I'm biting into a Caramel Pecan Puddle from the Baraboo Candy Company right now. It's got that just off the cooling rack, gooey fresh taste. The amount and texture of the chocolate is perfect, the pecans are fresh and crisp and nutty; the caramel is expertly layered, falling in thin strands with every greedy bite.
It's not a bad way to sweeten the sting of a visit to Ho Chunk.
I can only imagine how its cousin, the Caramel Cashew Puddle, melts in your mouth, but the other nut puddles ended up in someone else's refrigerator before they got a chance to melt in the clutches of the Candy Dish. Boo Caramel Puddles also come in the stunning Caramel Macadamia. The puddles that caught my eye are called "Royals," possibly because of their exposed crown of nuts and caramel. Or maybe because they're a kind of turtle candy royalty.
"Instead of fully enrobed, it's got the chocolate on the top and the bottom, but yet you see the caramels and the nuts, more so the Macadamia and the cashew are that way," says Ralph Pierce (see The Badger Claw Revisited).
Don't be ashamed to brush up the puddle scraps with your fingers—I know you want to.
For bite-size turtle candy, there are peanut covered Green Bay Puddles which come in a 3 oz. green and yellow box with the slogan "Tackle One Today!" They're good for prepackaged novelty candy, and found in the same places you'll find Badger Claws or Udderfingers. (Around here that's Brennan's and the Kelly's Mobil.)
But if you get a chance, stop by the source and get a load of what's in those barrels. You'll find the entire Cow Pie collection along the wall, and jars and barrels of bars, meltaways, peanut brittle, hard candy, and the mandatory salt water taffy and homemade fudge, all a mere cow chip toss away from the casino.
The Baraboo Candy Sign photo may or may not have been taken by my cousin, Nanci, who grabbed my camera then waltzed off toward the highway