Putting two of Disney's peanut butter treats to the taste test
Published: August 28, 2011 at 10:53 PM
Have I mentioned that I'm a peanut butter addict? Well, specifically, I'm a peanut butter confection addict. Sure, I enjoy that first sniff when you rip the cover off a new jar of peanut butter, but it's when you mix the stuff with candy or cookies that the real magic happens.
For reference, I consider Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups the standard for addressing a peanut butter craving. Given a choice, I'll always opt for a good dark chocolate over the weaker tasting milk variety. And the TJ's cups make a great one-bite snack, unlike the standard-sized Reese's, which are a two-bite treat for me.
But what does Disney have to offer? After my lunch at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta, I tried two options from the refrigerated case at the Candy Shoppe - the peanut butter cookie (above, left - $3.95) and the chocolate-covered peanut butter sandwich (above, right - also $3.95).
Don't be fooled by the name of the second treat - it's not really two pieces of bread with peanut butter in the middle and chocolate draped around. Disney's "peanut butter sandwich" actually is a thick graham cracker topped with peanut butter and smothered in milk chocolate.
There doesn't seem to be any heat-resistant wax in this chocolate coating. As soon as I placed it on a sun-drenched table to photograph it, the chocolate started to run, making this a messy mid-day treat. (Beware any chocolate that doesn't melt on a 90-degree day. Anything put in a chocolate bar to keep it from melting also keeps it from tasting like, well, chocolate.) Better to choose this sandwich for an after-dinner dessert, paired with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, or save it for a cooler day.
Even as the chocolate ran off the "sandwich" and onto my hands and face, the graham cracker foundation kept the treat from falling apart in my hands. Ironically, while providing strength to the sandwich, the graham crust added lightness, as well. A solid bar of chocolate-covered peanut butter this size would be too rich for more than a few bites - forget about finishing it. With the graham crust in every bite, you still taste that great peanut butter flavor, but don't feel like you're taking as heavy and fat-laden a bite as you would if it were all peanut butter. I thought the peanut butter and graham cracker a perfect combination for this snack. Now if I could get my hands on a dark chocolate version….
As for the cookie? Imagine a thick sugar cookie with lumps of sugary peanut butter in every bite. Eating this cookie reminded my of the Peanut Butter Space Food Sticks I devoured as a child. (For those of you under the age 35, this is a good thing.) I probably would have enjoyed this cookie more if I hadn't just tried the awesome graham/PB/chocolate combination of the "peanut butter sandwich."
Obviously, if I had to choose between the two, I'd opt for the sandwich. But the cookie is a better alternative on a hot afternoon like we've been having here in Southern California this week, when you've got a peanut butter craving, but don't feel like dealing with rapidly melting chocolate smearing all over your face and hands.
Note: If you'd like to try either of these treats, you can find them at major candy shops in several of the Disney theme parks, including on Main Street in Disneyland. The Candy Shoppe in California Adventure is located on Sunshine Plaza, which is closing as Disney transforms it into Buena Vista Street. That means that visitors to California Adventure will be diverted along a pathway behind and to the west of Soarin' Over California when they enter the park through the new turnstiles starting this week, instead of heading straight into the now-closed Sunshine Plaza. Visitors will be using this detour to get in and out of the park until Buena Vista Street opens in late spring next year.