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Category Archives: Hard Candy

Stealth Sugar-Free Candy…

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Halter Raspberry Bon Bons hail from Switzerland, and like all things Swiss, they exceed expectations in a quiet way.

First off, they are sugar-free, but they are delightfully sweet with no strange, fake taste.

Secondly, the package has a pleasant flip top.

Third, they are called Bon Bons, and who doesn’t love that term?

Lastly they’re Kosher and list the Rabbi who supervises the production.

I spotted these in a wonderful drug store, in La Jolla, that carried everything including imported candies. The store is called Burns Drugs and it’s the kind of place that you could spend hours finding things that you didn’t know that you needed.

Check out Halter’s web site www.halter-bonbons.ch   The site is very Euro and has advertising that makes us yanks laugh (see the photo of the man and the cow…what is going on here?)

Even so, their candies are charming and are worth a try when you spot them on a shelf.

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My yearly warning about Halloween candy….

This is a friendly warning, and it’s not about all of the horrors and dangers and blah blah blah about sugar. No, it’s a warning to steer clear of the  following candies in your candy bowl. These could earn you trees filled with t.p., and eggs on your house. Consider yourself warned…

1. Hard candies…for the love of everything unholy, please don’t kid yourself. No one, including bank patrons want these.

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2. Dum Dums, or any generic lollipops: see above

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3. Boston Baked Beans: unless your trick or treaters are 90+ years old, please refrain from showering your gobblins with these, unless you want a hail of them returned at your door.

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4. Sugar Daddys: I can’t believe these are still made. In fact I think they aren’t still making them and these are the same ones from 1972…unless they come with a Bobby Sherman lunch box, I’m not interested.

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5. Necco Wafers: enough said

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Screen shot 2013-10-29 at 10.23.27 AM6. Halloween taffy: these are poor imposters real Saltwater taffy, and should be shunned.

Seriously friends, follow the “Golden Rule” of candy giving and only give onto others as you would want given to you. Remember, it’s for the children (and parents).

C Howard’s Guava Candy

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I can’t remember where I picked these up, but it’s been a while and they’ve been sitting on my shelf just waiting for me to sample them.
I am so glad that I finally opened the retro package. They have a nice, subtle guava flavor. They have the texture if a smartie, and they aren’t too sweet.
I will definitely buy those again.

Now that’s a candy bowl!

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Ooooh look what greeted me at the entrance to L’Hosteria restaurant in Aspen. A wooden trunk 5 feet long and 2 feet deep filled with Italian hard candies. It was all I could do to keep myself from diving in!

Coffee Toffee Talk

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There is something so satisfying about making a fast batch of candy from stuff you have in the cupboard. I love coffee and I really love toffee, so this looks as if it was made just for me!

This recipe comes to us from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. This is my latest cookbook obsession, and every recipe is inspired and written with easy to follow instructions, plus great photos. I reccomend it to give as a gift to yourself.

Back to the Coffe Toffee…I checked all of the ingredients and came up short on semi sweet chocolate chips due to my kids eating them like candy, so I used some left over Hershey Kisses from Valentines Day. They worked perfectly. I thought I’d try toasted coconut on half of the toffee since I really don’t love nuts, and the coconut worked, too! The coffee flavor is subtle, and gives a nice variation to sweet toffee.

Here’s what I learned: The candy mixture cooks quickly, so don’t leave it unattended. Start stirring it constantly the minute it reaches 250 degrees, it will zoom to 300 degrees in a matter of minutes.

When pouring the cooked mix into the pan, take care not to pour any scorched sugar from the side of the sauce pan into toffee.

Have the chocolate chips ready to go onto the hot candy as soon as it is poured into the pan. If you use Hershey Kisses, it takes about 2 dozen, and have them unwrapped before you start the recipe.

Cool the pan in the refrigerator for about an hour. Store candy covered in the refrigerator to keep chcolate from getting soft.

The recipe makes about 3/4 of a 9″x13″ pan. Try not to eat it all in one day…

Next day update…even better flavor after sitting overnight in the fridge!

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Just a few ingredients, and away we go

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Hershey Kisses melting on top of molten toffee mix

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Half coconut and half slivered, chopped almonds. Note how the toffee didn’t fill the whole pan, which made for easier clean-up.

Hammond’s Lemon sticks

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Look what my friend Rebecca brought me from T.J. Maxx this week.

Hammond’s is a stellar candy company in Denver. There’s a kiosk at the Denver airport which I always visit when I’m flying through. They’ve been making treats for 92 years, and all of their candy has that old- timey, handmade feel, and taste, while at the same time looking totally contemporary. Their candy canes are amazing.

These lemon sticks are a nice balance of tart and sweet. I like to break them up into small pieces. They’re sweet enough that one stick at a time is satisfying. They have stripes on yellow hard candy twisted over white, so pretty that I could see them as a lemon drop garnish.
Look for them the next time you’re in Denver (or at T.J. Maxx).

C Howard’s violet mints – a horse of a different color

Have you ever tried these? Do remember seeing these at the drug store, or in your grandmother’s handbag, yes they called them handbags, and what were you doing poking around in there, anyway?

The packaging is delightfully nostalgic. The label looks like it is called Choward’s, but it’s really C. Howard’s. A U.S., family-owned, candy company that has operated since the 1930’s.

The shape and texture is like a square Pez. The taste..uh, the taste…it’s a floral flavor, if there is such a thing. It’s a little too perfume-y for me. But, apparently these are a favorite because they have been around for 80 plus years.

Let me know what you think of these. Next I’ll try the lemon version.