Merry Christmas! Can you believe the last review I posted was Halloween? Life gets in the way sometimes. I’d started up a “Does this smell funny to you?” taster-for-hire business, but it went tits up, so I promise I won’t just be posting on holidays anymore. This doesn’t mean I’ll be posting a review on Boxing Day, but I promise you’ll see me again before Valentine’s Day.
When I think of Christmas Hershey’s Kisses, I think of your run-of-the-mill Kisses wrapped in green, red and silver foil. Apparently, I am ignorant and wrong. There are actually several special flavors of Christmas Kisses available. Well, Hershey’s calls them “Holiday” Kisses, but c’mon. They’re Christmas. Don’t fall in with the PC hype.
There are four different Holiday Kiss flavors: Milk Chocolate filled with Caramel, Milk Chocolate filled with Cherry Cordial Crème, Candy Cane Flavored Candies and Dark Chocolate filled with Mint Truffle. I only bought the latter three, and I’m not sure why, because I love chocolates filled with caramel. Perhaps it’s because I’m already pretty familiar with what caramel inside of chocolate tastes like. Perhaps it’s because buying three bags of Kisses is my limit. Whatever the reason, I found the three that I bought to be the most intriguing, so this is what you get. Well, sort of. One of my bags of Kisses went a little…AWOL, you might say. More on that later.
How long have these Holiday Kisses been in circulation? I have no idea. This is the first time I had ever seen them, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been around since 1963. Well, they’re new to me, and maybe they’ll be new to you, too. Listen, just read the words and look at the pictures. Hell, you’re not even going to read the words. It’s Christmas. If you’re here at all, you’ve already eaten five pounds of ham, seven sugar cookies poorly decorated by your young relatives, and bitten the head off of at least one gingerbread man, having a not-so-secret feeling of satisfaction as you watch Gingerdead Man 2: Passion of the Crust.
I really hope you’re not actually watching that movie, unless you’re doing it in an effort to repulse your relatives and get a moment of private time for yourself. Desperate times, desperate measures. I understand. I don’t judge.
Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolates filled with Cherry Cordial Crème
Growing up, cherry cordials were a staple in my house. Not just during the holidays; there always seemed to be a box in the kitchen cupboard, right next to the Entenmann’s donuts variety pack . I did not partake in the cherry cordials. As a youth, I was not a fan of chocolate, and I hated cherries and all things cherry-flavored. I blame that on having to take a horrible “cherry-flavored” medication twice a day for god knows how many years. You can see how the association would taint my opinion.
These days, I am older, and questionably wiser. At the very least, I am more open-minded about trying new things, especially things that I would throw a tantrum over as a kid. I recently learned that green beans ain’t half bad. Hey, it only took two decades to figure that out!
The foil wrapping on the Cherry Cordial Kisses doesn’t exactly scream Christmas. Bright fuchsia with curvy brown stripes that would make Yipes the Zebra jealous? It’s the candy wrapper equivalent of buying a pink plastic Christmas tree.
Encased in classic Hershey’s Kisses chocolate, a pink ooze flooded my mouth as I bit into the candy. It was very viscous, and had a strong cherry flavor. Unfortunately, the taste was rather artificial. The gooey inside was a little cloyingly sweet, but the chocolate actually worked well in taming it a bit.
I could see how some people would be turned off by the texture of the filling, but I grew up with Freshen Up gum, so I wasn’t put off by it at all. Man, I am really showing my age with these references. First Yipes, then Freshen Up. If you were born after 1986, Google them.
At first, I rather enjoyed the Cherry Cordial Kisses, but the flavor got a little overwhelming after about three pieces. I haven’t had a chance to try a real cherry cordial since I’ve broadened my food horizons, so I figured I’d let my mom try one, since she was always the big cherry cordial fanatic. She immediately spit it in the trash and said it was awful.
Well. There’s one opinion.
Hershey’s Kisses Candy Cane Flavored Candies
Come Christmastime, there’s no shortage of peppermint-flavored sweets out there. It’s kind of hard to get excited about yet another candy cane-flavored candy, when I’ve already had at least a dozen of them. Given this, I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to try out these Holiday Kisses.
I am not, however, immune to the charms of Christmasy packaging, and Candy Cane Kisses obviously have the most Navidad-oriented foil wrapping, with the little red candy canes standing out against the shiny silver background. Anybody reaching into a bowl of candy is instantly going to know what these Kisses are all about, even if they are illiterate and can’t read the classic Kiss tissue paper…unwrapper…thingie.
Does that thing have a name? Is it called a flag? I’m going to call it a flag. I’m writing this on Christmas Eve. I can’t be delving deep into the depths of Hershey’s Kisses history to find out what their iconic little piece of paper is called and probably trademarked.
Getting back to the candy itself, I found myself enjoying Candy Cane Kisses more than I thought I would. I like that Hershey’s put the effort into making these Kisses white with red stripes, thus mimicking the look of an actual candy cane as much as they could, given the shape of a Kiss compared to a candy cane.
I was also pleasantly surprised to find that, when you bite into a Candy Cane Kiss, there’s little pieces of crunchy candy that add to the already strong peppermint flavor. I’d like to say those little crunchy bits are actual pieces of candy cane, but after reading the ingredients list, I couldn’t find any indication that this was the case. The main flavors of Candy Cane Kisses come from white chocolate and oil of peppermint. That said, the chocolate and the peppermint work great together, and I did love the little candy crunches, even if they weren’t authentic cane. I found myself reaching for a handful after I’d eaten my first one. Afterward, my breath was minty fresh and ready for some hot mistletoe action.
Hershey’s Kisses Dark Chocolates filled with Mint Truffle
Speaking of mint, here we have another minty Holiday Kiss. Hershey’s wants to make sure you’re 100% free of ham breath this holiday season.
The Mint Truffle Kiss foil wrapping is appropriately green, with adorable silver snowflakes all over. You may notice that there is no picture of an individually wrapped Mint Truffle Kiss here. There is a reason for this.
There are times when living with a food blogger can be trying. For instance, you get to stand around in the store while I try to find the best package that looks like it will photograph well and have the best chances of the product inside not being crushed or otherwise damaged. And then, once the product has been brought home, it’s hands-off until the photographs have been taken.
I was hanging out with my mom, who was visiting during the holiday season, during this particular purchase. She does not know the rules of food blogging. Before I had a chance to take my coat off once we’d come home, she had already ripped open the bag of Mint Truffle Kisses and was sampling the wares.
I was distressed. I informed her that the package was not to be opened until a picture had been taken. She was mortified, as if she had accidentally thrown away my sure to be award-winning piece of moldy bread that I was going to present at the Science Fair. Before I could get a word in, she already had the Scotch tape out, and was working fervently to repair the opened package with Scotch tape, positioning and re-positioning the plastic until she had repaired the bag to the point that you could barely see it had been opened. Can you spot the repairs? I have to admit, she did an admirable job.
The entire time she was doing this, I was trying to tell her that it was no big deal, and that the more she fussed with it, the more I was just going to make fun of her in this article. I don’t think she heard me. She was too busy trimming off millimeters of tape so it wouldn’t show in the picture.
For as much effort as she put into attempting to restore the bag back to mint (har) condition, she did not seem to take into consideration the fact that I had not taken a picture of the actual candy. So enamored was she with the Mint Truffle Kisses, in fact, that she either ate the whole bag or took the rest of them back to California with her while I wasn’t looking. This means I have no pictures of the foil wrapper or of the inside of the candy itself. Luckily, I did get the picture of the bag, and managed to score a few of the candies to eat for myself, so I can at least tell you how they looked and tasted.
I know you want pictures. I am sorry that I have none. Luckily, there is a candy out there that is remarkably similar to Mint Truffle Kisses: Andes Crème Menthes! You may have found these candies on your pillow upon arriving at a hotel room. You may have gotten one with your check at a restaurant once or twice. Mint Truffle Kisses taste almost exactly like these candies.
These Kisses have a dark chocolate outside, unlike the other Holiday selections. I’m not a huge fan of dark chocolate, but the kind they used for these Kisses is a less cocoa-heavy dark chocolate, and I found it paired fantastically with the minty inside. If you bite a Mint Truffle Kiss in half, you’ll see a green filling, but unlike the gooey, oozing center of the Cherry Cordials, this filling is about the same consistency as the dark chocolate outside, making for a smooth chocolate mint experience.
I enjoyed each of Hershey’s Holiday Kiss offerings, to varying degrees. I liked the pairing of chocolate and cherry in the Cherry Cordial Kisses, but found the artificial cherry flavor a little too strong, and the texture of the gooey center might be off-putting to some.
I thought I would find the Candy Cane Kisses a big yawn, but the creaminess of the white chocolate paired with the crunch of the tiny (although faux) candy cane pieces resulted in a pleasant peppermint candy with a texture that sets them apart from other Kiss varieties.
Pairing a mild dark chocolate with a creamy mint filling in the Mint Truffle Kisses was a no-brainer. If you like mint chocolate chip ice cream, well, you’ve pretty much found that flavor in the form of a Hershey’s Kiss. You could serve your Christmas guests Andes Crème Menthes and get pretty much the same flavor, but you’d be missing out on the iconic Kiss shape and the adorable snowflake wrapping. There’s a reason why my mom ran off with these before I had a chance to take a picture of the candies.
Today is Christmas, so unless you’re an extreme procrastinator, you’ve probably already got all your Christmas candies set out in your Santa-shaped bowls for all to snack on as they wait for their ham or duck or tofurkey or whatever it is you slave over to serve before the wrapping paper starts flying. However, I hope you’ll keep these in mind for next year, if they’re still around, as a fun alternative to the regular ol’ gussied up Hershey’s Kisses. And try the green beans this year; you may find that you like them, after all.
Hershey’s Kisses Holiday: Milk Chocolates filled with Cherry Cordial Crème, Candy Cane Flavored Candies and Dark Chocolates filled with Mint Truffle
- Score: Milk Chocolates filled with Cherry Cordial Crème: 2.5 out of 5 late 1980’s gum references
- Score: Candy Cane Flavored Candies: 4 out of 5 candy cane Vaudeville Hooks
- Score: Dark Chocolates filled with Mint Truffle: 4.5 out of 5 carefully Scotch-taped bags of candy
- Price: $2.50 each
- Size: 10 oz. bags
- Purchased at: Target
- Nutritional Quirks: Candy Cane Kisses appear to not contain actual candy canes. The “truffle” in Mint Truffle is unexplained.