Monday, November 20, 2017

Bring on the Christmas Treats: Sweetarts Merry Mix

It's not yet Thanksgiving and yet the Christmas sweets have been for sale since the day after Halloween. It's a strange time of year. Sweetarts Merry Mix is a nice way to ease into the holiday sweets season. No new flavors or surprises--just the classic tart candies molded into bells, snowmen, and trees. I'm starting to feel a little bit festive!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Licorice Delights from Finland: Fazer Lakritsi (Choco, Lemon and Salmiak Varieties)

Straight from Finland via my Mom's suitcase, I found Fazer's Lakritsi filled black licorice to be such a delicious treat. These are combinations I've never encountered before. Lemon and black licorice are a surprisingly winsome duo. Chocolate goes well with licorice and this creamy chocolate center is a nice balance to the heavy outer licorice. The only one I didn't like is the Salmiak (Salt) variety. I like a little sprinkle of salt but this is far too much for my taste.

Score (lemon): 4
Score (chocolate): 3
Score (salmiak - salt): 2

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Nutella Adds More Sugar to Recipe: Fans Are Outraged

image courtesy of

Nutella is universally beloved sweet that consumers expect to taste exactly the same with each encounter. Watchful German fans recently noticed that Nutella packaging has changed its ingredients, adding more sugar and milk, and decreasing the cocoa. The changes haven't been instituted yet in the American version of Nutella but it's sure to follow soon. Basically, you can expect something sweeter, more creamy, and less chocolatey. 

Stock up while you can on Original Recipe Nutella and read more about the ingredient changes in the Daily Mail: "Nutella fans go nuts after discovering the company has secretly changed the formula" (6 November 2017). 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Hazelnut Heaven: Kinder Bueno and Kinder Bueno White

Kinder Bueno and Kinder Bueno White candy bars are my new go-to favorite if I'm longing for a sweet. What you have here is a brilliant mechanism for innocuously scooping hazelnut frosting into your mouth in a somewhat socially acceptable manner. The wafer cookie is thin and light as air. It doesn't add to the flavor, and that's good. Take a bite, and a large mouthful of rich hazelnut cream frosting instantly melts in your mouth. It's so delicious. It's so compelling because it's all about the filling. Frankly, there's almost no difference between Kinder Bueno and Kinder Bueno White. There's a very thin layer of chocolate covering the Kinder Bueno but that all gets lost in the filling, too. I'd recommend them both. Taste-tester Ben also found them scarily addictive. Find these if possible and stock up!

Score: 5

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Festive Christmas Sweets: Peanut Brrr-ittle m&m's

Once I procured my bag of new limited edition Peanut Brrr-ittle m&m's, I tore them open with heightened anticipation. I just had a good feeling about this new flavor, and these expectations were met with flying colors. Peanut Brrrr-ittle m&m's are so delicious! They rival plain and peanut butter m&m's as my very favorite. Upon first bite, they don't seem awfully different from a traditional peanut m&m, but then you find yourself with extra crunch, added through the candy shell and a toffee coating on the peanut. The warm buttery toffee flavor melds beautifully with the peanut and the chocolate and all together it is a rich and perfectly-balanced mouthful. Despite best intentions I kept running back to the cabinet for fresh handfuls of the addictive sweets, until the entire mega-bag was almost completed. These Peanut Brittle m&m's should be a year-round offering. They're fantastic!

Score: (unexpected) 5

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Travel Snapshot: Classic Portuguese Egg Tarts, Koi Kei Bakery, Macau

The heavy Portuguese influence in Macau is evident throughout the culture, and that includes a traditional favorite, the classic Portuguese Egg Tart. The go-to bakery in Macau that has perfected the recipe is Koi Kei Bakery. The tarts are so simple, so smooth, and not too sweet. The buttery flaky crust coheres the bite and lends substance to the dense custard. Koi Kei is no local secret. Numerous branches across Macau team with tourists seeking to taste the coveted local treat. It feels good to hunker with one's still-warm tart outside the bakery and to be surrounded by other people similarly transported by a warm egg tart. There's nothing like the love of sweets to build comraderie amongst strangers.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Fresh from Norway: Nidar Smash!

Another fantastic Scandinavian treat! The Norwegian Nidar Smash bar uses one of my very favorite (and underutilized) combos--cruchy corn and chocolate. Rather than the more typical rice krispies and chocolate, crisped corn adds more substantive savory flavor and offsets the sweet chocolate beautifully. I wish these were available on the American market--they would definitely constitute a go-to chocolate bar. Thanks for finding this, Mom!

Score: 4

Friday, November 3, 2017

Via Seattle Met: A History of Cinnabon

How did a cinnamon bun grow into such a pervasive cultural icon?
Is it simply the delicious frosting or is there more to it?

To read a fascinating account of the history of Cinnabon, head to the Seattle Met blog:
Scents from a Mall: The Sticky Untold Story of Cinnabon

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Project 7 Champagne Dreams Sugar-Free Gum

Who would have thought it possible to replicate the flavor, and even the sense of effervescence, of champagne in chewing gum? Project 7 has accomplished this feat. In sugar-free form, no less. I can't say that I enjoy the sensation of chewing champagne, and on a personal level I would most likely forgo the taste experience a second time, but champagne fans will get a kick out of the gum. It's definitely worth a taste.

Score (flavor innovation): 5
Score (likelihood to buy again): 2
Score (chewing on champagne): 3

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Travel Snapshot: Endless Sweets of the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong Club Lounge

I may never genuinely wrap my head around the incredibly welcoming and luxurious environment of the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong Club Lounge. Among the myriad benefits offered in the 116th floor lounge are an ever-changing rotation of the most decadent, beautiful and tasty sweets. The images above display a small sampling of the dessert creations on hand.

Then there are the chocolates....

Not to mention traditional afternoon tea...

...and an incredible array of some of the finest macaron in the world by Pierre Hermé in a wide variety of sumptuous spot-on flavors.

If the above splendor wasn't enough, there are jars of traditional Asian candies to taste-test. Thanks to Georgina for introducing me to the Lounge's traditional Chinese candies, Chan Pie Mui preserved plums and White Rabbit Creamy Candy (with an inner layer of melting rice paper), not to mention Morinaga Matcha Caramels from Japan.

I'm still swooning and most definitely still full.

Friday, October 27, 2017

A Little Bit of Pumpkin Spice: White Pumpkin Pie m&m's

I have previously written about my impassioned anti-pumpkin spice feelings (read here). Because of this belief that Pumpkin Spice is simply disgusting, I asked a less biased taster, Will, to do the honors. He thought these were pretty good--a nice warm flavor of pumpkin and spice. However, he felt that the white chocolate base was too sweet, so that one cannot eat huge amounts of the sweets in one sitting. For those on the Pumpkin Spice bandwagon, these m&m's are probably worth your while.

Score (pumpkin spice): (forever) 1
Score (unbiased flavor score): 3

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Via Vice News: The Darker Side of Haribo Gummies

Many posts on obsessiesweets have celebrated the wide and delectable array of Haribo gummies in the past. Vice Media, however, reports on a troubling German documentary that has uncovered working conditions akin to slave labor used in the production of the sweets' key ingredients.

To Read Further....

Via Vice: Investigation Alleges Haribo Gummies Are Made Using Slave Labor

Via Jezebel: Haribo Faces Allegations of Slave Labor After Investigation

Halloween Gummy Snapshot: Candy Corn Gummies

(Candy corn gummies available at Dylan's Candy Bar)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Halloween Oreo Eggs

Consuming  Halloween Oreo Egg is an indulgent proposition. It's really rich and sweet. You're aware of how very much sugar and fat and artificial stuff you're eating throughout the gluttony. That said, like the ever-favorite Cadbury Cream Egg, this 2-3 bite mass-market truffle is awfully tasty. It's basically vanilla frosting with intermittent chocolate cookie crispies suspended throughout. The milk chocolate shell keeps it all cohered. I think a dark chocolate shell would balance out some of the sweet better. Or perhaps a more milky and less sugary vanilla cream? It needs a little adjustment to ramp down the sugar but is otherwise a delight.

Score: 3

Monday, October 23, 2017

Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme Halloween Skulls

Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme isn't a big personal favorite--there's way too much white chocolate with not enough cookie crunches suspended throughout. The white chocolate is a little waxy, too. It's not bad, I've just had better varieties of cookies and cream from the mass-market candy aisle. That said, I love the foil skull decorations used to wrap the two-bite treats. Visually, they're the first candy I would reach for on a crowded table of sweets.

Score (flavor): 2
Score (packaging): 4

Friday, October 20, 2017

Halloween Cookies & Screeem m&m's

Mmm, these new Halloween edition Cookies & Screeem m&m's are a wonderful new addition to the ever-growing m&m's flavor line. They consist of a center of white chocolate enveloped by a layer of dark chocolate contained in the classic crispy sugar shell. Dark brown is my least favorite color of m&m, but I do really like the effect of the white splatter paint sprinkled on a selection of the brown shells. Dark and white chocolate combined don't exactly create a surprise flavor-wise, but it's tasty. It's a little heavy on the white chocolate--I would personally prefer a reversal of dark chocolate\white chocolate ratio. But these are certainly worth a try and a fun Halloween design to have out in a candy bowl.

Score (flavor):3
Score (decoration): 4