As the years progress I’ve noticed that there’s more and more jelly beans appearing based on pre-existing hard candies. These Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans are one of the first I ever noticed, so I figured it was only fair I give them a try. I did have them as a part of a major jelly bean round-up sale last year for CandyAddict, but since I’m at my one blog now, these needed a revisit.
I guess now is a good time to mention again that I’m really not a fan of Jolly Ranchers. I reviewed the original candies here earlier, and I just can’t understand how anyone likes them with their overly fake and punchy flavors.
The jelly beans are pretty faithful to the original hard candies, unlike the other Jolly Rancher Smoothie blend jelly beans that you can also find this time of year. I found those dreadful and am not going to bother eating them again. You gotta pick your poison sometimes.
The beans are not that festively colored since they’re made to look like the originals. They colors are very dark and opaque.
Blue Raspberry: Very intense in flavor with strong floral, fruity, and bubble gum flavors that read as “berry” to our taste buds. There’s also a hint of fruit punch thrown in there too, which was a pleasant twist. It’s a horribly fake flavor, but I find it’s not as bad as the original hard candy.
Strawberry (red): This is surprisingly sweet with strong flavors of cotton candy and fruit. It’s slightly tart at the end, which is a bit jarring, but these are Jolly Ranchers, after all.
Orange: The flavor is exactly orange soda. Syrupy sweet with a hint of zest. It really got the saliva going in my mouth.
Apple (green): Very juicy with strong flavors of apple juice and pears. Oddly, this one is more sweet than tart.
Grape: If I closed my eyes and ignored the texture in my mouth, I’d call this the grape Tootsie Pop. It’s tart (see a trend here?) with a fake grape flavor similar to grape soda.
Watermelon (pink): The taste of this one is surprisingly mild, yet very sweet with a fake cantaloupe flavor that’s very perfumey. It’s not sour or tart at all like the normal Jolly Rancher, which I find a pleasant surprise.
They’re a nice set of jelly beans, especially if you’re a fan of Jolly Ranchers. However, I really don’t see myself picking these up again, as I I’m not a big fan of the candy in general and there’s other jelly beans on the market that I’d rather go for if I felt the need for something different.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Jolly Rancher’s Website
I think most everyone can agree with me that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (RPBC) and all the Reese’s family home a special place in our hearts and tummies. There’s just something about them that just screams taste, comfort and nostalgia to me. That’s why partly I love the holidays too, as you can find a Reese’s to match the occasion. There’s pumpkin-shaped Reese’s in the fall, heart ones in February, and egg-shaped ones near Easter. There’s seems to always be a different shape in which to enjoy them, in case you get bored with the traditional cup.
Now, there’s one thing that’s very interesting about RPBC, is that depending on the size and shape, the peanut butter to chocolate ratio changes. Many swear by the minis because there’s more peanut butter, others like the regular cups because the chocolate and peanut butter are a little more equal. That’s why I was very interested to try these Reese’s Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs (the name is a mouth full by itself!) because I was curious if it followed the mini’s ratio or if it had one that was entirely new.
Once unwrapped, you see they’re egg shaped with a big seam running along the sides. You can tell right away that each side was individually piped though of PB and then smooshes together to make the eggs. The flavor is the same we all know and love with the RPBC, smooth milk chocolate with the salty, roasted, creamy flavor of the peanut butter. I’d say the ratio is pretty darned similar to the real RPBC minis, so aside from the shape and the easier breakage in the mouth, these are pretty much the same thing. I have to say, that the round eggs shape does feel very wonderful to roll around in the mouth.
Any RPBC lover would be thrilled to find these beauties in their Easter basket or shopping cart. The wrappers are so attractive and festive I can’t help but love them. I’m going after more of these once the sales start.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Reese’s Website
When I heard that Hershey’s would be closing down two of it’s subsidiary artisanal chocolatiers, I knew I had to make the effort to try them before it was too late. The two companies facing extinction are Scharffen Berger and Joseph Schmidt Confections, both of whom were independent until Hershey’s bought them out in 2005. The whole thing is quite sad really.
I could go on a rant on my extreme distaste of this situation, but I’ll save my breath and your time. You can read the history of the company here at Wikipedia, who does it more succinctly than I could here.
I was lucky to find this collection of Joseph Schmidt’s truffles at Wegman’s during their big post Valentines Day sales. Since they were on sale, I figured it was a good of a time as any to give this dying breed of chocolate a taste test. I would have been tow lazy to put an order in on the website as it is, so it works out better this way.
The truffles (I’d prefer to call them bonbons, but the website refers to them as truffles, so I digress) are gorgeous to look at. The box protects each one beautifully, with each having it’s own well to sit in to keep the pieces of shuffling around. They are all unique, no two look alike. The only similarities they share are the shape: a large sound dome with a flat bottom. The tag lists the flavor, but no key saying which was which.
All Dark: Plain looking with dark cross-crossed lines on them. It’s just a dark creamy bittersweet chocolate with nice notes of cream, caramel, raspberries and coconut.
All Milk: Milk chocolate with white lines and dots on top. The milk chocolate is awesome: sweet, creamy, with nice notes of caramel, coffee. The ganache echoes the flavors to the shell, but is much milder and creamier. Loved this one, so delicious in its simplicity.
Champagne: Milk chocolate with a creamy colored spot on the very top. It immediately has an sweet, alcoholic flavor to it: tasting lightly of grapes and strawberries that mixes in with the smooth milk chocolate ganache. Something about the flavor reminds me of chocolate ice cream.
Sea Salt Caramel: Dark chocolate with a little hollow in the very top filled with salt crystals. The inside tastes more fruity than of caramel. It’s very rich and interestingly has plum notes to it.
Wild Strawberry: Milk chocolate with a pink dot on top. The flavor is immediately fruity and jam-like. It’s very sweet yet has a nice tart edge to it.
Dark Raspberry: Plain with multiple white lines crossing at the top. The ganache has a wonderfully tart, strawberry jam flavor to it. It’s really more tart than sweet and it really overpowers the chocolate. I’m surprised at the tartness of it. It’s very flavorful ad juicy and pairs well with the chocolate shell.
Hazelnut: The easiest of them all to distinguish: milk chocolate with a raw hazelnut plopped on top and drizzled with lines of chocolate. The milk chocolate is smooth, creamy and sweet. The ganache has a nutty, almost alcoholic flavor. I expected something more like Nutella, but it’s so far from it. It’s more roasted nut flavors and cream, like a hazelnut coffee.
Grand Marnier(r): The shell is dark chocolate with the design of a white chocolate X on top. The dark chocolate is deep, rich and sweet. The ganache center is smooth and creamy, and I get a nice, mellow orange flavor to it. No hint of alcohol of all.
Irish Cream: Mottled with white chocolate and darker chocolate flecks on top, so it reminded me of a bird’s egg. Quite pretty. The ganache inside is perfectly smooth and carried the Irish Cream flavor slightly. It doesn’t has a slight alcoholic burn to it, and that nice, lightly coffee boozy flavor I associate with Bailey’s. Lovely, really nicely balanced with the flavors of the smooth chocolate.
Tiramisu: Milk chocolate with white chocolate and dark chocolate lines and dots. This one I couldn’t tell if it was meant to be tiramisu or champagne, but this had a tinge more coffee flavor to it, so I decided it must be the former. You taste the alcohol with this fruity bitterness and a hint of coffee. It pairs beautifully with the dark chocolate ganache and the milk chocolate shell.
Double Latte: Beautiful white chocolate shell with a large milk chocolate spot on top. Smells extremely milky. The flavor is strong of coffee with the ganache tasting of a smooth, creamy, medium-bodied roast. So fresh and terribly flavorful.
Pomegranate: This one is creamy and milky looking on top, like cream just poured into coffee. The milk chocolate shell is hard with a nice creamy, sweet flavor. The ganache is smooth and chocolatey, and has a nice, lightly tart red fruity flavor to it. It’s hard to really identify pomegranate as an iconic flavor, but this does read a fruity and exotic, so I think the essence here is nicely captured.
Even though this is a Valentines Day box, you can find the same flavors in the Easter assortments. The 30th of June will be the last day of sales, with Easter being their last season. If my descriptions enticed you in the least, I recommend giving them a try before they disappear forever.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Joseph Schmidt Website
Hershey’s has been pretty reliable with its flavored Kisses in time for Valentines Day. In the past couple of years, they’ve released Dark Chocolate Strawberry and a White Chocolate Strawberry Creme varieties, both of which I reviewed at my time over a CandyAddict.com. So I was a bit disappointed when I roamed my local grocery store’s and Target’s holiday candy aisles. No new Hershey’s Kisses. Nada. Zilch.
Then last weekend I found myself in Wal-Mart (shudder) and lo and behold, I see these Hershey’s Strawberry Creme Kisses staring at me from the large cardboard box holding them on the shelf. I snatched up a few bags and took the home for immediate tasting. What I was pleased to find about these, and it is illustrated on the package, that these Kisses have a strawberry filled center. Very unlike past years where the strawberry flavoring was infused into a solid Kiss. I was curious to see how this difference would affect texture and flavor.
The flavor is immediately sweet and you can taste the strawberry through the flat milk chocolate. It’s very floral, perfumey, and a bit jammy too. It reminded me a tad of the strawberry flavor you get in Japanese chocolates, yet this tastes more artificial and medicinal. It’s still pleasant to eat and I like it much better than the other strawberry Kisses released to date. Texture wise, the center feels greasy and smooth like the inside of the truffle and coconut Kisses. The aftertaste is similar to berry jam and it compels you to pop another in your mouth despite your best efforts.
A successful limited edition released in time for Valentines Day I think. The only reason I don’t give these a hoard rating is I still have a stash of Pumpkin Spice Kisses I’m enjoying. I’d much rather eat those over these.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Hershey’s Kisses Website
I first tasted the Hot Cocoa Kisses back at the 2006 All Candy Expo. I wasn’t impressed with from what I remember, but at the same time I was experiencing flavor fatigued from all the samples I had tasting prior to visiting the Hershey’s booth. They first appeared in stores as a holiday limited edition last year and I made sure to ignore them. This year I decided to go back and give them as shot.
These are similar to the Truffle Kisses, as there’s not an easily detectable filling. It’s more a smooth texture you feel in your mouth as opposed to anything you see. The center is cool on the tongue, a little greasy and very slippery.
I was expecting the flavor to be like the Truffle Kiss; basically an intensely smooth, sweet chocolate flavor. The Cocoa Kisses are not like that. Yes, they do have an intense chocolate taste, but there’s something sweeter and more buttery about this these. Thankfully, it’s not an intense fake buttery flavor like the Candy Corn Kisses. I’m instantly reminded of cupcake frosting: sweet, buttery, creamy, a little tangy with a dash of salt.
I don’t get “hot cocoa” from this at all, it’s really more like frosting. They’re tasty and I like them better than the fudge center ones.
Be forewarned as these are very, very sweet. By the time I was on my fourth Kiss I started to get a throat burn. That didn’t stop me from polishing off more than a serving or two in one sitting. Oops.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Hershey’s Kisses Website