Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Chocolate TimTam cookies from Indonesia!

My very cool friend brought me these all the way from Indonesia- Arnott's TimTam is a popular cookie outside the US in areas like SE Asia & Australia. These are real chocolate coated cocoa biscuits with chocolaty filling- delicious! The box is beautiful depiciting a woman doing a classic Balinese dance called Legong (as described on the package itself). Thanx so much Josh, really love these!

In praise of the NEW Ghirardelli print ad.....

Seriously, this is a beautiful piece of advertising. The close up detail of the choc/caramel is sublime. If it does NOT make you want to eat some chocolate NOW (or at least try the new Ghirardelli bars), then you must be severely allergic or hate the stuff for some bizarre reason!
I personally cannot see an ad like this and just pass it by- I must save it. The beauty of the chocolate and artfulness of the photo together make me smile- the ad must be saved in my print ad collection and now here on my blog!
Yay scanner & blog. yes Im new..... :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Dark Choc-Covered Toffee celebration/ showdown!

Being a major toffee fan I decided to take stock of some of the better dark choc covered toffee available here and by mailorder (within my limited budget). I was inspired by New Roca Toffee Thins by Brown & Haley, the Almond Roca co. To these I added Carey's of Oregon Dark Choc Almond Toffee, Marich Confectionary Co. Triple Choc Toffee, Peterbrooke Chocolatier Dark Choc Toffee, and Terry's Toffee (of Chicago) in Classic Dark, Chai-cago Spice, and Hazelicious. Talk about serious toffee heaven!! It will be hard to pick a favorite because they are all a bit different and unique in flavor, texture, & wow factor....but here's my 2 cents on their individual merit:

ROCA THINS- excellent unique Roca flavor, visible almonds, generous amounts of dark choc, super easy crunch with not much snap.

CAREY'S- also excellent, perfect balance of toffee and choc, easy crunch and good texture, a few nuts inside but would be better if outside had crushed nuts too.

MARICH- little milk, dark, & white choc balls with toffee inside- tasty but a little overkill on the choc coating- altho the pkg does say Triple choc so that's ok...

PETERBROOKE- Beautiful to look at with major amounts of diced almonds sprinkled over the dark choc squares, and almonds inside, but the texture was really soft and grainy, maybe a little old, not realllly bad but lacking refinement, very grainy.

TERRY'S- Excellent overall, strong bold interesting flavors and generous dark choc coating, some with nuts outside but not many inside, hardest crunch of all. Most expensive but most refined too.

If anyone has any more great toffee brand suggestions, or has tried these, please leave a comment, thanx!

Holiday M&Ms- Halloween!

This will begin a multi part look at the major U.S. holidays thru the eyes of M&M wrappers. There is SO much variety, not only from year to year but from different stores- recently Walmart and Target have been selling totally diff. packaging for the same M&Ms than what I call "mass market"- all the other stores. It's really interesting to see all the variances side-by-side, so here's a small start. Sorry the photo isn't closer/better but i had to get them all in one frame....

Who needs a kiss?

Realizing I had collected quite a variety of Kisses bags, I finally put them all together and...voila! Its a Kisses quilt! (kinda looks like it).....What I really love is all the different varieties of Kisses that Hershey co. has come up with- there's Neoplolitan, Creme de Menthe, Malt Crunch, Double Fudge, even Lemon Creme (ick, sorry just cant buy that one- its not even chocolate!) What will they dream up next??

Saturday, April 12, 2008

NEW Whole Foods market choc treats...

Swung by Whole Foods today and happened upon a few tasty choc-treats worth shouting about. I highly recommend the always excellent Endangered Species Organic Dark Chocolate with Goldenberry and Lucuma (which is a powdered fruit with a slight maple flavor)- the inside of the wrapper has a wealth of info all about the company, plight of the Toucan, and those exotic ingredients- worth reading.
Next up is Carey's of Oregon Dark Chocolate Almond Softcrunch Toffee- this is seriously addictive stuff, I WILL be back for more, LOVE IT- they also had Espresso flavor.....
And finally we have the Clif Mojo Dipped Chocolate Peanut bar! Sometimes I buy totally on instinct and packaging- this one got me and Im glad it did- this bar is Yummy even for someone like me who does NOT eat "health food" bars, this is their original sweet & salty trail mix bar dipped in chocolate-there's nuts, honey,rice krispies, pretzels... but not quite enough choc- i would like to see the whole bar dipped but its only halfway so ppl like me need extra choc on the side (never a problem). Also its 70% Organic!

NEW Cacao Reserve Ultra Thin Squares!

Got these at Target, not sure exactly how new they are but they are really a cool concept in mass market choc. There's 4 flavors- Milk, Dark, Dark Rasberry & Dark Orange. They are very thin squares, just like it says and shows, and the description on back (of my rasberry box) says it all:

"Specially designed to melt quickly and evenly on the tongue to deliver a unique cacao experience. Swirl the choc across the surfaces of your mouth. Taste the bold cocoa notes in this robust dark choc and enjoy its playful interaction with the lively bittersweet of real rasberries".

Wow- you go Hershey! Im so impressed they are even using terms like "cacao" for everyday folks now and offering this type of choc to literally teach ppl how to slowly taste and enjoy it, rather than scarfing it down. I really enjoyed them, the rasberry flavor was just enough, not TOO strong and went perfectly with the smooth dark choc. The most interesting thing for me is that there was NO logo stamp on these chocs- they are too thin! Its the first time Ive ever had Hershey choc without some kind of little logo on it, they are just plain, kinda naked. But that's ok, it's not needed. Choc on.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

NEW Roca Toffee Thins and Caramels!

Found these at Walgreens ck out- what a sweet surprise! Made by Brown & Haley, the Almond Roca co., they come in 2 more flavors- Milk Toffee and Dark Truffle.... the Dark Toffee rocked my world!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

NEW Indiana Jones Snickers & M&Ms flavors!

Well this is refreshing- a movie/ candy promo that includes brand NEW flavors of old favorites. The Indiana Jones Snickers is not just the same familiar one put in a special wrapper- it's been ENHANCED to the ADVENTURE BAR with this description of its flavor on the back:

"Rich chocolate, crunchy nuts, and a cliffhanger kick of exotic spice and a hint of sweet coconut flavor"- WOW- sounds adventurous and delicious! (i tried it, VERY good like a party in my mouth)

Also we are blessed with new M&M colors, wrappers, and a new flavor- MINT CRISP! I covered this in an earlier post when i found the big bags, but here they are in the handy snack size for all to enjoy...welcome back Crispy! And to top it all off they put Indiana Jones Movie trivia and M&M fun facts on the backs of the wrappers- with a web site link to get the answers.
Choc on!
PS- sorry its a bit out of focus, scanner getting tired

Friday, April 4, 2008

NEW Hershey Bliss- 3 blissful flavors!

Hershey has a lovely new product out, and they are clearly competing directly with the "Dove Promises" market- bite-size individually wrapped "premium" chocolates in beautiful packaging- I found these at Walgreens in an aisle end promo in little sampler sizes- perfect! Love it! The flavors include : Smooth & Creamy Milk Chocolate, Milk Choc with a Meltaway Center, and Rich & Creamy Dark Chocolate.

The chocolate is yummy, certainly WAY better than a regular Hershey bar, but not as good as their Cacao Reserve line. I found them all smooth and rich, not better or worse than Dove (ok maybe not quite as good) but certainly enjoyable. Try them -you be the judge!
BTW- I cant keep track of who's buying who anymore- Hershey doesn't own Dove do they? Anybody know?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Creme de Menthe Kisses anyone?

Wow these were a major bonus for St. Paddys day! Wow- creme de menthe inside DARK choc kisses- they really melt in your mouth and just have a lucious taste overall- very impressive and not to mention FUN and FESTIVE. Of course they are Limited Edition so if you are lucky you may find some in the clearance aisle...worth a look, extreme yum factor :)

Wildly Cherry & Cherry Cordial M&Ms

Now this is interesting- back during Christmas candy time M&M made these great DARK choc M&M Cordials in a very special bag for gift giving (found at Target of course) They did not have a cordial type filling but were just dark choc with a cherry flavor added- the candy was 3 diff shades of red and various sizes, really quite good!

Then recently they came out with Wildly Cherry M&Ms but they are MILK chocolate with cherry flavor- same colors and sizes as the cordials, but not as good in my opinion due to change in choc. For me I think tart fruit flavors (and most things) just go better with dark choc, which was also my problem with their Razzberry flavor. And isn't dark choc all the rage now? Its popular and failry new for M&Ms, surprised they don't use it for these. But hopefully these will be Wildly popular anyway and Im just happy to see them experimenting with fun new flavors!

Choc on

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

An ode to the underappreciated Crispy M&M

Remember Crispy? Not sure when it happened, but at some point M&Ms decided Crispy just wasn't performing up to snuff and yanked the whole line off the shelves, out of production, and into the vaults of candy history for people like me to sadly remember with nothing but a photo. So here it is- all thats left of the orange guy. Man I miss 'em, seriously.

I do have dreams that someday Crispy will return- in all his orange paranoid crispy yummy glory.

Now the fact that new Crispy Mint M&Ms have just come out does give me hope (see earlier Indiana Jones promo post) so i may need to start a campaign in support of Crispy coming back- how awesome would that be? And how about Crispy dark? If you miss 'em too, let me know and we will start a letter to get this flavor back on the production line! Stat!

Rasberry & Chocolate- all the rage!

Here are 2 new candies that confirm Rasberry & chocolate are a delicious combo. M&Ms calls theirs Razzberry and unfortunately chose to make them with milk choc- Why? This baffles me cuz dark choc would have been SO much better with the tartness of rasberry and they are so gung ho to promote the dark choc M&Ms- seems odd not to use it here.
The good news is that 3 Musketeers got it right and have a very light, fluffy rasberry filling coated with just enough dark choc- its really a sweet light treat that I adore and hope they continue to produce for awhile (how long is Limited Edition?). I also saw ORANGE 3 Musketeers but sorry, not a fan of anything combining orange & choc so skipped it- but look for them if you are an orange fan. Looking forward to the next new flavor from either of these candies!