Monday, February 1, 2010

Sun Cups

Sunflower Butter Cups ... saying it out loud it doesn’t even make sense, is it a flower or is it a candy? Seth Ellis Chocolatier of Boulder, Colorado has come out with a nut free, peanut free, gluten free, fair trade and organic candy. They simply call them Sun Cups.

Seth Ellis Sun Cups (Sunflower Seed Butter Cups)

Sun Cups come in milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Confusing sounding name aside, they’re sunflower butter (like peanut butter only made with sunflower seeds) in a chocolate cup. Just like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, except, well, not like them.

Each cup is .75 ounces and comes in the industry standard dark brown fluted paper cup. The packages I picked up from the Seth Ellis booth at the Winter Fancy Food Show were flawless and perfect. Even the glossy and bold packaging is made from a compostable film.

Seth Ellis Sun Cups (Sunflower Seed Butter Cups)

The Milk Chocolate Sun Cups smells sweet and milky. There’s a touch of sunflower scent, but mostly it’s a fresh note. The organic milk chocolate is silky smooth and has a strong European dairy note. It’s cool on the tongue as it melts. The sunflower center is creamier than a Reese’s, not exactly moist, but not crumbly and not oily. The center is made with sunflower butter mixed with white chocolate, so it’s a little stiff but has an amazing melt with just a hint of sea salt.

Seth Ellis Sun Cups (Sunflower Seed Butter Cups)

The Dark Chocolate Sun Cups smell like semi-sweet chocolate - a little bit woodsy and fruity. The chocolate is actually rather dark and bitter and though it’s vegan (no milkfat) the cups overall aren’t because of the dairy in the white chocolate & sunflower center. The sunflower butter isn’t very sweet, so the whole cup has a much more savory appeal to it. There’s a grassy note to the sunflower which reminds me a little of jasmine tea and tahini.

I thought I was going to love the dark chocolate more than the milk chocolate, but I found both compelling for different reasons. In the milk chocolate version the milk flavors and silky textures blend together well for a decadent and rather fatty feeling treat. The dark chocolate version is deep and complex and kind of requires a little bit of attention while eating to appreciate how it all fits together.

The fact that they’re gluten free and nut free (both tree & peanut) will set these cups apart from most others right away. The milk chocolate version will be easily gobbled up by kids with allergies and sensitivities without any feeling of them getting a compromise candy. Grown ups without allergies will still appreciate the social responsibility (organic & fair trade) behind them along with the tasty ingredients. I still prefer peanut butter, as it’s a more rounded flavor, but I can’t ignore how great these are.

They might be a little hard to find, though most Whole Foods will order if they’re in the system and not on the shelves. They should be in Whole Foods (Rocky Mountain, Northwest and Bay Area) chain-wide at Pharmaca, Sunflower Markets, Cost Plus World Markets, Jimbo’s in So Cal. I still haven’t found them in stores yet, but they should retail for less than $2.00 a package. Hopefully they’ll have individually wrapped ones around for Halloween later this year.

Related Candies

  1. Sunbursts Natural Mix
  2. Short & Sweet: Bites & Bites
  3. Super Sour Worms
  4. Colt’s Bolts
  5. Sjaak’s Vegan Chocolate Assortment
  6. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Line
  7. Chocolate Sunflower Seed Drops
Name: Sun Cups (Milk Chocolate & Dark Chocolate_
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Seth Ellis Chocolatier
Place Purchased: samples from Fancy Food Show
Price: retail $1.79
Size: 1.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 160 & 153
Categories: Chocolate, United States, Organic, All Natural, Kosher, Fair Trade

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:54 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. love this!

    Comment by dawn on 2/01/10 at 12:31 pm #
  2. I just saw these at Berkeley Bowl West! I did not check the price, though. Anyway, that’s where East Bay peeps can find them for now. They sold out of another new product I was seeking :(.

    Comment by KateC on 2/01/10 at 1:12 pm #
  3. Fiddlesticks, I do so dislike discovering brand new and delicious looking treats when I’m leaving the country in a week! I love little chocolate covered sunflower seeds, so am pretty sure these would be awesome. Shame about the non-dairy aspect though! That would make these an occasional treat for me, if I ever found them…

    Comment by Hannah on 2/01/10 at 1:58 pm #
  4. Hmm… Intriguing. After peanut butter, sunflower seed butter is my favorite nut (or seed?) butter.

    Comment by Karwei on 2/01/10 at 4:50 pm #
  5. I am in great like for your suncups.  I have a little 5 yr old with asthma & severe allergies to peanuts/tree nuts.  My husband & I were shopping World Market close to Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio.  We were there for chocolate and coffee when my eyes were drawn to the words “nut free.”  So I grabbed two packages and my son enjoyed them as a snack before bed. He loved them. We plan on going back tomorrow and buying out the remaining supply.  You have no idea what a blessing this is.  Especially with Easter coming up.  The Easter Bunny will have something to put in my little guys basket.

    Comment by Beth B on 2/24/10 at 1:58 pm #
  6. I just had both the other day and they are awesome! Neither one is vegan though as stated in the article. The dark chocolate has milk powder as shown in the ingredients list.

    Comment by Christian on 3/14/11 at 12:49 am #
  7. Hi,
    I’m curious about the dark chocolate Sun Cups not being vegan… Even though it says “dairy” on it, none of the ingredients seem animal-derived.  The white chocolate part has in parenthesis (cane sugar, cocoa butter)....  Are we to assume that there’s also dairy milk in there?
    Shouldn’t it specify clearer then?

    Comment by Vincent on 8/06/13 at 10:12 am #
  8. Cybele's avatar

    Vincent - the sunflower butter center contains white chocolate - which has milk powder in it. (Same with the milk chocolate variety, which also has dairy in the chocolate part.)

    Their website is pretty clear.

    Comment by Cybele on 8/06/13 at 10:19 am #
  9. Darn, that’s too bad… they should make it clearer on the packaging that it’s dairy derived white chocolate.
    Thanks for your reply!

    Comment by Vincent on 8/06/13 at 10:39 am #
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