[3-Pack Review] Hershey’s Cookie Layer Crunch Bars

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s a classic question, and one that usually produces some very predictable answers. Kids tend to respond with the same group of heroic occupations: doctor, astronaut, firefighter, and so on. Mmhmm…Real original.

When I was a fat little boy, you know what I wanted to be? A junk food taste tester. A much younger, slightly less pudgy version of me marveled at the fact that somewhere out there, people get to shove candy and cookies in their mouths, tell companies what they think, and get paid to do it. I guess you could say that now I’m doing the exact same thing. Just…without the paycheck. And without anyone caring what I think. So, basically I’m just a guy shoving candy and cookies in his mouth. Never give up on your dreams, kids!

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I’m not crying, you’re crying.

We all have actual paid taste testers to thank (I hate them though) for the newest creation from the Hershey Company, Hershey’s Cookie Layer Crunch Bars. According to the company’s press release announcing the new candy bars, a Nielsen report found that they scored in the top 2.5 percent of consumer packaged goods concepts ever tested. Each bar features Hershey’s signature chocolate, a layer of cookie pieces (duh), and a creme filling in one of three flavors: Vanilla Creme, Caramel, and Mint. The press release also says that Cookie Layer Crunch Bars are “perfectly portion controlled.” I found them in bags of nine, so I’m just gonna go ahead and assume that each bag is a portion.

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First up: Vanilla Creme. This bar features milk chocolate, chocolate cookie bits, and vanilla flavored creme. I’m not expecting much here, as this is probably the least sexy of the three Cookie Layer Crunch flavors. But to my surprise, this bar is actually fine. Hershey’s milk chocolate is the dominant flavor, but after a few chews, that chocolate taste fades to reveal some lighter vanilla notes. While the cookie bits add some crunch, they’re overshadowed by the sweetness of the other two layers. This flavor definitely didn’t blow me away, but the fact that the vanilla layer stood on its own was a pleasant surprise.

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Next is Caramel, aka Twix Jr. It features milk chocolate, shortbread cookie bits, and caramel. This bar differs from a Twix in that you’ll notice the milk chocolate much more than the cookie layer. But that’s not to say that the cookie layer isn’t good–it’s slightly floury and salty, with a bit of sweetness. Even better, the shortbread cookie bits provide a great base for the rich, stretchy caramel layer to shine. If you’re a fan of Twix but wish they contained a little more chocolate, you’ll love these bars.

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Finally, we have Mint. This bar is a lot like Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Mint, but with dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. The similarities are apparent throughout. The mint flavor is strong and hits immediately, lingering through every bite. The smooth, somewhat bitter dark chocolate provides a nice bite to counter the cooling effect of the mint. Unfortunately, because of the dark chocolate layer, I had a hard time tasting the redundant cocoa flavor of the cookie bits. I have to give the edge to Cookies ‘n’ Mint, which in my opinion has a better balance of flavors.

Overall, I can understand why Hershey’s Cookie Layer Crunch Bars were such a hit with those professional taste testers. Caramel is my personal favorite, but I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them. Now, if anyone knows of a company in need of taste testers, you know who to call.

Item: Hershey’s Cookie Layer Crunch Bars
Price and Place of Purchase: $3.99 per bag at Cub Foods
Nutrition Facts (serving size-2 pieces): Vanilla Creme: 210 calories, 110 calories from fat, 13 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 19 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein.

Caramel: 200 calories, 100 calories from fat, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 19 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.

Mint: 200 calories, 110 calories from fat, 13 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 19 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.

In a Nutshell: Each bar is a strong addition to the Hershey’s lineup, but Caramel is the clear favorite. Perfectly portioned bags of chocolate bars. I’m living the dream! My sad, sad dream.
Overall Score: Vanilla Creme: 7 out of 10

Caramel: 8.5 out of 10

Mint: 7.5 out of 10

Junk Banter also reviewed Hershey’s Cookie Layer Crunch Bars. Check it out here!

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