,” it would taste like an M&M with a hint of that cookie’s flavor. These taste like cookies without even really promising that.

Anything else you need to know?

I’ve never actually had Keebler Gripz, but I recall a similar product from my youth. They were just little tiny chocolate chip cookies in a pouch, and my Googling has brought no help. Anyway, that’s what I ultimately walked away thinking of. These taste like an upscale, more chocolatey version of those with a much nicer crunchy texture.

M M s Munchums Colored M

If you can’t tell, I really dug the shell. I even think the colored “M” on the tan shell looks great.

These could be a reinvention of the M&M wheel. I could also picture these being a truly elite ingredient in a great trail/snack mix.


M M s Munchums Colors

I hope these expand on shelves and everyone gets to try them. They should really market these. Introduce a “Baked” M&M character to the revamped lineup. Give him little dreads and a goatee. Eh, maybe that’s a literal pipe dream.

Either way, these are legit. They also come in a salted caramel flavor if you’re lucky enough to find them.

UPDATE: By luck, my aunt had the Salted Caramel Munchums at my family’s Easter get-together! It is with great regret that I inform you they taste like a cheap salty café latte absorbed in a piece of cardboard. I cannot believe the stark difference between the two flavors. Don’t even bother with the Salted Caramel, and just get the Milk Chocolate flavor.

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 4.94 oz pouch
Purchased at: Wegmans
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Milk Chocolate), 3 out of 10 (Salted Caramel)
Nutrition Facts: (1 oz, 14 pieces) 120 calories, 5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 9 grams of total sugars, and 2 grams of protein.