Saturday, November 29, 2008

Going Nuts

I'm back from the von Schokolats' and have plenty of good candy stories to dish out. But alas, it will have to wait because, after a 7.5 hour drive, I arrived home to find that a squirrel has been partying in my house for a week. So I'm off to lock up all my newly-acquired candy and to prepare for the inevitable showdown between me and Mr. Nutty.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Let the Christmas Ideas Begin!

We have a new affiliate here at Candy Yum Yum (Off Beat Treats), but I thought I'd just mention it because they have some pretty cool stuff, like Candy Cane Pop Rocks and Gummi Army Guys. They also have a ton of really gross candy-- good stocking stuffers for ten-year-old boys and 30-year-old men.

Recession Candy

Times are desperate, my friends. The other night, I scoured the house looking for something remotely chocolate. I ended up with the old college standby-- peanut butter and chocolate chips. Sadly, it wasn't as satisfying as I remembered. To remedy this, I went out the next day and bought a bag of Hershey Kisses with Almonds and a bag of Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Mint Milanos. The Kisses were really fresh and yummy. The cookies seem to be a knock-off of Girl Scout Thin Mints, only they weren't as good. Anyhow, this is all to say that the candy meter has been running pretty low around the House of Yum. I think once Thanksgiving is over things will pick up and I'll have more to report.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Here Comes the Holiday Stuff

I just got back from Trader Joe's where I successfully avoided all things fun and sugary, but I thought I'd mention them here and entice you to go out and try them. They had a white chocolate peppermint bark bar that looked yummy, and a stack of chocolates from around the world. I almost bought the Trader Joe's version of the Life Saver Storybook-- it looked so cute and there was a roll of pomegranate candies as part of the mix. They also had chocolate-covered peppermint Jo-Jos (their Oreo knock-off) that looked soooo good. What are you waiting for? Get out there and try 'em, then report back to me!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

F is for ...

Okay, you're gonna love this one.

Last night my friend's husband was out of town, so that of course means one thing and one thing only: brownies and a box of wine. Her kids were asleep by the time I pulled into her driveway, so we settled down in the "adult" living room (meaning no TV, no Barbie heads, no sticker remnants on the coffee table, etc.) and started talking each other down off a bridge about having to work until we're 80 because of the stupid stock market chit-chatting. So there we were, blah blah blah, when we see this car outside sloooowwwly driving by. Kind of weird since she lives on a dead end road. Then a few minutes later, another car comes and pauses in front of her house. Okay, kind of freaky, but whatever. So we get up and go into the kitchen to slice up the brownies.

There was the pan of brownies with three pieces of Twizzlers (green, brown and blue) in the center.

"What, pray tell, is that?" I asked her.

"This?" she said. "This is Will's undertaking. He thought if he put the Twizzlers into the brownies he could have both a brownie and candy for dessert. Then he made them into the shape of an "F" to stand for fire so that his father and sister wouldn't want to touch them (lest they get burned) and he could eat the whole thing."

Of course this had me rolling on the floor laughing and I begged her to get her camera to take a picture for the blog. She went into the living room to look for it and I hear her say, "What the hell is going on? There's another car outside."

I was still laughing when she said, "You didn't park in the road, did you?"

"In the road? No, I parked in the driveway," I say.

"Your car's in the middle of the road," she says.

I run to the window and-- holy crap!-- my car really is in the middle of the road. My freakin' Mini Cooper is in the middle of the freakin' road and there are cars driving around it!
Of course I was spazzing out, throwing on my shoes and jacket while at the same time completely mortified that I had to go out and move my car while people were watching. I ran out to it and there were two men standing at the end of the road.

"Why did you park your car in the middle of the road?" one of them asks.

"I forgot to put it in gear, Derfwad!" I said. (Well, I left off the Derfwad part.)

Fortunately, no harm came to the car, but I was good and freaked out. All I can say is, the "F" didn't deter me from attacking those brownies. And this, of course, proves without a doubt that Rainbow Twizzlers are pure evil.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Most Pleasing Combination

Check this out: chocolate salt. I first saw it at Salt and Chocolate. She made caramels with it. What else could you do with chocolate salt?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nuh-uh! I couldn't believe this when I saw it. The highly regarded British Medical Journal actually published a study entitled, "Do candy cigarettes encourage young people to smoke?"

As a health writer, I usually have to slog through pages and pages of dull medical crapola, so this was a welcome diversion. The study actually has some interesting historical tidbits in it, like this:

Currently, the two major producers of candy cigarettes in the United States are Stark (acquired by New England Confectionery in 1990) and World Candies. Today, New England Confectionery calls its candy cigarettes "candy stix."

and this:

Low prices make candy cigarettes more affordable than other confectionery, an important feature for products marketed to young consumers. Candy cigarettes often escape adults' notice because they are usually displayed on the lowest shelves in the shop.

and this:

The Connecticut Consumer Protection Commissioner publicly criticised candy cigarettes in November 1993, as part of "a barrage of symbols" that glorify smoking. In response, an attorney for World Candies stated they would "resist all efforts" to remove their "fun healthy foods" from the market just because they are "alleged to resemble tobacco products . . . ."

Hey, I'm all for sticking up for the rights of candy companies, but seriously... candy cigarettes are "fun healthy foods"? Bwahaha!
In any case, the study concluded that yes indeed, candy cigarettes do encourage young people to smoke. So where does Madam Yum Yum fit into the study, you ask? Oh fine. You knew I was holding back on you in the previous post, didn't you. Yes, the young Miss Yum Yum did enjoy her share of candy cigarettes and yes, she did experiment with smoking at a young age (including falling into the "wrong crowd" in 4th grade and helping them hide cigarettes in the last stall in the girls' bathroom, and encouraging the Baroness to try smoking maple leaves because, hey, tobacco is a leaf, right?) But now she knows it's a filthy disgusting habit (not to mention expensive) and if she ever sees anything besides "candy stix" between the Sugar Baby's lips she will beat the fun healthy food out of him.

Top Ten Candies That No One Actually Eats

A little while back I reported how a popular New Zealand candy was being discontinued and how it was causing a panic attack for several of my Kiwi friends. Some people say it's a marketing ploy by the company to draw more attention to Snifters, but no one knows for sure. In any case, it got me to thinking about some of our iconic childhood confections and how we would feel if they were discontinued here. I'm thinking about things like the aforementioned bubblegum cigarettes. Do any of us ever buy these? No. But we'd be distraught to find out that they went the way of the Marathon bar. So without further ado, I give you my:

Top Ten List of Childhood Favorites That No One Actually Eats But We All Seem To Love and We'd Be Distraught If They Were Discontinued

10. Bubblegum/candy cigarettes
9. Wax bottles
8. Wax lips
7. Candy buttons
6. Circus Peanuts
5. Boston Baked Beans
4. Bit o' Honey
3. Pixy Sticks
2. Chicklets
1. Necco Wafers

Do you agree?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Got a Light?

Check out this stash from The Connection-- bubblegum cigarettes and cigars. When I was little, these things were everywhere. It was just taken for granted that, at some point during your grammar school career, you'd get a pack of these and try to fool any adults who happened to be around into thinking that you were really smoking. Too cool for school.
There were various types. There were the bubblegum kinds, pictured above, that had the added bonus of a white powder inside that looked like smoke when you'd puff out on them. Then there were the candy kind, which were super-thin sticks of stypic pencils chalky candy with red tips. And when I reached fifth grade, I had the brilliant luck to stumble upon some chocolate cigarettes that looked real and tasted delicious.
So fast-forward to today and these things are shocking, SHOCKING! Candy tobacco products? Who would ever think of such a thing! So taboo.
I always loved the bubblegum cigars the best, so I was totally psyched to rip off a hunk and give it a chew. Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as I remembered. In fact, once I got it masticated into a good, soft glob, it started tasting like the incense they burn in church at Christmastime. Not something you really want to eat.
I can't help but wonder about the fate of candy and bubblegum cigars and cigarettes. Will they be around in ten years? Will the Sugar Baby know the sly, giggly pleasure of trying to fool me into thinking he's in the backyard training to be the new Marlboro Man? Only time will tell. Perhaps I'll save one of these packages, just in case.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sweet Dreams

I had this great dream last night. I was at the wedding of a friend I haven't seen since grammar school. Everyone was having fun, but the best part was that the bride and the bridesmaids were carrying bouquets of big, shiny barley lollipops. I told the bride how beautiful they were and she said that yes, they only cost $90, versus the hundreds she would've spent on flowers.

If I were to do things all over again, I'd definitely have a lollipop bouquet.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Check It Out!

Look what The Connection made me-- a new banner! Whaddya think? It'd look pretty cute on a T-shirt, wouldn't it? Stay tuned while I make some more changes to site to make it look even more yumtastic!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Candy Tally

The results are in. Father John had 169 children, 19 adults and one dog visit him this year for Halloween! That's alotta full-sized candy bars!

Meanwhile, in the House of Yum, the candy scene has been pretty quiet. I think I'm going through a candy recession. Maybe it's sympathy pains for the rest of the world and all this economic ickiness.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


So here I was a couple of weeks ago dragging my sorry sick butt to IKEA because the light in the Sugar Baby's room blew out and I couldn't stand listening to him say "Light's broken!" one more time and of course the lightbulb is some freaky design that (I thought) I could only get at IKEA. So I walked through that entire God-forsaken store, getting my month's worth of exercise, and bought two packages of lightbulbs.
At the checkout, they had some of their weird Swedish candies on display so I decided to splurge (for .97 cents) and bought a bag of "Godis Sweets-- Nuts and Bolts Mix."
I was pretty psyched for these, because the last gummies I had were the pomegranate gummy pandas that Mr. Goodbar devoured before I really had a chance to enjoy them.
And I thought the Tim Tams were disappointing. These were nasty. It was like chewing on a crumbly, flavorless candle from the dollar store. I actually spit them out, they were that bad. To make matters worse, the lightbulbs were the wrong ones, despite the fact that I asked two different sales people. IKEA owes me big time. We're talking, they need to be giving me some free Swedish meatballs and a Poang chair.
On the positive side, I finally found the mystery lightbulbs at Home Depot, so now the Sugar Baby's new mantra is, "Mommy fixed it!"

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Big Letdown: American Tim Tams

A few years ago, my friend Deb sent me a wonderful package full of candy from Australia, and she included a package of Tim Tams. These chocolate cookies were so delicious that I sought them out; I finally found a place in Texas (!) that had them and I ordered a bunch. They didn't even last a week in the house. Heaven.

Fast forward to a few days ago. I was in Target, perusing the leftover Halloween candy (btw, kudos to Target-- they go straight to 75 percent off; none of this measly 50 percent). I bought a giant mixed bag of Snickers, M&Ms, Skittles and Starburst for No-Nuts who was here for the weekend. (Fine. The Snickers were for me.) On my way out of the candy department, something caught my eye. Could it be? No! But yes, it was! Tim Tams! Praise ye cookie gods! I couldn't believe my good fortune. It turns out that Pepperidge Farm is now making "Australia's Favorite Cookie" for sale only at Target.

I'll cut right to the chase: these are NOT Tim Tams. Not the kind I love, anyway. These have a funky taste to them, kind of metallic and oily, whereas the original (made by a company called Arnott's) are so smooth and chocolatey and delicious. The Arnott's website says they use their own special chocolate which has hints of caramel in it. I'm sure Pepperidge Farm is not using the same chocolate. I tried to compare the ingredients, but it was difficult to tell. On the American version it says the vegetable oil is hydrogenated palm but they don't specify on the Australian package, so maybe that's it.
In any case, save yourself $3.00 and just buy a whole bunch of after-Halloween candy instead.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Look what I got! An "E for Excellent" award from the fabulous New Zealand Cupcake Queen! (Warning: Don't check out her website if you're the slightest bit hungry for something sweet. Her cupcakes are out of control.)

Here's the deal: I'm supposed to pass the love to five other blogs that I think are excellent and tell you a little bit about them. Then they're supposed to do the same thing and pass on the bloggedy grooviness to their faves.

Hail Britannia: Diana may live in New England, but she's totally old school when it comes to all things British.

Daisy Chain Dreams: I'm as unfashionable as they come, but Daisy is a total fashionista. And she's a cutie pie, to boot.

Cake Spy: Cake, cookies and cartoons. What's not to love?

Derfwad Manor: The mother of all blogs. Mrs. G is hysterical, insightful and brilliant.

Hops and Chops: Even though she hasn't written in a while, Ms. Chops has one kick-ass beer and beef blog.

Hanging with The Connection: Totally Dope!

I saw The Connection this weekend and he had a few surprises up his sleeve for me. First off, an Israeli candy bar. You can't see in the horrid picture, but the wrapper shows a cow with a piece of chocolate and a fireworks-type explosion. Upon first glance, you'd think this was a piece of milk chocolate with bits of toffee in it. But then you put it in your mouth and-- taadaa! Fireworks! It's like it's filled with Pop Rocks. Suddenly these little glassy shards start popping in your mouth and in your head it sounds like sleet hitting a window. Good fun! The creepy part is that, even after you swallow the chocolate, the popping continues.
Next up, another horrid picture. But this is a gem, believe me. Here we have an excerpt from The Connection's travel journal, circa 1994. In it, he details every pound he spent on jams, boxers and tea at the Muffin Man. He also, however, rated the beers and chocolates he had, so without further ado, I give you The Connection's Pre-Blog Guide to British Sweets. (Note the ratings, from 1/2 star to three.)
Cadbury Caramel
**1/2: long sectioned bar, like Rolo, better smoother caramel, good chocolate
Nestle Lion
**: combination Kit Kat/Twix, lumpy ugly bar. If seen floating in a pool would cause a scare.
Terry's Bitz
***: very good chocolate with crunchy bits of mint crisp. Like eating the all-American mint Girl Scout cookie. Totally dope!
Nestle Secret
*1/2: Form over function, the Secret's out. This beautifully designed bar gets the chocolate engineer's award. Beautifully latticed wiring wrapped around chocolate mousse. Mousse like tough marshmallow. Disappointing.
Nestle Vice Versas
**: Oversize M&Ms thin dark shell over white chocolate and vice versa! White chocolate is great (from Switz.) but the Versa is the choc. It lacks.
Nestle Milky Bar
*: Small compact bar. Ok white choc. Basically it's mountain white.
Cadbury Timeout
1/2: They should call it quits and go to the showers. 2 bars like Twix with folded Flake chocolate between 2 wafers covered in chocolate. Almost no taste. Like eating cotton.
His last surprise will be unveiled soon. It'll be a treat for everyone!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Halloween: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The day before Halloween I began to teach the Sugar Baby the fine art of trick-or-treating. I explained to him that he would hold a bag and say "Trick or Treat!" and people would give him a surprise. The first few times we practiced he insisted on saying "Trick or Corn!" I'm not sure where that came from, but he eventually got the hang of things.

We had a mighty full schedule on Halloween. We started off with Trick or Treat on Main Street at 3 p.m. where the Sugar Baby went into a catatonic state at the sight of gazillions of people. Still, he managed to come away with a full bag o' treats. I will say, though, that this year Dum Dums prevailed, whereas last year there were more Fun Size bars. No doubt it's the state of the economy.

Then it was off to Grandma and Pop Pop's where he got a very cute Hershey Kiss-- not as big as one of those giant ones, but bigger than a regular one. After that: one of the big highlights of Halloween, it was off to St. Anthony's Church where yet again Father John was doling out full size candy bars! And check this out-- he had a special bar just for me-- a Mo's Bacon Bar! Yes, bacon and chocolate. He doesn't fool around when it comes to candy! And then, it was back home for a quick dinner and then off to trick-or-treat around the neighborhood. So without further ado, I give you the haul, starting with The Ugly: This is a High School Musical Strawberry Pop Rocks artifically flavored chocolate treat. I just can't help but wonder if there are traces of melamine in there.

The Bad:

Lots of Dum Dums and little individual candies that you have to throw out because they're really not sealed and someone could so easily dip them into arsenic and re-wrap, so out those go. And then, a fortune cookie. Cute idea. Not so good when it gets crushed beneath masses of Snickers and Kit Kats.

And The Good:
A full-sized Starburst and Almond Joy, my Mo's Bacon Bar, the Hershey Kiss, some Fun Dip, Swedish Fish, pretzels and animal crackers.

And of course there were lots of the regular goodies, like Butterfingers (I'd forgotten how good those could be), Twizzlers, Milky Ways and all the rest. Some observations: the candy bars were smaller this year. The Fun Size ones all seemed slightly skinnier. I will say, however, that the candy I sampled all seemed really fresh. And there was something different about Sweet Tarts. I seem to remember that they were more tapered and disc-like; this year they were more round and solid.
So there you have it. Another wonderful Halloween come and gone. I have only one thing to say: bring on the candy canes and ribbon candy! Soon it'll be the most wonderful time of the year!

There's No Such Thing As Too Much Candy

I have so much to report on from Halloween, but it's just been a little hectic around these parts. In the meantime, I'll start off with this tidbit:

After the Sugar Baby had completed his trick-or-treating tasks and was safely tucked into bed, I put on the outside light as a welcoming beacon for other goodie seekers. We live on a busy road, so foot traffic was sparse. When two little boys rang the doorbell, I told them to take lots of candy. One boy grabbed a couple of candy bars and I told him to take more. He seemed scared when he said, "I don't want that much!"

Can you even imagine?!

Stay tuned to read all about the Sugar Baby's haul and Father John's special chocolate bar just for me!

The Toffee Winner Is...

I used one of those random number generator thingies and it came up with Number 7, which means the winner is:
Kristina from Fort Lauderdale!
Hooray! Thanks everyone for entering and check back for more candy giveaways!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Caution: Halloween Candy May Contain Nuts

Check out the Halloween haul from the wee von Schokolats. How many walnuts would you have to trade for one Reese's?