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Caramel

Jan
21



Nut Job

I feel really badly about the fact that I cannot recall where I found this Nut Job bar. It’s been sitting on the top of my review stash for a few months now, so I have no real indicator where or when I bought it. No matter, it’s really all about how it tastes, right? Barton’s Nut Job’s description reads: “Delicious Double Chocolate, Creamy Caramel…Loaded with Peanuts!”. The front has a peanut characters; one dressed in a beanie, pants and sneakers, wearing multiple rings and a rock guitar. On the other side is a peanut with a backwards baseball cap and jeans with gold chains. I suppose they’re supposed to be “cool”, but I find them silly.

I looked at the Barton’s website for the Nut Job, and it looks like they market it as a protein snack for kids. Which, I find strange, because for this 2.2 oz, 300 calorie bar, there’s only 4 grams of protein in it. That’s not a whole lot. I open the wrapper a tad to take a whiff of the chocolate. It smells of defatted peanuts to me. It is a very nutty aroma, but the peanuts don’t smell as rich as I’m used to. Inspired by the interesting aroma, I took a look at the ingredients to see exactly what is in this candy bar. There’s nothing suspicious about the chocolate, as cocoa butter is listed. The next ingredient is dry roasted peanuts, which, is also seasoned with paprika and garlic powder. I have to admit, having a candy with those two ingredients is a first for me.

The flavor is very nutty right from the start. You definitely taste the peanuts, which, surprisingly taste like the aroma. They taste…flat somehow. Which really contradicts whats’s said in the nutrition labels. Also since there’s peanut pieces in there. So I can’t understand why the peanuts lack the flavor I was expecting. The chocolate and the caramel have nice flavors, even though they take the back seat to the peanut flavor. They give a nice sweetness to it, that has good notes of cocoa, caramel and cream. I do have to notice that the texture of this is really awesome. It’s like a thick, chewy fudge. The peanut pieces are small enough so they don’t create too much of a texture contrast and don’t get stuck in your teeth.

This Nut Job bar I think suffers from not knowing what it wants to be. A protein snack bar or a candy bar. Granted you can be both, a PayDay is an excellent example of that. But this just falls short I feel. It’s not as flavorful as a candy bar, and doesn’t supply enough nutrients to be a snack bar. It is a noble effort, but Nut Job I feel falls short of its name. 

Rating: Not Worth It

 

Not Worth It


Links Barton’s Chocolate Webpage

 


Dec
03



Hedonist Sea Salt Caramels

The holiday season is now in full swing! This is an exciting time for any candy lover as the sweets that come out for the Holidays are always interesting and delicious. Which is why I was super excited to hear from Hedonist Artisan Chocolates about reviewing some complimentary samples their Salted Caramels. It has been a few years since I tried and reviewed the Hedonist Chocolates’s Holiday Truffle Collection. It was super delicious and awesome so I was most eager to give their Salted Caramels a try.

I first need to comment on the beautiful packaging that these Salted Caramels come in. It’s simple yet so very stylish with the dark brown box and the simple golden rod yellow ribbon. It speaks of elegance with the subtle styling. Once the box is opened, the caramels are beautifully arranged in a tray that keeps them separated and safe. The milk and dark varieties are easy to distinguish, one is noticeable lighter in color. Each has salt sprinkled on top. They smell rich of chocolate, but I detect no notes of caramel in there.

 

Hedonist Sea Salt Caramels

 

Dark Chocolate Caramel: You immediately taste the salt on your first bite, which elevates the caramel into a whole new level of intensity. The sweetness of the chocolate and the butteryness of the caramel are elevated and the flavor is more grand. The richness of the dark chocolate delivers sweetness that isn’t overpowering and mingles nicely with the salt. The buttery caramel it out of this world! It’s smooth and not too sticky in texture. The flavor is complex, with the flavor rooted in butter accented with nice toasted notes. Again, mixed with the salt, just makes the flavor simply “pop”. It’s incredibly deliciousness.

Milk Chocolate Caramel: The salt really makes these chocolate incredible. The milk chocolate is sweet and creamy, and adds a lovely sweetness but not much chocolate flavor. The caramel is so delicious. It’s buttery and sweet, with nice deep toasted notes that contrast beautifully with the salt. Because the milk chocolate isn’t as flavorful as the dark chocolate, you can taste the caramel much better. I found that I got even more flavors out of the caramel when tasting the milk chocolate pieces. Along with the buttery ans toasted notes, I get a tad of smoke which reminds me of how toasted marshmallows smell. It’s so a delightful play of flavor and texture as you eat it. These are meant to be slowly savored as the flavors are so wonderful.


This package also came with a surprise: Candy Cane Bark!

Hedonist Peppermint Bark

Gorgeous isn’t it?

The slabs of bark are thick, as least a 1/4 of an inch. They’re mainly bittersweet chocolate (55%), with white chocolate swirls on top and a generous coating of candy cane crumbles. They are very attractive!

Despite all the candy cane crumbles, this bar still smells of chocolate. It’s a sweet smell too, full of cream, caramel and coffee. The flavor is a wonderful balance of peppermint and chocolate. This is an Andes Mint on super steroids. You first get the flavor from the candy canes, with their sweet and intense peppermint flavor. It’s cool and refreshing and leaves a wonderful fresh flavor in your mouth. The chocolate is just luscious, it’s creamy, sweet and incredibly chocolatey. It compliments the candy cane bits so well. I couldn’t stop reaching for this bark one I opened the package, a sign that it is indeed irresistible. 

I simply loved these samples from Hedonist Chocolates. They were really delicious and you could tell that they really used fresh, quality ingredients in making these chocolates. Both the Salted Caramels and the Candy Cane bark didn’t last very long between my husband and myself eating them once I had my tasting notes for the review. I know several of my family members who are going to love these, and I plan to buy them some for the holiday season (some of them are caramel people). I’ll buy myself another box of course too. Hedonist have really kept up the quality since I last sampled their chocolates, and I greatly look forward to when I can have some again!

Rating: Hoard

 

Hoard


Links Hedonist Artisan Chocolates Website


Oct
17



Halloween Candy 2012 034

On that same trip to Target I found these Caramel Apple Milky Way minis. This find took me completely by surprise, since I hadn’t heard any announcement by Mars nor had seen any mention of them on fellow candy blogs. This was a new candy gem that I had found completely on my own, which I will admit, makes it more exciting. I immediately snatched up a bag and knew they’d be an excellent new limited edition Halloween candy to review for my readers. 

Thankfully these came in a big bad of minis, because they’re so much easier to share that way. The bag is a delightful apple red, with an image of a caramel apple on the side with caramel ripples from a opened Milky Way bar making the “Caramel Apple” wording on the bottom. The minis have the pretty red stripe belting the wrapper on the minis. Opening one up, you can immediately smell the caramel apple. It’s quite impressive actually how they do get the aroma spot on.

The flavor starts off sweet, with the first flavor you notice is definitely apple. It’s a strange flavor, mainly because it’s not just apple. It’s apple cinnamon, like it’s a packet of instant hot cider mix. This was unexpected on my part. I’m guessing the apple flavor is coming from both the caramel and the nougat filling, as the nougat filling is bright white and isn’t the same as classic Milky Way. Once the apple flavor subsides some, the caramel flavor popes through with great buttery flavors. I’m surprised because you really don’t taste much chocolate in this Milky Way, despite there’s still a chocolate coating. On the whole it does indeed convey the flavor of a caramel apple, but the apple is “off” because of the addition of the cinnamon element. It’s a little strange, but still tasty.

My fiance loved these way more than I did. I thought they were good, but I didn’t really eat any beyond the few I needed for the review. My fiance however kept eating them and even grabbed a few to add to his lunch at work. Point being, there are certainly worth a try.

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again


Links Milky Way Website


Oct
15



Halloween Candy 2012 016

I am super happy that I found this candy: Zombie food by Skybar. If you are unfamiliar with Skybar, it’s a classic candy made by Necco, that has four different sections that each have a different filling. I recall my Mom introducing them to me at a very young age, and she claimed it was one of her favorite candy bars. I will forever think of her when I see Skybar. I found this Skybar Zombie Food at Michael’s of all places. I had stopped in for some things and saw them on the candy shelf while I was making my way to the checkout. The bring package immediately caught my eye, as did the word “Zombie” and the Skybar logo in the top left corner.

“So what is Zombie food?” I wondered as I picked up one of the packages. The front of the wrapper reads: “Milk Chocolate covered assortment of brains, feet, and hearts filled with and oozy red caramel”. Well, that certainly explains it! I feel it’s a terribly clever idea! I feel up the wrapper and I find the candy is one large piece, so I’m guessing it’s one “body part” for each package. For my review, I was guessing that the one I had chosen was a brain, as the candy felt head-shaped. I was mistaken.

 

Halloween Candy 2012 013

The first piece I tried was shaped like a realistic heart. It was leaking a little from one of the top corners on the back as the red caramel found a crack and tried to leak out. No matter, it still looked delicious, and I’m not a zombie!

The chocolate smells sweet and creamy. It reminds me of how a Cadbury Creme Egg smells. My first bite is quite flavorful. I was expecting the chocolate to be more hollow on the inside, and have the caramel be more liquid. The candy is not structured that way, although it was a very hot day when I did this tasting, so it’s possible that the candy has lost some of its structure. The caramel is very buttery and toasted, it almost comes across as peanut butter to me at first. The combination of the caramel and chocolate is incredibly sweet, so much so that I had a hard time finishing the sample piece. 

This candy was really tasty and really fun. I could see these being handed out at parties and to trick or treaters. They’re the size of the Reese’s Pumpkin, so they aren’t as large as a normal candy bar nor as small as the mini sizes. I mentioned this find to my Mom and she asked me to save her some, which I will as I’m interested to see how she likes them. If you see these around I highly recommend you check them out.

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again

 

Links Skybar Webpage


Sep
12



CRUNCH Girl Scouts: Caramel and Coconut

Today I’m reviewing the second Girl Scout Cookie themes Nestle Crunch candy bar. This one is based on the Samoas cookie, which I have had before and will admit to being quite tasty. I am already confused by the candy bar, as they make no mention of the Samoas on here, even though it’s extremely obvious that that is what they’re trying to mimic. Maybe it is a copyright or trademark issue? If that’s the case I don’t know how they got the Girl Scout’s logo on the wrapper. I digress, but I am looking forward to tasting this one since I do have a frame of reference for it.

This bar looks vastly different from the Peanut Butter Creme bar. Yes, it is also separated into two pieces but the chocolate looks much darker, so I’m guessing it’s perhaps dark chocolate. It smells richly of coconut with an odd additional sweetness to it.

The bar tastes exactly like the Samoas. I can taste the coconut, and even the flakes of coconut tucked into the bar. That strange sweetness that I smelled comes out as a slight caramel flavor. The chocolate is oddly flavorless and sweet. The bar is still tasty, and reminds me exactly of the cookie, minus the cookie texture.

I don’t think I enjoyed this one as much as the Peanut Butter Creme bar. This one was just cloying sweet from the combination of the coconut and caramel. In the cookie form you have some shortbread to add some substance and a little salt to the mix, but here the wafers don’t contribute nearly as much. It’s still a tasty candy bar, and if you’re a Samoas fan I think it’s worth trying to see how you think it measures up to the cookie.

Rating: Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again


Links Nestle Crunch’s Website

 


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