Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mrs. Fields Cookie Recipe Chocolates

Mrs. Fields Cookie Recipe Chocolates

One of my favorite cookbooks is my Mrs. Fields cookie recipe book. There are some fantastic cookies to be made, and I've certainly never been disappointed by a cookie purchased at a Mrs. Fields store. For these reasons, I did not fear these chocolates when they showed up in my stocking this Christmas.

Mrs. Fields Cookie Recipe Chocolates

These were purchased from Target by my mother, and the box says they cost $1. The three flavors included were Dark Coconut Macaroon, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Brownie Truffle. The cookie dough flavor sounded especially up my alley, since I am a huge fan of cookie dough ice cream.

Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Chocolate

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough was first on my list to try. I feel I should mention that none of these chocolates had much of a smell. Anyhow, inside was a lump of cookie dough. I could taste the mediocre chocolate shell, but the cookie dough center had none of the vanilla or salty flavor that actual cookie dough has. It shouldn't have surprised me, but this was just painfully sweet.

Mrs. Fields Dark Coconut Macaroon Chocolate

Dark Coconut Macaroon was next, and again, the first thing I noted was the overwhelming, throat-burning sweetness. Aside from that, there was creamy, sticky coconut paste inside. It tasted like a Mounds bar, which wasn't bad, since I like coconut.

Mrs. Fields Brownie Truffle Chocolate

Finally, I sampled Brownie Truffle, which was like a chocolate coated chunk of brownie. Unsurprisingly, this one was also ridiculously sweet. The filling was grainy (I felt sugar granules) and almost chalky. It was slightly better and much more authentic than the cookie dough flavor, but really, at this point, I was not in the mood.

I don't pull this rating out very often, but both my husband and I found these to be just too sweet to enjoy. We split each piece, so I can't even imagine finishing all of them myself. They were edible, but far too cloyingly sweet for me to ever want to consume again. It's nice that they tried to diversify, but Mrs. Fields should definitely stick to cookies.


Here is a link to another review of these chocolates.

Mrs. Fields website (but these chocolates can't be found on the website)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Kanro Ramune and Cola Candy

Kanro Ramune and Cola Candy

I've never been big on hard candy, with the exception of two kinds: sour candy and fizzy candy. Both is even better. But actually, the first thing that drew me to these candies was the "cute bottle shape" advertised on the front of the bag. The fizz just sealed the deal.

There were four flavors in the pack (Ramune, cola, pineapple, and green apple), based on soda and Ramune flavors. The pineapple seemed especially exciting, because I was reminded of the pineapple Fanta I used to drink before it disappeared from the shelves of Target.

Cute wrappers!

I was disappointed that the colors of the candy were so muted. The photo below is pretty accurate, and I had been expecting something a little more vivid. Still, as promised, the bottle shapes were very cute. Here is the rundown of the flavors.

Kanro Ramune and Cola

Cola (brown) was first on my list, because I hadn't had any cola flavored candy in a long time.I'm surprised there isn't more cola candy in the USA, because Coke and Pepsi are so popular. Anyhow, the flavor was very typical for cola candy, like a super-sweet sip of cola. It was fruity and tart, and the fizzy texture mixed in with the hard candy was really fun, especially because the fizz foamed in my mouth. My only complaint is that the hole in the center (presumably for the fizzy stuff) made the candy get a little sharp (as in cut the roof of my mouth) as I ate it.

Pineapple (yellow) was such a disappointment. It tasted like a white gummy bear or a cheap sucker, in that the pineapple flavor was dull and hardly tart at all. It was not a true pineapple flavor at all, with maybe too much pina colada influence. The fizz was still fun, but this one lacked the little bit of sour bite that the cola had.

When I bought these, I didn't really look at the flavors hard, and just assumed the pale green was melon (common in Japanese candy). Unfortunately, it was actually green apple. The favor was a decent fake apple, though my experience with apple soda is limited.

Ramune (blue) was last, and for those not familiar, Ramune is a popular Japanese soda with a lemony flavor. The candy was like the soda - fizzy and sour. I tasted lemon and lime, and was really pleased with the tartness.

The cola and Ramune flavors really stood out for me, even though the other two weren't bad. I would probably buy these again, but I have had better soda fizzy candy overall (such as the Kasugai Jiwa Jiwa soda candies).

B, but cola and ramune alone would get an A-.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Kabaya Lemon Pure R

Kabaya Hello Kitty Lemon Gummies

I will admit without hesitation that I purchased these Kabaya lemon gummies purely because Hello Kitty was on the package. I am a fan. But, according to my past experience, Kabaya does gummies quite well. Pure R is a line I've never tried before, and according to the Kaybaya site, the current flavors are grape, strawberry, and ruby grapefruit. This lemon flavor doesn't seem to be available anymore.

These were a little old when I purchased them, but not expired. However, the website shown on the package, advertising a Pure R/Pureal and Hello Kitty cell phone campaign, is no longer working. I'm not sure how to romanize the name of this candy, and it seems Kabaya isn't sure, either because this package says Pureal but their website says Pure R.

Lemon Gummies

At first, I was worried, because the open package smelled like lemon cleaner. Thankfully, the gummies themselves (which were pretty big) didn't taste like lemon. They were nice and sour, and with a fairly authentic lemon flavor.

Where these got interesting was the texture. There was a somewhat hard shell (which can be seen in the photo above) around a soft, sticky gel center. The shell reminded me of a skin that might form over pudding if it sits too long. It didn't detract from the flavor, but it put me off a little bit. These were addictive, but not as good as other Japanese gummies. My husband couldn't get enough of them, and loved the flavor and texture.


Kabaya website

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Morinaga White Peach Hi-Chew

White Peach Hi-Chew

Somewhat recently, Hi-Chew released a series of "World Fruits" flavors, which included this White Peach flavor. The area around Mt. Fuji in Japan is known for white peaches (among other things), explaining the image of Mt. Fuji on the package.

White peaches, according to a little online research, are popular in Asia and less acidic than yellow peaches, which tend to be more popular in the United States. Both types are available where I live, but I haven't had as much exposure to the white variety.

I also noted that on the English Morinaga website, there is a link to a "Massage from the President." Oops.

White Peach Hi-Chew

I was a little surprised at the scent of these, because the candies definitely smelled peachy, but they also reminded me of butter. The flavor was sweet and a little acidic (and a little buttery), and much like a white peach. It was quite juicy, and the tartness intensified with every chew.

These were good, but not one of my favorite Hi-Chew flavors. The flavor was fairly authentic, and certainly different from the taste of a yellow peach. My husband thought much more of them than I did, but for me, there was something just a little off that prevented me from scoring these higher. Maybe it's just peach candy in general.


Morinaga Hi-Chew website

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wonka Everlasting Gobstopper Snow Balls

Wonka Everlasting Gobstopper

Despite my irrational childhood fear of the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I loved Everlasting Gobstoppers. In the US, we call this type of candy a Jawbreaker, but Everlasting Gobstoppers suit me better because they are chewable. It was great fun to check what color they were, and taste the different flavors. However, when I had some a few years ago, I noticed they were smaller than they used to be, and had fewer layers.

These holiday "Snow Balls" are actually just Gobstoppers with Christmas colors, and the flavors are the same as the original. On a side note, the snowman on the front looks like he might have something extra in his pipe, if you catch my meaning.

Everlasting Gobstopper

Red was the normal red Gobstopper, a weak cherry flavor (I think), then it changed to a mild, sour, citrusy orange. After just 2 layers, I was at the center, which tasted mostly like citric acid and just a bit like banana. The texture of the center was harder and chalkier than a Sweetart. Maybe some good comparisons would be antacids or chewable vitamins.

Green seemed like watermelon to me, but it was hard to identify. I think it changed to orange as well, which was a bit of a let down. The white tasted familiar (lemony), but I couldn't place it. The next layer was definitely lemon, although it only tasted like a cleaning product.

These were pretty disappointing. I would have liked a bigger flavor variety (grape, for example), and more layers. The flavors left something to be desired as well, especially the lemon. Although these brought back memories of my childhood, they just weren't as good as I remembered. Whether the flavors have actually changed, I'm not sure, but the size change alone detracts from the novelty value.


Wonka Website

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nestle Vegetable Juice KitKat

Vegetable Juice KitKat

I have been hanging onto this KitKat for a while, a little afraid to try it. My husband has already eaten one, and despite his lack of any strong feelings on it either way, I've been wary. To give a quick bit of background, Ito En is a beverage company, and this KitKat is based on their Jujitsu Yasai (vegetables galore) line of veggie/fruit juices. Based on the ingredients in the picture, the particular juice recreated here is probably similar to American V8 Splash, though I've never had Ito En juice, myself.

This KitKat has already been reviewed on several blogs (Japanese Snack Reviews, Jen's KitKat Blog, KitKat Addict, pretty pretty yum yum...) but sometimes I feel like having candy and not reviewing it is a waste. So, I worked up the courage to eat the KitKat that had been taunting me from storage for just over a month.

Nestle Veggie Juice KitKat

The bar smelled strongly of apple juice or cider, and reminded me of the Apple Vinegar KitKat from earlier this year. This was encouraging. At first, the KitKat tasted like apples, too, tart with creamy and decently balanced white chocolate mid-notes.

Then, something happened towards the end and aftertaste, and I suspect it was the vegetables kicking in. It got just a tiny bit bitter and very suddenly, the sweetness reminded me of overcooked carrots and overripe bananas. Still, I had no trouble finishing the bar, and I have to admit, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I can safely say that I would not choose this flavor again.


KitKat website

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dagoba Seeds

Dagoba Seeds

Being the nerd that I am, the first thing I thought of when I heard about Dagoba chocolate was Star Wars. However, it is an organic chocolate brand that was acquired by Hershey in 2006, so that Hershey could get in on the organic food boom.

Compared to some brands of organic chocolate, Dagoba isn't terribly expensive. If I remember correctly, the bar cost just under $3. This particular bar, Seeds is 68% cocoa, and according to the package, it also contains hemp, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds, as well as Balinese sea salt.

Dagoba Seeds

This bar was a beautiful shade of dark brown, and even though the perforations didn't work very well, it had a fantastic snap. It smelled and tasted a bit spicy (not in the hot pepper way, maybe it was the hemp). The saltiness was also easy to pick up, and complemented the slightly fruity finish of the chocolate (with just a hint of sour).

I was hoping for a little more of the nutty texture, but my husband liked how the nuts didn't interrupt the chocolate much. The saltiness did bring out the flavor of the sunflower seeds in particular, and the combination was interesting. Overall, it was a good dark chocolate bar.


This bar was also reviewed at Chocablog and Gluten Free is Life.

Dagoba website

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ferrero Mon Cheri and Pocket Coffee

Ferrero Mon Cheri and Pocket Coffee

My dad's job has always given him chances to travel internationally at least once or twice a year, and even though I've moved out and grown up (somewhat), he still brings souvenirs for his kids. On a recent trip to Italy, he bought these two Ferrero candies and divided the boxes among the family.

Neither of these candies were quite what I expected. The Mon Cheri seemed like they would be a generic chocolate covered cherry, and I assumed the Pocket Coffee would be solid coffee flavored chocolate. I was completely wrong on both accounts.

Ferrero Mon Cheri

The Mon Cheri smelled like a cherry chocolate, but when I bit into it, some of the strongest liquor I've ever tasted in a candy came pouring out. It actually burned a little going down. There was also a candied cherry inside for texture, but the flavor was dominated by chocolate and liquor. It was delicious, but packed quite a punch. I'm not a huge chocolate/cherry fan, but this was unlike any other liquor or cherry candies I've tried, so I was very impressed. My husband, who loves chocolate covered cherries, liked these even more than I did.


Pocket Coffee was another surprise. It smelled strongly of coffee, and it was a little hard to smell the chocolate. There was a crispy, grainy layer just below the chocolate, and a little online research told me that it was a layer of sugar. It made for an interesting and tasty texture mixture. Oh, did I mention that there is actual strong liquid coffee in this? The chocolate and sugar adds an excellent balance to the bitterness of the coffee. This is not a good bedtime snack, but I'd recommend it to any coffee or espresso fan.


Candyblog and Slashfood have both reviewed Pocket Coffee, and Jim's Chocolate Mission has a review of Mon Cheri.

Ferrero website

Monday, December 7, 2009

Nestle Peanut Butter KitKat Chunky

Peanut Butter KitKat Chunky

Just under a year ago, I reviewed a Canadian peanut butter KitKat bar, and it may have been a bit stale. In the interest of fairness, I jumped at the chance to review this fresh peanut butter KitKat (from the UK).

When I first saw this bar at an import food store, I thought it was a peanut KitKat bar, as the word peanut is so much bigger than the word butter on the package. For this reason, it sat in storage for a few weeks until I pulled it out again and noticed the true flavor. I am a big fan of peanut butter chocolate.

KitKat Peanut Butter

This bar smelled really good, like sweet chocolate and roasted nuts. The peanut butter layer was very thick (about half of the height), and when I bit into it, the peanut butter stuck to the roof of my mouth. Despite the nostalgia brought on by this situation, it's not something I'm used to with peanut butter candy. The peanut butter in this bar was thick, gooey, and sticky.

One difference I did like about the peanut butter was that it was less sweet than a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (for example), but this may go hand-in-hand with the texture. It was much more like peanut butter from a jar than from a candy bar, but I could have done with a bit more creaminess.

The wafers seemed especially crispy, but that could just be the bigger size. The chocolate was mild and the whole bar was a very good combination of textures and flavors. It was quite filling! The only thing that I didn't love was the peanut butter consistency, but the flavors were great, so I think I can let it go.


Nestle website

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Godiva Holiday Truffles

Candy Cane and Gingerbread

Godiva may not be the best boutique chocolate, but it is readily available. It feels like I'm eating a lot of Godiva chocolate these days, but when I bought those Halloween truffles, I signed up for their Chocolate Rewards Club. It's free, and you can get a free truffle from their stores every month. There are other perks, but the free truffle is the only one I have used.

Candy Cane and Gingerbread

It's nice that there's no purchase required to sign up or get the free monthly truffle, but only certain truffles are available for free. Special molded ones tend not to be, but they do offer some seasonal ones! Here, I have Candy Cane and Gingerbread (acquired November 27 and December 6). I had meant to get Egg Nog for December, but it was sold out. The foil wrappers were cute and festive, but not as impressive to behold as the molded chocolates (see the link to their home page below).

Godiva Candy Cane

First, the Candy Cane had a strongly minty smell when unwrapped. It tasted a lot like peppermint ice cream, the pink kind with the red and green candy bits inside. I was impressed with it because the white chocolate was quite tasty. It was well balanced and very fresh, and not too sweet at all.

Godiva Gingerbread

The Gingerbread smelled like ginger and other cookie-type spices. My husband and I were both surprised to find that it actually tasted like a mild gingerbread! Despite having the potential to be sickeningly sweet, it wasn't. This was a nice, fudgey truffle. I was pleased that neither of them exhibited the oiliness that Godiva truffles sometimes do.

I may be inflating the rating simply because these were free, but they were both very pleasing truffles.


Godiva website

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Glico Strawberry Mobaccho

Strawberry Mobaccho

These came to me from a friend as part of a late birthday gift, and thought I was happy to try them, my expectations were pretty low. The blandness of Matcha Mobaccho still brings the memory of disappointment. Kelly at Tasty Japan also reviewed the strawberry version a few months ago.

The cup sure is cute, though, even cuter than the matcha flavor. The violet-red drizzle looks great against the silver, and would probably make a fantastic shade of lipstick. According to the nutrition facts, the whole container is one 280 calorie serving, but I can't imagine eating all of the pellets at once.

Strawberry Mobaccho

Once opened, these smelled like tart strawberry (kind of like Fruit Roll-ups). However, the taste of the strawberry chocolate was almost completely drowned out by the "pretzel" center. There was just a mildly pleasant strawberry taste hidden behind crunchy, fairly bland biscuits. Also, these left my mouth feeling faintly oily.

These certainly didn't taste bad, but they were underwhelming. The chocolate coating is so thin and soft that it melts away quickly before I could even taste it. I suppose if you really just wanted to satisfy a crunchy craving, these might do the trick, but there are numerous better choices out there.


Glico website