REVIEW: Creepy Cocoa Crisp M&M’s

Creepy Cocoa Crisp M M s

What are Creepy Cocoa Crisp M&M’s?

The Target-exclusive Halloween M&M’s for 2019 are dark chocolate with a cocoa crispy center, in festive colors of brown, red, and orange.

How are they?

Creepy Cocoa Crisp M M s Innards

I was underwhelmed by the Target-exclusive Cookies & Screeem of yesteryear, but these Creepy Cocoa Crisp are a decided improvement. I like dark chocolate M&M’s, but they’re even better with the crispy texture! My family members who don’t much care for the Crispy variety enjoyed these.

My only disappointment is that it’s hard to taste the cocoa element in the crisp part (which is the same color as the chocolate). The dark chocolate overpowers it. But that’s a minor quibble, because they’re still wonderful. This is a simple concept, but it works very well.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Creepy Cocoa Crisp M M s Red M Mcula

With the package portraying the Red M&M holding a bowl of chocolate cereal while wearing a vampire costume, it seems obvious Mars is channeling Count Chocula. But that cereal is made of corn, whereas the M&M crispy parts are made of rice flour. I appreciate the creativity —- it’s not predictable, but it still has a seasonal connection.

Conclusion:

The colors, flavor, and texture combine to make this limited-edition flavor a winner. Since Red is dressed as a vampire, I imagine repurposing a line from The Munsters to tell him how I feel about this candy:

Me: “I really dig you!”

Red: “And someday I’ll return the favor!”

Purchased Price: $3.19
Size: 8 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts:: (1 oz./28 grams/30 pieces) 140 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of sugar (includes 16 grams of added sugars), and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Hazelnut Spread M&M’s

Hazelnut Spread M M s

What are Hazelnut Spread M&M’s?

M&M’s debuts its newest flavor which features a hazelnut spread center covered in milk chocolate all encased in a colorful candy shell. And yes it’s a riff on Nutella which is synonymous with hazelnut spread in most people’s minds. Look at the container on the package that Blue is holding! A clear jar. Verrrrrry interesting. Basically, these are bootleg Nutella M&M’s.

How are they?

These were announced way back in September which means a long time to get excited and build your anticipation for them. So how did they do? At first glance, they’re larger than standard M&M’s and breaking one opens reveals its two-toned interior. There’s the obvious chocolate layer and then the inner hazelnut portion, which is surprisingly light almost like a cookie butter color. It did seem to have speckles (maybe chocolate?) throughout though.

Hazelnut Spread M M s Closeup

Initially, they were disappointing because they tasted like regular M&M’s. However, as I ate more, the hazelnut flavor came through. They were sufficiently nutty! I can’t mention Nutella as much as I have without putting the real thing to the test, so I grabbed a jar from my cupboard and dug in to compare.

It dawned on me instantly what these really are. They aren’t fake Nutella M&M’s or even Hazelnut Spread ones; they’re just Hazelnut M&M’s. What’s a more accurate comparison? They’re unlicensed Ferrero Rocher in a different form. While Nutella is insanely creamy with the chocolate and hazelnut as one, these aren’t creamy in the slightest. Also, chewing the crunchy shell along with the unmarried chocolate and hazelnut components evoke that gold wrapped confection way more than Nutella spread.

Is there anything else you need to know?

These aren’t the first hazelnut M&M’s to come to market as the UK got a version way back in 2017 although it looks like those contained actual hazelnuts instead of the mixture inside these.

Conclusion:

These are a pretty good new take on M&M’s, which makes you wonder why it hasn’t been done before. Just don’t go in expecting the next coming of Nutella in a new portable form. These are more like smaller, cheaper Ferrero Rocher. If you like those, you’ll have no problem finishing a bag of these as quickly as I did.

Purchased Price: 99 cents
?Size: 1.35 oz. bag
?Purchased at: Wegmans
?Rating: 8 out of 10
?Nutrition Facts: (1 Bag) 190 calories, 10 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: White Chocolate Marshmallow M&M’s

White Chocolate Marshmallow M M s

What are White Chocolate Marshmallow M&M’s?

Because a bag of novelty-flavored M&M’s is easily stuffed into a bright plastic egg basket, Mars is dropping another installment of its special edition Easter flavors! This time, it’s white chocolate with marshmallow.

How are they?

You know how when you see cooking show contestants using the same batter/dough/base for multiple items, they are mostly likely not going to win? That’s what these M&M’s taste like. They’re essentially the same as the basic white chocolate M&M with the tiniest hint of another flavor zipping by at light speed.

White Chocolate Marshmallow M M s Plated

In this case, the flavor isn’t even the marshmallow advertised – it’s closer to fondant icing. You know how cooking show judges howl in disappointment when cakes or cookies get covered in fondant? It’s a polarizing flavor. Fondant is supposed to taste like marshmallow, but is more like what a replicator on the Enterprise that needs a tune-up would spit out.

The good news is there’s so little of it – and the white chocolate is dominant enough – that if you don’t know what fondant is, you might not even notice it here. I’ve been making cakes with it for 18 years, so I’d recognize that sugary dough anywhere.

White Chocolate Marshmallow M M s Pastels

While they taste perfectly pleasant (relying on the strength of their white chocolate base flavor), there’s a huge wasted opportunity here and I’m deducting points for that. Why didn’t they play around with texture? Swap out the crispy malted filling of the M&M’s Mini Eggs with a breakfast-cereal-style marshmallow center?

White Chocolate Marshmallow M M s Innards

Is there anything else you need to know?

The flesh-toned M&M’s are back in this mix, which is odd because they don’t seem to relate to the flavor here. As a color combination, I didn’t love it.

Conclusion:

If you love the white chocolate M&M’s, they’re not a bad purchase with lowered expectations. If you vehemently hate fondant and/or are a cooking show judge, proceed with caution.

Purchased Price: $3.19 (on sale)
Size: 8 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 oz./16 pieces) 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 15 grams of total sugars, 17 grams of added sugars, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Internationally Inspired Peanut M&M’s (Flavor Vote 2019)

M M s 2019 Internationally Inspired Flavors

The flavor vote is back!

Not the O.G. one for Lay’s Potato Chips but for M&M’s, and it’s the third go round. Peanut M&M’s were a part of the first one where Chili Nut reigned supreme and last year for the Crunchy rendition where Mint came out on top.

This year, the vote has an international theme with the flavors associated with specific countries around the world. They are Mexican Jalapeno, English Toffee, and Thai Coconut.

Mexican Jalapeno

Mexican Jalapeno Peanut M M s

Let’s first go south of the border for Mexican Jalapeno where Yellow is decked out in an ornate sombrero, and the colors correspond to, uh, the Flag of Ethiopia?

I guess they match the red and green of the actual peppers with yellow for the quintessential peanut M&M of course. The flavor of this is pretty much non-existent except for a burning sensation that hits the back of my throat after swallowing.

Oddly enough it’s very variable as well. I had a handful that tasted like regular peanut M&M’s, but then a singular one gave me an intense burn. I didn’t notice any spices that would add another layer above the heat, and I feel like these are just repurposed Chili Nut ones. Kinda disappointing.

Purchased Price: $1.50
Size: 3.27 oz. bag
Purchased at: Wegmans
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/3 of Share Size Bag) 160 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 15 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

English Toffee

English Toffee Peanut M M s

Now we jump over the pond to England for some toffee.

For these Yellow is wearing some sort of flag endorsed bowler hat but since it is Great Britain, let’s say it is a fancy fascinator so we can elevate this entire experience. These are a step above the jalapeno ones as I really get an intense kick of flavor upon the first bite.

It has a burnt caramel-y roasted sensation that reminds me of toffee. These are nice because the toffee hits, but then the milk chocolate and peanut shine through towards the end. However, the colors are probably the least exciting of the bunch – brown, yellow, and tan.

Again though I am tempted to cycle through past flavors, and I can’t help but think of Peanut Brrr..ittle. If you’re not sure what the difference is, don’t be alarmed as that is the first question that pops up when doing some internet sleuthing. There isn’t much as one seems to be just a harder crunch. So this might be another past flavor profile in shiny new packaging. Good, but nothing new here.

Purchased Price: $1.50
Size: 3.27 oz. bag
Purchased at: Wegmans
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/3 of Share Size Bag) 160 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 15 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Thai Coconut

Thai Coconut Peanut M M s

Finally, let’s travel halfway around the world to Thailand for some coconutty goodness.

Yellow is drinking out of a coconut and sporting a lovely pink flower above where his ear would be if he had one. The best costume offsets the most confusing colors, though, as they are blue, lime green, and off-white that don’t match the country or the flavor. They do give off a tropical vibe and maybe are meant to mimic the leaves, water, and sand? That literally just came to me, and I have been staring at the packages for at least an hour now. Way too much brainpower on this one!

The coconut flavor comes through slowly on these and builds. But it doesn’t get too lost with the chocolate and peanut components. I’m not the biggest fan of coconut-flavored things especially when it’s artificial as I think it tastes like sunscreen. However, these were pleasant to me. It was not strong enough to reach Banana Boat status, thankfully.

The combination is the most unique out of the bunch. Just ignore the Thai part of it as it again doesn’t make a lick of sense. Thai coconuts seem to be sweeter than regular ones, but this is a candy whose first ingredient is sugar soooo… it’s a reach for sure. Anyway, there have been coconut M&M’s before, but I couldn’t find any mention of a peanut version. Score, something new for once!

Purchased Price: $1.50
Size: 3.27 oz. bag
Purchased at: Wegmans
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/3 of Share Size Bag) 160 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 15 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

Other Things

  • These are available in both the signature check-out lane smaller packs and also the resealable larger ones depending on if you have self-control or not with your sweets.
  • You can vote on which flavor is your favorite, and the winner will stick around in stores. Participating can potentially get you a trip around the world (code for the three countries showcased).
  • If this is the second time this promotion features Peanut M&M’s, when is almond gonna get some love?
  • Overall this flavor vote seems to be more of a clever marketing effort with repurposed flavors using a trendy international approach. I wish they would have really gone for it, though. I’m talking American Bacon, Belgian Waffle, and Chinese Red Bean.

REVIEW: M&M’s Milk Chocolate Bars (2018)

M M s Milk Chocolate Bars 2018

Bringing stiff competition to Hershey’s new Milk Chocolate & Reese’s Pieces mashup, Mars has recently rolled out a full line of M&M’s inspired chocolate bars. Released as a set of five, all variations include miniature M&M’s embedded in a solid brick of milk chocolate and feature additional add-ins to pay homage to different varieties of the popular candy.

Milk Chocolate

M Ms Chocolate Bars Pic 2 JPG

Case in point that simplicity isn’t necessarily a bad thing, this bar is the most basic of the bunch, and consists of a no-nonsense slab of milk chocolate studded with mini M&M’s.

Lacking the bells and whistles of its brothers and sister, this bar allows the quality of Mars’ cocoa to shine. Just like the filling of mainstream M&M’s, the chocolate used here is pleasantly sweet, and lusciously smooth enough to melt in your mouth.

M Ms Chocolate Bars Pic 3 JPG

While they don’t have much flavor by themselves, the mini M&M’s are relatively plentiful here, and I found getting two or three of them in each bite gave the bar a pleasant bit of crunch.

Purchased Price: $1.68
Size: 4 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/4 bar) 150 calories, 9 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 20 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of total sugars, 14 grams of added sugars, 2 grams of protein

Peanut

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Set apart from the plainer one above by including a scattering of peanut halves, I feel this treat fell a bit short of its bite-sized counterpart.

M Ms Chocolate Bars Pic 8 JPG

Despite being tasty, I wish there were more nuts. Getting one in each bite is what draws people towards Peanut M&M’s over the standard variety, but that wasn’t my experience here. Although the peanuts are large and aromatic, there aren’t enough of them to compete against the chocolate, making this bar’s flavor profile seem similar to the Milk Chocolate variety.

Purchased Price: $1.68
Size: 3.90 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/4 bar) 150 calories, 9 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 20 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 15 grams of total sugars, 13 grams of added sugars, 2 grams of protein.

Almond

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Rather than using halved almonds, this variation incorporates smaller chunks of nuts. Each piece was roughly the size of one of the miniature M&M’s and evenly dispersed throughout the bar, which ensured I got several almond bits in each bite.

M Ms Chocolate Bars Pic 6 JPG

Even though almonds tend to have a subtle flavor, Mars used them more successfully than the nuts in the Peanut bar. In particular, they seemed more present in it, which I largely owe to them being liberally scattered throughout the chocolate. Overall, I thought this treat was true to its inspiration, and I prefer it over Hershey’s Almond bars.

Purchased Price: $1.68
Size: 3.90 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/4 bar) 150 calories, 9 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of sodium, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 16 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 15 grams of total sugars, 13 grams of added sugars, 2 grams of protein.

Crispy

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Venturing away from nut-related additions, the Crispy M&M’s Bar instead utilizes crisp rice pieces to set itself apart from the competition. So, basically, it’s a Crackle Bar lookalike that’s made by Mars and has M&M’s thrown in.

M Ms Chocolate Bars Pic 12 jpg

It doesn’t taste much different than a Crackle Bar, either. Although the M&M’s were pretty low-key in this line’s other products, they were clearly an afterthought here. There’s not enough of them in comparison to the crisp rice pieces littering the candy’s surface, and I found myself forgetting their presence entirely while munching through this treat absentmindedly.

Even so, I can’t knock this too much for taste. I’m a sucker for anything that mixes chocolate and crisp rice, and I polished off my last square of this flavor before any of the others.

Purchased Price: $1.68
Size: 3.80 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/4 bar) 150 calories, 8 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 20 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 15 grams of total sugars, 13 grams of added sugars, 2 grams of protein.

Crispy Mint

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Taking every aspect of the Crispy M&M’s bar and adding a festive splash of mint, this was the only flavor to switch up the taste of the chocolate itself.

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Despite being an ardent fan of York Peppermint Patties and all other cocoa and mint confections, this was my least favorite of the bunch. There wasn’t enough minty flavor to leave me feeling satisfied, and I thought it was a little too sweet overall. I wish Mars had used darker cacao, because I think bringing an element of bitterness would have helped complement the mint and make this feel like a more fulfilling indulgence.

Purchased Price: $1.68
Size: 3.80 oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/4 bar) 150 calories, 8 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 20 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 15 grams of total sugars, 13 grams of added sugars, 2 grams of protein.

Other Things

  • Each bar comes embossed with the Red M&M staring coolly at you as if to say, “What? You’re surprised I don’t have a candy shell?”
  • Speaking of those shells, there’s nothing to stop heat from melting these, and they get soft quickly. I found it was best to eat one small section at a time so that I wasn’t holding on to any single piece for too long.
  • Given their large size, low price, and fun packaging, I can easily see these as part of a whole M&M’s-themed gift basket!

QUICK REVIEW: Hot Cocoa M&M’s

Hot Cocoa M&M's

What are Hot Cocoa M&M’s?

Unlike the Hot Chocolate flavor from a few years ago made with dark chocolate, Hot Cocoa M&M’s are standard milk chocolate with a white chocolate marshmallow center.

How are they?

Hot Cocoa M&M's 2

Have you ever had a regular M&M? How ’bout a White Chocolate M&M? Well, imagine tossing one of each in your mouth at the same time. There ya go. That’s a Hot Cocoa M&M.

Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. These are still decent, but they’re also very reminiscent of flavors you’ve probably already had.

Hot Cocoa M&M's 3

The idea of a marshmallow-flavored center got me pumped, but it just tasted like white chocolate. Whatever. I like white chocolate. I guess you could convince me it tasted like the fake marshmallow crème you’d get in a s’mores-flavored sandwich cookie, but barely.

I guess I should have tempered my excitement, because about 75 percent of the marshmallow experience is the texture, and you’re obviously not getting a gooey, stretchy marshmallow in the middle of M&M’s.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Hot cocoa is the type of treat that’s very reliant on factors you can’t mimic in a piece of candy. There’s a (sometimes horrible) experience when it comes to drinking a piping hot mug of hot cocoa, and these M&M’s don’t really conjure that.

Conclusion:

Hot Cocoa M&M's 4

The center was still satisfying and I’ll eat the entire bag, but Hot Cocoa M&M’s were a bit of a miss for me. I was hoping they’d be more of a Swiss Miss.

Yeah, that was corny, but I stand by it. If you pick these up, go in expecting a milk chocolate/white chocolate hybrid and enjoy.

As always, I appreciate M&M’s living up to their name, and releasing “More & More” flavors to the public. That’s what “M&M” stands for by the way.

Don’t fact check that.

Purchased Price: $3.19
Size: 8 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 oz.) 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.