Reviewing Hot Cocoa Smartfood, Walgreen’s Gummy Berry Merry Burst Candy, Russell Stover Christmas Ornaments, & More

by Victor Martelle
Updated:

This snack review has:

  • Limited Edition Smartfood Marshmallow Hot Cocoa Flavored Popcorn
  • Walgreen’s nice! Gummy Berry Merry Burst Candy
  • Russell Stover Christmas Ornament Candies:
    • Caramel & Marshmallow
    • Chocolate Marshmallow
    • Chocolate Truffle
  • Candy Cane Flavored Peeps
  • Tony’s Chocolonely Sampler Pack
  • McDonald’s Holiday Pie
  • Clancy’s Garlic Mashed Flavored Chips
  • Old Fashioned Claxton Fruit Cake
  • Walmart Great Value Holiday Speculoos Cookie Butter Bar Mix
  • Bee Prebuild Gingerbread House Kit

Limited Edition Smartfood Marshmallow Hot Cocoa Flavored Popcorn

Score: 5.5 / 10

Regular textured popcorn coated in light milk chocolate tasting cocoa that slightly resembles hot cocoa overall. It’s pleasant, not that sweet, and the coating itself isn’t too messy. If you’re looking for a popcorn that is unoffending and is a safe choice, this is an option.

Frito-Lay released this item and many other new wintery snacks November 2023.


Walgreen’s nice! Gummy Berry Merry Burst Candy

Score: 3 / 10

These should be less than a $1. Extremely cheap tasting and the texture is just unpleasant. They’re a very hard gummy with almost no flavor. And “burst”? Let’s be clear, these aren’t Gushers or any sort of candy with a filling. Very disappointing to say the least.

Not sure when these were released but the only review I could find was from 2023. I’ve also never seen these before. Likely released only for the winter season.


Russell Stover Christmas Ornament Candies: Caramel & Marshmallow, Chocolate Marshmallow, and Chocolate Truffle

Scores
Chocolate Truffle: 8 / 10
Caramel & Marshmallow: 7 / 10
Chocolate Marshmallow: 6.5 / 10

Sweet. That’s one of the few words that describes these Russell Stover holiday candies. Each are very tasty and accurate to the advertised flavor, though, many would likely find them too sweet and a tinge artificial. My favorite out of the bunch has to be the truffle for how thick the inside is; frankly, it’s just a really good truffle. Second place would be the Caramel & Marshmallow as the combination of taste and composition is so good! A super thick layer of marshmallow with a stretchy sweet layer of caramel, yum!

Likely released many years ago as Russell Stover has put out holiday candies with these exact same flavors for some time.


Candy Cane Flavored Peeps

Score: 3.5 / 10

I love peppermint but this ain’t it. It comes across as more toothpasty, perhaps because it isn’t all that sweet and all you end up getting is a straight mouthful of strong plain peppermint. Now, where’s that toothbrush…

Reviews date back several years ago. Not sure of an exact release date.


Tony’s Chocolonely Sampler Pack

Score: 6 / 10 (overall)

The chocolates, specifically the milk chocolate versions here are just… average. They aren’t as sweet as Hershey, or as high quality as Ghirardelli or Dove, but they are higher than that of Palmer and other lower quality chocolates. Just, average. It’s good, not great.

Their dark chocolates have a “warm”, almost off-putting taste to them. They aren’t exactly bitter, it’s just something about it makes it kind of not that good. And lastly, the variations between each bar isn’t that significant. Aside from the milk chocolate and dark chocolate difference, the additions and mixins aren’t that noticable in each one.

Tony’s Chocolate dates back to 2003 / 2005 with roots in fair trade chocolate and practices. It wasn’t until 2015 that Tony’s products came to the US. This sampler pack was released holiday 2023.


McDonald’s Holiday Pie

Score: 5.5 / 10

Very flaky and falls apart easily. The flavor is disappointingly bland and even slightly bitter. There is a super light birthday cake taste and the thin layer of custard inside isn’t even noticable. Crank up the sweetness and get rid of the bitterness, please!

The Holiday Pie has been released around the late November month for the Christmas season every year for a while.


Clancy’s Garlic Mashed Flavored Chips

Score: 7 / 10

Mashed potato flavored chips… interesting. These are your standard thick wavy chips but instead of a traditional garlic taste, this has more of a creamy-like and herb taste to them along with strong garlic. Basically, sort of like you made mashed potatoes but you dumped in extra garlic by accident yet it still came out tasty.

Released November 2022, exclusive for Aldi’s. These may only come around during that fall time period. This released alongside a Turkey Stuffing version as well.


Old Fashioned Claxton Fruit Cake

Score: 7.5 / 10

Nutty, fruity, and colorful, this cake is so darn sweet and yummy! The texture is almost crumbly but also chewy and even a little crunchy from the inside pieces. All of it is so unique and comes together nicely.

Claxton opened in Claxon, Georgia in 1910 and later in the fall, started to offer holiday treats including fruit cakes. These come around every November to celebrate the holiday season. Found at Walmart.


Walmart Great Value Holiday Speculoos Cookie Butter Bar Mix

Score: 8 / 10

First, these are fully cooked by 18-20 minutes, not 25 like the box states to cook them for. They’re soft and thick, and the taste reminds me of the holidays with its cinnamony, almost gingerbread Christmas spice taste. I’m not sure exactly what the taste is exactly, it’s like a combination of traditional winter holiday flavors and comes off as reasonably sweet. They pair well with a layer of cream cheese frosting too.

Likely first released November 2023 for the Christmas holiday season.


Bee Prebuild Gingerbread House Kit

Score: 7.5 / 10

How do you decorate the sides? Why is the frosting so stiff and hard to use? Why is there barely any frosting? Why did mine include almost entirely orange gummies? So many questions, nonetheless, these are impossible to put together yourself usually because it tips over as the frosting is a horrible glue. The taste is that of a dry, semi-sweet, hardish cinnamony gingerbread cookie, and for whatever reason, I love it. It reminds me of winter and has a bunch of different flavor combinations from all the cheapo decorations.

I’m not sure when this was released although I only seem to see this specific one at Walmart.


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