Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Cadbury Double Chocolate Filled Hearts

Cadbury Dbl ChocSome of us have been snacking on Valentine's candy since shortly after Christmas. In an effort to weed out the bland from the grand, we've decided to make several trips to the candy aisle over the next two weeks.
A sacrifice, yes, but that's how we roll. In sugar.
First up, Cadbury Double Chocolate Filled Hearts.
Although manufactured by Hershey's, they're pure Cadbury. (Cadbury Eggs, btw, were already hatching at Walgreen's.)
Grand? Not quite. Bland? Never. The double hearts are a milky smooth Cadbury chocolate with a drippy chocolate filling.
And that they are. Rich and sweet and surprisingly filling for 59 cents. This candy asks you to wait an hour before diving into another pool of chocolate.
Bottom Line: Better than average chocolate with a gooey center which drips like pizza cheese. You taste every last calorie.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dishing Nostalgia: Debbie's Sweets 'n Treats

Mark,DebbieDebbie and Mark Maley love candy. Especially classic candy. And so do those lucky enough to discover Debbie's Sweets 'n Treats in Oak Creek, WI.
The South Howell Avenue store opened in 1998, NostalgicCandy.com went up in 2000.
Debbie's has taken a greater interest in gumballs, Pez, and Wonka since I've been over by da southside der.
In addition, they've moved down the road, and scored Pucker Powder and Blackjack Taffy.
Debbie waxes nostalgic about making their own black mustaches and orange harmonicas.
The Classic CornerHershey bar
Memorabilia and nostalgic candy lovers are major reasons why the store is 400 square feet bigger.
"We were finding that a lot of people come in looking for memorabilia," says Debbie.
The sweet shop cut back on their novelty section, with more changes likely to be made in favor of nostalgia.
"It’s very rare that you see anything actually go from the novelty section for the kids," Debbie says. "It’s like they high tail it straight to the Classic Corner too."
They've also beefed up the Pez section (mmm, beef Pez).

If my math is correct (and it usually isn't), Debbie and Mark are tail end Boomers. Debbie originally thought of opening an old general candy store, when husband Mark suggested targeting the '50s, '60s, and '70s.
"Even the kids now are taking after their parents, their grandparents, and they’re going for the
little wax juice bottles. Of course candy cigarettes will always be a big thing no matter how old, how young you are."
Smack me with a baby seal, but I like my chocolate cigarettes to look like Winstons, and my bubble gum Round Ups to blow fake smoke.

The Maleys have learned a few things over the past almost decade, such as checking on an item's availability for themselves.

They can track down Hot Cinnamon Toothpicks. They can envision a soda glass filled with marshmallow and root beer float gumballs.
May their bubble gum galaxy keep expanding.

beanie and poodle photo from Mark Maley

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Christmas Leftovers: Fear Is A Factor

Debbie of Debbie's Sweets 'n Treats said they cut back on their novelty candy section for kids. Here's a leftover vid from Christmas which might explain why.
If you don't eat your worms, you can't have any pudding.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sugar Buzz: Love Me Reese's

sugar beeI think my girls look a little "buzzed" in this old photoDempsey girls from the old Stevens restaurant. And I don't remember Elvis eating a peanut butter and banana sandwich in that painting. Someone has been up to mischief.
Here is the Buzz: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are adding a limited edition peanut butter and banana cup based on the famous Elvis snack. It will drop as the kids say, sometime around the 30th anniversary of his death, August 16.
Maybe you already knew that, but it came up in a lovely conversation I had with Debbie Maley from Debbie's Sweets 'n Treats this morning.
Their website got the once over, and she took time out for a chat. Her hubby Mark is sending photos, and we'll soon tell you what's new in Oak Creek.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Chocolate Pop Rocks

Pop RocksFirst Cola Pez and now Chocolate Pop Rocks.
Life is good.
I thought I was just at the video store to find the fourth season of Oz, but was instead destined to find a pack of Limited Edition Rich Milk Chocolate Pop Rocks With A Kick lying on the counter.
And yes to all of that. They're Rich. Milk. Chocolate. With A Kick. Don't know how limited they are, but I'm stocking up.
There are still tiny Pop Rock voices in my head after downing a pouch five minutes ago. It's like swimming in cold water for two hours, or maybe just the first signs of insanity.
There's a thick, almost powdery texture to the Cocoa Krispie look-a-likes. It reminds me of really good cheese popcorn. The chocolate is soft and melty. The coating is as rich and generous as you can get on a speck of candy the size of glitter.
I haven't noticed Chocolate Pop Rocks any place else in the so-called real world, but then again I haven't been looking. A few places to buy them online are at Groovy Candies (speaking of Willy St.), Blair Candy, and candyfavorites.com.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Trader Joe's

Trader Joe'sBilled as "your neighborhood grocery store," Trader Joe's is a large national chain with a store in Madison and another in Glendale on N. Port Washington.
This one is a few blocks from Camp Randall, and serves as a crowd-drawing addition to the Monroe St. neighborhood.
Warning: Do not go with someone who can turn a 20 minute browse into a two hour buying frenzy worthy of a survivalist at the millenium.
It's a fun place to go on a slow weekend. There were shelves of healthy snacks being restocked by clerks sprawled in the aisle, and wandering young hippies happy to talk about health food. It's basically a health food store with some interesting food trinkets tossed in. You can find a shrink wrapped leg of lamb around the corner from a chunk of halvah next to a ten pound block of chocolate three aisles away from a pack of "organic" tampons.
It is not, however, a place to buy candy.
Hats off to Monroe St., but you're better off to have a nosh at New Orleans Take-Out, take a stroll around the shops, then travel west until you run into James J.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Popcorn Ball Has Dropped

JoeyHappy New Year, everybody!
Thanks for the popcorn ball recipes and tips.
To Sue: The Jell-O popcorn balls were easy to make and quite tasty.
However, I came up with a hard green blob at the bottom of the pan the first go round. I recommend staying in the kitchen rather than wrapping presents while watching It's a Wonderful Life as the syrup comes to a boil. Let's just say the whole thing went way past the hard ball stage.
I ended up with cherry, which one of my nephews claimed to be allergic to, and a few Werther's.
The sailor boy got a mixed bucket.
It took me an entire pack of Werther's Chewy Caramels to get 4-5 medium sized popcorn balls by melting them in a double boiler.
I still miss the Hershey's Classic Caramels, which were available up until a few years ago.