Every time I go to Ikea, I see bags of Daim chocolates and consider buying them. But I never do because they’re good-sized bags, and it seems like too much candy for me to buy at once. When you have a stash as big as mine, you don’t want to add large bags of all the same candy. Fortunately, they can be bought in manageable single bars all over England, so I was able to give them a try.

I like that the bars are boldly emblazoned with the price so I don’t have to worry about being overcharged by one convenience store or the other. Thirty-eight pence (about $0.75 with today’s weak dollar) is a solid deal for a bar in the U.K.,and the Daim is more than worth it.

The Daim is quite like a Heath or Skor bar (by the way, can anyone explain why Hershey’s makes two nearly identical bars?) in that it’s chocolate over toffee. The Daim, however, bills its center (or centre) as almond caramel, and I think the almond really makes a difference.

The toffee center of the Daim is crisp and nutty thanks to those additional almonds. The darkly flavored toffee center cleaves cleanly upon being bitten and has a great crunch to it. It kind of gets stuck in your molars but not impossibly so. The milk chocolate coatings is quite sweet, and while it stops short of being cloying, I would like to try a dark chocolate version of the Daim.

I found this bar quite enjoyable, but I love toffee, so my OMG for this may be biased. Then again, David Lebovitz loved it, and Clotilde designed a delicious-looking recipe around it: gateaux aux Daims.

Swedish cookies from Ikea

A week or so ago, I went to Ikea (BUY) with my friend Cassie, who needed cheap furniture for her new apartment. I love poking around Ikea and checking out all the cute, clever, and weird things they sell.

I got a soft-serve frozen yogurt at the cafe near the exit (well, Cassie bought it for me because she had a mini-meltdown and took a break to buy a soda. Ikea can be overwhelmingly large sometimes.) that turned out to be a weirdly translucent cream color. It tasted funny to me, but I usually don’t eat frozen yogurt (the Commons soft serve is ice cream), so maybe fro-yo is supposed to taste…off.

I also picked up two kinds of Swedish cookies: Ballerinas and Gilles. Yes, I realize that cookies are not candy, but they feature chocolate, and that’s good enough for me. After all, Cybele at Candy Blog writes about Pocky (BUY) all the time, and that’s technically not candy too.

food-blog-pictures-022.jpgThe Ballerinas, as you can see from the wrapper, are “cookies with a chocolate hazelnut cream filling.” The cream filling is sandwiched between a solid round chocolate cookie and a O-shaped vanilla cookie, making the Ballerina quite aesthetically pleasing. I had high hopes for these because I’ve loved Nutella ever since my middle school French teacher introduced me to its deliciousness. And by love Nutella I mean I often stand before the giant jars of Nutella at Costco and daydream about how awesome it would be to eat it out of those ginormous jars by the pawful, like Winnie the Pooh going at a pot of hunny.

Back to the Ballerinas. The filling is fluffier than Nutella, with a consistency more like whipped frosting than peanut butter, but it still retains a strong hazelnut flavor, which was wonderful. I wish the cookies were similarly delicious; they turned out to be rather dull and bland in comparison. Think about the difference between an Oreo cookie and a generic store brand cookie. While it’s possible that too-strong cookies could overpower the Ballerina cream filling, I think there was still plenty of room for more flavor. If there weren’t starving children in the world, I’d go through the roll and just lick the filling off all the cookies. That, however, is wasteful and unladylike, so I will instead wonder if Nabisco will ever make an Oreo with a hazelnut filling.

food-blog-pictures-024.jpgThe Gille Double Chocolate Crisps were a decadent delight. They’re also horribly unhealthy because the world is unfair, but you should buy them and eat them anyway. You deserve it. Two thin, crisp cookies sandwich a generous portion of rich, yet sweet dark chocolate. The cookies were just sweet enough to compliment the chocolate without overwhelming it, like an extremely mild oatmeal cookie, and the cookie-to-chocolate ratio was excellent. Clotide on Chocolate and Zucchini posted a plea for a recipe to reproduce these, and it looks like her commenters responded, so you can try to bake these at home and save yourself a trip through Ikea.

If I have a chance to go back to Ikea, I’d like to buy some of the marshmallow petit four-looking things they keep in freezers in the food section. Have any of y’all tried those treats before?

Edit, 09/25/2007 – an O for the Ballerinas and an OMG for the Gilles.