Tuesday, December 30, 2008

See No Evil

The Sugar Baby wasted no time biting the eyes off the chocolate Santa.

Christmas Wrap-Up

Check out these cute candy canes my mom found. They have little gummy Christmas characters attached to them. Adorable!
She also found some chocolate-covered mint reception sticks that are-- gasp!-- actually made in the U.S.
I gave one to the Sugar Baby tonight as a special treat and he held it in his hand until it melted into every crevice.

And how on earth could I forget this: guess what the Baroness gave me for Christmas? My very own chocolate fountain! Woohoo! I haven't used it yet and I feel kind of guilty, like I should have it running at all times, just in case someone drops by.

2008 Candy Yum Yum Year in Review

Join me in a trip down Memory Lane as we remember some of the candy highlights of 2008.


Sue MKAFFGGF unveils her dream candy: the Freedom Bar


News reports show that Valentine’s candy may be leftover from the year before


Made Chocolate Espresso Lava Cake, the best dessert in the world

Met the New Zealand Cupcake Queen: Perky Nanas, Pineapple lumps, jaffa balls
April 5: the Sugar Baby says “chocolate” for the first time; pronounces it "chacka"

We meet The Connection


A comprehensive list of the world’s Circus Peanut-lovers is revealed

No-Nuts actually loses weight after spending a summer at the Yum headquarters

Melamine is found in Chinese candy

We meet Frau Marzipan
Mr. Goodbar breaks down the price of M&Ms
The Sugar Baby fulfills his role of child labor at Halloween
New Zealand sends candy lovers into a tizzy by discontinuing Snifters

We list the Top Ten Candies That No One Actually Eats

Candy Yum Yum! gets a new look

American Tim Tams disappoint


The Sugar Baby asks Santa for a chocolate Santa
Squirrels invade the Yum Yum headquarters
Memaw lavishes me with tons of fancy French chocolates

A List of Some New (or New To Us) Candy in 2008

Reese’s Whoppers
Cheesecake Kisses
Orange 3 Musketeers
Junior Fruit Crèmes
Yogurt Dots
Chewy Atomic Fireballs
Tootsie Pop Drops
Starbucks chocolates
Maple bacon lollipops
Hershey Kiss Trio
Gud Fud Marshmallows
Snickers Adventure
Twix Java
Mike & Ike Lemonade Stand
Hershey Bliss
Chocolate Skittles
Dots Elements
Dove Desserts
Aero Bubbles
Sour Patch Xploders
Starburst GummiBursts
M&M Premiums
Big ‘Mo
Young & Smylie licorice
Trader Joe’s Lumpy Bumpy Bar
Reese’s bars

Best Candy Find of the Year: Ritter Cornflakes

Worst Candy of the Year: Rainbow Twizzlers



Monday, December 29, 2008

We Interrupt This Candy Moment to Bring You ...

The Great Turkey Escapade of 2008

Free-range, organic, grain-fed, antibiotic-free, raised-by-lesbian-farmers, 25-lb. turkey: $70
Box of stuffing, can of cranberry sauce, corn: $5
Bottle of champagne: $35
Sitting on my butt watching Mr. Goodbar try to figure out how to cook this thing: priceless.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Candy Haul '08

This year I got some great candy-themed gifts.
From the Ice Cube Queen: a chocolate sentiment: From my mom, chocoholic p.j.s:

From the Ice Cube Queen: beautiful glass candy ornaments that the Sugar Baby loves. He arranges them by shape and color.

Peppermint Power!

I just saw this: an article on why candy canes are good for you. Hooray! Actually, the study was about the benefits of peppermint oil and I'd be curious to find out how many candy canes contain actual real oil. But hey, maybe ignorance is bliss. So go grab a candy cane off the tree and enjoy!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Aftermath

Welp, there you have it. Another Christmas come and gone. This year's festivities included merriment, cheer and lots of spicy hot Buffalo chicken dip and mini meatballs.
And cookies. Oh yeah, the cookies. In the past, my sister and nieces and I have always gathered on a weekend for a major cookie baking fest. This year, due to the Ice Cube Queen being in Florida and the rest of us being snowed in, the cookie bonanza consisted of me and No-Nuts mixing up batter for Snow Topped Mint Crinkles and Dories Dark and Stormies and then calling it quits before heading to the mall.
For the mint cookies, we used chopped up Hershey's Bliss Creme de Menthes, which actually worked really well. They gave the cookies a gentle mint taste and a hint of festive green. I used some Green & Black's dark chocolate in the Stormies, and they had a very sophisticated taste.
But the *real* kick-ass dessert was some Polish thing that Betsy ordered. She said the website claimed it was "like a Kit Kat, only better." Holy cow, it was! What was this fantastical thing? Does anyone know? More on all the fun Christmas candy cahoots later this week. For now, I need to go digest.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

May your stockings be filled with lots of chocolate Santas! I have a good feeling that the Sugar Baby will be getting one from Santa. (I put in a good word.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas to You!

All of the lucky Dove winners started receiving their gift boxes this week. Here's what mine looked like, after I ate, oh, a couple of little candy bars and a box or two of the little Dove nuggets. Thanks, Dove people!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dear Santa,

Yes, please. Size 9.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Santa Can Definitely Handle the Chocolate Part

I just LOVE this totally retro candy-themed wrapping paper from Mrs. Connection. Isn't it cute?
Yesterday I had the Sugar Baby dictate his letter to Santa. Here's what he had to say:
Dear Santa,
I would like:
green, lots of green
big truck
monkey- Curious George
chocolate Santa
red fire
little one
moon and...
a friend.
(Note to Santa: he has plenty of big trucks and telephones. And it's fine if you want to give him a friend, as long as it's someone who already exists.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wild Times With French Chocolate

Part of the fun at Thanksgiving was getting to try all the fancy schmancy chocolates that Memaw brought back from Paris. Of course, it would've been a more memorable experience had I not been sauced the whole time. In any case, I do remember that these were my favorites of all the candies. Check it out: lumpy, bumpy fruits and nuts. The orange peel in these babies was soooo good. Fruity, tangy, sweet and sour. So good.

Then we tried these: the Valrhona tasting pack. Fortunately I took notes. The first one, Manjari, was tangy at the back of the tongue. Tainori, yummmm. Caraibe: the Baron said dark, earthy, like very black coffee. Leisl von Schokolat said it was like dirt or plastic. Mr. Goodbar said it was milky with an explosion of rich cocoa.

Guanaja: tannic

Alpaco: Mr. Goodbar said it was slightly metallic; No-Nuts said it was really good

Abinao: was very dry and sucked all the moisture out of my tongue.

My one complaint is that these squares were no where big enough for tasting, and as a professionally-trained taste tester, I should know.

So we ate the chocolate, then drank some more. No-Nuts taught us how to play beer soda pong, and then things got wacky. Hi-jinx ensued. And then this happened. Warning: you might want to shield your eyes. It's frightening, it's nauseating, and it might not be here for long once Mr. Goodbar gets wind of it. It's what happens when men mix beer and chocolate:

What's Inside?

I got together with my fellow taste-testing buddies the other day for some much-needed gossip and good food, and a rousing game of White Elephant. I was lucky and got to go first, so naturally I picked the package with all the Hershey Kisses lined up ever-so-festively on top. But then, as I was opening it, I got scared that perhaps the Kisses were part of the "elephant" and they had been around for years. Yikes!
Inside the mystery box was a candle shaped like a gingerbread man and two decks of cards (one shaped like Santa). The Sugar Baby loved the cards, so that was a plus!
As for the Kisses, the giver revealed that they were fresh, just bought, so score for me! And they were the Truffle kind. So overall, not a bad pick. I'm just thankful I didn't choose the candy underwear.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

And the Green & Black's Chocolate Goes To ...

"Mc"-- as picked by the Random Integer Generator:

Here are your random numbers:6
Timestamp: 2008-12-16 19:16:03 UTC

So Mc, send me your mailing info and I'll send some delicious chocolate your way!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Do You Have to Show ID for Men's Pocky?

Friday night we went out to dinner with Sue MKAFFGGF and the Golden Nose. Let me repeat that: we went out to dinner. As in, a real dinner. No pizza, no burritos, no Sugar Baby. A real dinner, as in four courses, booze a-flowin', conversations bubbling... it was awesome. We went to Nini's Bistro, which, if you're ever in New Haven, Connecticut, you really need to go to. It's small, it's funky and it's delicious.
What does this have to do with candy, you say? Well, the "theme" in the restaurant was all holiday-ish: the water carafe was topped with a shiny Christmas ball, the hot crusty, chewy bread was served in a gift bag and then... the check at the end came with a pile of candy! Twizzlers and Hershey's Miniatures. So cool.
When we left the restaurant, good and sauced and so full we could barely move, we spied an Asian market across the street with a big Pocky sign in the window, so we went in. They had a GIANT box of Pocky for $12-- would be a great grab bag gift. I, however, couldn't resist this box of "Men's Pocky." Haha! It's dark chocolate, because we all know that only men like dark chocolate. And then I found some Hi-Chews which I was totally psyched about, because I've never had them. I was hoping they'd have grapefruit, but they didn't. I settled for the lemon. What a fantastic night. It just doesn't get any better than that!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pondering the Candy Cane

Isn't this the cutest? The very fabulous June made it; that's her dog Kelly up there. So let's talk candy canes. It's been brought to my attention by the Ice Cube Queen that my other sister Bazooka Betsy is the candy cane aficianado amongst us. When I think back to Christmasses past, I envision Betsy sitting on the couch in her p.j.'s, reading the TV Guide and sucking on a candy cane until it formed a weapons-grade pointy spike.
It seems that No-Nuts has followed in her steps and claims peppermint bark to be her favorite holiday treat. And she made me steal a candy cane off the Christmas tree at the spa so she could enjoy some peppermint refreshment before her massage.
Yesterday I took the Sugar Baby to see Santa Claus. Most parents hesitate at this first meeting. Will their child cry? Scream in terror? Pull Santa's beard? I knew better than to worry. When we got there, Santa was busy talking to some other kids. The Sugar Baby ran right up and started waving at Santa, then leapt onto his lap. Santa gave him a really cute stuffed kangaroo and Mrs. Claus handed him--gasp!-- his very own candy cane.
Forget the chocolate cupcakes, oatmeal cookies, cider and hot chocolate. He wanted his candy cane right there and then! He held it for a while and turned it upside-down and said "Jumping J!" because, you know, he's my little brilliant prodigy. Then he sucked on it for a while and proclaimed, "This is really good!"
When Mr. Goodbar came home from work on Friday, he handed me a candy cane that apparently is filled with chocolate. I haven't eaten it yet; I'll let you know how it goes.
So, dear Yumster, what are your thoughts on candy canes? Do you like the big ones or the little ones? Do you crunch them or suck on them to make them all pointy? Do you like traditional red and white or the fancy new-fangled all different colored and flavored ones?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Organic Chocolate Giveaway!

Whenever I indulge in Green & Black's Organic chocolate, I'm always reminded how different chocolates can vary from one brand to the next. In the case of G&B, it's the sophisticated side of chocolate that shines through. This ain't no drugstore check-out line candy. They've reformulated their mint (not shown, because I ate it), and it's ever-so-subtley sweet. Also not pictured is the milk chocolate with almonds bar because, once again, I ate it. What I particularly liked about it was the precision of the placement of the almonds. There was at least one in every bite. Fantastico!

You'll also not see the caramel bar, which Mr. Nutty tried to chew into during one of his midnight raids.

But as you can see, I still have quite an assortment of bars left, thanks to the kind folks at Green & Black's, and while I could quite easily eat it all myself, I'm feeling altruistic today. So dear Yumsters, leave a comment and I'll randomly select one of you to receive a nice assortment of organic chocolate bars. (U.S. residents only, please. No offense to the rest of you; I'm just broke.) I'll pick the lucky recipient on Tuesday, Dec. 16 at high noon, EST. Good luck!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dear Santa, Gimme, Gimme!

I've never had Moonstruck Chocolates, but they have some darn cute things for the holidays. Like these Polar Critters: And these chocolate ornaments: (yes, they're really chocolate!)

Creme de Yuck!

I've come upon a startling revelation about myself: I don't like Creme de Menthe. This is very shocking, because I love mint, particularly peppermint and spearmint. So I figured that I'd naturally love CdM.
A few months ago, I was psyched to try the Altoids Creme de Menthe, but all it took was one little disc to make my stomach go all wonky.
Then yesterday, I decided to splurge because my day was made bothersome by a world full of incompetent hacks who ... oh never mind. Suffice it to say that I needed chocolate. So I bought a bag of Hershey's Bliss in the new Creme de Menthe flavor, fully expecting that I'd love them and devour the whole bag in one sitting. Well guess what? I didn't. There was just something off about them, like a soapy undertaste beneath the mint. What is that? What makes Creme de Menthe so different from other mints? I'd love to know.
So here I am today, still dealing with the clueless masses and have no chocolate to soothe my weary mind. It's going to be a long day, dear Yumsters.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Inside Story

Update on the fancy chocolates that Memaw brought back from Paris: the grape cluster was filled with ... (wait for it!)...

gianduja (chocolate hazelnut paste).

Somewhat of a disappointment, really. I was hoping for something more snazzy, like maybe a cabernet jelly or even just a raspberry liquid. Oh well. I'll hold out hope for the disc and the thing that looks like a meringue pie.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

They Can't All Be As Good as a Kit Kat Dark

The Sugar Baby and I found ourselves near the UK Gourmet last week, so naturally we had to stop in. I've been on a quest for Jelly Tots ever since I read about them on Daisy Chain's blog.
I tried to be reasonable in my purchases, so I only bought a few things, pictured at left. What you don't see is the Galaxy Ripple that the Sugar Baby and I devoured in the car. This was a long, thin stick of chocolate that's all wavy-rippley. I had no expectations-- I simply bought it because I promised someone a special treat if he behaved in the store, and it was plain chocolate and smaller than the other bars. But holy cow, it was G-O-O-D! The chocolate was so smooth and melty. Now that I've done a little research on it, I've found out that Galaxy is the same as Dove. Ah ha! So why don't they sell Ripples in the U.S.?
I was pretty psyched to try the other candies, since my first experience was so good. Well, it went downhill from there. The Catch was milk chocolate with crispies and "soft caramel," so I expected it to taste like a 100 Grand bar. But no. Ick. Maybe it was just stale, but it was inedible. The Catch was no catch, I assure you. So then I moved onto the Kit Kat Chunky Peanut Butter. Mr. Goodbar said it smelled like wood. It didn't taste much better than that. So disappointing.
As for the Jelly Tots, they're like cute little squashed gum drops, with a chewier texture. I like that one of the flavors is black currant. That's one thing I particularly enjoy about British candies. They were pretty good, but nothing I'd seek out again. All in all, a rather blah British acquisition this time around.

Attack of the Giant Peppermint Stick

Here's a cool website for that person who has everything: Great Big Stuff. Check out the 3-pound peppermint stick. I'm not so sure about the kid, though. "Hey kid, 1976 called. It wants your hair back."
They also have a 2-pound Chupa Chup lollipop and, for the person who truly, truly has everything: a monster loaf of raisin bread (plastic, not real). Be sure to put that on your list!

Sunday, December 07, 2008


While cleaning the house after the Great Squirrel Scourge, I picked this basket up off the counter, where it's been sitting forever and it occurred to me to lift up the rubber shelf paper
that was sitting in it. Surprise! Some of the Sugar Baby's Halloween candy that I had set aside for myself. I had forgotten all about it.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

A Christmas Miracle

We interrupt our regularly scheduled candy coverage to bring you this important information. For Christmas, Memaw bestowed upon me this: a pineapple slicer. Now I'm not much for gadgets, and though we do eat a lot of pineapple in this house, I've always figured that a plain old knife is the best pineapple slicer around. Well, color me wrong. I had to try this contraption out and, holy cow! It's the coolest thing ever. All you do is cut off the top of the pineapple, then place the contraption on top, give it a few very easy twists and voila!

You have pineapple rings that look like they came out of a Dole can. And the best part is, then you're left with a beautifully hollowed out pineapple shell. Pour in some rum, add a straw and you've got yourself a tropical treat!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Keep Yer Paws Off My Chocolate!

Let me just say this: If I had known before the great squirrel eviction of 2008 that Mr. Nutty had gotten into my stash of Green & Black's chocolates, he wouldn't have been so lucky. (For more info on the above tasty dish, see this article.)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

So Adorable, So Labor Intensive

I certainly won't be attempting these, but I know some of you brave souls might. Instructions at Martha Stewart, of course.

I heart Dum Dums

I have a new-found respect for Dum Dums. In the past, I've always given them D-list status in the whole candy hierarchy, but my thoughts are changing. Why, you ask? First of all, I tried a tangerine one the other day. It tasted just like a tangerine Life Saver. (Remember those?!) Yum.
Second, I realized they make a great distraction for an ornery 2-year-old who's been stuck in a car seat for six hours. Nothing makes time go by like a cherry Dum Dum. And bonus for me-- because they're so small, I don't have to worry about him having too much sugar or choking.
So three cheers for Dum Dums! Hooray!
And I've posted this before, but I'll do it again, since it's such fun trivia: there are two ways that the "mystery flavor" Dum Dum is created. One, any of the pops that miss getting wrapped on the machine are given a mystery wrapper. Two, the mystery pops are a combination of two flavors, created when they switch the flavors on the machine. Cool!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Squirrel Watch '08: Update

Four down. That last one was quite a bugger. We had to construct a tunnel out of tar paper going from the stairway to the garage so it would run out on its own. Hopefully that's the last of them. We now return to our regularly scheduled Candy Yum Yum.

Oooh la la!

Some people like to complain about their in-laws, but not me. I've got nothing to gripe about, as evidenced by this: This is a package that Memaw brought me back from her trip to France. Not only did she hook me up with lots of French chocolates, but she carried this one very special box back on her lap, for crying out loud!
"Wait until you see these chocolates!" Memaw said. Yeah, yeah, I thought, pretty French bon bons, right? Whoa, was I blown away! First of all, I expected little petite confections, not chocolates as big as my fist. Second, they were the most sumptuous, decadent looking creations I've ever seen.
The picture does not do them justice. The first one we sampled was the one on the right that looks like a green eyeball. It was filled with gianduja. Then we tried the white one on the left. You can't see it, but it's all spiky crispy, again with gianduja. Last night I bit into the stick on the bottom and it was green inside. I believe it's marzipan, but it's very subtle tasting. Of course, I can't wait to dig into the bunch of grapes. I wonder what's inside? It's almost too pretty to eat. Hey, I said almost.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Squirrel Watch '08 and a Yummy Treat

Mr. Goodbar set up an elaborate system to coerce Mr. Nutty out of his hiding place yesterday. It worked. The squirrel appeared, I screamed, and he ran out of the house (the squirrel, not Mr. Goodbar). Job well done! Or so we thought. Turns out our house has been acting as a hotel for our little bushy-tailed friends and one by one they've been coming out of hiding. So, as of today, the squirrel count is: 3.
In other news, I just had a most wonderful concoction from Starbucks-- one of their special holiday drinks. It's called an Espresso Truffle and man oh man, it is soooo chocolatey good. Seriously, it's like drinking a truffle. It's probably just as many calories, too. But it was good and now I'm re-charged enough to get back to squirrel huntin'.