Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Fierce Cinnamon Flavor? Don't be Chicken!

Hot Tamales Peeps - CVS

I haven't had Hot Tamales in ages, but you know what I have had? Red Hots. And no offense to Tamales fans, but I think they are the superior cinnamon-based candy.  
Red Hots are tiny dot-shaped candies with a glossy exterior and crunchy, sugary, interior, both packed with bold cinnamon flavoring. Think Big Red, but with a crunch. 
This might just be a me-thing, but my favorite way to eat them is when they are stale. When Red Hots have been sitting in your pantry for a while the first layer of candy softens and gets kind of chewy, while the interior stays crisp and crunchy. It's the best. I like to add them to holiday baking, so I always have some on hand and the older they get, the better they are for snacking. Just like Peeps! When those little bunnies and chicks get old, and a little shriveled, that's when Peeps are at their prime. (Bunny shape is vastly superior thanks to it's ears! Why can't fancy flavors come in bunny-shape?) In my opinion they get more similar to Mar-bits aka freeze dried marshmallows. I used to stab a bunch of holes in the clear window of the Peeps package and leave them on the counter for a while.  

So, when I saw these new Hot Tamales Peeps, I was excited because it's the best of both worlds, but skeptical about how "fierce" they would actually be. 

Let's get (hopefully) spicy! 

When opened, the Peeps inside are a vibrant true-red, the kind of color that reminds you of elementary school art supplies and other things that (probably) shouldn't be eaten. Thankfully, they smell more like cinnamon Mr. Sketch markers than Play-Dough. The cinnamon aroma is bolder than say, a cinnamon graham cracker, but far from what I would consider "fierce" or "intense." I've smelled scented seasonal broomsticks at Michaels with more 'umph.' It's like a sweet and slightly spicy Christmas candle, maybe it's food, maybe it's decorative, either way I'm gonna eat it.  

I tore a fiery Peep away from it's conjoined brethren and gave it a bite. The inside is a bright bubblegum-pink, but as far as I can tell, the majority of the flavoring is in the sugary coating. The cinnamon flavoring is slightly more intense than a Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but is it spicy? Intense? No way! In fact, these smell more cinnamon-y than they taste. 

This is yummy, but it doesn't have the satisfying burn that I am after. I tried eating a few Peeps at once to bump the intensity, but unlike most cinnamon candies, doubling up didn't build any "heat."   

They're definitely not worthy of being called "fierce," but they're still enjoyable and certainly edible. Since I like to use cinnamon graham crackers when making s'mores, I would love to double down on cinnamon by using these chicks in place of normal marshmallows, but they don't live up to their branding tie-in. 

If you like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, cinnamon graham crackers, or a sprinkle of cinnamon on your coffee, you'll probably love these, but spicy cinnamon-seekers might want to venture elsewhere. I'll have no problem finishing these off, and I would likely re-purchase because cinnamon is delicious, but it just doesn't live up to it's marketing claims.  

Fans of these would also like:
First Ever Mystery Peeps, Sour Watermelon Peeps, Peeps Oreo, Sugar Plum Peeps, Bubble Gum Peeps, or 2016 Mystery Peeps
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