Sunday, August 30, 2009

Girl Scout Cookies meet Dairy Queen Blizzards

Dairy Queen, one of my most favorite places to get ice cream, has come out with two, I repeat, two Girl Scout cookie blizzards. Blizzards are one of my all time favorite go to desserts. I could eat one every day and be completely satisfied, but only if they mix it all the way through. I ordered a blizzard, not ice cream on the bottom with candy mixed into the top. That is such a tease and an extreme disappointment. I don’t care if you can hold the blizzard upside down and the ice cream doesn’t fall out. Put the blizzard in a clear cup so I can see candy bits all the way to the bottom; and when I ask for chocolate ice cream, yes, I mean for you to put chocolate syrup in my ice cream. I have digressed far from my original point, which was the two flavors of Girl Scout blizzards. I have recently tried both, the Thin Mint and Tagalong blizzards.

The Tagalong blizzard was my first choice, as I have a passion for all things chocolate, except for chocolate covered bugs. I don’t think I could ever eat those. Ewww. The Tagalong is a cookie covered in chocolate with a peanut butter layer on the inside. The chocolate is very soft and the peanut butter compliments both the cookie and the chocolate covering. For the blizzard, the cookie is mixed with vanilla ice cream and peanut butter syrup. I didn’t try my Tagalong blizzard with peanut butter syrup; I went for the chocolate instead. After a few bites, I concluded that I wasn’t impressed with this blizzard. To me, it tasted as though someone crushed up a cookie and mixed it with ice cream, which is basically what it’s meant to be but it just didn’t satisfy. Nothing was outstanding and I wasn’t looking forward to the next time I could eat one. I doubt I’d recommend it to anyone. However, you could definitely tell that it was a Girl Scout cookie, so if you love a Tagalong, give it a try. You might love it.

A few days after my Tagalong experience, I opted for the Thin Mint blizzard. The Thin Mint is a mint flavored chocolate cookie with a chocolate outer layer. It’s a very thin and refreshing cookie. The Thin Mint blizzard consists of vanilla ice cream, mint syrup, and Thin Mints. I was hoping to have my socks knocked off as I took my first bite, but no such luck. The Thin Mint cookie was recognizable in the ice cream and added to the mintiness, yet I felt as though it lacked enough chocolate to balance the flavors. It was very minty. All in all, I wasn’t overly impressed with this blizzard either. I much prefer an Oreo in my mint ice cream; however, if you are the kind of person that counts down the days until Girl Scout cookies go on sale and then you buy multiple boxes to keep in stock because you love them that much, then these blizzards may hit the spot when you can’t get your Girl Scout cookie fix.

The bottom line is Girl Scout cookies are delicious on their own. They don’t need to be drowned in a sea of frozen vanilla creaminess to make them better or more desirable. It’s about the cookie, not the blizzard.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When you want a little peanut butter

A friend once asked me why Reese’s Pieces taste so much different than Peanut Butter M&M’s. I had wondered the same thing. They are both peanut butter candies, but their flavors are extremely different. Apart from being produced by different companies, (Hershey’s produces Reese’s Pieces and Mars produces Peanut Butter M&M’s) they have distinctly different tastes.

Over the years, I have eaten both candies many times. I am particular in the way that I eat them. I eat the candy one at a time, biting each in half to inspect the insides. It may be strange, but it's the way I like to eat them. I like to see what's on the inside. How much peanut butter is inside the candy shell? How thick is the shell? How much chocolate is there? These are a few things I ponder as I enjoy my bags of candy.

Reese's Pieces are circular candies made up of peanut butter with a candy shell. Reese's only come in certain colors, mainly orange and brown, which make them easily recognizable. This candy hit the big time when it was used in the movie ET, which is where I first learned of this candy. My love for Reese’s Pieces began after watching ET at the movies with my brother when we were small kids. Elliot pulled a genious move, using Reese's Pieces to lure the alien from the shed sparking an everlasting friendship. We both cried when we thought ET had died, but thankfully, he survived and went back to join his family. When the movie ended, my brother and I were left with the memory and a love for Reese’s Pieces.

A few years ago, Reese’s Pieces met a rival on my favorite candy list when the Mars Corporation came out with Peanut Butter M&M’s. I absolutely love Peanut Butter M&M’s!! (I have a bag hidden above my stove right now.) Peanut Butter M&M’s are large peanut butter and chocolate filled candies wrapped in bright, colorful candy shells. It doesn’t matter to me if they’re ogre colors at times; it’s all about the chocolate and peanut butter party on the inside. I could eat an entire bag of those candies, and I’m not talking about the small bag you pick up last minute at the checkout counter. Peanut Butter M&M’s are addictive! Let me say this again...I love this candy!! It's at the top of my favorite candy list.

So, to get back to the original question about why they taste so different, this is what I found. When I was enjoying a bag of Peanut Butter M&M’s, biting them in half to look at the inside, I noticed the chocolate around the peanut butter. This isn’t unusual for M&M’s, it’s what they do. They cover almonds and peanuts in chocolate. However, when I thought about Reese’s Pieces, remembering that they are made of a peanut butter mix and a candy shell, it dawned on me that there was no chocolate. That was it! That’s what made the two taste so extremely different. Reese’s Pieces are a small spherical candy teasing you with the taste of peanut butter in every bite. Then you eat a Peanut Butter M&M that is much larger in size and surrounded by chocolate in its overstuffed glory and it causes your taste buds to erupt in celebration. Aaahhh, so delicious!!

I still love my Reese’s Pieces and eat them on occasion. Picking up the little orange bag and popping the brown and orange candies in my mouth bring me a sense of nostalgia. And when I bring a bag with me to the movie theater to share with my brother, it takes me back to childhood, where in the theater we first saw ET as he followed the candy trail out of the shed sparking a love of both an alien and a peanut butter candy.