Thursday, March 21, 2019

Cadbury Crunchie - For the Love of Honeycomb Candy

Americans need to hop on the honeycomb candy bandwagon. It's a brilliant creation, beloved in England, with so much untapped potential, and yet I only tend to find it at local chocolate stores that make their own. Let's look to Cadbury's classic Crunchie bar for an example. This isn't the fanciest honeycomb candy and yet it is a pure delight. The way the sugar crystals break down with each bite is so pleasing, the flavor is rich and a bit more natural than your average candybar given the honey element. I love these Cadbury Crunchies. Here's my plea to an American candybar maker to please create a go-to American version!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Easter Candy Season: Tootsie Roll Eggs

As far as I'm concerned, Tootsie Rolls are fine but nothing to seek out. After tasting these Tootsie Roll Eggs, though, I realize that what Tootsie Rolls were lacking was a Crunch. Add in this satisfying outer candy shell, and suddenly it's such a delicious mouthful of chew. Tootsie Roll needs to issue some year-long variation on this theme!

Score (overall): 4
Score (innovation): 5

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Jelly Belly Easter Egg Mix

How to outshine the zillions of jellybeans currently lining the Easter candy aisles? Throw shining stars and hearts onto shimmering jellybeans. I'm immediately back in a Lisa Frank sticker. That said, they're pretty cute. These are a pretty sweet addition to an Easter basket.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Yes, Purple Rain Jellybeans

Prince fans rejoice, for here are your Purple Rain jellybeans. I love them, and not just because of the homage. Brach's makes a great jelly bean and these Purple Rain Tiny Jelly Bird Eggs for Easter blends four beautiful hues of berry flavors into a delicious mix. Ok, the only recognizable flavor is grape. Maybe blueberry. The other two are a variation on artificial berry flavor. But they're all tasty and they blend nicely. The aroma is nice, too. Put some out in a bowl to double as snack and potpourri.

Score (Prince + candy): 5
Score (visuals): 4
Score (recognizable flavors): 3
Score (good for the Easter basket): 5

Friday, March 8, 2019

Easter Candy Season Onslaught: Lindt Mini Eggs

Lindt appears to be trying to get in on Cadbury's Mini Egg game with their own brand's version. No complaints! I love Lindt milk chocolate and the sugar shells are a bit heavier and crunchier than the Cadbury eggs. These are also a tiny bit larger. I consumed them at an alarming rate. I think my bias still falls to Cadbury, but it's a tough

Score: 4

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Russell Stover White Pastel Pecan Delight Egg

Just because it's inexpensive, don't underestimate a Russell Stover egg. Some aren't great, but some are exceedingly delicious. I cound this White Pastel Pecan Delight Egg as one of the tastier varieties. The white pastel isn't fantastic but not offensive--I think a dark chocolate would be nicer. The caramel and pecans, though, are buttery and rich and just the right substantive consistency. It's super sweet but constitutes a decadent and worthwhile holiday candy to add into your Easter basket.

Score: 3+

Past Russell Stover Reviews:
Russell Stover Apple Pie in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Banana Whip in Dark Chocolate 
Russell Stover Birthday Cake in Milk Chocolate 

Russell Stover Caramel and Marshmallow in Milk Chocolate 
Russell Stover Caramel Apple in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Carrot Cake in White Chocolate

Russell Stover Chocolate Marshmallow in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Chocolate Wedding Cake in White Chocolate
Russell Stover Coconut and Almond in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Coconut Cream in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Coconut Cream in White Pastel
Russell Stover Cookie Dough in Milk Chocolate  
Russell Stover Lemon Cake in Dark Chocolate 
Russell Stover Maple Cream in Dark Chocolate 
Russell Stover Marshmallow in White Pastel
Russell Stover Orange Marshmallow in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Orange Cream in Dark Chocolate  
Russell Stover Peanut Butter in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Pecan Delight in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover (Extra Crunchy) Peanut Butter in Milk Chocolate 
Russell Stover Pineapple Whip in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Pumpkin Pie in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Red Velvet Cake in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Sea Salt Caramel in Dark Chocolate
Russell Stover Strawberry Creme in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Strawberry Cream in White Chocolate 
Russell Stover Vanilla Creme in Milk Chocolate
Russell Stover Wedding Cake in White Chocolate

Monday, March 4, 2019

Lindt Blueberries and Cream White Chocolate Truffles

They're back! I'm so pleased to see Lindt Lindor Blueberry and Cream White Chocolate Truffles--a true sign of Spring approaching! (And not a moment too soon in these early days of March). The blueberry flavor is juicy and natural and it blends beautifully with a deep cream truffle. The white chocolate shell adds an awful lot of unneeded sweetness but I'm not sure if Dark Chocolate would be much better. Strike that, I think Dark Chocolate with Blueberries and Cream might be just the ticket!

Score: 3

Friday, March 1, 2019

New Junior Mints Eggs

Aren't these marbled eggs beautiful? I love the irregular speckles and the three hues of egg. I've never met a Junior Mints holiday variety I didn't like, mostly because the company will mess with the shape or color of the candy for a special edition, but they never mess with the original recipe. Thus, Junior Mint varieties always taste fantastic. Unless you don't like Junior Mints, which I can't relate to. I'm so pleased that they came up with this new variety. There were pastel Junior Mints for Easter in the past, but they weren't nearly as lovely as these. I've already consumed two boxes and have to start pacing myself--it's going to be a long Easter candy season.

Score (Junior Mints): 4+ (always wonderful)
Score (Easter adaptation and innovation): 4+

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Via City Lore: Ode to Economy Candy

Credit: David Handschuh via AM New York

That terrific blog, City Lore, has recently published a fantastic article about Economy Candy that all candy fans should read. It's a beautiful portrait of a living institution that won the 2011 Place Matters award and remains a "thriving pilgrimage site".

Click below to link to this must-read article!

Monday, February 25, 2019

Reese's Gold Eggs

I'm loving these Reese's Gold Eggs and had to share them quickly in order not to eat them all. I feel that way about all Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in all shapes. No new recipe but a fun presentation for the Easter Holiday.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Greetings, Easter: Cadbury Shimmer Mini Eggs

Wow. It was Valentine's Day, it's still February, and yet stores have rolled out the Easter Candy. It's going to be a long season. So we might at well start out with one of the highlights so you can stock up early. Can we all agree that Cadbury Mini Eggs are the best Easter Candy? Does anyone contest this special holiday treat's place at the top of the candy food chain? Now Cadbury has amped it all up with a gorgeous array of colored shells of Shimmer Mini Eggs. Instead of going for the usual bright pastels, Cadbury instead opts for glorious shades of the 1970s palette! Mustard gold, avocado green, purple heather. I love these hues of my childhood! They're beautiful shimmering pebbles of chocolate. If I didn't have a dog who can be poisoned by chocolate I would leave these out in a candy dish for guests all year long. I'm in love.

Score (Cadbury Mini Eggs): 5
Score (Shimmering 70's Hues): 5

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Cherry Slurpee Bubble Yum Bubblegum

 I love some sugar-dense bubble gum and always enjoy a brand tie-in--in this case the new evolution emerges in the form of Cherry Slurpee flavored Bubble Yum. Yes, it's just cherry bubble gum. But it's delicious! And it makes me think of many Slurpees of yore, consumed with loved ones during movies. Blowing bubbles and remembering a lifetime of super sweet artificial cherry flavored ice treats puts me in a fantastic mind-set! I try to stick mostly to sugar-free gum, but for an indulgent treat I would happily pick up a pack of this Slurpee gum any time!

Score (Slurpees in my gum): 5
Score (isn't this just cherry gum?): 3
Score (overall bubblegum experience): 4

Monday, February 18, 2019

Fujiya Chocolate Pencils / Choco Enpitsu

As a lifelong nerd, I'm naturally drawn (hehheh) to the Fujiya brand chocolate pencils (Choco Enpitsu) from Japan. They're absolutely charming and the chocolate isn't bad either. They also come with a fun 3D sticker. Sweet inspiration for students!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Brach's Tiny Conversation Hearts

Since we won't have Necco Sweethearts on the shelves for the 2019 Valentine's Day season, we have to consider alternate options. Brach's traditional Tiny Conversation Hearts are classics. They don't look as good as some other brands but the flavors are better and they don't try to get to contemporary or clever with the messaging. Not exactly delicious, but definitely addictive. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Welcome, Creamy Peanut Butter Snickers

On a visceral level my body rejects the earthier notes of almond butter and yet could subsist almost entirely on peanut butter. It's a mystery but fundamental to my nature. So I'm not the target audience of Snickers new Almond Butter Bars. In the meantime, I love Snickers Peanut Butter bars. They've been released in different packaging before, switching out a layer of super smooth peanut butter for the traditional nougat. They're terrific--the peanut butter is a bit less sweet than your average Reese's which balances out the caramel nicely.

Score: 4

Friday, February 8, 2019

Tony's Chocolonely Caramel Sea Salt Milk Chocolate Bar

Forget the heart shaped candy and get your love the Tony's Chocolonely Caramel Sea Salt Milk Chocolate Bar for Valentine's Day. This is a decadent chocolate bar, the best I've tasted within this general price range. I wasn't surprised. The milk chocolate bar recently made me swoon. Add in buttery chips of toffee spiked with a hint of salt and the whole thing is a fantastic bite. Tony's Chocolonely has taken my heart by storm!

Score (new raving fan): 5

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Heart Shaped Junior Mints for Valentine's Day

(Republished from original blog post, Feb. 3, 2017, with new photos!)

These heart shaped Junior Mints for Valentine's Day are the best! Junior Mints are, first off, the yummiest drugstore candy. Or actually the second best after the glorious and unbeatable Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. In this holiday version, the Junior Mint is super festive in the shape of a heart. In addition, some are filled with the classic white peppermint and others are filled with a surprising and jewel-like red filling. I've written before about my enthusiasm for the 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 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.

Score (flavor): 5
Score (holiday festiveness): 5
Score (subtlety): 5

Monday, February 4, 2019

Romantic Overtures: Dove Hearts in Pink Champagne and Milk Chocolate Swirl

Dove Chocolate is great, so no matter what new flavor variety the company releases, you know that the base chocolate layer will taste good. Pink champagne is a cool flavor idea to roll out for Valentine's Day. I like the idea of it as champagne and chocolate are certainly a tasty duo. (I'll come clean and say that I've never had pink champagne and am unsure of the specific flavor). With the knowledge of the desired flavoring I could really taste an essence of aromatic champagne mixed into the chocolate. My tastebuds could make that leap. If I hadn't known that Pink Champagne was the mix-in flavor, I never would have guessed. The chocolate tasted somewhat floral and if pressed, I might have guessed Banana. A far cry from Pink Champagne. So on one hand this experiment proves the strength of suggestion--if told it tastes like Pink Champagne I think it does. When left to my own devices, I veered more toward banana. Even if the flavor is hard to pin down, it's pretty tasty. I would certainly hand these out to colleagues and loved ones alike to celebrate the Valentine's Day Candy Season.

Score (Dove Milk Chocolate): 4
Score (flavor confusion): 2
Score (Valentine themed flavor and packaging): 4

Friday, February 1, 2019

New Almond Butter Snickers and Maple Almond Butter Snickers

Here stands the announcement that Snickers has released two new bars with an Almond Butter base. I can't weigh in. I loathe Almond Butter. It makes my stomach church and lurch--something about those earthier notes compared with my beloved diet mainstay and friend, peanut butter. For those that find Almond Butter palatable, these new Creamy Almond Bar Snickers and Maple Almond Butter Bar Snickers could be game changers. Let me know!

Here are two positive things I noticed about the bars before being too grossed out by almond butter proxmity. 1) The aroma of maple when you rip open the wrapper of the Maple Almond Butter Snickers is awesome. 2) I like this smaller, more compact format of two squares compared with the traditional Snickers bar.