ABOUT

FEEDS

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dove Dark Chocolate Cranberries

Dove CranberriesDove Chocolate, a Mars brand, often skirts a line in their marketing and products between being a healthy indulgence and pure decadence. The new line of chocolate covered fruit goes for the former but still accomplishes the latter.

Mars sent me some of their new products, including this amazingly large bag of Dove Whole Dried Cranberries in Dark Chocolate. It’s 26 ounces of chocolate covered sugared dried cranberries.

The package makes it look like these are plump cranberries, but they’re the ordinary dried variety. There’s a little bit of sugar added, which is fine, because I’ve had unsweetened cranberries before and they were too puckery,even with a chocolate coating.

Dove Cranberries

The pieces are quite large, and cutting them in half reveals why. They aren’t strangely large cranberries. Instead they’re covered with a lot of chocolate. Often chocolate covered cranberries are flat, but these are very appealing looking. These a plump and a little chew reveals that they’re pretty moist, not leathery. They’re tangy and have a sort of bitterness to them that cranberries are known for, but it’s offset well by the chocolate.

I often find Dove’s chocolate a little bland, but dark chocolate here has a lot of flavor. It’s a rich chocolate pudding vibe, a little woodsy. It’s creamy without being too slick, though Dove does use dairy fats in their dark chocolate, so this is not vegan. (There’s 5 mg of cholesterol in here, which serves as an indication of the level of dairy fats.)

They’re expensive. But there aren’t that many higher quality choices at grocery stores for chocolate covered cranberries. I did find Ghirardelli’s new Dark Chocolate Cranberries are just as good as these but are likely to be harder to find. Steer clear of the Nestle version in their Raisinets line as they’re just terrible.

Related Candies

  1. Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Cranberry
  2. Simply Balanced Dark Chocolate Mixed Berry (Target)
  3. See’s Holiday Pie Truffles
  4. Trader Joe’s A Very Merry Mingle
  5. Nestle Cherry Raisinets
  6. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Powerberries
  7. Nestle Cranberry Raisinets
  8. Dove Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate Bars


Name: Whole Dried Cranberries in Dark Chocolate
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: samples from Mars
Price: $14.99 retail
Size: 26 ounces
Calories per ounce: 133
Categories: Candy, Mars, Chocolate, Kosher, 8-Tasty, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:24 pm     CandyReviewMarsChocolateKosher8-TastyUnited StatesComments (1)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

10 Pumpkin Spice Candies I’ve Tried

On the Halloween flavor trend meter, Pumpkin Spice is right up at the top this year. It’s an odd sort of synergy, since pumpkin pie isn’t really for Halloween. The pumpkins we associate with Halloween are for Jack O Lanterns and are not grown for eating. The closest I can come to a true Halloween pumpkin tie in would be pumpkin seeds, which are a seasonal item for folks who do their own carving and toasting of the pepitas. Here are ten of the pumpkin spice flavored candies that have hit store shelves that I’ve tried in recent years.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted CaramelsName: Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels
Brand: Trader Joe’s
Place Purchased: Trader Joe’s (Park LaBrea)
Price: $4.99
Size: 6.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Type: Chocolate/Caramel
Review Rating: 6 out of 10
In Short: This is a new twist on Trader Joe’s annual favorite. They don’t improve on the original, but do make a nice themed hostess gift.

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Seed BrittleName: Pumpkin Seed Brittle Dusted with Sugar and Pumpkin Pie Spice
Brand: Trader Joe’s
Place Purchased: Trader Joe’s (Park LaBrea)
Price: $3.49
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 121
Type: Hard Candy/Nuts
Review Rating: 7 out of 10
In Short: This is the only candy in the roundup that integrates actual pumpkin ingredients (even if it is just the seeds) and the pumpkin spice.

Russell Stover Pumpkin PieName: Pumpkin Pie
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen’s (Studio City)
Price: $.50 (on sale)
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 140
Type: Chocolate/Cookie
Review Rating: 7 out of 10
In Short: Russell Stover has a lot of pie and cake themed seasonal shapes; this one goes for more of the uncooked pie crust texture combined with the spices.

M&Ms Pumpkin SpiceName: M&Ms Pumpkin Spice
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Target (WeHo)
Price: $2.66
Size: 9.9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 142
Type: Chocolate/ Cinnamon
Review Rating: 7 out of 10
In Short: Mars has come out with quite a few seasonal flavors for their classic Milk Chocolate M&Ms over the years, and these keep returning. They’re the best of their spiced varieties (Cinnamon and Gingerbread) so it’s a keeper, though still not the best limited edition they’re ever done.

Pumpkin Spice KissesName: Pumpkin Spice Kisses
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Target (Santa Monica & LaBrea)
Price: $2.99
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 152
Type: White Chocolate (it really isn’t though)
Review Rating: 5 out of 10
In Short: Hershey’s does capture a lot more of the experience of a pumpkin pie filling with their spiced sweet paste covered in white confection (which is then colored orange).

Ovation Pumpkin Spice OrangeName: Pumpkin Spice Orange
Brand: Ovation
Place Purchased: samples
Price: $3.99 retail
Size: 6.17 ounces
Calories per ounce: 147
Type: Chocolate
Review Rating: 7 out of 10
In Short: This seasonal orange is very well made, which is part of the joy of the sectioned oranges. The spices are well balanced which makes the whole thing a good choice for a holiday product, but not really for Halloween.

See's Pumpkin Pie TruffleName: Pumpkin Pie Truffles
Brand: See’s Candies
Place Purchased: See’s (Glendale Galleria)
Price: $20.40 per pound
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Type: Chocolate
Review Rating: 6 out of 10
In Short: My opinion on these doesn’t matter much, they’re already sold out on the See’s website (though I’m sure they’ll get more in before Thanksgiving).

Pumpkin Pie Gourmet Candy CornName: Pumpkin Pie Candy Corn
Brand: Target
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $2.99
Size: 9.9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Type: Fondant
Review Rating: 4 out of 10
In Short: Zachary makes novelty flavored candy corn for a variety of stores. I couldn’t find this particular version at Target this year, but I know that Brach’s also makes a version now.

Naked Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Malt BallsName: Naked Chocolate Malt Balls: Pumpkin Spice
Brand: Naked Chocolate (Philadelphia)
Place Purchased: gift (thanks Susan!)
Price: unknown
Size: unknown
Calories per ounce: unknown
Type: Chocolate/Malt
Review Rating: 5 out of 10
In Short: Koppers makes these fancy, jumbo, multi-layered malted milk balls. They lack the simplicity of the malt and chocolate, which is really all I want in my malt ball, but if you go into the experience with your mind open, they’re a fun seasonal candy that looks great in a candy dish.

See's Pumpkin Spice LollipopsName: Pumpkin Spice Lollypops
Brand: See’s Candies
Place Purchased: gift from Russ (thanks!)
Price: $4.80
Size: 5.6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 100
Type: Hard Candy
Review Rating: 6 out of 10
In Short: These have a wonderful texture, but are far too mild in flavor for something with the word spice in the name.

BONUS: Actual Pumpkin KitKat
Pumpkin KitKatName: KitKat Pumpkin
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: gift from Santos (thanks!)
Price: unknown
Size: unknown
Calories per ounce: unknown
Type: Chocolate/Cookie
Review Rating: 7 out of 10
In Short: These Japanese KitKat feature real pumpkin cream filling ... but no spice. And yes, it pretty much tastes like sweet squash, but the crispy wafers and milk chocolate really work well.

Related Candies

  1. 15 Caramel Apple Candies I’ve Reviewed
  2. Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 1
  3. 10 Underrated Candies
  4. Amsterdam on Foot: Three Chocolate Shops
  5. The 110 Essential Candies for Candivores
  6. Candy Blog Photography

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:14 pm     CandyHalloweenHighlightFun StuffComments (0)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sweet’s Naturally Flavored Candy Corn

Sweet's Naturally Flavored Candy CornI’ve often wondered why these isn’t an organic version of Candy Corn out there. A few years ago I got a mellocreme mix from Marich, but I haven’t seen in at Whole Foods for at least two years. You can get organic, fair trade peanut butter cups ... you can get M&M knock offs made with natural colors and less sugar ... why no Candy Corn?

Well, Sweet’s Candy Company of Utah has come through with an American-made, Kosher, non-GMO and gluten free Candy Corn.

The bag for Sweet’s Naturally Flavored Candy Corn certainly looks festive. But the little window reveals a bit of weirdness, which is fine if weirdness is what you like in your Halloween treats. The candy corn comes in three different colors. Not three layers in a single piece, three different colors. Yellow, white and orange.

The ingredients are as complex as they are simple:

Ingredients: Cane Sugar (non GMO), tapioca syrup (non GMO), corn syrup (non GMO), invert sugar (non GMO), egg whites (cage-free), coconut oil (expeller pressed, extra virgin), colored with fruit and vegetable extracts (pumpkin, carrot and apple), titamium dioxide (for color), honey, natural flavors, salt, carnuba wax, confectioner’s glaze.

Though they’re using all natural colors and flavors and plenty of sourcing information about the ingredients, the Candy Corn is not vegan since it contains egg whites, honey and confectioners glaze.

Sweet's Naturally Flavored Candy Corn

The pieces are normally sized and very well made. I guess when you don’t do the layering, there are fewer weak points on the candy, so there was no pile of the white caps at the bottom of the bag at all.

The Candy Corn smells sweet and pleasant, but more like orange sherbet than honey. I tried a few pieces and noticed right away that they were different from each other. Whether intended or not, the different colors are different.

White is nice, pleasantly mild with a sort of vanilla marshmallow note. It didn’t have the honey flavor that I’d expect from my candy corn, and was also missing that little note of salt I was craving.

Yellow is similarly mild, but has a sort of, well, root flavor to it, like a vague sort of boiled carrot thing going on in the background.

Orange is ever so slightly tangy and has an orange note.

I really missed the layers, I like eating each layer as a separate bite, as I imagine they taste different or sometimes have slightly different textures. The candies had a high gloss on them, the glaze kept them from being sticky but did mean that it took a moment for them to start dissolving unless I chewed them. The yellow one was the only one that seemed like it didn’t belong, the white and orange were perfectly acceptable as a natural alternative to the convention version.

Even though these are all natural and gluten free, they’re made in the same facility with peanuts and tree nuts. There’s no statement about dairy.

Related Candies

  1. Melster Candy Corn Circus Peanuts
  2. Brach’s Caramel Macchiato Candy Corn
  3. Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn
  4. Jelly Belly Peas & Carrots Mellocreme Candy
  5. M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corn
  6. Marich Halloween Mellocremes
  7. Toffee Flavored Chocolate Covered Candy Corn
  8. Zachary Candy Corn & Jelly Pumpkins


Name: Naturally Flavored Candy Corn
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Sweet Works
Place Purchased: Whole Foods (Park LaBrea)
Price: $4.00 (on sale)
Size: 9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Halloween, Fondant, Kosher, 5-Pleasant, United States, Whole Foods

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:38 pm     All NaturalCandyReviewHalloweenFondant5-PleasantUnited StatesWhole FoodsComments (1)

Friday, October 24, 2014

15 Caramel Apple Candies I’ve Reviewed

A favorite treat in late summer and into fall are caramel apples. I often start seeing them as fair season starts, but at this point they’re available all year round. The combination of a fresh apple and well made caramel is interesting. The apples are crispy and juicy, with a tartness and sort of quick sweetness. Caramel has a slow lingering sweetness and chew as well as the more toasted notes of the burnt sugar and browned butter. It’s hard to imagine a candy that can replicate this, and they pretty much can’t. The flavor combination has been a trend in the past few years, so here’s a recap of a few that I’ve tried.

Jolly Rancher Cruncn n Chew - Caramel AppleName: Jolly Rancher Caramel Apple Crunch ‘n Chew
Brand: Jolly Rancher (Hershey’s)
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $1.00
Size: 1.55 ounces
Calories per ounce: 109
Type: Hard Candy
Review: 7 out of 10
In Short: What’s lacking here is the true Jolly Rancher green apple hard candy with its smooth texture, but if you set those expectations aside, these are pretty good.

Twizzlers Caramel Apple Filled TwistsName: Twizzlers Caramel Apple Filled Twists
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Ralph’s (Glendale)
Price: $2.29
Size: 10.29 ounces
Calories per ounce: 101
Type: Chew
Review Rating: 6 out of 10
In Short: Twizzlers has created a candy no one asked for. It might actually have been worse if the caramel twist was on the outside and it was filled with green apple goo.

Laffy Taffy Caramel AppleName: Laffy Taffy Caramel Apple (Limited Edition)
Brand: Wonka (Nestle)
Place Purchased: Ralph’s (Glendale)
Price: $2.50
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 102
Type: Chew
Review Rating: 5 out of 10
In Short: These are definitely tangy, but lack a good caramel flavor, which is too bad because the texture is quite nice.

See's Caramel Apple PopsName:Caramel Apple Lollypops
Brand: See’s Candies
Place Purchased: See’s (The Grove)
Price: $.65
Size: .7 ounces each
Calories per ounce: 100 (70 each)
Type: Hard Candy/Caramel
Review Rating: 7 out of 10
In Short: See’s makes an excellent caramel pop, and these have just a touch of apple flavor to them. But if you’re really in a caramel mood, just get the regular flavor.

Russell Stover Big Bite Caramel AppleName: Big Bite Caramel Apple
Brand: Russell Stover
Place Purchased: Walgreen’s (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 135
Type: Chocolate/Caramel/Peanuts
Review Rating: 7 out of 10
In Short: For the most part, these are just well-rounded caramel patties with the added interest of an apple flavoring. The crushed peanuts on one version add a new dimension to this category.

Jolly Rancher Caramel Apple LollipopsName: Jolly Rancher Caramel Apple Lollipops
Brand: Jolly Rancher (Hershey’s)
Place Purchased: Target (WeHo)
Price: $2.69
Size: 9.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: 109
Type: Lollipop
Review Rating: 5 out of 10
In Short: If you’re looking for a very sour version of a caramel apple candy, look no further. If you’re looking for authentic apple flavor or caramel texture ... move along.

Charms Super Blow Pop Caramel AppleName: Super Blow Pop Caramel Apple
Brand: Charms (Tootsie)
Place Purchased: Walgreen’s (Studio City)
Price: $.89
Size: 1.125 ounces
Calories per ounce: 101
Type: Hard Candy/Gum
Review Rating: 4 out of 10
In Short: The gum is terrible.

Shurms Soft Candy Chews: Caramel AppleName: Caramel Apple and Caramel Coffee Soft Candy Chews
Brand: Shurms Candy
Place Purchased: samples from Shurms Candy
Price: $4.59
Size: 3 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Type: Jelly/Caramel
Review Rating: 7 out of 10
In Short: This is by far the most inventive version of this flavor combination with a good caramel and interesting pectin jelly candy. They’re also beautiful.

Tootsie Caramel Apple Pops - Green AppleName: Caramel Apple Pops: Orchard Assortment
Brand: Tootsie
Place Purchased: Rite Aid (Glendale)
Price: $2.99
Size: 15 ounces
Calories per ounce: 94
Type: Caramel/Hard Candy
Review Rating: 6 out of 10
In Short: Though I didn’t give them a high rating, these are probably the favorite for most people. The apple candy base is reliable and the caramel coating, though sticky and not appetizing to look at, is smooth and creamy.

Milky Way Caramel Apple MinisName: Limited Edition Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: CVS (Bryn Mawr, PA)
Price: $4.49
Size: 11.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 125
Type: Chocolate/Nougat/Caramel
Review Rating: 6 out of 10
In Short: This is a confusing mess, as it combines both nougat and caramel with the apple flavor then throws chocolate on top. I think shifting this over to the Simply Caramel version might be more successful, but what do I know? This has been coming back as a seasonal item for four years now.

Werther's Original Caramel Apple FilledName: Werther’s Original Caramel Apple Filled Hard Candies
Brand: Storck
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store
Price: $1.00
Size: 2.65 ounces
Calories per ounce: 118
Type: Toffee
Review Rating: 6 out of 10
In Short: It’s interesting to see a German take on this combination, especially since Werther’s is so great with caramel. Though they’re not bad, they’re not as good as the traditional caramels that they do.

Caramel Apple Sugar BabiesName: Caramel Apple Sugar Babies
Brand: Tootsie
Place Purchased: samples from All Candy Expo
Price: $1.00
Size: 5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 112
Type: Caramel/Sour
Review Rating: 6 out of 10
In Short: Sugar Babies are great, don’t mess with them. If you want a caramel apple version, just eat some apples with your Sugar Babies.

Milk Maid Caramel Apple Candy CornName: Milk Maid Caramel Apple Candy Corn
Brand: Brach’s
Place Purchased: Long’s (Dublin, CA)
Price: $1.49
Size: 9.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Type: Halloween/Caramel
Review Rating: 5 out of 10
In Short: The color is weird, but the quality is good. I didn’t care for them, but like many of the other candies profiled here, they’ve been returning for years so someone must like them.

Goetze's Apple Caramel CreamsName: Apple Caramel Creams
Brand: Goetze’s
Place Purchased: Giant Eagle (Liberty, OH)
Price: 1.00
Size: 12 ounces
Calories per ounce: 108
Type: Caramel
Review Rating: 5 out of 10
In Short: In retrospect I think these were worse than they actually were.

Hershey's Caramel Apple KissesName: Caramel Apple Kisses
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Hershey’s Chocolate World
Price: $3.00
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 128
Type: Chocolate/Caramel
Review Rating: 5 out of 10
In Short: Hershey’s has really pared down its list of seasonal items, and these did not make the cut, probably compared to the Pumpkin Spice Kisses, which are made with less actual chocolate content.

Bonus Candies (reviews are coming):
Brach’s Milk Maid Apple Caramel Royals: Enveloped in Brach’s signature caramel and crafted with real milk, each piece is like a home-made caramel apple straight from the cookie sheet… without the seeds or stick to get in the way. (Now reviewed.)
RM Palmer Caramel Apple Cups: Bite into one of these individually-wrapped chocolaty cups with a caramel apple flavored center and find out why everyone’s falling in love with Caramel Apple Cups! (I’ve searched 3 Walgreen’s, 2 Targets, 2 Rite Aids, Cost Plus World Market, KMart and a CVS ... I cannot find these on store shelves.)

Conclusion: This is no great caramel apple candy ... that won’t keep me from trying them, but I’d prefer to focus on flavors that do make great candy.

Related Candies

  1. Halloween Candy Spotting 2013
  2. 10 Underrated Candies
  3. Halloween Candy Spotting 2012
  4. 6 Candy Corn Candies That Aren’t Candy Corn
  5. The 110 Essential Candies for Candivores
  6. Four 99%-100% Chocolate

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:24 pm     CandyHalloweenHighlightFun StuffComments (1)

Candyology 101 - Podcast Episode 1

I’ve been a guest on Marvo‘s podcast The Nosh Show a few times now, so we thought maybe a podcast devote just to candy might be fun. So candy blogging buddies Lauren from Candy Bar Reviews and Maria from Sometimes Foodie and I will be getting together twice a month to run down the sweet news on Candyology 101. Our first episode is about Halloween candy.

Brach's Autumn Mix

You can listen here or check out the website for full links to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or via RSS.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:29 am     Behind the ScenesCandyHalloweenHighlightRadio InterviewsComments (2)

Page 4 of 551 pages ‹ First  < 2 3 4 5 6 >  Last ›

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

Halloween Candy Season Ends

-21 days

Read previous coverage

 

 

Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

image

ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Orgran Molasses Licorice

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Godiva Chef Inspirations

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

• Dandelion Chocolate

 

 

image