Russell Stover Assorted Chocolates in Heart Shaped Box

Russell Stover Chocolate Heart

We had some friends over to watch the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics. I think they saw my earlier review for the very small BFF chocolate heart I reviewed earlier this week, because they brought their own "adult" sized chocolate with them. Russell Stover is a pretty good middle of the pack chocolate company. They aren't the best, but they aren't as bland as a Hershey bar, they fall somewhere in the middle. I was not impressed with the chocolate assortment in this box. Five Coconuts is too many, only two with nuts what?? A few chews, a caramel or two. Wy can't anyone put a chocolate covered jelly in one of these boxes???!!! Decent chocolate, great company, beautiful opening ceremony for the Olympics, it's a good night.

Russell Stover Chocolate Heart Russell Stover Chocolate Heart

Chocolate Pez

Chocolate Pez
Originally uploaded by
Here is a fun Valentine's Day candy I picked up for SugarKid. Okay, I have to be honest, my first thought was that this would be a great item to review, my second thought was that this would be a FUN GIFT! I guess that's not the normal way to look at candy, but I'm not a normal candy buyer.

As soon as I opened the small chocolate PEZ package, there was a very strong smell that I can only describe as cocoa powder. You know the stuff, it's what you use to bake brownies with and has a large HERSHEY label on it. I tried to eat some as a child and it doesn't have the greatest flavor in the world. So I was a little put off by this smell, but I'll try anything at least once.

If you've ever read a little about PEZ you'll know it has a wonderful history behind it. My favorite part of PEZ is that the candies themselves are called "compressed confectionary bricks". I think that's fun to say. My least favorite part of PEZ candy is loading the dispenser. Is there an easy way to do that? It's always so difficult for me to cram those little bricks into that plastic holder and have them all line up just right. I usually just eat the bricks from the package and give up on the dispenser. There are lots of sites where you can read about PEZ here, here and here is a PEZ database. Another interesting point is that PEZ CANDY Inc. thinks of itself as a candy maker and the dispensers are secondary to the candy product. I find that interesting because I know several people and have read about others that take their PEZ dispenser collections very seriously.

The chocolate PEZ taste very similar to chocolate Ovaltine, Nestle Quick Powder or Coco Puffs cereal. At one point I thought it had a very strong Tootsie Roll flavor too. Overall I thought the candy was okay, but this won't become my favorite PEZ flavor.

Taste: 3/5 Liked It
Calorie Counter: 1 Roll (.29oz) = 1 serving = 35 calories, 0g fat
Price: $.99 at Walgreen's
Chocolate Pez

Russell Stover BFF Chocolates

I picked this small box up for my wife at Wal-Mart the other day. I thought it would be a nice small present to give her before Valentine's Day. It is a very clever package that sort of looks like a large Necco or Brach's conversation heart with BFF stamped across the package (see photo below). The packaging did not say what type of chocolate was inside, but I assumed it was probably three of their most popular or most common chocolate pieces.

The first chocolate we tried was the Dark Chocolate Truffle. The outside shell was a nice thickness and had a nice bitter dark chocolate flavor. It was a great chocolate to compliment the overly sweet, smooth and creamy truffle interior. There was a slight sugar burn in the throat from the truffle inside but overall we both thought this was a nice combination.

We moved on to the caramel next. It is very thick and chewy caramel with what we both thought was a pretty true caramel flavor. The caramel was chewy, but not too hard with a slightly salty taste. The milk chocolate was a nice sweet milk chocolate.

The last chocolate in the mix, and most surprising, was a toasted coconut flake. Surprising, because it was much better than we thought, since we are not crazy about this type of coconut in chocolate. We love Almond Joys but are not big fans of the toasted coconut. This chocolate was packed full of coconut flake too. The milk chocolate was slightly sweet, similar to the caramel chocolate.

Overall, it was a fun gift that we could share and not feel guilty about the calories later, since this is a small package of chocolate. The problem with buying a large box of chocolates is that we lack the self-control not to eat the entire box. My guess is that this was a product made for the current recession since I do not remember it on the shelves in past years. This was a fun and inexpensive gift for my BFF.

Dark Chocolate Truffle Taste: 3/5 Liked It
Milk Chocolate Caramel Taste: 4/5 Really Liked It
Milk Chocolate w/ Toasted Flake Coconut Taste: 4/5 Really Liked It
Calorie Counter: 1 box = 1 serving = 250 calories, 13g fat
Price: $1.99 at Wal-Mart
Russell Stover small assorted heart

Children's Valentines

It is a snow day today and we received another 8-10 inches of snow. Which means it is a good time to get Valentine's together for SugarKid to take to school on Thursday. We are putting 20 of these together and I let SugarKid pick out what he wanted to put inside. He picked X-Men Valentine's cards with Wonka Fun Dip, Tootsie Roll Valentine's suckers and some leftover candy hearts from a review I'll post soon. My son is busy writing out 20 names in his awesome 5 yr. old hand-writing as I fill the bags with candy. I'll probably take a few pictures of what he receives from his class but I'm guessing we'll see lots of pencils, stickers and other non-candy items. As my son is fond of saying, "booooo, gimme some candy!". What do you remember getting in your Valentine's as a kid?

Preparing Valentines

All Green Peanut M&Ms - M&Ms Go All Green

I love a good marketing campaign and this is a good one from Mars. Just in time for Valentine's Day, they are playing off the idea that Green M&Ms chocolate candies are an aphrodisiac. I did not find these in stores until today (see camera phone picture below of the display at Walgreen's). This isn't a full review because these are just the same Peanut M&Ms you can buy any time of the year....only all green.

Mars has started a full Twitter, Facebook, Internet and store marketing campaign for Valentine's Day. The package has great slogans on it: "The New Color of Love" "'s all true" "What is it about the Green Ones?" "Mportant Notice: Consumption of The Green Ones may result in elevated Romance Levels." Mars launched a similar campaign the last few years, but I don't really remember how far back it goes. I know they added Green M&Ms to the package in 1997 but I'm not sure when they started the All Green campaign. The great thing about campaigns like this is that it costs Mars nothing in R&D, this is all marketing/advertising dollars. Great Marketing Campaign for a great candy. Pick some up at a store near you, it's good fun to support companies that do great marketing in my opinion.

Taste: 4/5 Really Liked It
Calorie Counter: 1 bag (1.5oz) = 1 serving = 220 calories, 11g fat
Price: $.79 at Walgreen's
M&Ms Green "The Green Ones" All Green M&Ms Peanut

Russell Stover Strawberry Cream Heart Covered in Milk Chocolate

Here it is, the candy heart 'blob' I mentioned in my last review. The Russell Stover coconut cream heart has a distinct 'heart' shape, but the strawberry heart did not. I understand it might be hard to make these shapes, but when the package says it's a "heart" candy, then it should look more like a heart and less like a blob.

Other than being a blob of chocolate that didn't resemble a heart, the chocolate had a pretty good taste. It was a decent milk chocolate with a smooth texture, much better than something you expect to find in a holiday chocolate at this price. It wasn't as thick as the dark chocolate the coconut cream heart had, but it was thick enough to satisfy a chocolate craving.

The strawberry cream inside was terrible though. If you've ever eaten a spoonful of corn syrup or raw sugar, then you can imagine how very, very sweet the inside of this treat tastes. The inside has the texture of whipped, super-sticky marshmallow with a hint of strawberry taste. The strawberry flavor was not bad, but the cream was much too sweet for me. The slight burn in my throat from the sugary-sweet cream cream didn't help my overall opinion. I felt like I had chugged an entire 2-liter of Mountain Dew after eating this chocolate, it's just that sweet. For the $.50 price, if you like chocolate and strawberry-flavored cream, you might try this, but don't be surprised if your sweet tooth feels like it's on overload.

Taste: 2/5 Did Not Like It
Calorie Counter: 1.25oz piece = 1 serving = 140 calories, 4g fat
Price: $.50 at Walgreens
Russell Stover Strawberry Cream Heart Covered in Milk Chocolate

Russell Stover Coconut Cream Heart Wrapped in Dark Chocolate

Russell Stover is a Midwest candy company that makes a very nice selection of chocolate candy. Our local Walgreen's always carries their various holiday candy and at $.50 the price is right for a coconut cream heart to review.

We tried the milk chocolate version of this coconut cream at Christmas and did not review it. The Valentine's version has changed with a dark chocolate cover instead of milk. In our opinion, this was a fantastic change to this candy! The dark chocolate layer was nice and thick with a very good dark chocolate flavor.
Russell Stover Coconut Cream Heart Wrapped in Dark Chocolate
The inside of this candy is almost too sweet for my taste. There is a very nice fluffy marshmallow-type inside that has a really good coconut taste. It's more of a real coconut taste and not a fake chemical taste like the coconut M&Ms I reviewed in an earlier article. You could even feel tiny bits of coconut in the whipped fluff that gave it a nice natural coconut feel/taste. The coconut flavor would linger for a little while and you can use your tongue to work the coconut out of your teeth. At 1.0oz this was a great size and even looked like a heart, which isn't always the case (compared to the Valentine heart-blob I'll review soon). This would make a nice small Valentine's surprise for your sweetheart.
Russell Stover Coconut Cream Heart Wrapped in Dark Chocolate
Taste: 3/5 Liked It
Calorie Counter: 1 piece = 1 serving = 120 calories, 5g fat
Price: $.50 at Walgreens