Thursday, May 01, 2008

My Favorite Candy

Andes MintsI don't know what it is that has made me think sugar this week--it's probably the snow, I can blame a lot of my problems on the snow I've found--but I've been craving the sweet stuff. Luckily Andrew returned safely from his San Francisco trip bearing gifts from Ghirardelli. Oh how he reads my mind . . .

Now normally I'm not really a candy person. I mean I can pick up a Snickers bar and snarf it down in no time flat with the best of them but not too often and when I do I'm left wondering why I bothered because it didn't really do it for me. Here, however, are some candies that are a little harder to resist.

I'm interested in your favorites--candy can be such a cultural thing and there are some forgotten classics out there that I'd love to sample.

1. Truffles. I'm just starting with the obvious here--I mean is there anyone on the planet who doesn't like truffles? Well I'm sure there are actually, I have met people who don't care for chocolate. Somewhere . . . I'm sure at some point . . . I just can't think of any of those people off hand. But at any rate I love dark chocolate truffles. I'm not as in love with the flavored varieties, when you have such bliss in a bite why cloud it up with things like amaretto or orange liqueur? There have been times when I've gone through a box of chocolates--not the truffles, just the square chocolates--and cut them in half just to see if they're the yucky cream filled kind. Why waste calories on strawberry cream I ask? Life's too short. My mom loves cherry cordials but personally I think that's just a way to gum up perfectly good chocolate.

2. Andes Mints. I like chocolate and I like mint and the only thing that I don't like about these bad boys is that they're small enough to accumulate very quickly. Five minutes of snacking goes by and suddenly I've consumed half a box. Not good. Well good, oh so good, but not good in the long term sense of the word. I have a recipe that takes an Andes Mint and wraps it in cookie dough--I haven't made them simply because of the danger they pose to my thighs.

Swedish Fish3. Swedish fish. Jujus or Dots are too chewy and I don't typically like the crunchy jelly bean shell but these--these are a sweet taste of fishy heaven. I can't quite put my finger on what makes the flavor so good, they're not really like jelly beans or Starbursts or Lifesavers, but they're perfectly chewy and have the perfect amount of sweet-fruitiness.

4. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. This is a real temptation problem for me not because I'm so amazingly in love with them but mostly because for some reason the people of our neighborhood are especially fond of giving out Reese's Peanut Butter Cups at Halloween and my kids don't like them. So they come home, dump their candy out on the floor to count it (the traditional Counting of the Horde) then pick out the RPBCs to set aside for me. Sigh. In a classic mom style I'm loathe to throw anything out that could actually be eaten and I do like these candies. So who's gonna eat them do you think? Thanks kids, thanks a lot. Mom really needs more peanut butter in her life.

5. Dove dark chocolate. I mentioned our family taste tests but I knew long before we ever experimented that I love Dove chocolate. So smooth, so silky . . . I just love those little individually wrapped squares and will horde them if I'm ever so lucky as to find them in the house--after I buy a bag I tend to hide them in secret stashes around my house but then I also tend to forget where those stashes are until I stumble upon a forgotten store. I didn't always like dark chocolate, I used to think it was too bitter but my lovely daughter Grace has always preferred the dark side and years of mothering her have awakened me to the error of my ways. People always say you learn so much from your kids . . .

Mike and Ikes6. Mike and Ikes. I get this fetish from my Mom and though I love them a lot I couldn't possibly love them as much as she does. She has us shipping them to her over in India regularly. The best flavor is the tropical variety, which is true with about everything in life I've noticed. Tropical is nearly always better isn't it?

7. Jelly Bellys. I mentioned not caring for the crunch of jelly beans but then these aren't your normal jelly beans. Ah, so many flavors, so much tasting pleasure, where to start? I'm partial to Juicy Pear and Apricot and even Peach but do you know the best Jelly Belly flavor? The one that I pick out of the bowl meticulously? The one with the amazing blend of savory and sweet that I crave? Popcorn. Yup, that's the best flavor hands down and luckily I'm the only one in the house that likes them so I get to pick them all out and no one complains.

8. Twix. There isn't much to say about Twix except that when I met that man or woman who looked at a shortbread cookie and said, "You know this cookie is good but if we covered it in caramel . . . and then in chocolate . . ." I'm going to kiss them full on the mouth. It's a promise.

9. Toffee in any variety. The English have this market cornered for sure but any toffee, any time. Hey, I ought to get that embroidered on a pillow, it would make a good slogan. "Any toffee, any time." It's could be a mission statement for me or something.

Gummi Bear Chandelier10. Gummi Bears. Love the chew, love the fruit flavors. Though I've heard that if you close your eyes you'll have no idea which flavor it is that you're eating. Kind of like Jello or something. If we put it to a vote I bet we could get it firmly established that Gummi Bears are the best thing to come out of Germany since the band Scorpions. Well, wait a minute. I guess there's the Pope--he's definitely better than Gummi Bears so I take that back.

Yes, that's a chandelier made from the tasty little guys.

11. Raisinettes. I like raisins. There, I've said it. It's not a popular thing to admit around here in my non-raisin loving family (Spencer is the only one who agrees that a proper oatmeal cookie must have raisins) but I like them anyway. The raisins I mean, not the family. Well, I like the family too--that's not what I meant. Anyway. I like raisins--is that so wrong? Cover them in chocolate and they're even better. Everything's better covered in chocolate.

12. Tropical Fruit Lifesavers. I'm being rather specific here because that's the only flavor of Lifesavers I buy but they're rather hard to find. I like the mango, coconut, pineapple and fruit punch goodness in each roll but you really have to hunt to find them. Stores usually only have nasty flavors like Butter Rum available (sorry Mom but Butter Rum is really nasty). If I go through the checkout line at the grocery store and notice Tropical Fruit on the shelf I usually stock up for the next few months.

Almond Roca13. Almond Roca. Hands down my favorite candy. It's the toffee (which I've already covered quite thoroughly) and the almond and the chocolate. My grandfather has always loved Almond Roca--that and black licorice (go figure). My other grandfather loved horehound. Have you ever had horehound? It's nasty, nasty stuff. If chocolate keeps the Dementors away then horehound is like the exact opposite because I get the shakes just thinking about my one experience trying it. Hard to believe that caring adults at one time gave the stuff to children as a treat. Where's child services when you need them I ask?

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77 comments:

Blazing Goddess said...

I hear you on the Twix. When I was a teenager they experimented with different Twix flavors. They had fudge, vanilla and the Queen: Cookies and Cream. Oh my. They stopped making them years ago, and perhaps my hormonal tastebuds and fond memories have elevated them far beyond what they deserved, but they were manna from heaven. I LUUUURRRRVED them. *sigh* Good times.
I'm also a freak for Peanut Butter M&M's and Wild Berry Skittles.

Robin said...

Truffles, Andes Mints, and RPBC's. Swoon...

Kelli said...

Andes mints. Hands down.

This was the only reason that I'd put up with being dragged to the awful "old people's" Sir George's Smörgåsbord as a kid. Dad always gave me three pennies at the register to get three Andes mints if I behaved.

Too bad you can't find them around here any more.

Tilly said...

Hi Michelle -I came over from Little Elephants to say hello. Living in England I haven't heard of many of the candies you mentioned. I love almost all chocolate though -Green and Black's, Dairy Milk, anything with nuts and raisins in. I could go on...hee hee.

Bunny B said...

Oooo!! Lovely list! I love Reese's, Twix and Jelly Bellys too! Too bad we don't get Life Savers here in Asia. I love those as well! :)

Jennifer said...

Here I was, happily reading your latest post and thinking about how early is too early to buy some RPBC from my students (selling it for prom fundraiser)...

Then, out of no where, you ruin it with your popcorn Jelly Belly and your Butter Rum Lifesaver announcement... I am not entirely certain I can eat candy right now...

Gotta go, a student just walked in with an orange and brown fundraiser box!

HerbalTonya said...

Hey,

I am your no truffles girl!!

But swedish fish, and most chocolate items with caramel or mint work for me!!

Also good Australian licorice! Mmmmm

Great Blog, I am new here
Looking forward to more kid activity posts
http://theherbalway.blogspot.com/
Tony(a) Lemos

imadramamama said...

Do you remember Crunchy Reese's Cups? Those were my all time favorite. Now I do LOVE me some Butterfinger!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

You can keep your Mike and Ikes - instead, give me the Hot Tamales any day. But, yes, Raisinets, yum! And Twix, my favorite diet food (really - only 2 points!).

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Did you see that? I managed to hyperlink to my blog entry about Twix in my comment! I'm so proud of myself.

MRMacrum said...

Your list has no flaws other than Andes Mints. I have never been able to handle mint especially when it ruins good chocolate.

Heather said...

I always liked those Whatchamacallits. Now, pretty much anything with dark chocolate. Yum. Truffles, the dark chocolate ones are my favorite.

Mmmmmmm.

Amber M. said...

I LOVE your Thursday 13 posts!! But I do see a sad lack of Ghiradelli dark chocolare and mint squares on your list. A simple oversight, I'm sure:-)

Darla said...

OMG! I'm not the only one who loves buttered popcorn Jelly Bellys! I can usually count on getting a bag of them in my stocking at Christmas. :)

Gummi Bears have got to be Haribo, though--any other brand just isn't the same.

dieMutti said...

I will now officially have candy for breakfast... :) I love Three Musketeers myself, and delish German chocolate (Kinder and Ritter Sport yum). My gma who's 92 loves Almond Roca AND horehound. I kind of understand the Roca but never the horehound... Fun list!

Lei said...

Have you ever layered Andes mints or York peppermint patties in the middle of your brownie batter? Try it - you won't be disappointed!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

My grandpa also loved black licorice and horhound. It was evil because the horhound looked like sugar coated rootbeer candies (and I love rootbeer candies) and they kept them in this big, lovely candy dish with a lid. We occasionally would forget what horhound tasted like and sneak one. It was its own punishment. Come to find out it is a medicinal candy and very good for clearing your sinuses. I can eat it for that reason now, but only half of one, two or three times a year. =)

Kim Priestap said...

I LOVE Swedish Fish. Our whole family loves them, really, because, as you said, they're chewy without being too chewy. They are just the perfect candy.

When I was in college I was a server at the Olive Garden in Toledo (Talmadge and Monroe for those who are familiar) and I would eat Andes Mints by the handfuls, especially as I was waiting to cash out a customer's check. That's where we stored them, right by the register in the alley. They are particularly good just out of the freezer. Yum!

Killlashandra said...

I have to admit I'm a dark chocolate kind of person. Dove and Ghiradelli are good, but German chocolate is best. ;)

Joyful Days said...

Toblerone is my favorite. Followed by homemade peanut butter fudge, and some frosting mints that are a pure sugar buzz and can be flavored to one's preferences. I love chocolate of all kinds, dark, semi-sweet, milk, flavored, except for amaretto. Yuck. But sometimes life calls for a plain old Hershey bar.

Cocoa said...

Yup, I think you covered all of my favorites! I think the only candy you didn't name that is also one of my favorites are whatchamacallits.

John & Laura said...

Fudge. No nuts, no frills. Just plain ol' fattening fudge. That's my favorite sweet of all time. I'm not usually much of a non-chocolate candy eater, but this pregnancy has me buying starburst 6 packages at a time.

Phyllis Sommer said...

i love hershey's dark chocolate kisses, yum! but if you like ande's, you'd love frango mints. now macy's is carrying them - are they carrying them nationwide? i don't know but they were created by marshall field's, a midwest department store that was recently acquired by macy's...they are simply amazing.

jenny said...

wow thay are some of my fav's to lol and thats realy cool with what was done with the gummy bears

JMC said...

I am SO with you on the Almond Roca.

Gray Matters said...

I'm with you on everything but the Raisinettes - I don't want anything resembling fruit anywhere near my chocolate!

chris said...

There's Filipino dried mango candy that I love. It reminds me of my childhood when we visit the Philippines. It's also a perfect candy if you have the winter blues becauseit makes you think of warm tropical weather.

Sorry about the snow. It's just starting to get warm here in Chicago.

MommyTime said...

Almond Roca is heaven in a tin. I mentioned adoring it once in a post -- and longing for it since we can't buy it here in MI -- and a lovely reader of mine actually emailed me for my address and sent me some! Talk about the goodness of people!!

As for the gummy chandelier? How on earth did it not melt from the lightbulbs? And given that it didn't, are we really sure we want to be eating those little critters? Just wondering...

Amy G. said...

Roca here, please! My husband grew up in Tacoma, WA where it hails from, and he was lucky enough to have a family friend who worked there and brought his family "blem boxes" of slightly damaged candy they couldn't sell. Sadly, I met him long after he moved away from home.

dawnelleh said...

I guess I'm just easy to please because if it has sugar - I'm there! What was that line in Elf? The 3 main food groups are candy, candy corns and syrup! But I have to admit, I am stuck with the candy corns for the same reason you got the RPBC's! So much so that now when the hubby is trying to be sweet, he picks me up a bag of candy corns! I didn't know I really liked them until he told me so!

bacioni said...

If you like Andes, you should give the new Three Musketeers a try. It's the same light fluffy insides, but it's delicately mint flavored with a dark chocolate covering.

p.s. I'm also a huge fan of black licorice.

p.p.s. Not that that should stop you from trying the 3 Musketeers bar.

marcia said...

all those are my most favs except raise netts

Janet said...

Truffles, toffee, tropical, esp. tropical jelly bellies. I like the popcorn flavor too. I do NOT like grapefruit. And I haven't been brave enough to try many of the Bertie Bott's that they sell. I did taste the pepper one. Kind of bland actually. I like Tropical skittles. I recently discovered a brand called Turin, which usually produces chocolates with liquoers (you won't believe how many ways I just spelled that and I still don't think it's right). They have recently started producing an alcohol-free line which Walmart carries. The Food City does not, but I imagine a real town with a Target or something would have them. Get the Bailey's Irish Cream variety. The Kahlua, sadly, did nothing for me.
I don't do Swedish fish or gummy anything. And no raisins for me either (even though both my kids just had a couple of handfuls each).

Ginna said...

oh boy, I really need that andes mint cookie recipe. Any chance you might post it for us? I bet it's divine. I have one that puts reese's pb cups into little peanut butter cookie shells and they're unbelievably delicious!

Bobbie said...

Good Post.
Here are my faves:
1. Red Vines, and only Red Vines, any other licorice won't do.
2. Milk Duds
3. Dark Chocolate - with almonds is even better.
4. Godiva Key Lime truffles
5. Almond Joys
6. Lindt truffles
7. Almond Roca
Once in a while I don't mind a Pay Day or mini Reese PB cups. the regular size is just too much.
Wow! I didn't realize I was so picky about my candy.

Melissa Parlaman (Graco contributor) said...

I am very surprised that M&Ms didn't make the list. Since they are so small, I keep throwing them back since there is no way to measure how much you have eaten other than an empty bag!).

Amy said...

I am weird, the only candy I really, really love is gummie worms. Not the bears though, only worms :)

laughingatchaos said...

Popcorn jelly bellies are the BEST. Unfortunately, my sons think so too and now we have the jelly bellie wars.

Lis Garrett said...

My mom got me hooked on Almond Roca from a very early age. In fact, it's one of the candies I recall first eating, and seeing that pink tin reminds me of my mother. She'd receive a tin every Christmas and every Mother's Day.

Mmmm . . .

Marie N. said...

Oooooh I love chewy candy. The real German gummi bears (no impostors) you mentioned and German Raspberries are two of my favorites. When I have that hankering for licorice, black jelly beans, or Good & Plenty does the trick.

Amber said...

Red Swedish fish, strawberry twizzlers and pear jelly bellies are the sweets I miss the most on my diet.

Sigh....

The Estrogen Files said...

JuJus? Ewww. Toffee? YUMMY! There's a candy cottage here that's T-riffic!

Christie O. said...

OMG I thought I aws the only one who lurrrrves butter-flavored-popcorn jelly bellies! i heart them! and raisinettes are my other favorite.

pussreboots said...

I used to go to Sir George's but I went for the chocolate mousse. Happy TT.

Eleni Turner said...

I'm sorry, you say you like popcorn jelly bellys.
I have to protest.
It's cinnamon all the way.
;)

Anonymous said...

Baci! Baci! Baci! Those little Perugina hazelnut filled, dark chocolate coated Italian kisses wrapped in romantic love notes do it for me every time!

lapa37 said...

I like your candy list it is very good but I think you have forgotten one very important candy. CADBURY FRUIT and NUT bar they are they best...

Fresh Girl said...

Ooo, I love a lot of those, too! Especially the peanut butter cups...

But my very favorite is a Toblerone bar. Mmmmm! The first one I had was at the airport in Madrid, and my plane was broken and I sat in the airport for a whole day. I had very little money left, just enough for a big Toblerone bar. Best candy bar ever. ;)

Maria-Gracia O'Connell said...

Hello Michelle:
Yes I love truffles!, specially the ones filled with coconut or just the usual milk and chocolate truffles, with a cup of coffee, OUT OF THIS WORLD!
And Ice Cream, oh yes, Ben & Jerry!

detroit dog said...

Horehound. I've had it, though here is "Fisherman's" Horehound. It's rather a perverse candy for me = liking something that you know you really can't stand. hmmmm

I've had handmade truffles a couple of times. Incredibly out of this world. Anything dark chocolate, solid, but not fudge.

Kit-Kats and Sno-Caps. Leche quemada, and those coconut candies colored to look like the Mexican flag (red, white, green).

Vintage Dutch Girl said...

ALL good sweets! I am LUVING the gummy bear chandelier. It would go well in my entryway :)

Sir Satire (The Serious) said...

Ah you had me with the Swedish Fish and Jelly Bellies, but then you had to go and dis my Hoarhound candy!

And we could have been such good friends!! :~D

thediaperdiaries said...

You had me until the Rasinettes. I would have replaced that with Twizzlers or Toberlerone.

Amy W said...

Congrats on being a "blog of Note"...

Stephanie said...

Favorite candies...hmmm...I have to say dark chocolate tops my list (the darker, the better). Second place would have to go to licorice (especially flavored licorice - peach licorice is sooo good). Third place is a toss-up between peanut butter m&m's and sour gummies.

Oh, and I'm not a big fan of truffles. Strange, I know.

MamaGeek said...

I will take one of each thankyouverymuch!

Tracy P. said...

Congratulations! You're the Blog of Note! I love it when they pick someone good.

Just chocolate. Have you tried the new dark chocolate mint 3 Musketeers? Yum yum...they come in bite size.

But about the jelly beans...I never had any trouble leaving them alone until I bought the sweet tart ones for my kids last Easter. WOW!

Lightening said...

I am amazed by how different many of the sweets/candy/chocolates are from country to country. That Almond Roca (hope I've rememebered the name right) stuff sounds AWESOME!!!

I'm a chocolate with nuts and or caramel girl myself.

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

Excuse me while I go and grab something to satisfy the raging sweet tooth I have after reading this... :)

Ooh - truffles, Andes, Reese's, Dove and Twix... Can you tell that I'm a chocolate-loving kind of girl? LOL

Becky said...

I just discovered your blog because it was on "Blogs of Note." (Congrats, btw.) I've added it to Bloglines so I can keep reading...it fascinates me!

I have a million candies I "love," but my all-time favourite is dark chocolate molasses chips from See's candy. Though if we're talking convenient store candy...I'd go for RPBCs any day. And then there are those new dark chocolate mint 3 Musketeers...evil! Pure evil! I love 'em!

Anyway, I look forward to reading more from Alaska.

goddess said...

the best candy I've ever had was in Japan. Seriously. I know they are all raw fish and sea weed and stuff but they have the best candy in all of the world. Every time I find myself by an asian grocery store HAVE to go in and raid the candy aisle. They have this candy, called pokeys, that's a gram cracker stick dipped in chocolate. mmmmmmmmm I seriously recommend checking it out.

grace said...

I just discovered Almond Roca (where have I been all these days!?) and terribly loved it!

jonnyspace said...

i like swedish fish, mike & ikes and jelly bellys!

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Andes Mints...growing up they were the staple of every restaurant where I lived, receiving one with your check as an after dinner treat. And now...I always have some in my house :)

Carolyn said...

I'm a big fan of Twix. Especially the Peanut Butter Twix.
I also love love LOVE the Pear Jelly Bellies as well as the grapefruit, peach, and banana.
I like Banana Runts--but only banana.
OH god and york peppermint patties. I don't know if there's anything better than a york peppermint patty that's frozen during a hot summer day.

I also LOVE anything dark chocolate. I DECIDED when I was in 5th grade that I was going to prefer dark because it was healthier (although at that point I didn't know the difference between dark and milk), but now...milk is just tooo sweet for me.

Jennifer said...

Have you tried the dark-chocolate Raisinettes? I'm not generally a Raisinette fan, but the dark-chocolate ones are amazing.

UmassSlytherin said...

Ring Pops

Wolfbernz said...

I like all of the ones listed but#13, I love them...That is my favorite candy.

Wolfbernz said...

I like all of the ones listed but#13, I love them...That is my favorite candy.

Sarah said...

aww, man! i love horehound AND black licorice AND butter rum lifesavers! they're the best!!!

Hiram said...

I love the red swedish feet! lol

Heather said...

Okay, we've GOT to be long-lost twins or something. Not only do I LOVE each and every one of these candies myself, but I was just thinking about horehound candy the other day. The store in our town carries it and I've always wondered if anyone ever buys it. BLECH!

Alice Wills Gold said...

Ohhhhhh, I love Almond Roca too. My dad gifted me with the Almond Roca curse!

i have vowed to eat as much as possible before my teeth get too old to enjoy them.

My dad can't eat them anymore, and so every Christmas I buy him some and enjoy them myself!

Lord, I want to be whole said...

I just loved this blog entry....I have such a sweet tooth!!!


I, too am a big fan of reeses peanut butter cups. I love those little marshmallow strawberries and bananas also!

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I'm with you on the twix, the PB Cups, and the Almond Roca. I myself love the occasional Baby Ruth, or perhaps a yummy Bit O' Honey. Mmmm.

Did you know, if you live somewhere hot (say, the central valley of California, for example), and you have too many Gummi Bears, and not enough appetite to eat them, and you're sitting on brick steps with your friends, it's fun to lick the back, and stick them on the side of the bricks...they melt in a very groovy way. :)

Ah, the things I learned in college. And no, actually, there were no drugs involved.

January CAT said...

When I was a teenager, my grandmother taught me to make horehound candy. It is a lot of work, and I am not sure I could do it now.
We gathered wild horehound near Lake Marble Falls,Texas, then made the candy. That's really from scratch.
Horehound candy grows on you. My grndmother's was a clear, golden bitter-sweet treat. Over the years, I came to like it although my grandmother made it for its medicinal uses. We had the candy to keep from getting a cold. She always had some to give to a friend with a respiratory problem.
Maybe I'll see if I can find some to try again.

John and Laura said...

Do you have that recipe for the cookies with the andes mint inside? If so, and it's not too much of a problem, would you post it or send it to me? Thanks!