Snickers bars are no stranger to change. Over the years they have had almonds in addition to peanuts, dark chocolate instead of milk, and various combinations of all nougat and nuts, or all caramel and nuts. The latest Snickers offering is, I think, a bigger change: Snickers Peanut Butter Squared. There are two big modifications to this bar: 1) a layer of peanut butter is added between the nougat and the caramel, and 2) it's not a "bar" at all, but rather two squares packaged together.
The packaging makes the squares seem the same size as a regular Snickers bar, but in fact they're a little smaller: 1.78 oz and 250 calories, versus 2.07 oz and 280 calories for the original bar. Each of the squares are about 1.25 inches across, and ¾ inch high. I liked the double squares format. One of the most annoying things about candy bars--especially candy bars like Snickers that contain caramel or other messy ingredients--is that it's difficult to eat only a portion and cleanly save the rest for later. Usually it creates a mess in the wrapper, or the half-bar gets crushed, or caramel leaks everywhere, so I end up just eating the whole thing when I only wanted half. The two-piece format makes portion control (or sharing, I suppose) much easier.
The squares have a thin layer of nougat on the bottom, about 1/8 inch thick. A much thicker layer of peanut butter, about ¼ inch thick is on top of that, and the peanuts are (I think) mixed into the peanut butter. (It's a little tricky to tell whether the peanuts were on top or within the peanut butter, because my samples had so few peanuts.) A thin caramel layer is on top of the peanut butter, and the whole thing is encased in the familiar Mars-brand milk chocolate.
(c) 2010 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
But how do the Snickers Peanut Butter Squared bars taste? I think this question really depends on your opinion of regular Snickers bars. The truth is, it's never been my favorite candy bar, mostly because of the nougat layer. I actually quite like the Snickers Xtreme, which has just caramel and nuts, because it dispenses with what I consider to be an overly sweetened and oddly textured candy element and just celebrates the caramel and nuts. So while I love the idea of the bars, and love the addition of more salty peanut flavor, I didn't end up loving the final product.
My biggest complaint was the texture. There is a lot of peanut butter, and when you combine it with the similarly-textured nougat, most of the bar ends up being the same slightly dry, slightly gritty texture. I wish that either the nougat layer was omitted (dare to dream!) or that there were a lot more peanuts to add some much-needed crunch. In most cases, I got only 3-4 peanuts for the whole square. And because the caramel layer is so thin, that texture and flavor was entirely lost. So this one wasn't a winner for me, but I think that if you love the original Snickers, and if you like the crumbly peanut butter filling in a Reese's cup, you will like the Snickers Peanut Butter Squared.
I got samples of this bar at the 2010 Sweets & Snacks Expo. It will be available to the general public in December 2010.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.