Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Topping It Off: Sanders Milk Chocolate Fudge

Then there was the eating of the ice cream. We grabbed two premium vanillas from the Kwick-E-Mart, and cracked them open.
It was hard to get past the luscious layer of chocolate ganache on our first pint (no babies drank beer during the filming of this video), and it was the Dove ice cream that was the talk of the table.

Dove ice creamAfter cleaning up the mess I made tunneling past the barrier du ganache, we (by we I mean Pam) heated up the Sanders Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge topping, and poured it on.
It got an "ummm," an "okay," and a "I wouldn't buy it." Pam and Nanci found it, in turn, too sugary, and too heavy on the caramel, wanting more chocolate fudge. I thought it was alright, but would probably grab a jar of Smuckers instead. Pam is standing by Mrs. Richardson's.
Once again, my parents snarfed up the leftovers, loving every drop. My mother said it reminded her of the corner drug store of her childhood.
Post Script: The Sanders Cinnamon Pear Caramel was the hands down winner of all the Sanders products, and immediately got yoinked from the table and sent to a dorm room in Milwaukee. The Dish regretfully moved on to other sweets before posting that video.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

More Caramel or More Teeth?

Here's the video from the Chocolate Caramel taste test, a thinly disguised excuse to play with iMovie during the latest weather.
The three of us agreed it could use more caramel, the baby abstained.
Verdict: Delicious

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sanders Milk Chocolate Caramels

chocolate caramelA pleasure to bite into, I ate most of these caramels before our *panel got a chance to.
Sanders Milk Chocolate Caramels are full flavored with a generous glob of caramel making them worth the chew.
I tasted dark chocolate, which is drizzled across the top and sides, the others tasted only milk chocolate. I didn't like this accent because I don't like darkchoclate carmel chocolate, which I'm working on.
The best part is the mouthful of rich, soft, and addictive caramel.
Sucking the chocolates down to their savory caramel center was a treat, especially when you've got all the candy.
Sanders Milk Chocolate Caramels would be welcome anywhere, except maybe Jenny Craig.
*Three middle-aged women and a baby

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sanders Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patties

Sanders tells us they're known more for dessert toppings than candy, but our panel literally spilt down the middle (see video) during a recent taste test. We sampled Dark Chocolate Peppermints Patties and Milk Chocolate Caramels, then Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge and Cinnamon Pear dessert toppings. One topping and one candy prevailed.
Most of the chocolate covered caramels went missing before arriving at the test kitchen. Okay, I ate all but two, but we're talking about the mint patties now.
Neither Pam nor Nanci cared for the Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patties, and I didn't like them much at first, especially compared to the caramels. We all agreed they were heavily imbued with peppermint, and Nanci, who apparently has a thing for Junior Mints, found them too large. Pam couldn't taste the chocolate, and she wants to taste the chocolate.
I found one of the mints sitting in a wax bag next to the computer a few days later, and was better able to appreciate the icy filling and thin dark coating. It seemed like more of a refreshing breath mint this time round. I'd eat an even larger one, and think they'd go well halved in a dish of ice cream. All but the few we sampled were eaten within 24 hours (I'm guessing less) after leaving the box with my parents.
I thought the patties a creamy mint tonic that grew on you, Pam and Nanci thought the peppermint overwhelmed an oversized candy.

Friday, February 16, 2007


While I'm cooking up that chocolate fish and sorting through digital photos from the last taste test, have a look 'round Chocoblog.
Here's why I love it: today they talk about Chocolate Heaven Chilli Lips. Not enough? Okay, they're British. And if the countless references to Ab Fab don't tell you, I'm a bit of an Anglophile. There, I said it.
Bonus: Dom also talks about Tim Tam biscuits (Kit Kats with a chocolate mousse filling—what would be the equilalent?) and makes an Aussie joke about "yoghurt " and culture. I'm not sure why I find Brits joking about Australians so funny.
Note: I found the new Flake video, from the 2-15 post, easier to watch at Cadbury.
Meanwhile, meet Payton (as in Walter, not Manning), one of our cutest tast testers.

baby PaytonThis just in...Dom says the Tim Tam post was written by an Aussie (see comment).

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Muddy Waters

chocolate fishSometimes you have to buy candy for the package, and this just gurgled "Who cares what I taste like?" (Much like fish out of these lakes.) I didn't know whether to hang it next to the Hamm's sign or clean it and put it in the freezer.
The Palmer's milk chocolate bass comes in a cardboard valentine's box framed with birch logs and a Trivia Quiz on the back.
Quick Quiz: Largemouth bass like clear water or weeds and mud? (see title)
There is some detail on the chocolate itself and it's ribbed (for her pleasure) on the back. It has a cute pectoral fin, and the smell of it is making me sick. (Much like the lakes.)chocolate fish unwrappedThis fish is meant to be sent as a valentine, yet here I am biting its head off. If you send the foiled creature as a gift, you have two message options: "You're A Keeper" or "I'm hooked on you." A third could be: "Thanks For Not Being Choosy."
The commercial is-it-really-chocolate chocolate is about what you'd expect from such a hilarious gift. It reminds me of unwrapped Easter candy lost in the basket—I can almost taste bits of Peep and Easter grass.
Up Next: An informal round table taste test of Sanders chocolates and dessert toppings.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Badger Claw Candy

Badger Claw candyI found some lovely Badger Claws next to the Cow Pies the other day. Perfect for Valentine's Day. When I asked the girl at the market if the claw was related to the pie, she said "no." Experience with this store made me look at the package with my good glasses.
I discovered very little from the label. The white coated caramel clusters are distributed by L&L Foods in Verona, which was disturbing because the only information I could find on them was a warning letter from the FDA. There was also a reminder to "Enjoy the original COW PIE!"
A clue? Just more bad news because the Cow Pie people's website isn't fully functioning, and while a staple of many a trip to our friends at the Ho-Chunk Nation, I believe they are a long distance phone call.
Getting looks, so I'll just say I love a cashew, and I love the combination of white chocolate, cashews, and caramel. It didn't stick to my real teeth much and the whole thing had a salty-sweet overtone, made extra sweet by the white coating.
Here I must add that "white coating" does not mean "white chocolate," which is made with cocoa butter. And that white chocolate is not considered real chocolate because it is only made with the fat part of the cocoa bean and does not contain chocolate liquor.
The folks at Gem City Candy suggest the Badger Claw is made right here at the University of Wisconsin. This makes sense given the Bucky Badger logo on the wrapper.
The Badger Claw is sweet, slightly salty, and buttery, with just the right amount of nutty snap and delicious caramel. The white coating gives it a unique, if not sweeter taste than other caramel clusters.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Snag Me That Porterhouse and We'll Talk

Roscoe,VixenWhen the National Confectioner's Association reported that "Pets give out and receive only 1 percent of all gifts" on Valentine's Day, I had to laugh, ha ha.
"Only" you say?
With whom are they exchanging presents? The mailman? Each other?
If you've ever seen a black lab scarf down anything in a gift shaped box, you know it's a gift that keeps on giving. And I can think of a less pleasant valentine than a heart shaped box of chocolates.
Three cheers for gift giving dogs.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Kissy Lip Pops

Lip PopsSure to make any dentist cringe, Kissy Big Stuff Lip Pops come packaged with a pink valentine and plastic Paris Lips.
The fruit flavored candy bulb is gripped between your teeth and the flavor is anything but subtle. I tried Wild Blue Raspberry, which is more flavorful than a Blue Raspberry Tootsie Roll Pop, and smells like blue cotton candy.
Sugar Buzz
Sidetrack: There's a new Lemon-Lime flavor Tootsie Roll Pop. Yum.
Lip Pops have a high drool factor, which can gather in the hallow end of the toy. Be on high drool alert if you feel tempted to remove the pop from your mouth mid suck. And, your saliva will turn the color of the candy. Appetizing, no?
The hard candy melts at a nice pace, and the lips are easily held between fingers and thumb for a more sophisticated lollipop.
NanciLeaving the paper heart while adding Groucho glasses and a Pez dispenser is another option.
Kissy Lip Pops can be found in almost any candy aisle alongside the Valentine's Day or novelty candy.
Flix Candy also makes projector pops and rings, which supposedly shine ten feet. There are cupid, heart, and lip images for Valentine's Day.
I can't wait to try their Peep's Marshmallow Lollipop slider this Easter.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Jet-Puffed Strawberry Mallows

pink marshmallowsWhen I saw these on the grocery store shelf, I had to have them. And bonus, they were a hit at the checkout counter.
You know what a marshmallow tastes like. They taste like that. Except when you put them in hot chocolate, and the strawberry melts off the puff in sweet, creamy slicks. I recommend at least two per cup.
Bonus bonus, they have a squishy sound when eaten with your mouth open—we don't need no stinkin' manners.
Marshmallows are a weird food suitable for many things: Camping, dieting, baking, pelting your friends while pretending to aim for their mouths.
Bonus bonus bonus, there's a Choking Warning on the back telling people to, "Eat one at a time." Has someone at Kraft seen where boredom and stupidity can lead? Did Eddy have a point about taxing just "the stupid people?"
I beg you, no matter how tedious things get, drive me to rehab if I ever cut a marshmallow into five pieces with a scissors then arrange it in flower shapes.
There are more "Berry Fun Ideas" on the back.
The Strawberry Mallow Cheesecake Squares look hideous, and I'm way ahead of them on smashing marshmallows in between cookies and shoving the mess into a microwave.
Of course the corner stone of marshmallow cuisine is the Rice Krispie square, and the pink tones are perfect for the holiday.
Mmmm, red dye #40. Happy Valentine's Day, Allied Chemical!