Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Air Supply

All I have to say is, thank goodness the Sweets & Snacks Expo took place last week, because it has been so dull out there in candy land lately. You know it's bad when I don't even get excited to go into supermarkets in other states because there just hasn't been anything new on the shelves lately. So I present to you:

A big batch of new products! Hooray!
The first thing I ripped into from my show samples was a bag of Hershey Kisses Air Delight "aerated milk chocolate." The bag describes them as, "The Hershey's milk chocolate you love gently blended for a light, airy texture that melts effortlessly in your mouth."

There are several "aerated" chocolates on the market: the British Aero, Bubble Chocolate, and I'm sure there are others. I used to particularly like Nestle Choco'Lite, but that's been gone for a while now.
So how do the Kisses stack up? It's kind of hard to tell, actually. The weather's been really warm here, and so it's difficult to tell if the Kisses are really that much more melty naturally, or if it's just from the heat. They taste good enough. I mean, it's Hershey's chocolate; it's exactly what you'd expect. But I think because they're small, as opposed to a bar, you just don't get that big, airy experience. These are fine. Would I pick them over regular old Hershey Kisses? No. But would I refuse a handful from a candy dish? Of course not!

Monday, May 30, 2011

I Knew My Future at a Young Age

This weekend we celebrated Bazooka Betsy's 50th birthday, and a family friend came equipped with the stuff memories are made of. She had a project she'd done in grammar school called "The Prescription For a Good Life" in which she interviewed all of us, many, many, many years ago. Here was my contribution:

I'm not so sure about Glen, but I'm definitely sticking with the candy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Clodhoppers for dessert!

I realize I've fallen way behind in all matters candy-related. My apologies. Number one, I've been really busy writing about all things edible except candy, and number two, I've got to say, there hasn't been much candy news that's jazzed me lately. Is it me, or is something going on? Is there some sort of candy dry-spell happening? Did all the fun candy get raptured when we weren't looking? Where are the new products? The oldies-but-goodies? The Sweets & Snacks Expo is happening later this week in Chicago and, while I won't be going, I'm hoping that some fun things pop onto the candy scene.

Actually, one fun thing did happen last weekend. We were up in Vermont and having dinner at Ninety-Nine. The kid's meal came with dessert, and one of the options was a package of Clodhoppers. These little bits of graham cookies mashed up in chocolate are made in Canada and they are a rare find. I was psyched to see them on the menu. I managed to stash them in my bag before the Sugar Baby knew what was going on. (For the record, he busy devouring everyone else's desserts.)

And speaking of the Sugar Baby, did I show you what I made for his class? A giant Rice Krispy Treat! The kids were surprised that it was so crunchy. See, that's why homemade RKTs are so much better than the prepackaged ones, which are much too soft and squishy. The perfect RKT is crunchy, a little crumbly and chewy. Yes, I could've eaten that whole 5 myself.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

TMI: Good chocolates, acupuncture and fudge

Would you look at that? Perhaps the most beautiful chocolates ever. The photo, of course, doesn't do them justice. That one in the top left is actually a tiny chocolate tea cup filled with espresso cream. Then there's Kaffir Lime & Ginger, Blood Orange, Olive Oil & Sea Salt ... This was a gift from my friend Marisa. She's an acupuncturist and I helped her out with some PR for her new business. If I knew I'd be getting chocolates in return, I would've done a better job.
Marisa and I know each other from our days long ago when we worked at a chocolate shop together. I took the job seriously. (I was, after all, a college student with bills to pay.) She, on the other hand, was still in high school (I think; or maybe just graduated and wasting her days working at a chocolate shop), and was able to appreciate the multitudes of fun that the job offered. Like the time she was working the night shift with the only boy who worked there. I'll keep the story brief, but it's one that lives in infamy. (Stop me if you've heard this before.)
As a joke, Chocolate Boy took a giant piece of chocolate fudge and molded it into a certain shape, then dropped it in the toilet at work. He then called Marisa into the bathroom to see his handiwork. They had a good laugh, then flushed the toilet. Fast-forward to the next morning when Your's Truly was on duty. I had no knowledge of the prior evening's festivities, so imagine my surprise when, later that morning, I used the facilities and suddenly there was an enormous flood in the back room. The manager had to call her husband to come fix the damage and of course I was standing there red-faced, looking like the obvious culprit.
The best part is, Marisa never told me any of this until last year. Nice, right? Yet she remains a shining beacon in my life. She has the most positive outlook on life and is the world's greatest acupuncturist. Check out her website: www.healingpointtherapeutics.com. If you're in the Boston-ish area, give her a call and set up an appointment. Ask for the Chocolate Fudge discount.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes!

Someone has a birthday coming up, so I've been trying to figure out if I should do a cake or cupcakes for the big "5."  Then I got a review copy of "The Big Book of Cupcakes" (Wiley Publishing, 2011) and I started experimenting. I made the "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" cupcakes, using the cheater's recipe. I took a box of white cake mix, prepared it, then divided it into six different bowls. Then I added food coloring to each and began the process of pouring a little bit of each color into each muffin cup. I was really expecting that all the colors would blend together and I'd end up with some nasty-looking grayish brown cupcakes, but as you can see,
Beautiful rainbow cupcakes. They were quite impressive, I must say. However, I've decided not to go that route for the Sugar Baby's birthday. I felt kind of icky using all that food coloring in the cupcakes. I've been more in-tune to color additives lately, since The Connections have been tracing their daughter's recurrent hive issues to Red Dye #40. So I'm thinking it's going to be vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting. (It's merely a coincidence that that's my favorite combination.) Stay tuned for my pre-birthday cupcake jitters.