P.B. Richies-Not Rich in Love

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This review is brought to you by my boyfriend, who lovingly went to Walmart to pick me up some snack cakes because I didn’t want to lose my parking spot (in my defense, I parked in the lot that’s closest to me and is usually dominated by seniors). He did not want any of the P.B. Richies though, so I got the whole box to myself, for better or for worse (through sickness and in health). I wish I could say that these P.B. Richies tasted all the better because they were fetched with love, but sadly that was not the case and you’re about to find out why.

Was there love at first sight smell? I will give credit where credit is due, the P.B. Richies did smell good, if you love the smell of the peanut butter kiss cookies you make at Christmas and brownie mix. I found it pleasant, but I also love the smell of peanut butter, so if you don’t I wouldn’t recommend this treat.

Love at first bite? The texture was your standard snack cake texture, soft, spongey cake with a slightly waxy shell. What separated this snack cake from the rest I’ve eaten so far was it’s ooey gooey center. The peanut butter was gooey (as I said) and appropriately cloying, it stuck to the roof of my mouth and the back of my throat a little bit, a lovely throwback to eating real peanut butter out of a jar.

Love at first taste? I honestly could not taste the chocolate cake or coating at all. I even straight up licked the outer shell for a solid three seconds and I still couldn’t taste anything. I don’t know if I’m losing my ability to taste cheap snack cake chocolate or if the taste just wasn’t there, but the only thing I got from the chocolate portion of the cake was sweet nothing (and not the kind my boyfriend whispers in my ear). The only thing I could taste was the peanut butter, which was sweeter than regular peanut butter (like the Nutty Bars) and gooier. After the peanut butter taste receded, there wasn’t an aftertaste, probably due to the fact that there wasn’t anything to taste in the first place.

Was I feeling the love? I would say not, I didn’t love these, and I feel like I could have eaten peanut butter out of the jar and gotten the same effect. So to quote Simon Cowell- it’s a no from me.

*edited for clarity and for the addition of more puns on 10/10/16

I’m Nutty for Nutty Bars!

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As you can probably tell from the title of this blog post- I LOVED these Little Debbie Nutty Bars, which was surprising to me considering the low expectations I had going into this purchase (I blame the off-brand chocolate wafers my mom used to buy at the grocery store). I have never been more happy to be wrong, however, since I think these bars are, to borrow the common phrase, the bomb.com/awesome (the last part is from me). I’m going explain to you why exactly these bars are so amazing by describing their smell, texture, taste, and aftertaste ending with the answer to the question: were they worth the calories? (Spoiler- yes they were and are!)

Smell: The bars didn’t have a very distinctive smell, only a faint wisp of peanut butter and Nutella, which I thought was odd since Nutella is not one of the ingredients, but it smelled pleasant so I wasn’t willing to question it too much.

Texture: Initially I couldn’t tell if the Nutty Bars had a texture since the chocolate coating immediately rubbed off on my fingers (although that could be due to the fact that it was rather warm in my room). After licking off all the excess chocolate on my fingers I took a bite and discovered that the bar was very light and had the consistency of a wafer. The first few bites were crunchy, but pretty quickly the bar dissolved completely in my mouth. As an extra bonus, the bar isn’t crumbly so you aren’t left with little chocolate covered wafer flakes in your lap.

Taste: I feel like even people who don’t particularly care for peanut butter would still enjoy these bars since the taste of peanut butter isn’t overwhelming. The taste of peanut butter is diluted by the chocolate coating and the sugary-ness of the wafer, causing the peanut butter to taste more like sugar than straight-out-of-the-jar Jif. Not that there’s even that much to taste, the wafer is so light it melts in your mouth almost before you get the full taste of the bar.

Aftertaste: There wasn’t much of an aftertaste, just a residual sweetness in your mouth, like your eyes get when you look at a rainbow (can you tell how much I love these bars?).

Were they worth the calories? Props to you if you’re even reading this right now since I already answered this, but yes! The bars are light both in texture and taste, and fill you with a sort of love as you would get from looking at a chocolate lab puppy (again, can you tell how much I love these bars?). So what are you waiting for- get your own box!!

It’s the Final Little Debbie Countdown

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For this post, I decided to knock out a bunch (well, four) snack cake reviews in a row. I chose Little Debbie to be my muse and selected four different snack cake boxes from the shelves at random (okay, I picked the ones that only cost like $1.79 instead of $2.39). I ended up going home with Donut Sticks, Star Crunch cookies, Fudge Rounds, and Honey Buns to share with my friend Hannah. She and I ranked each snack cake based on smell, taste, texture, and after taste with our final evaluation question being- was it worth the calories? Since our final rankings differed, I’ll put mine in order and add hers to the end.

1) Donut Sticks

I have to admit my bias on this one before I begin. I love donuts, I think they’re so pure despite being loaded with unnecessary calories. The Little Debbie Donut Sticks smelled like a cinnamon coffee cake that had been dipped in donut glaze (which I guess essentially is what happened). The glazed outside is the only thing that really made this cake moist, as the inside was dry enough to make me wish for more glaze, but not dry enough to cause me to stop eating. Hannah, on the other hand, thought it was “moist, and not too crumbly.” It was pretty straightforward in its taste, since it tasted like it smelled- like a coffee cake dipped in donut glaze. Surprisingly, there was no aftertaste, although my tongue did feel like the coating of the Donut Stick had stuck to it, but the feeling receded after a few seconds.

Was it worth the calories? I gave it a resounding yes, not only did I enjoy it, but I’m thinking about buying a second box when I next visit my favorite aisle. I ranked this as my number one treat. Hannah on the other hand said that it was only worth the calories “if you want small cheap coffee cake,” and that it wasn’t her cup of tea. She ranked this treat third on her list.

2) Star Crunch cookies

I bought these because I vaguely remembered eating them as a child and liking them, so I wanted to give them another go. At first smell, I was reminded of the cheap Halloween chocolate that is wrapped in tinfoil painted to look like eyeballs and fingernails. Not too impressive. The texture of the cookie Hannah described as being “crunchy, gooey, and waxy at the same time,” which I definitely felt as well. I also noticed that the longer you chew it the chewier it gets, which seems like a paradox to me, but maybe that’s what Little Debbie was going for. As for the taste, it again tasted like it smelled, like cheap Halloween chocolate, only with a bit of caramel thrown in. Hannah didn’t detect an aftertaste, but I felt like the cheap Halloween chocolate taste lingered for a bit more than it was welcome.

Was it worth the calories? Possibly, if you like caramel with a crunch. It wasn’t my favorite out of the bunch, but I would eat it again if it was available. Hannah also ranked this as second on her list.

3) Fudge Round

This treat smelled peculiar, but not unpleasant. It smelled like cheap brownie mix powder, but almost like the powder had somehow been burned. It had the same texture as the oatmeal creme pies, but with little ridges of drizzle on top. The Fudge Round was very underwhelming, it definitely tasted like chocolate, but it was a “bitter chocolate,” as Hannah described. It wasn’t overly sweet like the other snack cakes were, it just tasted very subdued, like the people who were creating this decided to make a treat that had chocolate flavor but were too lazy to add in the standard 300 bags of sugar into the mix. Hannah felt the aftertaste was similar to “baking chocolate.”

Was it worth the calories? For me, no. I actually like being assaulted with the taste of sugar whenever I indulge in a snack cake, so I was caught off guard by the subdued flavor of the Fudge Round. Hannah on the other hand loved that it wasn’t as sweet as was expected, and stated firmly that this is indeed worth the calories. She ranked these first on her list, and got to keep what was left as her prize for helping me.

4) Honey Buns

I was so excited to buy these at the store, I have so many fond memories of Honey Buns that I couldn’t wait to give them a second try. I guess maybe they’ve changed the recipe since I last ate them, because my experience was vastly different the second time around. To start off, the Honey Buns smell like artificial honey, donut glaze, and bread. Hannah sums this up nicely by saying they smell “sweet.” That’s about the only nice thing to say about the Honey Bun. Since the bun is coated in “honey,” it has a slightly slimy, slightly waxy texture. Hannah says she there was no taste, only slime (it should be noted here that Hannah may be a bit biased as she admits she hates honey). I got past the slimy texture enough to taste the honey and the bread. The bun part of the Honey Bun tasted like a piece of Wonder Bread had been soaked in sugar then left to dry, as the treat was very sweet. There wasn’t much of an aftertaste, but my tongue did feel like it had been coated again like with the Donut Sticks, only much stronger. I felt like I had dipped my tongue in wax, which was not a nice feeling.

Was it worth the calories? Hannah says no, “unless you are dying of hunger.” I say no too, they’re nice if you appreciate the taste of sugar and glaze, but overall I probably wouldn’t eat another one. Both Hannah and I ranked this as our least favorite.

So the overall takeaway from this experience is that if you’re the type of person who doesn’t appreciate that much sugar, Fudge Rounds are for you, and if you like your tongue to feel waxy after eating, you should definitely try a Honey Bun (even though you really shouldn’t).

Vlogging – Twinkies vs Ho Hos Edition

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I somehow magically embedded my Vlog this time so take a look ^^^!! For those of you who don’t have a spare 7 minutes and 45 seconds, I’ll break it down for you:

  1. Twinkies drool and Ho Hos rule
  2. Ho Hos = Worth the calories

But you should still totally watch the video, otherwise you’ll miss out on exclusive interviews with a Twinkie and a Ho Ho!

Vlogging – The Oatmeal Creme Pie and Ho Hos Edition

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Vlogging – The Oatmeal Creme Pie and Ho Hos Edition

Since I couldn’t figure out how to embed my beautiful Vlog, I included a link to it on YouTube up there ^^^. So give that a quick (seven minute) watch so you’ll know what I’m recapping below.

In case you couldn’t figure it out, my good friend Hannah and I were eating and reviewing Oatmeal Creme Pies and Ho Hos on the spot. We came to the conclusions that:

  1. Oatmeal Creme Pies are great if you want an oatmeal and cinnamon taste, but are not great if you like the creme taste.
  2. Ho Hos are the superior snack cake because of their moistness and chocolateyness. Whatever Hostess is doing, they’re doing it right.

I hope you enjoyed my foolish Vlog shenanigans, I know I did, and I’ll see you next time when I indulge in yet another snack cake!

Chocolate Fight Club

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And here we see the infamous chocolate fight club, where the best chocolate will emerge victorious after brutally beating the caramel out of the other contenders.

I will be totally upfront with you- I was not prepared to do this blog post. I did not read all the directions (but really, who does? I mean, I don’t even read the instructions when I clumsily try to assemble IKEA furniture.) on what sort of blog posts we were to write, so I assumed I could just review two other snack cakes and be done with it. By the time I realized that this was not the case, I had already visited my favorite aisle at Wal-Mart and had picked up some Oatmeal Creme Pies (as can be seen in the above picture as the overlord watching the fights between the chocolates) and Ho-Hos and was not inclined to return and buy more candy/snack cakes, so I decided to simply collect the assorted candies I had laying around my room and rank them in terms of deliciousness with the added bonus of alerting you as to which chocolate will give you the worst chocolate breath.

  1. Peppermint Hershey’s Kiss

Full disclosure: I fell in love with these things last year and I never looked back, even though I ate 15 in one sitting and almost died from the stomachache they gave me. But I will explain to you why you should love them as well by telling you why exactly they’re my number 1. The first thing I noticed was that Hershey’s purposefully changed the wrapping by adding little red horseshoes (which are supposed to be candy canes apparently) to the normally bland tin foil. When I opened it, SURPRISE, I found that the interior has changed as well as the exterior, because the kiss is white and red stripped just like a real candy cane! If that right there isn’t enough to get you excited about these things I don’t know what will! Just kidding- I do, the taste is also another way to get you hype for these things. When I put it in my mouth the peppermint instantly took me over, but it’s not a sharp peppermint like a real candy cane, it’s peppermint that has been coated in white chocolate. As the (white) chocolate dissolves you start to feel tiny bumps buried in the chocolate. The tiny bumps are nothing other than ground up peppermint, and if you’re a heathen who chews their chocolate instead of savoring it, you’ll notice that the peppermint pieces snap and crack under your teeth with the same kinds of sounds you’ll hear from a roaring Christmas fire.

Chocolate Breath Warning: Slight- your breath will smell faintly like white chocolate, but the peppermint is what people will probably smell first and more strongly.

2. Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate with English Toffee

This gets second place because it doesn’t have a poppin flavor like the Peppermint Kiss does. There’s nothing extraordinary about its appearance besides some air bubbles it has in the chocolate due to the toffee that’s inside. It melts quickly in your mouth which causes the chocolate to coat your cheeks with thick chocolate goo. The toffee is fun to chew because it’s so crunchy, the only downside is that it easily gets stuck in your back teeth but it tastes so good that having it get stuck in your teeth is a blessing because it means you get to taste it for a longer period of time.

Chocolate Breath Warning: Mild- after the creamy aftertaste goes away, you’re left with enough chocolate breath to have someone know you’ve been eating chocolate, but they won’t be overpowered.

3. Cadbury Royal Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and Caramel

This chocolate is a deeper brown than the milk chocolate, which comes as no surprise considering that it is dark chocolate. It is also smoother than the milk chocolate as it doesn’t have any air bubbles. When I picked it up, it felt heavier than the milk chocolate, which I am assuming is because of the caramel filling inside. The dark chocolate took a little bit longer to melt in my mouth, and I really had to work at the top of the chocolate (since I’m a sucker, not a heathen biter) to get the chocolate to melt away enough to release the caramel inside. The caramel, however, instantly melted and coated the inside of my mouth much like the milk chocolate, only with a sticker consistency. Even though nothing got stuck in my teeth with this chocolate, I still gave this one 3rd place instead of 2nd place because the richness of the chocolate caused a slight burning sensation at the back of my throat. It went away as soon as I swallowed a couple of times, but it was still enough of an annoyance to dock it down to number 3.

Chocolate Breath Warning: Strong- the dark chocolate doesn’t leave your mouth as quickly and easily as the milk chocolate, causing your chocolate breath to be more intense and longer lasting.

4. Reese’s Peanut Butter Bell

This was also a holiday themed candy like the Peppermint Kiss, but unlike the Peppermint Kiss, it was not innovative and not memorable. When I tried to get it out of the wrapper much of the bottom stayed behind, but that may have been because it was warm in the room and I had left it sitting out for too long. The bell left chocolate residue on my fingers when I picked it up and put it in my mouth, but the plus side was that the chocolate was so melty already it instantaneously dissolved in my mouth. The downside of this was that I was left with a bunch of sweetened peanut butter goo in my mouth with no chocolate. The peanut butter goo had an uncanny ability to be sticky even though it was damp from my saliva. The goo stuck to the roof of my mouth and was so sticky I had to swallow a bunch of times to get it all down. Like the Cadbury dark chocolate, it also left a burning sensation in the back of my throat.

Chocolate Breath Warning: Slight- since what’s left in your mouth by the end is mostly peanut butter, your breath will smell more like peanut butter than chocolate.

5. Hershey’s Chocolate Kiss

Full disclosure: I have been prejudiced against Chocolate Kisses ever since I accidentally ate a super stale Kiss that left me with a horrible taste in my mouth and a thirty second panic that I was going to die after consuming much out of date chocolate. I did not, thankfully, die, but I left that experience with a hatred for Chocolate Kisses and Hershey’s chocolate in general (except for the blessed Peppermint Kisses). Putting my traumatic memory aside, I popped this kiss in my mouth after making doubly sure it was not stale. This type of Kiss took a long time to melt in my mouth and I had to actively suck on it in order for it to start melting. Eventually I gave up on trying to savor it and just bit into it instead. As I chewed it I noticed it was simultaneously dry and squishy, it had almost a rubbery texture which definitely threw me off. I felt like it had a somewhat gross and stale after taste, but that could have been my memories resurfacing. The Kiss didn’t leave any residue, except for the disappointing taste of chocolate I know could be better.

Chocolate Breath Warning: Slight- I’m not sure there’s enough chocolate in these things to give you chocolate breath, but it does leave behind something.

 

I was going to review 8 chocolates, but I had just come back from Panera and I figured eating 8 chocolates in one sitting after that wouldn’t do my body any good so I left it at 5.

To sum up: the chocolate to make it out as the winner of the chocolate fight club was the Peppermint Kiss (my absolute all time fave), but if you’re not a fan of peppermint, try the Cadbury Milk Chocolate with Toffee, it’s fun to chew and it doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth or a burning sensation in the back of your throat!