Articles

My First Caramel Love – Sugar Daddy!

Image courtesy of OldTimeCandy.com

Image courtesy of OldTimeCandy.com

Well, folks. Yours truly is currently experiencing something we all go through at some point, usually more than once. I have a toothache! I don’t even want to tell my friends because their fingers will point to my candy cupboard so quickly the door might fly open. But as we all know, while candy isn’t exactly the best thing for your teeth, with proper brushing and flossing you can keep your choppers chomping just fine. So I really do think this toothache isn’t candy-related, even though some may think I’m in denial! That said, I have cut down on my sweets this week as I get closer to my dental appointment. In fact, I’ve been eating less overall because as anyone who has suffered a toothache understands, it’s pretty much all you can think about. Well, that and all the candy I want that I can’t have until it’s better!

Yes, I am currently in the thick of ‘wanting what I can’t have’ syndrome. Since my tooth hurts and candy is the least practical thing to be craving, I want it VERY MUCH. And not just any candy, oh no! I want the sweetest, stickiest, most un-toothache-friendly candy I can think of. I want a Sugar Daddy! And as soon as my toothache is a distant memory, I’m going to have one. Do you want one, too? Here’s some places to check out…

Smaller Size Sugar Daddy Junior – Boxes of 48

OldTimeCandy.com – $7.99
CandyWarehouse.com – $9.60
Amazon.com – $9.50
BlairCandy.com – $7.95
RoyalCandyCompany.com – $8.48

Which Candy Could You Happily Eat Forever?

Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar

Image courtesy of Hersheys.com

 

I came across an article today on USA Today titled If I could eat only one candy the rest of my life… Reading on I found it was a question the author had asked of her readers, and they answered with some treats that even yours truly has never heard of! In the mix were some classics, including Skittles, Peanut M&M’s and Cadbury Crème Eggs, but there were also Brach’s Fiesta Eggs, Bleeps, Burton Jammie Dodgers, and more. I’ll definitely be writing down all those that are new to me so I can seek them out sometime!

Naturally, this article got me thinking about some of my own favorites, and left me hoping that I would never have to choose just one. Honestly, I can’t imagine and don’t want to imagine! That said, putting together a list of favorites sounded rather fun, so I did do that. This is by no means a complete list, but many of the candies I buy time and again (and again!) are below. Please share some of your own in the comments –  I’d love to see which candies mean the most to all of you!

A Few Of My Favorite Sweets

5th Avenue Candy Bars
Gummy Peach Rings
Miniature Reese’s Cups
Regular Hershey’s Bars
Original Fruit Skittles
Gummy Strawberry Creams
Grape Tootsie Frooties
Twix
Hot Tamales

It’s Time to Bake an Easter Cake!

Easter Peeps Cake

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Well, folks – we can’t claim that we weren’t given enough time to make something nice. Easter 2014 is 3 weeks later than it was last year, with everyone’s favorite bunny hopping through town April 20th. Could we whip up a quick dessert last year and claim that Easter snuck up on us? Sure! But can we pull that same stunt this year? Not a chance.

This year, it’s time to pull out the big guns. It’s time to set aside all those 10 minute recipes and get down to business baking a real, from scratch, cake. The kind our grandmothers and mothers baked. The kind that don’t come in a box. The kind that every single time we take a bite, we remember why they’re worth the extra time!

We all have our own favorite cake recipes, be they lemon, chocolate, vanilla, or any of a million other varieties. I’m not even going to search for a cake recipe as there are countless options, and you probably have one in mind already, anyway! That said, I did find a decorating idea that I had to share. The effect is charming and fun, and it doesn’t require you to be a master cake decorator to pull it off.

The cake in the photograph is round, but I imagine just about any traditional shape would work. I also love that you can easily adjust the design for smaller or larger cakes simply by creating more or fewer flowers. I couldn’t find an ingredients list, but here’s all that it looks like you’ll need (in addition to supplies for the cake itself, of course!)…

  • Frosting (or the ingredients to make your own)
  • Food Coloring or Colored Icing (for the flower stems and leaves)
  • Marshmallow Peeps
  • Jelly Beans
  • Green Icing (for the grass along the outside)

What do you all think of this Easter cake? Is it something you’ll consider making for Easter dessert? What other recipes do you have in your baking basket? Please share in the comments!

I’m Thinking Spring Candy Thoughts

Albanese Mini Gummy Butterflies

Image courtesy of AlbaneseConfectionery.com

Ya know, we got a few nice days in. The sun was shining, a heavy wool coat was optional, and I didn’t even have to ask myself before I stepped outside whether I should bring gloves. Spring sprung, birds chirped, children even played in the park. It was wonderful! And then winter decided it wasn’t going to leave quite so easily, and we’re back to shivering away the day.

But I’m not going to let it defeat me. I still get my longer days, and spring almost certainly has to warm up eventually, right? Gosh, I hope so! And no matter how completely over this winter I may be, I’ll still take sweater and coat weather over the oppressive ‘How is it even possible to be this hot and humid?’ dog days of summer. If it were around 65 degrees every day, I’d be about as happy a camper as you’ve ever seen hike a trail!

Since I don’t have control over the weather itself, and since spring really has arrived whether it feels like it or not, I am doing the ‘spring thing’ to the fullest. I’m wearing my brightest warm clothes, I’ve started spring cleaning, and I’ve even placed an order or two for some spring candy. What qualifies as spring candy, you might be asking? Among many other things, mini gummy butterflies!

I’m not sure if more than one company makes delicious gummy butterflies, but I do know the kind Albanese creates are super good! With a pretty translucence and a perfectly sweet fruity taste, these are about as springtastic as it gets. And here’s where you can get some of your own…

5 lb. bags of Mini Gummy Butterflies

AlbaneseConfectionery.com – $9.99 (on sale!)
BlairCandy.com – $13.95
RoyalCandyCompany.com – $12.95
SweetFactory.com – $17.00
CandyWarehouse.com – $19.50
Candy.com – $14.95 (on sale!)
GroovyCandies.com – $17.95

Happy Pills – Sometimes the Best Medicine of All Doesn’t Require a Prescription!

Image courtesy of HappyPills.es

I’m a candy fan, you’re a candy fan, a lot of people you know are probably candy fans. Candy might not be the most nutritious food on the planet, but it doesn’t pretend to be, either. Candy is fun food at its finest – unapologetically indulgent, sweet, and often, colorful and cool. But can candy also be medicine? While it’s not too likely to be what the doctor ordered, I think it can! Sort of…

Measure Your Mood, Decide Your Dose

At the end of a long, trying day, a lot of people reach for a beer or glass of wine. Some take it out on the treadmill at the gym, while others dig into a cake or pie. We all have our own ways of making ourselves feel better when times get tough, and mine is not surprisingly eating candy.

Of course, if your mood is more than just a bit cranky because you had a rough day and you feel you may be suffering from depression, by all means you should talk about it with your doctor. But if it’s an occasional occurrence and it was something (or several things) that set you off, that’s a different story. That’s the kind of story where Happy Pills might be the best medicine!

I first read about Happy Pills on the blog panda bytes. The author was enviably roaming the streets of Barcelona when they happened upon a candy shop by the name of Happy Pills. Once inside they were encountered with some of the most clever candy container designs I’ve ever seen! As the ‘Instructions for use’ demonstrate, these bottles are to be popped open when the little annoyances of life have us just about ready to scream at the moon. Apparently there is even a ‘prescription’ aimed at helping men to wash the dishes!

I clicked through to the Happy Pills website, and was instantly in love with everything. I don’t speak Spanish so am unsure what many of the label options mean, but it appears that for some items you can opt for your favorite candy mix and affix a ‘prescription’ of your choosing. Such a wonderful gift idea, and just plain fun like candy should be!

This Lucky Leprechaun Bark is St. Patrick’s Day Perfection!

Can you believe St. Patrick’s Day is just a few days away? I certainly can’t! Holidays have been sneaking up on me this year more than ever, though I have to admit they’ve always had a habit of doing that. I haven’t got my holiday plans set in stone just yet, but I will be having some friends over this weekend to kick back and catch up over a few beers and cocktails. I always like to have a special sweet on hand to share, and I made a stop by Pinterest today to see what it had to offer. After sorting through quite a few tempting St. Patrick’s Day candy recipes, the one shining brightest at the end of the rainbow came to light! And that recipe is for colorful, fun, and crunchy Lucky Leprechaun Bark.

The Pin for this mint chocolate bark recipe led me to CouponingNCooking.com, and if the ingredients didn’t sound delicious enough on their own (they do!), the additional pictures would have been enough to make my decision for me. The one I saw on Pinterest was enticing enough, but looking at several in a row from different angles had my sweet tooth sending up a cheer! One of my favorite things about barks is that they look like they took forever to make, but actually can be quite quick. This recipe seems like it can be achieved in a short window of time, but the effect is perfect. All you’ll need as far as ingredients go is melting chocolate, melting white chocolate, green food coloring, Mint M&M’s, Andes Mint baking chips, and some green colored sugar. Check out the site for a step-by-step and some inspiration on other occasions for which this bark makes a great choice!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

Scoop Up Some Marshmallow Cones at a Cool Price!

Image courtesy of BlairCandy.com

Sometimes my candy cravings make sense. Easter is on the horizon, so Cadbury Mini Eggs are at the top of my must-eat list. Valentine’s Day just passed, and I couldn’t get my fill of Conversation Hearts. I saw those candies in the store, my mind is trained to want them at certain times of year, so it all adds up! But then there are other cravings that come out of left field and I don’t rightly know what kicked them into gear. And today that is a serious craving for marshmallow ice cream cones.

If you aren’t familiar with marshmallow ice cream cones candy, I’ll do my best to describe them. It would do you well to understand that they don’t contain any actual ice cream, rather a ‘swirl’ of marshmallow tucked into an ice cream cone. This marshmallow swirl is white, pink and blue, or white, green and yellow. And it is typically sprinkled with delicious sugar crystals to make an already awesome sweet even sweeter.

If you are familiar with marshmallow ice cream cones, chances are good that you’re craving them now as well since I brought them up! If that’s the case, here are some places you can dish out a little cash and scoop them up online…

30-Cone Tub of Marshmallow Ice Cream Cones

Marshmallow Cones at Blair Candy – $9.00
Marshmallow Cones at Old Time Candy – $9.99
Marshmallow Cones at Amazon.com – $15.95
Marshmallow Cones at Candy.com – $9.95
Marshmallow Cones at eBay – $16.99

Jelly Belly Rolls Out a Good Kind of Beer Belly!

Image courtesy of JellyBelly.com

Typically, when you think of the words ‘beer belly’ you imagine someone with an extra round stomach that was ‘grown’ primarily from consuming too many cold ones. But there’s another kind of beer belly out there now, and it’s much more exciting! Adding to their already amazing lineup of Jelly Belly flavors, the brains behind the best beans in the business have brewed up something fans of the frothy stuff are sure to love. Raise your mugs to Jelly Belly Draft Beer Flavor Jelly Beans, which I first read about here!

An iridescent finish makes these beans surprisingly – dare I say – pretty! But the point of the iridescence wasn’t one of beauty, rather to give the same effect as a bubbly brew. Watching the video on the Jelly Belly website, I learned that the first drink-inspired flavor to come from Jelly Belly was Pina Colada, in the 1980s. Many marvelous flavors followed, including a favorite of many, Mai Tai.

One of my favorite things about Jelly Belly beans is the myriad recipes you can find to create a symphony of flavor on your tongue. For example, pairing the now discontinued Peanut Butter bean with a Grape Jelly bean to simulate everyone’s favorite sandwich. While we’re sure there are plenty Draft Beer Jelly Belly recipes to come, we don’t have to start from scratch. Jelly Belly has provided several recipes to consider, including Beer Sangria (2 Draft Beer beans and 1 Peach bean), Apple Cider Shandy (2 Draft Beer beans and 1 Red Apple bean), and Michelada (2 Draft Beer beans, 1 Lemon Lime bean, and 1 Tabasco® bean).

Of note from JellyBelly.com: “All Jelly Belly jelly beans are OU Kosher, gluten free, peanut free, dairy free, fat free and vegetarian friendly.” It’s also worth mentioning that Draft Beer beans are alcohol-free, though most parents probably wouldn’t want their kiddos noshing on them regardless!

What are your thoughts on Jelly Belly Draft Beer jelly beans, or Jelly Belly beans in general? My personal favorites are Watermelon and Strawberry Daiquiri – what are yours?

Subscription Boxes Just Got Even Sweeter!

Image courtesy of RamblingsOfASuburbanMom.com

Are you subscribed to any of the oh-so-many subscription boxes that are currently available? Personally, I am subscribed to 3: Birchbox, ipsy, and Graze (Birchbox and ipsy are $10 monthly, Graze is $6 every other week, for reference). I want to be subscribed to many, many more, but alas, I could easily spend all my money on subscription boxes, and there are other things I have to buy and pay for! You know, like heat and my mortgage. Not nearly as exciting, but necessary.

If you aren’t familiar with subscriptions, here’s a quick rundown on how they usually work: For a set price each month (or even weekly, in some cases), you are sent an assortment of items in line with the type of subscription at hand. Birchbox and ipsy are makeup subscriptions, so each month I am sent a package with 4 or 5 makeup samples (some full size!) that they think I will enjoy, based on my input from a quiz I completed when signing up. I have received a few duds here and there, but for just $10 each per month, I have discovered some great new makeup I might not have otherwise known about, and enjoyed the excitement of knowing I’d get a fun package in the mail every month. When you reach a certain age, it seems like it’s all bills, so getting lipgloss instead is A-OK!

Graze is a snack box, and I’ve actually just signed up. I haven’t received my first box yet, but I’m excited. Makeup and snacks are two of my favorite things. But, we all know what my most favorite thing is, right? (Puppies excluded, as they’re the best thing ever.) My favorite thing is likely the same as your favorite thing, and that thing is CANDY!

So where am I going with all this? Trust me – the lead-up was not without reason. I just now discovered something amazing and had to share it with all of you instantly. Ladies and gentlemen, there is a candy subscription box. Yes – you can get surprise candy in the mail every month. BEST. BOX. EVER!

I read about this subscription box, Candy Pack , at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom. She is currently hosting a giveaway, so I hope you’ll all go check out her review and enter! Want to sign up immediately whether you win or not? Hey – I can’t blame you. You can find out more about Candy Pack at CandyPack.com, but here are the main takeaways…

Choose Your Package: There are currently packages available in 4 sizes – 1 lb., 3 lb., 5 lb., and 8 lb. These packages start at $24.95 and go up to $199.60 per month. While I would love that King Size package, when I do make room in my budget to sign up, I’m going to have to get by on a Small! (Hey, 1 lb. of candy is still a good lot of candy.)

Is This Candy I’ve Already Tried: Probably not! Candy Pack sends unique candies from other countries, offering an opportunity to treat your taste buds to something they might not otherwise experience.

When Will I Get My Candy: While I haven’t seen a subscription box yet that makes any specific guarantees, Candy Pack does state that they most often ship out the first week of the month.

Good Luck in the giveaway noted above, and let me know in the comments what you think about Candy Pack. I’m certainly sweet on the idea!

Lego Dude Valentines: They’re as Cool as They Sound

Image courtesy of SugarSwings.blogspot.com

Can you believe that Lego has been creating some of the most fun toys EVER since 1949? I couldn’t! I was doing a little research today as I was curious about how long they’ve been around, and was surprised to find it’s longer than 60 years. Having purchased Legos for many years, I can say with certainty that my personal favorites are the Legos that allow you to make whatever you can dream up. I understand the appeal of the specific Lego sets, but I love even more watching what kids can come up with themselves! But I digress.

Perhaps what had Legos on my mind today was that I recently saw a commercial for The Lego Movie. If you haven’t seen the commercial yourself, it is actually a preview of a new Lego movie set for release this February 7. Given how much I love Legos, I think I’ll volunteer to take some of the kiddos in my family to check it out. No one has to know I secretly want to see it just as much as them, or more! I think I’ll also be making some Lego-themed Valentine’s Day treats this year. To be honest, the idea never even occurred to me until I stumbled on the cutest Lego candy I ever did see at Sugar Swings!

Sugar Swings has recipes for some of the most unique creations you can imagine, and the blogger/baker/awesome lady who authors the blog has imagined up so many Lego recipes, they have their own category. As for the ones I’ll be trying my hand at for Valentine’s Day? Lego Dude Valentines, of course!

The recipe is simple enough, requiring just candy melts, a sprinkle mix with hearts, and the trickiest ingredient of all – patience! You will need to purchase a Lego ice cube tray, but I think it’s worth the investment as you can use it time and again for any occasion.

What do you all think? Are these Lego Valentine’s candies something you or your kids would love?