Archive for December, 2012

80-YEARS-LOGO-2012

So many nostalgic candies and their founding family-owned companies have come and gone—or moved on to larger corporations—but the Atkinson family and its classic Chick-O-Sticks, Peanut Butter Bars, peppermints, and coconut candies are still going strong after 80+ years.

Company president, Eric Atkinson, gave us a glimpse into his family’s rich candy history as well as juicy details on the brand new Chick-O-Stick wrapper. Read on …

Candy.com: The Atkinson Candy Company is like so many great candy companies: family-owned. How many of your family members currently work at your headquarters?

Eric Atkinson: I represent the third generation, my nephew Jeremy Jones represents our fourth generation, and my cousin, Billy Atkinson is on our board of directors. Billy is a retired accountant from Price Waterhouse who is taking our company to new levels with brand acquisitions. It’s really an exciting time for us.

 

Candy.com: I read that your company was founded by B. E. Atkinson, Sr. and Mabel C. Atkinson  in the 1930s in Lufkin, Texas. How are you related to the founders?

Eric Atkinson: They are my grandparents. I’d go fishing with my grandma down at their lake house all the time. In the morning, I’d get up and go with grand daddy out to the plant. I loved that as a kid. My grandma would wrap the candy by hand and I got to play in the sacks of peanuts. When I got older, I loaded up the trucks.

B.E. Atkinson, Sr., founder, Atkinson Candy Company
Candy.com:
What was it like growing up surrounded by candy?

Eric Atkinson: It was great. At the plant, I got to go around with a paper bag and fill it with candy to take home and eat. That’s how I learned about eating candy in moderation! Back then, we were making the same candy we make today with the same recipes: peppermints, coconut candy, Chick-O-Sticks, and Peanut Butter Bars. Those candies really represented the candies of the day. Forrest Mars and Milton Hershey were just getting into chocolate. Around 1960, my Uncle Joe, who was an engineer, developed the machine that makes our Mint Twists. It cuts our mints and puts our signature twist into them. We still use Uncle Joe’s machine today.

 

Candy.com: Can consumers visit your company factory in Lufkin, Texas?CandyKitchenLogo

Eric Atkinson: Yes! We have a store within our plant that we call the “Candy Kitchen.” It’s the same name my grand dad used for our plant. In the Candy Kitchen, customers can watch a film that gives a tour of our plant and shows how we make our candy. The Candy Kitchen is set up for customers to also purchase products.

 

Candy.com: Who came up with the name Chick-O-Stick … and is there a story behind the name?

Eric Atkinson: Originally, Chick-O-Sticks were called Chicken Bones. They look like a piece of fried chicken or chicken legs, so I guess that’s how they got their name, but I don’t know that for sure. Back in the 1950s, my Uncle Joe and our VP of sales found out that “Chicken Bones” was already a trademarked name. I believe it was the artist for our candy boxes at the time who actually came up with the name Chick-O-Stick … and it stuck.

 

Candy.com: We’ve heard change is coming to Chick-O-Stick packaging, which is set to debut in January. What can you tell us about the new wrapper?”

Eric Atkinson: We want our customers to “Embrace the Break.” It’s OK to break and share a Chick-O-Stick. So, do it … it’s fun! We give you permission. Our new wrapper includes the phrase, “Break Me, Share Me” to encourage a crack down. The film structure of the packaging is also brand new and extends the shelf life of the product. It’s made on a state-of-the-art machine from Italy. We’re really excited about it.

Chick-O-Stick Candy

 

Candy.com: OK, we have to ask. What’s your all-time favorite Atkinson candy?

Eric Atkinson: Coconut Long Boys. I prefer the Juniors.

CoconutLongBoys2

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ChrismasOrnamentCakePops

 

Joanne MacLennan of Merry Poppins is back on our blog today with a Christmas treat! Her brilliantly colored Ornament Cake Pops are a great addition to cookie baking this weekend.  A perfect project to make with kids of all ages, and a wonderful gift to bring to holiday hosts!

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I love decorating my Christmas Tree with the memories of the past.  Each ornament seems to carry with it an emotion locked inside for you to physically touch as you place it on the tree.  This is wondrous to me.  Now that I am a little crazed about small round edible balls, I thought it would be fun to create some ornaments for your table too!

Here’s what you’ll need:

• 1 Cake mix
Candy melts (red and white here)
Lollipop sticks
SweetWorks Sugar pearls, Sixlets, edible glitter, and nonpareils
• Wax paper
• Parchment paper or paper to catch falling glitter
• Flat plate or cookie sheet
• Microwaveable bowls for melting the candy melts
• Spoons
• Small plastic bag with the corner cut out to use as a tip for details, OR a decorating set with various tips
• Styrofoam block to stand sticks while waiting for them to set
• Bowls to catch falling sprinkles and candy

Ingredients

 

Here’s the how-to:
For the complete directions on how to make a cake pop up to the dipping stage, please refer to my last post on MyCandyCrafts.com , and complete up to the end of step 8.

Below is my basic ring cake pop.  I first made three rings of melts, and then sprinkled them with red nonpariels.  Let this set for a few minutes. Then make three more rings between the red ones and sprinkle with green nonpariels. Then, carefully dip the silver Sixlet into the melted chocolate and set on the top of your cake pop.

RedGreenPop
This cake pop was dipped, and immediately sprinkled with red edible glitter.  Make sure you sprinkle over a clean sheet of paper for this one.  Once you are done it is easy to bend the paper and let the glitter slide back into the container. Again, complete the cake pop with a silver sixlet on the top.

RedPop

I love snowflakes!

I first dipped my cake pop in red melts and let it set.  Then, after dumping a spoon of melted candy melts into a small plastic bag and snipping off the tip, I drew little lines crossing each other.  Three to be exact.  Like an X with one more line through it.  Then grab the glitter and sprinkle.  Any mistakes you thought you had will disappear in the sparkles.

I dipped the cake pop in red melts again and let it set.  Using my little plastic bag with melts in it, I drew a line from the top of the cake pop to the bottom, and came right back up a little but away from my first line.  Then I filled in the space with melts and quickly sprinkled with gold edible glitter.  Continue around the ball until it is complete.

Oh!  And don’t forget the silver Sixlet on the top!

SnowflakePop

This green striped cake pop was done the same way as the red and gold ball, but I dipped it in white melts, and then never filled in the spaces that were left between the lines I drew from the top to the bottom.  I love this one.

Top off with a silver Sixlet.

Green_CakePop_Ornament

All complete!  A colorful array of eye catching treats!

Time to clean up!  Being creative in my house means there is a mess at the end.  ;)

ChristmasOrnamentCakePop-Mix2

ChristmasOrnamentCakePops_Mix

 

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NRG_Drops

Do you ever lust for a jolt of energy, but don’t have the time to stop at Starbucks? Or, can’t face the day without a Diet Coke, but your refrigerator is empty? Say hello to your new best friend: NRG Shock Drops.

Hillside Candy (the makers of GoLightly and GoOrganic/GoNaturally candies) introduces berry-flavored NRG Shock Drops, which are portable, controllable, and shareable energy boosts. It’s energy to go, but on your terms. Have one drop for a quick pick-me-up or have a few drops for a marathon day ahead.

NRG drops are individually wrapped, so you can stash them in your purse, pocket, backpack, glove compartment, or desk. Like a good Boy Scout, you’ll be prepared for anything … even a drive across America. NRG Drops are also sugar-free, so you won’t fall victim to a sugar crash.

Try It, You’ll Like It!
For a limited time, NRG Shock Drops are available as a three-pack for $9.99 and it ships FREE! (Each 1.13-ounce pack includes four servings of berry-flavored NRG Shock Drops.) To purchase, click here.

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Radpack Gumballs

OK, get ready for five completely radical gumballs in one pack: Flaming Hot, Foaming, Colorful, Extremely Cool, and Super Sour.

Each of the five flavors in SweetWorks’ new Radpack Bubble Gumballs mix is over-the-top, and that’s an understatement.

Meet Ball of Fire, a gumball that gives habañero a run for its money; Mouth Mess, which oozes color and will instantly turn your tongue into a Picasso; Super Sour, a gumball guaranteed to make you wince (and possibly cry); Extreme Cool with ridiculously icy mint flavor; and Foaming Flavor, which should be avoided at all costs when wearing white.

If that doesn’t pique your interest, these extreme gumballs are also gluten-free, kosher-certified … and perfect for ambushing unsuspecting friends who are fully expecting a classic, cherry-flavored gumball. So evil.

We double-dog dare you to try a Radpack and give it a review at Candy.com. C’mon … do it!

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