Archive for the ‘Taffy’ Category

Sweets and Snacks Expo

 

Ready, set, go!

It’s off to opening day of the National Confectioners Association‘s annual Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago. This 3-day sugarlicious industry event is candy heaven. Rows and rows of candy manufacturers display their latest confections to hungry retail buyers from all over the world.

We’ve already got a “hot list” of new products we know we want to to see (and sample!) top o’ the morning, including …

Baby Blue and Pink Gummy Bears
Not sure what’s cooler. The colors or the flavors of these gummy bears. Albanese Confectionery Company‘s translucent Baby Blue Blueberry and Baby Pink Grapefruit Gummy Bears have huge potential for baby showers and weddings. I’m quite sure they’ll live up to expectations.

Sweethearts Marshmallows
Heart-shaped Marshmallow Sweethearts® are headed to love birds everywhere this Valentine’s Day. Just like classic Sweethearts® (Sweethearts is a registered trademark of New England Confectionery Company), the new fluffy, puffy marshmallow hearts will feature sweet nothings like “Hug me,” “Smile,” and “Be Mine.” Manufactured by the Spangler Candy Company, the hearts will come in sweet little 1.6-ounce pink boxes and an assortment of flavors (Strawberry, Grape, Green Apple, and Blue Raspberry). Think of the possibilities for dressing up cupcakes, cookies, cake pops, Rice Krispie Treats, S’mores, ice cream, hot cocoa … oh my!

Astro Pops
Two years after acquiring the retired Astro Pop brand from the Spangler Candy Company, Leaf Brands, LLC is bringing the classic Cherry, Passion Fruit, and Pineapple-flavored rocket pops back to life in two sizes: original 1 oz. for mass merchants, and 1.5 oz. for smaller retailers. To ensure that the 2012 Astro Pop was made exactly the way everyone remembered it—down to the wax and clear wrapper—Leaf Brands enlisted the help of its Facebook friends. Based on product photos, it looks spot on.

In other Leaf Brands news, the company now owns the rights to Bonkers and Wacky Wafers, so be on the lookout for those two classic comebacks in 2013.

 

Justin’s All-Natural Candy Bars
According to Justin’s press info, the company’s new All-natural Candy Bar line (including Milk Chocolate Peanut, Dark Chocolate Peanut, and Milk Chocolate Almond) contains “25% less sugar, 50% more protein, and 100% more fiber than the leading conventional candy bar, Snickers®.” Beyond that, Justin’s “uses only all-natural and organic ingredients, has no hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives or trans fats, and is also gluten free.”

Um, that’s a mouthful. How can you not be curious enough to give these a road test?

 

DOVE Cookies and Crème Bars and Promises
Coming September 2012: DOVE® Silky Smooth Cookies & Crème Bars and Promises from Mars Chocolate North America. It’s sweet and creamy white chocolate and crunch chocolate cookie bits under the DOVE umbrella. Enough said.

 

Wild Ophelia Candy Bars
Katrina Markoff, the brainchild behind Vosges Haut-Chocolat, has a new venture, Wild Ophelia: Taking an American Road Trip Through Chocolate. Her latest line of exotic dark and milk chocolate bars are smaller than traditional Vosges bars (2 oz. vs. 3 oz.), and less expensive ($4.50-ish vs. $7.50-ish).

Wild Ophelia exhibited at last year’s Sweets & Snacks Expo, but with only five bars. This year, the brand has blossomed into nine bars, including Peanut Butter & Banana, Salted Chowchilla Almond, Smokehouse BBQ Potato Chips, Sweet & Crispy Caramel Corn, Beef Jerky, Southern Hibiscus Peach, New Orleans Chili, Mount Sequoia Granola, and  Sweet Cherry Pecan. BBQ potato chips blended with dark chocolate sounds both disgusting and inviting. Must try!

 

Blue Raspberry and Wild Cherry Bonomo Turkish Taffy
The Warrell Corporation brought Bonomo Turkish Taffy out of retirement two years ago. This year, Warrell is expanding its nostalgic and incredibly chewy (the last time I sampled Bonomo Turkish Taffy, I lost a filling) taffy line with two new flavors: Blue Raspberry and Wild Cherry. Given the popularity of Cherry and Blue Raspberry Airheads, these flavors are a pretty safe bet.

 

Tic Tac Cinnamon Spice
Because I am one of the few humans on the planet who likes “Close-Up Cinnamon Red Gel Toothpaste,” I have a hunch, I’ll like Ferrero U.S.A.‘s new Cinnamon Spice Tic Tacs with “sweet, warm flavor.” They’ve got great color for the holidays and each tiny piece is less than 2 calories. Hello stocking stuffer.

If you’re on the Sweets & Snacks show floor today, let us know. We’d love to meet you!

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Planning a candy buffet for an event sounds really, really fun (what’s not to love?), but when you get down to business, there are a lot of decisions to be made.

With so many candy types, colors, shapes, textures, sizes—and just as many containers, scoops, labels, and table props to consider—two g’s come to mind: “gulp” and “gasp.”

Enter Amy Atlas …

If you aren’t already familiar with the name, Amy Atlas is the goddess of dessert tables and candy buffets. Her work is like looking at a fashion runway with so much attention paid to color, texture, style, and accessories. (If you need to see to believe, click here.)

With such talent and experience, we turned to Amy to answer frequently asked questions about candy buffets … and dish on her highly anticipated new book.

Candy.com: The customer service team at Candy.com is constantly asked, “How much candy should I buy?” and “Is there a rule of thumb for estimating container capacity?” (i.e., How many pounds of salt water taffy or M&M’s will I need to fill a half-gallon apothecary jar?) How do you calculate quantities for your own events?

Amy Atlas:  As a basic rule, I suggest 6 to 8 ounces of candy per guest.  However, if you are looking to make a more bountiful display, you may have to order more depending on your design.

Unfortunately, there is no rule of thumb for estimating candy per container. I use the following guidelines, though …

  • - Salt water taffy: 1 1/2 lbs per half-gallon container
    - Malt balls: 2 1/2 lbs per half-gallon container
    - M&M’s: 3 lbs per half-gallon container

Candy.com: When ordering candy for an event, how far in advance do you suggest placing the order?

Amy Atlas: I recommend ordering at least 10 days to two weeks prior to the event to ensure the candy will get there on time and to avoid additional shipping fees. The candy will stay fresh so long as you the candy is kept in the packaging and stored at room temperature.

 

Candy.com: Should you buy less candy per person if you’re also including cake/cookies/cupcakes on your dessert table?

Amy Atlas: Adding cake/cookies/cupcakes to your dessert spread will round out your dessert table and you’ll probably need less candy.  Another factor in determining how much candy you will need is what type of vessels you are using for the candy. If you are using small bowls, then you won’t necessarily have to purchase a lot to make it look pretty.

 

Candy.com: What are the most practical containers/vessels to use?

Amy Atlas: Containers with wide openings are the most practical so guests can easily access the candy with scoops. I love these containers.

 

Candy.com: Should you provide a scoop for every container?

Amy Atlas: Yes, you absolutely should have a scoop for each container. You will not want flavors of certain candies mixed with others, especially if food allergies are a concern. Having multiple scoops also helps ensure that guests won’t be waiting for others to finish scooping.

 

Candy.com: What are the best types of candies to use in a candy buffet?

Amy Atlas: My favorites to use are jelly beans, M&M’s, and malt balls.

 

Candy.com: What is your favorite candy color palette?

Amy Atlas: I love mixing and matching unexpected color palettes. Currently, I’m loving neon pink and yellow paired with a grayish lavender accent color.

Candy.com: What type of favor bags or boxes do you like to use for guests to take home candy?

Amy Atlas: I often personalize bags like these for the clients to send their guests off with. However, popcorn boxes and muslin pouches are also great containers.

 

Candy.com: What are some ways to create different heights on a candy buffet, so it’s more eye-appealing?

Amy Atlas: You can use vessels in various heights. Also, think outside the “vessel” and use fun containers that tie into your theme. For a rustic dessert bar, tree trunks can add the perfect amount of height while a travel themed party would look fantastic with small luggage containers.

 

Candy.com: Do you have any tips for staying organized while planning a candy buffet or dessert table?

Amy Atlas: Create a mockup of the design before the event to get a sense of whether you need to add additional candy/desserts (or if you have planned for too much and you need to scale back). Keep an organized list for when all of your candy and desserts are being delivered and remember to pack candy scoops for the event!

 

Candy.com: We’re dying for your new book, Sweet Designs: Bake It, Craft It, Style It to be released on April 24! What can you tell us about it?

Amy Atlas: The book is the first book created for making sweets/candy tables. While the pictures are beautiful, it is not intended to be a coffee table book. I created it so people can use it as a reference not only for inspiration, but also as a guide for all of my sweet styling tips. Think of it as a candy table bible.  The book has over 100 of my recipes, 75 of my crafting instructions, and is filled with my styling tips.  There are more than 250 never-seen-before photos as well!


Amy Atlas photo courtesy of Robert Caplin.
Candy buffet and book cover photos courtesy of Amy Atlas.

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21 Jun

Candies That Scream “Summer” 0

Update! The winner of the “Candies That Scream Summer” contest is Pam Reiser.

Pam says that the candies that reminder her most of summer are … “Sweet and Sour Charm pops! When my brother played baseball in the summer. I would always get a charms pop at the stand!”

Congrats Pam and thanks to everyone who participated. Have a great summer!

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Not everyone screams for ice cream in the summertime. Lots of people actually scream for salt water taffy, cotton candy, fruit slices, licorice ropes, gummies, lollipops, and lemon drops.


In celebration of those people and this first day of Summer 2011, I invite you to answer my burning question:

“What candies remind you of summer?”

Everyone who answers after this post or on Facebook or Twitter will automatically be entered to win a $25 Candy.com Gift Certificate. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow (Wed.) afternoon.

I’ll go first: Razzles, Hot Dog Gum and Candy Dots.

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in Candy, Contests, Taffy

Are you staring at your computer screen like a deer in the headlights because you have no idea what to get Aunt Tilly, Grandpa Harry, or Cousin Eddie? Never fear.

I’ve got six goof-proof gift ideas for you. All will arrive by Christmas if you order by Wed., Dec. 22.  (Click on each photo for product details.)

A gift pretty enough to double as a centerpiece.

Hand out these milk chocolate bars to difficult relatives during the holidays and watch sparks fly.

For die-hard Bonomo Turkish Taffy fans, this gift is better than a shiny new car or sparkly diamonds.

Here's a gift Santa would covet. Ghirardelli packed its reusable sleigh with cookies, hot cocoa, and a handful of chocolate squares.

Godiva's gift basket not only looks impressive, but it also covers a major food group.

This spirited chocolate trio has New Year's Eve written all over it.

And here’s a gift for you. It’s my goof-proof recipe for English Toffee that tastes like Heath Bars. I have never ruined a batch, and that’s huge for me. So, I’m dead serious when I say these are “goof-proof.”

To-Die-For English Toffee

1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

In heavy saucepan melt butter. Add sugars and water. Mix well. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When candy thermometer measures 300 F, remove mixture from heat.

Quickly and carefully pour mixture onto ungreased cookie sheet. Spread with a knife to form an even layer. While toffee is still hot, sprinkle on chocolate chips and spread. Sprinkle nuts over chocolate. Refrigerate until candy is set. Break into pieces of desired size.

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