It’s been a long time since we’ve busted out the keys to The A.V. Club Taste Test Laboratories, and for that, we apologize. You see, we’ve become a bit jaded when it comes to new and interesting foodstuffs: When you’ve consumed canned meats of all sorts, every flavor of vodka under the sun, and pretty much an entire pig from brain to lips, it’s hard to know where to go next. So we decided it was time to shake things up and move Taste Test into the scary new realm of video, and what better snack to ease the transition than our own personal white whale, Nestlé Crunch Limited Edition Girl Scout Cookie candy bars, which Snacking Commissioner Josh Modell has been trying to get his hands on for a full year? Now that they’ve officially hit the streets and are available in a convenience store near you, we’re dusting off our best awkward smiles and unsightly chewing faces to share our reactions in real time, along with some post-snack reflections from our camera-shy officemates, which you can find in good ol’ black-and-white type below.
The consensus seemed to be pretty unanimous that these tasted a hell of a lot like Girl Scout Cookies, and that the addition of “airy crispies” and a few extra layers of crunch isn’t enough to elevate these above traditional Girl Scout Cookies in the snacking pantheon. But you could do a lot worse than miniature candy bars that taste exactly like Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tagalongs, right?
• “Thin Mints are obviously the greatest of all Girl Scout Cookies, so they had to step their shit up to make a candy bar out of them. Well done, though, because these rule. Like their cookie cousins, I could eat these all day.”
• “Here’s my ringing endorsement of the peanut butter crème thing: This is totally fine. The flavor’s good, but it’s a similar setup to the Thin Mint—with the wafers and everything—so it kind of feels a little one-note to me. The outer chocolate is a little cheap, too. I’ll eat these, but don’t expect me to freak out about ’em, Girl Scouts.”
• “I liked the peanut butter one that I managed to scrape up from everyone’s wrapper remnants. That being said, I don't think it was all that different from a Nutty Buddy or one of those Skinny Cow peanut butter bars. It was maybe a little bit more substantial, but that’s it.”
• “You know, as rich and crunchy and delightful as the Thin Mint one is, it reminds me more than anything of these diet candy-like “breakfast bars” that were all the rage in the ’80s. They're chocolatey and minty in a way that’s pleasant, but also tastes ridiculously artificial and not food-like. It’s delicious and vaguely medicinal at the same time!”
• “After all this anticipation, they couldn’t possibly be everything we hoped. But they’re still pretty fucking good.”
• “The Caramel-Coconut taste exactly like the cookies, only the chewy texture is different. That’s pretty impressive, but then again not at all. It’s like a brownie you shape into a cookie. But still delicious either way.”
• “I prefer a Thin Mint cookie to the Thin Mint candy bar EXCEPT when frozen, at which point the tables are turned. Is there technology available yet to keep them frozen-tasting in any temperature?”
• “The candy you were trying to reference, Ms. Koski, was not the Fast Break, but rather the Reese’s Sticks, which taste pretty much exactly like these Peanut Butter Crème bars.” [Right, that’s what I meant. —ed.]
• Despite its tension-fraught origins, there’s very little I don’t like the pairing of chocolate and peanut butter. I wouldn’t exactly call the candy-bar version an improvement on the original cookie, which work fine without chocolate, but there’s really nothing wrong with it either. It’s light and flaky and gets the peanut butter-to-chocolate balance right. I’d eat one again. (Note: I have since eaten one again.)
Where to find them: A grocery or drug store near you. We got ours at Walgreens, though we had to ask the nice lady behind the counter to go in the back to find them, as they weren’t on display.