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Taste test: chocolate nut spreads

Peanut butter or hazelnut butter infused with chocolate is a delicious snack when eaten with fruit or crackers. Even the traditional peanut butter makers are rolling out options with chocolate or cocoa added to the mix. While the spreads may not be excessively healthy, they could make a great after-school snack, persuading students to add some fruit to their diets by using them as dippers. The nut butters also would be perfect for dessert. We brought a panel of moms together to see which brands they preferred for snacks or treats. Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent


(out of 100)
Jif Whips 87Skippy Natural Peanut Butter Spread With Dark Chocolate 70Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams 40

Whipped texture made this peanut butter and chocolate spread seem a bit like canned cake frosting. It had a great spreadability that made it a favorite among the panel. Judges appreciated the solid peanut butter flavor with an equally bold chocolate twist. The color was a little lighter than some of the others. "This would be terrific on graham crackers with marshmallow cream," said one. "It would be a great, fake s'more." Another said it would be good for the top of a pie. One judge who didn't care for the spread said she liked the taste but preferred a smoother brand "that would look prettier dipped on berries or bananas."Dark chocolate was the key to making this spread so delicious. Judges raved about the silky texture and the mild peanut butter taste. "It tastes more like chocolate than peanut butter, so I know my kids would love it," said one panelist. "I would definitely serve this with strawberries," said another. "It would be a perfect shiny and sweet glaze.This peanut butter maker also hit the jackpot when it added dark chocolate to its blend. "I like the thickness of this brand," said one panelist. "I think it would hold up well on sturdier snacks like apple slices or graham crackers." Another judge said she liked this sample because it did not taste too chocolaty. "It's good to taste the peanut flavor," she said. "I'd be very comfortable serving this to my children."

they buy?
Three of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$3.48 for a 15.9-ounce container from Walmart.$2.68 for a 15-ounce container from Walmart.$3.74 for a 16-ounce container from Walmart.

Also Sampled: Nature's Place ($3.19 for a 14.1-ounce container from Sweetbay, 25 points), Hannaford Hazelnut Spread ($3.29 for a 13-ounce container from Sweetbay, 35 points) and Nutella Hazelnut Spread ($3.38 for a 13-ounce container from Walmart, 23 points).

Panelists: Gina Schiller, mother of two college students; Jill Dunn, mother of two high schoolers and one college student; Rhonda Sanderford, mother of one grown daughter and two grown sons; and Sherry Valadie, mother of two middle schoolers and one high schooler. All foods were tasted blind.

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

Serving size2 tablespoons2 tablespoons2 tablespoons
Fat/Fiber11g / 1g14g / 2g13g / 2g
Sugars/Sodium18g / 60mg8g / 120mg13g / 17.5mg
Carbs/Protein11g / 3g12g / 6g12g / 6g

Taste test: chocolate nut spreads 09/02/13 [Last modified: Monday, September 2, 2013 10:57am]
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