Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Some good, some bad

I haven't posted in a long time because of so many annoyances-- my computer, Blogger, my domain name, the new kitty that attacks me whenever I put my hands on the keyboard. I figured I was done with this whole blogging business. But the fact is, I just have a soft spot for candy and I probably always will. I'll get all this techo crap out of the way eventually (the cat is another story); in the meantime, enjoy these candies that I've been stockpiling.

I absolutely loved this Fluffy Toffee bar made by Seattle Chocolates. I'm not exactly sure why I chose it, since I'm not a huge toffee fan, but I'm glad I did. This was perhaps the closest candy bar I've ever had to what I envision the bars in Charlie & The Chocolate Factory to be like. The chocolate was smooth and creamy, and the marshmallow was fluffy with just enough stickiness. The toffee added a nice texture contrast.

Then, there is this, which I HATED. I really wanted to like it, because I generally don't like Vosges chocolate and I was hoping that this would be the one. Unfortunately, it wasn't. There's a lot of flavor there, but it's a big mouthful of bitter and nastiness. (Call me unsophisticated. I don't care.)

However, I do have some standards, and so I just couldn't get into this: Rockin' Nut Road Snickers. It was supposed to be all marshmallowey and nutty, but instead it just tasted like a big chemical mashup. For the record, the Sugar Baby enjoyed it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Old skool almonds

I got an e-mail from Alexandra Super Shopper the other day. She wanted to know where she could get jordan almonds.

Here, now, is a rare insight into the inner workings of my mind. Upon seeing or hearing the words "Jordan almonds," my thoughts zip through a time tunnel back to grammar school. We are on a field trip to Radio City Music Hall, and we're about to see "Pete's Dragon." The lobby is packed with school kids and we've got money to spend at the concession stand. It's there that I see a box of beautiful pastel-colored candies. I've never seen anything like them. I must have them. And so I buy them-- for an outrageous price, I'm sure-- and I settle into my velvet seat, getting ready for the movie to start. I take out a pink almond and marvel at its loveliness. I pop it into my mouth and crunch on it. Um. Wait a minute. This doesn't taste like an M&M, I think. I really thought it would taste better than this. My first Jordan almond was a disappointment. I should've gone for the Kit Kat.
And then I zip back to the present moment. Turns out Alexandra is having a shindig to celebrate all sorts of milestones, including her 20th anniversary. She writes:

"When we were married (many moons ago) I was the typical Italian bride -- I had to have Jordan almonds as favors for our guests. One of the women I worked with made me my favors -- the almonds wrapped in netting. (I remember as a little girl, my parents bringing home favors - little plastic umbrellas filled with almonds and wrapped in netting with a personalized ribbon always comes to mind or some other plastic trinket shape ... but always with the almonds)."

Ah yes, the ubiquitous wedding favor. Jordan almonds and netting. I, too, remember getting little plastic swans or wishing wells filled with the sweets.

I wonder if there will ever be a Jordan almond renaissance? Will brides ever do away with the grand favors of today for the simpler, sweeter treats? Something tells me no, which makes me sad. Every kid should have a memory of five precious almonds wrapped in creepy netting.   

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Easter review

The Ice Cube Queen sent me an e-mail on Easter. She was dismayed that I had no coverage of Easter candy. What can I say? Better late than never, that's what!
The Easter Bunny did indeed visit our house and left the Sugar Baby a basket filled with Starburst jelly beans, a tube of orange M&Ms that looked like a carrot, a mini carton of Whopper's malted milk eggs, a "Snapsy" bunny, which you break into pieces, and this:

a bag of Russell Stover Iddy Biddy Bunnies.

Look how cute!

The Easter Bunny also scored big points with these: two cans of "Kidffitti Spray Chalk."

Now I'm just taking a guess here, but I think the Bunny must've thought these were a good idea at the time. But I'm guessing he didn't really think things through, considering 1) it's like training spray paint for a future graffiti artist and 2) the big sticker on the cap that says, "REMOVE CHALK WITHIN 24 HOURS WITH A BRUSH AND WARM SOAPY WATER." So yes, I spent the latter part of Easter scrubbing the back patio with soap and a brush. And guess what? It didn't really come off completely. Color me surprised.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A wee bit of candy

It's almost time for St. Patrick's Day! I made these little pots of gold for the Sugar Baby's class. I couldn't do chocolate coins because of allergies, so I figured butterscotch discs would be a close second. In a rare moment of forethought, I bought the little pots back in November at Target after Halloween.

Monday, March 03, 2014

I'm back ... with Circus Peanuts!

Okay, I'm back. I think. I had some computer issues and was just feeling burnt out, but I think I'm back and rolling now. I've been scrolling through the hundreds of pictures on my phone trying to make heads or tails of all the food pictures I have. There's a lot of catching up to do.
Over the holidays, the Sugar Baby took all the empty Amazon boxes and set up his own candy(and medieval weapons) store. Sadly, it's gone out of business since then. His prices were way too high ($1 for a Tootsie Roll!) and the rent was pretty expensive.

I've been kicking myself for not buying these peppermint Circus Peanuts. What was I thinking? I would have loved to have tried them. Did any of you come across these over Christmas?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Important information for Yumsters!

Happy holidays Peeps!
Just an update: I've been experiencing major issues with this blog, most notably because I am having trouble renewing my domain name. I'm certainly not a computer geek, but I do know my fair share, and let's just say that many bad words have escaped my lips over the past few weeks trying to give money to Google to let me keep the address "" Hey Google, take my money, please!
So, if you're a regular reader, please set your bookmarks to to avoid uninterrupted candy deliciousness. I hope everyone had a sweet Christmas!
(Pictured above is a Candy Cane Peep that The Connection snagged from Santa in Times Square. I surprisingly liked it; the chocolate on the bottom was thick enough to give it some heft and the peppermint was a nice addition to the marshmallow.)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas fun!

If you've been nice, chances are you'll find some of these in your stocking this year. I think these are just the cutest little chocolates. They're Ghirardelli milk chocolate squares with white chocolate Christmas trees, Santas and snowmen. Fun gift for teachers, mailmen or your favorite candy blogger!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Halloween 2013: the analysis

It's time for the official analysis of Halloween 2013. As you may know, my friend Alex always sends This year, they split up and went to two different neighborhoods. First, one batch with an alarming absence of Reese's. What?! That's really quite disturbing.

The second haul is so mainstream, I can't stand it. What was up with Halloween this year?

There's something important to be learned from these Halloween hauls, but I'm not quite sure what it is. Perhaps since it was the first Halloween we've had in two years, people were all about giving the "top" candies. I just fear the day when all the kids get are just Snickers and Skittles and they don't get to experience the joy of the random Necco wafers or bubble bath bottle.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Halloween 2013

For the first time in two years, we actually had a normal Halloween, uninterrupted by Mother Nature's havoc.
This year the Sugar Baby wanted to be something scary, so he picked out a Grim Reaper costume. By the time Halloween actually came, though, he was sick of wearing the mask, so he left it home, brought his wand with him and told everyone he was Harry Potter. Good enough.
The festivities started at school, where we had a non-candy party, due to class allergies. As soon as the day was over, the real party began.
First, we headed over to see Father John. If you're a follower of this blog, you know that he doesn't skimp. He gives out full-sized candy bars, and lots of them. Last year, he bestowed upon us some chocolate rats and Salem witches.

This year, however, he totally outdid himself. Check it out.

Yes, my friends, that is strawberry licorice that looks disgustingly like ground beef (or gremlin, in this case). How awesome is that?
Then it was on to Grandma and Pop Pop's, where they were recovering from Mischief Night. Yep, their tree was adorned with a single sheet of toilet paper.

There the Sugar Baby scored a whole package of mini Hershey bars. Full-on trick-or-treating then ensued, this year in a friend's neighborhood. I told the Sugar Baby he was old enough to graduate from a pumpkin bucket to a pillowcase, because it was time to collect some serious candy. Here's this year's stash.

Sadly, though, there wasn't anything unusual. No political bracelets, CDs, leftover Easter bunnies, coupons for "spooktacular" savings or empty bubblebath bottles. (I'm still waiting for Alex's 2013 report.)
All in all it was a success, although there wasn't a single Mounds or Almond Joy, which is tragic. And one other note. Right as dusk was settling in, I got a text from my Partner in Crime. Her 10-year-old daughter was ditching her to go trick-or-treating with friends for the first time. This was devastating news, because it never occurred to me that the day will come when the Sugar Baby won't want me to trick-or-treat with him. I can't even fully process this. That is the biggest trick of all.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween is almost here!

The countdown has begun! Halloween is almost here and the excitement is mounting. This week, Father John sent me this link, which I thought was fantastic, although flawed: The Definitive Guide to Trading Halloween Candy. I mean, seriously, there's no way a Fifth Avenue beats out a 100 Grand.
On the homefront, the Sugar Baby will be going as the Grim Reaper. This is the first year that he is A) dressing as something not cute or interesting; B) is wearing a mask; and C) is more interested in scaring people than the actual candy part. I know this is a totally normal stage, but I must admit, I'm sad. Doesn't he realize that going as a mushroom or The World will garner him more Snickers than a stupid store-bought costume? The Sugar Baby, back in the days when he didn't even know that the Almond Joy he was holding would become part of the Mommy Tax that night.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Butterfinger PB Cups!

Coming soon! I'm thinking these are either going to be awesomely amazing or tragically disappointing.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Cut rock candy from Florida

A few months ago, I wrote about some wonderful cut rock candy that my friend Samantha had brought back from Singapore. (You can read about it here.) I mentioned that I was sad that this kind of candy isn't made in the U.S. and that we're stuck with just plain old dumb hard candies.
Well, turns out I was wrong. I was contacted by Raley's Confectionary of Tallahassee, Florida and they told me that, yes, indeed, beautiful cut rock candy can be found in the good old U. S. of A. They make traditional flavors like cherry and lemon, but also really fun flavors like Red Wine, Pumpkin Spice and Cappuccino. Each of the pieces has a little picture on them, too, like these "Emoticons" with smiley faces and characters.

Some of the flavors I tried are pictured here: watermelon, peach, menorah (oh wait, I think it's blueberry), wintergreen and kiwi. Here's what I love about these candies: they taste super bright and fresh, and they're made with all natural colors, flavors and Fair Trade sugar. Prices start at $5. For more info, visit their website at

Monday, September 23, 2013

Warning: gummy bears may have side effects

Thanks to Cousin Renee for sharing this hysterical link about sugar-free gummy bears. Click here and read the reviews about the "hell bears" that bring on "colonic hurricanes."

Monday, September 16, 2013

Spice season

You've got to be cautious when you combine chocolate with fall flavors. I love the traditional brown spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger. When they're blended together, they create a magical taste. But when you add chocolate, things can go south very quickly. With that thinking in mind, I was hesitant to try the new Pumpkin Spice m&m's that are out on the shelves now. I figured if I didn't like them, I could always stick them in a candy dish at work. I'm happy to report, however, that they were a big hit with the Sugar Baby. These are milk chocolate m&m's with pumpkin spices. The flavors are subtle enough so that they don't scream "SPICE!" They're more like milk chocolate m&m's with a little pizzazz. Were these my favorite? No, but I wouldn't turn them away, either.
A less successful example of chocolate and spice can be tasted in the new Starbucks Chocolate Chai Tea Latte. I thought, "Yum! I love chai, and I love chocolate!" Yeah, well, turns out they aren't exactly a match made in heaven. The spices are too off balance here. If I had to guess, I'd say the nutmeg and the chocolate are fighting against each other. I'll stick to the regular chai next time.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Hello, Hello!

Hello! Have you met, um, Hello? This is the new line of chocolate from Lindt available at Target. The packaging and flavors are a whole departure from Lindt's usual conservative (although very delicious) offerings. For example, most people are familiar with their round, foil-wrapped truffles. Very rich, very proper. Now, however, we have all new forms: sticks, bars, mini-sticks and these cute little shapes:
 The first one I tried was the Caramel Brownie bar (milk chocolate with hazelnut and caramel brownie filling). It was extremely rich and sweet, although I'm not sure I got much "brownie" taste out of it. In any case, it had the traditional creaminess that one would expect from Lindt with a more aggressive sweetness. Next, I tried the box of chocolates which, in addition to Caramel Brownie, also featured Cookies & Cream and Crunchy Nougat. I'm usually not that into cookies & cream flavored things, but I really liked these. Inside the heart was white filling with little bits of crunchy cookie. What's not to love? The Crunchy Nougat reminded me of European candy bars with hazelnut filling. The last one I tried was the Berry Affair, described as white chocolate with a cherry and blackberry yogurt filling. I've got to be honest here. I hated this bar. There was just too much going on-- sweet, sour, creamy, seedy. It wasn't for me. The Sugar Baby, however, loved it, so there you go. We're a house divided.
If I had to guess, I'd say this new line of chocolates is aimed at a younger, hipper crowd. Perhaps because I'm "of a certain age," I prefer Lindt's traditional line, but I know that young whippersnappers, like the von Schokolat's and No-Nuts, would love these.