Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Candy Bouquet

I thought I must be hallucinating as I beheld a pumpkin exploding with candy classics; the best way to usher in a festive Halloween weekend! Thanks a bunch, Tara, Zach, and Evan! You're the best!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The New York Times: Candy Scapegoated!

Photo Courtesy Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Ok, candy consumption can lead to cavities and even weight problems, but has sugar unfairly become a go-to scapegoat? Today's New York Times examines the phenomenon...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Baked Bakery, Brooklyn



I'm obsessed with the edible-glitter and glamor of Top Chef Just Desserts, and within the assembled group of skilled contestants, Erik Wolitzky is by far my favorite. Amidst a bunch pastry chefs who get their knickers in a bunch about overly-precious assemblages, Wolitzky is a baker who has wowed the judges with perfect flavors over pretty packaging in every challenge. Lucky me to live in the same borough as his bakery, Baked! We recently went to sample some the establishment's delicacies- pumpkin whoopie pie, caramel apple cupcake, peanut butter chocolate rice krispie treat, and a carrot cake cupcake for good measure- and they all made me swoon. Especially the caramel apple cupcake topped with an insanely delicate yet rich frosting. Indescribable. Highly worth trekking out to Red Hook. Go now!

A Note On Bad Lighting

I was appalled at the bad lighting evident in the most recent batch of candy pics- all yellow and dark and filled with ugly shadows. Bah! With Halloween fast approaching (and most of the pictured candy now devoured) the proverbial show must go on and we will have to make due with these sub-par images. However, I would like to assure the candy-crazed audience that in a pique of frustration I purchased a proper tungsten light to pair with my intrepid light box and this sad visage of non-sparkling candy will never again occur!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kisses



If the Caramel Apple Kisses hadn't been so incredibly delectable, I'd be raving about these limited edition Pumpkin Spice Kisses instead! I've unfortunately become totally consumed with the wonder of the Caramel Apple variety and so perhaps the timing was inopportune for proper attention to these Pumpkin-flavored morsels. They're really good! I'm not a big pumpkin fan- especially faux-pumpkin- but there's something really "correct" in their semblance to the flavor of a pumpkin pie. Hershey's doesn't go for overkill on the sweet factor which really helps. Instead, there's this mellow blend of pumpkin and cinnamon and the milky white center coheres the whole thing into a very meltable, surprisingly flavor-packed bonbon. Even if you're not into candy that tastes like pumpkin (it's really not an appealing thought, to my mind- it is a vegetable, after all), try these out- they constitute a really successful and unique flavor.

Score: 4

Pumpkin Peeps

photo courtesy mark "deathmatch king" abramovich

Peeps, glorious peeps! They never taste very good to me- the marshmallow's too dry and I like a little goo in my marshmallow- but I sure do love their holiday-specific designs! These pumpkin cuties uphold the proud Peeps tradition beautifully.

Score: 3

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Licked, Sucked, Stacked, Stuck: Candy at the Brattleboro Museum

Photo courtesy the artists and art:21
Paul Shore and Nicole Root, New York Brownie Room (After Walter De Maria), 2010. Brownie.

Speaking of candy elevating/elevated by fine art, Rory drew my attention to an upcoming exhibit at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center called Licked, Sucked, Stacked, Stuck, running from November 6, 2010- February 6, 2011. I am so going- this is worth traveling for. Not only are the images incredibly enticing (check out the show's flickr page), but the concept of the show looks pretty thoughtful and potentially profound. The museum produced a brief statement describing the curatorial aims:

"Three years ago, visual artist Paul Shore and art historian Nicole Root were struck by the commonly overlooked parallel between mass-produced candy and contemporary sculpture. Their collaborative investigation into the formal similarities between art and candy grew to include a high-fructose meditation on the way reproductions shape our experience of art. After seeing these photographs, videos, and sculptures, one thing is certain: you will never regard the local candy store or the Museum of Modern Art the same way again.
"

For a more in-depth explanation of the upcoming exhibition, check out this write-up on art:21.


Kathleen Griffin: Art from Candy

photo courtesy kathleen-griffin.com
Perfect, 6' rug made of shoelace licorice

photo courtesy kathleen-griffin.com
I'll Never Love You More Than I Do Right Now, 300 pounds of cherry candy cast on a wooden chair

photo courtesy kathleen-griffin.com
Candy Windows, five candy windows

I've talked about some tongue-in-cheek candy art before (most notably, the artist cake series at both SF MoMA and the Chinatown Cake Club, and photographer Dustin Wayne Harris' images of cakes reflecting his dating history), but Kathleen Griffin elevates the use of candy in her work to a higher plane. This is really stupendous, weighty stuff. I'd so love to see it in person. Check out her work, candy-based and otherwise, on her website, kathleen-griffin.com, and keep your eyes peeled for her next exhibition. Thanks, Robert, for introducing me to this!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wishlist: Dexter Blood Slide Candies

photo, courtesy walyou.com

Oosh, just in time for Halloween! I'm not a fan of the teevee show, Dexter, but these little Dexter-themed blood slide candies look fantastic! And disturbingly real! I'd certainly be taken aback if I unwittingly witnessed someone popping a blood slide candy into their mouth. Tracking these down is a must! Thanks to walyou.com for the heads-up- for an in-depth analysis, click here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wonka Store Opens in Times Square

photo courtesy, posterwire

Read the Gothamist article to obtain all the important details about today's opening. I wonder if the shop sells any candy that we can't find in any corner bodega. Either way, I'm sure the spectacle is marvelous and the chocolate is scrumdidilyumptious!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Backlog: Junior Caramels


Meh. As a big fan of Junior Mints and a mega-fan of caramel, these Junior Caramels seemed really exciting. They're not. They're ok. The chocolate is a little waxy out of necessity, the caramel is a little bland. They're tasty at the movies, but I'll stick with the Junior Mints for sure.

Score: 3

Backlog: Cadbury Flake Praline

Cadbury flake bars are divine- on their own, crumbled over ice cream, dipped in peanut butter. Shall I go on? Cadbury chocolate is perfection and with that light airy layered consistency there's no messing with the perfection of a Flake bar. Praline is delicious, too, but mixed into the Flake equation it simply equals Too Sweet. I don't really taste the nutty praline. Instead, it's just an overwhelmingly corn syrupy sweetness that was too much. Keep trying, Cadbury. There are some lovely possibilities waiting to be blended into that package of flakey chocolate goodness!

Score: 2

Backlog: Pocket Coffee


Why do I remember Pocket Coffee so distinctly from my childhood? I don't think I was allowed to eat the caffeine-infused treat, so maybe I'm just accessing a deep-stored longing to consume these decadent bonbons from way back when. Either way, I've loved these classic candies for as long as I can remember. They're the perfect combination of a delicate dark chocolate shell and liquid espresso filling. The coffee filling forms crystals on the chocolate interior thus creating a more solid foundation to cohere the delicate candies. They pack a punch- both with taste and caffeinated energy- and I love them.

Score: 5

Cupcake Dental Floss

There's something vaguely perverse about cleaning one's teeth with dental floss that smells of cavity-inspiring baked goods. But it's a pleasantly perverse feeling. Luckily, the flavor and aroma to the cupcake floss is pretty subdued, just a suggestion of sweet vanilla. I like it! Thanks, Dan, for finding this healthy treat alternative!