The Good: Amazing flavor, Not the worst on the nutrition front, Decent ingredients, Environmental impact of packaging
The Bad: Comparatively expensive, Requires milk to properly make
The Basics: Cold Stone Creamery Peanut Butter Cup Perfection Hot Chocolate is an incredible balance of chocolate and peanut butter flavors, making for an ideal peanut butter flavored hot cocoa!
The recent trend in the grocery market that leaves me most baffled is the licensing of restaurant names to retail products. At home Taco Bell products bear no real resemblance to the in-restaurant products, for example. The obsession with brand name association is not a selling point for me and I'm of the mind that if a product is great, it does not need the name of a famous restaurant to sell it. Despite that, every now and then, I find something that intrigues me. My wife and I were out at the store recently when we saw the little cartons of new Cold Stone Creamery Peanut Butter Cup Perfection Hot Cocoa. We do not live close to a Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream Parlor (reviewed here!) any more, but I have been delighted in the past by some of their ice cream treats.
That made me willing to try the Cold Stone Creamery Peanut Butter Cup Perfection Hot Cocoa. And it was worth it! Cold Stone Creamery Peanut Butter Cup Perfection Hot Cocoa might well be the best blend of chocolate and peanut butter flavors in a hot beverage I have yet found!
The Peanut Butter Cup Perfection hot cocoa mix is part of the Cold Stone Creamery premium hot cocoa line. The mix comes in a 10 ounce canister, which mimics an ice cream pint. The containers are cute and contain the hot cocoa powder inside and the wide-mouth top makes it very easy to access and properly measure the cocoa.
Ease Of Preparation
The Peanut Butter Cup Perfection hot cocoa mix is fairly easy to make, though it does require measuring to properly prepare it. The Cold Stone Creamery Peanut Butter Cup Perfection Hot Cocoa has a decent shelf life - the canister we bought four days ago had an expiration date of November 11, 2017! Because it is resealable and has some preservatives in is, this is likely to last virtually forever unopened. A single serving is two rounded Tablespoons and 1 cup of hot milk. One needs to measure out the cocoa to reconstitute it properly.
As a result, preparation is not difficult, but requires some measuring that packets do not. The canister must be opened, the safety seal removed, the powder measured out into a mug that is at least eight ounces large. Then, simply pour hot (near-boiling) milk over the powder and stir. Stir the powder until there are no blobs of cocoa powder visible in the milk or giving resistance from the bottom. The beverage will have a dark brown color to it and will be very much a fluid.
Cold Stone Creamery Peanut Butter Cup Perfection hot cocoa smells surprisingly strongly of peanuts. The impressive thing is that the aroma is not that of peanut butter, but of actual peanuts (though, I suppose that makes it smell like all-natural peanut butter!). The peanut scent from the Cold Stone Creamery Peanut Butter Cup Perfection Hot Cocoa is so potent that it made me concerned that the flavor would be dominated by the peanut butter flavor.
Fortunately, that is not the case at all. Cold Stone Creamery Peanut Butter Cup Perfection Cocoa has a very true, rich chocolate flavor to it that blends perfectly with the flavor of the peanut butter that the aroma hinted at. The chocolate flavoring is rendered as a dark chocolate flavor, perhaps because the peanut butter component to the flavor palate is similarly dry. The resulting flavor is true to both the chocolate and peanut butter flavors in a way that is both delightful and uncommon. This truly is the best blend of chocolate and peanut butter in a beverage that I have ever had. Interestingly, the Cold Stone Creamery Peanut Butter Cup Perfection Hot Cocoa does not taste sweet in a generic or obvious way; the chocolate flavor is more true to cocoa, than it is to the overly-sweetened form of chocolate many people are accustomed to.
Perhaps what is most intriguing on the flavor front is that the Peanut Butter Cup Perfection Hot Chocolate has no real aftertaste to it. Given how dry the primary flavor is, I would have expected the Cold Stone Creamery Peanut Butter Cup Perfection Hot Cocoa to bear a very dry aftertaste, but it does not. The rich chocolate flavor resonates in the mouth for several minutes after the beverage is consumed, but it is not oppressive or overly dry!
Cold Stone Creamery's hot cocoa mix is a sugary beverage and not intended to be excessively nutritious, though the Peanut Butter Cup Perfection flavor could be far less nutritious than it is. While I am used to reviewing things like all natural teas where the ingredients are all easily pronounceable and recognizable, the Peanut Butter Cup Perfection hot cocoa has very few ingredients that cannot be easily identified. The primary ingredients are sugar, cocoa and coconut oil. It is not vegan compliant as a result of the whey and dry milk in the mix. It is not considered gluten-free because it was manufactured on equipment that also processes wheat.
In each serving of Peanut Butter Cup Perfection Hot Chocolate, there are 110 calories, fifteen of which are from fat. There are one and a half grams of saturated fat, so this is not the most fatty cocoa mix by a decent margin! There is no cholesterol, but a noticeable 7% of one's recommended daily allowance of sodium out of a single serving of this beverage! There is a tiny bit of protein in the Peanut Butter Cup Perfection Hot Ccoa. The only other notable nutrients in the Cold Stone Creamery Peanut Butter Cup Perfection Hot Cocoa is 4% of the RDA of Iron. In other words, this product is not a nutritious food product, though it tastes amazing.
So long as one leaves the Peanut Butter Cup Perfection powder in its carton, it ought to stay usable. One assumes it will last quite a while and dissolve appropriately when one attempts to use it. The canister, for those of us who consider the environmental impact of such things, are much more environmentally friendly and affordable than packets would be.
Cleanup is very easy. If the product spills while dispensing the powder into the mug, simply wipe it up or brush it up with a dry or damp cloth. If it has already been reconstituted with water into hot cocoa, simply wipe it up. Light fabrics are likely to stain if this gets on them, in which case consult your fabric care guide to clean it up. This is a very dark colored hot cocoa, so avoiding stains might be difficult on lighter fabrics.
Cold Stone Creamery Peanut Butter Cup Perfection hot cocoa is the perfect balance between chocolate and peanut butter flavors . . . if only it was a little less expensive, that would be ideal!
For other hot cocoa reviews, please check out:
Stephen's Gourmet Peppermint Candycane Hot Cocoa
Land O’ Lakes S'mores Hot Cocoa
Pernigotti Hot Chocolate
For other beverage reviews, please visit my Food Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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