Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hershey's Bliss: Milk Chocolate With Creme De Menthe

A friend of my mother mentioned she'd found Hershey's Bliss with a creme de menthe filling at CVS Pharmacy. I made a trip over to CVS today just to find the candy.

The Creme De Menthe Bliss were in an attractive brown and green package. There was a shiny silver star, gold ribbon writing that spelled out "Bliss" and a picture of a mint filled Bliss candy split in half. After seeing such a festive bag, I was inclined to expect a top notch candy.

The candies had a moderate, fairly nice mint smell. The milk chocolate smell was heavier than the mint, though. [I noticed the same problem with the mint milk chocolates in Hershey's Miniatures: Mint Collection.] The milk chocolate was smooth and creamy. The creme de menthe center gave me a pleasant taste for a second. Then it evolved into a toothpaste mint flavor. Bleh ! A peppermint center would have tasted much better.

Thumbs down for Hershey's Bliss: Milk Chocolate With a Creme De Menthe Meltaway Center.

*ETA: I see I'm not alone in my opinion of mint Bliss.

  • Gigi-Reviews
  • noticed the toothpaste taste, too. Take note, Hershey: toothpaste mint + chocolate = wrong.

    Friday, November 14, 2008

    Hershey's Miniatures: Mint Collection

    Last night, I bought a bag of Hershey's Miniatures: Mint Collection at Super Wal-Mart. The bag contains three flavors: mint dark chocolate [dark green wrapper], mint white creme with candy bits [white wrapper], and mint milk chocolate [pale green wrapper].

    The mint sweet chocolate candies were made of Hershey's Special Dark variety. In previous reviews, I had noted a strong dislike of Special Dark's powdered cocoa taste. However, I found the mint sweet chocolate quite delicious. Each one smelled like an Andes mint. The chocolate itself had a creamy texture. There was a nice balance between the chocolate and mint flavors. The aftertaste was very satisfying.

    The white mint creme with candy bits were the second best of the bunch. Each candy was white, with red and green sprinkles. The addition of the sprinkles made for a less than attractive appearance. However, the smooth taste of white creme and the crunch of the sprinkles were a good pairing as fa as taste. The mint scent was lighter than that of the mint sweet chocolates, yet overpowered the taste of the white creme. This candy would have been better without the mint.

    My least favorite in the bag was the mint milk chocolate. The mint smell was not as pleasing as the one in the mint sweet chocolates. The smell was heavier on the milk chocolate side. I found the milk chocolate and mint flavors clashed garishly; it was reminiscent of eating Wrigley's gum and a milk chocolate Hershey bar simultaneously. The aftertaste was horrible, too.

    I would probably buy Hershey's Miniatures: Mint Collection again. Hopefully Hershey will replace the mint milk chocolate pieces with a more palatable flavor.

    Orville Redenbacher's Natural Buttery Salt & Cracked Pepper Popcorn

    Today I received a sample of Orville Redenbacher's Natural Buttery Salt & Cracked Pepper Popcorn. The Redenbacher website describes the product as such:

    Natural whole grain goodness with a buttery taste and a touch of cracked black pepper; no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. It's naturally delicious!

    Two of us tasted the popcorn. The other person tried it first. Her reaction was "Ewww, it's so salty. Ick ! It's burning my tongue. Way too much salt !" Then I tried the popcorn. My reaction was "It's not burning my tongue. But it tastes like someone dumped a bunch of black pepper on it...Okay, now I get why you said it burned. Because now it's burning my tongue." So "touch of cracked pepper" is a huge understatement. The taste of whole grain was largely overshadowed by the salt and pepper. The popcorn definitely did not taste buttery or "naturally delicious."

    Thumbs down for Orville Redenbacher's Natural Buttery Salt & Cracked Pepper Popcorn.

    JELL-O Singles: Sugar-Free Vanilla

    Last night, Super Wal-Mart had a sale on JELL-O Singles. This product appeared simple and convenient to make. So I bought a few boxes of the sugar-free vanilla flavor.

    Each box of JELL-O Singles had six sleeves of .23 oz instant pudding mix. The package promised "Ready in 5 minutes. Just add milk", "1/3 fewer calories than regular pudding" and "makes 6 one-half cup servings."

    I found the foil packets difficult to open. A paper pouch would have been a better idea. I didn't care for the taste of the sugar-free vanilla pudding, either. The aftertaste was sort of papery. [I've tasted much better sugar free pudding]. Also, the mix only produced 1/3 cup serving when I followed the directions to the letter.

    I didn't find JELL-O free singles to be terribly convenient or time saving. If I took the Singles to work, I'd have to worry about spilling the powder, bringing 1/2 cup milk, a spoon and a bowl to mix the powder [1 1/2 minutes, per the directions] and let the pudding set [5 minutes, again per the directions]. And that's if I wanted room temperature pudding. I would find it more convenient to buy pre-made pudding cups or put a bit of homemade pudding into a small container each day. I can't see myself buying JELL-O Singles again.

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    Gottlieb's Bakery: Challah

    Last week, I came across a recipe for challah in my Gottlieb's Bakery: 100 Years of Recipes cookbook. [Gottlieb's was a bakery in Savannah, Georgia that's no longer around] The bread turned out perfectly delicious. I'm not terribly good at braiding challah yet, but I hope to get better at it.


    Made traditionally for the Sabbath - different from bread eaten the rest of the week.

    1 1/2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
    3 Tbsp yeast
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    2 eggs
    1 Tbsp salt [Megan's note: That's how it's listed in the cookbook. I used less.]
    5 to 6 cups all purpose flour
    Egg wash

    In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

    Beat in oil, eggs, salt and 2 cups of flour. Beat in additional flour 1 cup at a time until dough is too difficult to handle in bowl.

    Turn out onto well floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as necessary, for at least 10 minutes.

    Shape into a ball and place in a well-oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled in size.

    Punch down, divide in half, divide each half into 4 or 6 equal pieces, roll out like sausages and braid following illustrations. If you absolutely cannot brad with more than three strips, that's okay, too.

    Place on greased baking sheets, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled.

    Brush with egg wash and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped, about 30 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

    Egg Wash

    1 egg
    1 Tbsp water

    Beat until well mixed. Brush over unbaked cookies, bread, pastry, etc. for a shiny finish.

    Credit: Gottlieb's Bakery: 100 Years of Recipes, Compiled and Tested by Sarah Gaede with Irving and Isser Gottlieb, page 23, Copyright 1983

    For helpful instructions on braiding challah, check out

  • MayaSophia's YouTube video Braiding a Six Strand Challah
  • Hershey's Kisses: Hot Cocoa Creme

    I was browsing the Dollar Tree this afternoon for candy. I spotted some three ounce bags of Hershey's Hot Cocoa Creme Kisses among the Christmas displays. My initial reaction was "Oh, I bet these will taste terrible. Hot cocoa flavor in a Kiss ?!"

    When I opened the bag, the aroma was that of powdered cocoa mix. The outer shell had a smooth, creamy taste. The filling was gooey, with a pleasingly subtle cocoa taste. The aftertaste perfectly mimicked the feeling one had just drank a mug of cocoa.

    Thumbs up for Hershey's Hot Cocoa Creme Kisses !