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August 2014
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milk chocolate

Nov
25



Enstrom Toffee Box

Toffee has always been a rare treat in my family. Something that I made each Christmas season with my Mom and sisters to give out as gifts. I haven’t had any other kinds, save for a Skor bar here and there. This is why I was pretty excited to give Enstrom’s Toffee a try. Was it going to stand up to the homemade kind I’ve been eating for years?

The toffee comes beautifully packaged in a box where inside it’s separated into large slabs. And I do mean large, as the the base layer is about 1/2 inch thick. The toffee has a nice rich,creamy, milky caramel color. There’s a generous amount of grated almonds bits on top were dusty and therefore a little messy. Reaching in to secure a corner for immediate tasting, I was pleased to find it was easily broken off. 

 

Enstrom Toffee

The chocolate layer that sits on top of the toffee has a nice thickness: not too thin so the toffee shows though, but not too thick so it’s like cake frosting. The almonds are roasted and terribly fresh. They release nice nutty, salty, smoky flavors that compliment the sweet toffee and chocolate beautifully.

The toffee crunches fantastically in the mouth. It’s light, crispy, and not sticky. It holds its texture yet is soft enough so I don’t get any in my teeth. I get wonderful buttery, creamy, rich caramelized flavors right away. Combined with the nuts I’m reminded of caramel corn with it’s sweet/salty/nutty flavors. The flavor is so terribly fresh and flavorful, it could easily stand alone without the almonds and chocolate.

And speaking of the chocolate, it’s fantastic. It’s very chocolately, mildly sweet, and it holds it’s own when eaten separately. Yes, I did pick pieces of it off. Alone I was able to explore the sweet, creamy, slightly coconutty flavors. With the toffee, as it’s meant to be, it adds a little richness to it all and rounds out an already stellar combination of textures and flavors.

So did this live up to my expectations? Oh yes, it exceeded them in fact! I didn’t anticipate wanting to finish off my box, but it was so good I found myself picking at the toffee every chance I got. I can’t wait to get my hands on more and am extremely tempted to forgo the kitchen work this year and put in a few orders with Enstrom instead.

Rating: Will Buy Again

 

Will Buy Again

Links:
Enstrom Toffee Website


Nov
21



Hershey's Hugs Package

I remember when Hershey’s first introduced Hugs back in 1993, where I was about 10 years old. I have always been a lover of white chocolate, so the idea of getting it in Hershey’s Kisses was so appealing to me. Sadly my mom could not be persuaded to by them. I assure you I tried to change her mind!

The Hugs were one of the first combined Kisses, two flavors or chocolate combinations in one. Out of the wrapper they’re a pretty white chocolate base that’s striped, or “hugged”, with milk chocolate. I was interested in giving them a try again for a few reasons. The main two were I wanted to see how the flavor compared to my memory of them, and to see if they actually do taste of white chocolate. That’s a big test for me nowadays.

All I can say is they’re as attractive as I recall and they smell very sweet and milky in their bag.

 

Hershey's Hugs

The flavor is sweet and has that nice, white chocolate taste to it: slightly cocoa and very hard on the milkiness. The center has a chocolate center, so just as the white chocolate’s sweetness starts to wane and become nondescript, the flavor of the center brings it back to life. The texture is creamy and they’re cloying, but I also find them addictive.

As far as Kisses go, I certainly prefer these over the regular ones. Still, most of my attraction to them is from the intense sweetness, which I can find elsewhere with higher quality ingredients. Hugs are nice to revisit once every blue moon or so.

Rating: Might Eat Again

 

Might Eat Again

Links:
Hershey’s Kisses Website


Nov
19



Reese's Minis Chopped Nuts Package

Now this is interesting, isn’t it? It’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (RPBC for short!) minis with chopped nuts. Another one of my random grocery store finds, and I had to get them. I admit, I was interested to see how they managed to get bits of chopped nuts into the minis. They’re small enough to begin with. This also seems like a pretty pathetic attempt on Hershey’s part to introduce a totally unnecessary variety twist on a classic.

I’m curious as to why they’d do this to the candy. More peanut flavor? New texture? I’m skeptical. I like RPBC to get a nutty flavor, yet no debris in my teeth. We’ll see how this goes down.

 

Reese's Minis Chopped Nuts (cup)

On the outside, these looks the same to the normal mini RPBC: size, smell, shape, flavor. Taking a bite it’s immediately apparent what this is like. This is the chunky peanut butter version to the normal “smooth” peanut butter of the normal ones. It’s just that simple. The flavor of the chocolate and peanut butter center is exactly the same, so I don’t feel like I need to re hash what that’s like. So if you’re a crunchy peanut butter person (survey says 40% of you prefer crunchy to smooth) then give these a go. It’s your favorite peanut butter texture now in your favorite peanut butter cup!

Theses are good product, yet extremely unnecessary in my mind. Only worth getting if you’re very OCD about your peanut butter texture.

Rating:Will Eat Again

 

Will Eat Again

Links:
Reese’s Website


Nov
18



Peanut M&Ms Package (Indiana Jones)

I never understood the appeal of these. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the M&Ms line. I just, never learned to love the Peanut variety.

These are one of the candies I remember best from my childhood. I didn’t eat them, though. These were a “must have” for family car trips and my whole family loved them except me. I always made a stink about it and therefore I got my own stash of Plain ones to have to myself. I hated the egg-like shape of them, the less chocolate and the garish yellow package. And the thing that really killed it for me? The nuts always managed to get stuck in my teeth, and I hated it. Therefore a lifetime of picky chocolate eating was born.

Now, realize that this is just my opinion that’s been built up with traumatic childhood experiences and personal preferences. It’s obvious that Peanut M&Ms are a quality product and are loved by practically everyone but myself. That’s part of what I find so interesting about candy.

 

Peanut M&Ms (Indiana Jones)

These are large, in face they’re largest of all the M&Ms. The vary slightly in size and shape, since each is coating a fresh peanut. There’s a really satisfying crunch with these, first with the shell and second with the peanut. The flavor is more peanut focused than chocolate, which is why I think I didn’t like them very much as a kid. I wanted the chocolate baby! The peanuts have a very fresh and nutty flavor with a slightly saltiness that works well with the sweetness of the chocolate. There’s also a toasty flavor to the peanuts that I don’t get anywhere else, and it’s something I associate only with peanut M&Ms.

 

Dark Peanut M&Ms

The dark chocolate variety is only slighty different from the regular milk chocolate one. The package has bands of purple on the top and bottom, so it’s easy to spot the difference on the shelves. The flavor is the same, just less sweet from the darker chocolate.

I don’t see these replacing my preference for Plain and Peanut Butter M&Ms, but I have made peace with them now after a long and silent treatment since childhood.

Rating: Might Eat Again

 

Might Eat Again

Links:
M&Ms Website


Nov
06



BonBon Bar Set

I’ve been a reader of Nina’s blog ofSweet Napa for a long time, as it’s always fun to see what other sweet-tooth driven individuals are up to. I’ve known of her BonBon Bars for some time, but haven’t had the motivation to try them.

During a trip to Los Angeles this past summer I visited Nina, with the sweet company of Cybele, at the Century City farmers market where I was finally able to taste her offerings. Let’s just say they were everything I heard about and then some. I bought a few to take home with me, only to have them mangled on the trip home and therefore unworthy to review. When I saw there was a limited edition Pumpkin Pie flavor released for a few months this fall, I knew I had to put an order in. So I am very excited to review these bars for you, my readers.

 

BonBon Bar Malt Bar

Malt Bar: “Creamy Malt Ganache & Crunchy Shortbread” I got one of each the dark and milk chocolate variety. The flavors and textures in the compliment each other beautifully. The shortbread is crunchy and extremely buttery. The ganache is smooth and has an incredible richness to it. The flavor is very sophisticated, as none of the elements are overpowering. The flavor is very chocolatey, lightly malty, buttery…..essentially a little bit of heaven. These were gone in a flash.

As far as the milk/dark chocolate difference, the milk tastes much less chocolately than the dark and isn’t any sweeter. So it really depends on which you prefer.

 

BonBon Bar Orange Bar

Orange Bar: “Orange Caramel & Pecan Nougat topped with Candied Orange Peel” The flavor is sweet, but like the Malt bar, it’s not too much. The orange flavor in the thick, chewy caramel dominates and it’s really a bright, fresh, authentic flavor. You don’t really taste the nougat as it just delivers a nice fluffy texture. The pecans I hardly really notice; I get a piece every now and then which are fresh and flavorful. The best part of this bar is biting a section with the candied orange that’s placed on top. It elevated the whole orange flavor and really adds a great extra chewy texture to the whole bar.

 

BonBon Bar Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie Bar: “Warm with spices and rich with chocolate, our limited edition Pumpkin Pie Bar evokes the spirit of the holiday season. We place a Spiced Pumpkin Caramel atop a Graham Cracker Crust, and enrobe it with Dark Chocolate” Oh, this bar is yummy! Too bad it’s a limited edition too, I wish I could get these all year. The star of this bar is the graham cracker crust on the bottom. It adds a wonderful crunch and a flavorful base for the squash and spice flavors to build upon. The jist of the taste is definitely fall with it’s very warm effect of the flavor. I would have liked a stronger presence of the pumpkin, but that’s most likely just me, as I’m obsessed with squashes of all types. I bought three of these bars and they were the first to go. Everyone I shared them with agreed that they were out of this world.

These bars are lovely and I could continue to gush about them, but it’s best to keep things succinct. They run at $5 a bar, which is a fair price in my mind considering how fresh and flavorful they are. They’d be an awesome gift, whether it’s for yourself or for a special someone. BonBon bars are indeed a wonderful gourmet treat, and one I plan to get my hands on again very soon. 

Rating:  Hoard

 

Hoard

Links:
BonBon Bar Webpage


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