Monday, July 14, 2014

Review: Quaker Protein Peanut Butter Chocolate Baked Bars

The Quaker machine keeps on trucking.  Quaker Oats has been the manufacturer in the second most amount of my reviews at this point (Kellogg's is first) and due to that, it's only fitting that I add in another review in order to keep their history on this blog going.  In Meijer recently, I saw a box of five of these Quaker Protein Peanut Butter Chocolate Baked Bars on sale for $2.50 and being that these are a new product (they are so new that they don't even have a presence on the Quaker website yet) and also yet another entrant into the growing protein bar foray, I knew that these had a Crazy Food Dude Review written all over them.  Each bar in this box is 1.65 ounces has 190 calories with ten grams of protein.

Being that Quaker so nicely depicted these on the facing of the box, I wasn't exactly surprised when I took this out of the wrapper and it looked pretty much like the box said it would.  It was a soft, baked base topped with swirls of chocolate and peanut butter.  Those swirls were then topped with pieces of ground up peanuts, so in terms of peanut flavor, it was clear that there would be no shortages based on the presence of those two factors alone.  In terms of smell, it did have that pastry-like smell that was mixed with a mild and pleasing nutty peanut smell.  Inside of the baked bar were some additional chocolate chips and oat pieces (it is Quaker Oats after all), so for such a basic flavor combination, I've got to give Quaker credit...they actually put a bit of effort into making sure both named flavors were accounted for in several ways.

When I bit into this, I was expecting a soft and chewy bar and that's definitely what I got.  I wasn't expecting a bar that was so dry, but that's also what I got and I'm guessing that came as a result of the oat pieces in the baked mix absorbing all the moisture as oats tend to do.  The peanut butter and chocolate flavor was as I expected in that it was a nice mix of dense peanut butter and somewhat sweet chocolate and the swirls on top of the bar did add some limited moisture to the baked part of the bar once they melted in my mouth.  What was also nice about this is that the little bits of peanuts added some grainy crunch to what was a soft and chewy bar and that texture change-up was a welcome addition as this bar could have become exceptionally boring if it became too pastry-like, in my opinion.
Buy It or Fly By It?  All in all, nothing about this bar stood out as exceptional, but it was a solid performer that delivered as I would have expected it would and it's for that reason that I give this a BUY IT rating.  It's typical of a mass marketed Quaker's never going to be the greatest thing on the planet, but it's never going to be bad enough that it's a turn-off either.  There's a reason why these massive corporations keep churning out bars and making money...they've found the "happy zone" where they can produce bars that are just good enough that they can get people to constantly come back to purchase more.


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