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Category Archives: sweet makers

Another day, and thankfully, another candy shop….

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I just love visiting creative candy retailers. They celebrate candy without apologies and for that I applaud them!

This place is called Lolli and Pops. It’s a chain that stocks all sorts of retro, bulk and fancy chocolates. You can find candies and sodas from Japan and french macarons. I visited the shop at the Boise Town Square Mall, but they have shops in many malls across the country.

I asked the clerk which gummy candy had the best pure, not too sweet, fruit flavors and she directed me to the gummy bears. These little gummies came in all flavors including champagne and the fruit flavors were excellent.

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I found the British chocolates and bought a Curly Wurly because Cadbury from England is my favorite…

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The packaging is beautiful (the photo isn’t, though…)

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they stock Strawberry and Chocolate Charleston Chews!

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Beautiful truffles and petit fours…

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Too many choices!

Check out their site lolliandpops.com  to see their story and the beautiful packaging. These folks know their sweets and I’m so glad that they have such wonderful shops! If you find a shop in your travels, be sure to stop in and don’t forget the gummy bears….

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King Cake…there’s a baby in there somewhere…

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Mardi Gras was 2 weeks ago, I know, but I love a good King Cake anytime. And I love anything that reminds my of New Orleans.

This morning instead of having my protein shake, I cut into the King Cake that I won at a silent auction and look what I found!

baby in the cake

The tiny baby. On the first slice! So, I guess this means a year of good luck..maybe…? (If I had chocked on it, maybe it would bode as bad luck?)

I could do without the beads on the cake, but that’s a minor complaint.

The history and name of King Cake goes back to Epiphany and the 3 Kings. It is made with a brioche type dough and covered in a white glaze with mardi gras colored sprinkles.  My cake had a bit of cream cheese filling and some are more butter and cinnamon filled. For more history here’s a link to Wilipedia’s post.

It’s a tradition that should move into Christmas, instead of fruitcake.

Here’s a place to buy one online at kingcakes.com

If you’d like to bake one yourself, you can’t go wrong with Southern Living’s recipe.

Southern Living King Cake

 

Do you have a favorite King Cake recipe or place to buy one? Let me know.

See’s Candies, I heart you!

See's Valentine's Box

A heart shaped Valentine’s box of chocolates is a cliche, I know. However, if you’re going to buy one, do it right.

See’s Candies makes a delicious assortment of fresh chocolates that will make most chocolate lovers swoon.

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I bought these for my Valentine, and it’s all that I can do not to dive right in!

Stonewall Kitchen’s Milk Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Bar and Latte Mix

Stone Wall Kitchen Pumpkin BarIt’s the most pumpkin-y time of the year, and in case you haven’t overdosed on pumpkin spice everything,  this chocolate bar does not disappoint. I found it at a Stonewall kitchen store in Newburryport, MA.

The milk chocolate is smooth and the spice is pronounced and a nice compliment to the chocolate.

Stonewall Kitchen is known for all sorts of jams, sauces and mixes that make your kitchen smell as if you are a wonderful cook and baker.

In addition to the chocolate bar I was drawn to the Pumpkin Spice Latte mix. You mix it with warm milk for a delicious start to the day and I added a bit of extra coffee to lessen the sweetness. It makes quite a few cups and is on sale for about $10.50 which is the price of 2 large pumpkin spice lattes at the coffee store.

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Check out their website for more goodies. I love their packaging and foods. Who wouldn’t love to get a hostess gift of something from Stonewall? Hint, this means me.

 

Saltwater Taffy land-ho!

When you’re on the coast you have to buy saltwater taffy. I’m sure it’s a rule, or law, or at least an ordinance.

This week we’re visiting the beautiful, Oregon coast and our travels took us to Cannon Beach.

Here we found a great candy store called “Bruce’s Candy Kitchen”.  It is filled with every sweet you can imagine and at least 30 flavors of saltwater taffy,(which is a huge weakness of mine.) My favorite flavors of taffy are peppermint and lemon…don’t ask why, I really don’t know. Bruce’s even gives you a card with a guide to the taffy flavors based on their colors.

30 flavors of taffy

Bruce’s also carries fabulous handmade chocolates and dipped apples. My aunt found her favorite candy, salted licorice, which I really didn’t care for. Bruce’s also makes lovely seashell shaped candies that were in my hotel room to greet me (I knew it was going to be a great place as soon as I saw them.)

Bruce's Candy Sea Shells

But back to the taffy…according to wikipedia it originated in 1883 when a candy shop was flooded by the salty Atlantic Ocean. read more here.

Bruce’s Candy Kitchen is worth a visit, and they have a website, too. Visit it here and prepare to get a candy craving.

There are other purveyors of Salt Water Taffy in Cannon beach, but Bruce’s is the best. The other one on the same street had a larger variety of flavors, but they weren’t as fresh and creamy. Trust me, and stick with Bruce’s. Here’s the T-shirt I bought and it is a good life rule to live by…

Life's too short...

 

Babycakes in Hillcrest is a new favorite of mine

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While vacationing in the San Diego last week we came upon this heaven of delicious food, outstanding bakery sweets and a fun spot for adult beverages.

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We were just looking for lunch, and the little house with the porch caught our eye. Next,  the words “hearty eats” and “liquid sweets” were what lured us in.

When we headed inside and looked at the menu we could hardly decide on which item to order. Everyone ordered something different and no-one left disappointed or hungry. The sandwiches, soup bowls, burger and fries servings were huge, and the prices were very reasonable.

Although we were all too full for cupcakes, we ordered some to take back to the hotel for a late night treat. I must admit that cupcakes have been really over played lately, but these cupcakes were worth the hype. The buttercream flavors were fresh and complemented each cake flavor. We tried blood orange, red velvet, chocolate raspberry, lemon bavarian, and pistachio. All were delightful, and if we had been staying closer to Babycakes, we would have been back for more.

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babycakes cupcakes

If your travels bring you to San Diego, you must stop in for lunch, a cocktail and a cupcake for later. Check out their site. It seems that there is always something fun happening there. You can order their cupcakes online, too! There is also a location in Balboa Park if you happen to be visiting the zoo.

 

Frozen Custard for the first day of Spring

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Sure, the thermometer says it’s still winter in Indiana, but the calendar says it’s Spring. We visited the great Ritter’s Frozen Custard in Franklin, Indiana for scoop of their thick, delicious custard. This was the first Ritter’s which opened in 1989. They now have stands in the midwest states and Florida and Texas.

Frozen Custard is much like ice cream, but more dense due to less air in the mixture. You will find it all over the midwest. I have yet to see it in the far west states, or on the east coast. The custard can be served at a slightly warmer temperature than regular ice cream and is usually made fresh each day at the store. It has egg yolks added to the cream and sugar.  According to Wikipedia “In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration requires products marketed as frozen custard to contain at least 10 percent milkfat and 1.4 percent egg yolk solids. If it has a smaller percentage of egg yolk solids, it is considered ice cream.”

Today’s special flavor was chocolate covered banana, and in honor of Spring and the Bluth’s I had a scoop. (There’s always money in the banana stand.)

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I made it into a sundae by adding butterscotch and my favorite, marshmallow topping. Oh it was good. Here’s a photo. The butterscotch is warm and causes the custard to melt just a bit, so it looks a bit soupy.

ritters sundaeIf you come across a frozen custard stand in your travels, do give it a try. I think you’ll enjoy it, even on a cold day.