REVIEW: Reese’s Puffs Cluster Crunch Cereal

Reese s Puffs Cluster Crunch Cereal Box

Hmm. Where do I start? I want to be excited about a new Reese’s Puffs cereal, especially one that switches up the shape and doesn’t just supersize it for reasons I don’t fully understand (Big Puffs) or have box art featuring a musician I’ve only vaguely heard of (no offense, Lil Yachty, that remote control cereal boat was pretty cool). I like when the spheres are seasonally swapped for bunny and bat shapes. Those both take a classically good cereal like Puffs and change it up in a fun way.

When I first saw the box of Reese’s Puffs Cluster Crunch, I couldn’t help but approach it with a bit of trepidation. The shapes looked familiar like the berry pieces in Trix or, more inauspiciously, the “clusters” in the largely disappointing Lucky Charms Marshmallow Clusters. I think I see where you’re going with this one, General Mills. We’re looking at Clusters Plan B, and it’s still not exactly working.

There’s definitely nothing wrong with this cereal in terms of taste. It’s actually quite good, assuming you’re a fan of Reese’s Puffs to begin with. The same strong Reese’s peanut butter smell is present when you open the bag, and as usual, there isn’t as much of a chocolate component as you might hope for, but I’d be lying if I said I’d ever really docked Puffs for lacking this. The peanut butter-colored and chocolate-colored pieces are interchangeably flavored as usual. The issue here is the wording.

Reese s Puffs Cluster Crunch Cereal Bowl

Picture this. You’re at the breakfast table with your cereal bowl in front of you, spoon in hand (or if you’re me, at your desk at four p.m. with no spoon and your hand just shoved inside the box. Kidding, I don’t have a desk). You’re about to go fishing in your bowl for a nice crunchy cluster, something that stands out from the other bites. I bet you’re envisioning something like a gob of flakes and oats and maybe pieces of nuts, all different textures and clumped together with the power of something sugary. Instead, you get…a few little rafts of aerated puffs that seem kind of like Rice Krispies but aren’t?

Reese s Puffs Cluster Crunch Cereal Puffs

I can’t even tell if these are more aerated than usual, and I cut several pieces in half to check. Even if they were, this would be more of an “extra puffed” and not exactly my definition of crunchy. In milk, they fare the same as the regular ones do, and I know this because I ate them both side by side on a fruitless quest to discover the difference.

Reese s Puffs Cluster Crunch Cereal Spoon

Reese s Puffs Cluster Crunch Cereal Split

This cereal is identical to Reese’s Puffs in every way, except instead of regular round pieces, there are “clusters” of smaller balls. But they’re stuck together from the get-go, and this doesn’t produce any significant difference in crunch. They do have more flavor powder on them, thanks to the little bumps and crevices, and eating them feels a little different because they aren’t a shape that my tongue is totally used to when it thinks it’s getting Reese’s Puffs.

I consider the original Puffs to be an 8 out of 10, and it seems unfair to rank this any lower because it’s exactly the same, but I think the name Cluster Crunch evokes an idea that the product doesn’t deliver on. If you like Reese’s Puffs, you should be happy with this cereal. If you’re hoping for a new and crunchy twist, this underwhelms.

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 11.9 oz box
Purchased at: Jewel-Osco
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup without milk) 160 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of total sugars including 12 grams of added sugars), and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Reese’s Potato Chips Big Cup

Reese s Potato Chips Big Cup Wrapper

It’s that time of the year when Reese’s shapes frenetically go from footballs to pumpkins to trees in the blink of an eye. But shapes aren’t the only trick Reese’s have up its sugar-coated sleeve.

When it’s not sculpting its iconic blend of sweet peanut butter and milk chocolate into different but strikingly similar oblong shapes, it does something else with equal authority — stuffing its plus-sized cups with new goodies. Last autumn, we Hershey-heads were gifted Reese’s Big Cup with Pretzels, and this fall, it’s upping the sweet and salty ante with the Reese’s Potato Chips Big Cup.

This item is smokin’ hot brand new, yet the packaging has a retro quality that I find really attractive. It lures me in with its nostalgic charm. Although as a bonafide sweet and salty junky, I didn’t need to be sold in the slightest to pick these up the second I saw them.

Reese s Potato Chips Big Cup Pair

I’m not sure if there’s a plan to release these in normal-sized cups or minis in the future, but starting with the Big Cup was the right decision. I’ve found the mix-ins, whether they’re Reese’s Pieces, cookies, or pretzels, can get lost in the smaller variety but get the proper chance to shine with the extra space the Big Cup provides. That’s definitely the case here.

Reese s Potato Chips Big Cup Innards

The potato chips provide an immediate and intense crunch, with a touch of pleasant greasiness and punchy saltiness that takes the already salty candy to new heights. It’s still more sweet than it is salty, but the toothy chomp of the crispy ridged chips sets off pockets of legitimate salt that aren’t part of the normal smooth peanut butter equation. The salt gets tempered by the milk chocolate, and while it’s saltier than your average PB cup, it’s still well balanced with the sweetness. It’s delicious and addictive. I want this in the novelty sized holiday half-pound cups!

Reese s Potato Chips Big Cup Single

If I had to fault this Big Cup in any way, it’s in the lack of identifiable potato chip flavor. While they’re not as common as chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate-covered chips are awesome. And as strong as the sweet and salty experience is in this Big Cup, I would have loved for that classic starchy potato taste to come through. I’m not all that surprised, though. Peanut butter has such a dominant flavor, but that cheap greasiness DOES poke through over the fatty PB, so it’s still distinctly different from any prior offerings, even the pretzel. Fortunately, the lack of vegetal potato taste also doesn’t bog down the experience too much. It’s just keeping it from being perfect.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 2.6 oz
Purchased at: Walgreens
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup – 36 grams) 180 calories, 11 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Reese’s Peanut Brittle Peanut Butter Cups

Reese s Peanut Brittle Peanut Butter Cups Bag

Maybe it’s my short attention span or the fact that I can barely watch Hocus Pocus without having nightmares, but I enjoy seeing autumn wind down as anticipation for winter holidays grows. Swapping snowmen for skeletons and poinsettias for pumpkins has become a familiar, comforting routine in transitioning from one holiday to the next.

As the shelves of my local stores trade fall staples for time-honored winter favorites like peppermint and hot cocoa, Reese’s caught my attention with something unique. The brand’s newest offering features a peanut brittle-flavored crème cup stuffed with a mixture of peanuts and peanut butter filling.

While peanut brittle wouldn’t have been my number-one answer in a holiday food-themed episode of Family Feud, it makes sense. You find that delicious hard candy nestled in gift tins, offered at holiday potlucks, and as the object of longing gazes from your elderly relatives who just might risk their dentures for a taste.

Reese’s Peanut Brittle Peanut Butter Cups will be available in miniatures, King Sized, and Big Cup varieties across retailers, and I snagged a bag of miniatures. Honestly, I was half-expecting the “peanut brittle-flavored crème” to be the same peanut butter-flavored crème you find in Ultimate Peanut Butter Lovers Cups, with the “brittle” label tacked on as a bit of holiday razzle dazzle to get you humming “White Christmas” in October.

But upon opening the bag, the candy’s aroma indicated I was in for something a little different. It smells a lot like kettle corn–like caramelized sugar with butter and peanuts–and has me begging for a Reese’s/Yankee Candle collaboration.

Reese s Peanut Brittle Peanut Butter Cups Unwrapped

The cups not only live up to their intoxicating scent, but also really deliver on the peanut brittle flavor. The creamy shell tastes like a combination of white chocolate, peanut butter, and caramelized sugar. It reminds me of the short-lived Hershey’s Gold bar, which had a caramelized crème base that tasted nutty. The peanut brittle crème here tastes very similar, but a touch sweeter, creamier, and with fewer toasty notes.

Reese s Peanut Brittle Peanut Butter Cups Split

The filling pairs creamy peanut butter with crunchy peanut pieces. The filling is pretty salty, which balances the crème cup’s sweetness. My cups only had a few peanut pieces resting near the bottom of the cup. Candied peanuts may have added an additional brittle-like crunch–as well as potentially dangerous sugar shards. (Considering that the process of making peanut brittle involves boiling sugar goo to dangerously hot temperatures, fans of the stuff live on the edge already.) When eaten in one bite, however, the cup’s flavors compensate for the generally soft texture. The flavor combination reminds me of finding a salted peanut studded in a piece of sweet brittle.

Reese s Peanut Brittle Peanut Butter Cups Lonely

Reese’s products have always been one of my favorites, whether they adorn a holiday cookie or fill my trick-or-treat bag. Although some of their recent products have underwhelmed (see: Reese’s Mallow Cups, Reese’s Snack Cakes), Reese’s Peanut Brittle Peanut Butter Cups nail the peanut brittle flavor and serve as an unexpected homage to a traditional treat. Whether you are bored by brittle or have your grandmother’s recipe committed to memory, any Reese’s fan will be pleased with this sweet-and-salty holiday treat.

Purchased Price: $4.49
Size: 7.4 oz (209 g) bag
Purchased at: CVS
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 3 cups) 140 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Reese’s Crunchy Peanut Bar

Reese s Crunchy Peanut Bar Wrapper

Some new Reese’s products are announced with great fanfare —- social media announcements, television commercials, or (as I like to imagine) a red carpet dotted with Reese’s Pieces to lead the way to the closest candy aisle. Other products seem to surprise us, one day gracing shelves with an air of nonchalance that makes you think they’ve been around for years.

For me, at least, the Reese’s Crunchy Peanut Bar falls into the latter category. After all, it seems like a simple idea and consists of everything Reese’s does best: chocolate, peanut butter, peanut butter creme, and, of course, crunchy peanuts. When I first saw the bar in stores, I wondered if it was the Cheshire Cat of Reese’s products, disappearing and re-appearing to play tricks on my mind, until social media confirmed its brand-new status.

Reese s Crunchy Peanut Bar Coating

Despite its unassuming entrance into the Walmart checkout and, therefore, my growing sugar stash, one thing about the bar isn’t unassuming: its size. This King Size packet contains one hefty bar, which comprises three servings of Reese’s goodness and measures about 3/4 of an inch in thickness.

Reese s Crunchy Peanut Bar Split

The combination of flavors in Reese’s Crunchy Peanut Bar is a sweet-and-salty lover’s dream. Inside the standard chocolate coating are a substantial layer of peanut butter and lots of roughly chopped peanuts, densely packed and held together by peanut butter and creme. The peanuts are the dominant force, providing a nice hit of salt that plays beautifully with the other components. The bar has a greater peanut-to-filling ratio than any crunchy-filled peanut butter cup I’ve tried and maybe even enough peanuts to make a PayDay feel insecure.

Although the wrapper lists peanut butter and peanut butter creme as separate components, they taste similar and are initially hard to distinguish. The visible layers of soft peanut butter filling are deliciously sweet with a lighter, smoother texture than your standard Reese’s filling.

Reese s Crunchy Peanut Bar Crumble

Meanwhile, the subtle peanut butter creme seems closer to a peanut butter-flavored version of the “white creme” (oil-based white chocolate substitute) that we all know. Delicate layers of hardened creme are remarkable more in function than taste, acting as a binding agent to hold the peanuts in place. Because of this, the bar crumbled apart easily, like a dessert bark, and sometimes felt like an odd choice. At times, I wished for more of a creamy element to add some moisture, especially when the loose peanut crumbles felt like trail mix in my mouth.

If you are a believer in the peanut butter war that pits Team Crunchy against Team Creamy, the Reese’s Crunchy Peanut Bar is definitely a victory for Team Crunchy. As a member of Team I Shouldn’t Have to Choose, I enjoyed this new product, but found it easy to detect small flaws due to its simplicity. Peanut fans will revel in Reese’s latest release, while others yearning for more daring or complex flavors might find that, among other options, this bar fades into the background.

Purchased Price: $1.48
Size: 3.2 oz (90 g)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 1/3 bar) 170 calories, 12 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Reese’s Ultimate Peanut Butter Lovers

Reese s Ultimate Peanut Butter Lovers Wrapper

I’m someone who slightly prefers seasonal holiday item-shaped Reese’s products over regular Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

These non-cup shapes that I pick up at 50 percent off the day after the holiday include Trees, Pumpkins, Ghosts, Eggs, Bats, Hearts, Bunnies, Holiday Lights, Stockings, Santas, Carrots, and probably sometime in the future, witch hats and cats. Just throwing those out there, Hershey’s.

I think I enjoy the shaped ones more because they seem to have a different peanut butter to chocolate ratio than the cups. Or perhaps getting them at 50 percent off is the reason they taste extra special.

Anyhoo, I do love that unique sweet and salty Reese’s nutty filling, which I believe my taste buds notice more with the seasonal Reese’s. That’s why Reese’s new Ultimate Peanut Butter Lovers Cups that are entirely coated in a peanut butter-flavored candy intrigue me.

Oh, um, don’t get this confused with Reese’s Peanut Butter Lovers that have been on and off shelves over the past few years (currently on, I believe). The non-monogamous shell on those is part-chocolate and part-peanut butter candy-flavored.

Reese s Ultimate Peanut Butter Lovers Shell

Nibbling the top of the ridged edges of these reveals the tan shell with faint brown specks has a mild nutty flavor similar to the gritty filling within it. Because they taste alike, the peanut butter flavor is taken to another level. It creates a delectable treat for Reese’s peanut butter fans. Also, at times, it reminds me of a White Reese’s, but one with a less sweet shell. Because of my previously mentioned Reese’s peanut butter adoration, I do love these light brown cups.

Reese s Ultimate Peanut Butter Lovers Filling

However, I will admit the chocolate and PB combination that make up the original Reese’s (and all holiday shapes) is hard to beat. The whole reason why we love Reese’s is because of the two ingredients. But it’s nice to be able to experience a product that’s as close as we’ll get to having a shell-less peanut butter cup.

Reese’s Ultimate Peanut Butter Lovers is the “ultimate” Reese’s product for peanut butter fans. Well, again, unless The Hershey Company discovers a way to make its popular candy shell-less.

DISCLOSURE: I received free product samples from The Hershey Company. Doing so did not influence my review.

Reese’s Ultimate Peanut Butter Lovers Cups will be rolled out in standard (1.4oz, SRP $1.09), king size (2.8oz, SRP $1.79) and miniatures (9.3oz, SRP $4.09) at retailers nationwide beginning in early April 2021 for a limited time.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 1.4 oz/2 cups
Purchased at: Received from Reese’s
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 pieces) 210 calories, 13 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 156 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, 13 grams of added sugar, and 7 grams of protein.