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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Can you take the heat of The Atomic Fireball?

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Wow, I love these. The name, no doubt, came with our post-war atomic obsession. Funny thought: do you think people had these stored in their bomb shelters?

I keep these at my desk. They are one of the few candies that are almost impossible to over-eat.

These jaw-breaker type candies were introduced in 1954 by Nello Ferrara. According to the Ferrara Pan candy web site, he wanted to make a spicy candy. They were an immediate success. They are created using the “hot panned” method where the candy is built up in layers.The outer shell of the Fireball has a pleasant cinnamon flavor, but suddenly it gives way to FIRE! That spicy ingredient that setting your tongue ablaze is Capsaicin, which has been studied as a medicinal remedy, so enjoy all you can handle! They can get so hot that you have to take the candy out of your mouth for a moment, so don’t eat these in a business meeting.

The Ferrara Pan candy company estimates that 15 million are consumed weekly! Visit their site for more Fireball trivia and a video that shows the candy making.


Ice Breaker Sours-Stay away

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Thanks to Walmart for the image.

I made a terrible impulse buy today at the checkout. Instead of picking some sugar-free gum, I chose Ice Breaker Sours. Trust me, and don’t waste your hard-earned $1.49. They’re awful. I’ve heard that the lemon Ice Breakers gum is good, so I’ll check that out and let you know.

Epilog: I was about to throw them out when my daughter said, “I love those”.

Chocolate Chip Cookies-The Best Recipe, I promise

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photo credit:

I love cookies, I mean really love them. Because of this infatuation, I am a terrible cookie snob. I can detect margarine in most cookies and I rarely eat pre-packaged varieties. I’d have to go without food for 3 days before I’d eat a Chips a’hoy or one of those awful “Soft Batch” things.

I’ve been making chocolate chip cookies since I was in grade school. Most times I used toll house recipe until I came across this one, and I’ve never gone back. It’s from Southern Living, one of my favorite magazines. They test every recipe and only publish the really good ones.

These cookies are a little chewy and crispy at the same time. I use mini, semi-sweet morsels, and I use half a bag. If the dough seems a bit soft, I chill it for about 20 min before scooping the dough onto the pan.

Don’t pay attention to the photo that’s with the recipe on the my recipes web site. It’s not the correct cookie. (If you look closely at the photo you can see pecans.) The photo above looks like what you’ll get.

Try this recipe and you’ll have a keeper!


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My friend Carol makes these every Christmas, and my mouth waters at the thought of those cookies. Next time you see these at a party, or in a bakery, you must try at least one. You won’t be disappointed!

They are thin, crisp and often flavored with almond, anise, or vanilla. You will see them around the holidays, although they are appropriate at any time of year. They are created like a waffle and usually are about 4″ in diameter. Each cookie is individually pressed. The result is that each cookie has it’s own look with ragged edges that are a little crispy.

I like them plain, but the chocolate version is good, too. For variations, you can roll them into tube or canes shapes when they are warm, dip them in chocolate, or sandwich filling in between two cookies.

Here’s a good recipe

Thanks to King Arthur Flour for the photo, they have a good pizzelle maker, too.

Mint Juleps

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I had forgotten all about these treats, until I was perusing the Vermont County Store’s candy section. They were a like the indie movie sleeper of the penny candy counter. Mint and taffy combine for a great chew. They are thin enough not to remove a filling or crown, if they’re a little stale.

Look for them in the penny candy section, or order a 2 lb bag!

Rountree’s Fruit Pastilles..chewy love!

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Please excuse the fuzzy video…

If you like chewy candies, then you must experience Rountree’s fruit pastilles. These aren’t easy to find. You really have to search for them. At Whole Foods they are in the imported British food section, some stores have them with the imported chocolates.They are packaged in boxes or rolls. I can finish off a roll in a few minutes, so I buy the boxes. The candies in the rolls are shaped as discs, in the boxes they are shaped like little fruits. Speaking of fruit, the box clearly says that they contain 25% fruit juice, and they contain no artificial colors or flavors. These are now made by Nestle, but carry the original name and the quality hasn’t changed.

Their flavors (in order of best to least) are black current, strawberry, orange, lemon and lime. They are dusted with superfine sugar, or as the Brits call it “castor” sugar. (Hey, there’s a new vocabulary word for you.) Once you put one of these pastilles in your mouth, I dare you not to chew it. The sensation of the light crunch of the sugar and the chewy, fruit flavor combine for a totally satisfying treat.

Tip: these chewy candies, like all chewy candies, should carry the warning that you’ll have eaten way too many before you realize that you have done so.

Salt Water Taffy…bet you can’t eat just one (pound)

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Oh, where do I begin?…my first memories of this fantastic confection come from the boxes at my local HoJo’s. There was an octopus and guy in a diving suit on the front. The variety of bright colors was tempting, and you just had to get mom to pick up a box on the way out the door. Sure, the wax paper stuck to the candy and the taffy was rock hard, but hey, it was chewy once you sucked on it for about 5 minutes.

Grocery stores offered the same type of Salt Water taffy in the bulk bins; hard and stale. I thought that’s how it was supposed to be….

Later I discovered fresh salt water taffy at a real candy store, Candy Manor,¬† on Cape Cod. This stuff was soft and chewy and came in so many flavors; watermelon, orange sherbet, chocolate, yes even black licorice. Another recent taffy find is The Old Mill in Pigeon forge, TN. Their taffy comes in 2″ logs that are about a quarter inch thick. It’s really soft and the flavors are exceptional. Check it out at You will be hooked with the first chew, and you’ll never eat the stuff in the bulk bins again.