ABOUT

FEEDS

SEARCH

  • Enter search term

CONTACT

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  • Here are some frequently asked questions emailed to me you might want to read first.

EMAIL DIGEST

    For a daily update of Candy Blog reviews, enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

CANDY RATINGS

TYPE

BRAND

COUNTRY

ARCHIVES

Halloween

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Russell Stover Orange Marshmallow Pumpkin

Orange Marshmallow PumpkinI puzzled over the Orange Marshmallow Pumpkin at the store for quite a while. Was the marshmallow orange? Was the coating orange? Or was it orange flavored? The small print gave me a clue, “Naturally flavored,” it said. “Covered in milk chocolate,” it said.

“Okay,” I said. “Into the basket you go!”

Opening it up at home I still didn’t smell the orange. After biting through the chocolate shell, the orange flavor became more apparent, as did the color.
This is that cautionary orange, you could strip the chocolate off of this and use it as a fluffy, sticky signal puff if you were stranded somewhere.

The marshmallow is super soft, moist and a little sticky. The light kiss of orange essence really changes this from a ho-hum marshmallow product to something I ate all of without complaining that my candy blog makes me eat these things (okay, that really doesn’t happen). The milk chocolate, though sweet, was rich enough to set off the sweet marshmallow and add some nice creaminess to the whole. I enjoy these sorts of seasonal products from Russell Stover because I know they’re fresh.

I don’t know if I’ll buy them again, unless perhaps they’re 10 cents in a sale bin in November, but I’ll keep an eye out for an Easter version of them next year.

The allergy notice on the package mentions that they’re made in a factory with tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and eggs. It also contains gelatin, so is unsuitable for vegetarians. The orange filling also has artificial colors in it (Yellow 6), so folks looking to stay away from those should opt for the regular unflavored Marshmallow Pumpkin.

Rebecca posted on the Hershey’s orange pumpkins last year and Joanna did both orange flavored ones last year.

Related Candies

  1. Frankford Marshmallow Pals
  2. Russell Stover Eggs (2007 edition)
  3. The Great Pumpkin Roundup
  4. Brach’s Autumn Mix
  5. Russell Stover Cream Eggs
Name: Orange Marshmallow Pumpkin
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Ralph's (Glendale)
Price: $.50
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 110
Categories: Chocolate, Marshmallow, United States, Russell Stover, Halloween

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:19 am     Comments (12)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Frankford Marshmallow Pals

Frankford Marshmallow PalsHere’s a jolly little set of marshmallows just for Halloween: Frankford Marshmallow Pals. They were pretty affordable, just $1.99 for a package of 18 individually wrapped marshmallows - that’s about 11 cents each. That’s always the tough thing about marshmallows ... you can’t just open a bag of Jet Puffs and toss them in trick-or-treaters’ bags, even though they’re pretty cheap. So the little wrappers help quite a bit on that front.

Shaped marshmallows are certainly nothing new and Just Born with their Peeps line may be the epitome of seasonal marshmallows. But Frankford has definitely come up with something that sets it apart.

image

There are four different shapes in this mix: Jack O Lantern, Green Dracula, Even Greener Frankenstein Monster and Orange Witch.

Each is decorated with frosting, and may I say they did a really good job. Though some of them were a little smashed inside the package, they puffed back up again pretty well. The sugary coating also kept them from sticking to the wrapper. Each face has little frosting eyes, often hair and an expression on its mouth. They all look slightly different, when I pulled out all the Draculas, some looked slightly Asian, others downright fierce and one a bit cross-eyed with something of a dorky smile.

Marshmallow Pals are Colorful on the InsideThe whole bag smells lightly of sugar and coconut. I read the ingredients and it makes no mention of coconut specifically as an ingredient but does say “natural and artificial flavors”.

The color of the face is the same color of the marshmallow through and through. (Unlike Peeps, who are only colored on the outside.)

The marshmallows themselves as firm but moist. They have a latexy quality that gives them a very long chew. The flavor is lightly coconut, which I found pleasant and summery. Honestly, I prefer my marshmallows to taste like something. The frosting added a little crunch and it was a relief to find out that it wasn’t waxy like the eyeballs on Peeps.

Though I’m not really keen on eating marshmallows alone, the flavor helped. The really cute attention to details and vibrant colors swayed me. As an indulgence, they’re quite low in calories (being mostly air and having no fat): 38 calories per Pal. They contain gelatin and are not suitable for vegetarians. The package does not mention gluten or nuts though there appears to be no wheat/nut products in the ingredients.

These were made in China.

Related Candies

  1. GudFud Stuffed Marshmallows
  2. Frankford Marshmallow Hearts
  3. Peeps Spooky Cats & Cocoa Bunnies
  4. Peeps
  5. Artisan Marshmallows: Plush Puffs
Name: Marshmallow Pals
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Frankford
Place Purchased: K-Mart (Park LaBrea)
Price: $1.99
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 96
Categories: Marshmallow, China, Lake Champlain, Halloween

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:06 am     Comments (10)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mori Ex Cacao Gift Set

A couple of months ago I got an invitation from Valerie Confections to preview their Mori Ex Cacao gift set. It’s a set of three skull-shaped chocolates. Rather than a little flat piece of candy, these are large and three dimensional with crisp and freaky details on the skulls, which are then filled with a premium truffle ganache or caramel.

The fissures in the skull can be made out easily, as can the individual teeth and with the three-dimensions of the skull, even the back of the head continues these details down to the base and roof of the mouth.

Dean & Deluca Catalog

The Skulls were designed by Modern Alchemist Douglas Little and are about the size of a hefty plum. The design is based on DL&Co’s Memento Mori Collection, which features a similar looking skull candle and other small statuary pieces. A little bit more upscale than the traditional pumpkins and witches, this rather macabre take also features some incredible attention to detail.

First, the confections are hand “cast” with premium Felchlin Chocolate. Then each is filled with one of three centers. The chocolates are created in a three dimensional silicone mold, based on an original design by Douglas Little. After unmolding the chocolates are then airbrushed by hand with a cocoa-butter based “paint” which results in three different confections - one charcoal-black, one cocoa-brown and one bleached-bone white.

image
(this image was provided by Valerie Confections)

I didn’t get to eat the “real thing”, instead they created some tasting portions, which looked an awful lot like regular old chocolates (probably better for me that way). This means that my tasting notes are not based on the actual proportions of chocolate-to-filling you may get with the ultimate product, but all the other elements were the same.

Scorched Caramel
They say: Organic cream is slowly combined with sugar over an intense flame, until the deep amber confection appears. Decadent.

I had my doubts, mostly because the caramel was so dark, I was afraid it’d be bitter and though it did have some burnt tones to it, it was complex and not too sweet. It went wonderfully with the chocolate.

Bitter Brandied Cherry
They say: An exquisite and unusual confection of indulgent bitter chocolate, Kirsch-perfumed ganache and succulent sour cherries steeped in liqueur, finished in porcelain white cocoa.

I say I don’t like cherry flavor, but these were real sour cherries, not some crazy artificial extract. The deep fruit flavors went really well in the ganache, a slight bitter note which I think tied into the macabre tone of the confections quite well.

Curious Chili
They say: An eccentric array of chilies and spices are combined with the deepest chocolate into an exotic and exciting sensation, with a heat that lingers long after the chocolate is gone. An extraordinary experience.

Oh, this really lived up to its hype. The chocolate flavors were not overpowered by the spice. There was definitely a bit of throat burning going on, but again, it fit very well with the design and presentation as a whole.

Would I buy these? Certainly not for $100 a set ($40 for an individual skull of any flavor). I understand that the ingredients are premium and they’re really labor intensive. So it’s not that I don’t think they’re worth it, but the whole skull thing just isn’t really that big of a draw to me. I like my candy pretty and I never quite got how skulls and bones celebrate life. But if you are a fan of this type of design, and if you’re looking for something purely decadent to arouse all of the senses (this would be great to share as a couple) then this would be an excellent gift.

They can be purchased directly from Valerie Confections or from Dean & Deluca (they only carry the full set but also have some companion products that might complete the effect). They come in a lovely black silk box.

Related Candies

  1. Valerie Toffees & Nougats
  2. CocoaBella - The Night of the Chocolate Hangover
  3. Brain Candy! (gummi brains)
  4. Repost: CraniYUMS!

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:40 am     CandyChocolatierReviewHalloweenValerie ConfectionsCaramelChocolate7-Worth ItUnited StatesComments (8)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Candy Corn Kisses

Candy Corn KissesI browse eBay a lot, just to see what sort of candy is being sold. It’s a good place to “make a friend” in a particular area who can send you a special candy on a regular basis. Of course a good deal of the candy on eBay is also Limited Edition items, which can be devilish to find as inventories wear thin in parts of the country.

It’s also a great way for me to find out about newer Limited Editions. Like the Candy Corn Kisses that showed up there last week. I immediately searched all my best spots (RiteAid, WalMart, Target & CVS) with no results. So I emailed Hershey’s ... they confirmed that they exist at least.

Then yesterday I gave Target another try and there they were!

image

I must admit, they’re lovely. The wrappers are silver, yellow and orange with little flags that say Candy Corn.

Upon opening the bag I can only say that they stink to high heaven, like fake butter flavor (perhaps I should be concerned that there’s diacetyl in there and I’m going to get Pop Corn Workers Lung?).

Unwrapping the foil, they are super-cute layers just like candy corn. Wider on the bottom than normal candy corn, the proportions may be a little squat, the colors are also rearranged, with yellow on the bottom and orange in the middle, instead of the reverse. I can see why they did it though, it is a pleasant combo.

While I enjoy candy corn that has a slight honey or caramelized sugar taste to it, these go for the buttered corn flavor. I know that the Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly is one of the most popular, but it’s never floated by boat. Same with this one ... a little caramely white chocolate would have made me very happy. This doesn’t. The fake butter just turns my stomach when I smell it. If I don’t smell it, then they’re not bad, not too sweet with a light little hit of salt.

Unlike many of the other white confection offerings from Hershey’s, these are not white chocolate (which has a cocoa butter base). The ingredients go like this:

Sugar, Vegetable Oil (Palm, Shea, Sunflower and/or Safflower Oil), Nonfat Milk, Lactose, Reduced Minerals Whey (from milk), Milkfat. Contains less than 2% or less of Natural and Artificial Color (Yellow 6, Yellow 5 Lake), Soy Lecithin, PGPR, Tocopherols (to maintain freshness).

I think the idea is cute and I could actually see these being a great cookie decoration (as suggested on the package with a peanut butter cookie recipe). Other than that, I’m going to just admire the photos and the idea and keep the package way from me. I couldn’t decide what rating to give this, mostly because my personal revulsion to fake butter flavor (it actually gives me a headache when someone makes microwave popcorn) is, well, a personal thing. The product is well executed ... I just wish they called them Butter Kisses and made them like real candy corn, not that Milk Maid Caramel Candy Corn. My nose said give them a two out of ten. But looking at the photos, I can’t help but bump it up to a four out of ten ... what can I say, I’m a sucker for design!

UPDATE 9/25/2007: I found out from Hershey’s that this is an item that they created exclusively for Target. So don’t bother looking anywhere else but Target & eBay for these.

UPDATE 9/5/2008: The Candy Corn Kisses have returned for 2008. I found them both at Target and Rite Aid, so they are enjoying a wider release this year.

Related Candies

  1. Rising Cost of Candy - A Brief Study of Hershey Prices
  2. Vanilla Creme Kisses
  3. Hershey’s Mint Truffle Kisses
  4. Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Kisses
  5. Elvis Reese’s Peanut Butter and Banana Cup
  6. Kisses Coconut Creme
  7. Kisses Chocolate Truffles
  8. The Mint Kisses: Chocolate Mint & Candy Cane
  9. Gourmet Goodies Candy Corn
  10. Peanut Butter Kisses
  11. Cherry Cordial Creme Kisses
  12. Head to Head: Rolo vs Caramel Kisses
  13. Butterfinger Crisp
Name: Candy Corn Kisses
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $2.59
Size: 11 ounces
Calories per ounce: 152
Categories: Mockolate, United States, Hershey's, Kosher, Limited Edition, Halloween

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:57 am     Comments (61)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Milk Maid Caramel Candy Corn

Caramel Candy CornThere used to be rules and people followed them. Oh, they were informal; things like no white shoes after Labor Day, your shoes should match your belt. Seasonal merchandise wouldn’t be put out until the previous holiday was over (no Christmas goodies before Thanksgiving). But those rules are long gone.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised to see Halloween candy out already at the RiteAid before Labor Day. But at least this was something different. Instead of fruity flavors, this twist is from Brach’s Milk Maid line and is called Caramel Candy Corn.

Caramel Candy Corn Close UpMost of us have a love-hate relationship with Candy Corn. Well, some folks have a love-love or a hate-hate ... which averages out in the big scheme of things to a love-hate for the general population. I hate-love candy corn. I don’t really like eating it, but I love looking at it and the smell of it.

This stuff smells really promising, if a little overwhelming. Like caramelized sugar. It smelled so great in the store, I really wanted to take it home. Of course in the car (which I admit was as hot as one of those scented oil diffusers) the smell started getting to me in the way that candle stores do.

image

It all boils down to this, if you like Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly, you’ll probably like Caramel Candy Corn. I don’t and I didn’t.

The texture is good, a nice smooth fondant. The white tip is unflavored and the two lower layers, orange and brown, are butter flavored fondant. The caramel flavor that the smell implies is completely missing, instead it has that intense note of butter flavored popcorn just crackling away in the microwave.

I just didn’t like them as much as I wanted to. Not nearly as much as the Brach’s Autum Mix (candy corn, Indian corn and mellow cremes). I was really unhappy that it was $2.29 for the bag to boot ... yeah, it’s a 19 ounce bag, but what do I need 19 ounces of buttered popcorn flavored candy corn for?

Related Candies

  1. Milk Maid Caramel Apple Candy Corn
  2. Caramel Previews: Mitchell Sweets & Caramoos
  3. Spangler Candy Canes
  4. Gourmet Goodies Candy Corn
  5. Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses
Name: Milk Maid Caramel Candy Corn
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Brach's
Place Purchased: RiteAid (Vermonica)
Price: $2.29
Size: 19 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Caramel, Fondant, United States, Brach's, Halloween

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:38 pm     Comments (18)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Come on to my house!

Yes, I’ve got the sweets for the Tricker or Treaters this evening. Even though I’m not home I left a deluxe bowl of goodies for my husband to give out.

image

You can’t see everything in there (and I can’t remember it all) but there are Junior Mints, Tootsie Pops, Blow Pops, Jolly Rancher Lollipops, Chewy SweeTarts, Kissables, SweeTart Gummi Bugs, Heath Bars, various full sized bars from some photos I took, Lik-m-Aid, Laffy Taffy, Chewy Runts ... I think that’s about it. I like to balance out the candy offerings with a variety of chocolate and sugar, lollipops were always a favorite of mine.

Happy Halloween!

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:12 am     Comments (9)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Green Halloween Final Thoughts

Honestly, I didn’t know it would be so hard to go green. Ten years ago, yeah, I think I would have expected it. But it’s 2006 and there are stores like Whole Foods and even Target and Wal-Mart are carrying organic foods. So why is it so hard?

Halloween represents over $2 BILLION in sales each year (and it grows and grows). The average household spends over $16 on Halloween candy, it seems that there’s room to give them more choices for wholesome and thoughtful candies.

The winners I found this year were:

Equal Exchange Minis (though it’d be cool if they came in Milk Chocolate as that’s what kids prefer)
Endangered Species Treats
Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops
College Farm Organic Lolliops

How hard would it be for someone to make fun packs of organic chocolate covered peanuts or raisins? I’ve seen lots of natural gummis and fruit chews, but what about something that’s not bulk that you can give to the kids without them turning up their noses? Organic candy tastes as good (if not better) than regular mass-produced candy. Kids don’t even have to know it’s fair trade or organic ... they just want something tasty, something they probably don’t get every day.

The good thing is that you can make a nice assortment out of the above and still serve 40 or so kids with multiple treats and still stay within that $16 average. Maybe next year there will be more items on that wishlist available.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:41 am     CandyGreen HalloweenHalloweenShoppingComments (0)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Peeps Spooky Cats & Cocoa Bunnies

In my pumpkin roundup the other day I didn’t include an Pumpkin Peeps. I actually went to the store and couldn’t find them. But I did get the next best thing, which would be the Peeps Spooky Cats.

image

When they were in their little tray they didn’t look very scary, except for that fear I have for conformity. In fact, they didn’t even look like black cats to me, but that could have been the lighting at the Walgreen’s. But no, I got them home and they are most definitely purple.

I can’t really say much else about them. I think I covered my feelings for Peeps back at Easter.

image

The newish product I was looking forward to showing here were the Cocoa Cats, which are a cocoa dusted/infused Cat Peep. Unfortunately there were none to be had (what’s with Peeps this year?). Anyway, I still have the Cocoa Peeps left over from All Candy Expo.

They don’t taste like much either, maybe a slight hint of cocoa to them, like a watered down cup of hot cocoa. What I found most curious about them is that they’re much less likely to go stale.

I’ve had these since June. I opened the package, took some photos and then put them back into the package. I left them in my tasting drawer (yes, the Candy Blogger has a drawer full of things to taste and write about) and checked them about a month later and they were pretty much the same. I didn’t seal up the bag or anything. So I left them out. Really left them out. Still, after an overnight sitting with a paper towel covering them and they were still soft.  Eventually I got bored (or moved offices or something) and packed them back up and they went back into the drawer in their loose packaging.

Today I took them out and they’re still not stale enough. I bite into them and they give. Okay, maybe they’re a little tacky ... certainly more texture than usual.

Still, not my thing. As bunnies they’re kind of cute ... especially since I had bunnies this color when I was a kid. As a scary cat for Halloween ... well, purple is kind of sassy, a brown cat for Halloween is just lame.

Name: Peeps Spooky Cats (& Cocoa Cats)
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Just Born
Place Purchased: Walgreen's
Price: $.50
Size: 1.13 ounces
Calories per ounce: 107
Categories: Marshmallow, United States, Just Born, Peeps, Halloween

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:32 am     Comments (13)

Page 8 of 10 pages ‹ First  < 6 7 8 9 10 > 

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

 

 

 

 

Facebook IconTwitter IconTumblr IconRSS Feed IconEmail Icon

COUNTDOWN

Candy Season Ends (Easter)

0 days

 

 

 

Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

image 

image

ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Patric Chocolate

• Amano Chocolates

• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

• Candy Encyclopedia: The Difference Between Gummi and Jelly

• Candy Rant: If your Licorice isn’t black, it isn’t Licorice

 

 

image