Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stuff I Want To Try

Cadbury Popcorn  - Cadbury - It's their second attempt at making this, so this time it's got to work. - Click here to learn more about this treat.


Crescent Roll Challenge Part 4 - Dark Chocolate

Ever since I was a kid, I've loved Pillsbury crescent rolls.  They hold so many memories for me, in particular during holiday meals.  With my new found interest in baking, my love of candy, and my fondness for Pillsbury crescent rolls, I've decided to do a little experiment.  Each day this week I'm going to bake a Pillsbury crescent roll filled with a different sweet filling.  Some are very conventional, others... well not so much.
This particular crescent roll is what I would call a classic.  I can't tell you how many times I've eaten a chocolate filled crescent roll in my life.  The difference is, this one is filled with dark chocolate, as opposed  milk chocolate, that seems to be the favorite of most bakeries.  I chose an 85% Lindt chocolate for this, because this is Allison's chocolate of choice and it's what we had in our chocolate box.
I have to say that I was pretty disapointed in the dark chocolate.  It was just really bitter and it made the crescent roll seem really dry.  I normally don't mind dark chocolate, but in this case I think a milk chocolate would have been much nicer.  I think it has something to do with the butter in the Pillsbury dough, I just think it doesn't work (flavour wise) with the dark chocolate.


Classic/Creative Candy Advertising - Sugar Helps Kids

While I support most of the sugar industry, and the things that are made with sugar (within moderation). I think that this ad might take it a little too far. "Sugar quenches fatigue"?

Found this on Boing Boing.


It's National Macaroon Day... or is it National Macaron Day?

While I recognize that there are two cookies that have the same kind of name, and I know that they're both very different cookies.  I do enjoy eating both types of cookies, and I'm often confused about which is which.  So for today's holiday, I think I'll just eat one of each.


Thursday's Candy Links

There's a big war brewing about who owns the rights to certain candies, Lindt seems pretty upset at some of the copy cat treats out there.

Pop Rocks wants to officially dispel the myth about what happens when you eat Pop Rocks and Coke.  (on a side note, I did posted an article a few years back where I did this and I'm still alive, so give it a try)

Boing Boing posted some photos of what I can only describe as the grossest looking cake pop ever.

Thinking of getting into competitive eating?  You might want to lose a few pounds first.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Crescent Roll Challenge Part 3 - Peanut Butter M&Ms

Ever since I was a kid, I've loved Pillsbury crescent rolls.  They hold so many memories for me, in particular during holiday meals.  With my new found interest in baking, my love of candy, and my fondness for Pillsbury crescent rolls, I've decided to do a little experiment.  Each day this week I'm going to bake a Pillsbury crescent roll filled with a different sweet filling.  Some are very conventional, others... well not so much.
You know why I decided to use Peanut Butter M&Ms for this Pillsubury crescent roll?  Mostly because I happened to have a bag of them.  I also figured that both peanut butter and M&Ms individually would be interesting to try inside a crescent roll but together it might be twice as interesting. As you can see from the picture, they pretty much instantly started to bleed the minute they touched the pastry dough.
Strangely enough, after being in the over for 10 minutes they didn't completely melt.  It appears that the colour layer is truly the weakest layer.  While the solidity of the M&Ms was nice, it might have been a little tastier if the peanut butter and chocolate melted a little more.  Melted it would have distributed the peanut butter and chocolate flavour a little more.  I'd be interested in trying this with the other M&Ms in the future.


Old Candy Critic Articles - Reese plus what? (Part 1)

I've decided to take down several old articles from the and re-post them here on the Candy Critic blog.  This week is part one of an article I wrote about what to pair with your Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
While reading a forum that I frequent, an interesting candy question came up. The idea is simple but the answer is so complicated Stephen Hawking's would be boggled. The question is this:

“What goes with Reese peanut butter cups?”

Sure we all have opinions, but you have to look at this scientifically through scientific eyes. You have to try eating a whole bunch of cups with different things and see for sure. So this is my plan. The following is a list of ways that I ate my cups in order of worst to best (this week being the worst, next week being the best). I based everything off the feelings I had eating a cup all by itself, and then decided if the pairing is better or worse, and how much better or worse. Sure it sounds complicated but all I know is I have a lot of cups to eat and that can't be bad... right?

12 of 12 - A cup and some OJ

Nothing gets my morning going better than a cool glass of Orange Juice. How well does this cup of OJ go with a peanut butter cup? The answer is not well at all. The only thing that I can say that was good about this particular experience is the fact that the juice doesn't leave much of an after taste, so I don't have to suffer as I get through the last little bits of Peanut Butter cup.

11 of 12 - Dipped in a tall glass of Milk

The milk really doesn't stick to the chocolate at all when you dip it into your glass. So other than a bit of a white film the cup remained basically untouched. However after dipping it in the milk I took a big swig and man it really cleared and refreshed my whole mouth. I'm pretty sure that means that the cups aren't good dipped in milk but rather they're good with a swig of milk after eating a cup.

10 of 12 - With Tea

And I don't mean Mister T... Out of all of the other attempts to enjoy a Reese cup this one has to be the classiest. I like that I can interject a little class into the site now and again, it makes me feel like putting on a monocle and top hat. As far as how it affected the peanut butter cup, that's pretty simple, scalding hot water and chocolate, it melted several layers of chocolate instantly and almost made it down to the peanut butter in seconds. Unfortunately the tea (a hazelnut flavour) is also too strong to allow the chocolate flavour to really have any effect either. So I just slightly melted a peanut butter cup and ate it.

9 of 12 - Just a cup, all by itself.

What can I say; it's a Reese Peanut Butter Cup. A classic treat with just the right amount of peanut butter inside. For the purposes of this article, this is what I'll call the median of this tasting experiment. All by itself, it's pretty good, but let's see if it can be improved upon by adding something else, who knows maybe the cup is as good as it gets.

8 of 12 - Pudding

For this treat I did a little something special. While making the pudding seen in this photo, I decided to prepare the peanut butter cup in advance, and let the pudding actually set on the cup. To be honest, it really didn't do anything special. Texture wise the pudding was nice, cool, and balanced well with the slightly dry peanut butter. But flavour wise the vanilla pudding had no hope. I couldn't taste anything but peanut butter and chocolate. Having said that it didn't take anything away from the cup either.

7 of 12 - Peanut Butter Cup and Jam

This is one of the ideas that someone had to suggest, but I'm amazed I didn't think of it a long time ago. It seems so obvious to put jam on a peanut butter cup, a fine suggestion. It's not bad either, although for those that don't like sweet things, you might not like it too much. Me I think it's OK; the jam gives a little more moisture to the peanut butter cup that can be a little dry at times. It also adds a nice little flavour, although I may have put a little too much jam on mine because it killed the peanut butter a bit. All three of these flavours are well known to work together (I used strawberry jam) so success was a sure thing.

Stay tuned next week to find out the top 6 treats that worked very well with my Reese Peanut Butter Cups...


Wednesday's Candy Links

I don't normally post recipes, but I couldn't resist Unicorn Poop.

Mental Floss answers the question "If You Can’t Smell, Can You Taste?"

Two reasons I'm posting this link, first of all it could mean that imported treats might become cheaper, secondly it includes the words "duty" and "confectionery" in the headline.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Crescent Roll Challenge Part 2 - Gummy Bears

Ever since I was a kid, I've loved Pillsbury crescent rolls.  They hold so many memories for me, in particular during holiday meals.  With my new found interest in baking, my love of candy, and my fondness for Pillsbury crescent rolls, I've decided to do a little experiment.  Each day this week I'm going to bake a Pillsbury crescent roll filled with a different sweet filling.  Some are very conventional, others... well not so much.
With this second Pillsbury crescent roll filling, I figured I'd just go for the ultimate candy filling, gummy bears. I have to admit, part of the fun of making this particular crescent roll was in how my imagination played out a story of gummy bears being captured and then baked alive in a crescent roll.  To be fair to my gummy bears, I made sure I took one of each colour.
This has to be one of the messiest crescent rolls I've ever baked in my life.  I was very careful to seal up the edges, but it did nothing.  The gummy stuff oozed out of the sides and created a pretty good mess.  Fortunately I've learned with melted gummies that it's better to wait for it to cool before you try cleaning it up.  As the goo cools, it becomes less sticky, more solid, and you can pretty much just peel it off your counter.  The flavour of the crescent roll wasn't bad, I think if I was to do this again, I'd probably just use one colour at a time.


Candy Art - Kids Book Cakes

 Mental floss compiled a great list of cakes based on popular children's books and TV shows.
 These are my three favorites.
Both in the show/books they represent, and in how great the cakes look.

Click here to check out the other cakes on Mental Floss.


Tuesday's Candy Links

It appears there's a Cadbury chocolate forgery ring in Indore.

Is Chicago the candy capital of the world, well they have a candy museum.

It appears that some people think those little detergent packages look like candy, that would explain my sticky laundry.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Crescent Roll Challenge Part 1 - Cream Cheese and Dried Cranberries

Ever since I was a kid, I've loved Pillsbury crescent rolls.  They hold so many memories for me, in particular during holiday meals.  With my new found interest in baking, my love of candy, and my fondness for Pillsbury crescent rolls, I've decided to do a little experiment.  Each day this week I'm going to bake a Pillsbury crescent roll filled with a different sweet filling.  Some are very conventional, others... well not so much.
My first crescent roll filling experiment comes from my friend Carrie.  She's a cranberry fanatic, in fact she's such a cranberry fanatic that she felt it important that I don't go without while I'm in Greece.  She sent me a huge bag with more than enough dried cranberries to keep me going for a few years.  She also suggested, when I asked around, that I try filling one of these Pillsbury crescent rolls with goat cheese and cranberries.  Well truth be told, I don't really like goat cheese, I do however love cream cheese, so I figured it would be a fine substitute.
While this really doesn't qualify as a candy filling, it certainly doesn't qualify as a savory filling either.  It's a pretty good filling idea if you don't want to go super sweet, but also want a bit of a treat.  It's also a great way to use up dried cranberries when you happen to have a giant bag of them.  I will be making these again, particularly if we have guests over.


Stuff I Want To Try

Baci White Truffles  - Perugina - It is said to be flavoured with "vanilla scented white chocolate" and that intrigues me. - Click here to learn more about this treat.


This Week In Candy

Candy News -  This week has been filled with news about inovations in the candy world.  Not just large companies either, I've come across so many links of people making great things out of candy.  Maybe we should start a branch of Makers for foodies.

What's Happening At Candy Critic -  This week we're doing a special feature all about the best sweet fillings for Pillsbury crescent rolls.  These little rolls are great on their own, but can be even better if you roll in a little filling too.  Next week we're not going to have a "This Week In Candy" because I'm going to be really swamped with another project and I might not have access to internet where I'm doing it.

Rant - Who ever said that you can't be creative with baking, probably only reads one cookbook.  I've recently been working on a lot of baking projects, with a lot of research into baking, and I've learnt so much about breaking the rules when it comes to baking.  After all, if no one ever broke the rules to baking, we wouldn't have so many varieties of baked treats available.


Monday's Candy Links

If you find yourself in the UK this weekend, keep an eye out for some Jubilee themed treats.

Flavours are starting to get more and more specific, now you not only can enjoy a strawberry flavoured treat, but a particular variety of strawberry flavoured treat.

Well I guess I'm not going to be a doctor, it appears that some scientists think sugar can make you dumb.

Have you ever wondered why some of your (and your friends) favorite new candies get pulled off the market, well wonder no more.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

This New Review Is Cool

I'm fascinated with the obsession of making sugar free gum cool.  I don't understand why mint flavour and sugar free always have to go together.  You almost never have a sugar filled gum with a minty flavour, and it's very rare to have a sugar free gum that's just fruity, with no minty taste at all.  It's not that I hate mint, I just think a little variety might be nice.

Click here to read our latest sugar free (minty) gum review.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

European Chocolate Bar Review-A-Thon - Part 7

Well, it's been a fun week full of European chocolate bars from all over this diverse continent.  On the whole Europe has some of the best bars available anywhere in the whole world.  Only a few brands are really well known around the world, and that's a shame.  I think there are a lot of different chocolate bars (and other treats as well) that the world really needs to try.

Click here to read the last in our European bar review-a-thon.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Stuff I Want To Try

Dark Coconut Toffee  - Alter Eco Foods - I'm craving toffee right now. - Click here to learn more about this treat.


Friday Candy Video - Never Too Old For Candy

This is proof positive that you're never to old to try new candy.  So put down your scotch mints folks and pick up a package of Pop Rocks.


European Chocolate Bar Review-A-Thon - Part 6

It's about time we had a little royalty in this European bar review-a-thon. I'm not sure if Prince Polo was a real person, but it could have happened.  If there was a Prince Polo then they would probably be from Poland, only because that's where this bar is from.  But I guess it could also be a prince from another country that was very popular in Poland as well.

Click here to read the review of this royal bar.


Friday's Candy Links

Under the headline "Sneakers that make you fit and 7 other allegedly misleading products", almost half of them are snacks.

I hate cilantro, how about you?  Well if you hate the stuff too, there's science to support your distaste.

Check out this awesome Alien Pez dispenser from Boing Boing.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stuff I Want To Try

Limited Edition Raspberry Lemonade Ring Pop - Bazooka Candy - Because summer is here, and lemonade sounds like a great idea. - Click here to learn more about this treat.


Classic/Creative Candy Advertising - Jello Poem

I think I'd rather have a bowl of pudding than a bowl of curds and way... but I think Jack should be a little less of a pig and share his massive bowl of jello with Jane.

Found this ad on Vintage Ad Browser.


European Chocolate Bar Review-A-Thon - Part 5

While I don't base the scores of my reviews on packages, promotions, or names of treats, I have to admit that I decided to review this treat because of its name.  Cha Cha, sounds like it should be a lot of fun, and fortunately the treat managed to live up to its name.  So if you invent a candy, the name may not make you a great candy, but it might convince some people to try it.

Click here to read the Cha Cha review.


Thursday's Candy Links

"Candy truck goes up in flames on I-80"... NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

How dangerous is that cup of coffee you're drinking... could it kill you?

When chocolate is warm, does it taste better? According to science, it might.

So it appears that god wants me to eat candy, I've found the sign.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Old Candy Critic Articles - Something I found in my lunch box

I've decided to take down several old articles from the and re-post them here on the Candy Critic blog.  This week I'm posting an article about the strangest flavour of pudding I've ever tasted in my whole life.

The only reason I bought this treat is because I found it on sale recently. I don’t think bubble gum and cotton candy pudding is a really good idea. I also don’t think its candy, which is why I’m not writing a regular review, but an article instead.

I think Jell-o had all the good intentions in the world when they came up with this idea Bubble Gum/Cotton Candy flavoured pudding snacks. But I’m just not sure why they would want to use these flavours, of all the flavours available in the candy world, to make pudding snacks. I might as well try it out, I mean what’s the worst that can happen to me?

First the pink:

My guess is that this is the bubble gum flavoured pudding. I wasn’t sure since cotton candy and bubble gum are generally both represented by pink. The texture is great for pudding as expected, although the fact that I don’t have to refrigerate them gives me the willies. The flavour is great for bubble gum, good old regular, although I'm not really sure where bubble gum flavour came from. The texture and flavour together is a little bit on the gross side. The worst part is the fact that gum really isn’t supposed to have a texture like pudding, I'm constantly fighting the urge to try and blow a bubble.

Now the blue:

This particular flavour is a little less gross than the pink. It barely tasted like cotton candy and that could be the reason I don't mind it as much. It taste like a slightly strange vanilla pudding, either that was either the way it's supposed to taste, or maybe this batch had been sitting on the shelf a little too long. The Smurf like colour is a little disturbing but I managed to get around that. In fact I just pretended I was Gargamel and it was kind of fun.


European Chocolate Bar Review-A-Thon - Part 4

The word "Kiss" is very common in the candy world.  Most famous must be the Hershey's Kiss, and slightly less famous is this bar.  Strangely, in Europe, this bar is probably more common than Hershey's Kiss'.  For the most part Hershey's Kiss' are a novelty item you find in an airport.  So make sure you're very specific if you ask someone in Europe for a "Kiss"... Unless they're cute.

Click here to read today's European chocolate bar review.


It's National Taffy Day!!!

Taffy is the most dangerous candy in my book.  I've had more candy related injuries from this stuff than any other kind of candy.  Most of said injuries involved chipped teeth and pulled fillings.  All I'm saying is, if you're going to enjoy National Taffy Day, enjoy responsibly.


Wednesday's Candy Links

If you have problems with lactose, and you love milk chocolate, Barry Callebaut has an answer.

Here's the results of the "L’Art du Chocolatier Challenge 2012", a contest that looks as good as it tastes.

It appears New York is really trying to be the candy capital of the world.  First a Neuhause store, now a Lindt store.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ritz Bits Sandwiches S'mores

When I first set eyes on this box of Ritz bits sandwiches "S'mores", I was fairly grossed out.  I think it had something to do with the idea of eating a marshmallow and chocolate cream on a cheese cracker.  After thinking about it a bit, I figured that maybe the savory sweet combination might work.  then I read the package and realized that the crackers were in fact graham flavoured and not cheese.
Each cookie is filled with a white and brown cream to represent the marshmallow and chocolate.  I have to say that the chocolate tasted fine, but the marshmallow really had no flavour at all.  It was fairly disapointing. I would have thought they could have given the cream a toasted marshmallow flavour, and that would have worked really well with the chocolate.  Even better would be to have put a toasted marshmallow flavour with little chunks of real chocolate.
Fortunately the yummy graham cracker outside and tasty chocolate filling really worked well together.  I wouldn't call these "s'mores", but I would call them tasty.


Candy Art - Jawbreaker Shot Glass

Watching someone make a shot glass out of a jawbreaker is truly a mesmerizing sight to see.


It's national vanilla pudding day!!!!

One of my favorite ways to enjoy pudding is in its frozen state.  While vanilla is not my favorite flavour of pudding, I do think it's the more important, and the most versatile.  While chocolate and butterscotch pudding tastes great, vanilla pudding really mixes well with other ingredients, like cookies, and fruit.


European Chocolate Bar Review-A-Thon - Part 3

Who would have thought that in a European chocolate bar review-a-thon, a Belgian chocolate bar would actually get one of the lowest ratings.  I'm not putting down the quality of Belgian chocolate, in fact it still remains one of my favorite chocolate destinations in the world.  The problem with this treat is a bad combination of ideas.

Click here to read this entry into our European chocolate bar review-a-thon.


Tuesday's Candy Links

Last week I posted a few links to candy themed prom dresses, here's another article on candy fashion.

Here's a quick look at the Sweet and Snack Expo in Chicago, if you have the means to ever visit a candy show, I recommend going.

So many fashion, lifestyle, and cosmetic companies are crossing over into the candy world, does that mean I'm chic and trendy?


Monday, May 21, 2012

Stuff I Want To Try

Red Velvet Nutffles  - Morris National Inc. - What's a "Nutffle"? - Click here to learn more about this treat.


Nestle Quick Supports Bunnies

Here at the Athens zoo, Nestle Quick has decided to sponsor the bunny exhibit.  They call it bunnyland, and they completely cover the place with images of the Nestle Quick Bunny.
They also cover all of the signs up with the latest in Nestle cereals.  Although they encourage you not to feed the bunnies, only yourself I guess.
The back wall of the exhibit is not only covered with the Nestle Quick Bunny, but other Nestle characters.
I wonder if the bunnies in the exhibit know about the Quick Bunny?  I wonder if the real Nestle Quick Bunny visits?  I wonder why the Nestle Quick Bunny can enjoy sweet treats, but these bunnies can't?


This Week In Candy

Candy News - The candy industry is still spilling out all kinds of reports from the latest candy show.  It's always fun to read about some of the new creative treats coming to store shelves soon.  On a side note, if any of you candy makers out there want me to review your treats, just send me a message, and I'd be more than happy to eat your candy.

What's Happening At Candy Critic - This week we're trying to help the Euro stay afloat with a European bar review-a-thon.  It's always important to invest in countries having a few problems, and if it means eating their candy, than it's really good for both parties.  This week I'm also going to work on an article all about Pilsburry crescent rolls, and what goes best inside them.  If you have any suggestions, let me know.

Rant - I wonder if science will ever know what's healthy and what isn't.  It's not that I mind advancements in science, I just hate all of the contradiction.  I'm sick of being told one day to stay away from butter, than the next day I'm told I should eat it exclusively.  I think we can all agree that all food does good things for your body, and it does bad things to your body.  You just have to weigh out your own needs and wants and enjoy your meal.


It's National Strawberries and Cream Day!!!

There are lots of different types of cream, and lots of ways to enjoy strawberries, so it's a very versatile holiday.


European Chocolate Bar Review-A-Thon - Part 2

Today's review comes from one of the great chocolate bar making countries in Europe, England.  While many other countries in Europe make great chocolates, England has some of the greatest chocolate bars ever.  In particular, anything made by Cadbury UK is bound to be spectuacular.

Click here to read this UK review.


Monday's Candy Links

Cupcakewurst... yup it's as strange and visually disgusting a way to make a cupcake ever.

In the past I've written about people making chocolates in the shape of brains, but how about making chocolates in the shape of your brain?

Worlds largest chocolate sculpture depicts and ancient Mayan temple, a historically accurate tribute in my opinion.

Mars is opening its doors to teenagers, and showing them how things work at Mars... I wonder if I could pull off 13 years old?


Sunday, May 20, 2012

European Chocolate Bar Review-A-Thon - Part 1

I've decided it's about time for another candy review-a-thon, and this weeks theme, European chocolate bars.  I have to admit that some of my favorite bars come from this continent, but I've also learned that some are pretty disappointing too.  My goal this week is to try a bar from a different country in Europe every day.  The first review, in our review-a-thon, come from Spain, home of bullfights, fine ham, and sexy dancing.

Click here to read today's Spanish review.


Friday, May 18, 2012

French Desserts At 20 Thousand Feet

Flying  back from Canada we chose to fly air France, instead of Alitalia, it was a price thing.  As soon as we were in the air we got offered two sweet treats.  A bag of cookies and a chocolate.  The cookies were nice little short bread type cookies in fun flower shapes.  The chocolate on the other hand...
Was really strange.  It was made by Valrhona, a french chocolate company.  The chocolate was OK, the quality wasn't spectacular, but the nice dark chocolate taste was yummy.  The strange thing about this chocolate was its shape.  It was just over one inch long, triangular at one end, and flat on the other.  The best way I could describe this shape was to say that it was like eating a little door stop.  I'm not sure why they shaped their chocolate like this, and I can't see how it might have improved the chocolates texture or flavour.  If anybody knows the science of this chocolate shape, let me know.