Into The Woods, but I'm not going there. I mean, if I traded my cow for these beans, maybe, but I digress.
Nope, going with the tried and true classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Not that there were any magic beans in that classic novel brought to life on the screen by Gene Wilder (totally ignoring you here, Johnny Depp, go prance somewhere else). But...wouldn't it be cool if Willy Wonka made actual magic chocolate beans? He made everlasting gobstoppers, a chocolate bar you could reach into your TV and grab, a chocolate river...why not a magic candy bean?
If these TJ choco-beans could conjure up any magical power, I know which one I'd want it to be: plant a chocolate tree in my stomach so I could stop craving chocolate practically nonstop. Over the past year, I've practically choked off almost all of my other candy cravings (I can resist Reese's products and Take 5s like a pro by now)...but chocolate? For whatever reason, it's grown only stronger, and it'd be so nice to have something in my tummy to make it stop. That way, I wouldn't have to end up making a video like these for the Jimmy Kimmel show after my kids go trick-or-treating...except it'd be real.
Yes, a solid crunch, all the way through. Interesting. When I hear the word "nougat" I think of the stuff that resides inside something like a 3 Muskateers bar, and not this almost-but-not-quite toffee-esque substance in the middle with some almonds adding some girth. Some quick hack research on the matter (i.e., good ol' Wikipedia) reveals that not only what the 'murican standard of nougat is is something that's not quite the real stuff (go figure), but also that there's such thing as "brown nougat" or "nougatine" that is firm, crunchy, and made without egg whites. So that's what's on the inside here, in case you, like me, were expecting a soft iddle and were surprised by the wholly solid core.
Overall, the magic beans aren't a bad confection by any stretch. Just a few will really do the trick for a quick cocoa pick-me-up, and there is a small novelty factor to them. But while we both like them, neither Sandy nor I are particularly bowled over by them. That may be partially because the candies weren;t what we were exactly expecting, which doesn't make them less tasty, but maybe just more aware of our ignorance to the larger world of nougat out there. I'm also pretty sure to have any chance of these taking root and growing into that cocoa plant, I'd have to swallow a bean whole, and they're much too big for that - potential choke hazard for small kids, I'd think. Also, the price seems perhaps slightly high - $3.99 for a 7.7 ounce bag - which isn't horrible, but I'm used to a better value from TJ's. Cost less than a cow, though. Matching 3.5's here.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Magic Beans: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons