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Taste test: Peeps! And new Pepperidge Farm cookies, ice cream bars and Hershey's chocolate drops

Serving size 3 Peeps 2 cookies 1 bar 15 pieces
Calories 160 140 240 200
Fat/Fiber 3.5g / 0g 7g / 1g 17g / 2g 12g / 1g
Sugars/Sodium 30g / 15mg 11g / 45mg 18g / 40mg 23g / 35mg
Carbs/Protein 33g / 1g 18g / 1g 20g / 3g 25g / 3g

Spring is a time of new beginnings, and plenty of new, sugary treats are fighting for space on the shelves and in the freezers of local grocery stores. Our tasters couldn't resist some of the goodies. A couple were so yummy, they have been making their way into our carts more often than we care to admit. Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

ProductMilk Chocolate Dipped

Marshmallow Peeps
Pepperidge Farm Milano Melts Magnum Ice Cream BarsHershey's Milk Chocolate Drops

Nothing says spring — or Easter — like marshmallow Peeps. Most of our judges are fans of the neon-colored, sugar-coated chicks. But only one liked the added twist of dipping the chicks in milk chocolate: "It gives it an extra layer of goodness. Just when you thought Peeps couldn't get any better." Other panelists said the chocolate made the chicks too sweet. They want the candymaker to leave the Peeps alone. "It's a classic," said one. "It's a Peep with a chocolate footprint. It took until 2011 to do this?" said another. "We live in remarkable times, indeed."Our panelists didn't think Pepperidge Farm could improve on the already delicious Milano cookie, which already has many variations. But they were wrong. The new, chocolate cream-filled Milanos were crunchy with just enough texture to hold the inside surprise. "These are pure, sweet goodness," said one. Another didn't expect the soft center of chocolate, "but I should have — the name 'melts' says it well." Another described the cookie as "perfection." "It's got a nice crunch and an oh-so-yummy amount of chocolate inside."These ice cream bars were fabulous. We sampled dark chocolate and white chocolate bars and enjoyed every bite. "This is phenomenal," said one judge. "It's not my favorite Haagen-Dazs, but it's close," said another. "I like the yummy, sturdy layer of chocolate on the ice cream, and I would definitely buy these." A judge who preferred the white chocolate bar said the size was just right: "There's nothing to waste." And "the crunchy, white chocolate coating dissolves with the vanilla ice cream to create a very happy mouth."Most of our panelists were thrilled with the little chocolate bites by Hershey's. They are shiny on the outside and smooth on the inside. Judges likened them to M&M's without the hard shell. "They are very chocolaty — I could only have a couple at a time," said one judge, "but they are great if you need a quick piece of chocolate." Another described them as "a nice, clean shot of chocolate."
Shopping information$1.99 for a pack of

three from Publix.
$2.99 for a 5.75-ounce bag from Sweetbay.$3.28 for a box of

three 3.38-ounce bars from Walmart.
$3.39 for a 9-ounce bag from Publix.

Panelists: Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; Julie Overton, consumer and mother of four; Wayne Conery, manager of the

R-Bar on Treasure Island; and Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island. All foods were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail them to Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

Taste test: Peeps! And new Pepperidge Farm cookies, ice cream bars and Hershey's chocolate drops

04/12/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 4:30am]
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