Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pop Rocks on a Roll

Mad props to my friend Susie who always finds me odd and interesting new candies. When she visited this past weekend she brought me the new Pop Rocks on a Roll, that I had never seen or heard of before. Of course, I was eager to try it out.

The package contains what is basically a strawberry fruit roll-up and a small packet of strawberry Pop Rocks. It's up to the eater to construct the treat for themselves and I had a feeling it was going to be a messy job. Step 1: I found a flat surface and rolled out the fruit roll-up. Step 2: Opened the packet of Pop Rocks and generously sprinkled it over the fruit (there was plenty to go around). Step 3: Rolled the fruit skin back up containing the magic Pop Rock ingredient. Step 4: Took a bite.

Overall, Pop Rocks on a Roll was...interesting. I think the fruit skin kind of suppressed the popping action of the Pop Rocks, so they seemed more like a crunchy candy than a popping candy. Fruit roll-ups are good, and Pop Rocks are good, but as a combo, they are no peanut butter and chocolate.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pug Cakes

My sister is totally in love with her pug dog Presley, so I knew she would love these pug cupcakes I made for her birthday. I got the instructions for them out of the excellent new cookbook Hello Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Not only does this cookbook have some of the most creative and adorable cupcake decorations I have ever seen, many of the designs use some of my favorite candies. Take the pug cupcakes for example, the ears are made of flattened and shaped Tootsie Rolls and the tongue is made from a strawberry Starburst. The eyes are made out of brown mini M&M's with a dot of white frosting in the middle of them. (Oops! I forgot to mention that the nose is made from a black licorice Jelly Belly. The box I bought didn't have enough black ones to go around, so on some I used the brown Chocolate Pudding flavor which worked just fine.)

One of the great things about this cookbook is that you don't have to be an expert baker to achieve great results. All of the cupcakes in the book can be made with box cake mix and canned frosting. The candies used for decoration are also very common and readily available at most drugstores, gas stations...you get the picture. I really appreciate how this book made me look at candy in a new light. Before seeing this book, would I have ever pictured green Runts as green peas or a lemon Starburst as a pat of butter? Probably not. It's great to learn new things.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Indiana Jones loves Mint Crisp M&M's

Is anyone else excited about the new Indiana Jones movie, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull", or it is just me? The movie opens nationwide May 22, just in time for the big Memorial Day weekend box office. Will it beat Iron Man? I guess we'll just have to wait and see. However, Indiana Jones has already won in my book because as far as I know, Iron Man doesn't have the awesome Mint Crisp M&M's tied to its release. Yes, Mint Crisp M&M's, and they are delicious. They blow the recently reviewed Wildly Cherry M&M's out of the water. If you are a fan of the mint chocolate combination found in Andes Mints or Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies, then you are sure to love these.

From the outside, Mint Crisp M&M's look like puffier versions of plain M&M's. They come in the mint-inspired colors of dark green, light green, and white. In place of the trademark "M" in the center of each candy shell, some pieces feature movie themed icons like a skull or the famous Indiana Jones hat. Biting into a piece reveals the crisp in the "Mint Crisp" name. At the center of each piece is a tiny ball of rice crispies which lend a nice, light crunch to each bite. The crispy center is surrounded by a layer of mint flavored chocolate. Now maybe I am examining them a little too closely, but I swear I can detect 2 chocolate layers. One, the traditional M&M milk chocolate filling, and around that, a very thin, darker layer of chocolate where I believe the minty burst of flavor lies.

Mint Crisp M&M's are only available for a limited time, so if you want to try them, search them out soon. CVS has them in both the small, single package and the large bag. You can't miss them, the bag looks all ancient-y and Indiana Jones is right on it. You can also visit the M&M's website to play a game where an M&M searches ancient ruins for a secret stash of Mint Crisp M&M's hidden underground by the Mayans. Check it out at: http://www.m-ms.com/us/indianajones.