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REVIEW: Butterfinger Limited Edition “Smokin’ Hot” Peanut Butter Cups

Finally, the classic combination of chile and chocolate comes to crummy supermarket chocolate.

Butterfinger Smokin' Hot

The idea of combining chocolate and chiles isn’t exactly a new one. Heck, Mexicans have been doing it for years, building complex moles out of chocolate and spicy chiles (as well as about a billion other ingredients). More recently, fine(r) chocolate companies like Lindt and Dove have gotten in on the act, offering premium chocolate bars infused with the fiery stuff.

Now, finally, the combination seems to have trickled down even to the supermarket checkout aisle shelves, with the release of a new, limited time, cayenne-infused Butterfinger peanut butter cup.

Butterfinger Smokin' Hot

So what’s the rundown? If you hadn’t noticed a new player in the peanut butter cup game, or to put it in industry terms, a new “#2 highest ranking velocity item within the chocolate category for both the single and share pack in the convenience channel,” then let us break the news to you: Nestle has issued the equivalent of a gentlemanly, leather-gloved slap in the face of the Reese’s empire, unveiling a “Butterfinger” branded peanut butter cup that features little bitty chunks of chopped up Butterfinger in the peanut butter mix.

And now, for the next logical step: Make it spicy.

We were excited about these, at first, but then soon realized that what we were REALLY excited about was the idea of a regular old Butterfinger candy bar, with its shards of molar-filling crackly sugar, infused with a spicy cayenne essence. For now, though, these newfangled peanut butter cups would have to do.

Butterfinger Smokin' Hot

As peanut butter cups go, these are good, but hardly the game-changer that Nestle would have you believe. Like Heinz ketchup or Hellmann’s mayonnaise, the taste of a Reese’s peanut butter cup has become so synonymous with its form, that tasting a competing version of the same candy will always feel kind of off, the way that a childhood dinner that someone else’s mom made never quite felt right.

But oh, that sweet, sweet cayenne. Right as you’re trying to figure out why this peanut butter cup tastes ever-so-slightly different than the 500 others you have had in your lifetime, the heat appears in a wave. It’s not overwhelming, but it is definitely noticeable, and miraculously, it passes quickly, never becoming uncomfortable. It’s a novelty, really; an unexpected blast that arrives just as you’re thinking that you must have gotten a batch that Nestle forgot to make spicy.

In all, these are a fun limited time offering that are worth a few of your dollars, but that ultimately aren’t very memorable.

 

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Written by Malcolm Bedell

Malcolm is the author of "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as a frequent contributor to Serious Eats, Down East Magazine, The L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and more. When not poisoning his body with garbage and then posting sardonic commentary about it on the Internet, he also owns and operates the 'Wich, Please food truck, named Eater.com's "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015.

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