Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Candybars Circa 1979

Here's a wonderful display of .25 cent candy bars. This vintage black and white photo is dated 1979. It's found a new home in the Kimmerle Candy Collection.

In '79 Reese's Pieces (right corner) were brand new on the market. They would go on to gain massive popularity when they were prominently featured in the 1982 movie, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Beth’s Chocolate and Candy Trends for 2012

From Bond Street Chocolate's
Devine Collection
1.             Odd Ingredients: Bold flavors and ingredients are back. Watch for unique combinations of herbs and spices, like lavender-pepper along with tropical ingredients like lemongrass and ginger. Some companies are employing seaweed as a gelatin or salt enhancer. These intense flavor solutions are handy when compensating for lower salt, fat and sugar levels.

2.              The Ultimate: While sensible shopping is still very much in vogue increasingly consumers will indulge in “the ultimate”. Expect confectionery items made with over the top ingredients like 24k gold dust served in decadent packaging. These are not just pricy treats these are products that make a statement. Confections are seen as an affordable and somewhat practical edible luxury, so consumers will be willing to splurge on these premium treats in place of big-ticket items.
Righteously Raw Maca Chocolate Truffle Bar 2.3oz Truffle
Raw from
3.              Raw: Concerned about over processing consumers want not just under processed but naked and raw. They are looking for ingredients as they were meant to taste. Just picked and fresh isn’t just talk, it is a lifestyle.
4.             Chain Reaction: More people want to make confectionery and dessert with products they know. Practicing extreme “artisan”, they are acquainted with everyone along the food chain, from the producer to the farmer and they claim it on their packages or websites. Ingredient origins will be linked to quality--makers and consumers both will continue to ask where their food comes from and seek out locally sourced ingredients.
5.              Grab a Toque: Many consumers are raising their social status through their knowledge of store locations and pictures of food. Cooking and eating treats have become social events through twitter and blogs. It’s also easier to take and post your own “how-to” video on line allowing everyone access to being a food star.
6.              "Scandy": Americans enjoy the petite size and natural ingredients in Scandinavian treats. You'll see more licorice and sweets with infused with cardamom. Scandinavian sweets 
7.               Breakfast: Customers love breakfast and the theme showing up is sweets inspired by waffles, butter, maple syrup and French toast.
Florida`s Natural Fruit Juice Nuggets: 12CT Display
Opportunity alert...more juice candy!
8.             Juice Candy and Chocolate: Juice bars are cropping up everywhere. Starbucks recently bought Evolution Fresh, a super-premium juice maker with a growing presence in grocery stores. Expect more juice related snack items and juice sweetened treats to supply juice bar counters and to-go areas.

9.             Free-From: Gluten-free snacks and products designed for consumers with food allergies will continue to be hot. More consumers will also opt to cut out gluten and dairy ingredients simply for health reasons. Watch for great whole grains like quinoa to show up in candy and granola bars. More and more confectionery products will claim gluten-, dairy-, soy- and nut-free in a niche that is sure to grow.

10.          Mediterranean Sweets: A growing interest in eating healthy, vegetarian, and ethnic foods are among the factors in Mediterranean flavored or inspired sweets. Watch for an increase in pistachio, honey, pomegranate, olive and olive oil in chocolates and confections.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Beth's Best: Spiced Vanilla Hot Chocolate

Chocolate was first consumed in Mesoamerica as a spicy, frothy beverage. The below piquant version honors chocolate’s true roots. Top your mugs with fresh homemade marshmallows or whip some cream and top with shaved chocolate and cinnamon for an extra touch. A splash of dark rum makes this drink very adult and oh-so delicious.


·      8 cups whole milk
·      1 cup half and half
·      3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
·      15 whole cardamom pods, crushed
·      15 whole cloves
·      3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
·      3 whole star anise
·      1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
·      1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
·      1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
·      4 oz. chopped and melted semisweet chocolate
·      1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
·      1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
·      1 cup dark rum, optional


  • Bring first 10 ingredients to simmer in heavy large saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  • Remove from heat, cover, and let steep about 20 minutes.
  • Add melted chocolate, cocoa powder and vanilla. Bring to simmer, whisking vigorously until blended.
  • Strain hot chocolate into another large pan and discard spices.
  • Add rum if desired
  • Pour hot chocolate into mugs and garnish as desired

Makes about 10 cups 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Penguin Pops

For the upcoming Winter holidays we made a huge flock of homemade Penguin Pops. Recently we served them at a very special birthday party and indeed they gave many a case of happy feet. Email if you'd like more details for the recipe!

Molded using pound cake, I dipped fully in white and then partially in chocolate coating.
Beaks and wings are chocolate sunflower seeds while eyes are simple 
dragées or confectionery pearls.

These were decorated a little differently--eyes and happy feet are small sugar discs.
These eyes are dabbed with extra chocolate coating.