Last night at the store I cast my eye across the candy aisle, looking for something interesting to review. (That's my excuse nowdays - I need it to review.) I skimmed over the Maple Nut Goodies then stopped, realizing that I had never actually tried them. I just assumed they were gross. Well that's hardly fair, is it?
I'm "meh" on maple flavoring. I like it okay when it's done well. But all too often manufacturers will compensate for problems with their maple flavoring by adding more MORE MORE sugar. Like making it sweeter helps cover up the fact that they use cheap maple flavor. You are familiar with this problem if you have ever had a maple bar from the grocery store doughnut case.
The package of Brack's Maple Nut Goodies is an unusual color. Most Brach's packages are bright and colorful, or at least white. But this one is an odd reddish-brown color. It's clearly meant to evoke "maple," but it ends up not looking very food-like.
At home, I studied the package carefully before opening it. The ingredients are about as chemical-laden as you would expect. Maple syrup is fourth on the list after sugar, peanuts, corn syrup, and palm oil. (Palm oil is my least favorite kind of oil, thanks to the ecological devastation which is currently being caused by the palm oil cultivation industry. Whole species are being lost to palm oil. It's a very serious issue, and if I had realized these contain palm oil I would not have bought them.)
With very little hope in my heart, I opened the package and took a sniff. Maple Nut Goodies smell like cheap maple flavoring and sugar. Lots of sugar. Exactly like what you would expect, in other words.
And then I tried one.
The only way I can describe these is "a better, tastier version of Boston Baked Beans." They have the same texture and a lot of the same flavor. But instead of the red candy shell, they have a maple flavored coating.
The biggest surprise was the relative mildness of the maple flavor, compared to the kick in the nose of the maple smell. It made me wonder if the food scientists had impregnated the inside of the bag with Real Maple Scent Brand Food Packaging Odors, or something. I had to hold a Maple Nut Goodie pretty close to my nose and really huff it just to pick up the maple smell. It's really quite a confusing situation.
These contain large peanut chunks in a little nugget of "toffee." I'm not sure what the toffee really is. It's chewy and sweet and I guess maybe a little toffee flavored. The overall texture is really great, and a big part of the snackability index here.
Each individual Goodie represents several bits of peanut. As opposed to my initial assumption, which is that it was a peanut coated in stuff. In fact, all of my initial assumptions proved wrong on this one. Deliciously so!
Please send insulin. TIA!