Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Christmas - It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This!

Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas Eve! And in my own humble opinion, I think we've saved the best for last. It's time to talk peanut butter. First up, Reese's Bells:

I like the three colors of foil, like the bell shape, nice execution. A little bigger than a Hershey's Kiss in size, these guys deliver. I gave them out randomly with a lot of other chocolate at a seminar and everyone was asking what they were. I'm telling you, it's the peanut butter. But, do I like them better than the miniature Reese's cups? No. There seems to be a better PB to chocolate ratio with the cups. But these are more festive. You pick for yourself. These make fab decorations before you eat them.

Let's get onto the REAL peanut butter:

Okay - here we have a Reese's Tree regular size, a King Size one, another Russell Stover Santa (this one filled with peanut butter of course), and a BIG Reese's Snowman. The snowman is festive - look at the Reese's sweater! There's also a search-a-word game on the back. This is clearly a stocking stuffer. Let's see them naked (is this becoming a chocolate porn site? I guess it is!):

Well, look at Russell Stover - Santa my ass!! Reese's regular size tree is not much better, but you can tell it's a tree. Russell Stover's could be anything - a snowman, a penguin, a teddy bear, even the baby Jesus. They have no game whatsoever in the shaping of chocolate. The larger Reese's tree is better and look at that snowman! We've got the sweater, the carrot nose, even detail in the hat and a holly leaf!

Let's cut them open, heh, heh, heh. Nothing like a little Christmas carnage!

Look at how big that King Size Tree is - I'm telling you, it is so decadent! "Santa" is the smallest of the bunch. But look at what happened to the snowman! When I cut him in half, the back stayed put. It's a solid block of chocolate.

Here are the taste results - Russell Stover is creamier than Reese's but it tastes less peanut buttery. The Reese's were saltier. You'll have to choose for yourself, but I'm choosing Reese's.

Now let's talk about the snowman. Too much chocolate for me. I get Reese's because I like the peanut butter. But I thought, "Score! I'm just going to eat all the peanut butter out of there!" But - it was too salty - it needs the thin coating of chocolate the trees have. The trees are so good!

But it's not over yet! I don't know if you've seen these, but if you like Reese's, you owe it to yourself to get some:

These are peanut butter, caramel and nuts, but I'll be honest with you, it's mostly about the peanut butter. But that is okay with me! I view these as a fancy version of the miniature cup. Try them! They are a great size for when you need a Reese's fix.

Why am I talking about these at Christmas? Because of these:

I first saw these in Oprah's magazine (and hey, Oprah knows her sweets). These are available year round, this is the festive Christmas packaging. And they are really good. They are made by the Koeze family, and have been for almost 100 years. I love these small American confectioners!! The clusters are peanut butter and pecans covered in chocolate - no caramel. The peanut butter is all natural and is VERY smooth and creamy and you can really taste the pecans. I was amazed at how fresh it all seemed. They are much larger than the Reese's clusters (and a lot more expensive). They are, however, excellent. As a lover of nuts, I was impressed by the company's website and may have to place an order.

One final word:

This bar is by Bloomsberry & Co. They have the best packaging EVER. Very funny, clever. And they change it for all the holidays. I find the chocolate, however, only average. Don't get me wrong - it's not bad, it's just that the packaging is better than the chocolate - check out the website and see for yourself:

This is the season of lights and glitter and fancy packaging, but what really matters to most of us is what it all represents. If you are religious, it is your faith. If not, it may be the love of the person who gave you a gift or the love of your family. Fancy packaging is great, but what really matters is the emotion behind the gift. Or how the chocolate inside tastes!!!! It's always what's on the inside that counts. Merry Christmas!


Heidi said...

Thank goodness Santa left me some peanut butter chocolate candy in my stocking, or right now I would have to hit the Dollar Store to get my fix after reading this blog.
I love the way you cut these things up and show us what they look like inside. But don't you just want to eat all of it in one fell swoop rather than photograph it? Wow, you are one disciplined individual.

Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

Denise Ryan said...

Ha, ha - if you saw how many cookies I ate yesterday you would know I have no discipline!!

Carl Weaver said...

Peanut butter + chocolate = crazy delicious. This is one of my all-time favourite flavour combinations.