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Sunday, January 7, 2007

Candy Source: Munchies (Los Angeles)

I found a new candy store about six months ago but it’s taken me a while to get back there to fully explore it with photos.

It’s called Munchies and is located in West Los Angeles selling a very wide selection of candies from all over the world, all Kosher.

The main feature of the store is their extensive collection of Kosher goodies: jellies, halvah, chocolate covered nuts and fruits (lots of Koppers line) as well as a full selection of Paskesz (from Israel) bars and bags. They also have a decent range of European gourmet bars. For the most part though, it’s not a gourmet shop. It’s a store for plain old candy - a great place to go with kids or to tap into the kid inside of you as you gaze at the yards and yards of bulk bins.

Prices are pretty good. The bulk bins range from $4.00 a pound up to $10. I picked up:

Candy Blox (like SweeTarts, only shaped like Legos) - very dense and of course sweet.
Paskesz Klik malt balls - much smaller than typical malt balls (about the size of a pea ranging to garbanzo beans) super crunchy and a good dark malt and corn flake flavor.
Chocolate Covered Marbled Halvah a gift for my in-laws
Cool Cola Hubba Bubba - smells great, I haven’t tried it yet
Pink Grapefruit Mentos (Kosher) - tastes just like the unkosher ones!
Koppers chocolate covered candied orange rind & Mandarin cordials - a lot of chocolate and not a lot of orange rind, but a really tasty combination. Fresh.
Sally Willams Macadamia Nougat - nice soft nougat with lots of chopped macadamias. It’s missing the honey notes I like in the French variety, but very tasty.

I spent $11.04 for everything.

The best part was my husband was able to amuse himself in the back corner browsing their rather large selection of Kosher wines.

8859 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035

Closed Friday evenings and Saturday until sundown

They have a website, but I wouldn’t judge the store based on it. It’s a clean store in a charming neighborhood. Parking is likely to be difficult on weeknights (they are open late) but pretty easy on a Sunday afternoon. (If you do want to visit in the evening, park in the public lot behind the Walgreen’s on Robertson & Pico and walk the half a block to the store.)

(The little gallery module above is a thing I’m trying out, let me know if you like it or if you have technical problems with it.)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:20 pm     CandyLos AngelesShoppingComments (2)

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Candy Gift Poll Results


What great results to see! It looks like giving candy is alive and well.

For the record, besides my stocking, I got several candy gifts:

A deluxe box of Leonidas
A beautiful box of CocoaVino
A hatbox from Boule
Two boxes of Naked Chocolate Malted Milk Balls

So what did you give or get?

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:39 am     CandyPollsComments (2)

Friday, January 5, 2007

Mallow Blast

Here’s a strange product line from Hershey’s in the Philippines. They’re called Mallow Blast and are described thusly on the package:

It’s a mind-blowing combination of light chewy Marshmallows bursting with luscious grape flavor, dipped in rich Hershey’s Milk Chocolate.

Hershey’s Mallow Blast(tm) - an explosion of flavors!

Also available with Strawberry and Orange Flavored Filling.

I’ve tried other Asian marshmallows before with a fruity filling in them, but this was a first to have them dipped in chocolate.


The Grape Mallow Blast packaging was certainly fun looking. The overall package is a pack with five individually wrapped pieces. Mine were slightly smashed but otherwise unharmed by their journey.

The grape ones smell very strongly of grape jelly and no hint at all of chocolate. The little twist of marshmallow is about as big as my big toe, but with a fruity filling (my toes might be filled with fruit, I’ve never checked). The marshmallow is springy and not terribly sweet. The jelly center is firm and tangy and of course grapey.


The Orange Mallow Blast smelled more of chocolate. The orange inside was actually pretty nice. A bit on the artificial side, but with a balance of zest and tang to it. The chocolate was crumbly and not terribly creamy, but all things considered, it was tasty enough for me to finish off the package of five.

Of course it’s not real chocolate on the outside, but I guess the labeling restrictions are different for other countries. The package clearly calls it Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, but the only “chocolate” in there are some milk solids and cocoa powder much later on the list after the number three ingredient, hydrogenated palm kernel oil. That said, they’d probably make a good treat for dieters, as they’re rather satisfying but not that dense in fat calories (6 of them have 3 grams of fat and 150 calories).

I could see these being popular in the States. The way that they’re packaged though makes it easy for them to get crushed, so they’d probably have to place them in a little tray with sides or something to prevent that.

The Mallow Blasts are certified Hallal.

Name: Mallow Blast
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: gift (thanks TSOGB!)
Price: unknown
Size: 32.5 grams
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Chocolate, Marshmallow, Jelly, Hershey's, Kosher/Hallal

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:55 am     Comments (6)

The Politics of the Candy Jar at Work

You thought the staff meetings where they talk about who’s responsible for filling the candy jar at the reception desk were difficult!


Looks like the non-re-election of Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania will have a lasting effect on the Senate.

Santorum was responsible for the “candy desk” which has been around since the sixties. Anyone holding that desk has traditionally been responsible for supplying treats to the Senators and staff. Santorum, as the Pennsylvania Senator, was given candy by his home state producers (Just Born, Goldenberg’s & Hershey’s) as ethics rules allow. But the new occupant of the seat is from a non-sweet producing state, Wyoming.

Read more here at the Wall Street Journal. (Story found via ObscureStore)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:39 am     CandyNewsComments (3)

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Whitman’s Sampler Tin

This was a super-cute stocking stuffer that Santa gave me this year. I have to say that Whitman’s has never been of much interest to me. Perhaps it’s that I’ve found them a bit stale tasting. But it also might be the package, sure Whitman’s Samplers are retro looking, but that not-so-fresh appearance may have been affecting my taste.


But without the regular packaging, I have to say these looked pretty good. The tin has a Tiffany blue background and gold printing. It’s about the same size as a Sucrets lozenge tin, but a little deeper. Each piece of candy is nestled in a little perfect-shaped spot in the plastic tray.

The long milk chocolate rectangle was called Milk Chocolate Butter Cream, which was a kind of chewy sweet fudge. Very sweet, but a pleasant flavor combination.

The round dark chocolate piece was called Dark Chocolate Coconut and unsurprisingly had a coconut center like a Mounds bar. Fresh tasting and not too sweet, the real winner in the box.

The Messenger Boy was cute, with it’s little cross-stitch look. It was a small tablet of milk chocolate. Sweet and unremarkable.

The last one was the Milk Chocolate Caramel which was just the right consistency. Easy to bite but chewy with nice long strands of caramelized sugar and butter. It could have used some more salt to balance the very sweet milk chocolate.

Do they beat See’s (my touchstone for inexpensive boxed chocolates)? No, not even close. These were fresh tasting but a little too “middle of the road” for me. I wanted more zing, more flavor and less sweet. But I do love the tin.

I am curious to try their new Organic Sampler at some point.

Name: Whitman's Sampler Replica Tin
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Whitman's (Russell Stover)
Place Purchased: Santa Claus
Price: $1.49 retail
Size: 1.75 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, Caramel, Coconut, United States, Russell Stover, Limited Edition

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:00 pm     Comments (5)

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

December Search Strings

How did new visitors find Candy Blog in December?

1. merry christmas
2. christmas candy
3. choxie
4. reeses
5. kissables
6. butterfinger
7. razzles
8. lemonheads
9. max brenner
10. rockaleta

Nothing suprising there, Christmas was higher on people’s minds in December than in November.

The continued appearance of Rockaleta does suprise me though, not that people come here (I’m the first result) but that the candy company (Sonric) that makes them doesn’t make more of an effort to get their web page higher.

M&Ms did not even make the list this time (that doesn’t mean people aren’t looking online for M&Ms, they’re just not coming to Candy Blog for their M&M content).

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:35 pm     CandySearch StringsFun StuffNews

Recipe: Candy Cane Sugar

One of the most flexible things you can make out of old candy canes (or any hard candy) is candy cane sugar which can be used just like regular sugar in a variety of ways.


I made mine from a couple of humongo peppermint sticks by Spangler (each weighs 4 ounces). Two of these sticks will make 1 Cup of candy cane sugar.

image      image      image

There are a couple of ways to make it, I use the old fashioned method.

1 cutting board
1 kitchen mallet or hammer (with a flat surface to it)
2 heavy duty (freezer) plastic bags

Put the candies into one of the ziploc bags and then into the other. Once you start pounding away the sharp pieces will cut the bag a bit and if you don’t want a powdery-sticky mess, it’s best to double bag.

Whack away. Break up the big pieces first, hitting them as best you can with the flat side of your mallet or hammer.

After breaking up the candy, dump it into a bowl. Shake the bowl gently to get the larger pieces to the top, scoop them off and return them to the plastic bag for further pulverization. Repeat until you get your candy sugar to the grind that you desire.

Alternate Method:

Break up candy canes into small pieces by hand.

Put into clean Coffee Grinder (or food processor).

Pulse grind to break up big chunks. Continue until you reach the desired consistency.

For best results:

When finished put into an airtight container. If you live in a particularly humid area keep it in the fridge to prevent it from reforming into a sticky pile.

Use single-colored candy. Multicolored candy canes (such as red and green stripes) will make for a rather muddy colored sugar once it’s pulverized.

Do not use plastic produce bags, they’re just too thin and you’ll end up with bits of plastic in your sugar.

See the grand list of 33 Things to do with Candy Canes for ideas on how to use your Candy Cane Sugar. I made the Peppermint Stick Layer Cake!

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:54 am     CandyRecipesChristmasHard Candy & LollipopsMintsNewsComments (2)

33 Uses for Leftover Candy Canes

Here you go, oodles of things to do with those leftover candy canes. (Or maybe you want to pick some up on sale.)


Use them whole:
1. Stir your hot cocoa
2. Stir your hot tea
3. Stir your coffee (works for lattes & cappuccinos, too)
4. Stir your cocktail
5. Stir your milkshake
6. Snap off the hooked end and dip the straight piece in the chocolate of your choice for homemade “reception sticks
7. Candy Kebabs (spear marshmallows and roll them in sprinkles or other crushed candies)
8. Valentine’s Heart (I’ll try to kitchen test this over the weekend)
9. Edible Fondue Sticks (best for marshmallows)

Crush them lightly:
10. Ice Cream Sprinkles
11. Cake Sprinkles
12. Cupcake Sprinkle
13. Frosted Cookie Sprinkles
14. On top of Whipped Cream in your Hot Cocoa
15. Roll marshmallows in them and eat them whole, toast them in the microwave or drop them in hot cocoa

Make Candy Cane Sugar:
16. Sweeten your Hot Tea
17. Sweeten your Iced Tea
18. Sweeten your Hot Cocoa
19. Sweeten your Coffee or Mocha
20. Use to rim your Cocktails (or this one)

Use them in recipes:
21. White Chocolate Candy Cane Fudge
22. Peppermint Four Layer Cake
23. Chocolate Mint Layer Cake
24. Chocolate Peppermint Bark (I like to pour mine into candy cups instead of making a bark.)
25. Make vanilla ice cream into Peppermint Ice Cream
26. Make your own Peppermint Ice Cream Sandwiches
27. Chocolate Candy Cane Sandwich Cookies
28. Candy Cane Chocolate Chunk Cookies
29. Candy Cane Brownies (these are vegan!)
30. Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheels
31. Peppermint Meringues
32. Add to Rice Krispies Treats
33. Candy Cane Cheesecake

So, what can you add to the list?

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:53 am     CandyRecipesChristmasHard Candy & LollipopsMintsFun StuffComments (17)

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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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