If there’s been a bit of a wild look in my eyes lately it can partially be attributed to seeing this seasonal Spotted On Shelves over at The Impulsive Buy and also this other one. Like most people, I have a couple of favorite flavor profiles, flavors that, if you put out something with that flavor, it generally ends up filling my face. Two of them are sugar cookie and gingerbread. I do like my gingerbread. I’ve made this ginger spiked gingerbread from King Arthur’s Flour and, as often as I can justify it, pick up a loaf of gingerbread from the Gingerbread Construction Co. when we visit family out towards Boston (oh MAN is that good). And, of course, those FANTASTIC gingerbread Oreos that came out last year (I am REALLY hoping for a rerun this year, but I haven’t heard anything yet about that happening). Every year I buy exactly one quart of eggnog to indulge in, usually Hood’s gingerbread or sugar cookie, naturally.
So, yesterday I headed to Walmart on Rt. 9 to see if I could find either the Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts, Gingerbread m&m’s, or Gingerbread Twix. I only came up with the Pop-Tarts (with a 50 cent coupon stuck to the front to boot!). While they had started putting out a few Christmas candy items and had the full blown Christmas area seemingly up and running, no luck on the candy. But it was Halloween and they hadn’t dismantled those displays completely. I haven’t cracked the Pop-Tarts, yet. (Update: They’re OK. Nice vanilla creme flavor, but there’s just nothing here that even tries to fool my brain into thinking ‘sugar cookie’. Disappointing. 😦 )
Today I decided to drive a bit more, trying my luck elsewhere and hoping that maybe overnight the Halloween displays would be torn down and replaced with Christmas joy. Target in Clifton Park was no good, they have their typical slow transition going on. I kept going and tried the Walmart in Glenville. Ho Ho Ho the Halloween candy was in a heap by the front door in a 50% off pile and the Christmas candy display was nicely fleshed out. I had to do quite a bit of looking at a lot of the same ol’ same ol’, but, half hidden by boxes being used to restock another shelf, there were the m&m’s and Twix, side by side in their gingerbread glory. $2.88 a bag each. In the cart, out the door.
I went for the Twix first.
You’ll note that the bag is already open, because I tore it open as soon I got back to my car. Taking a whiff in the bag it smelled…well, terrible. Like really bad. Not a good sign. Still, I pressed on. I’m just brave like that.
These are the little snack sized bars, which is an excellent choice. Opening a package it smelled just like a normal Twix, no unusual spices or anything. As you may have seen, these are just normal Twix with gingerbread flavored caramel. Taking a bite of the bar at first you just get Twix, but quickly a hit of ginger creeps in. As you nibble down the bar the ginger flavor grows and grows. It’s pretty strong, stronger than I expected to be frank. I sort of had to wrap my head around it at first, but once I did I started to really like it. This ain’t no sissy ginger flavor, either, this has a decent sting to it. Still, as I said the small bar is a good choice, I wouldn’t want a full size Twix of this. A little one was sort of…filling. I won’t totally squabble about the use of the plain cookie instead of something unusual, it mostly works. But a bit of a spiced cookie might be fantastic, something like a Biscoff? Yum.
When I got home I got into the m&m’s. As hinted at on the bag, they come in red, green, and brown. Get it? Christmas colors and gingerbread color. Nicely done, Red.
How you doin’, gingerbread man? You can hear him saying that, right? Like the Twix, the m&m’s’ package screams “Artificial Flavors” so you’re not fooled into thinking your grandma whipped these up in her kitchen out of fresh ginger. These are the slightly fatter m&m’s they’ve been using for flavored varieties, but not the huge ones. Milk chocolate is the right choice, these would be pathetic with white chocolate, just wrong. They’re not astounding, you get a very similar little nip of ginger as with the Twix. I ate three and really just by the third was the flavor really in full force. Not quite so spicy as the Twix, but still not completely wimpy. The spicy bite lingered a while, too, but in a good way, not like a crummy aftertaste way. (Update – after eating more of these, I find the spice comes out quicker than originally detected. And I definitely get cinnamon along with the ginger, much more so than with the Twix.)
All in all, I liked both of these. Neither can hold a candle to the Oreos, but they were good. Mostly I’m thrilled to see the gingerbread roll out – I’m really hoping that this means gingerbread flavor is the next ‘thing’. After all the pumpkin spice everything (which I avoid), I feel like it’s my turn 🙂
update – C’mon Route 9 Walmart – what’s the deal? Still no gingerbread Twix, Oreos, or m&ms?? However, they were sporting these: