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Friday, December 27, 2013

Cavity Search: Holiday Candy is on Sale Right Now

Posted by on Fri, Dec 27, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Top Secret
  • Top Secret
You know those Cadbury Mini-Eggs with the crunchy shell that are the only reason people acknowledge Easter? They secretly make them for Christmas, too! Only instead of pastel eggs, they’re red, green, white, round, and called... um... Solid Milk Chocolates with a Crisp Candy Shell. Something about the packaging makes it seem like mint is going to be involved, but really, they’re just Mini-Eggs in disguise. Rejoice!

Speaking of mint, which can be really gross let’s FACE IT already, how do you feel about peppermint bark? I am pro, mostly because I’ve developed a late-20s white-chocolate urge that surely indicates I’m turning into my mother. The more white chocolate the better these days. But what exactly IS it? The Wall Street Journal explained, in a poky li'l article titled 'White Chocolate, a Blank Slate for Flavor, Wins Converts,' that: “White chocolate is made from the cocoa butter separated out when cocoa beans are roasted.” So it really is a distant relative of real chocolate, and apparently there are standards, which is nice—Wikipedia tells us, “Regulations govern what may be marketed as ‘white chocolate’: In the United States, since 2004, white chocolate must be (by weight) at least 20% cocoa butter...Before this date, U.S. firms required temporary marketing permits to sell white chocolate.” What I would give for a framed white-chocolate permit.

Back to peppermint bark. It’s hard to blow it with this candy (Williams-Sonoma has a nice fancy one, and Trader Joe’s standard bark always does the trick), but right now I'm pretty into Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses, which consist of white chocolate, red stripes, and little dots of crunchy candy cane—just enough mint to be safely outside the sweet-toothpaste danger zone. They're less intense than classic bark—you can eat them without candy-cane shrapnel flying everywhere and they don't involve the dark chocolate bottom layer, which I can usually live without. (For you mint lovers out there, they also offer a dark chocolate mint truffle Kiss, which is a green mint-paste blob wearing a dark-chocolate smug jacket.)

Two other holiday treats I found in my grocery- and drug-store travels:

Red Velvet Santa: From Russel Stover (the Wet N Wild of confectioners)—a lump of pinkish red-velvet-flavored clay-like substance covered in chocolate. For the record, it’s not shaped like a Santa at all, more like a damaged triangle; red-velvet cake mix is listed as an ingredient, which is why, I assume, the lump is gritty. But really, it was kind of good. Dominic Holden described it best: “This is deliciously disgusting.”

Gingerbread-Flavored Men: These Peeps marshmallow buddies are light brown and shaped like little gingerbros. I wasn’t expecting it, but they actually taste like gingerbread—right down to the ginger/mollasses-y spice kick. Paul Constant didn’t hate them: “Better than a Starbucks gingerbread latte, which is as good as you’re going to get from me.”

Hot tip!
  • Hot tip!
(In other Peeps news, Safeway currently has a gift set containing two boxes of Peeps and a STUFFED PEEP CHICK WEARING A SANTA HAT on mega sale right now. I just bought three, so they only have a couple left at the Central District location.)

Now then, does anyone know of any good New Year's candies?


Comments (18) RSS

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Fnarf 1
Peppermint circus peanuts. Yeah, really. No, I didn't try them. But I did enjoy a big bag of puffed peppermint pillow mints, the ones with the texture of chalk: mmm. Now I am sick.
Posted by Fnarf on December 27, 2013 at 1:21 PM · Report this
Emily Nokes 2
@1 - Peppermint circus peanuts? NO! I can't and I won't.

I do kind of like those little chalk-mint-pastel pillows (though I think they're called "butter mints" which grosses me out for some reason).
Posted by Emily Nokes on December 27, 2013 at 1:42 PM · Report this
Gingerbread-Flavored Men
Something I would expect to read more in a Dan Savage post than Emily's, but ok.
Posted by ChefJoe on December 27, 2013 at 1:48 PM · Report this
laterite 4
Candy cane Junior Mints. I challenge you to resist eating the entire box in one sitting! Mmm...
Posted by laterite on December 27, 2013 at 1:48 PM · Report this
laterite 5
And, of course, the peppermint bark at Costco is to die for.
Posted by laterite on December 27, 2013 at 1:49 PM · Report this
I'm still working my way through last Easter's Creme Eggs. I have about four left, all of the choc-creme variety. They're kind of sickly.
Posted by originalcinner on December 27, 2013 at 2:05 PM · Report this
GMO high fructose corn syrup
Mad cow mucous secretions
bovine growth hormone
Toxic antibiotic chemicals

Posted by don't buy shit to eat on December 27, 2013 at 2:08 PM · Report this
Fnarf 8
@2, no, butter mints are the little tiny ones, in pastel colors. These were much larger versions, all white with red blotches on the sides, but with the same chalky texture that I love and cannot tolerate. Seriously, I think I'm going to go barf again.

But these:…
Posted by Fnarf on December 27, 2013 at 2:15 PM · Report this
Emily Nokes 9
@8 - That's it, I'm going to order a few bags of holiday circus peanuts for the office and see who gets desperate first...
Posted by Emily Nokes on December 27, 2013 at 2:22 PM · Report this
ingopixel 10
I know they're not strictly holiday candy but that roll of Necco wafers I just tore through sure did do the trick. So chalky and delicious! I especially love the pink ones that taste exactly like pepto bismol. Next I've got a roll of chocolate Neccos because someone in the old-timey candy world knows what the people want.
Posted by ingopixel on December 27, 2013 at 2:26 PM · Report this
Bought the Gingerbread Peeps and made everybody at work eat 'em.

Chocolate is the best sugar delivery system, as far as I'm concerned.
Posted by judybrowni on December 27, 2013 at 2:41 PM · Report this
rob! 12
Well, Dan Savage's favored Wiener Punschkrapfen are apparently irresistible, and a 4-pack will only set you back about $25. Oh, and probably another $30-40 for shipping, if they're even allowed to send them here—you might have to go snowboarding in Austria to get them. #1%er-problems
Posted by rob! on December 27, 2013 at 2:42 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 13
The cherry cordial Hershey's Kisses are also really delicious.

I can't stand any other peppermint bark that I don't make myself though. Other versions are too waxy; often include dark chocolate, which is bullshit (I love dark chocolate but it doesn't belong in peppermint bark); and don't have nearly enough peppermint.
Posted by keshmeshi on December 27, 2013 at 3:07 PM · Report this
rob! 14
...There's the banjo serenader, and the others of his race,
And the piano-organist—I've got him on the list!
And the people who eat peppermint and puff it in your face,
They never would be missed—they never would be missed!...
—"As Some Day It May Happen," Gilbert & Sullivan, The Mikado [bowdlerized version]
Posted by rob! on December 27, 2013 at 3:24 PM · Report this
The seasonal Reese's Peanut Butter (Christmas Trees, Valentines Hearts, Easter Eggs, Pumpkins) do the trick for me. I don't know why, but they taste so much better than regular RPBC. The period between Easter and Halloween are my 'dark days' because there's no RPBC flags or anything.
Posted by ProstSeattle on December 27, 2013 at 3:52 PM · Report this
Emily Nokes 16
@15 - I agree! The chocolate seems less waxy in the softer shapes. Someone needs to get on the "summer-themed candies" to tide us over already. Reese's Peanut Butterflies?
Posted by Emily Nokes on December 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM · Report this
Hmm. I love the candy cane Kisses. So good.

I also like Ghiradelli peppermint bark (I'm not sure that's what it's called, but that's what it is), and Andes mints Christmas variety. I can't remember what they're called, but they're in a red bag and have white chocolate with candy cane pieces where the green mint part usually is.
Posted by J from Oregon on December 29, 2013 at 9:10 AM · Report this
lucida c. 18
"Do you love the taste of chocolate, but can't stand looking at it?" (…)
Posted by lucida c. on December 30, 2013 at 10:23 AM · Report this

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