Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Izumiya Confectionery Co. Christmas Cookies

Thanks to Mina, Megumi, and the whole Tomioka family for sending these festive Izumiya Confectionary Company Christmas cookies! Besides the enticing packaging, these basic butter cookies are extra crisp and light and addictive. I hear the company is the oldest producer of pre-packaged cookies in Japan, dating back to 1917, and now I can see where they get their staying power. Delicious and delightful!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Magnolia Cupcakes Everywhere

I've written about the over-saturation of cupcakes in New York City a number of times in the past (click here to read the kvetching). I've also written of the roots of this over-saturation stemming directly from Magnolia Bakery. I don't like to write about them too much because it was publicity (aka, Sex and the City)that messed up that bakery in the first place. That said, I feel obligated to report that today's Grub Street blog announces that Magnolia Cupcakes will soon be available for all, no matter where you live. As of January 2, Magnolia is willing to send their butter cream frosted treats to any U.S. address. (I wonder how they stay really fresh. Butter cream by nature does not travel easily). So if you want to know what all the fuss is about, go to the Magnolia Bakery homepage and order up a dozen.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Junior's Christmas Cheesecake, Brooklyn

Junior's is the quintessential Brooklyn restaurant and boasts what some consider the best cheesecake in the world (I agree) and what I consider the best lemon meringue pie ever. Go there as fast as you possible can. Not that it's going anywhere- it's been around since 1950 and seems to be staying put. I was there last night- try not to be jealous. Anyway, this is just a shoutout about their Christmas holiday themed cheesecake- simply beautiful. You can order it by mail, too. Check out the website here...

Tootsie Pop Drops Candy Cane Flavor

Saturated with peppermint flavor, these Candy Cane Tootsie Pop Drops are wonderful! My only complaint: unlike a tootsie pop lollipop, these contain smaller tootsie centers so that the ratio of shell to tootsie filling feels a bit off. I love the candy cane flavor, though, and wish these were for sale year-round.

Score: 4

Wonka Sweetarts Merry Mix

Nothing new to the basic make-up of these Wonka Sweetarts Merry Mix except the festive holiday shapes- Christmas trees, bells, and snowmen. No surprises, but still delicious and newly festive for the holiday season!

Score: 3

Wish List Fulfilled! M&M's Cinnamon

Sometimes wishes do come true! I recently wrote about my longing to find the new limited edition Cinnamon m&m's (click here to read) and had been dreaming about them an awful lot in the meantime. Last night I found them at Target (apparently Target struck a deal to be their only purveyor) and today I awoke like a kid on Christmas morning ready to dive in. They're good. They're not all I had hoped for, though. They do have this mellow Cinnamon taste that is striking for the first two or three you consume and then you forget about because it is so subtle. Honestly, it tastes a little like Mexican hot cocoa- cinnamon-spiced chocolate that is one of my favorite tastes in the world. But this is Mexican hot cocoa for people who aren't that into cinnamon whereas I think that cinnamon should be used in abundance in pretty much everything (have you ever added it into peanut butter?- such a treat!). So I had been hoping these would honor the cinnamon a little more, let the flavor sing, push the spice flavor to the forefront. I think m&m's brand is onto something great but should pump up the volume a little on the entire endeavor.

Score: 4

Monday, December 12, 2011

Junior Mints Holiday Mix

Junior Mints are sublime in their original form. It's hard to make them even better. I really like this holiday mix idea from Junior Mints where they appear to be your standard Junior Mints and taste like your standard Junior Mints but if you bite them in half you are confronted by green, red, or white colored filling, like a hidden homage to the holiday! Honestly, who really eats a Junior Mint by biting it in half. [note: I have now been informed that plenty of people bite their Junior Mints in half- I think that's better left for a Peppermint Patty but to each their own]. You could go through an entire box without noticing. I like the subtlety. About half of each mini-box is comprised of the white-cream originals; the other half is about 50% red and 50% green. These are really hard to resist!

Score: 5

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Milka GoFree Cikolatah Gofret

The Milka GoFree (Cokolatah Gofret) chocolate wafer bar fares a little better to my mind than the Princessa Maxi. This Turkish delight boasts very light crispy wafers and a thicker coating of rich chocolate. Wafer bars never blow me away, but this Go Free is better than most- a little more substantial.

Score: 3

Monday, December 5, 2011

Nestle Princessa Maxi Mleczna

The Nestle Princessa Maxi Mleczna constitutes your basic chocolate and wafer bar, via Poland. But honestly, the chocolate is pretty waxy and the creme filling was really dry. The wafers were nicely crispy, though. However, I prefer other wafer bars to this one.

Score: 2

Cadbury Picnic

Cadbury's Picnic bar is not my cup of tea, but I think that it's probably sublime for the right palate. A mixture of peanuts and delicious Cadbury chocolate enrobe a raucous mixture of nougat, caramel, biscuit, puffed rice, and raisins. It's fun and vaguely wholesome and certainly filling- pleasant overall- but I think it reminds me a little too much of a granola bar. An unhealthy granola bar. There are so many more exciting chocolate products, especially made by Cadbury, I just don't think I'd choose this bar a second time over other options. Thanks for finding this, Will!

Score: 3

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pervasive Macaron: NYC Edition

Today's edition of Grub Street New York alerts readers to a wonderful map, created by the American Almond Products Company, of macaron purveyors within New York City's 5 boroughs! (Though you won't find any macaron in Staten Island). The map, as well as the endeavor to taste-test every macaron, is entitled and trademarked as "Macaronathan." Helpful and tantalizing, both! Click here to see for yourself!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Limited Edition Reese's Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups

I simply don't like chunky peanut butter so these limited edition Reese's Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups didn't really stand a chance with me. Especially because I ardently believe that classic Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are the best candy on earth. It's hard to make the best even better. And Reese's should keep trying. But I just don't enjoy the additional crunch in these. A fan of crunchy peanut butter would, I'm sure, enjoy these immensely. But I will say this, unrelated to personal taste in peanut butter: the peanut butter was dry, and no one likes that.

Score: 3

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Milky Way Tart: Cafe Brio, Arcata, California

photo courtesy of pam "famula" mendelsohn

I always love to see an inspired reinterpretation of a classic candy bar. Astute obsessivesweets reader, Pam Mendelsohn, recently sent in an image of a brilliant baked version of the Milky Way bar created by Cafe Brio in Arcata, California. A beautiful presentation, the Milky Way Tart combines dark chocolate ganache layered over salted caramel. If only I could click my heels together three times and transport myself to Arcata to taste-test this exquisite creation. Readers, please send in any other baked versions of candy bar classics that you find! 

Sad News: Dippin' Dots Defunct

image courtesy of thefrugalgirls.com

Sad news in the world of ice cream treats. It was announced today in The New York Daily News that Dippin' Dots has been forced to file for bankruptcy. I used to love these tiny frozen dollops of ice cream. They made me feel like a futuristic astronaut. They were colorful and quite delicious. If there had been a nearby purveyor I might have embarked on a serious addiction. Instead, I indulged whenever I could find them and that made them feel all-the-more like a special, unique treat. Besides the fun presentation, they simply constituted tasty ice cream. They will be sorely missed. 

Girl Scout Cookie Lip Balms

photo courtesy jezebel.com

Click here to read the announcement of the newly released Girl Scout Cookie flavored lip balms on Jezebel.com. I'm going straight for the Samoas flavor!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wish List: M&M's Cinnamon!

image courtesy of theimpulsivebuy

I am so excited to read the review of the new Cinnamon m&m's on The Impulsive Buy blog! Cinnamon and chocolate sound like a beautiful combination of flavors, especially for the winter season. Click here to read the review and please leave a comment if you see these for sale in New York! Must try!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Round-up: Pumpkin Pie Fudge Lollipop from The Sweet Life, NYC

I visited The Sweet Life candy shop on the Lower East Side in NYC last week and was astounded by their vast selection of candies from around the world as well as their own home-made (and reasonably priced!) offerings. Their motto: "anything can be dipped in chocolate." Wise words, indeed. It's incredible how much they can pack in that little store! I'll be reviewing a few more of my purchases in upcoming posts, but wanted to slip in my recommendation for the shop's unique and decadent Pumpkin Pie Fudge Lollipop before the Halloween holiday passes us by. This fudge was the perfect texture. It's firm but instantly dissolves on the tongue. The flavor is unlike any other fudge I've sampled- it really tastes like pumpkin pie, with all of the spices and butter that goes into the ideal holiday treat. And let me assure you, the consistency of fudge works beautifully with the flavor of pumpkin pie. In fact, I'd choose this fudge over the real thing any day. You can consume the fudge in lollipop form or by the slab, but I believe that the lollipop offers the perfect two-bite size. If you find yourself on the Lower East Side, definitely check out this shop. Click here to check out their website.

Score: 5

Halloween Round-up: Lifesavers Gummies Spooky Shapes

Nothing new in the flavoring, but these holiday-edition Lifesavers Gummies come in fun, spooky shapes for Halloween. I'm not the biggest fan of Lifesavers Gummies in general- the fruit flavors just don't do it for my taste-buds- but if you're a fan, check them out in ghost, cat, and jack-o-lantern form.

Score: 3

12 (Startling) Halloween Candy Facts

photo courtesy savingwithshellie blog

Thanks to obsessivesweets reader, Mark, for alerting me to today's article on the Huffington Post, "Halloween Candy Facts: 12 Things You Might Not Have Known." What it boils down to is that Americans purchase and consume an enormous amount of candy this time of year, especially chocolate and candy corn. To examine the astounding numbers, link to the article here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What Your Halloween Candy Says About You

photo courtesy of hannah kaminsky via caltech

A funny article from Gawker blog detailing how your choice of Halloween Candy reflects on you....click here

Monday, October 24, 2011

Art as Cake: Cake as Art Part II

I've written about the wonderful array of Artist themed desserts served on the Rooftop Garden Cafe of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (click here to see previous entry). I love their inspired creations. And they keep creating new homages, each equally delightful. Below is a list of the current selections. All museums should follow suit!!

Mondrian Cake- based on 'Composition in Red, Blue, and Yellow' 1930- Velvet cake, chocolate ganache

Thiebaud Layer Cake- based on 'Display Cakes' 1971- Butter cake, citrus curd, strawberry-rose geranium buttercream

Tony Cragg Ice Cream Cone- pumpkin 5-spice ice cream on malted milk chocolate ice cream on brown sugar cone wrapped in a custon come wrapper

Build your own Barnett Newman- based on 'Zim Zum' 1969- Chocolate sables, postcard with backdrop + instructions (chocolate ganache for assembly not included

Frida Kahlo Mexican Wedding Cookies- based on 'Frieda and Diego Rivera' 1931- Walnut/nocino shortbread in hand-printed box

Rosana Castrillo Diaz Panna Cotta- based on 'Untitled' 2009- Maple yogurt panna cotta, New Orleans coffee & creme fraiche panna cotta, St. Elizabeth allspice dram gelee with luster dust

John Zurier Popsicle- based on 'Arabella' 2005- Peppermint ice milk, strawberry

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween Round-up: Lip Pops (Glow in the Dark) Lollipops

The concept is great- suck on a tasty lollipop while exuding creepiness with plastic fangs. Very Halloween, very Trick and Treat at the same time. However, this might be the most foul-tasting lollipop I've ever met: was it watermelon flavor or dentist's flouride flavor or alien ick flavor? I couldn't keep the fangs in place because of the endless flow of nasty taste. That said, these are a great idea for Halloween merriment, and I'm hoping they come in a variety of alternative flavors....

Score (fangs and merriment): 4
Score (taste): 1 (gruesome, perhaps appropriate for Halloween)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween Round-up: York Peppermint Pattie Batty Candy

In honor of Halloween, you can purchase York Peppermint Patties in the shape of bats. There's nothing different about the flavor or coloring of the candy, but the bat shape feels festive and I've found myself at the store re-upping my stash multiple times. They're strangely more addictive when shaped like flying creatures of the night!

Score: 4

Halloween Round-up: Wonka Spooky Nerds

There's nothing new about the Orange and Punch-flavored Spooky Nerds except their (spooky!) orange and white Halloween color scheme. But they're so delicious and addictive and sparkling in flavor, I really don't mind.

Score: 4

M&M's World, Times Square

Gaze in wonder at the endless wall of m&m's at the M&M's World store in Times Square. Overall, the store freaks me out- sensory overload, always crowded, too many stuffed animals and other non-edible trinkets dedicated to the candy rather than the actual glorious, edible candy. I love this monumental wall, though. It's absolutely entrancing and worth a visit.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halloween Round-up: Halloween Marshmallow Pickled Heads

The Halloween Marshmallow Pickled Heads (made for and distributed by Walmart), taste like bland vanilla marshmallows with a heavy sugary coating. They have a pretty unpleasantly dense consistency, too. That said, though, they're creative in appearance and constitute a fun Halloween treat to have on hand. I found myself not wanting to eat them, but also wanting to keep them around to position and stack like twisted marshmallow action figures.

Score (taste): 2
Score (fun-factor): 3

Halloween Round-up: Gummy Chicken Feet

There's a whole school of "gross-out" gummies out there that I think is a lot of fun. Humor in sugar form is a great combination. Although not specific created for the Halloween holiday, I believe that these gummy chicken feet would benefit any Halloween gathering. You could get craft, too- decorate cupcakes, freeze them in ice cubes, and on and on. They're good gummies, too. Extra chewy and a strong combination of lemon and cherry flavors. I love'em!

Score: 4

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Halloween Round-up: Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape Monsters

It's the same old Hubba Bubba bubble tape- super soft bubble gum with strong but fleeting flavor- but with a mummy on top it's a lot of fun for Halloween! There's a whole series of monsters to collect!

Score: 3