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Confections

Moonstruck Chocolate Introduces Fall Confections Collection

Moonstruck Chocolate Co. welcomes fall with new collections inspired by warm autumn hues and rich flavors. Whether preparing for ghoulish Halloween festivities, a resplendent Thanksgiving table or simply celebrating the changing seasons, including handcrafted Moonstruck Chocolates in the mix steeps the senses in quintessential autumn experiences.

“With the changing of the seasons, we look to the bounty of the Northwest and highlight the flavors that are prevalent in markets, on kitchen tables, and at favorite local restaurants and watering holes,” explains Julian Rose, Master Chocolatier for Moonstruck. “Our fall collections feature spicy, nutty and syrupy notes that conjure memories of old favorites like pumpkin and pecan pies and gingerbread, but we think chocolate lovers also will find new favorites to enjoy.”

Pumpkin Patch Collection

moonstruck pumpkinIdeal for an autumn gift bag or place setting, the four-piece Pumpkin Patch Collection offers perfectly molded pumpkins that look almost too good to eat. Filled with velvety pumpkin spice milk chocolate and dark chocolate ganache and enrobed in ivory chocolate tinted naturally with orange, the pumpkins are hand-finished and two are dusted with sugar for a sparkly, textured delight. Suggested retail price is $10.

Monster Mash Collection

moonlightmonsterThis frightfully fabulous collection features the artistry of Chef Rose, who hand-carved the clay originals from which confection molds were cast. It’s no trick; each treat is decorated by hand, and no two monsters are exactly alike. Familiar combinations are captured in milk and ivory chocolate shells, including caramelized tones in the Crème Brulèe Werewolf Truffle, nutty goodness in the Peanut Butter Ghost Truffle, deep citrus in the Blood Orange Devil Truffle, and crunchy Oregon hazelnuts and popping candy in the Popping Praline Mummy Truffle. Suggested retail price is $10.

Spooky Spider Collection

moonlightspookyMoonstruck’s classic bow-tied truffles get a creepy crawly makeover as Creepy Orange Spider Truffles and Milk Chocolate Spider Truffles. The collection includes three truffles draped with orange spiders guarding a rich, extra-bittersweet dark chocolate ganache within. Two milk chocolate ganache truffles are embellish with foreboding dark chocolate spiders. Suggested retail price is $10.

Flavors of Fall Collection

Capture the best flavors of fall with this six-piece collection, released just in time to lend warmth and comfort to cooler autumn days. Stunning seasonal motifs of foliage, nuts and pies hint at the unique combinations within. The popular confections include a Maple Walnut Mousse Truffle, Pfeffernüsse Spice Truffle, Pumpkin Pie Truffle, Pecan Pie Truffle, Harvest Almond Praline and Plantation Molasses Caramel. Suggested retail price is $13.50.

New Milk Chocolate Tumbled Gingerbread Hazelnuts

Oregon hazelnuts get an extra kick from gingerbread spices before being tumbled with layer upon layer of premium chocolate. These small bites pack big and complex flavor, revealing notes of ginger and cinnamon followed by a toasty crunch under signature milk chocolate. Suggested retail price is $5.

Special Treats and Wrapped Collections

For a hauntingly sweet gesture, give Moonstruck’s 10-piece Haunted House Collection. Boxed in a chilling coffin-shaped haunted house, the collection includes one of each of Moonstruck’s Halloween-themed truffles, including all four Monster Mash truffles, both pumpkin truffles, both spider truffles, as well as a Frankenstein Toffee Truffle and an Extra-Bittersweet Black Cat Truffle. Suggested retail price is $25.

With fall comes the great pumpkin, and Moonstruck offers two. Satisfy chocolate and peanut butter cravings with a Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Pumpkin, or take a walk on the dark side with a Dark Chocolate Rocky Road Pumpkin. At 110 grams a piece, pumpkins are available for a suggested price of $7.50.

Moonstruck offers its signature truffles specially wrapped in seasonally-inspired paper ideal for any gift-giving occasion. The suggested retail price is $20 for the nine-piece collection and $35 for the 16-piece box.

Finally, now is the time to find Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Almond Bark. A superb balance of sweet and salty, this decadent dark chocolate incorporates roasted almonds and Maldon sea salt flakes for a satisfying crunch. Available in one-pound boxes for a suggested price of $25.            

Moonstruck Chocolate’s autumn collections are available online at www.moonstruckchocolate.com, at select national retailers, in four Moonstruck Chocolate Cafés in Oregon and at the St. John’s store in North Portland. For more information, call 800.557.6666.

nibmor Offering Ethically-Sourced Chocolate at #SFFS14

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By Lorrie Baumann

Jessie Osias is serving Mint and 6 Spice Drinking Chocolates at nibmor’s booth #4475 at the Summer Fancy Food Show. This is nibmor’s debut at the Fancy Food Show, although the company, headquartered in New York, has been around for five years now. Both of the drinking chocolates that are being served in the booth are made with cashew milk. “Everything is vegan, so we stick to a nondairy milk,” Osias commented.

All of nibmor’s chocolate products are ethically sources, certified either by Rainforest Alliance or Fair Trade. The company is currently planning for a fall release of a 6 Spice bar, which is dark chocolate with 72 percent cacao. The 2.2-ounce bar will retail for about $3.99. At the same time, nibmor will release a Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bar with 80 percent cacao. This will also be a 2.2-ounce bar to retail for $3.99.

nibmor is also planning a new All-Natural Superfruit line of chocolate bars intended to offer a healthier confection option to the mainstream grocery market. “We’re trying to meet the consumer where they are,” Osias says. The line is tentatively scheduled to launch at the end of this year. “At this point, it’s still being discussed,” says Osias.

Brittles are Hot at Hammond’s Candies #SFFS14

By Lorrie Baumann

The folks at Hammond’s Candies (in booth #3930 at the Summer Fancy Food Show) are delighted at the market’s reception of its new Cotton Candy, which launched in March and exceeded market projections for the entire year by the end of April, according to Hammond’s CEO Andrew Schuman.

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The Hammond’s Cotton Candy is the brainchild of Vice President Andrew Whisler.

The Hammond’s Cotton Candy is offered in Classic and Peppermint as well as a couple of other seasonal varieties, and Schuman is predicting that the peppermint flavor, which is made from crushed Hammond’s candy canes, is going to be a strong seller during this holiday season. Shipping of the product is in hiatus during the summer, but once the weather is a little cooler this fall, Hammond’s Cotton Candy will be available again. Schuman recommends ordering in September so you can offer it for sale to customers during the fall and holiday season.

The Hammond’s Cotton Candy is packaged in plastic bags to hang from a tree, and it retails for $2.99.

Also coming this fall is the Hammond’s Popcorn line, which will be relaunched in August, says Andrew Whisler, Hammond’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. It’s coming in a newly designed bag with a much more attractive retail price point that should appeal to customers. Flavors include Caramel, Chocolate Caramel, Cinnamon Toast, Mango Habanero and Honey Peanut, as well as Chicago-style, which Whisler says is half caramel and half cheese popcorn. “It is so good, especially in combination,” he says. The popcorn retails for $3.99 to $4.99.

And new in the Hammond’s booth at the Summer Fancy Food Show are the Hammond’s Brittle Crisps. These are nut brittle confections that are a little thinner and a little crispier than the traditional brittle, and they’re infused with adventurous new flavors like Jalapeno Lime. There’s a Cashew & Cayenne Brittle for the folks who like sweet heat and a Sea Salt & Caramel Brittle for the folks who are fond of the sweet and salty taste. They’re packaged in 9-ounce bags to retail for $3.99 to $4.99, and they’re available to ship.. “They’re going to do real well,” Whisler says. “The price point is really nice on them.”

Buddy Squirrel Offering All-Natural Honey Bite Samples at #SFFS14

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By Lorrie Baumann

Buddy Squirrel is introducing a new line of All-Natural Honey Bites in booth #1160 at this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show. The line is made with real Wisconsin honey, which eliminates the need for any artificial preservatives, and no artificial flavors or additives are used. Each of the bite-size snacks comes in around 80 calories.

There are three varieties: Cinnamon Coconut Almond, Cranberry Peanut Butter, and Pistachio Cashew, all made with premium nuts and packaged in cups that will fit into car cupholders for snacks on the go. Each 3.6 ounce cup contains a single variety of the bites and retails for about $6, and there’s also a 7.2-ounce cup with a variety assortment that retails for about $10, says Buddy Squirrel Marketing Coordinator Emily Zager.

The cups are sealed to maintain freshness, which gives them a shelf life of about six to eight months, and the bite-size treats are individually wrapped as well, so they’d be great for school lunch boxes or for tucking into the kids’ bags for summer camp. “It’s really designed for people on the go,” Zager says.

 

Scharffen Berger to Debut Four Artisanal Chocolate Bars at #SFFS14

Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker will be showcasing four new, rich and distinctive artisanal chocolate bars, featuring depth and unique flavors with on-trend exotic ingredients – that are not yet available at retail.  The four new bars include:

  •  Scharffen Berger 72 percent Signature Dark Chocolate
  • Scharffen Berger 33 percent Smooth Milk Chocolate
  • Scharffen Berger 72 percent Dark Chocolate with Pistachios and Sea Salt
  • Scharffen Berger 33 percent Milk Chocolate with Toasted Coconut and Macadamia

As with all Scharffen Berger chocolate, the new chocolate bars are crafted from the world’s finest cacao, are made with Rainforest Alliance Certified sourced cocoa, kosher certified and gluten free.

 

Hawaiian Host to Exhibit at #SFFS14

 

Hawaiian Host will bring its 80-year chocolate legacy to the 2014 Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City, June 29-July 1. At booth #4025, Hawaiian Host will share its signature island flavors and sample its long list of best sellers.

“As we pursue nationwide retail expansion, we are allocating many of our marketing resources to strengthen our brand presence from coast to coast, including large-scale event sponsorships, a revamped consumer public relations program, and strategic partnerships,” said Rosalie Char, Director of Marketing at Hawaiian Host, Inc. “With an already solid reputation as an industry leader on the West Coast, we are eager to meet with show goers in New York who may not be as familiar with our brand, to discuss Hawaiian Host’s newest products along with our expanding distribution and manufacturing capabilities.”

All 250 Hawaiian Host products are manufactured using super premium chocolate and an age-old proprietary process that has been utilized since 1927. Hawaiian Host will be sampling its signature products, including its newest creation, Coconut Caramacs, featuring coconut, homemade caramel and dry-roasted macadamia pieces, covered in signature milk chocolate and topped with toasted coconut flakes. Products are available nationwide via the company’s website as well as in select retail locations.

Hawaiian Host chocolate covered macadamias start with premium macadamias that are hand-selected, dry roasted and vacuum sealed to ensure freshness. The signature candy, first produced in 1927, combines macadamias with a special blend of super-premium chocolate to create its classic taste. Additional specialty items feature white and dark chocolate along with gourmet ingredients including toffee, caramel, honey and more. For more information on Hawaiian Host’s more than 250 products as well as simple dessert recipes, visit www.hawaiianhost.com.

 

Lindt EXCELLENCE Introduces New Lemon Bar

Premium chocolatier Lindt USA introduces EXCELLENCE Lemon into its dark chocolate collection as the most recent innovation to join the brand’s sophisticated offerings. The new bar will first be featured at the 2014 FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen from June 20-22, where Lindt EXCELLENCE will serve as the Official Chocolate Sponsor.

The Lindt EXCELLENCE collection is the world’s most exceptionally crafted premium chocolate, and with the start of the summer season, EXCELLENCE Lemon is a timely addition. Created with passion by the Lindt Master Chocolatiers and made with the finest ingredients, its bright citrus flavor is pure and nostalgic of summertime year-round. EXCELLENCE Lemon masterfully combines silky dark chocolate with the refreshing taste of lemon and the delicate crunch of almond slivers. The thin, refined profile and harmonious duo of elegant contrasts offer consumers a unique sensory experience.

“EXCELLENCE Lemon tantalizes the five senses with its vibrant citrus flavor, smooth dark chocolate and crunch of almond slivers,” said Lindt Master Chocolatier Ann Czaja. “We’re excited to share this new fruit innovation, offering consumers a refreshing and palate-pleasing experience just in time for summer.”

EXCELLENCE at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen
During the three-day FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, Lindt will host a special seminar and tastings, showcasing its premium dark chocolate collection to culinary experts, tastemakers and consumers. In addition to formally introducing EXCELLENCE Lemon during Grand Tastings, Lindt will also offer attendees an exclusive first taste of EXCELLENCE Pineapple with Toasted Hazelnuts, developed with fine wine partner J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines to pair perfectly with J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay. The “Perfect Pairing” will be available to consumers nationwide in the fall.

The Perfect Chocolate and Wine Pairings
To celebrate the summer season and J. Lohr’s 40th year of family winemaking, Lindt Master Chocolatier Ann Czaja and J. Lohr Red Winemaker Steve Peck worked together to create the perfect dark chocolate and wine pairings, elevating the tasting experience. Exclusive pairings will be highlighted at the Classic, including the newest Lindt EXCELLENCE offerings and limited-edition J. Lohr anniversary varietals:

  • Lindt EXCELLENCE Lemon paired with limited-edition J. Lohr 40th Anniversary Pinot Blanc from Arroyo Seco in Monterey County
  • Lindt EXCELLENCE 70% Cocoa paired with limited-edition J. Lohr 40th Anniversary Red Wine from Paso Robles
  • Lindt EXCELLENCE Chili paired with 2012 J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir from Monterey County

The 3.5-ounce Lindt EXCELLENCE Lemon bar will be available at retail locations nationwide including Target, Lindt Chocolate Shops and www.Lindt.com. To learn more about the Lindt EXCELLENCE collection and perfect wine pairings, visit www.Lindt.com. For additional Lindt news and images from the Classic, “like” the company’s Facebook page or follow Lindt on Twitter.

Quality Confections from Cowboy Toffee Company

Cowboy Toffee Company‘s toffees are the kind your grandma would have made, if that’s the kind of thing she did. Fortunately for me, that’s exactly the kind of thing my grandma did, although mostly at Christmas time. Those memories were brought back by the taste of The Mustang, a classic toffee from Cowboy Toffee that’s made from butter, sugar, chocolate and almonds, in that order.

The company also offers its toffee-take on s’mores with a toffee called So Much S’mores, which is made from butter, sugar, milk chocolate and, you guessed it, marshmallows and graham crackers. The So Much S’mores toffee offers is gooey and wonderful, just like campfire s’mores, but it has the advantage of being much neater to eat. With this candy around, serving s’mores to your family doesn’t have to come with the warning to tie the long hair back first, since the traditional version isn’t so much something you eat as something you wear.

The third variety tasted today by the staff of Gourmet News is called Miss Bonnie, a choice for sophisticated tastes that’s flavored with the minty floral taste of lavender buds and white chocolate.

Thanks for sending along the samples, Cowboy Toffee Company. They were so good that we (mostly) don’t even want to take issue with your claim that Oakdale, Calif., where you make these treats, is the “Cowboy Capital of the World.” But that’s because our Gourmet News editorial office is located in Tucson, Ariz., where we have our own western traditions to keep alive, and we certainly don’t begrudge you a share of our wonderful western America heritage, especially if the result is these wonderful confections.

Brownie Brittle to Debut in New Packaging at Fancy Food Show

Brownie Brittle™ will debut its newly designed packaging early this summer, and attendees will have an exclusive sneak peek at the Summer Fancy Food Show held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, June 29-July 1 at booth 5153. The art deco-inspired designs are classy and eye-catching, and will be a standout on grocery shelves across the country.

“These sleek and sophisticated designs elevate our product image, and make it easy for customers to select their favorite flavor at a glance,” said Brownie Brittle founder, Sheila G. Mains, known in the food industry as “Sheila G.”

Brownie Brittle is available in Chocolate Chip, Toffee Crunch, Salted Caramel and Mint Chocolate Chip flavors at major retailers andonline at browniebrittle.com.  These new packages deliver five ounces of Brownie Brittle, one more mouth-watering serving for all to enjoy.

Additionally, the company will showcase its award-winning Brownie Brittle in 2-ounce. and 1-ounce snack sizes, available in three flavors: Chocolate Chip, Toffee Crunch and Salted Caramel.  The 2-oz. bags are sold in case packs of 24.  The 1-ounce bags are sold in case packs of 48.  The bags are 120 calories per 1-ounce serving and first appeared on store shelves in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Mains noted, “Many of our loyal fans requested a snack-pack size and we are excited to make it available.”

With skyrocketing sales, Brownie Brittle has reinvented snacking with its thin, crispy treat, created to honor Sheila G.’s favorite part of the brownie.

2013 was a banner year for Brownie Brittle, LLC, as it was named the second-fastest-growing company in Florida and received many additional accolades from industry publications and associations. Brownie Brittle was also recognized by the National Confectioners Association as the “Best New Snack 2012,” and as a finalist for “Most Innovative Product.” Brownie Brittle is made with natural ingredients, certified kosher, and peanut free.

Brownie Brittle has an extremely loyal and engaged following of over 280,000 Facebook fans.

“We’re excited to be launching our new packaging,” Mains said, “while still offering that same crisp brownie taste our fans have grown to love.”

Moonstruck Chocolate Unveils New Look, Size for Tumbled Chocolates

Moonstruck Chocolate Co. introduces a new look for its Tumbled Chocolates collection, providing fans of these baubles with a more portable and practical pouch than previously available. The new 4-oz. stand-up pouch is re-sealable, making it easier than ever to snack on a handful now and save the rest for later without compromising freshness, aroma or flavor.

“We drew inspiration for our Tumbled Chocolate collection from the ancient Egyptian technique of panning ingredients, or slowly drizzling, rolling and tossing centers like fruit and nuts with chocolate,” explains Julian Rose, master chocolatier for Moonstruck. “The result is a bite of rich, layered chocolate followed by a beautiful burst of flavor and texture from a well-paired interior. With our new packaging, these pearls of decadence are easier than ever to enjoy on the go or in the comfort of home.”

Moonstruck’s Tumbled Chocolate collection offers premium Belgian milk and dark chocolate surrounding all-natural centers sourced locally whenever possible. Each batch is hand-tossed to perfection for a true artisan chocolate experience. The new pouches are ideal for a quick snack or treat, and the 4-oz. size is just the right amount for a taste of indulgence without overdoing it.  Moonstruck offers four varieties:

  •  Sea Salt Caramels Tumbled in Milk Chocolate: Moonstruck starts with its signature house-made sea salt caramels, cooked traditionally in copper kettles in small batches; the caramels are blended with Maldon Sea Salt for just the right amount of bite to offset the sweetness from the caramel and layers of creamy milk chocolate.
  • Caramelized Hazelnuts Tumbled in Milk Chocolate: Whole hazelnuts are caramelized in small batches in Moonstruck’s copper kettles; tumbled in creamy milk chocolate, these chocolates offers a satisfying crunch.
  • Blueberries Tumbled in Dark Chocolate: A taste of Oregon’s summer is encased in these baubles; whole dried Northwest blueberries are tossed with dark, decadent chocolate, balancing the rich cacao with tart, fresh flavor.
  • Beer Berries Tumbled in Dark Chocolate: Imported German malted wheat berries offer tiny nuggets of crunch and flavor, enhancing Moonstruck’s rich, dark chocolate with roasted notes and hints of fruit and malt.

Moonstruck’s Tumbled Chocolate collection is available online at www.moonstruckchocolate.com, at select retailers nationwide, at its St. John’s store and in its four Moonstruck Chocolate Cafés in Oregon. The 4-ounce packages are offered at a suggested retail price of $4.99 each.