If there’s one thing that can be said about the great landscape of Easter candy it’s that regular jelly beans kind of suck. If there’s a secondary important layer of truth in the realm of bunny-approved junk food it’s that there are way too many flavors of Peeps. From traditional marshmallows in different seasonal shapes to the dipped Delights and more recent filled Delights, it seems like there’s damn near a different flavor for every day in spring.
Last year the Peeps-insanity went to new heights with the Peeps Oreo, and very much in line with their doing too much mentality, this year the Peeps Oreo are back, but you’d better believe they aren’t the same. The 2018 rendition sandwiches a purple marshmallow flavored Peeps crème in between two classic chocolate wafers.
When I was a wee boy learning my way around the kitchen I asked my mom what kind of cake she would like for her birthday. She thought about it briefly and quickly responded “carrot cake, but no raisins, and no nuts, and extra frosting”. Okay. The next week I succeeded in making a 100% from scratch two tiered raisin-and-nut-less carrot cake with ample decadent cream cheese frosting. I always liked carrot cake, but after that little culinary accomplishment it always held a special place in my heart. Luckily for me, spring time has arrived (in the candy aisle), and the common theme these days is that the Easter Bunny loves carrot cake because bunnies love carrots. Even luckier for me, I can throw my fork away now, because Hershey’s have blessed us with Carrot Cake Kisses so we can spice-pop all season long.
The kisses have some of the truest cream cheese flavor I’ve ever experienced in a candy, and I’m blown away by how restrained the sweetness is. There’s that signature cream cheese tang rounded out by a confectioners sugar sparkle, but the sugar lingers at the back behind rich deep creamy flavor and texture. The white inside has a soft give to it that is unmistakably cream cheese, and the spice-play only comes into the equation when the frosting has had its full say. Finishing the flavor is a soft combination of cinnamon and nutmeg that puts the perfect taste-tail on the cream cheese and brings the carrot cake profile full circle.
Eating one of these kisses is like taking a glorious forkful from the edge piece of a carrot cake slice and diving into a perfectly sweetened frosting-dominated abyss that ends with just the right amount of crumbly spiced moist cake lingering in your mouth. The taste manipulation here is pretty incredible, as the best parts of eating carrot cake have been transformed into a tiny bite sized 25 calorie piece of white chocolate. The flavor overall is deep, with a whipped frosting feeling and texture that is much different than the other often hyper-sweet White Kisses, like the Cookies and Cream or Birthday Cupcake.
It’s safe to say that I think these Kisses would make my mother proud. There are no nuts or raisins to be found, and the most dominant flavor is cream cheese, aka, “extra frosting”. They’re smooth and creamy and perfectly balanced in a way that is hard to achieve in such a small piece of chocolate. Easily one of the best seasonal Kisses I’ve had and if you do anything other than hate carrot cake you’ve gotta pick these up.