I am now the proud adoptive parent of a Vermont maple tree. We haven't seen each other in person yet, but I'm sure that she's growing tall and strong. I'm positive she's sweet natured and bringing joy to others. I really couldn't be more proud.
Husband-and-wife team Maria Fernanda and Alvaro Elias didn't find a place in New York where they could buy their beloved chocolate of their native Venezuela; so they started their own Venezuelan chocolatier, Tu Chocolate.
We're big fans of San Francisco chocolatier Michael Recchiuti, so we weren't surprised that we loved their line of chocolate bars—both the four they've had in circulation for awhile, and four newer ones.
When Morning Glory Confections promises vivid, unique flavors in their artisan brittles, they deliver. These brittles go way beyond peanut and cashew, with flavors like New Mexico Chili and Pumpkin Seed or Chai Tea and Cashew.
Kristin Lee Godburn makes cookies and other treats, but we're here to talk about marshmallows. She has quite the eclectic marshmallow menu, including flavors like Toasted Coconut, S'mores, Rocky Road, and Fluffernut. They're fancied-up marshmallows that serve as desserts on their own.
Savory sweets are hardly new, but Finger Lakes-based Stony Brook takes it up another level with their new line of squash oils. Each of the five nutty oils (Acorn, Kabocha, Delicata, Butternut Squash, and Pumpkin Seed) is composed of the oils from the roasted squash seeds and nothing else. The roasted pumpkin seed oil is incredible when drizzled over a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream and finished with a touch of Maldon salt.
Perhaps you're hosting a Halloween party, and you've focused so much on your costume (or your dog's costume) that you don't have time to fuss with food. You'd love to have seasonally-appropriate baked goods, but you threw out your pumpkin-shaped cake tin in a fit of ruthless kitchen reorganization? No worries—Cranberry Island Kitchen has your autumn whoopie pies ready to go.
The cake itself is soft and falls apart at any nibble pressure, especially after a few minutes in the toaster oven as recommended on the box. Dave Evans, who started Connie's Cakes as a tribute to his late mother, also suggests a swipe of butter atop the warm cake. The recipe dates back to his childhood in Indianapolis.
I don't believe I've ever seen one company make so many flavors of marshmallows, and in this case, it's an amazing, awesome thing. These are the kind of treats you'll want stashed at your desk, where you'll eat them one by one until you've suddenly realized that the whole bag is gone.
I don't usually think of olives as fruits, but you really appreciate that they are when you try Scourtins from Lark Fine Foods. These golden-brown, appealingly crumbly little wafers have olives baked right in.
Kansas City Tea Cookies are addictive little nibbles. They come in individual 6 ounce bags from Best Regards Bakery based in Olathe, Kansas. They look a bit like Russian Tea Cookies or Mexican Wedding Cookies, those melt-in-your-mouth, powdered sugar dusted wonders, but they're also crunchy and immensely satisfying.
These are a treat for whisky lovers only. Not too sweet, but plenty strong, these Scotch-infused cookies are perfect for pairing with a cup of tea or coffee (or, ahem, something stronger.) Warm them up for a few seconds in the microwave, and don't be afraid of dunking!
Frozen puff pastry saves quite a bit of work, but if you're seriously
lazy short on time, consider Dufour's pre-assembled hors d'oeuvres. They come in both sweet and savory, with many hovering in between.
While you can order variety sampler packs, which include reasonably tasty chocolate chip and maple oatmeal cookies, our favorite by far were the Double Chucklet Hazelnut ($19 for a gift box of 12). If you like the chocolatey sweetness of Nutella but want a little more of a hazelnut kick, you'll enjoy these.
Komforte Chockolates's tag-line explains it well: they make "savory combinations that are easy to love." It's true, they are easy to love, even though the flavor selection might sound quite odd at first glance. Take the Ramen Noodle chocolate bar. The crushed up noodles are folded into dark chocolate, so it's reminiscent of chocolate-covered potato chips, and that touch of salt goes a long way toward satisfaction.
These all-butter cookies from the England-based Artisan Biscuits company are advertised as "biscuits for tea," and the box comes with a sleeve of oval-shaped cookies and a teapot in serene pastels. Tea or no tea, they're ideal for a light snacking when that afternoon lull rolls around.
It's hard enough to find a great Kouign Amann in any US city...so it's even better to find one you can bake fresh yourself. Enter in San Francisco-based Galaxy Desserts, best known for their frozen croissant dough that has been a Williams Sonoma bestseller for years. That doughbakes up as beautiful, golden wonders. But my heart is with their Kouign Amann, delivered as eight individual pastries. Nestle each into the provided mold and let proof overnight at room temperature. They'll have doubled in size by the morning, and all you have to do is brush with an egg wash and pop in the oven.
Tucked inside Verde, a gift, clothing, and sweets shop on Philadelphia's 13th Street, is a glass case housing Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates. The chocolates are made by hand in the back of the shop, with local ingredients from Lancaster County. Ingredients include organic cream, local lavender, mint, and vanilla, turned into perfectly square chocolates imprinted with a matching design.
It's not quite hot chocolate season yet, but with this rainy weather we've been having I'm ready to get a kick start on this cold season favorite. La Maison du Chocolat offers their supremely rich and bold hot chocolate drink in stores, but what's the secret to replicating it at home?
The Whole Grain Lady Bird cookies from Lark Fine Foods are crunchy three-bite affairs. With a foundation of rolled oats, wheat flour, and plenty of butter, they feature a equal proportion of cranberries and semi-sweet chocolate chips. They have a cozy, homemade feel, sweetened with both brown and white sugar, crunchy on the edges and chewy as you get close to the center.