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Taste-test, Aisle 1.

New Nestlé Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Bars

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After devoting an entire week of my life to Girl Scout Cookies, I thought I was ready to give them a rest. But then I saw all three limited edition Nestlé Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Bars hanging out next to the Ritter Sport at my local drug store and I knew I was ready to get back on the horse.

Available until September, the new Nestlé Crunch bars come in three flavors: Thin Mint, Peanut Butter Crème, and Caramel & Coconut. To translate into GSC speak, that's Crunch Bar mixed with Thin Mints, tagalongs (also known as Peanut Butter Patties) and Samoas (also known as Caramel deLites).

Each pack has two little bars, which I like. Not only does it make it feel like there's more candy, but it seems Girl Scout appropriate that you could feasibly be healthy and save half your pack for later. I also like that they have the signature bumpy surface of a Crunch bar. Crunch is one of my favorite candies (ode here) and I didn't want them to lose their identity in face of the popular girl at school. Now on to the flavors.

Thin Mints:

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As by far the most popular cookie, I have to believe that most people will nab this version of the hybrid bar. Luckily, Nestlé came through—the bar tastes exactly like a Thin Mint, except it's better because it's like three Thin Mints piled on top of each other. Flavor wise, it's that same After-Eight slash minty Oreo taste that everyone loves. The wafer is a little crumbly, sure, but its height gives every mouthful the intensity you always want a Thin Mint to have, but can't, because they're not Fat Mints, as you always secretly wished they were.

Peanut Butter Crème:

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Although this is technically a Do-Si-Dos (also known as Peanut Butter Patties)-Crunch hybrid, it could just as easily be taking its cues from Do-Si-Dos, also known as Peanut Butter Sandwiches. The bar has the Nutter Butter taste of most peanut butter snacks, though it's elevated by a distinct hit of salt. The crunchy wafer keeps the peanut butter light, which works to the bar's advantage. Overall, it tastes a little artificial, but I didn't really mind.

Caramel & Coconut:

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Open the package and you'll find that this bar has the distinctive tan striping to identify it as a Samoa. But where I find the cookie to be delightfully balanced, the bar falls a little too far in artificial coconut territory. I definitely missed the actual shards of coconut that adorn the cookie, and the bar lacks enough taste of both chocolate and caramel. This bar is also the only one of the three whose texture isn't as good as the cookie's. Samoas have a crunchy shortbread cookie base, a bit of gooey caramel, some chewy coconut flakes and a smooth sheen of chocolate. None of that translated into the wafer, which was simply uniformly crunchy and tasted mostly of coconut.

Verdict: I'll pick up more Thin Mint bars until they run out, especially to horde in my stash of candy-to-bring-on-a-plane. The other two weren't bad, but I'll probably wait until cookie season and get the real deal.

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