Hershey’s Kisses have been busy this year with their 100th anniversary, as they’ve been releasing various limited edition flavors to celebrate the occasion. The Cookies ‘n’ Creme flavor is one of the newest Kiss offerings that I stumbled across on a recent trip to Wal-Mart. Despite the fact that the bag of these is huge, I happily tossed it into my cart without a second thought.
These new Kisses are described as white chocolate with “cookie bits”. The wrapper is a pleasing bright sky blue with designs of cookies printed in silver on them and I find it very attractive. I turned over the bag to read the ingredients list to find that these are sadly not real white chocolate. Tropical oils are present towards the top, which cheapens the product as well as manufacturing costs. It’s discouraging to see these aren’t all cocoa butter like they should be. To add to the frustration, PGPR shows up as well so you know Hershey’s isn’t making a top notch Kiss here. I’m already disappointed without even tasting them yet.
The Kisses look pretty with their milky appearance and brown spots peeking though, which look suspiciously like brown non pariels. The taste is very strong on the vanilla flavor and are quite creamy, yet they still carry that “white chocolate” essence to it. I was correct, the “cookie bits” are indeed chocolate non pariels. They provide an interesting textural crunch but no actual cookie flavor. These are also pretty sweet as far as Kisses go and as a result are very cloying. The flavor is very compelling though, since the overall effect does taste like cookies to me.
As far as the limited edition Kisses go, I liked these more than most of the varieties that’ve been released. My only wish is that they’d used real cocoa butter and the non pariels were actually cookie bits. Otherwise I feel a bit cheated by the false promise of cookies and creme.
Rating: Might Eat Again
It seems fitting that for my inaugural post that I’d review a candy that is very dear to me: the Zero bar. As a candy enthusiast, the Zero bar epitomizes the idea of why we all love candy. Usually our preferences are based on what tastes good to us, by what memories we associate with it, what company makes it, etc. Sometimes though, we get a candy like the Zero bar that’s a favorite, well, just because. The love exists without logic.
The Zero bar, which is made up of almond nougat, peanuts, caramel and enrobed in white fudge; was originally made by Hollywood Brands candy company back in 1920. Zero’s name comes from the white covering along with its tendency to be eaten frozen (at “zero” degrees). Over the years it has jumped from company to company and in 1996 it became a member of the Hershey candy lineup. It still remains, as far as I know, the only candy bar to be covered in white chocolate.
I find it odd that despite my love for this candy bar, I cannot recall specifically how I discovered it or when I first tasted it. I only have a general sense of when it appeared in my life and how: I believe it was during middle school when my Mom brought it back to me from a shopping trip. She thought I’d like to try it simply because it was white chocolate. Sometimes the simplest of actions have very large impacts.
The bar once unwrapped is a beautiful pristine white. It smells sweet with a light, nutty, almond touch. Breaking it in half, the caramel ribbon makes a wonderful gooey thread: it’s not too thick nor too flowing. Perfect. The almond nougat is a nice chocolately brown color and you could easily mistake it as such if it wasn’t for the nutty almond smell.
The first bite is lovely: the chocolate feels smooth and cool, the caramel sweet and the nougat fluffy with a nice graininess as it melts in your mouth. The flavor is very sweet, but the nutty almond flavor of the nougat and the peanuts help cut it a little. Surprisingly, the nougat tastes more of real almonds and not amaretto, complimented with a slight touch of malt, that stands out as the main flavor of Zero. The sweet caramel and white chocolate coating providing a light base for the flavors of the nougat to build upon. The pieces of peanuts are small and not heavily distributed (thank goodness!) provide an extra nutty kick as well as a crunchy textural element. The balance of delicate and simple flavors with a good mix of textures of this bar makes it a total winner in my book. So tasty.
So there you have it, the candy bar for which I feel unconditional love for. Some will disagree with my opinion, but that’s what makes loving a certain candy so special: only you truly know how to appreciate it to the fullest.
Have you tried Zero bar before? Do let me know how you like it!
Zero Bar Webpage