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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Wondershop Milk Chocolate Pretzel Toffee Sea Salt Mini Bark

Today, we're looking at another potential stocking stuffer from the Wondershop at Target. It's highly reminiscent of the white chocolate mini bark we looked at just over a year ago. Now, we've got milk chocolate instead of white, and there are pretzels and toffee in the candy instead of colorful sprinkles.

The candy within the attractive little box doesn't even fill the container. There's just enough to cover the tree-shaped window. If it had cost anything more than 99 cents, I might have complained about the value here, but considering the presentation and decent taste, 99 cents is just about right.

There are pretzel bits on the outside of the chocolate. Within, it's filled with pieces of toffee. I think they balanced the chocolate, pretzels, and toffee pretty well. If anything, I'd ask for more pretzel, but it tastes fine as it is. 

"Wondershop Milk Chocolate Pretzel Toffee Sea Salt Mini Bark" is quite a mouthful for the title of a product, but it lets you know everything you need to know about this tiny slab of candy. If you're shopping for someone that's into pretzels, toffee, and chocolate, you can't really go wrong with this item. As its white chocolate predecessor, the milk chocolate isn't the most amazing selection I've ever tasted, nor is it the worst. Hey, you get what you pay for. 

I give this mini bark 7 out of 10 stars.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Wondershop Hot Chocolate Drink Bombs

The premise of the next Home Alone movie: Now-adult Kevin McCallister is flying home to Chicago from New York City to visit his family and have a lovely Christmas in that beautiful, ginormous house from the first film. He swings by Target on his way to LaGuardia and picks up a bunch of these hot beverage chocolate and marshmallow mixers. As he passes through security, he happens to mention that his suitcase is "full of bombs," of course innocently referring to this particular product. Thinking he's referring to a different kind of "bomb," TSA promptly seizes McCallister, once again endearingly portrayed by Macaulay Culkin, and interrogates him at airport security.

Another hilarious mishap coincides with these goings-on that surround Kevin, as the real terrorists have their luggage switched with Kevin's by a pair of bumbling airline clerks, Harry and Marv, who have just recently started their jobs after hard time in prison. Madcap antics ensue as the foreign terrorist cell attempts in vain to detonate balls of chocolate filled with marshmallows and Kevin McCallister is unwittingly on the hook for having real explosives in his Christmas vacation luggage! Pure hilarity.

But seriously though, makes you wonder whose idea it was to call these "bombs." I would have gone with "spherical surprises," "wonderglobs," or "balls of joy" before I'd use the term "bombs." Eh, whatevs. It's Christmas and nobody's thinking of terrorism or war, we hope. As long as you say "hot chocolate drink" before the word "bombs," I think we'll avoid problems with TSA.

These are fun. That's all I have to say. They look cool, they taste pretty good, and I've never had anything like them. I'm glad three different flavors come in the pack. The white chocolate is my favorite, followed by milk chocolate, and finally dark chocolate is my least favorite, but it's still pretty tasty.

I suppose it depends on how hot you've got your milk, but at first, the sphere just sits there, floating in your soon-to-be hot chocolate—it's just hot milk at this point. Then, there's a delightful moment when the surface of the "bomb" is breached. With my first one, it was audible. A little "pffft" came from the ball. Fun, like I said.

I'm not a patient man, so rather than wait and see if the bomb would completely dissolve on its own, I poked it with a spoon and discovered that the ball would fill with milk and quickly drop to the bottom of my mug. At that point, it began dissolving more swiftly, and one by one, mini-marshmallows buoyed up to the surface in rapid succession. I stirred again for a bit, and voila: a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows.

I'd like to see more flavors of this in the future. Strawberry, salted caramel, Irish cream. I could go on.

$3.99 for three bombs in one pack. They would make a great stocking stuffer.

I give these hot chocolate drink bombs 8 out of 10 stars.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Wondershop Peppermint Hot Cocoa Indulgent Trail Mix

It must be Christmas time, because we have yet another indulgent trail mix from the Wondershop at Target. This time it's peppermint hot cocoa flavored. Oddly enough, it actually tastes like hot cocoa. Well, some pieces do, anyway—particularly the "cocoa dusted almonds." 

Let's break this mix down like we do here, piece by piece, ingredient by ingredient.

I've already mentioned the cocoa dusted almonds, so let's start there. The flavor of almonds with a little cocoa is a winning combo. The cocoa powder isn't chalky or overbearing. It doesn't make me want to cough, as other "dusting" powders have in the past. They're just nice whole almonds of a pretty good size, and they bring a hot cocoa vibe courtesy of the tasty coating on their outsides.

There are also "sweet creme almonds." That's one of the best things about this mix: it's chock full o' almonds. If the cocoa almonds represent the hot cocoa powder, then these are the "milk." They are indeed sweet and creamy, and they balance out the richness of the cocoa elements.

"White chocolate peppermint pretzel balls." If you're down with white chocolate and peppermint, in the manner of peppermint bark, then you'll probably like these minty, sweet, salty little spheres. They didn't go over the top with peppermint flavor, which I'm thankful for. The good news for mint-haters is that these are the only elements in the mixture that taste like peppermint, and they're pretty easy to avoid if you're not into them. If you do like them, they blend very well with all the other ingredients.

The "chocolate chunks" are tasty little morsels of dark chocolate. They're not too bitter, but they add a bit of complexity to the overall chocolatey essence of the trail mix.

The "white chocolate marshmallow bits" are sweet and crunchy. We saw a peppermint version in the gingerbread village trail mix, but these are just sugary, not minty. I still don't understand why something named after marshmallows would be crunchy, but I like these particular elements better without the mint flavor.

All in all, this Wondershop Peppermint Hot Cocoa Indulgent Trail Mix is one of the strongest holiday mixes I've seen, from Target or anywhere else. People who absolutely love peppermint might be a tad disappointed that it's not more pepperminty, but I think it's got a great balance of flavors.

I give this trail mix 8 out of 10 stars.

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