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Monday, February 6, 2006

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    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:44 pm    

    Consumer Reports: Valentines

    Consumer Reports, the bastion of stodgy and unbiased reviews of common products has tackled the confusing world of boxed chocolates just in time for Valentine’s Day.

    Their top picks?

    Norman Love Confections but they give Candinas and Jacques Torres Jacques’s Choice a best buy, probably because they’re half the price.

    In the Very Good category See’s Famous Old Time Assorted got high marks and of the recommended (Very Good or Excellent) chocolates, it’s by the far the least expensive (at $.88 per ounce) which means you can give your sweetie MORE for the same money!

    The worst on the list? Whitman’s Sampler.

    See the complete list here.

    (Link found via A Full Belly - thanks!)

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:16 am     ValentinesNewsShoppingComments (0)

    Pearson’s Nut Roll

    Pearson’s Nut Roll is one of those bars I look at and think that it’s not for my generation. It was first introduced in 1933, and during the depression a bar like this could not only be a treat, but supply much needed calories and protein at a rather affordable price.


    Pearson’s Nut Roll is kinda like a Payday bar. It’s a soft nougat center, then a small layer of sticky caramel and a generous coating of salted peanuts (Virginia peanuts according to their website). My bar was a little wonky, with the caramel part showing through and the peanuts all gathered around the edges instead of on top. It didn’t seem to affect the flavor at all.

    The center is much sweeter, as far as I can tell, than a Payday bar, but the nuts are salty and balance it well. For a candy bar there’s a lot of protein in there too, 8 grams for the regular 1.8 ounce sized bar. A lot of those “nutrition” bars don’t have that much protein in them. Of course you have to like peanuts to eat this bar. Which I do.

    It’s a solid middle performer as candy bars go. It’s something I would pick up if I were looking for a “meal replacement candy bar” that has a good balance of taste, texture and of course a hit of protein which gives lasting energy. Without any chocolate, it’s a good hot weather performer as well.

    Name: Pearson's Salted Nut Roll
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Pearson's
    Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market
    Price: $.69
    Size: 1.8 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 133
    Categories: Peanuts, Caramel, United States

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:03 am     Comments (37)

    Sunday, February 5, 2006

    Malted Crisped Rice Squares

    For those of you who have been reading the blog, you know well of my love for all things malted. (And let me tell you, I don’t blog about half the malted stuff I eat.)


    A while back I decided to create a recipe for Rice Krispie Squares with Malt.

    This turned out to be rather simple, and here’s the recipe I used:

  • 4 tablespoons of butter (a half a stick)
  • 40 large marshmallows (about 10 ounces)
  • 5 cups of crisped rice
  • 1/2 cup of Carnation Malted Milk powder
  • Melt the butter in the bottom of a large saucepan (big enough to hold all ingredients) over the lowest heat. Add the marshmallows after the butter has melted, stir over low heat (this part takes a while).

    When the marshmallows are dissolved and mixed thoroughly with the butter, add the malted milk powder, slowly to prevent clumping. Stir well (and quickly). Remove from heat and add in the rice krispies (I usually add half, stir well, then add the other half).

    Dump mixture into a baking pan (I use 12x9, but you can do square and they’ll just be really tall). Press with buttered fingers into corners. Allow to cool.

    The squares end up being a bit milder, less sweet than regular rice crispies treats. I enjoyed them and I think I’ll probably make them again (seeing how I have a half a box of rice crispies, I’ll probably have to). The look about the same as the regular ones, maybe a little more yellow and have a distinctive malty smell.

    I know this doesn’t qualify as candy, but I supposed you could make small cubes and dip them in chocolate. Yum.

    Related Candies

    1. Slice of Orange Hot Chocolate
    2. The Easiest Chocolate Pudding (not quite from scratch)
    3. BonBonBars: Malt Ganache & Scotch
    4. Recipe: Candy Crescents
    5. Mary Jane’s Bread Pudding
    6. Chocolate Hellfire Chip Cookies
    7. Villars Swiss Milk Chocolate

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:52 pm     RecipesReviewFun StuffNewsComments (5)

    Joke Contest

    What’s better for your heart than some good chocolate?

    A good laugh.

    You can have both (or give both).

    Enter the Laughter is running a contest to find the best Valentine’s-themed joke. The winner gets a box of chocolates.

    Enter here. (Or just read the current entries.)

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:57 pm     Fun StuffComments (1)

    Friday, February 3, 2006

    Hershey’s Raspberries ‘n’ Creme

    I never thought I’d eat so much white chocolate in my life until I started CandyBlog.net. It’s not that I don’t like white chocolate, but it’s usually so sweet it makes my throat hurt. (I’ve heard this may be because we have some taste buds in our throats.)


    While it would be easy for me to just copy and paste the review for Strawberries ‘n’ Creme in here, I have to say that they’re really not the same bar at all.

    The bar was very aromatic, with a strong scent of raspberries, fake vanilla and milk. It’s not unpleasant at all and reminded me of yogurt. (I like yogurt.)

    Now, I’ve had my share of raspberries in my life. When I was a kid we had a huge raspberry patch and we pretty much ate berries all summer long. When we had our fill we would make them into jam or sauces. I’ve had a lot of berries in my life. For a long time I didn’t even care for raspberries. I find the seeds really annoying and the flavor was a little too floral for me and there wasn’t enough of a textured chew. But of course now that I don’t have an unending supply, and the stuff that I do get is insanely expensive, I like them a lot and eat them at every opportunity. I’m a huge fan of the raspberry and dark chocolate combination and when I make chocolate truffles, I make more of raspberry than any other flavor.

    The bar is tart, with a little tangy taste that you might be used to in all Hershey’s milk chocolate. The raspberry taste is pronounced but a little overshadowed by the strong sweetness of the bar. There’s also a very weird aftertaste to the bar that’s hard for me to pin down. I think it’s a dairy aftertaste, that sort of coated feeling you get on your tongue after whole milk.

    The bar reminded me of Easter, the smell of the white chocolate and the berry overtones that are a mix of violet and rose floral notes. While I might actually buy the Strawberry bar again (a guilty pleasure, don’t expect me to admit it), I can’t see myself picking this one up unless it’s on sale. But these are limited edition bars and are no longer on the Hershey’s website, so don’t count on them being around too much longer.

    Name: Raspberries 'n' Creme (Limited Edition)
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Hershey's
    Place Purchased: 7-11 (Hollywood)
    Price: $.85
    Size: 1.4 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 143
    Categories: White Chocolate, United States, Hershey's, Limited Edition

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:25 am    

    Thursday, February 2, 2006


    Do you ever wish that Chick-o-Sticks came in larger bars? Ever wish that Butterfingers didn’t come with that fake chocolate? Ever want a little coconut on your 5th Avenue?


    Zagnut has been around for ages and was once proudly made by the Clark company in Pittsburgh alongside the more famous grandfather, the Clark Bar. For some reason when the Clark company was broken up the Clark bar went to NECCO and the Zagnut bar went to Hershey’s. I have no explanation for this. My guess is that Clark was struggling to stay afloat and of course couldn’t sell off their namesake bar as a way to raise capital.

    The bar was first introduced in 1930. (The Clark bar came out in 1917.) In a weird way, we have the military to thank for many of our favorite candy bars. Confectioners were usually enlisted to create ration bars for servicemen as quick and easy-to-carry calories. Servicemen would often get a taste for the bars (most of which were made with nuts and chocolate for a balance of protein, fats and carbs) and introduce them to their families back home.

    The Zagnut bar, like the Chick-o-Stick is a great summer alternative to the 5th Avenue, because it has no chocolate coating to melt. It’s a large, flattened log of honeycombed peanut butter and molasses crisp. The flavorful and smooth center has a nice sparkle of salt in it and the toasty coconut on the outside goes surprisingly well with the molasses and peanut flavors. There’s some sort of a peanut/white chocolate coating on the bar, just enough to get the coconut to stick. If anything, this bar seemed more like a 5th Avenue than a Clark. (That’s a compliment.)

    It’s a solid, midrange performer when it comes to candy bars, a good backup when maybe you don’t want an Almond Joy or maybe want a little more crunch than a 3 Musketeers. I know some folks aren’t keen on them, but now that Hershey’s has them in their stable, I’m actually seeing them more often. Now all they have to do is replace the hydrogenated oils in there.

    Other Reading: Taquitos.net review and here’s what the wrapper used to look like.

    Name: Zagnut
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Hershey's
    Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store
    Price: $.33
    Size: 1.75 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 131
    Categories: Peanut, Coconut, United States, Hershey's, Kosher

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:00 pm     Comments (44)

    Wednesday, February 1, 2006

    Silver Bear Toffee

    Toffee is a strange thing. It’s like caramel gone too long on the burner, but it becomes its own special delight. In the United States, toffee is generally hard caramel: a mixture of sugar and butter. It’s boiled slowly to “hard ball” stage and then cooled, usually as flat pieces. What’s so wonderful about it is the way it cracks. It’s completely irregular. It flakes, it crumbles and it fractures. It’s buttery and sweet and often has a nice salty twang to it that cuts through the stickiness. (In the UK they also have soft toffees, which confuses the heck out of me, until I start eating them and then I get distracted. Mmm, toffee.)


    I got these full-sized samples directly from Brian at Silver Bear Toffee in Colorado. The first indication of their decadence is that the label says “refrigerate,” now that’s fresh toffee!

    The ingredients are pretty compelling too: chocolate, almonds, butter, sugar and corn syrup. Each package was a little white box with planks of broken up toffee. The toffee was then covered in chocolate on top and sprinkled with more almonds. The dark chocolate one was my favorite as the smoky and smooth chocolate matched the sweet and salty toffee perfectly. The toffee was so buttery though that sometimes my chocolate fell off the slab. No matter. Toffee is casual; toffee is jeans and a tee.


    While I may have said I preferred the dark chocolate one, the milk chocolate one disappeared first (it could have been that toffee snitching elves were visiting my kitchen). The toffee crumbles wonderfully on the teeth and becomes a smooth and buttery experience on the tongue. There are lots of nuts in both versions but not in huge pieces, which I prefer (otherwise it’d be nut brittle).

    When I eat commercial toffee bar, like a Heath bar, my usual custom is to eat the chocolate off first and then eat the toffee slab by itself. I have no desire to do that with this stuff, I want to eat the whole thing: the chocolate, toffee and nuts all at once.

    The webstore isn’t open yet (I was hoping it would be in time for Valentine’s) but you can still order by phone:

    Silver Bear Toffee
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Toffee is $15 a pound and


    $8.00 by the half pound. Mine came boxed well with a cold-pack to keep it from melting (not really an issue in the winter).

    Name: Silver Bear Toffee (Milk & Dark)
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Silver Bear Toffee
    Place Purchased: manufacturer's (full size!) samples
    Price: $8.00
    Size: 8 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 130
    Categories: Chocolate, Toffee, Nuts, United States

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:01 pm     Comments (3)

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    Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.





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