I had posted earlier about how Serious Eats had finally given Economy Candy the glowing write-up that it deserves. After they bought all of Economy Candy’s gummi animals, they turned them into an adorable Serious Eats ark (photo from Serious Eats):
They even put up a giant hi-res version in case you wanted to sweeten up your desktop background.
Roberts Ferry Nuts Company is a California company that just started selling their wares online. To get the word out, they sent me free samples of their Butter Toffee Almonds for review.
The almonds came in a clear standup pouch with a simple label. They were roasted almonds coated in a crunchy toffee shell.
The coverage of that shell was uneven – some almonds were completely covered with a thick layer, while others were only partially covered or thinly coated.
The toffee shell was sweet with a hearty crunch that shattered when I bit it. It was buttery and sugary sweet with just a hint of saltiness.
The almonds within those shells were high quality. They had been roasted, which brought out some great nutty almond flavors.
I found the Butter Toffee Almonds to be deliciously sweet and crunchy and rather addictive. An OM.
If you’ve got leftover Halloween candy around (or if you loaded up at the post-Halloween candy sales), Serious Eats has an idea for what to do with it: flavor your booze! They’ve got an extremely comprehensive guide to candy and booze pairings on their site.
Via AdFreak, here’s a cool video of a marketing stunt that Milka ran in Argentina. People had to make a human chain connecting a Milka cow and a vending machine.
When the chain was complete, free chocolate for everyone!
I bought this Ritter Sport Winter Edition Caramelised Almond at Cost Plus World Market, along with last Friday’s Caramel-Orange. I was lucky to nab the last one of these that was on the shelf!
This solid milk chocolate bar was generously embedded with bits of caramelized almonds. Those nuts brought a slightly crystallized crunch to the texture of the snappy chocolate.
Those almonds had a toffee flavor from the caramelized sugar that they were toasted in and brought a strong roasted nuttiness. They paired well with the sweet milk chocolate, making this bar a crunchy, nutty, burnt-sugary, chocolately treat.
I think I would’ve liked this bar a bit more if it had been just a little less sweet. The milk chocolate had a hint of sour tinge and throat burn, but it was mild enough that I could get over it and focus on the great caramelized almond bits. An OM.
I’ve raved before about how Cost Plus World Market is a fantastic resource for new and unusual candies. I recently visited and found two Winter Edition Ritter Sports by accident – they were shelved far away from the regular Ritter Sports and other chocolates.
In fact, they weren’t really shelved at all; I found them in some sort of remaking displays purgatory.
I got the last Winter Edition Caramelised Almonds (which I’ll cover next week) and one of many Caramel-Orange that were left. Alas, they were out of Coconut Macaroon.
The Caramel-Orange had 16 squares of a milk chocolate sandwiching a golden brown caramel-orange ganache. The filling was thick and grainy and tasted of orange oil with a brown sugary finish. The citrus flavor was intensely fruity and orangey but without any tartness.
I found it a bit too sweet, and its finish took on a bit of a sour tinge. The milk chocolate was sweet as well, which only added to the sweetness of the overall treat.
I’m glad that I tried this, but the orange oil wasn’t enough to bring down the sweetness factor. An O.
The NY Times Recipe Lab recently featured the Mast Brothers discussing chocolate – they’re certainly qualified experts! The NY Times column also has a printed recipe for chocolate caramels. The video they made is embedded below.
Cake Wrecks recently posted a round-up of candy covered cakes that should never have happened. My favorite is the cake below: pumpkin Peeps all around the border, candy corn and gummi worms on top, and, of course, the perfectly correct label of “Fruit Topped Cheesecake.”
Photo from Cake Wrecks.
The See’s Candies stand has returned to my local mall for the holidays! When I saw it, I had to pick up a few of my favorite Scotchmallows, which are currently available in Christmas tree shapes, and I got this Butterscotch Pecan Bar while I was there.
The bar had a milk chocolate base, a generous layer of butterscotch sugar paste, and a topping of pecan quarters and halves. The butterscotch was the brown sugar and vanilla buttercream from their Butterscotch Square: a little grainy and super brown-sugar sweet.
See’s Butterscotch is the sweetest confection that I still love to eat. I think the brown sugar notes tone down the sweetness and keep it from becoming cloying.
The pecan bits were crunchy and nutty and did a great job balancing out the extreme sweetness of the butterscotch sugar. Finally, the milk chocolate base added a sweet milk chocolate flavor to the finish.
The chocolate was just an afterthought, though. It wasn’t super noticeable in the wake of all the other flavors going on.
The whole treat was like an extra decadent bar of pecan pie, only without crust. And let’s face it, crust just gets in the way of the good stuff. An OM.
I usually buy my Kasugai gummies at Asian grocery stores, but I found this bag of ramune flavored gummies at a Cost Plus World Market. If you’re not familiar with ramune (not to be confused with ramen!), it’s a lemon-lime Asian soda that’s usually kept in a uniquely marble-stoppered bottle.
Like all Kasugai gummies, these guys were individually wrapped and labeled. These were decorated with a little fizzy ramune bottle design. The gummis themselves were round with a striking translucent seafoam coloring.
They had an awesome soft, bouncy chew that yielded to my bite but still had some sproing to it. The flavor was sweetly floral to start, then took on a citrus fizziness.
When I ate them very slowly and carefully, I detected a slightly off undertone that made the gummi remind me a bit of diet Sprite. When chomped more quickly, as normal people would consume gummies, that slight undertone was undetectable.
Overall, these tasted like a cleaner, crisper version of Sprite with some bonus floral notes. An OM. My only complaint is the individual wrappers – so much trash from so few gummies!