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Showing posts with the label candy and sweets

Sherwood Premium Milk Chocolate Truffles (Dollar Tree)

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Let's be real here: I think "premium" might be a bit of a stretch... My wife actually got these as a gift from someone, and promptly forgot about them...that’s where I swooped in (with her permission, of course). I knew these were from Dollar Tree, and I’m a huge fan of the name brand spherical truffles, so I was a little excited, but mostly nervous, to see what Dollar Tree could do with them. The presentation is nice for a dollar store product, but not something that would be considered premium anywhere else: It’s in a cardboard container with a foldable top that can close back up, assuming you’re not like me and rip it first thing. The colors and design on the package are okay, maybe a step or two above similar products, but again, not really something that stands out all that much, with some rather muted, dark colors.  Each truffle is individually wrapped in its own foil wrapper bearing the “Sherwood” name...because, as we all know, “Sherwood” stands for dignity, and c

Baker's Select Galactic Brownies (Dollar Tree)

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If you like your brownies to have a faint hit of moldy aftertaste, these are for you. One thing that I can’t stand is when off-brands go out of their way to pair themselves up with a national brand product when they could function even better without the comparisons. Ironically, that’s not the case with today’s item, which would be equally disappointing under just about any name, but it’s still a valid observation that I’ve had with better private label products in the past. It does, however, lead me to another point: why beg for comparisons with your product by naming it something similar to a main brand, when it looks so totally different that people will be disappointed before ever even taking a bite? That is the case with Baker’s Select Intergalactic Brownies, which outside of some very basic similarities in appearance, don’t share many characteristics with the original. I know most of the reason brands do this is “brand recognition”...private labels can sucker people familiar with

Oven Baked Fudge Mint Cookies (Big Lots/Dollar Tree)

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Every bit as good as the "real" thing... I’ve reviewed store brand Girl Scout cookies before (after learning they were even a thing at Aldi), but I’m of the opinion that you can never try too many; and that’s what brings us to this review of Oven Baked Fudge Mint Cookies. I’d actually bought these before, from Dollar Tree, so imagine my surprise when I saw them on the shelf at my local Big Lots...and for the same $1 price tag! I couldn’t say no, so into the cart they went. I’m not going to waste too much time on the actual review, because there isn’t much to say: they’re virtually flawless imitations of the "real" thing, with a soft chocolate coating that melts in your mouth, and a soft cookie interior that does the same. There’s also a perfect balance between the mint and the chocolate, which prevents either one from overwhelming the other...it’s pretty much exactly identical to the name brand cookies people shell out $5 per box for. So how do they taste so similar

Pepero White Chocolate Cookie and Biscuit (Dollar Tree)

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These are pretty good for the price.  “Korea No. 1 Brand”, the packaging declares, as if trying to prove via a blatant grammatical error that it is, in fact, a Korean export. At any rate, these are a knockoff of the popular “biscuits dipped in white chocolate with cookie bits” brand, whose name escapes me at the moment. (Whatever they’re called, they should be called Poco’s...that’s a good name for a biscuit.) Anyway, you get a decent amount of product for the $1 price tag: our box came with about seven or eight delicious biscuits. The “biscuits” here are pretty thick, and also rather long, so each one is a decent-sized snack...it will still take two or three to fill a typical craving, but I feel like they’re a bit bigger than other brands. The chocolate/cookie coating generously takes up about 85% or so of the entire biscuit, leaving just one small section uncovered at the bottom, presumably where you’re supposed to handle it while you’re devouring it. It’s like a dessert on a stick,

Baker's Select Vanilla Creme Cakes (Dollar Tree)

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  The individual packaging is the best part...it's amazing! No joke. I like grabbing some junk food every now and again from Dollar Tree, mainly because it can be inexpensive, and because I occasionally find some gems. Sure, most of their sweets are pretty forgettable, but they’ve had chocolate chip sandwich cookies (that I loved right as they stopped carrying), and some of my favorite powdered donuts. Granted, both of those are available under the Mrs. Freshley’s label, which seem to be good knockoffs of other mass-produced cake and pastry companies, but for a much cheaper price. I decided to take a couple of big risks with this one: not only did I go outside the comfort of the Mrs. Freshley’s brand label, but I also got a snack that I’m fairly indifferent about to begin with: Twinkies. I’ve never really been a huge fan of them—even as a youngster—and still don’t really care too much about their famous combination of (admittedly) moist sponge cake with super-sweet white cream fi

Donut Time Frozen Glazed Donuts (Dollar Tree)

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What's the time? Donut Time! Oooooh shit, these are my jam (for all you older folk, that means these are something that I like a lot)! I don't even know what company makes the frozen glazed donuts that have been around for years (and I can't seem to find them anywhere), but I have always loved them. I first tired them as a kid, many years ago, before forgetting all about them as an adult (mainly due to their apparently spotty availability). Then one day they popped up in Aldi's ad, leading me on a delicious trip down memory lane. The nostalgia didn't last long, however, because I promptly forgot all about them again soon after downing the whole package...and have never even stumbled on them since. I don't know what it is about them, but I'd put the taste on a close plan with Krispy Kreme's donuts; that's right, I said it, and I mean every word: frozen donuts have a taste that's similar to some of the most famous glazed donuts in the entire U.S.,

Choceur Legends Mini Mix Chocolate Bar Assortment (Aldi)

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Not sure this collection is really befitting the "legends" tag... Back when I started shopping at Aldi (circa 2005 or so), they used to sell a few varieties of off-brand candy bars, individually wrapped in large bags. I remember trying a couple of them, but the quality was nowhere near the name brands they were trying to duplicate, and so I forgot all about them. Imagine my surprise when I saw an assorted box of seven different candy bar flavors in the Special Buy section of our local Aldi, just in time for the Halloween season! And for the decent price of $2.99! I barely even hesitated before popping these in my cart, eager to see just how the flavors had improved since I last tried them over a decade ago. Or, at the very least, to jog my memories of why I stopped buying them. The chocolates are contained in what appears to be an innocuous cardboard box...but open it up to reveal a "blooming" effect that was completely unexpected, but somehow kind of cool. Also wei

SNACK CRATE: M Gourmet Collection 100% Maple Syrup Leaf-Shaped Lollipop

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This is the first review in a one-off bonus series covering the items in a Snack Crate subscription box, which found its way to my parent's mailbox. For more details on this, check out the  introductory post . It tastes like it should, but...I just don't get the appeal. Well this thing’s a little weird, mainly because the packaging doesn’t seem to be very forthcoming with information. So, wait, it’s just a 100% pure maple syrup sucker? Is that all this is? So it’s just going to taste like pancake syrup, but be in sucker form? Okay, whatever. Leave it to those adorable Canadians to come up with such a pointless idea! Yep, just as I suspected, that is syrup, and this is a lollipop. And that’s pretty much it: there are no added flavors, or hidden secrets inside…just the taste of a(n admittedly good) maple syrup, attached to the top of a white stick. I mean, I get what it is, considering maple syrup is one of Canada’s biggest exports and popular items, but is there real

SNACK CRATE CANADA: Maynards Fuzzy Peach Candy

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This is the first review in a one-off bonus series covering the items in a Snack Crate subscription box, which found its way to my parent's mailbox. For more details on this, check out the  introductory post . Expecting the taste of peach rings? Think again! Just taking a quick glance at this package, I thought I had this one all figured out. I mean, how could it be that substantially different than “peach rings”, that American candy that you see all the time in bulk wholesale candy vats, but never actually see anyone ever eat or hear anyone talk about. It shouldn’t come as a shock that I like the intensely fake peach flavor of those, and, despite the different appearance of these, buckled myself in for a similar experience. The main difference comes at you right off the bat: these certainly ain’t rings. Instead, they look like malformed peaches…actually, the more I look at them, they look like lemons. A peach candy that looks like a lemon. Even the peaches on the fron

Benton's Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies (Aldi)

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Okay cookies, but the cute packaging gets high marks. Well, it looks like it’s time to raid our three-year-old’s snack stash again! I’m usually pretty fair, waiting at least a couple weeks and targeting snacks that he has clearly forgotten about before stooping this low; this time, I targeted these right after grocery day. Hey, that's one of the perks of being a parent! I don’t usually care about packaging all that much, but I have to give some solid props to whoever designed the artwork on the box for these (along with the “alphabet cookies”, which are part of the same "line"): they stand out. The sea green-ish base color is eye-catching, and really pulls our eyes toward the product; I’m so used to certain styles of packaging and branding that it’s just gotten to the point that I’ve become accustomed to tuning almost everything out. This, though, almost forces me to look at it every time I walk by it, whether or not I want or need it. Anyway, pleasantries as

SNACK CRATE CANADA: Mackintosh's Creamy Toffee (Guest Review!)

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This is the first review in a one-off bonus series covering the items in a Snack Crate subscription box, which found its way to my parent's mailbox. For more details on this, check out the  introductory post . I swear I took my own picture of this, but alas, here's a stock photo because I apparently didn't. Here's a little something that's not really at all in my wheelhouse, but let's have a go of it anyway, shall we? After all, it's there. When I think of toffee, I always think of a “Heath” or “Skor” bar, with the hardened toffee providing ample crunch. I've also seen it offered in markets, usually done up with nuts or other “toppings”. I don't know if it's just a cultural variant or what, but McKenzie's is just a thin, plain “slab” of the stuff, with no other flavors or toppings whatsoever. My wife would probably actually be a better person to review this, as she likes toffee more than I do, and she's the one that ate v

SNACK CRATE CANADA: Maynards Berry Juicy Squirts

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This is the first review in a one-off bonus series covering the items in a Snack Crate subscription box, which found its way to my parent's mailbox. For more details on this, check out the  introductory post . The name "Juicy Squirts" brings a lot of things to mind, with candy being exactly none of them. Is this what I think it is? Despite having a name that reminds one of diarrhea, it looks to me like this might be the Canadian equivalent of Gushers, everyone’s favorite “liquid center” candy. Oh man, that’s got a pretty intense scent, like the cartoon candy factory exploded, leaving a lingering cloud of artificial berry goodness lingering in the air. I’d say it’s inviting, but those against fake fruit smells will be immediately turned off; then again, what were you expecting from a candy with a liquid center? Ewww, the candy inside is intensely sticky…I don’t know if the heat outside has something to do with it (although it’s been stored for the past two wee

SNACK CRATE CANADA: Smarties (Canadian Version)

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This is the first review in a one-off bonus series covering the items in a Snack Crate subscription box, which found its way to my parent's mailbox. For more details on this, check out the  introductory post . Well, these certainly aren't the "Smarties" we Americans are familiar with, is it? Here, Snack Crate has provided us with our first instance of “candy culture shock”: assuming you grew up in the U.S., these are not what you think they are. Just ask my wife, who took me up on my offer for a “Smartie” and was immediately disappointed when she ate the result of that generous offer. (Apparently she didn't look at the candy before eating it...) As a note for those that may not know, Smarties here in the U.S. are that sugary, powdery, circular, vaguely “fruit flavored” (for lack of a more correct term) candies that are a mainstay of Halloween and children's parties everywhere. Well, if that's what you want, don't ask for them by that nam

Benton's Soft Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies (Aldi)

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Wonderfully, woefully average. Fearing that their delectable “Original” Australian cookies were on their way out of permanent inventory (a fear that seems to be unfounded, as they appear to have gotten in another shipment since my previous trip), I actually picked up a pack of these hoping to find a somewhat viable cookie replacement should my preferred option dry up. Hey, as we're learning now, it never hurts to be prepared for any situation! Excited at the prospect of potential deliciousness, I let my wife try one first immediately after getting home, and was more than a little annoyed when she contorted her face in slight—but genuine—disgust , and declared that they basically tasted like every other pre-made triple chocolate cookie. She’s a self-admitted bakery snob, though, and frequently turns her nose to everything that’s not fresh-baked. “What did she know?” I thought to myself, well aware that she actually knows a lot about making foodstuffs and has a much more r

Benton's Caramel Delights: The Classic Australian Cookie (Aldi)

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Not quite as flawless as the chocolate ones, but a delicious treat nonetheless. I already took a look at the chocolate version , which I adored (and which a couple readers pointed out were knock-offs of a certain popular Australian cookie), and now I’ll be taking a look at the other variety on offer: caramel. Although it’s not normally something I would normally try, I have two reasons: 1.) an unknown commenter, who commented on the review for the chocolate one that I should give the caramel a shot, and 2.) Ben, another commenter who informed me that his store has run out and didn't appear to be replacing them. These, paired up with the knowledge that my own local store has a very dwindling supply, makes me fear that they might be discontinuing them in the very near future. In other words, now was the time to try them!* As can be expected, the exterior texture (“texterior”?) of the caramel is exactly the same as they are in the chocolate version, except for the middle, whe

Bake Shop by Aldi Powdered Mini Donuts (Aldi)

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Just your basic, standard powdered donut. In other words, delicious. Aaaah, the powdered donut: one of the most basic of all breakfast staples. There’s just something that’s so unmagnificent about them, and that, I suppose, is one of the reasons they’re so popular: simplicity. It’s just a basic flavor, they’re usually pretty inexpensive, and in almost all cases, even a bad example of a powdered donut is easily edible. And what we have here is pretty much a basic example of such a donut, with a coating of powdered sugar adorning an otherwise unexciting spherical-shaped cake. There’s a good amount of the powdered stuff, with only a few spots of cake visible. The flavor tastes a lot like powdered sugar, but with something else added that hits the “higher notes” of my taste buds (I can’t really describe it, but there’s definitely more to it than just the confectioner’s sugar). The texture is on par with what you would expect, although I will say the cake here in Aldi’s version is

Choceur Limited Edition White Chocolate Coins (Aldi)

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A disappointing picture of a lackluster treat. We just took a look at the milk chocolate version of these coins, and were thoroughly disappointed, so now let's turn our attention to the other variety they have available: white chocolate. Personally, I actually prefer white chocolate to milk (even though I'm aware that white chocolate is technically not chocolate at all), so I had slightly higher hopes for these than I did the milk chocolate. Once again, these are modeled after American coins (with different sizes representing the quarter, and the fifty-cent piece), once again there are a decent number of coins in each $1.99 mesh package... ...and once again we're faced with another underperforming combination of taste and texture. These might melt on the tongue slightly more than the milk chocolate variety, but are still way too “tough” to be anything worthwhile: they also have a very “dollar store” style vibe—but considering these cost $2 at Aldi, they feel a littl

Choceur Limited Edition Milk Chocolate Coins (Aldi)

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Moreso for fans of "coins" than fans of chocolate. Every year at Aldi, there are a variety of chocolatey treats that come out just in time for the holiday season. Mostly, they seem to be targeted toward a more “upper class” crowd, such as European chocolate collections, or Belgian seashells, or cocoa dusted truffles. But like any business, you gotta cover as many budgets as possible, and so on the lower end of the chocolate spectrum, we have Choceur's milk chocolate coins, contained in mesh-like packaging for the low price of $1.99. And, as can be expected, they taste like it, with a very plain, sweet milk chocolate flavor that seems to be targeting little kids, and no one else. It's a stiff, hard chocolate that only slightly melts in your mouth, requiring you to chew it the rest of the way in order to finish it off—and that's not a good sign for chocolate. Seriously, at this price, there's no way I can recommend these based on taste, when the Choceur bran

Winternacht Pfeffernusse Iced Gingerbread Cookies (Aldi)

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This ain't the gingerbread I grew up on, that's for sure. Once again I found myself at Aldi with an inherent need for something sweet,and once again I settled for Aldi's Winternacht brand (which my very weak understanding of German leads me to believe translates to “Winter's night”, but I might be wrong). My previous experience was the inexplicably addicting but overpriced peanut clusters; with that fresh in my mind I decided to go in an atypical direction for me, opting for Pfeffernusse cookies, which are essentially iced gingerbread cookies. I figured even in the off chance I didn't like them, they'd be something new for our son to try, as he'll try any kind of sweet thing—that's the plus to having no real-world experience with anything. I was really taken aback by these at first, because they are actually super-soft...I don't think I've ever had a gingerbread cookie that was soft. The layer of hardened icing—similar to the icing on iced an

Choceur Milk Chocolate Bar (Aldi)

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If this image doesn't make your mouth water, you've never tried it. My wife and I returned from a visit to her parents, who live out in the hills of Tennessee, with some leftover marshmallows and graham crackers, but no chocolate. We had made s'mores out in their backyard, browning the marshmallows in a fire pit, and it made me remember exactly why those are one of my favorite desserts ever...they're so simple to make, yet somehow so full of decadence. Anyway, the package of chocolate always seems to go faster than the rest of the ingredients, and so we were left with just two-thirds of a tasty treat. The problem was further compacted by my wife's insistence on only getting the name brand chocolate bar. Normally, she's willing to try just about anything that Aldi offers, but she is steadfast in her commitment to two products: ketchup, and chocolate. The curious thing about this, though, is that she has had Aldi's chocolate before, and really likes it..