Cupcake Kisses. Sounds adorable, but what are we really getting here? White chocolate kisses with crunchy vanilla cookie bits inside. How is that at all like a cupcake?
I'm calling Hershey's out on this hyped up nonsense.
Let me start by saying I love Hershey's. Just a few months ago I bought several bags of their Halloween Kisses, which were just normal milk chocolate Kisses with freaking precious Halloween-patterned foils. I love them, and still have them in a candy dish on my desk because they make me irrationally happy, BUT they were exactly what Hershey's promised. Milk chocolate kisses with cute wrapping. Nothing more, nothing less. This on the other hand, is BS.
I was never a fan of the Birthday-Cake-Flavored-Everything trend, and this is in the same vein. It's all flash with no substance. When you really think about it, birthday cake and cupcakes aren't one definitive flavor. It's not something iconic, like Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, it's usually chocolate or vanilla flavored cake and icings. Both of those options are already typical candy flavors, but cake has the texture of...well, cake. So at this point, it's more-so a textural experience than a flavor.
You can't make non-cake things have the texture of cake, so in the end, the term "cake," in regards to flavoring, is just an embellishment to normal chocolate or vanilla flavored products meant to make them seem fancier than they really are. The only exception are birthday cake flavored ice creams, which usually involve real icing, sprinkles and cake pieces.
With that being said, I am going into this review with very low expectations.
After all that negativity, let me say something positive. The packaging is really cute. Inside, and out. The plastic bag features a lovely, color-block-heavy, design in lovey-dovey colors perfect for the upcoming holiday. Mix that colorful backdrop with some adorable heart-shaped trees, heart patterned foils, and and itty bitty kiss baking attire, and it's enough to make my cake-flavored-candy-hating-heart melt. I may not always love Hershey's flavor offerings, I do love their branding and packaging. (Their typefaces and typography are usually really nice too!)
Inside the bag are freaking adorable heart patterned silver foils. I don't see much foil in American candy packaging these days, so it's always nice to see Hershey's sticking with tradition while changing things up with adorable seasonal patterns.
So yes, they're cute, but how do they taste?
Well, they taste just like a chocolate-less Hershey's Cookies n Creme bar.
Without the bitter cocoa cookie contrast from a normal Cookies n Creme bar, this comes off a lot sweeter. The white chocolate base is pleasant, but cloying, and the cookie crunch texture makes it a bit more interesting than a normal white chocolate kiss, but how is this cupcake?
What does this have to do with cupcakes at all? Is it because the cookie bits are pink? They kind of look like cute little pink Dalmatian kisses, which could have been an interesting marketing direction to explore, but making cookie bits pink doesn't make them cupcake. There is nothing cupcake about these at all.
They might be okay for topping a chocolate cookie, or brownies, to create that cookies and creme flavor profile, but on their own, these are overly sweet and not ideal for snacking. I wouldn't buy them again, unless I had specific baking plans for them.
Unless you're looking for generic seasonal candy-dish fodder, I'd skip these limited edition, Target-Exclusive kisses. (My b/f snacked on a few here and there last weekend while I wrote this up and he's not a fan either. Too sweet for snacking.)