Product Review: Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Bars

My dear Bakers Anonymous family, sometimes I get tired of eating baked goods.

I know, I know, blasphemy. How can I not want to eat baked goods all the time, right? Between the cakes, cookies, brownies, bars and other numerous baked treats, how could I want for anything else?

I don’t know, my friends, but there are days when I just a darn chocolate bar.

A few weeks ago, I heard about these Girl Scouts cookie bars from CRUNCH and thought I was going insane. What do you mean, my beloved chocolate bars are combining with Girl Scout cookies? Are you trying to blow my mind? And then I heard they weren’t coming out until June, and suddenly, I was a lot less excited.

But then, when I was in CVS on Sunday afternoon, innocently heading to the pharmacy in the back of the store, I spotted the display of Girl Scout cookie bars. I did a double take, a triple take, and then started to drool over the display of individual (AND BOXED. THEY SOLD ‘EM IN BOXES) bars – Thin Mint, Caramel and Coconut (Samoa) and Peanut Butter Creme (Tagalongs).

Since I don’t like peanut butter cookies (that doesn’t make me Communist, I swear), I only picked out the first two.

The Thin Mint candy bars might as well be the cookies themselves. If there’s one thing companies around the world have managed to do, it’s perfectly replicated the delicious and delicate balance of chocolate and mint. Inside the bar are chocolate wafer layers, topped with what seems like the exact same mint creme used in the regular cookies and a sprinkling of puffed rice on top (to make it more Crunch bar-like?)

As for the Samoas, which are my undeniable favorite in Girl Scout cookie form, these bites are drizzled in orange caramel topping, filled with crispy wafer layer, more caramel and a hint of toasted coconut, which you can see just under the coating of milk chocolate. Overall, these are mildly sweet and the chocolate has an artificial taste that takes away from what could potentially be an amazing treat.

So there you have it. These are definitely worth the $1.19 each I paid, though I wish (oh, do I ever) that the caramel ones were much closer to their namesakes. In the meantime, I’ll have to settle for these Keebler Coconut Dreams. Not like I”m complaining.

– Niki

Niki’s Note: By the way, these things taste a million times better if they’re refrigerated over night. I highly recommend it!

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Is this thing on?, or Shop Rite cookie dough makes an appearance

chocolate chip cookies

Excuse me? *loud screeching noise of feedback* Hello? It’s me, Niki. I’m back, really I am, this time. I know what I said about “no-bake summer recipes,” and I’ll admit, I fell off track with the summer experience. I got a job – my first real summer job – and now I will be adding magazine experience to my especially light resume. It carries over into the school year and I could not be more excited about it.

In addition to the lovely position, it’s time to bring up my kitchen situation. Because it’s a new semester, I’m obviously back at Rowan, but now I’m in a new building (ah, the joy of the resident assistant position). My apartment on the other end of campus is a fond memory in journals now stored in my grandmother’s house, and I’ve taken up residence in a freshman hall built in the 1960s.

Rowan kitchenThis is the kitchen I now work in, a little bit larger than my last one, although it is still not my dream kitchen. Let’s wait a few more years for that one. . . .

I’ve been on campus for nearly two weeks and though I have been getting more than four hours of sleep each night, I still feel exhausted. This product review of Shop Rite cookie dough was simple to use and especially tasty raw. When the cookies baked up, they had a lovely brown color, although they were slightly dry and missing that vanilla taste that usually pokes through with homemade treats.

chocolate chip packageThese cookies are fairly simple to bake and I purchased them on sale, two packages of 24 cookies for five dollars. I was skeptical of them at first because they’re store brand cookies, but I tried them out on my new residents who were watching “Fight Club” in our lounge. My two boys who were hosting the movie night said that the cookies were delicious and didn’t want to share with the others.

There are two basic steps to baking these cookies. Take them out of the package, break them apart, and spread them out, about three squares per row on a ungreased cookie sheet. I use a silcone cookie sheet on top of my metal cookie sheet for easy clean-up, as well as being able to remove the cookies from the tray without any problems. Bake these cookies at 350 degrees for about 14 minutes, let cool for about two, and enjoy. It really is that simple.

One last thing before I crawl into bed and go to sleep – I’m so happy to be back!

Niki’s Note: Now that I am back in a college setting, I feel more compelled to bake and try out new things. I’m starting a cooking class that should begin some time at the end of this month and I’m trying to come up with new recipes, activities, and avenues I can try in order to expand my horizons. I’m glad to be back and I hope everyone sticks with me!

the finished product

Crunch and Butterfinger: dessert in a bar

It’s around 90 degrees in South Jersey today, and I really don’t want to bake anything. When you live in a tiny loft apartment like I do (non-air conditioned, I might add), the thought of using a gas stove is frightening – very frightening.

Instead of baking anything today, it’s time to pull out a trust candy bar, something that’s simple, no-bake, and still chocolate. When my boyfriend and I went grocery shopping for eggs and cream cheese, we passed the candy aisle; my eyes fell on two over-sized candy bars that were part of a four for $5 deal. I never skip chocolate sales, especially when I have a supermarket card.

Butterfinger

Butterfinger

Ever the classic, Butterfingers were originally developed by the Curtiss Candy Company of Illinois in 1923. They’re trademarked by the bright orange candy filling similar to peanut brittle with a chocolate coating.

What we purchased was one of their Giant Bars which has the orange flakes scattered throughout the chocolate. It comes in in easy-to-break sections perfect for, like the package advertises, sharing with another. I prefer to eat Butterfingers this way, because the orange filling sticks to my molars too easily in the regular form.

Crunch Bar

Crunch Bar

I’d rank this candy higher than the Butterfinger bar, but not by much. Introduced into public market in 1938, Nestlé Crunch is made of milk chocolate and crisped rice. It originally used to be packaged in a foil sleeve with a second paper one, but Nestlé recently discontinued it in favor of more conventional ways.

I like this candy bar because of its light and airy taste, as well as its portability. It doesn’t seem to melt as quickly as some of the other candy bars, and it doesn’t get stuck in my teeth, either.

Niki’s Note: Completely unrelated to candy bars, I want to thank all the readers/viewers who helped this blog reach over 1,000 hits! I hope you keep coming back. 🙂

A banana split in one container

Blue Bunny Ice Cream

When Grammy and I feel like it, we can be ice cream snobs. During my first summer at her house, we spent the entire time eating Blue Bunny Champs cones. That summer was the first time I’d ever eaten Blue Bunny ice cream. It was an eye-opening experience, changing the way I viewed the world of half gallon cartons forever.

My grocery store doesn’t carry the Blue Bunny brand in containers (Grammy suggests that I talk to customer service to show them that there’s a market for such items, but I don’t know. I feel weird), so when I went home and saw Blue Bunny Banana Split ice cream in the fridge, I knew that I was about to taste something amazing.

Banana splitThis ice cream truly is a full desert in a container. If you’ve been dreaming of banana splits but don’t have the time to make it with all the trimmings, then this is an ice cream for you.

Banana and fudge swirl through vanilla ice cream, a delicious combination that leaves you wondering just how they got banana to swirl. Add diced pineapple, which you don’t really taste, maraschino cherries (some actually remain whole!), and mixed nuts, and you have a full dessert ready to go.

deliciousness on a spoonQuick Facts:

Cost: $4.99

Serves: approx. 20 people on a two-scoop policy

Most delicious when: served without toppings!

Get your chocolate fix from Super Fresh!

Cake slice

Grammy and I are two peas in a pod when it comes to food shopping. We’ll run off in two different directions at any given grocery store, perusing aisles for tempting treats and, on some occasions, cabbage. This past trip to Super Fresh we picked up a few odds and ends, as well as an interesting chocolate loaf cake.

Chocolate cakeFor three dollars, Grammy and I purchased a double chocolate chip loaf creme cake (they came up with the name, not me) that looked to be quiet interesting.

The cake came in a white wrapper, to seal in freshness, I assume, and was kind of a nuisance to take off the cake. Especially when I wanted a slice right then!

The cake is fairly easy to cut, but crumbles easily. The room temperature cake was pretty good, though I did refrigerate a slice just to see if it were any better, and it was. Definitely eat this cake with a scoop of ice cream on the side! You can’t go wrong.

Don’t be fooled by the “double chocolate chip” name, however, because this cake could use another cup of mini chocolate chips. That could be my chocoholic side calling out, but hey, I’m allowed.

As a sidenote, I can’t recall tasting any creme in this cake. Maybe it was in the glaze?

Cake topDon’t want to leave your house for some loaf cake? Try this out!

Quick Facts:

Serves: about 6 decent-sized slices

Cost: $4.00

Best served: cold, with a scoop of ice cream

Tastes like: Moist chocolate cake with a hint of chocolate chips