Happy Halloween! Today is the candy lover’s holiday! Even though I’m no longer of age to go trick-or-treating, it’s still my favorite holiday. I think the fact that I can still satisfy my need for a sugar high tonight plays a big part of it.
One of my favorite candies is Halloween specific, and I’m referring not only to Brach’s candy corn, but more specifically their Mellowcreme Pumpkins. To even out my craving, I love buying bags of the Autumn Mix as it has a little bit of everything.
The mix has the traditional candy corn, along with indian corn and my beloved pumpkins. I sometimes find myself hesitating to eat them up right away as they’re so cute to look at. Then I gather my wits and remember how good they taste.
Candy Corn: Nicely shaped little kernels of corn with a yellow base, orange center and a white tip. The flavor is very sweet and sugary with a hint of honey, which makes Brach’s candy corn stand out to me from the other brands. The texture has a slight sugary graininess to it which I enjoy.
Indian Corn: Same shape as the candy corn, but with a brown cap that’s flavored with real cocoa. You can taste the difference, as the flavor is subtly chocolatey and it comes across as more complex as the regular kind.
Mellowcreme Pumpkins: They taste like the candy corn, but there’s just more to it as these are much larger. The shape is very tall for pumpkins, as they’re not as round and squat as the real things. I prefer this, as it makes it easy to eat these in two bites. I adore how they make the effort to color the stem part green. So cute! I can’t get enough of these…
I’ve already got my bags of these hoarded away safely in my kitchen cupboards (shhh! Don’t tell anyone!) and I try to get enough to last me until next Halloween. Candy corn at other holidays just isn’t the same (looking at you Reindeer Corn!) along with the fact that the mixes lack pumpkins. I just hope I bought enough.
Happy National Candy Corn Day! I know it’s ironic that I review a candy corn flavored Hershey’s Kisses to mark the occasion, but I feel it’s fitting. You’ll soon understand.
Candy corn is something I find people either love or hate with very little gray area in between. Those of us who are fans, and yes I am a fierce candy corn lover, also tend to have strict loyalties to specific brands. I find that Brach’s candy corn sings to my taste buds compared to the others. That’s the beauty of candy though, everyone has their own tastes.
These flavored Kisses were released for the first time last year as a limited edition exclusive to Target. I was excited by the idea to say the least. The first release of these Kisses were real white chocolate (from what I remember, I could be wrong) that were colored and layered to look like squat candy corn kernels. Today they’re a blend of funky tropical oils but keep to the original appearance.
The bag really smells odd when you open it, and it immediately is a spoiler for the flavor. It reeks of butter. Not the good, real, fresh butter either. Oh, no. We’re talking the fake stuff that Fabio made a mint selling on TV commercials.
Let me just cut to the chase and say that these Kisses smell and taste of microwave popcorn. Last I checked, candy corn didn’t taste like that to me.
Despite the fact that the flavor is completely off and therefore horribly unappealing, there Kisses do have some uses. They are simply stunning to look at, and I’m sure one could get creative with these in the kitchen. Unless you buy them for this specific purpose though, I can’t bring myself to recommend them. Along with beauty, I also crave substance.
Hershey’s Kisses Website
One of the Halloween candies I routinely stock up on each year are gummi pumpkins. I admit that a good 75% of the reason is the fact that’s they’re cute little pumpkins and most of the time I’m not really taking the taste into consideration. This is a mistake really, if eating them is what you plan to do with them, which is what I do with them after I’m done cooing at how cute they are and squishing them with my fingers. Yes, pumpkins have that effect on me.
I’ve seen these made by several different brands, so it’s hard for me to pin down a specific one to review. I’ve had several over the years and it’s hard for me to really say if one is better than the other. They are all good in my book. These specific ones were samples from the All Candy Expo, but I’ve seen these in bulk bins at grocery stores. So they’re pretty easy to find if you’re willing to look.
The flavor of these is not pumpkin, sadly. Although that’d be a little strange now that I think about it. Instead, they’re the (next) best flavor in line: orange. It’s a nice fresh, slightly zesty orange, a little sweeter than a Lifesaver. The sugar coating gives a nice crunch and the texture is very firm and chewy. So much so that some tend to get stuck and all sticky in my teeth which is extremely annoying.
I also like how multi-purposeful these gummi pumpkins are. I’ve seen the used in many Halloween baking creations as they make wonderful toppers for cupcakes. Your imagination is the limit, really.
My favorite way to enjoy them is to leave the bag open and out on my table. I nibble on a few each day and taste enjoy them as the texture gradually hardens as they get a little stale. Strange, I know, but they’re fun and I always am disappointed when I find my bag empty. Which is always sooner than I expect.
Rating: Will Buy Again
Yay, more pumpkin truffles! I’m happy to see that pumpkin is getting more attention from all the chocolatiers as of late. It makes my little candy and squash-loving heart so very happy.
These truffles are made by the famed Knipschildt chocolatier lover in Connecticut. I’ve had limited experience with their work, as I’ve only sampled a few bites at the Chocolate Show in New York last year. From what I recall I liked the flavor of the chocolate so I feel very optimistic, heck, extremely excited to give these a taste.
The packaging is extremely attractive. A nice, handmade paper orange box securely closed with a wooden peg. The label is removable and nicely designed. I’m already brainstorming as to what I can reuse this box for.
Opening it up, you’re greeted with a little army of the truffles. Forty of them to be exact, all lined up in rows waiting to be consumed. They’re cute to look at as they’re large and topped off with a pumpkin seed. They smell sweet and roasted with a hint of nutmeg.
The chocolate shell was thick, but didn’t crack and made it easy to bite into. It’s a nice milk chocolate with good strong cocoa flavors. The ganache is very rich and the texture reminds me of very smooth fresh frosting, minus the sugar grain and greasiness. The flavor is more like pumpkin than pumpkin pie, as it comes across as more bitter and roasted tasting than sweet. Strong notes of nutmeg and clove mask any cinnamon that may be lurking in there, and it makes the flavor much more dark and mysterious.
I reviewed the Godiva pumpkin truffles last week and I prefer those to these. Not only flavor wise are they sweeter and more like a dessert, but the price is a little easier to handle. I paid $40 for this box at Dean and Deluca’s (yes, I know, I was kinda asking for it shopping there).
Rating: Will Eat Again
Knipschildt Chocolatier Website
A ghost candy? Seriously, what could be spookier? The idea of little glowing Dots with ghostie faces was just too much to ignore. I swooped up a (giant) bag in Target and eagerly lugged it home.
I should have kept them sealed in their boxes. Opening them up was a huge disappointment.
The Dots are faceless and a seriously lacking in the glowing department. I was also a bit nervous because they smelled strange. This odd, somewhat plastic-y fruity aroma. I decided to let the flavors “shine” for me (haha, get it?) but instead I just got the normal Dots flavors. I guess they think this is new and novel because they all look the same. Which flavor will this ghost be? Ooooo, it’s a mystery! After figuring out what was going on, I didn’t feel any need to finish them.
Although, before I totally gave up on these. I wanted to give them one more chance:
They needed faces, so I took a sharpie marker to them. That made up for the disappointment….a little.
These are good to hand out for Halloween if you don’t mid your front lawn getting decorated toilet paper later in the evening.
Rating: Not Worth It