Wednesday, September 4, 2013

S'Mores Candy Corn and Pumpkin Spice M&M's

Unfortunately, no stores in my area are cooperating with the Halloween season.  Walgreens and Target are my usual hot-spots but, this year, they're so far behind!  Kids have been back to school for a few days now so I have no idea why they haven't taken all those books and folders and stored them away to make room for orange boxes and decorations.  By this time last year, Walgreens was fully stocked with Halloween spirit.  This time around, it's been all about candy corn and M&M's.  And honestly, I'm getting tired of candy corn and M&M's!  Let's go, retailers! Get it together!

This bag of S'mores flavored candy corn by Brach's is the ONLY thing Walgreens had to offer in terms of Halloween.  I'll be honest with you, had they been offering more, this isn't something I'd go out of my way to buy.  But I felt so bad walking into Walgreens on September 4th and leaving without anything related to Fall.  It's not the greatest find, especially when so many other people are finding glorious treasures in their area, but it's the best I could do.  It's better than nothing, I guess.

They certainly look like candy corn, but I don't have to tell you that.  I feel like that's all I've been talking about lately and, if you've been reading, you know way more than you need to know about how candy corn looks and the way it feels.  But when it comes to flavor, these actually aren't bad.  For the most part, it still tastes like candy corn, but it has enough of a s'mores punch to separate itself from Halloween and be more of a Fall candy.  I like that about this variety because, for me, s'mores is much more related to the upcoming season than it is with Summer.  Whenever I've gone camping, it's always been during the cooler months.  I can't take the heat or, even worse, the bugs, so camping and s'mores scream Fall for me and that's what Brach's does for me, here.  Not the best candy in the world, but a change that I welcome and embrace simply for the fact that it's something new to me and, most importantly, available!!  If not for the Jersey City Walgreens' lack of work ethic, I'd probably missed out on these altogether.

If you've read The Holidaze in the past, you're familiar with the fact that I'm not a very big fan of pumpkin flavored anything.  Pumpkin spice is a bit more tolerable, but it's nothing you'll see me write home about.  Unfortunately, around this time of year, everybody releases a pumpkin flavored product and, thanks to my uncooperative taste buds, I'm left out in the cold.  But I try.. I really try.  I tell myself that pumpkin is an acquired taste and I've been committed to acquiring that taste as recent years have gone by.  Even if it means only taking a few bites or sips, I have to force myself to enjoy this flavor.  After all, there's no more prominent Fall flavor than pumpkin!

So, when I heard about Pumpkin Spice M&M's, I knew they had to be found and tried.  Of course, like I said, everybody and their Mother found them before I did because of these major retailers messing with me.  Although, for as much as I've seen them pictured, I haven't really read any reviews on them and that gave me hope.  Finally, I could find something and talk about it as if nobody else had ever seen them before.  Even if I knew that wasn't true, I had to salvage a poor start to the season with a lie.  Thankfully, my girlfriend found these at Target, last night.  Much like Walgreens, this was the only Fall / Halloween item available.  Sad.

You know me, I'm a package art kinda guy and, once again, M&M's hits a home run with their design.  It isn't overly fancy, but it hits on every mark.  The bag is a light brown, the "Pumpkin Spice" logo is colored appropriately, and the orange M&M, who's notoriously nervous, has somehow ended up in a pumpkin patch.  This guy, who's really the pretzel M&M, is so afraid of being eaten that it messes with his entire life.  Now, with his luck, he happens to look just like a pumpkin as Pumpkin Spice M&M's hit the shelves.  He can't catch a break.

Originally, I said that the Candy Corn M&M's were the perfect color for Fall, but that was until I saw Pumpkin Spice M&M's.  Green, orange, and brown - these are juuuuust right.  They represent the Fall, but they also symbolize pumpkins.  It's not rocket science, but it's done the right way and I like that.  You don't even have to be a fan of pumpkins to appreciate the way these would look in a bowl on your table.  Light a fall-scented Yankee Candle and you'll have those leaves falling off trees whether they like it or not!

I was going to remove that ugly, smashed, beat-up M&M from the photo, but I felt bad for him.  I also think he's responsible for the aroma emitting from the bag as soon as it's opened.  He's like that rotten pumpkin, surrounded by gnats, that you find on farms.  Appetizing, right?  But these do have a very cool "Fall" smell to them.  It's "spicy" and even if that doesn't make sense, it's appropriate given the name of this candy.

Now, when it comes to flavor, you and I are most likely going to differ.  But the positive I take away from that is, chances are, neither of us are going to hate them.  At the very worst, you're going to love them and I'm simply going to like them.  That's an absolute win, in my book!  I'll take that any day of the week!  These are hard to describe, but they're good!  The reason I like them more than I expected is because of the spice.  That's crucial for me because "pumpkin" and "pumpkin spice" have always treated me differently.  Spice is always so much more kind.

Pumpkin Spice M&M's aren't something I'd eat consistently or a lot of in one time, but they're good to have around on a cool, Fall day.  The enhance the season and that's all I can really ask for.  Now, if you're one of those huge pumpkin fans who went crazy when Starbucks ran out of Pumpkin Spice Latte's, then you obviously have to try these.  They were made for you!

In the meantime, I need retailers to wake up around here because I'll be running out of topics before we even get started =)


  1. My interest is piqued enough from reading this review to go out and buy some pumpkin spice M&Ms, maybe try to bake some cookies with them. Although I used the white choclate/candy corn M&Ms you recently reviewed, in baking a cookie bar last year. Turns out they didn't translate too well after baking. But I agree they were pretty good on their own, if not a bit sweet...which is always a plus for me! :) Have you seen the pumpkin swirl and caramel apple bread by Pepperidge Farm? I got some Pumpkin Swirl....It's pretty good, although I would agree with one review that said it didn't pack a terribly strong pumpking punch. Puts you in the mind of cinnamon raisin bread. I think spice goes a long way with helping out pumpkin-flavored stuff. Have you ever had a pumpkin pie blizzard from Dairy Queen?

  2. I'm happy you picked them up! The cookies sound like they'd be delicious!

    I've seen the pumpkin swirl and caramel apple bread, but haven't picked them up, yet. I plan on doing so, soon. For me, just a little punch of pumpkin is good enough so that sounds good :)

    I didn't even know Dairly Queen made a pumpkin pie blizzard, but that sounds awesome. I'll have to be on the lookout for that, too! Thanks for the heads up :)

  3. I love pumpkin so I was all over these as soon as I heard about them. They were good, not a blockbuster for me. But I did enjoy the taste, they reminded me a lot of the cinnamon M&M's that came out a Christmas to two ago. I would definitely buy another bag to have on hand though. And they probably would be good to bake in cookies. I would describe the pumpkin spice M&M's as M&M's with a "kick".
    I think they should have made these white chocolate though, to balance out the spiciness. I can't believe I am saying that since white chocolate is my least favorite chocolate but it would have been a nicer balance of flavors.

  4. I never knew about the cinnamon M&M's, but that's a great way of describing them because that's exactly what I thought of before pumpkin. I'd definitely like to try them baked in a cookie. Sounds like the combined flavors would make for a great team.

    Using white chocolate is actually a great idea because you can distinctly taste the chocolate flavor and maybe more so than the pumpkin or "spice" taste. I'm not a big fan of white chocolate, either, but that could work well.

  5. You're welcome! I'd be interested to see what you think about the pumpkin pie blizzard. The first year I had one I thought it was the bomb. The next year, I don't know if the pumpkin ratio was off where I had one (too much) or what, but it didn't do it for me at all.


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