Archive for the ‘Candy News’ Category

Candy Review Contest Winners

Monday, March 12th, 2012 by Jessica Prokop

Who wouldn’t want to win free candy? We’ve heard that a lot over the last few days. We don’t have an answer to that one, but we did hear from some people who REALLY DO want to win.

We heard some seriously funny stories about candy, and learned that some candies are more “favorited” than others. Thanks to everyone who entered for submitting such great reviews.

The two reviewers who are each entitled to a $25 Sweet Certificate are:

  • Jaynestampsalot/BJStamper
  • Warren W.



Keep Trying!

To everyone else, the chances to win don’t end here. We’ll be giving away a $10 Sweet Certificate every week to someone who leaves a review of a candy on our site. Just leave a review on any of our 3,000 products and you’ll be entered in the drawing for that week. And bigger, better, more exciting contests are on their way.

$50 Candy Contest Winner

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 by Jessica Prokop

This has been our best contest ever. Reading the reasons we should choose each of you to win had us laughing and crying. There were so many great responses that we eventually had to just narrow down the finalists and pick a name at random.

And so, without further ado, the winner is:
Mary Ann Wentzel

We’ve learned a lot about our customers over the past few days. Many of you feel really sentimental about Brach’s candy. Some are fueled by sweets every single day (and nobody’d better get between you and your candy). Those of you who are diabetic are not alone in your love of candy — but be careful! We have a whole section of sugar-free candies in every flavor — even Turtles!

The fact that Candy Favorites customers are the sweetest people on earth definitely shone through. So many people asked to receive the candy so they could pay it forward — to family, ailing friends, the military, or volunteer organizations. We will definitely be hosting more giveaways around here, and with more prizes. Because, after all, you definitely deserve it!

If you have a great idea for a contest, tell us in the comments!

King Size Candy Bars: Is Less More?

Monday, February 20th, 2012 by Jessica Prokop

This week, it’s big news that Mars, Inc. will be limiting the portion size of its products to 250 calories or less. The world has begun mourning the death of the King Size Snickers. If you need to stock up before your favorites disappear forever, check out our King Size Candy Bar section.

Controlling Portions

Some candy bars will get smaller. But this doesn’t necessarily mean only small packs will be available. The word “portion” seems to be important here. Take a King Size Snickers. There are actually three portions in there, but eating them that way isn’t so realistic, especially since those three portions come in the form of two bars. You can expect to see more clearly portioned candies with better saving-for-later potential. Mars has already achieved this by introducing several 2toGo versions of classic candy bars. With modifications like this, the greatest difference could be a psychological one. Some studies have shown that we tend to eat less when our snacks are divided into smaller portions.

What’s the Meaning of This?

Across social media, this downsizing has been met with distrust. Some believe it’s a ploy to avoid proposed taxes on non-nutritional food items. Others insist it’s just another way to charge higher prices for less volume of product. Since we’re not exactly experiencing a Renaissance of corporate trust these days, plenty of theories have been raised as to why King Size candy bars are going away.

Mars is sticking with a more positive message of helping consumers be more healthy. You don’t have to believe them, but reducing portion size is just one of many seemingly well-meaning initiatives going on over at Mars. They have a wide array of goals in the interest of living up to their 5 principles of quality, responsibility, mutuality, efficiency, and freedom. Some changes have already been implemented, and others are on the way. Mars has committed not to advertise to kids younger than 12. They’ve also opted out of selling through elementary-school vending machines, which is pretty cool.  And it’s scary to some consumers, but by 2015 Mars will cut the sodium content of all its foods by 25%.

Some Healthy Goals

To take this commitment even further, Mars has developed a three-tiered approach to promoting health and nutrition. Information goals include clear labeling and nutrition information. The company has also developed relationships with a number of nutrition-centric organizations, including some working to end the child obesity epidemic. Portion resizing is part of renovation, which also includes the reduction of trans and saturated fats. And innovation will bring us portion-friendly packaging and healthy new snack products.

Change is in the Air

Mars is leading the pack and making lots of changes in the name of nutrition. But it looks like other companies aren’t far behind them. Many manufacturers, including Hershey and Nestle, have agreed to cut calories and portion sizes by 2016. Whenever a company changes a time-tested product — especially a nostalgic one — they risk losing loyal customers. Sure, all this talk of nutrition could be sugar-coating cuts to counter rising chocolate prices and transportation costs.  But with the nutrition challenges facing the U.S., does it matter? Are you cool with the change? Would you rather pay more to get the same products you know and love? Share your perspective in the comments.

A History of Cherry Cordials for Valentine’s Day

Monday, February 13th, 2012 by Jessica Prokop

When we think of cherry cordials now, we think of chocolate-covered cherries filled with a sweet syrup. However, the cordial reaches a bit farther back than the tasty treats we associate with the holiday season.

The word “cordial” contains the word “cor,” which means “heart” in Latin. As a noun, cordial can mean medicine or medicinal food or drink and the cordial was originally used as a type of medical tonic. Cordials were believed to stimulate the heart and therefore improve circulation.

The medicinal use of the cordial continued until the 1400’s when it arrived in England. They were “taken” after excessive eating to settle the stomach and aide digestion and became known as “surfeit waters.” Not only that but they were considered aphrodisiacs. By the 1700’s cordials were becoming known for their intoxicating effects as well, which probably helped with the aphrodisiac thing (fewer inhibitions, if ya know what I mean).

Around the same time, a confection called griottes popped up in the Franche-Comté. They were made by enclosing long stalked sour griotte cherries in chocolate with a little kirsch. Both the griottes and the cordial traveled to America where adding a bit of the sweet, aromatic, and alcoholic cordial to the chocolate covered fruit seemed like a great idea.

In America, the term cordial was used to describe a particular type of strong liqueur with a distinctive flavor made by crushing whole cherries (including the pits) and steeping them in a sugar syrup with a bit of alcohol. After the mixture was strained, one was left with a sweet, thick, syrupy alcohol with a strong fruity flavor. This type of cordial is intense and very sweet, so it was (and still is) added to something else to make a mixed drink (kind of like grenadine) or sipped in small amounts as a post-dinner beverage.

Liqueur chocolates, like those made in France, became a popular treat and Americans gravitated towards their own special cordial. Cordial candies could be made with other fruits, but cherries were the most popular and continue to be. While they were originally made with liqueur, they are more commonly made with a sugar syrup flavored with cherries, similar to what maraschino cherries are preserved in. The cherries used in the candy are made by pitting and heating the fruit for a short amount of time in the liqueur and storing it in cans or jars. For the alcohol free version, the pitted cherries are cooked in a sugar syrup instead and then jarred.

Cherry cordials are made in one of three ways. The first is shell molding – pouring liquid chocolate into molds to a form a shell. The shell is filled with cordial or sugar syrup and a cherry. Before the shell hardens completely it is plugged up with a small seal of chocolate, which becomes the bottom.

The second method of making chocolate cherries is called enrobing, meaning the centers of the chocolates are run under a curtain of liquid chocolate to form a shell. In order to accomplish this, the syrup is placed in trays made of starch dotted with small impressions. After a while, the syrup will “crust,” or form a layer of sugar crystals, all around its surface. They can be carefully lifted out of the mold and enrobed in chocolate.

Finally, there is a method, which uses a solid filling enrobed in chocolate. An enzyme called invertase is added which acts on solid sugar centers and reverts them to liquid. Adding invertase can be done after the center has been covered in chocolate, simplifying the whole process. Here’s an example of how it’s done. (For the purposes of this example we’re going to use maraschino cherries and the syrup they’re packed in.)

Add invertase to the cherry syrup. Coat each cherry in several layers of powdered sugar and the enriched cherry syrup. Dip each cherry into a chocolate coating making sure it is thick enough that it will not crack and leak any filling. The invertase starts to break down the sugar immediately and continues even after it’s been enrobed in chocolate. It can take several weeks for the sugar to completely dissolve (up to a month).

 

There are plenty of confectioners that make cherry cordials, but the three most popular are Cella’s, Queen Anne’s, and Brach’s. Cella’s is the oldest brand. They began making cherries in 1864, but didn’t begin large-scale production until 1929. Queen Anne’s began making their chocolate cherries in 1948.

The Brock Candy Company began making cherry cordials in the 1930’s and the tiny treat helped keep the company afloat during the Depression. The cherries remained popular for the next 60 years when a majority stake in the company was bought by E.J. Brach Corporation in 1994. The name of the company was changed to Brach’s and the cherries became one of the largest selling lines of chocolate cherries.

There are other “knock-offs” of cherry cordials from companies like Hershey’s and Mars. Hershey’s produces Hershey’s Kisses Cherry Cordial, which is filled with thick cherry flavored goo. Mars has M&M’s Cherry Cordials, which are just flavored like a cherry cordial.

Let’s be honest, nothing can beat a real chocolate cherry cordial.

Cherry cordials are available in stores mainly during the holiday season and you’ll be hard pressed to find them after the holidays end. Luckily, Candy Favorites stocks them year round, so if you have that craving you know where to go! But you can worry about that later. It’s almost Valentine’s Day and we’ve got Brach’s Cherries all ready to be shipped to you to give to pretty much everyone you know. It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day gift and we want to share it with you.

~ Created by our special guest blogger, Esther of Why’d You Eat That?


Bibliography:

Davidson, Alan, and Tom Jaine. “Cherry; Chocolate; Cordial.” The Oxford Companion to Food. 2. ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. 165; 180; 216. Print.

Day, Ivan. “Rosa Solis.” Historic Food  Welcome. Ivan Day, n.d. Web. 7 Feb. 2012. <http://www.historicfood.com/rosolio.htm>.

Dobie, Mark. “Making History Monday: Chocolate Covered Cherries – Sugar Pressure.” Sugar Pressure. sugarpressure dot com, 28 Dec. 2009. Web. 6 Feb. 2012. <http://www.sugarpressure.com/2009/12/making-history-monday-chocolate-covered-cherries.html>.

Kirk, Bryn. “Invertase | Chocolate University Online Blog.” Chocolate University Online has chocolate education for everyone!. Chocolate University Online, 19 Sept. 2010. Web. 6 Feb. 2012. <http://www.chocolateuniversityonline.com/blog/tag/invertase>.

“My Mother’s Chocolate Covered Cherries .” Squidoo : Welcome to Squidoo. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Feb. 2012. <http://www.squidoo.com/mothers-chocolate-covered-cherries-recipe>.

Larousse Gastronomique: The World’s Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia. New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2009. 231; 301. Print.

Tabler, Dave. “Appalachian History » Chocolate covered cherries for Valentine’s Day? Classic!.” Appalachian History » Stories, quotes and anecdotes.. Dave Tabler, 12 Feb. 2010. Web. 7 Feb. 2012. <http://www.appalachianhistory.net/2010/02/chocolate-covered-cherries-for.html>.

“What is a Cherry Cordial?.” wiseGEEK: clear answers for common questions. Conjecture Corporation, n.d. Web. 7 Feb. 2012. <http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-cherry-cordial.htm>.

Candy Giveaway Winner: 5-lb. Hershey Bar

Monday, January 23rd, 2012 by Jessica Prokop

This weekend in our CandyFavorites Newsletter, we gave customers the chance to win the World’s Largest Hershey Bar. It’s a 2-foot-long, 5-pound plank of Hershey’s Original Milk Chocolate.

Candy Contest Giveaway

And the winner is:
Pamela Pollock of Slippery Rock, PA

 

Don’t miss our future exclusive deals and contests!
Sign up for the Candy Favorites Newsletter.

Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Thursday, January 12th, 2012 by Jessica Prokop

2012 new year resolutionWell, we’re two weeks into 2012. Those lifestyle-change commitments should still be fresh in your mind. And we want to help make them happen. A candy company might be the last place you’d look for ways to make your New Year’s resolution a reality. But we’re here to help you with everything candy related, and this is no exception. Sure, if you treat it the wrong way, candy can be the reason behind your New Year’s resolution. But when respected as the perfect motivator kids around the world know it to be, candy can drive you to do just about anything.

Lay off the Sugar

For those of us who need to limit sugar, for whatever reason, there’s good news. We’re living in the year 2012. Over the past several years, shocking advances have been made in the world of sugar-free sweets. New sugar substitutes offer all kinds and degrees of sweetness. And there are sugar-free versions of classic candies that taste incredibly similar to the originals.

Check out these great-tasting options from all over the flavor spectrum to keep your treats interesting and guilt free.

Diverse: Eda’s Sugar Free candies offers every flavor under the sun — from the basics to sour, tropical, coffee, minty, and creamy.
Cool:York Sugar Free Peppermint Patties give you your mint and chocolate without the ice cream.
Exciting:Sugarfree Pop Rocks keep things exciting without giving you a sugar rush.
Gummy: Jelly Belly does SF right with bags featuring 10 classic flavors.
Peanut Buttery: Reese’s Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cups go right to the jugular of temptation. Everybody needs a little peanut butter sometimes. Have these on hand when your time hits.
Retro: Sen-Sen Rolls pack a classic licorice flavor without the calories.

Quit Smoking

If you’ve sworn off smoking, you’re embarking on a commendable task. It’s one of the greatest things you can do, for both yourself and your loved ones. Quitting smoking is hard, but there are ways to take the edge off your cravings. We’ve received lots of reviews crediting Cinnamon Toothpicks as the best natural stop-smoking aid out there. If you like some refreshment with your substitute, Mint Flavored Toothpicks will also do the trick. These flavorful picks simulate the hand-to-mouth motion of smoking, and they’re totally sugar free. We also have a million kinds of gum to keep your mouth busy. Well, maybe more like 200. But who needs more variety than that?

Reward Yourself

We all know that total deprivation is the easiest way to compromise the mission. Sure, cold turkey seems like it would be the way to go. But believing you’re never able to have something (especially something you think about often) can be dangerous. The forbidden fruit is often the most tempting.

For some habits, quitting cold turkey is the way to go. But for others, moderation is perfectly reasonable. Candy Favorites offers hundreds of delicious options with less sugar, less fat, and smaller portions to help you indulge reasonably. Stock up on a better-for-you treat, and your moments of weakness won’t be disastrous. Even better, proactively plan to reward yourself for positive milestones. This will keep your cravings to a minimum and give you a better chance at reaching your goals.

A Candy Christmas Wish Come True

Thursday, January 5th, 2012 by Jessica Prokop

candy customer service

Being in the candy business is a lot of fun. We often get to connect people with candies they’ve loved and lost. Each holiday brings a wave of exhilaration at being part of something joyful. But every once in a while, we’re fortunate that our work allows us to do something really cool. Just before Christmas this year, an email from a drowsy dad gave us just that kind of opportunity.

Nearly every young child has their favorite thing — some item they hold on to for comfort throughout their early years. For one boy, it was a soft yellow M&M’s pillow. He’d slept soundly with it every night, beginning with his first night home from the hospital after being born. On a recent vacation, that M&M’s pillow went missing and sleepless nights began.

After searching desperately (without any luck) for a replacement, the boy’s father wrote to Candy Favorites. The pillows were long gone from our inventory, but he hoped that just maybe we could connect him with one yellow pillow. It just happened that our President,
Jon Prince, had set a few collectible pillows aside, thinking they were interesting novelty items. He went searching, and sure enough, a yellow M&M’s pillow was among them. Jon was delighted to send it off just in time for Christmas.

We are so grateful to this family for sharing their Christmas with us. Like anything else, the candy business has its ups and downs. But these are the moments that make it all worthwhile.

Candy: Making Christmas More Cheerful

Thursday, December 1st, 2011 by Jessica Prokop

Entertaining guests is an integral part of the holiday season. Whether you plan elaborate get-togethers or get caught off guard by spontaneous drop-ins, your unused chairs and “nice” dishes are bound to get some play before the end of the year. I recently discovered a time-tested strategy for making all this visiting easier — one that seems to have been forgotten along the way by generation X.

Pam Knows What's Up

It’s very simple. Put candy all over your house.

I’m not kidding. As an eater of salad in lieu of dessert, I am the last person who ever expected to say this. Sure, I celebrate individual candies as their own independent holidays. But scattered candy previously meant nothing to me aside from an abundance of temptation.

I’ve finally found what receptionists and bank tellers have known for years. Candy makes people feel better. It makes them calm down! Even when they’re being told bad news, like, “No, Michael’s not here” or “No, you can’t make a withdrawal. We actually want you to pay us before we’ll let you leave.”If little bits of sugary sweetness can brighten those moments, imagine what they can do for your too-small apartment when your great aunts, who don’t like your boyfriend, suddenly feel the urge to spend unending amounts of time with you.

With a little forethought and very little expense, you can make your home an exciting place to be — for you, your guests, and for the children they drag along with them. Placing candy within reach has the incredible and immediate impact of making guests feel more at home. Elevate your freinds’ enjoyment of your company by giving them something sweet to eat.

Christmas Candy

Mmm...Sweet Nostalgia

Celebrate the Season

The fun part of holiday candy is that it’s socially acceptable to put it literally everywhere. Red-and-white-striped candy is the perfect complement to sprigs of evergreen. So hang candy canes on your tree and place peppermint sticks throughout your garland.

It’s super adorable to dress up vintage jars or modern glass vessels for Christmas. Just fill them with different candies and slap on some homemade labels to give your guests a variety of beautiful things to snack on and talk about. So showcase your sweet tooth and brighten up your space at the same time. It’s the one step of holiday decorating that will be painless (and might even make trimming the tree go more smoothly)

Share the Love

Putting candy around the house is a really suave way of getting people to try things that you love. We all want to share things we enjoy, but it can be next to impossible to get friends to take the leap on their own. Instead of giving treats as gifts — and having to wrap them and send them — you can encourage your guests to indulge while keeping you company. It’s the perfect way to change minds and get first dibs on the leftovers.

Keep the Kiddies Busy

We all grow up with our favorite houses to visit — and those we dread. Candy is the best way to swing your friends’ kids’ opinions in your favor. Did you throw away the box of toys your cousin Hannah gave you for occasions like this? Distract with chocolate covered cherries. Have a tendency to snap when someone sets a little foot in your parlor? Grab some gummi bears. When kids have off from school, candy is the prime currency for buying time with your adult friends. The more rooms you decorate with it, the greater the scavenger hunt you can send them on. And the best part is, they’ll love you for it!

There’s no use fighting — embrace the season! String up popcorn with your holly and pair peppermint with your poinsettias. And maybe you’ll make the holidays just a little bit sweeter for your self and everyone who visits you.

Candy Canes – 2011 Edition

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 by Jessica Prokop

I know that I’m about to give everyone whiplash, but it’s true. The moment you finish off your Halloween candy, you run smack into the Christmas season. Well, Halloween has come and gone, and we’re seeing far fewer hours of daylight. It’s time to think about hibernation.

There’s one little Christmas detail you can take care of now to brighten the holidays. As you stock up for the next snowpocalypse, take a moment and order your Candy Canes.

A Candy Cane Craze

Each year, the holidays creep in earlier and earlier. Before I worked at a candy company, I did not believe that anyone would buy Candy Canes in October. But now I hear those calls coming in, and it’s true! They’re flying off the shelves! The time to secure your Candy Canes (especially if you need lots of them) is now. 1.76 Billion of these puppies will be made this year, so whether there are 6 Billion or 7 Billion humans on the Earth, there’s no excuse for not getting a few peppermint sticks of your own.

Don’t Be Left Out in the Cold

When you shop with Candy Favorites, you can order candy canes (or stocking stuffers, or bulk candy) and schedule delivery for closer to Christmas. When you’re pummeled with last-minute details, your future self will be so grateful that you had the foresight to plan ahead. All you’ll have to do will be to accept the package and go back to basting your Christmas goose.

Classic Candy Canes

The thing about traditional Candy Canes is, people are expecting them. After all, kids have been enjoying them for 350 years. A Christmas without Candy Canes is like a breakfast without bacon — ridiculous! Classic versions are the most in demand, so here’s a variety of options. We’ve got you covered with tiny ones, normal ones, and totally giant Candy Canes.

Novelty Candy Canes

Novelty Candy Canes make a great stocking-stuffing supplement to traditional versions. They take the candies you know and love a step further with crazy flavors, interesting textures, and even gum. While we don’t advise that you totally forgo the classics, we have a variety of newfangled Candy Canes to keep your tastebuds on their toes.

Candy 1 to 20 Contest – The Winners

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 by Jessica Prokop

We want to send a big “Thank You” out to everyone who submitted their candy stories during our Candy 1 to 20 Contest. We received stories that were funny, touching, nostalgic, and creative, all about learning with candy. It’s clear that candy certainly is a great motivator, and that the ways to use it are endless.

Check out the stories on the original post.

And the Winners Are…

  • Owen Brelsford
  • Candace Retka
  • P. Chatwin
  • Matthew Keller
  • Kasee Johnson

 

Each winner will win a signed copy of the book “Candy 1 to 20″ from Chronicle Books.

Watch out in the coming weeks for our next contest. Sign up for our newsletter to receive chances to win, special deals, and new product announcements!