A Diet Candy Bar That Actually Satisfies

Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisp Candy Bar

Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisp Candy Bar

I Paid: $1.19 for a .77-ounce bar (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 4 stars

Marketing: 4 stars

When I reviewed Skinny Cow ice cream cone sundaes a few years back, I was pleasantly surprised: Here was a diet food (diet dessert, no less) that actually satisfied a serious sweet tooth, and with comparatively little impact on the waistline. And while not quite good for you exactly, the Skinny Cow cones weren't horrible for you either.

Now Skinny Cow is rolling out candy bars, positioned for impulse purchase at the counter of your neighborhood gas station or urban bodega. The bars themselves are, in fact, skinny—the Heavenly Crisp milk chocolate flavor I tried was a mere .77 ounces and 110 calories (compare to the 280-calorie, 2.07-ounce Snickers bar or the 220-calorie, 1.55-ounce Nestlé Crunch bar)—and relatively pricey at $1.19.

The Skinny Cow bar gets to its low-calorie market position not through use of good or low-cal ingredients—it's full of the same sugary, partially hydrogenated crap that makes mass-market candy what it is. There's just a lot less of it.

But, it should be noted, it's used to much better effect. The delicate cookie layers render the bar delightfully crisp and light, with a chocolate-milk-like flavor that comes from the white icing drizzled atop. The flavor lingers, and it's pleasant: The chocolate has a richness to it that is unlike many conventional candy favorites (Hershey's chocolate bars, for example, or the aforementioned Crunch bars, which are made by the same company).

The question of whether the Heavenly Crisp's relatively slender 110 calories are actually satisfying in the same way that a more substantial dessert might be is in the gullet of the beholder, but I found myself totally pleased, the chocolate-craving demon within me fully fed and returned to its dormant state.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.