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Malted Candy Brittle

Malted Candy Brittle

Ingredients

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 3 tablespoons malted milk powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Recipe Preparation

  • Line large baking sheet with parchment paper; spray parchment with nonstick spray. Combine malt powder, baking soda, and coarse salt in small bowl. Combine sugar, 1/4 cup water, and cream of tartar in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush. Increase heat and boil until syrup is dark amber, swirling pan occasionally, about 8 minutes. Turn off heat. Add butter, then quickly add malt mixture; whisk to blend.

  • Pour mixture onto prepared sheet. Tilt sheet to spread mixture evenly. Cool completely. Break brittle into large chunks. Store brittle in airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Recipe by Elizabeth FalknerReviews SectionLoved this recipe! Fairly easy to make - gave them as Christmas gifts. Very addictive!!AnonymousMinneapolis12/16/19

Sponge Candy

Sponge Candy is a classic hard candy recipe that has a sponge-like texture on the inside and a subtle sweetness. Dip it or drizzle it with chocolate or sprinkle with a little flaked sea salt for an old fashioned treat!


Learn How To Make Peanut Brittle with Beer:

Stop and think about what flavors go well together. A hoppy, citrusy American India Pale Ale with salted peanuts, found in a bowl, on your favorite bar top. This Hophead IPA Beer Peanut Brittle takes that idea and recreates it into candy form.

Making your own Beer Brittle is pretty easy. Understanding how to make brittle is the key. As I suggest with all my recipes, starting with the best quality ingredients will make your Hophead IPA Beer Peanut Brittle better. With only five ingredients in this Beer Brittle recipe, each one plays an important role in making your candy superior in flavor, texture, and snap.

Butter is a major element in brittle. A high quality, high butterfat version will prove superior in taste testing. When butter is labeled “European Style” it is referring to a higher fat content in the butter. Usually, the European Style butter has also been cultured, giving the final butter more tang, or pop of flavor through fermentation. Why is this important in candy making? For butter to be called butter in the USA, it has to be at least 80% butterfat, with the remaining 20% a combination of milk solids and water. For butter to be labeled European Style, that butterfat content is increased to 82-86%, resulting in less water in the final butter. This is one of the reasons why European croissants and other baked goods are better in Europe. That higher percentage of butterfat makes a difference in cooking | baking | candy making. I also recommend using unsalted butter variety. Salt was added to butter to help preserve it, back in the day, before we had refrigeration. The addition of salt would help stabilize the butter, making it room temperate safe for long periods of time. Salt is critical to this recipe, yet being able to adjust the salt to taste, vs paying for salt in butter form, with ultimately not knowing how much salt is really in each brand of salted butter, making buying unsalted butter easy. I am a huge fan of Straus Family Creamery, as they produce this style of Unsalted European style Butter. Straus Family Creamery also practices many environmental procedures, that make it a zero-emission dairy. The extra richness and full flavors from their milk, butter, and cream improve the final texture in this beer candy.

Sugar is another key ingredient in candy making. Using organic sugar has a lot of plus sides besides supporting the farmers’ choice not to use pesticides in their fields. Organic sugar comes from sugar cane that is not GMO (genetically modified). The sugar has to be processed from field to sugar in 24 hours, while the sugar is not bleached either. Not bleaching the sugar, makes organic sugar a golden hue, retaining trace minerals and vitamins from the sugar cane. This also contributes to a slight caramelized vanilla flavor in the final sugar product. Do a taste test for yourself, comparing bleached processed white sugar to organic sugar and see what you like best, what tasted better.

Peanuts are a key ingredient, as this recipe is called Hophead IPA Beer Peanut Brittle, after all. Fresh peanuts make a difference. Sadly, peanuts and most nuts do not have a harvest date on their packaging. They will have a best by date | code that should be checked, making sure the peanut, technically a legume is not gone rancid. Taste your peanuts before use, making sure they are wonderful and delicious. If you or a friend | family member is allergic to peanuts, this recipe can be made with almonds, macadamia, pistachios, pecans, sunflower seeds, or other suggestions below.

There are many types of IPA that will work in this recipe. While I usually don’t suggest cooking with IPA (India pale Ale) as a rule rules are made to be broken. As this recipe has a high percentage of sugar, this helps prevent the beer from reducing so much, that one is left with an overly bitter beer reduction. Just as in brewing, the ratio of barley malt to hops is important. When making this recipe, understanding that the extra sugar provides more than enough sweetness in the beer candy, it almost needs some bitterness to add balance to this sweet treat. As sugar caramelizes, it becomes darker and in flavor more bitter. That is what makes Peanut Brittle so good, is that sweet | bitter interplay. Adding an IPA to this combination works for that reason, plus the recipe is called Hophead IPA Beer Peanut Brittle. I would hesitate to recommend using a double or triple IPA (DIPA | TIPA) in this recipe, as the extra hop IBU’s (International Bitter Units) might be too much, causing excessive bitterness or even burning in the candy-making process.

I love the citrus-forward West Coast styles of IPA for this Beer Brittle recipe. Try Bear Republic Brewing Co. Racer 5 IPA, Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA to get an orange | tangerine undertone to the peanut brittle. 3 Floyd’s Zombie Dust, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Pale Ale are also wonderful hop-forward brews that will work in this recipe. There are tons of great IPA’s that will work in this recipe. Check out BeerAdvocate’s American IPA list for what you can get in your neighborhood.

Candy making is somewhat technical, as food science is what transforms these 5 raw ingredients into a delicious Beer Brittle. a thermometer is critical to make sure the candy is at the correct temperature. This investment, if you don’t have a good thermometer, will elevate all your cooking creations. When sugar is boiling, the water is evaporating, causing the remaining butterfat, sugar along with beer to crystallize. The temperature helps the cook understand where the brittle is and if the temperature of the stovetop needs to be adjusted or turned off completely. A silicone baking mat is also a wonderful tool to use, as there is no sticking and makes clean up super easy.

Any hophead will surely love this for a gift, a special and thoughtful treat if brought to a potluck | beer tasting | gathering, or just have it around to snack on!


  • Buying ingredients that are ethically sourced doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.
  • Aldi’s grocery chain has a large selection of inexpensive chocolate bars with the UTZ symbol by the brand Moser Roth and peanut butter cups by the brand Choceur with the Fair Trade Certified symbol. Aldi’s also stocks beautiful seasonal chocolates like foil wrapped Santas for Christmas, foil wrapped coins for Chanukkah, Easter eggs, and Valentine hearts all with the UTZ symbol.
  • Whole Foods supermarket brand, 365, is all fairly traded and ethically sourced. The excellent 365 brand chocolate chips are comparable in price to mainstream brands. The chips are available in semisweet jumbo, regular, and mini. White chocolate chips are also available in regular and mini.
  • There are several brands that make ethically sourced cocoa powder. Whole Foods carries 365 brand cocoa powder (my favorite for its dark, rich color and flavor) and Equal Exchange. Dagoba cocoa powder is available in many supermarkets. Dagoba is the ethically sourced division of Hershey’s.
  • Many popular recipes use whole or crushed Oreos. Unfortunately, Nabisco does not trace the sources of the cocoa it uses. Newman’s Own brand (with ethical sourcing on all of its products) is available at most supermarket and produces Newman O’s, which are an ideal substitute.


Peanut Brittle - A Brittle Sweet Story

In honor of this sugary celebration, a little history of the sweet stuff is sure to hit the spot. Even though the sweet peanutty goodness is only available around the holidays, it's only appropriate to celebrate. For off-season substitutes, check out crunchy items like Atkinson's Peanut Butter Bars in our Peanut Candy Section.

Peanut brittle is beloved by many, both young and old. There&rsquos something addicting in that salty-sweet crunch that keeps people coming back time and time again. But did you know that this popular treat may very well be an American invention? That&rsquos right. And an American folk hero of yore may have helped garner its fame. In fact, peanut brittle&rsquos place in American pop culture is certainly an established one.

To Whom Should We Send Thanks?

There are almost as many stories about the creation of peanut brittle as there are recipes for how to make it. While numerous cultures have been whipping up nut and syrup creations for centuries, it&rsquos very likely that the peanut brittle we know and love is American in origin.

Why So Brittle?

Legend tells us that around the year 1890, a Southern woman created peanut brittle by mistake. Apparently she was making taffy when she added baking soda instead of cream of tartar. However, not wanting to waste the ingredients, she continued cooking it, resulting in a crunchy brittle instead of a chewy taffy.

Another version of the tale, also Southern in origin, credits fabled hero Tony Beaver with the birth of the brittle.

Beaver Brittle?

For those of you not acquainted with Tony Beaver, he&rsquos a character in Southern folklore, often referred to as the cousin of Paul Bunyan. As the story goes, Beaver saved a town from flood by pouring peanuts and molasses into the river. In the end, the town was saved and the people had a delicious treat to commemorate the occasion.

Open to Interpretation

No matter which story you choose, it&rsquos hard to dispute that peanut brittle is a Southern invention: a fact not hard to believe considering the popularity of peanut growing in warmer climes. But lucky for us, this Southern secret has made its way across the country, and across the world. So you can enjoy this American innovation, wherever you are.


Brach's

One of the new items from Brach’s is a fun looking product. They’re called Brach’s Valen-tiny’s. They’re tiny double layer hearts in the style of SweeTarts.

I found the share size bag at Target, which is a great size for a new product like this. The bag has no further description aside from advising that they’re good for snacking or decorating. The little window in the bag shows that they are actually tiny hearts that are two layers, one white and the other a pastel.

As far as I can tell, there are five flavors:
Green is lime. It’s tangy and sort of ordinary.
Pink is cherry and again, rather ordinary and sweet with a little tart bite.
Orange is much denser than the other flavors and tastes more like chewable aspirin. There’s a vitamin B flavor to it that’s not really pleasant for a candy.
Yellow is like a fruit flavored Tums. It’s not even lemon, as far as I can tell, it might be pineapple or fruit punch.
Purple is grape and actually a lot more intensely flavored than the others. The grape is also not Pixy Stix grape, but more like concord grape.

The quality of the flavors is so widely varied that I can’t recommend them. It’s hard to tell them apart because they’re small and only colored on one side, so it’s easy to eat the wrong one if you’re avoiding a color.

I’d like to see Brach’s try again with these because the concept shows a lot of promise. But they’re fine for decorating and I only spent a buck on them. I was disappointed to see that they’re made in China, which means that Brach’s or Ferrara Candy Company didn’t actually make them at all.

Related Candies

    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE

Brach’s Sea Salt Chocolate Candy Corn

Brach’s has a few new versions of their classic Candy Corn this year, in addition to the return of Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie and Caramel Macchiatto. The Brach’s Sea Salt Chocolate Candy Corn says it’s made with real honey and comes from the same factory in Mexico that makes all the other Brach’s candy corn.

The image on the front of the bag shows what looks like chocolate truffles coated with far more salt than anyone should be eating. The good news is that it’s just an artistic representation, it’s there’s not that much salt on them and certainly none that’s visible.

Brach’s classic candy corn has 70 mg of sodium per serving of 19 pieces. The Sea Salt Chocolate version has 95 mg of sodium. The ingredients label lists both regular salt and sea salt as ingredients. The sea salt, which is the defining feature that the product leads with is way down at the end of the list after the first salt, after the palm kernel oil, after the natural and artificial colors and some extra dextrose. The only items lower on the list are gelatin, honey and the artificial colors plus sesame oil and soy lecithin.

So, back to that picture on the front of the bag, it took me a little while of eating the pieces in layers to realize that the picture is actually a code for the candy.

The base layer is sweet, though a little less sweet than a standard candy corn fondant. There’s a light cocoa note, like that feeling that you get when you go into the kitchen and realize that someone left a package of hot cocoa mix open. The next layer, the middle one, is pretty much the same, expect I think I caught some fake butter notes. Then the white top layer is not that “bland white tip of the candy corn flavor”, instead it’s actually salty. There are actually little crunchy bits of salt in there.

The whole thing tastes every so slightly less sweet than standard orange and yellow candy corn, but not actually chocolatey. It’s missing the honey notes and the weird butter flavoring really didn’t belong at all.

Of the recent novelty flavors, I think the Caramel Macchiatto was my favorite, but I’d love them to try an espresso or maybe affogato. This one seemed a little too late for the trend and not well executed.

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    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE

Brach’s Peanut Butter Cup Candy Corn

Brach’s has introduced over a dozen flavors of Candy Corn in the past five years. There are the more traditional flavors like Harvest Corn and Pastel Corn, but also some more trendy flavors like Carrot Cake, Caramel Macchiato and Red Velvet.

Though I find myself a purist when it comes to certain candies, I think that the fondant candies are ripe for this sort of flavor exploration. I also think a lot more could be done with shape. I’m not sure why we’re hung up on the layered corn. Perhaps it’s just economical to use the same mold for all new variations and use color to distinguish them. So, I welcome these new Candy Corn shaped flavor experiences.

Last spring Ferrara Candy announced the new Brach’s Peanut Butter Cup Candy Corn and I was immediately intrigued. It’s a great idea, peanut butter cups are already layered and the flavors might translate well. Might.

The pieces look like a lot of other Brach’s candy corn pieces. They’re large and narrow and have a little notch that goes across the bottom layer and the middle of the center layer. The layers appear to be distinctive flavors, the base is cocoa, the center beige is peanut and the top is “white.”

The candy corn has an odd but convincing peanut aroma. It smells more like boiled peanuts than roasted peanuts, there’s a thinness about the scent that becomes more obvious when I ate them.

The ingredients list no peanuts or peanut butter. The only thing close is some sesame oil. There is cocoa in the ingredients list, in fact it’s the third item after sugar and corn syrup. I guess the peanuts are all in the natural and artificial flavors. I actually assumed they used defatted peanut powder in this, but sadly no.

The peanut layer is bland and has an artificial butter note to it and a sort of diluted peanut flavor, kind of like a cheap frosting. The cocoa base is decent and at least isn’t as sweet as the other layers.

I didn’t despise the Peanut Butter Cup Candy Corn, but I didn’t find it as good as I thought it could be. It’s still munchable, just not terribly distinctive. Throw it in with some popcorn or nuts for a snack, and it becomes more than passable.

Related Candies

    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE

Brach’s Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bites

Brach’s has reintroduced their whole line of chocolate panned candies over the past two years. They’ve redone their classic Bridge Mix and now have several varieties of chocolate covered nuts. One of the surprising new items is Brach’s Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bites.

The gussetted, resealable bag holds a half of a pound. Like most other Brach’s products, the description on the package is only contained in the product name . nothing else to go on except the very long ingredients list.

The image on the bag shows some chocolate pieces, and then a cross section of the actual candies . sitting next to that is a rustic pretzel nugget and a little square of caramel. That is really not what the product is.

The little spheres are a great size, about the same size as a garbanzo bean or hazelnut. The milk chocolate coating is shiny and the bag had a nice sweet scent, a little on the milky side. The pieces have a good crunch, the pretzel center isn’t too hard or crumbly. The pretzel flavor was good, not too much of the washed crust that can get kind of bitter, and no big bits of salt. But upon eating the pieces, this is where the caramel part comes in. The caramel is actually little shards mixed into the milk chocolate. So at first it’s just a pretzel with some milk chocolate, but after chewing, the chocolate melts away and the starchy pretzel dissolves . and what was left was some sort of tacky residue of hard caramel. It was weird and kind of waxy and unpleasant.

So, after a while I took to letting the milk chocolate melt away instead of crunching them up, but that was unsatisfying because then my pretzel would get mushy before the caramel bits were all gone. I’ve had other confections like almonds, that had a little toffee coating before the milk chocolate, I’m not sure why that wasn’t the process here.

I’ll pass on these in the future, which is too bad because it’s a unique selling proposition in the rather crowded field of morselized products.

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    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE

Brach’s Milk and Dark Chocolate Caramel and Nut Mix

Brach’s has expanded their line of stand up bag offerings. I spotted these at Target: Brach’s Milk and Dark Chocolate Caramel & Nut Mix. It sounds like a much simpler Bridge Mix.

Like most Brach’s products, the package is vague about the product once you get past the name. There’s a list of ingredients, but other than that, I was kind of left to guess what was in my mix.

So, what do we have? Pretty much what the name says. There’s an assortment of two different shapes of chocolate covered nuts . peanuts and almonds. Then there are some gumdrop looking things that are caramels and some oblong bits that are chocolate covered brittle.

The whole mix smells sweet, a little like peanuts and cocoa. The sweetness has a fake vanilla note to it that isn’t very encouraging, though the appearance of the mix is pretty attractive. The panning is good, everything is shiny and smooth.

Milk Chocolate Peanuts are satisfying. There’s not a lot of chocolate, but far better than Nestle’s Goobers. There’s a little hint of salt to make these much more of a snack than a sweet.

Dark Chocolate Peanuts also have a hint of salt and a noticeable bitterness to the chocolate which again keeps the whole mix from getting to sticky sweet.

Milk Chocolate Caramels were lackluster. The texture was excellent, the caramel was chewy but not too stiff and it had a smooth consistency. However, it lacked actual caramel flavor and didn’t offset the milk chocolate coating much.

Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Brittle are easy to spot. They’re large and have a thick coating of chocolate. The brittle center may be big, but it crunches easily. The nutty flavor is not front and center, this piece is more about the textures of the crushed nuts, the dark chocolate and the sugary brittle. The nut bits are quite small, so it’s almost like the sesame brittle found in Kosher delis.

Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds are one of the larger pieces, though some are small enough to be mistaken for peanuts. The almonds have a light blanching, they’re not overly roasted. They’re crunchy and hold up well to the rather sweet dark chocolate.

This mix takes a lot of guess work out of what can be candy roulette. I liked all the pieces and didn’t really long for anything else that wasn’t in here. I thought the peanuts were great, and it all looked good in a little bowl. I certainly preferred it to the actual Bridge Mix that Brach’s sells.

The product contains milk, peanuts, almonds and soy and is made on shared equipment with other tree nuts, eggs and wheat.

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    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE

The Recent History of Brach’s Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs

I’m a big fan of Malted Milk Balls and consider the candy coated Pastel Malted Milk Egg to be one of the best holiday candy creations ever. Brach’s has been making a pastel egg for at least 55 years, and malted milk balls for even longer.

Though the Brach’s brand has been around for over 110 years, they’ve changed ownership, leadership and product focus dozens of times. This means that the products themselves also change. The changes can be for consumer-driven reasons, supply issues and costs. I’ve noticed, since Candy Blog is coming up on 10 years, that the Brach’s Fiesta Eggs have changed quite a bit over the years, and have some photos and notes to document it.

Name: Pastel Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs
Brand: Brach’s (Callebaut)
Place Purchased: Long’s (Laguna Woods)
Price: $1.50 (on sale!)
Size: 7.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 132
Type: Chocolate/Malt
Rating: 6 out of 10
Size: 1/2 to 2/3 of an inch
Shell: pastel, crunchy, lightly vanilla
Chocolate: creamy, flavorless, too sweet
Malt: light, airy

Though this was my first year reviewing them, it wasn’t the first time I had them and thought they used to be better.

Name: Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs
Brand: Brach’s (Farley’s & Sathers)
Place Purchased: Target (Glendale)
Price: $1.99
Size: 7.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 132
Type: Chocolate/Malt
Rating: 6 out of 10
Size: 2/3 of an inch
Shells - white with speckles, thick
Chocolate - Real, fudgy texture, lack of flavor
Malt - cripsy, moderately malty

I’d say that this was a lackluster version, though I liked the center, the chocolate brought the whole thing down.

Name: Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs
Brand: Brach’s (Farley’s & Sathers)
Place Purchased: Target
Price: $1.89
Size: 7.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Type: Chalk
Rating: 5 out of 10
Size 1.25 to 1.5 inches
Shell: White with few speckles, very thick, hard to bite
Chocolate: weak
Malt: milky, barely sweet, crisp

These were simply too difficult to eat because of the size and shell. The center was good, especially because the ratio was so high.

Name: Malted Milk Pastel Fiesta Eggs
Brand: Brach’s (Ferrara Candy)
Size: 7.5 ounces
Price: $2.50
Rating: 5 out of 10
Shell: Pastel. It’s crisp and has the texture of actual egg shells, a little bit of crumble, generally flavorless.
Chocolate: It’s passable stuff. It’s real chocolate, but not great quality. The texture is fatty and smooth, but also extremely sweet, there’s very little cocoa flavor to it.
Malted Milk Center: The texture is very dense, with a lot of milky notes but less malt than the others. It’s not overly sweet and not overtly salty.

The center this year is different. It’s darker in color, which does indicate that the recipe or manufacturing process has changed. The colors are great, I like the shell, though many commenters do not like the new version. I can’t put my finger on what’s wrong here, except that I don’t plan on buying them again, but I’ll finish the bags I have.

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Brach’s Spiced Jelly Bird Eggs

When I was very little, as far as I knew, Jelly Beans came in a scant few flavors and they were basically the same as Spice Drops. Later Jelly Belly came along and revolutionized jelly beans by trying to make everything into a flavor at least once.

Brach’s now calls their fruit blend of Jelly Bird Eggs their Classic Flavors, and they call what were, for about 100 years the classic flavors simply Spiced. I guess when a couple of generations grow up with fruity jelly beans, that happens. Now, I might complain that things have changed over the years, and a pound of coffee is no longer a pound of coffee . but this bag is actually a pound of jelly beans. For only $2.49 . not a bad deal overall . if they’re any good.

Nowhere on the bag does it go beyond that name to describe what the flavors actually are. It appears there are six flavors.

I’ll start with Green which is epitome of a Spearmint jelly bean. It’s like a jelly bean version of Spearmint Leaves. The shell is grainy and far too sweet, but the center has a lot of fresh spearmint flavor, with little pops of extra flavor now and then. Very refreshing. I picked these out of the bag and ate them first.

Black is Licorice, which is not surprising to anyone who’s ever had jelly beans. The flavor is strongly anise, crisp and sweet but with a little bitter edge that I think may come from the artificial colors. I liked them, they were good but there were far fewer blacks than any other color in the bag.

White is Peppermint but a rather mild mint. As much as I like peppermint, it simply doesn’t go very well here. It’s weak and watery, kind of like a peppermint tea instead of a peppermint candy. Still, I didn’t avoid them and I enjoyed the fact that they didn’t have any colorings in them.

Orange is Orange Spice. I think it’s spiced orange, because it’s not Orange Slice orange, there’s a note of cinnamon and clove to the shell, but the center is orange. These irritated me, because I wanted a zesty Jelly Bird Egg equivalent of the Orange Slice. However, I applaud them for making an orange that was actually in keeping with the spice theme.

Pink is Wintergreen. I love wintergreen and these were pretty good, aromatic and medicinal but with a bitter finish.

Purple is Clove. I don’t care for clove as a candy flavor or spice, so I’ll pass on this one. It was strong and well rounded, with both aromatic notes and the bitterness that I’m never sure is coming from the flavorings or the colorings.

Red is Cinnamon. I like cinnamon a lot and I eat plenty of Hot Tamales. These were spicy and sweet, a good balance, especially since it seemed to come from the jelly center, not just the sugary shell.

On the whole, they’re an acceptable blend of flavors, just what I expected. I wish the sugar shell wasn’t quite so grainy and sweet, but the jelly center is actually rather smooth. The contain no pectin, they’re only jelled with corn starch.

The beans were made in Mexico. They have a beeswax and confectioners glaze on them, so most vegans would not eat these. Jelly Bird Eggs are made in a facility that also uses milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soy.

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    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE

Pastel Malted Milk Eggs Compared

One of my favorite candies is malted milk balls. Easter brings the pastel version, which is egg shaped and has a candy coating. I rounded up four of the most popular versions in stores today for a little comparison.

I have various sized bags from Jelly Belly, Necco, Brach’s (Ferrara Candy) and Whoppers (Hershey’s).

Though there are some size differences in the eggs, and some other sizes available from these brands, pastel malted eggs are usually larger than malted milk balls and less focused on the milk chocolate coating.

They’re generally an attractive candy, but with a large variation on the look and texture of the shell and color palettes.

From left to right: Necco Mighty Malts, Jelly Belly, Whoppers and then Brach’s.

Name: Mighty Malts Speckled Malted Milk Eggs
Brand: Necco
Size: 5 ounces
Price: $1.00
Shell: This is the only version of the assortment that doesn’t have a hard shell. Instead this is just sealed with a glaze and a little speckling.
Chocolate: This isn’t chocolate, it’s some white confection. It’s absolutely terrible. The only good thing about it was that at certain temperatures, I could peel it off. It might have been flavored, the pink one was strawberry, which actually wasn’t bad flavor-wise but I was thankful that the gritty malt center scrubbed away the waxy grease it left behind on my teeth.
Malted Milk Center: The centers redeem these eggs. The malt is so airy and crispy, but still packs a malty punch.

Verdict: It’s too messy to eat around the awful coating, so I can’t recommend these at all for eating, only decoration.

Name: Speckled Chocolate Malted Eggs
Brand: Jelly Belly
Size: 4.6 ounces
Price: $5.95
Shell: The shells are very thick, crunchy and pretty strong. The odd part though is that they’re also flavored. Green is lime, yellow is lemon and lavender is actually grape. It’s so strange.
Chocolate: Jelly Belly uses real chocolate in their eggs, but it’s a rather thin layer and because of the ratios, it really takes a back seat to the other flavors and textures.
Malted Milk Center: This malted center is sweet and has a strong cereal flavor and a light touch of malt and maybe honey. It dissolved well, a little grainy but not at all chewy.

Verdict: The shells are very thick, probably too much shell for me and the flavor was not a good mix for the other flavors. I still loved the colors and have eaten two full bags so far this season. However, they’re also very expensive . about 5 times more expensive than the Necco Mighty Malts, though imminently more edible.

Name: Whoppers Robin Eggs
Brand: Hershey’s
Size: 10 ounces
Price: $3.49
Shell: These look ridiculous. They look like lumps of sidewalk chalk, not like food. That said, the texture of the shells is pretty amazing, they’re very durable as in the fact that they don’t crack, but once you bite, they’re very crunchy and thin.
Chocolate: The mockolate coating on these is just so bad. It tastes like damp junk mail. It has a cool melt on the tongue and at least takes up very little in the bulk of the candy as a whole.
Malted Milk Center: The center is crispy with an excellent dissolve that rarely gets tacky or deflated. The malt flavor is the best thing about this candy.

Verdict: The unappealing pink shells and less appealing mockolate layer just make these unbearable. I actually find myself doing the extra work on the Necco Mighty Malts instead of eating these, even though they have an excellent malt center.

Name: Malted Milk Pastel Fiesta Eggs
Brand: Brach’s (Ferrara Candy)
Size: 7.5 ounces
Price: $2.50
Shell: It’s crisp and has the texture of actual egg shells, a little bit of crumble, generally flavorless.
Chocolate: It’s passable stuff. It’s real chocolate, but not great quality. The texture is fatty and smooth, but also extremely sweet, there’s very little cocoa flavor to it.
Malted Milk Center: The texture is very dense, with a lot of milky notes but less malt than the others. It’s not overly sweet and not overtly salty.

Verdict: Of the four, I prefer these, though they still don’t quite shine on their own merits, only in comparison. I’ve eaten two bags so far this season and do find them comforting, but I only keep eating them on the naive hope that I’ll find “a good one” as if that’s ever happened or will happen.

The result of this tour only confirms that I love the idea of a great Malted Milk Pastel Egg, but I haven’t found it yet.


Mission

Shane Confectionery is seated in what was once the confectionery mecca of America. In the 18th and 19th century, Philadelphia hosted the most active port in the country. Cocoa, fruits, and spices were shipped up the Delaware River to sustain a flourishing confectionery scene. Sugarcane would be refined along the river and sold in shops along Market Street. Philadelphia soon became synonymous with this art form, so much so that candy makers in other cities would tote their goods as "Philadelphian" to imply quality. From Goldenberg and Wilbur to Hershey and Whitman, prominent names in American chocolate and candy all trace their first shops to the City of Brotherly Love.

With every action that we take we feel this hum of history and all of our confections start with a spark of inspiration. We strive to keep tradition alive with our buttercreams, made with the Shane family’s 100 year old recipe on the same 100 year old machine that has been used for decades. We delight in flavors like horehound or violet, resurrected from recipes on yellowing brittle pages that dot our shelves. We take pride in using seasonal or local ingredients like honey collected from our very own roof.

Every year our confectioners set upon making a hard candy army of animals, machines, and Old St. Nick - a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas gift known as Clear Toy Candy. Molten sugar is carefully poured into Victorian moulds. When cooled, they are chiseled out, cleaned with a gentle hand, and packaged up, destined for stockings and banquet tables.

Every week our chocolate maker selects a crop of responsibly sourced cocoa beans shipped from South America to turn into our very own chocolate. The beans are sorted with sharp eyes and quick fingers, crushed, roasted, ground and then tempered for bars, melted for hot chocolate, or churned into ice cream.

Every day our confectioners boil sugar in copper kettles to create a host of candies that will be cooled on marble, cut by hand, dropped individually into warm chocolate, nimbly fished out upon fork tines, cooled, and decorated with piped lace, flowers, or gold.

We use fresh Mint, picked from our rooftop garden whenever it's in season.

Our Maple Syrup comes to us from Ridge Valley Farms in Sumneytown, Montgomery County, PA. Their business has been family run since the late 1930’s.

Our honey is harvested from our very own apiary located on the roof of Shane Confectionery

Our chocolate maker selects a crop of responsibly sourced cocoa beans shipped from the tropics. The beans are sorted, crushed, roasted, ground and then tempered for bars, melted for hot chocolate, or churned into ice cream.

Our large pretzels are hand made by the family owned Shuey’s Pretzels in Lebanon, then dipped in Milk, Dark, and White Chocolate by our confectionery team.

Natural local dairy is weekly picked up from The Longacre Family Dairy. Its use in Confections at Shanes elevates the flavor of our Caramels and Buttercreams.

Local Stryker Farms delivers our butter, made from grass-fed cows & churned at Kriemhild Dairy.

We source a blend of Hidcote and Royal Velvet Lavender from the Pleasant Valley Lavender Farm to produce our rich lavender caramels and other confectionery delights

Our coffee beans are locally roasted right here in Philadelphia by Chestnut Hill Coffee

The Organic Cinnamon that flavors our chocolates is grown in small family farms, sourced from Red Ape Cinnamon.

Nuts that fill our terrapins, clusters, bars, and other confections are provided by Wricley Nut Company, right here in Philadelphia

We use only pure natural vanilla extracts in our recipes

Deer Creek Malted Barley is used in our inclusion bean-to-bars and our malted milk chocolate ice cream available in our café.

The vast majority of the candy world has become incredibly specialized. Whole factories make one type of confection alone and are geared up for mass production and distribution. Our model of making a wide variety of goods onsite is quite against the grain. Most artisan food makers formulate based upon cost. Our approach is to formulate based on taste, inspired by period confectionery cookbooks. As “Taste Tellers”, we’re storytelling America's history thru the vehicle of our food.

We source our ingredients from local suppliers whenever possible. Going directly to a source ensures that we understand the ingredients we’re purchasing. We even grow an assortment of herbs and spices on our own rooftop for seasonal use. Although our community of suppliers is largely regional, we also depend on a global supply chain for quality ingredients in order to maintain the integrity and excellence of our products.

Our ever-growing Chocolate Works Department uses e thically and directly sourced cocoa beans from small distributors located in Central & South America. We sort, roast, grind, and mould the cocoa beans into our own brand of bean-to-bar chocolate. When we aren’t using house-made chocolate we use Barry Callebaut Chocolate located in nearby Pennsauken.

Organic Sugar is used throughout our shop. Itaja Sugar uses Fair Trade, Non-GMO Verified sugar cane grown in Brazil, on organic & balanced plantations, without using pesticides or chemical fertilizers, contributing to the preservation of the environment.

Instead of corn syrup we use tapioca syrup, pure glucose, or honey depending on the application. Our eight rooftop beehives are buzzing with activity most of the year, yielding a delicious honey complex honey that we use seasonally. This urban apiary is managed by Don Shump of Philadelphia Bee Co .

Local cream is picked up weekly from Longacres Dairy , in operation since 1920. This dairy is at the heart of the Franklin Fountain ice cream, and along with Kirchenberg and Kriemhild Farms butter makes Shane Confectionery’s caramels and buttercreams.

We source whole milk powder, that gives a rich smoothness to our milk chocolate bars and bon bons from a dairy specialist in Detroit.

The eggs we use are organic and cage-free from Alderfer Eggs , while fresh local bacon is delivered by Green Meadow Farm to produce our unique chocolate covered bacon.

Grain & Starch

Our Malted Milk Chocolate Ice Cream, and chocolate Harvest Bar, are made with malt from Deer Creek Malthouse the first commercial malthouse in Pennsylvania since prohibition.

We source small pretzels from Julius Sturgis Pretzels in Lancaster County, the first commercial pretzel bakery in America, founded in 1861. Our large pretzels are from Shuey’s Pretzel Factory , and our potato chips are from Good’s Potato Chips.

Flake Sea Salt, used in Shane’s Salted Caramels, is gathered out of the Atlantic Ocean in Avalon, NJ and marketed under the Cape May Sea Salt Company the salt is hand harvested and solar evaporated.

Alongside our house-made candies we carry a line of traditional and historic candy brands which are normative candy aisle couture including Gustaf's Licorices and Giambri’s Candy Canes. Additionally we acquire penny candies from Casani Candy Co , who in honor of their relationship with the candy store at 110 Market Street that goes back over 150 years, has given Shane Confectionery the title of customer #1 - of the original customer. Casani Candy is a trusted name in the confectionery trade, the first to distribute both Starbursts and the Hershey Bar.


Buttercream Candy Balls recipes

"This is similar to making crispy rice squares but using popcorn instead." ( more )

In a saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows ar. ( more )

"A vacation to Hawaii inspired me to create this mouth-watering brittle. Coconuts, macadamia. ( more )

Butter a large baking sheet with 1 teaspoon butter. Sprinkle coconut in a 12-in. circle on t. ( more )

This recipe is much easier & quicker to make than the traditional version. The marshmallows . ( more )

Measure popcorn into large bowl. Set aside. Melt butter in pot over low heat. Add brown suga. ( more )

"Only 3 ingredients! Can decorate with chocolate jimmies or colored sprinkles if done imme. ( more )

In a large mixing bowl, combine crushed cookies and cream cheese to form a stiff dough. Rol. ( more )

Prep: 50m Cook: 10m Servs: 36

"Cooked in the microwave, this fast fudge is a sweet addition to any holiday gathering. I ma. ( more )

Line an 8-in. square pan with foil and grease the foil set aside. In a microwave-safe bowl. ( more )

This is a Christmas time or anytime favorite in our family. The recipe has been passed to me. ( more )

In a large bowl, mix Eagle Brand milk, sugar, and butter by hand (it's too thick for a mixer. ( more )

From the Magnolia Bakery. Makes enough for a 2-layer 9-inch cake or 2 dozen cupcakes ( more )

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add in 4 cups sugar, then the milk and vanilla. On . ( more )

This recipe is from Colette Peters, in a wonderful book called Cakes To Dream On. This is on. ( more )

In a large bowl, combine the egg whites and the sugar and whisk until well blended (yes, yo. ( more )


Bacon Brittle

This crunchy sweet goodness is intoxicating. Smoky, then sweet. Oh wait, what’s that? Ahh, a delicate smack of maple.

Adapted from Tina Ujlaki’s Best-Ever Nut Brittle recipe for Food and Wine Magazine.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces, weight Bacon, Cooked Your Favorite Way Until Crisp (I Used A Smoked Maple Bacon.)
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ cups Water
  • ¼ cups Unsalted Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup Or Golden Syrup
  • ¼ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • Sea Salt For Sprinkling

Preparation

Chop the bacon into small bits about 1/4-inch in size.

Butter a rimmed baking sheet or line it with a Silpat.

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, water, butter, and syrup. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture reaches 300°F on a candy thermometer, about 10-15 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda, then the bacon bits. Immediately pour the mixture on the prepared baking sheet. Use a large spoon (If it sticks, oil it lightly) to quickly spread the brittle into a thin, even layer. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Allow the brittle to cool completely, then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.


When the dough is created, it will look very dry and crumbly. Keep mixing though, and those crumbles will eventually snuggle together to create larger crumbles like this. Then you can stir in the chips and nuts (I use pecans).

You can certainly experiment with NOT using nuts, but I will say that I think they help with the texture of the cookie brittle.

Enlist a helper to use (clean) hands to pat the dough into a rimmed baking sheet. Watch that helper closely as he might sneak some of your dough! Fun note: this is my son Brooks way back in 2012 when he was just eleven years old. He’s 17 now, and he’s 6𔃾″ tall. You can see an updated photo of him on his blog: RecipeBoy.com. He has grown a lot!

You do need some kind of rimmed baking sheet for this recipe so the brittle can keep its shape. Amazon sells a 15吆 Rimmed Baking Sheet, if you’re in need of one.

The dough bakes up thin and crispy. Once it’s cooled, you should add some chocolate drizzle. Just melt chips all on their own in a glass dish in the microwave. Stir, scoop into a heavy duty zip baggie, snip the corner and squeeze your drizzle. Then you can set it aside for a while to let the chocolate set, or you can put it into the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes and it will solidify quickly.

You can be all neat with your drizzle, or you can go every which- way.

Once the chocolate has a chance to firm up, you’ll be able to lift the whole thing out of the pan like a giant cookie!

Use a knife to help give you the first crack. Then break apart the giant piece of cookie brittle into jagged pieces, or use a knife to create neat cuts.

I prefer the “neat cut” look. Is that a sign of an obsessively organized, neat -freak?

And what makes it “brittle,” you may ask? Well, since it’s missing some of the key ingredients to make it a classic chocolate chip cookie (eggs, baking soda and brown sugar), you’re not going to bite into this one and expect a soft welcome. It’s a harder texture… which means crunchy… which means serving wedges to dunk in milk is a brilliantly fabulous idea. These are a nice addition to holiday cookie platters too. I’d maybe sneak some red/green sprinkles onto the chocolate drizzle before it dries if you’re doing these for the holidays. The verdict in my house from my my RecipeBoy: “these are good.” (And that’s pretty much a major endorsement from a pre-teen, who is not terribly talkative!!)