Sunday, November 30, 2014

KC Candy ginger hard candies

       Hard candy never quite has the glamour and charisma that softer sweets like chocolates and caramels are invested with. A suave, romantic gentleman may have a fancy satin box of decadently rich chocolate delicacies tucked in the crook of his arm on February 14 to win the heart of a hoped-for consort. Giggling young teens at a slumber party may make -- and blissfully feast on -- creamy, melt-in-your-mouth fudge. Vendors at seaside funparks hawk luscious, chewy "kisses" of saltwater taffy, After trick-or-treating on Halloween, a petite princess or small superhero may smile upon finding caramels or candy corn in that little plastic jack o'lantern. But hard candy is what we suck on to soothe a rough throat, or to freshen the breath after an oniony lunch. It's what many a nine-to-fiver passes up at the office candy dish in favor of Hershey's minis or kisses. It's what  is offered to little "Caitlin" or "Owen" at banks and doctors offices to avert tantrums. It's what Grandma places in fancy glass dishes to look pretty when company comes to visit. Even candy canes at holiday time may be considered more of a tree ornament than an actual edible confection. No one ever describes a hard candy as being "rich tasting." No one ever said that a hard candy tastes "absolutely divine."
      Until now. KC Ginger Hard candies are flavored with real ginger essence, and the spiciness warms the mouth with a pleasant spark. The sweetness and the spice play off each other beautifully, and the piece is indeed rich-tasting, and it's satiny smooth, with few voids
       It may be strange to give hard candy such a rating, but

Russell Stover Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cream Santa

Like the raspberry cream Santa I reviewed previously, this piece doesn't look much like Santa out of the wrapper -- but it does taste like the kind of candy that you'd want Santa to leave in your stocking!
 There's a rich, bittersweet note to the dark chocolate, although it doesn't have much of a melt -- but it's the filling that's the star of the piece -- a whipped frosting-meets-mousse concoction that isn't a strong mint, but rather, a fluffy vanilla "mousse" with just enough of a minty spark to make the confection delightfully delectable. It's creamy, rich, and more than a little reminiscent of the yummy, rich-tasting, melt-in-your-mouth fluffy frosting that blanketed many a cake at a childhood birthday party. I found myself scooping some of the mint "mousse" out of the chocolate shell with my finger so I could save it for last. 

This candy has been rated D (divine)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Russell Stover Cake Assortment

A mini-box of four chocolate candy squares, in red velvet, chocolate cake, carrot cake and wedding cake flavors.

The chocolate coating had a smooth, velvety melt and the fillings tasted for all the world like cake frosting, including that slight grainy crunch of sugar crystals. These little confections were basically chocolate-dipped cubes of frosting. Chocolate coated frosting! Could there BE a more scrumptious delight in the candy universe! Two of the pieces had a white chocolate coating. I don't know if it was the real stuff or the cheaper "white confection." I just know it was delicious.

RED VELVET CAKE -- No chocolate note in the filling. It tasted more like the cherry-raspberry creams you get in a Valentine box.

CARROT CAKE -- Strong spark of spice, just like real carrot cake.

CHOCOLATE CAKE -- Rich and fudgy. Chocolate to the max.

WEDDING CAKE -- Remember the vanilla buttercream frosting on cakes at childhood birthday parties? Here it is, in a little cube-shaped confection.

Tasting these candies was one of the most enjoyable candy experiences of my life. I wish now I bought TWO boxes (kicking self). This mini sampler assortment is great for gifting, whether to a co-worker, a friend, a sweetheart, a parent, or a child.

 I have no choice.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Astronaut Ice Cream

 Maybe technically more of a snack or dessert than a candy, but I will consider it candy for the sake of this review.
This delightfully decadent novelty confection -- actual ice cream, freeze-dried for enjoyment in space and on camping trips -- is a mixture of crunchy and creamy, melting in the mouth in a creamy rhapsody of flavor and richness. Think meringue drops, cotton candy, and cereal marshmallow bits combined and you have these nuggets of yumminess. The neapolitan is a trio of fabulous flavors, the chocolate-chocolate chip packs quite a wallop of chocolatiness, and the mint chocolate chip is minty without being toothpastey and would be the perfect after-dinner mint.

This candy is rated D (DIVINE)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Kandy Kritique -- Publix Dark Chocolate Dipped Dried Cherries

    Found this sweet little gem in the produce(don't laugh!) section of my local Publix supermarket. (am in Florida) If you don't live near a Publix and your local grocery store doesn't have these little delights, maybe your local natural-foods store has something similar.
     This was a real dried cherry enrobed in solid, non-waxy, melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolate, creating an intriguing interplay of flavors that dance on the taste buds. These candies aren't too sweet but very satisfying and the perfect marriage of candy and fruit, healthfulness and decadence. I recommend them highly and am struggling not to finish off the whole container in one sitting.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Kandy Kritique -- Russell Stover Dark Chocolate Raspberry Creme Santa

This filled chocolate piece is wrapped in a Santa-motif wrapper, but out of its wrapper, the piece should be called Dark Chocolate Raspberry Creme Triangular Lump. If this thing looks like Santa, then I'm the Japanese emperor.
That said, however, this is a confection fit for an emperor. A delicate layer of robustly rich-tasting dark chocolate surrounds a satiny, sumptuous whipped raspberry "mousse" filling. The chocolate is not waxy and has a surprisingly smooth and creamy melt for dark chocolate, and the "mousse" would be perfectly at home in a pretty glass bowl at a fancy restaurant or enrobing a birthday cake, and has jamlike, fruity notes mixed with vanilla-creme notes. The whole yummy concoction melts in the mouth in a blissful symphony of chocolatey richness and a sweet spark of fruit-and-creme. A very craveable and satisfying candy. I could mow through a case of these things in the blink of an eyelash.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Kandy Kritique -- Toffifay

Ah, here's a confection I remember from childhood. The Broadway-esque advertising jingle had a line that went, "It's too good for kids." Not only did I find that blatant bit of ageism an insult, I thought it was bulltoot as well. The tweenage girl I used to be tried one of these sweet miniature delights -- can we say, a party for the taste buds?
Sadly, these scrumptious little gems had disappeared -- or so I thought. All these years later I was in Walgreens and there they were, a box of Toffifay candies. I picked it up, purchased it, and tasted a piece, thinking maybe the yumminess I remember was just a figment of an immature palate.
Nope. If anything, Toffifay candies are yummier than EVER BEFORE. A dainty cup of soft caramel that lacks that annoying dental adherence factor (it doesn't stick to your teeth), filled with a crunchy yet tender and buttery roasted hazelnut surrounded by a soft, rich frostinglike chocolate-hazelnut paste, like the filling in a Ferrero Rocher but smoother, and then, topped by a drop of chocolate rather like a flat Kiss. The whole thing melts in the mouth in a burst of nutty, caramelized sweet richness that lingers on the tastebuds and left me with a craving for more.
This is a craveable confection that, despite the slogan, will put a smile on the faces of young and old and everyone in between. My mother liked them too and, fortunately for my willpower, finished off most of the box. Truly an underrated candy classic.