Tuesday, March 29, 2011

More Easter Sweetness

Marshmallow seems to be a big thing this Easter. I had high hopes for these 3 Musketeers Marshmallow squares. I was fantasizing that they'd be soft and slightly gooey, like marshmallow tends to be. Sadly, they were not. The insides were just like a regular 3 Musketeers-- that kind of whipped, slightly nougatey/fudgey texture-- and had that strange 3 Musketeers throat burn. The marshmallow part was, I guess, the flavor, but I'm thinking that if you gave one of these to someone without telling them what it was, they'd say it was a plain ol' Musketeers bar.I have the chocolate-covered Peeps Peepsters on my list for this week. They're on sale at CVS, if I can ever get over there.In the meantime, Mr. Lindt Easter Bunny is anxiously awaiting spring. It's taken all my will power this week not to chomp off his ears. Hopefully my strength will hold out until Easter, although I wouldn't bet on it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

American Chocolate Week!

I've been remiss in neglecting to mention that this week is American Chocolate Week! (Cue the music and the confetti.) To celebrate, the National Confectioners Association has put together an information-packed website about The Story of Chocolate. (Looks like this would be a great resource for your kids' school projects.)
So how are you celebrating this most important week?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Good mailboxes make good neighbors

Who has the best neighbors? I do! I do! Big Tony and the Necco Door Neighbor clan asked if I could bring in their mail last week while they went off on a jaunt. At first I thought it was just a ruse, that they were just trying to show off their new mega-awesome, kick-butt mailbox they had installed after this winter of discontent (in which the town snow plow sheared away everyone's mailboxes). But they really did go away, as evidenced by this:the motherlode of Cape Cod chocolatey goodness.
When the doorbell rang last night, I thought it was yet another pizza being delivered (mistakenly) to the House of Yum (123 Chocolate Hill Road) instead of the House of People Who Eat Pizza Nearly Every Night (123 Chocolate Road). But to my happy surprise (and clearly, someone else's), it was the Necco Door Neighbor bearing a bag o' candy.
I love, love, love the big egg with the vignettes of the bunnies busily toiling away at the Easter eggs. The Sugar Baby and I have been playing "Easter egg hunt" all day with the little foil eggs inside.
The chocolate-dipped Peeps are great; kind of gives you an excuse to eat the whole darn row at once. (Not that I'd ever do that, of course.)
And look at that deviled egg from Chatham Candy Manor. Is that not the cutest thing ever? I LOVE this.
Last but not least, we have about 20 pounds of Bailey's Irish Creme fudge from the Provincetown Fudge Factory. (Insert your own joke here.)
So what's the lesson we learn here? It's two-fold. First, when you move, make sure you get cool neighbors. And second, when they ask you to take in their mail, say, hell yeah I will! (Even if you do kind of feel jealous of their fancy mailbox with the slide-out tray.)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Creme Egg Cad-apult!

Feeling a little passive-aggressive? You've got to try this: http://www.returnofthegoo.ca/en/

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Putting the Choco Treasure Egg to the Test

I had to do it, folks. I had to find out about the Easter Choco Treasure first hand. I shelled out the buck and put the egg in my purse so as to hide it from the Sugar Baby. Of course, what did he see when he was getting out of the car? There was no way I was going to give it to him, so I told him it was his special surprise for afterschool. Then I swapped it with a Cadbury Caramel Egg (made in Canada).
So here's what I found.
Upon uncrinkling the foil wrapper, it gives the recommendation for children 3+. Too bad you can't see that more readily. Once you tear off the foil, the chocolate egg immediately separates into two halves and a pretty heavy-duty yellow egg capsule is exposed. This is the secret to getting FDA compliance, I'm sure. Because the chocolate breaks away, you know what part you're supposed to eat and which part you're not supposed to ingest. My egg contained a strip of stickers.
Now for the real test. The taste test. Frankly, it wasn't too bad. I expected the absolute worst, but this was decent enough. If I was a kid on Easter morning, I'd definitely chow this down.
But my kid will not be chomping on one of these. I'm back on my "no-chocolate-from-China" horse. Not only do we need to keep jobs here in this great country, but we also need to make sure we do our best to know what goes into our kids' mouths. When it comes to candy that's shipped from the other side of the world in a country with no regulations, it just ain't happening in this house.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Half-Price Chocolate!

How can you not love this? At Groupon, this offer (scroll down the bar on the right side of the page; available throughout the U.S.) is $10 for $20 worth of goodies from Chocolate.com. Not only do they have chocolates (including way too cute chai chocolate Buddhas), but also cakes and cookies. Check the fine print for all the details.

UPDATE: Now that I've ordered my Groupon, the heat is on. Do I selflessly use it to buy someone a lovely gift of chocolate? Or do I totally splurge and use it all for myself? There are 201 pages of chocolates under $30. How can you even decide?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

That's a wrap!

I couldn't wait to eat these candies before taking their picture, so you're getting the wrappers.
First off, a gumball from Halloween. I'd been saving it and recently found it in the back of the pantry closet when the Sugar Baby decided to play "store" and unloaded every box, bag and canned good into the living room. I wanted to try the gum because the wrapper said teaberry, and I love teaberry gum. As it turns out, it wasn't teaberry flavored, it was just made by Clark's Teaberry. What a disappointment. I don't even know where it came from. I've never seen them before, and a quick Google search yielded nothing. Kinda creepy, actually.
Next up, a little box of Italian nougat. I love nougat. Why is it so hard to find? I love the little box.
And lastly, the Sugar Baby snagged this Savannah Blueberry Dum Dum from the basket at the local over-priced but family-oriented grocery store. His lips and teeth were blue, and my car reeked of blueberry. And speaking of Dum Dums, over at their website, they're having a flavor face-off beginning March 15. Let's go butterscotch!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Easter in the U.S.A.

This is the time of year when people start stocking up on Easter candy, thinking that by some miracle they'll be able to resist the sweet siren call of that bag of black jelly beans squirreled away in the closet. Good luck with that. In the meantime, I've been scouting out the aisles, looking for new candy and candy that's made in the U.S.A.-- not as easy to find as you'd think. There's Peep's, everyone's favorite marshmallowy delight, including (apparently) Justin Bieber, who was doused with hundreds of them on Conan recently.Russell Stover eggs are "Proudly Made in the U.S." according to the caramel egg package.
There are Lindt bunnies and ladybugs, some of which are made in Stratham, N.H. (where my wonderful friend formerly known as KrisFromFlorida, now KrisFromNewHampshire, just got a job; BOOYAH!). Pez are made in Connecticut and the store shelves are stocked with bags of little mini Easter Pez. Yes, there is candy out there that is made in the U.S.; you just have to hunt for it.Having said all that, I was pretty surprised to find these on the shelves: Easter Choco' Treasure. These are chocolate eggs that have a plastic capsule inside that contains a toy. As anyone who's ever traveled to Canada or Europe knows, there is a similar product (made in Italy) called Kinder Surprise. These are chocolate eggs (and really yummy chocolate, I might add) that contain a capsule with usually a very clever little toy inside. In January, a woman was stopped at the border between Canada and U.S. and found herself in a bit of hot water because she was found to be carrying in a contraband Kinder Surprise. Yes, the eggs are banned by the FDA because they pose a choking hazard. Hmmm. So how did the Easter Choco' Treasure (made in China) make it onto the shelves?
I've done a little searching, but still have yet to come up with an answer. I'm not the only one. The Surfing Pizza has asked the very same question (although he was brave enough to actually buy a bunch). As one might expect, he wasn't enamored with the chocolate, and was even more disappointed by the toy.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Snickers Peanut Butter Squared

The Easter Island heads contemplate a piece of Snickers Peanut Butter Squared, which they have mixed feelings about.
I don't like to feel like I'm being duped, which is kind of how I feel about the new Snickers Peanut Butter Squared. While the candy comes in a traditional bar wrapper, it's actually two square pieces. For portion control reasons, this is a good idea; you can have one now and one later. With a traditional Snickers, you can't just eat half without getting chocolate and caramel everywhere. But of course, in this format, there is less candy than if it was a single bar, which makes me feel like Snickers is pretending to be all cool with a new candy shape, but instead, they're really trying to save on costs.
In any case, the taste. Imagine a Snickers with a layer of peanut butter wedged in there. It sounds better than it is. Don't get me wrong. It's yummy enough, but the mouth-feel is awfully thick. What it comes down to is this: the regular, run-of-the-mill, plain old Snickers is quite nearly the most perfect mass-market, drugstore candy bar out there. I appreciate the attempts at different flavors and sizes, but why mess with a good thing? Keep the peanut butter for Reese's. I'll have my Snickers old-skool style.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Lindt & Wine: Say no more

Plastic Lockable Brick Man (non-TM) suggests a Lindt truffle for your after-dinner sweet

Back in the days (you know, the 20-something days when life was all wine, cigars and knowing everything about everything), we did a winery tour with friends. All I remember is that it was lots of fun and that, at one winery, the winemaker gave us each a little piece of dark chocolate to nibble with our red wine. He explained how they balanced each other out, how the bitterness in the chocolate brought out the fruit in the wine. It was a fantastic combination. Oh yes, those were the days.
That memory was spurred on by a new contest that Lindt is hosting. At LindtExcellence.com you can enter to win a wine tasting trip to California or lots of other prizes. The website also offers wine and chocolate pairing suggestions. The one suggestion that really sticks out to me is their Excellence with a Touch of Sea Salt paired with Riesling. Really? I would never have put those two together, so now I'm intrigued. I'll put it on my to-do list for this weekend.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Let the Easter reviews begin!

I must admit, I've been in a huge candy rut lately. Nothing has excited me. My sugar soul is weary. Fortunately, Easter candy has arrived! My first foray into the land of springtime candy is Dove Coconut Creme eggs. I was not thrilled that they were covered in milk chocolate; doesn't every candy aficionado know that coconut goes best with dark chocolate? In any case, I wanted to try these. The Sugar Baby had one last night and said, "Coconutastic!" He likes them.
Then I handed some over to the Easter Island statues that have taken up residence in my home. They seemed suspicious at first. The Rapa Nui king had this to say: "They are tasty, but unfortunately have that sort of fake coconut/suntan lotion flavor. If they had been made with dark chocolate, they would be better. Also, I wish the creme was fluffy instead of the same consistency as the chocolate. Still, they're better than a kick in the head."