I came across this Michel & Augustin Petits Carres: Dark Chocolate at the same trip to the Grove Farmer’s Market down in Los Angeles on 3rd and Fairfax. The stores there carry and amazing array of items, and these bars from France are one of many. It was actually my sister who noticed them at first and kept picking them up to look at the packaging. The purist that I am, I was more interested in the huge bars of Felchin and Dolfin chocolates. It wasn’t until I she came over and tugged on my sleeves suggesting that these would be great to review on my blog. “Look at how unique these are!” she exclaimed. That line of reasoning was exactly why I bought them.
This is a candy bar that I have never seen before. This isn’t because it’s French and I just haven’t seen it on shelves here in the USA. No, I mean by the fact that this style of candy bar is completely new to me. Usually you see instead is a bar that is similar; where cookie bits are crumbled into the chocolate, or the chocolate is put into the cookie and it sold as a…well, a cookie. So this idea of a molded cookie base and chocolate interior which is a candy bar is very new to me.
I shall start with the first flavor: Dark Chocolate.
So these bare have butter biscuit as the bottom with a chocolate filling pressed into “wells” in the top. The bar is broke into six biscuit sections, two wide and three tall. Out of the wrapper it’s pretty to look at. Kind of like a stained glass cookie. Also though, due to the denseness of the cookie bottom, the sections are kinda hard to break. Everyone single one of them gave me a difficult time.
The bar is 73g in size/weight. I admit I wasn’t quite sure if this was a candy or a cookie. But, one seldom sees a 73g cookies wrapped like a candy bar. Much less from France.
The butter biscuit bottom is soft and crumbly. It doesn’t require a lot of chewing to make it break apart. The flavor is very sweet and buttery, with nice notes that aren’t too sweet. It’s a nice butter shortbread. I was surprised by it’s intense salty aftertaste, which was strange at first then ended up being the part I looked forward to most. The chocolate filling is soft and gooey, but solid. When I opened the wrapper it stuck to it and came out as a solid whole. Which is…odd. The flavor is sweet but very…flat. It reminds me of creamy cocoa powder. The flavor gets stronger, but it’s not very sweet and it has a very flat chocolate flavor.
So this is ...meh. I’ve had chocolate bars that are better and cookies that are better. I just can’t help but feeling that this is better off as a cookies, as opposed to packaged like a candy bar.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links Michel & Augustin Webpage (French)
I was contacted some time ago by Palmer’s Candies in regard to reviewing some of their products. I was a little worried at first, because the previous experience I’ve had with Palmer’s chocolate is the “mockolate” candies you see sold in large bags at the holidays. They come in adorable packaging and the flavor isn’t very chocolatey at all, it just tastes very sweet. I decided to give Palmer’s Candies a chance, since one look at their website and you see they do lots of other confections besides the stuff you see during the holidays. I was excited to give their other offerings a try, so here we go!
Kiddie Chow:Like the “Muddy Buddies” Chex cereal recipe. Crispy square cereal with chocolate and powdered sugar. The flavor is crispy and sweet. You don’t’ get any flavor from the cereal, but you do get a hint of chocolate and a nice, refreshing sweetness from the powdered sugar. The cereal is perfectly crispy and gives a great texture. The sweetness isn’t too overpowering as one might think. the chocolate flavor isn’t as intense as I’m used to, but that is a difference in the recipe I’m sure. There aren’t messy either, the powdered sugar sticks to the pieces really well.
Peanut Butter Crispy Yums: Little mounded treats with a coating of chocolate and peanut butter stripes. They’re very soft, and the chocolate sticks to my fingers when I handle them. they smell sweet and peanutbuttery. The peanut butter inside is smooth and creamy ,with bits of crispiness to it, as if it has a crumbled up Butterfinger n it. It’s a delightful texture contrast. The peanut butter is salty/sweet and has a nice roasted peanut flavor. I don’t taste any of the chocolate, which, makes me wonder if it’s really mockolate. But since there’s not ingredients label I can only surmise. Still, they’re tasty and can see peanut butter fans enjoys these a lot.
Caramel Swirl Pretzels: Pretty looking with white chocolate base covering the pretzel with caramel stripes. They smell tangy and sweet like yogurt raisins. They taste tart, of the yogurt coating on the pretzels. They’re sweet and tangy. I don’t get too much of a caramel flavor in there. Its a nice sweet/salty combination, and therefore it’s a satisfying snack. The pretzel is fresh and crunchy and really is a great texture element.
Peanut Butter Swirl Pretzels: The smells sweet, no scent of chocolate or peanut butter. They’re pretty to look at, dipped in chocolate and drizzled with a line peanut butter. The pretzel crunches nicely so it’s good and fresh. The flavor is a nice mix of sweet and salty. I taste the starch and salt of the pretzel, and the sweetness of the chocolate coating. It doesn’t really taste much like peanut butter to be honest. It jut comes across as a sweet coating on a pretzel, which, is tasty, but not as the description really lends one to believe.
Peppermint Skippers: They’re little domes of chocolate with a peppermint center. They look like little mountains, actually. Pretty cute. They smell sweet and of peppermint oil. The peppermint interior is a think, sticky fondant. It’s very dense and grainy and extremely tasty. The chocolate exterior compliments it perfectly with a nice sweetness that depends the peppermint flavor. These taste like a richer, more intense York Peppermint Pattie.
I admit I was a little hesitant about these free samples at first. I knew I’d be sent something I’d appreciate, but these exceeded my expectations. It’s good to know that my old opinions were challenged. My boyfriend was a big fan of the Peanut Butter Crispy Yums, as were the friends I shared these with. Personally my favorite were the Peppermint Skippers, as I really loved the creamy center of those. Which, may I remind you readers, peppermint is a very hard sell for me. Overall I was impressed with this sampling and I look forward to trying the Twin Bing that Palmer’s also sent me. That review coming soon!
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Palmer Candy Website
New Tree has done a lot of evolving over the years as a chocolate company. I recall back a few years ago when their chocolate bars had emotions and specific flavors paired together. You can see an early candy review of mine from CandyAddict.com where I reviewed all the current New Tree flavors at the time. Since then they’ve really changed their flavors and chocolate philosophy now. They’ve gone “healthier”, which is the best way I can put it now. Let’s look at this Belgian Biscuit bar as an example.
To start, this bar is a 65% chocolate and is labeled as “dark chocolate with golden flax seeds” along “3x more fiber, omega 3 and -30% sugar”. Healthier that most chocolates on the market now, wouldn’t you say?
Taking a bite the chocolate immediately has a lot of crunch to it. You taste sweetness and the butteryness of the biscuits, the chocolate really takes a back seat here. The biscuit’s flavor is the main star here. You don’t really taste the flax at all, it’s more of a texture at the very end when you get the seeds separating from the chocolate on your tongue and then stuck in your teeth.
Tasty, but not the best bar if you’re looking for a chocolatey hit. I found the texture to be the dominant factor in this chocolate bar, and it makes the bar difficult to be eaten in any other manner other than chewing it.
To be fair, New Tress does carry a collection like the originals I expressed above in the 2007 review. Yes, there’s been some changes. but the idea remains on the whole. Their branching out into more unique, healthful and innovative chocolate bars are interesting. I can’t say that these are something I’d immediately go for, but I’m sure they do appeal to certain consumers. It’s a quality bar at the end of the day, so it’s a good thing to go for if it sounds interesting to you.
Rating: Might Eat Again
Links New Tree Webpage
Along with the regular Milk Chocolate Hershey’s Drops I found, I also saw this “Cookies ‘n’ Creme” variety. This flavor makes sense since they’re based on bars that Hershey’s already has, and the Cookies ‘n’ Creme flavor is one I know many are a fan of. Again with the “No candy shell-No mess” tagline. So strange!
These are the same size as the Milk Chocolate drops. Somewhere between a quarter and a nickel. Here the name “Hershey’s” is printed on with brown letters, which stands out on the white shell. You can also easily see the cookie bits in the white chocolate. Which, I hesitate to call it white chocolate because even though cocoa butter is listed, it’s followed by palm, shea, sunflower and/or safflower oils. That’s a lot of oils in one white chocolate! Granted, since this is Hershey’s it still could be a lot worse.
The flavor starts out very sweet, and you get the notes of the white chocolate which have a strong vanilla and milky flavor. The cookies bits start to protrude as the chocolate melts away. and they have a sweet crunch to them, but no real specific cookie flavor. Just sweet. This tasted just like the bar form.
I liked this a lot more than the normal Milk Chocolate Drops. The Cookies ‘n’ Creme flavor is more unique and makes me want to go back to them. The milk chocolate variety feels too much like a sadder M&M to me.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Hershey’s Drops Cookies ‘n’ Creme Webpage
I found this Strawberry Cake Kit Kat along with the Sweet Potato Kit Kat I reviewed earlier this week. I was surprised to find a strawberry Kit Kat flavor so late in the season (usually it’s January) but I realize things have to be imported and stocked so I guess it’s really not that unreasonable of a time frame. An exciting find for me since I am a big fan of all the strawberry Kit Kats I’ve had to date.
The main package is very pink with red accents. There’s an image of a small strawberry cake in the corner decorated with vast amounts of swirly whipped cream. It’s very pretty and inviting. Almost so much that I want the cake and not the Kit Kat! The wrapped bars inside the big package carry the same colors and tempting illustration.
Tearing open one of the bars, the Kit Kats are a pale pink color with a very inviting aroma. It smells of that “Japanese Strawberry” flavor that is part floral and part fruity. It’s an iconic smell to me, and even thought it doesn’t smell like real strawberries, it’s the aroma of what the super strawberry would taste, or smell like. It’s very hard to put my finger on, especially for a flavor that stands out so much to me.
The flavor is very fruity immediately, and the flavor grows more powerful and fruity as you chew. It starts off mildly like strawberry and grows fruitier with a tart edge to it. Then it the flavor backs off and has a perfumey taste to it, like flowers. It’s interesting. The strawberry flavor is a little more muted to those I’ve had in the past, which I suspect is due to them trying to get the cake and whipped cream flavors in there.
This is a yummy Kit Kat, just it’s somewhat less intense flavor makes me prefer the other strawberry Kit Kat flavors I’ve had in the past. I’m really splitting hairs here though. I appreciate how the Japanese find way to keep putting a twist on the traditional strawberry Kit Kat, while keeping the flavor familiar.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Japanese Kit Kat Website