Monday, February 28, 2011

It's hard to go wrong with a gummi (that's a very interesting link).
These Trolli Gummi Bunnies, out long before Easter, are cute and tasty enough while losing some detail because of size, shape, and color. Let's face it, not many of us are going to be checking, but kids are into color and there's enough of a rabbit and pretty colors for almost anyone. I like the white ones best.
Trolli Classic Bears are some of my favs, and I know a few aficionados who foam at the mouth for Peachie Os, yet these gummy rabbits are heavy on the fruit flavor and taste a little powdery.

Even so, they're fine and fun and will go over well in a large basket, individually in a plastic egg, or as a single Easter treat.
Looking over Trolli's website, I realize I've never tried their Sour Cherry Bombers, about five years late on that one, but why does the package say "New?" 
I'm grabbing stuff off the shelves early this year and revisiting staples suck as Reese's Peanut Butter Easter Eggs, although not a big cup fan. I'm trying to build a virtual Easter basket which will include crowd pleasers and things that go well in a plastic egg.
Stay tuned and for heaven's sake brush your teeth.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Back To (Easter Candy) Basics: Cadbury Mini Eggs

I was surprised at the response I got to this quick pic I took at the State Street Walgreen's on Saturday (friend the Dish on Facebook to see comments from February 20).

It seems that people like Easter candy.
I've got great memories of baskets and until recently made some pretty elaborate ones.
First up and ahead of schedule are my favorites from the Basic Basket Building category: Cadbury mini eggs.

That ugly salmonella business in the UK aside, Cadbury is one of my go to chocolates. Although not a chocolate snob, and admittedly less skilled in the subtleties of the bean, I heart cocoa.
The Mini Egg shell seems a little thick but easily wears down. If you suck it will it not melt?
The disintegration of the candy shell is a very pleasant experience. The color stays while the shell thins and breaks apart allowing you to crunch the candy and savor the chocolate.
There's an almost sharp taste which muscles Cadbury chocolate. The kind of sharp which makes sharp cheddar better than mild, the kind of sharp which says I'm a little richer than normal, but not overwhelming. It says I might be milk chocolate, but I have personality too.
Another reason I like these eggs is because you can put them in Easter grass or use them to fill colorful plastic eggs. They don't melt easily in nature, and can be man handled by adults and children without dire consequences. They're a crowd pleaser and like jelly beans and the Peep, building blocks for any Easter basket.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chocolate Cream Hearts

I love the idea of a Valentine's Day cookie. It's not as messy as chocolate and you can do a lot more with decoration. They work well in February heat waves (it's 42° right now) and this kind of swelter could shock a box of Wisconsin chocolates.
The Chocolate Cream Hearts were next to the Mini Marzipan Jewels, but can't compare.
This is a heavy creme filled monster that is best eaten like an Oreo. It's difficult to take a civilized bite out of the thing en masse, but is still fun to eat and boasts a fluffy cocoa filling.

It doesn't, however, compare to the blend and balance of the Marzipan Jewel. This didn't taste like a fresh or well preserved cookie, the icing was just all right, and the candy heart on top was a horrible bit of stale sugar and food coloring.
But it would be fine dunked in pieces and the chocolate creme center was a bulls eye.
It won't stop me from buying bakery at Clasen's, which not only has great samples (the blueberry coffee cake they had out is still on my mind), but boasts more hits than misses.
Wonder if they'll be making King Cake this year.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pastry Is Sugar Too

Today's search for interesting and delectable Valentine's Day candy took me to a bakery. And not just any bakery, Clasen's Bakery.
There I found these.

These gems are Clasen's Mini Marzipan Jewels. They're double stacked and sport a sticky sweet glaze and a generous fruit center. I don't know if the red violet fruit is raspberry or plum, but I do know it's the perfect amount of something.
These heavenly hearts taste distinctly European, and the possibly plum jam compliments the sticky almond marzipan crunch to perfection. They're light in appearance and substantial in taste.
Clasen's Mini Marzipan Jewels have changed my mind about marzipan for ever.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Why Not Ju Ju Hearts

Don't make me drag out the Gummi Pyramid.
It was nice to find candy outside a heart shaped box in the Walgreens holiday aisle today. Who knows what's lurking in those boxes and how long they've been lurking. If it were the kind of chocolate you'd want to spend money and calories on, I don't think it'd be wrapped in cardboard and plastic. Would it?
Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But be still my faded gummi heart, I found a container of Ferrara Pan pink and red Ju Ju Hearts on the top shelf begging to be photographed in 5 degree weather. You know the name, it not only represents some of the best anytime candy—Grapeheads, Cherryheads, Lemonheads, Red Hots, Jaw Busters, the sassy Atomic Fireball, but keeps reminding me that you come across some of the best candy at gas stations and hardware stores.
I'd put these Ju Ju Hearts (3 for $4.00 at Walgreens) up there with Uncle Oinker's Gummy Bacon and Haribo Sour S'ghetti, they're that good.

They look cold. Cold, but delicious. I'm going to have one right now.  
It's a satisfying chew without jaw dislocation. The red hearts have just the right amount of something vaguely cherry and the pink could easily be strawberry. 
Some of them even sport tiny little swirls of the opposite color. Bonus.
I love these gummi ju ju hearts, move aside chocolate (unless it's the really good kind).