Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rolling In Sugar

One of my favorite things to ogle is pastry at the Rolling Pin. (I've also cranked up the AC in 85° weather to feast on their mushroom beef barley and pumpkin curry soups.)
Sometimes the pastry ogles back. Their chocolate croissants are sweet and tender and quite flirtatious with a giddy chocolate center. Many of their baked goods are art. ("This is art. This is soup.")
Their pink cream puff swans are so attractive (I'd guess strawberry, but with them you never know) that I'd feel guilty eating one. The watermelon and s'more cookies, a sassy pair of picnic foods, leered back at me from behind the glass, so in the white bag they went.

watermelon cookieSugary and thick, you have to work at finishing a watermelon cookie. Great dunked, nibbled, waved under someone's nose, or just to celebrate getting your dental insurance back, this cookie can be refrigerated and saved for days with minimal taste loss.
The s'more, well that's pure evil in a baked good. It's huge, like most of their cookies, but has marshmallows sandwiched in between not one, but two thick chocolate chunk cookies. There's a lake of chocolate coating on top.

s'more cookie
It's a crumbly one, the s'more, and about as messy as a graham cracker. You can nibble it from the ends for days. Well, maybe two, three days tops. I'm not crazy about barely browned pie crusts or cookies, especially in something this doubly thick, but like the Rolling Pin's white chocolate raspberry (exquisite) and red velvet cookies, generous chunks-o-chocolate make you smile. And giggle. And dance around your apartment until you crash, vowing to eat nothing but fruit and raw vegetables for a week. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Wine Gums

wine gumsI found these gummies teetering between the PMS mints and the gummy bandages, not too far from the Hot Flash mints and Vertigo cookies.
Quelle surprise, there's a whole wine gum culture out there. Maynards and Pascall—what doesn't Cadbury Schweppes own—seem to be what people crave most.
Here's an interesting tidbit from the English Tea Store:
"Maynard's Wine Gums are no longer permitted to be imported into the USA because of the food colorings used in the candy. Norfolk Manor Wine Gums are made in the UK according to US specifications on food colorings."
First they steal Madonna (ta), then they Dixie Chick the Dixie Chicks, and now, tainted wine gums. What next, trick us into pretending we like soccer? We have a what now?

pms and wine candySo, Posh Becks, Pop Specs, flop sweat, we came across a few boxes of Norfolk Manor Wine Gums at Gem City. They're oval shaped wine flavors you can pretend are flasks or bottles. Fun for the kids. I found wine gums good for watching SOAPnet in the wee hours after you've worn out your welcome on the upper end of State Street. A little weird and kind of crusty when you expect chewy, and fruity when they should be chock full of illegal dye goodness, but I liked them. Bit off the ends like Nik-L-Nips and pretended I was drinking cheap chardonnay.
They won't replace Dots or Jujyfruits, but they're warmly addictive and go well with chocolate cheese.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Clem's Mailbag: Boo Royals

Dear Readers,
A few of you curious kitties wanted the final word on the Boo "royal" puddles. Here is what that dear man Ralph Pierce wrote:
"Yes you are correct, originally the company wanted to show off it's great caramel and they decided to deposit the caramel on the nuts and allow the buyer to see the great nuts topped with the caramel so the idea was to 'crown' the candy with the chocolate rather than enrobe the whole piece of candy. Thus you have a 'royal' piece of candy of nuts, our own great caramel and topped with delicious milk chocolate."
Please enjoy this short video.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Boo Candy Puddles

Baraboo CandyI'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.

Boo Barrels
"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