I found this bag of Pumpkin Cheesecake Kitkats when I was out doing some shopping in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. There’s a ton of adorable little shops down there, and it’s my “to-go” place for much of my holiday shopping. While there, I came across these Kitkats. I’ve had many a Pumpkin Kitkat in my time, and I’m always game for trying them. I’m such a sucker for pumpkin anything. Despite being somewhat pricey due to the fact they’re imported, I snatched these up and excitedly took them home.
The package on these is so adorable. Halloween is long and gone, but I still can appreciate the rich brown and orange color scheme and the adorable Jack ‘O Lanterns with their happy grins. The one with the heart shaped eyes is especially cute. Inside the main bag there’s a bunch of smaller, individually wrapped two finger bars. A nice serving size as it’s not to big, not too small.
The Kitkat smells sweet and slight cream cheesy. The color is an pale golden yellow.
The flavor is very sweet and cream cheesy at first. It’s very delicate as there’s more white chocolate in there to cut the tang of the cheese. You do get a hint of pumpkin, which, I am happy to report, is more like the plain squash part of pumpkin instead of pumpkin pie. I like the real flavor of pumpkin a lot, so I’m happy this isn’t dragged down with a lot of cinnamon and nutmeg. The result is this nice blend of the flavors described that does taste like a delicate, Japanese cheesecake. It’s awesome!
I am really smitten with these. They’re be a treat I’d buy regularly if it wasn’t for the limited availability and the import price. Still, I am going to enjoy the rest of my bag to the fullest. These are a terrific little afternoon pick me up, and they’re also diving with coffee. I recommend these highly to any fan of pumpkin. Mixed with Kitkat, it’s a match made in heaven!
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Kitkat Website (Japanese)
Since I am conducting a test of the boxed chocolates you can get at your local store, today I am doing the small Russell Stover sampler. I am curious to see if differs from the Whitman’s Sampler at all, since they are made by the same manufacturer.
This box is a small same sized box as the Whitman’s sampler. This one has the design of a rose cluster on the cover. Again, beautiful and simple. No cute animals for me!
Opening the box, this one also has three pieces of chocolate. The shapes are different and they smell sweet with a hint of coconut.
The first piece, is a square covered with milk chocolate. The bite is dense, and inside it’s a smooth, thick, chewy caramel. The Whitman’s caramel was softer and less dense than this one. This one is robust and chewy, but also not sticky. The flavor is a nice mix of the sweet chocolate and the very buttery caramel. A nice combination.
The second piece s oblong and ark chocolate. It smells sweet with an accent of coffee. I take a bite and inside is a fluffy, rich, fudge center. Again I am reminded of the Whitman’s sampler, as these on takes oddly familiar even though this one is enrobed in a different chocolate. This one tastes like a chocolate chip chocolate ice cream. Sweet, creamy, with a nice dark chocolate flavor.
The third chocolate is cup shaped. very much like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup mini. The top has a texture to it to suggest there’s something crispy in this one. It smells powerfully of coconut. Sure enough, my first bite reveals a delicious solid with chocolate filled with coconut flakes. It’s very flavorful, the texture has a nice play of chewy and smooth. Very delicious.
I also want to mention that these are a little nostalgic for me, as I recall my Mom buying these for my and my sisters when we were littler. So there’s my review of the two most common boxed chocolate varieties from your local drugstore. They’re both slightly different while remaining somewhat the same, which is a terrible conclusion since it’s somewhat confusing. My point is, you really can’t go wrong with either the Russell Stover or the Whitman’s sampler as they were both delicious. Besides, it’s Valentine’s Day, it’s the thought that counts!
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Russell Stover Website
One thing that I find frustrating about Valentine’s Day candy is the shelf space that is dedicated to the heart shaped boxes of chocolates. They come in all different sizes and each had a collection of frontal designs to choose from. I find this part of the candy aisle both daunting and annoying. You know they’re all boxes of chocolates, but which is the right size? Which has the assortment you would like? All these answers are unknowns until you buy one to see. That’s exactly what I decided to do.
I decided on the smallest heart shaped box that retailed for about $1.69 at the local drugstore. The color is a beautiful deep red with a rose illustration that looks like it was done in needlepoint on some red fabric. It’s very simple, pretty and romantic. I could have chose one that had a cute animal with googly eyes on it, but I find those obnoxious. I when with both a Whitman’s sampler and a Russell Stover sampler, even thought they are made by the same company.
Inside are three pieces, nicely settled in a plastic tray to keep them protected. They are a middle, milky brown color with a subtle sheen.
The first piece is a molded solid milk chocolate piece with the relief of a delivery boy carrying a box of Whitmans. It smells sweet with a hit of cream and caramel. The chocolate itself tastes of pure nostalgia to me. It’s sweet, creamy, has a nice toasted malty flavor to it which really brings out a “milk chocolate” flavor to it. Simple and tasty, while the piece is small enough to satisfy without going overboard.
The second piece is square shaped, smooth but with rippled from the enrobed chocolate. Like the first piece, it smells sweet with notes of caramel. My first, dense, slow bite reveals that this one has a thick caramel on the inside. The caramel is dense and chewy, but it’s not sticky or too hard. The flavor of the milk chocolate is sweet and malty, and the caramel adds a bright buttery note to it. Tasty, but not refined like more “upscale” caramels that I’ve gotten accustomed to.
The third pieces is an oblong oval, also with enrobed chocolate details on top. Inside this one is a smooth chocolate mousse. It’s light, creamy and fluffy that gives off an intense chocolate flavor that reminds me of chocolate ice cream. Delightfully flavorful and sweet, it went beautifully with a cup of coffee.
For the cost of this sampler, I think it’s a pretty nice little collection of chocolates. Sure they’re not anything overly gourmet or fancy, but there’s something so familiar and satisfying about these in their simplicity. I thought the chocolate was flavorful, way more than any Hershey’s bar I’ve had recently. If my fiance presented me with one of these, I would be pleased.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Whitman’s Website
The very first Valentine’s Day candy I got this year were these delicious samples from See’s Candies. They are very festive, with a large, heart shaped Milk Bordeaux and a Sweetheart box. They use lots of red and pink, plus the heart shaped which make them perfect for Valentines Day. I was super excited to receive these samples, as See’s candies are favorites of mine, and I adore trying their seasonal fare.
If you’ve never had a See’s Bordeaux, well, let me just say it’s a little slice of heaven. It’s a mix of brown sugar and butter cream, so it’s rich and smooth, which being a little grainy and sweet. So, terribly addictive. This one for Valentines Day comes in a little box, but don’t let it fool you. It’s still a large Bordeaux even if it’s not a whole pound of them from their chocolates counter.
It’s very sweet looking, in the shape of a heart, with two frosted hearts in the center: one red and one white.
The way this candy melts in your mouth is an absolute pleasure. You get waves of sweetness that are buttery and have a richness that is hard to explain. The texture is smooth and thick, as if a square of fudge just melted on your tongue. It doesn’t dissipate too quickly and it leaves you moth feeling clean. No greasy aftertaste or grit. It’s pure bliss.
Everyone I’ve shared pieces of this Bordeaux with, cause for it was was that big, absolutely loved it. My fiance posture relaxed as he looked at me and said “Wow, that is really good”. The Bordeaux is one of my favorite See’s, and it will firmly remain there.
The Sweetheart Box is a lovely collection of some of See’s best truffles. This box, though, is the oly boxed assortment that has their Peanut Butter Pattie and P-Nut Crunch (tm) in it. Both are perfect for any lover of peanut butter, so this assortment is a good bet if your Valentine loves that flavor. There’s a nice assortment of other chocolate, nougats and nut-brittle in here, so your taste buds certainly won’t get bored. To add to its festive feeling, not only is the box beautifully decorated, there’s solid red foil wrapped heart candies in here that complete the feeling.
I am smitten with these chocolates and especially that Milk Bordeaux heart. I’d have a constant stash of those in my kitchen in an ideal world. If your sweetheart is into rich chocolates and sweet fillings, See’s is a great option for your Valentines Day gift giving.
Links See’s Candies Website
I’m always excited when I find Tea Room Chocolates in stores. I love the flavors that they do, which is mixing all sorts of teas with different types of chocolate. So far my favorite of theirs is the White Chocolate Chamomile. This is why I was very happy to come across a few new bars of Tea Room’s in Cost Plus World Market. I immediately snatched it up, along with another new flavor, and eagerly took them home.
Today’s bar is 38% organic cacao “infused with a tropical fruit tea blend of pineapple, banana, mango and other island fruits”. Sounds yummy! The package is colorful and vibrant, which I think reflects the tropical fruits used in this bar. The chocolate is a nice medium brown color with a subtle sheen. The aroma is that of creamy milk chocolate with some hints of caramel. Sometimes I feel like I get a whiff of fruit, but it’s fleeting and quickly overpowered by the chocolate.
The flavor is immediately sweet and I get a slight hint of pineapple. then the rich chocolate flavor kicks in with notes of cream and caramel. At the end of the flavor I get some notes of coconut and “fruits”, hard to lay my finger on exactly what is it. Delicious, I’m really impressed. I admit I was a little worried that it’d taste like sun tan lotion but it totally doesn’t. It’s a subtle flavor that adds to the chocolate’s profile.
Out of all the Tea Room bars I’ve tasted to date, this one ranks pretty high up there. The flavors are all really well balanced and it makes for a very interesting and fun flavor. It comes across as exotic, and I think it’s a nice new twist on the more mundane flavors you see mixed with milk chocolate nowadays. I recommend it if you happen to come across it!
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links The Tea Room Website