REVIEW: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Oreo

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. Full disclosure – I’ve never had it.

I’ve had a standard cream based Peanut Butter pie, which was delicious. And a Reese’s-inspired cheesecake, which was, of course, amazing; but that’s kind of it for me and pie-shaped creations utilizing one of the world’s finest ingredients. Based on a little bit of internet research it looks like Choc PB Pie is a nice creamy peanut butter custard on a graham cracker crust with a thinner layer of chocolate ganache on top, and now I feel like I’ve been really missing out. Thank goodness the junk food overlords at Nabisco are here to wake me the eff up with a brand new apparently non-limited edition Oreo that combines a graham flavored wafer with a peanut butter and chocolate flavored creme.

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REVIEW: Ample Hills’ Peanut Butter Munchies

Flavor Frenzy 2018. They battled. We voted. I campaigned. Team peanut butter got the victory. After a grueling bracket filled with succulent scoops of Ample Hills’ past, the return of Peanut Butter Munchies became a reality. The nut-ified twist on AH’s classic combines a peanut butter pretzel custard with caramelized clusters of Ritz crackers, potato chips, pretzels, and Reese’s Pieces.

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REVIEW: Dreyer’s-Edy’s Triple Peanut Butter

“You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone”.

A phrase that echoes through my mind every time I crush another jar of unassuming, innocent, beautiful peanut butter. That last, slightly too chunky, extra salty spoonful that lines the bottom of the glass or plastic is always so bittersweet, and if I’ve learned anything in life, it’s stock up on the things you can’t live without. Sometimes that means buying two jars of peanut butter at a time so you never run out, and sometimes it means seeking out products that only utilize the best flavors mother nature provides. Living up to this mantra, Dreyer’s are kicking off 2018 with a new ice cream that stacks goodness on top of goodness with a little extra goodness in Triple Peanut Butter, which combines peanut butter light ice cream with a peanut butter ribbon and mini chocolate peanut butter cups.

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REVIEW: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios

If I could eat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups every day for breakfast and not feel like a pile of garbage, I probably would. My fantasy was somewhat fulfilled as a youngster when I was beckoned to the TV as another young white boy hollered at me “It’s Reese’s…for breakfast!” My head turned and my life changed, when Reese’s Puffs cereal was gifted to the world in the mid-90’s. From that moment on the Puffs became one of my favorite cereals, and up there with Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Count Chocula, it has maintained a stronghold on my nostalgia-fueled favorites as I’ve gotten older. Whether tugging at our Reese’s Puffs memories or just realizing PB and chocolate is one of the greatest flavor combo’s ever, Cheerios came strong this autumn with a new member of their preferment lineup – Chocolate Peanut Butter.

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The cereal has a great, sweet peanut butter-y aroma mixed with the whole oat goodness you know and love from Cheerios. Visually they’re very appealing with an equal amount of tan PB and brown chocolate O’s mingling together to create a wholesome version of one of the greatest duos of all time.

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What’s most impressive about eating these Cheerios is the authentic peanut butter slick that coats the pieces of cereal. Peanut butter is the third ingredient on the label, and I was pleasantly surprised that the PB presence pushes beyond flavor and translates to a wonderful fatty texture as well. The pieces taste like peanut butter and chocolate but also very distinctly Cheerios, and much like Honey Nut and other sweetened varieties, the sugar content isn’t so much that it takes away from the base flavor of the notoriously heart healthy breakfast option.

In milk the peanut butter mouthfeel is much less apparent, but the smoothness is still in tact with the natural texture of the milk. Once fully submerged in the cold creaminess the lower sugar content as compared to Reese’s Puffs is more obvious, and it eats a lot more like an “adult cereal” than a cartoon kiddy classic. There’s a nice, genuine bitter cocoa flavor that pops up over the PB and compliments the fatty nutty qualities really well. The chocolate and peanut butter are balanced with neither really taking the other one over, and every bite has a solid distribution of both flavors.

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Are Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios better than Reese’s Puffs? Nah. Nothing can top those sweet crunchy balls of goodness; but this is a great addition to Cheerios’ strong lineup of cereals that still feels more responsible than eating candy for breakfast. And the milk that’s leftover after a hearty bowl? Pure bliss.

Rating: 8.5/10
Found at: Safeway ($4.99)

REVIEW: Little G’s Peanut Butter Buckeye

I’ve never been to Ohio, but I’ve heard a lot about the lore of the Buckeye. No, not the actual nut from the tree, but the chocolate dipped peanut butter fudge Christmas confection popular in the state that seems to have fellow choco-PB lovers goin’ goo goo ga ga. I’ll be honest, as many chocolate covered peanut butter truffles, cookies, cupcakes, and general candles as I’ve had, I’ve never had a proper buckeye, and I’m alright with letting Little G once again pop my tastebud cherry with their take on the Midwest classic. Little G’s Peanut Butter Buckeye combines milk chocolate ice cream with peanut butter swirl, buckeyes, and peanut butter cookie dough.

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As promising as this flavor sounds on paper, my journey with this pint began very negatively. Digging into the sea of darkness my spoon made a heartbreaking noise to any ice cream lover – the crunchy sound of ice. Smooth creamy silence was replaced with a harsh scraping noise and tasting it wasn’t any better – it was like a Fudgesicle. As I noted in an earlier review, my shipment showed up very soft, and it seems as though this one took a hit it couldn’t recover from.

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Being that I’m not a quitter, especially when it comes to my food-related splurges, I kept digging, and fortunately about half way into the pint I was greeted with lovely, creamy, ice cream that actually exceeded my expectations for a chocolate base. The milk chocolate ice cream is nearly flawless – extremely smooth and luscious with a big, bold cocoa flavor that has just the right amount of sweetness and a touch more darkness than I was anticipating, which was a very pleasant surprise.

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As is evidenced by the pictures, this container is brimming with mix-ins, and is so dense it might be the heaviest pint of ice cream I’ve ever picked up. The flavors’ namesake, the buckeyes, are all over the place, and are perfectly sized to take over the spoon but not so big that they can’t be taken down whole. Even though these chocolatey balls are the most unique component at play, they’re my least favorite, and I found the sheer volume of them to be distracting. I’ve learned about myself recently that I don’t care much for an abundant amount of hard chocolate in my ice cream, and while they are filled with a peanut butter cream, the amount of filling is very small compared to the chocolate, and they lose some of their luster against the chocolate base. I may have liked them more if the ice cream was peanut butter flavored and I got that lovely Reese’s harmony, but chocolate on chocolate with a hint of PB isn’t really my thing, and I ended up eating around them more than searching for them.

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Fortunately for me and my PB-hungry tastebuds, the other two mix-ins are no stranger to Little G’s arsenal and they are downright awesome. The peanut butter cookie dough pieces are big, slightly salty, and gritty with a buttery chew that I absolutely love. The peanut butter is simply peanut butter, in massive gobs, which have hardened and gradually soften in their salty fatty, just-sweet-enough splendor as I continue to eat in glee. The large amounts of peanut butter can become a problem, essentially like bricks, but I choose to just let them sit there and gradually chip away at them rather than see them as a frozen issue.

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While this buckeye journey started on a down note, it definitely ended on a high, and it’s the type of ice cream that is so intense and decadent it forces you to slow down and savor the massive flavor at hand. It’s one of those flavors that demonstrates everything Little G is about, and with some more careful shipping and a bit more attention to detail, this could be a classic entry to the limited time chronicles of Little G.

Rating: 8.5/10
Found at: http://www.goldbely.com (use code seanpancake0 for $25 off of your first order!)

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REVIEW: Haagen-Dazs Peanut Butter Salted Fudge

Peanut butter and chocolate.  One of the greatest flavor combinations known to man and no stranger to the magical melty world of ice cream.  It’s that hard to top yin and yang of sweet and salty and creamy and fatty that ultimately just equates to yummy and delicious.  As many times as companies have put their own stamp on the classic team up, we’re seventeen years into the 21st century and STILL getting new takes.  Brand new for this year, Haagen-Dazs try another spin on the sweet treat all star with Peanut Butter Salted Fudge, which combines peanut butter ice cream with chocolate covered peanuts and a salted fudge swirl.

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The peanut butter ice cream is smooth and sweet with a notable salty shine that immediately reminds me of biting into the iconic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.  Despite trying to emulate peanut butter, the base itself isn’t too heavy or dense and has a very nice light and creamy mouthfeel that is neither too soft or dense.

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The salted fudge ribbons help aid in the execution of the light yet decadent experience in that they start with a sweet cocoa flavor and finish with a strong saltiness that lingers with a little dance on my tongue.  The ribbon is mostly integrated throughout in thin sheets which gives most bites a much more chocolate peanut butter flavor than pure peanut butter, with neither flavor becoming too dominant over the other.  There are occasional larger chunks of the salted chocolate that deliver a quick burst of sweetness before melting away and beg me to keep on digging.

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As good as the other two components are, the real star of the show here is the chocolate covered peanuts.  I don’t think I’ve ever had chocolate covered peanuts in ice cream before and I’ll be damned if I don’t feel like I’ve been robbed of an incredible mix in for nearly 30 years of my life.  The peanuts have kept all the snap and crunch that makes them such an undeniable snack and work in perfect harmony with the ribbons and cream to emulate the frozen experience of eating the world’s best chocolate cup.  The flavor and texture immediately reminds me of Hershey’s Mr. Goodbar and all the elements combined taste exactly like Mr. Goodbar seduced a fine young Mrs. Reese’s and spawned the baby that is Peanut Butter Salted Fudge.

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This new release from Haagen-Dazs isn’t reinventing the wheel by any means but it delivers a fantastic take on chocolate peanut butter that is a welcome addition to a freezer aisle with many variations on the classic combo.

Rating: 8/10
Found at: Safeway

EGG-POCALYPSE: 17 Egg Chocolate Easter Battle (updated 2018!)

Even though Halloween is the universally loved and official holiday of candy consumption, any true sugar aficionado knows that Easter is a very close second. While you’ve gotta pay respects to the classics, the truth is that the days of stale jelly beans and yellow Peeps are long gone, and the limited candies of spring come in many shapes and sizes – but most notably, eggs. Some eggs are spring staples that only pop up once a year, and some are simply re-shaped versions of year ’round candy classics.

To truly up my husky boy knowledge I decided to embark on a 17 egg Egg-pocalypse pitting all of the commonly available candies against each other that can be found at Safeway, Target, Walgreens, and many other fine sugar-peddling stores in March and April.  When ranking the eggs I kept in mind overall flavor, execution, difference or similarity based non-seasonal versions of the candy, whether or not I felt the need to buy another one before summer comes, and of course, my personal taste bud bias. I also limited it to only full-sized eggs because mini is a whole different war for a different day.  Let the battle BEGIN!

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17. Cadbury Chocolate Creme Egg

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Thick frosting-esque chocolate filling inside of a milk chocolate shell. Very sweet and becomes fairly single noted after two bites. It’s not disgusting but definitely doesn’t make me want more. Would be better with a darker more bitter filling or some other type of contrast – very forgettable and easy to skip.

16. Cadbury Creme Egg

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I used to like these a lot when I was younger but now I find them way too sweet. The creme has a strange not quite marshmallow and not quite caramel texture that is off-putting and tastes like eating an icing made with tons of powdered sugar and lacks any sort of balance.

15. Nestle Crunch Egg

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There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this egg at all, in fact, it’s pretty awesome, it’s just a relatively straight forward chocolate experience – like the thickest most epic Crunch bar you’ve ever had. While I like Crunch bars quite a bit, I usually just enjoy them in mini size around Halloween and don’t ever seek out a full sized version – that’s kind of how I feel about this egg. Executed really well – sweet and crunchy, but not something I feel the need to buy again.

 

14. Russell Stover Marshmallow Egg

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Thin but smooth milk chocolate with a very creamy, almost wet marshmallow center. It’s like a gooey cross between a creme and a marshmallow. Soft hints of vanilla and not too sweet, which wasn’t what I was expecting and was surprisingly good.

13. Russell Stover Coconut Cream Egg

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This is like a sweeter, cheaper, marshmallow-y Mounds bar with decent dark chocolate coating and slightly gritty but fluffy coconut insides. The filling is far from pure coconut but has enough flakes to give the proper flavor and is a pretty enjoyable candy. The texture on this one almost reminds me more of marshmallow than in the marshmallow egg.

12. Almond Joy Egg

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This egg is in the exact same vein as the Crunch egg above but slightly better – there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just very similar to the year-round available version. Almond Joy’s already have a bit of an egg shape so this was a very natural progression, just thicker and more intense. Imagine if you stacked both pieces of an Almond Joy on top of each other and removed one of the almonds – that’s pretty much what you get here. Delicious sweet coconut with creamy milk chocolate. It’s classic.

11. Dove Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Egg

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High quality smooth milk chocolate with a much more chocolate forward flavor than the Reese’s staple.  It’s lacking some of the peanut butter punch with the PB getting overpowered and almost becomes too rich without any salty relief. It’s a well made product but not super craveable or classic like its competition, although it’s still peanut butter and chocolate so hard to deny.

10. Cadbury Caramel Egg 

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Good quality milk chocolate shell filled with thick gooey caramel that has a slight hint of butterscotch. Not salty at all but not as overwhelmingly sweet as the original  Cadbury Egg, and for a sweet Easter basket treat this is definitely my favorite that Cadbury offers.

9. Twix Egg

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It’s a Twix. It looks and eats like a slightly less tall more wide version of the original Twix bar. I’m not sure if it’s my recent experience with the giant Twix egg but the cookie seems a little less crunchy than what I expected. It’s a wonderful combination of chocolate, cookie, and caramel that is delicious but less so than the regular longer bar, where the added height gives a bit more textural excitement.

8. Snickers Egg

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It’s a snickers. Very similar ratios to a standard bar but just slightly more caramel and slightly less nougat.  For most people I think Snickers is a top 5 candy bar during the regular part of the year so this doesn’t disappoint, but it doesn’t exceed expectations either.  I recall the Christmas Nutcracker having bigger peanuts and more drastically different ratios of caramel and nougat, which I was hoping for here but didn’t get.

7. Turtles Egg

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The chocolate shell is thinner than what you get with a Cadbury egg but what’s on the inside is twice as nice. This thing is packed with caramel and pecans so much so that you get both in every bite. The caramel is thick and not too runny, holding the pecans together, which tempers the overall sweetness for a well rounded turtle treat that’s so rich it almost becomes savory with a hint of pecan pie.  Delicious.

6. Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffle Egg

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This is exactly as advertised, and basically, “wow”. It’s a bigger and stretched out version of the Lindor milk chocolate truffle, aka an incredibly smooth and velvety chocolate that is as rich as butter with a perfect amount of sweetness. Very decadent, very delicious, almost feels as though it’s in a different class of quality than all of the other eggs, but, that doesn’t mean it’s the best.

5. Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup Egg

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A crunchy peanut butter cup with salty golden Butterfinger flakes embedded within the butter that pairs really well the milk chocolate. I like their regular cups and I think this one may benefit in the same way that the Reese’s eggs do with a bit more height to give a stronger PB to chocolate ratio.  This egg was an absolute surprise to crack my top 5 but I could not deny its deliciousness.

4. Reese’s 3D Egg

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Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are my favorite candy ever, and they have, in my opinion, the perfect balance of sweet and salty PB to chocolate ratio. The only thing that trumps the original is the egg variety, which puts a greater emphasis on the salty peanut butter. The 3D version of a Reese’s egg also changes the ratio, but this time favors chocolate over PB. The thick outer shell of milk chocolate is delicious and creamy but asserts itself a bit strongly for the salty subtleties of the filling. The inside of the egg is also different than your usual Reese’s with a creamier but also gritter consistency than what the tried-and-true “flat” eggs offer. Wonderful egg, and still better than most, but can’t mess with my PB-lovin’ heart.

3. Oreo Egg

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Less sweet than a Cadbury egg and more texturally intriguing, this is the 2017 answer to what I thought the Cadbury egg was when I was younger. The slight crunch of the cookies makes it much more interesting with a little bit of contrast and the creme does taste a lot like the inside of an Oreo. The outer milk chocolate is smooth and creamy and on par with Hershey’s, maybe just slightly below Cadbury, but the overall balance is much better.  I’m a big fan of last years Oreo candy bar and this is just like that except bursting with creme filling.

2. White Reese’s Egg

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Just like the regular Reese’s egg this is exactly like the white cup but plumper with greater peanut butter to chocolate ratio. It works just as well, popping with sweet salty peanut flavor, but much like with the regular cups, it’s hard to dethrone the original no matter how good a variation can be.

1. Reese’s Egg

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It’s a big debate among Reese’s fanatics but the egg is often regarded as the GOAT of all Reese’s seasonal shapes among hearts and pumpkins and I am definitely in that camp. The PB to chocolate ratio is through the roof with more peanut butter than your typical Reese’s cups. While I have no problem with the original at all, these eggs explode with rich sweet peanut butter flavor that is always fresh and worth savoring every bite.  The classic milk chocolate Reese’s egg is a must have every spring and the true champion of my Easter basket heart.

Well, there you have it – my ranking of seventeen different chocolate eggs!  What do you think?  Did I completely mess it up or are my taste buds spot on?  Let me know in the comments what your favorite eggs are and any amazing ones I may have missed!