Holidays are all about enjoying food so there is no better time to give a palate pleaser than now. Not everyone is a foodie but nearly everyone appreciates wholesome, delicious food like pure maple syrup, colossal roasted cashews, creamy, rich peanut butter cups or almond cups, award winning crispy potato chips made with extra virgin olive oil, dark chocolate mint meltaways, fresh fruit, and chewy, sweet dates. To wash all that down, consider Fever Tree drinks: tonic, club soda, or ginger ale. Read more
Nearly 100 years in 1928, Harry Burnett (“HB”) Reese created the peanut butter cup – that quintessential combination of chocolate and peanut butter that became one of America’s favorite candy confections. Although the classic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup will always hold a special place in culinary history, dozens of variations have since been created based on the simple idea of blending chocolate with a nut butter to make the ultimate candy treat.
My personal favorite peanut butter cup is made by Eat Chic Chocolates – a Brooklyn-based company that specializes in handcrafted chocolate filled with house made nut and seed butters. Read more
In my ongoing search for a healthier alternative to the sugary and additive filled confections offered in supermarkets, I came upon Nelly’s Organics: a line of scrumptious certified organic candy bars in the refrigerated section of a Fresh Market that sell for just $2.99 a bar (note: most certified organic chocolate bars cost two or three times as much). With no preservatives (which is why they are in the refrigerated section), additives, dyes, powders, fillers, by-products, nutritional supplements, or added stimulants, Nelly’s Organics contain real ingredients that have been certified organic. Read more
Say the word “lolly” or “lollipop” and visions of everyone’s favorite childhood treat – big, round, rainbow-colored, tangy, fruity-flavored multi-colored lollipops – comes to mind. Mitch Hedberg, the stand-up comedian once said “a lollipop is a cross between hard candy and garbage,” but he didn’t quite get it right. Sure, there are lots of lollipops made with artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives but the traditional, magnificent lollipop made with simple ingredients and no artificial anything is also out there for the taking. You just have to look. Read more
Some baby boomer candy aficionados are old enough to remember the commercial where Mr. Owl asked the rhetorical question: “how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop?” According to Mr. Owl, the answer is “three” but that’s because he bit into the pop to get to the Tootsie Roll center (patience wasn’t one of his virtues). The actual answer is 252-364 licks according to a group of engineering students at Perdue University. But, that’s besides the point. The real issue is the Tootsie Roll center because that’s what Mr. Owl and every fan of the Tootsie Roll wants. Read more
People who follow a plant-based diet may be considered heathens – people who do not follow or belong to a widely held belief or faith – of a different sort because they don’t subscribe to the standard American diet (SAD) – a diet with a heavy emphasis on animal products and highly processed foods.
But being plant-based doesn’t mean you have to give up favorite treats because there are some incredible alternatives out there. Take toffee – a crunchy, rich candy typically made with butter, sugar, almonds, chocolate, and salt – a holiday favorite (although I used to eat toffee all year long). Without butter, how could toffee possibly be toffee? Read more
Back in 1971, a commercial for Goobers (chocolate covered peanuts) and Raisinets (chocolate covered raisins) came out with the jingle
Goobers and Raisinets, Goobers and Raisinets, the chocolate covered candies that pour..
that still pops into my head whenever I see a box of Raisinets. As iconic as that jingle is, I can’t bring myself to ever buy or eat Raisinets because of the ingredients, which include dark chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, milk fat, soy lecithin, nonfat milk, lactose, artificial & natural flavors), raisins, sugar, tapioca dextrin, confectioner’s glaze (lac-resin), and alkalized cocoa. Read more
Marzipan is often known as almond paste in the United States and is generally reserved for holidays or specialty cakes but only because Americans haven’t really discovered the wonders of this nutty, chewy treat. Traditional marzipan is made with ground almonds blended with sugar or honey but modern marzipan can also be made with pistachios or hazelnuts.
Chewy and sweet, marzipan is the perfect ingredient for a candy bar because the combination of dark chocolate covered marzipan is a contrast in flavors (nuts and rich creamy chocolate) and textures (hard and chewy). Read more