Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Bunny Leftover

A chocolate bunny is often the center piece of an Easter table or basket. But despite being center stage it can keep watch over aging Peeps if it's the kind with nasty, dyed, hard frosting and insanely sweet waxy chocolate product.
Not the case with the Madeline milk chocolate bunny I found at Shopko, which has been giving Tarjet a run for it's money in the candy aisles.
The 4 oz. chocolate wrapped in "Italian Foil" (I don't know what that is, I only found sites about fencing) smells milder than the too sweet commercial chocolate and from the first bite you can tell it's different. Smooth with a bite, pleasant aftertaste.

This bunny wafted a promising blend of chocolate my way even as I untangled it from its gold foil. There was a well balanced sweetness which offered good texture in a solid bite. It was easy to break apart, pleasant to chomp into, and had the slightly sharp overtone I crave in milk chocolate.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wrap It Up

I love these Russell Stover 2 oz. assorted chocolate four packs. You can throw the festively wrapped  boxes in any give Easter basket with no fuss and very little muss.
Calling these "Fine Assorted Chocolates" is the perfect description. The Kansas City, Mo chocolates are exactly that, fine.

These aren't Candina's chocolates, nor should they be unless you're making a very expensive gourmet basket, but the assorted chocolates are a step up from much of the more fun than refined mainstream mold chocolates.

There's a toasty coconut milk chocolate, a rich chocolate cream dark chocolate, the mandatory milk chocolate caramel, and what tastes like maple cream in dark chocolate. All are a welcome break from some of the more pedestrian Easter fare.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Junior Mints Pastels Pale

Taking a break from jelly beans, I tried several Limited Edition Junior Mints Pastels. Limited Edition, like it's a box of Star Wars collectibles.
They don't live up to their Christmas cousin, Junior Mints Peppermint Crunch, but are saved by the traditional gooey mint filling. There is plenty of that, being a Junior Mint, but the thick mint ooze stuffed inside each bite isn't enough to recommend this version.
These were another out of a bag of beaten up and forgotten Easter candy in better shape than they should be. Sure, a few of the round bites stuck to the inside of the box and some smacked of cardboard, but they were surprisingly edible.
Like Sweetarts Jelly Beans, they were quickly addictive without being a top shelf seasonal candy choice.
The downfall to the Pastels was the smooth shell. It had an artificial white chocolate taste which was like eating cake decorations or stale Smooth & Melty Mints. They did melt in your mouth, but I didn't want them to. In all fairness the stale taste was most likely due to my general mistreatment of Easter sugar.
The familiar chilly filling made them disappear from the aging box, but still no sticky thumbs up. The unappealing smooth shell had pretty robin's egg blue and chick yellow colors, perfect for the season, but ultimately tanked the candy.
I'd seek out their Peppermint Crunch or stick to the original.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Sweetarts Jelly Beans

Sweetarts Jelly Beans taste enough like Sweetarts to earn the name. The candy shell is easily separated from the spongy middle by a light crunch. The candy coating flakes off nicely on the tongue and this Easter jelly bean entry doesn't disappoint.

The cherry Sweetarts Jelly Bean is a tart pink spark, and the orange hints of citrus. There's as Easter purple which is a recognizable sour grape, green tastes like a green apple gum ball, and yellow is a bright lemon pinch. I found the Blue Punch (blue) an indistinguishable mishmash.
Let there be no mistake, this candy is addictive and seems to get better the more you eat it. They beg to be sampled one at a time, not because the flavors are strong or to be savored, but because the tart is just right and eating them that way tastes better.
I didn't find any of the happy spring colors on my hands or clothes, and Sweetarts Jelly Beans, like much of the Easter candy I had stashed in my car long before Easter, held up remarkably well in cold and warmish weather.
They'd be great in little baggies or see through eggs because the hues are attractive and seasonal.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Dip Me In Chocolate And Call It Easter

I started out my candy quest for this post fighting the tangle of roadwork on the way to a place in West Allis intriguingly called Half Nuts. Unfortunately I tossed out Google Maps for directions from the source which led me in the circle of closed ramps which is Milwaukee. Makes you wish Miller Park were even further west, say Lake Mills.
So I'm reviewing these, Jelly Belly's Jelly Bean Chocolate Dips, the bean you want waiting for you and they end of Lent if you've given up candy. Or, if you're going to break your promise to God, the jelly bean you want to do it with. Break your promise I mean. Never mind.
The bags are incredibly easy to open, the chocolate is better than mosts. The bean itself is powerful, and the candy shell is replaced by creamy, rich chocolate with a kick.
There's a big difference going from flavor to flavor that's almost jolting. I found the cherry the most delicious and hard to put down, thinking it might be better mixed in the bag with just the gel, no chocolate.

Overall they scream Almond Joy or Mounds bars, both of which I love. This would be a nice summer party candy or snack. There's less of a difference going from coconut to orange, but from cherry to coconut, wow, it's as if you're eating on a
Very Cherry
They're flavored with black currant and does best what Jelly Belly does so well–it tastes the way you want a  cherry to taste.
This flavor was so inspiring I started to look for factory tours in Pleasant Prairie after eating a handful.
Very Cherry reminded me of Pate de Fruits and was the jelly bean with which I first found the chocolate coating to be overwhelming.
How do they get all that chocolate on one tiny bean?
Orange Dips tastes like smooth chocolate wrapped around a chewy orange rind—and maybe by next year Jelly Belly will have Christmas beans and this could be a flagship flavor.

In the case of Very Cherry, the Jelly Bean Chocolate Dips could do without the dip. However, if you're a slave to the bean, you might have found your next favorite Easter candy or at least your new favorite jelly bean.