Candy Bar Days Are Here Again… And Possibly For You


*You can now purchase my candy bars and marshmallows at http://www.bonbonbar.com/
I’ve been pretty quiet on the candy bar front recently, but it’s not for lack of obsession interest. I still work on them everyday in some form, and I’ve been concentrating on getting familiar with the business and non-edible side recently. As someone who’d spent most of her life counting on her screenplays to support her… well, you can imagine how much there is about business and commercial food production that I’d never considered before. So, I’ve been taking measures to fill in some gaps.

And just as I respect the seasons of my farmers market produce, I’ve also had to bow to the fickleness of chocolate. Summer is not a good time for chocolate. “Heavy” considerations aside, the summer is just too hot for it without reliable temperature control. Chocolate generally likes to be at about 68F. Neither the chocolate nor the ganaches/caramels/nougats will set up properly or store well at a hot room temp — and the refrigerator is too cold. Our wine fridge isn’t much better. Only the kindness of chocolate-babysitting friends with central air saved my chocolate from ruin this summer — as well as discovering how perfectly delicious the Milk Chocolate Sorbet recipe is in Pure Chocolate by Fran Bigelow.

BUT… this is not merely a post of excuses. Oh, no. Autumn is upon us. Prime chocolate weather is imminent. I even made batches of newly-formulated Malt Bars and Coffee Bars this past week.

That’s another benefit of this summery reprieve — I’ve thought more about the bars and how they could be better. The perspective of time has cleared up a lot of issues. I’m committed more than ever to fresh, wholesome ingredients with clean flavors, and the revamped versions will reflect that. (Edit on 10/11) I just wanted to be more clear about my ingredients. I am using as many organic and/or local ingredients as I can find, especially from farmers markets. Right now, organic ingredients include cream, walnuts, hazelnuts, malt syrup, coffee (also fair trade and shade grown), strawberries, oranges, cinnamon, and ginger. Hopefully, that list will get even longer.

So, I thought it would be fun to send some candy bars out to my readers in the next few months and hear your feedback. To enter, just leave a comment on this post or email me telling me:

    1. Which bar(s) you’d most like to try.
    2. Whether you prefer milk or dark chocolate, or either.
    3. Your location (preferably city or state, but region is ok). Sorry, I won’t be able to ship internationally.
      As I test out more versions of the bars, I’ll randomly email interested readers in order to arrange to send them out. I’d like to have at least one reader taste each bar.Probable flavors include:

      • Malt - Malt Ganache with Shortbread.
      • Banana - Banana Ganache with Walnut Shortbread. Contains a little Rum.
      • Coffee - Coffee-Hazelnut Caramel and Chocolate Nougat. May change a little.
      • Peanut Butter - Compartments of Peanut Butter Praline alternating w/ homemade organic strawberry preserves, local honey, and caramel syrup.
      • Coconut - Coconut Ganache with Passionfruit-Coconut Marshmallow.
      • Spiced Caramel Nut - Roasted Peanuts, Cashews, and Cacao Nibs in a Cinnamon, Ginger, and Allspice Caramel.
      • Spicy Caramel Nut - Roasted Peanuts, Cashews, and Cacao Nibs in an Ancho Chile Caramel.
      • Salty Caramel Nut - Roasted Peanuts, Cashews, and Cacao Nibs in a Salted Caramel.
      • S’More - Chocolate Ganache, Vanilla Marshmallow, and Graham Cracker.
      • Orange - I’m reformulating this one b/c I want it to be simpler and better relate chocolate with orange. It could be orange caramel with chocolate nougat… or not.
      • Scotch - Scotch Ganache and Caramel topped with Maldon Sea Salt.
      • Bourbon - Bourbon Ganache and Pecan Caramel. This one used to be Jack Daniels, but I’m thinking that Maker’s Mark Bourbon would be better. The caramel may include homemade coconut milk or shredded coconut, or not.
      • Beer - Guinness ganache topped with enrobed Corn Nuts, Potato Chips, and Pretzels. Possibly finished with Candied Bacon.

54 Responses to “Candy Bar Days Are Here Again… And Possibly For You”

  1. fattypr Says:

    Oh la la! So I started reading and was like “omg I want one” and then I read more and I realized this must be a dream. in case I wake up tomorrow and this post is no longer here, let me dream-type my request for coffee!!! milk or dark. though i feel dark may not go with coffe b/c of too much bitterness, i’ll let you make that call.

    i hope this is still here when i wake.

  2. Meredith Says:

    Oh my goodness gracious! Scotch please, but I wouldn’t turn down the Guinness bar either.

  3. Susan Says:

    Yeah, really, are we dreaming? I thought I was already dreaming when I read about the banana bar, so that would be my choice…sigh sigh sigh!!! If you needed a taster for malt, spiced caramel nut or peanut butter, I would certainly make that sacrifice. Dark chocolate always preferred, and I’m in right here in WLA. Pinch me please…!

    –Susan

  4. May Ka. Says:

    Wow. I’d try any of those, with the exception of the bourbon and the orange.

    The Beer sounds great, as does the Scotch.

    The Spiced Caramel Nut sounds wonderful, as does anything with coconut.

    I’d probably split it with one or two people? Unless you were just sending bite sizes. :)

    Of course, I am still thinking about your special chocolate chip cookies.

    I am in Los Angeles, in the South Pasadena area.

    Thanks and cheers.

  5. pr in L.A. Says:

    They all sound wonderful to me, with the exception–I’ll be honest–of the Orange and the Bourbon.

    I do love coconut, but the Beer and the Scotch and Spiced Caramel Nut all sound delicious.

    Sign me up!

    Can I share it with one or two others? :D

    pr

  6. JenR Says:

    Like everyone else, I’m rubbing my eyes to ensure that I’m reading this correctly… I would love to try one (or more) of your candy bar creations.

    I’m in SF and although I tend to prefer dark chocolate, I’m very curious about some of your other combos which seem to marry better with milk choc, so I will happily taste whatever you wish to send - each is compelling in it’s own way.

  7. jamie Says:

    ALL OF THEM PLEASE :)

  8. Kim Says:

    I’ve been reading your website ever since last summer, after I attended a week long baking session at Greystone, and I love checking it out every few days for new entries. I think your candy bar ideas are great, and look forward to being to actually order them someday, and would love to try them now! I live in Virginia, so it might be farther than you want to send anything, and that’s okay. If not, my first choice is definitely coconut, then banana, s’more and malt. They all sound good! Any chocolate is okay, you’re the expert on pairings!

  9. conny Says:

    Ooooh, I’d like to throw my hat in the ring! I’m in Atlanta, GA and honestly all of your candy bars sound amazing. But if I’m forced to choose probably the malt, s’more, coffee, scotch, beer, peanut butter, and banana. I love both milk and dark chocolate, so whichever is totally fine by me!

  10. Camilla Wynne Says:

    I’m in NYC.
    Beer or banana are the ones I’m most curious about. But I’d jump at the chance to taste any of them!
    Milk or dark.
    Too exciting.

  11. Amie Says:

    What a great offer - I’d love to try the coffee, orange, or the various caramel nuts (spicy is #1 for me). I prefer dark chocolate, but whatever fits best with the other ingredients is fine. thank you!!!!

  12. Sara Says:

    All of them sound good to me, but I do love anything that contains marshmallow. I’m in the SF Bay Area.

  13. Sara Stewart Says:

    OOOO wow… I would love the opportunity to try your creations!!! I am most interested in the Malt, S’mores, Coconut and Banana options. I generally prefer dark chocolate, but would never refuse a good quality milk chocolate. I live just a few hours south of you in San Diego!

    Thank you so much for the offer!!!

  14. Mr. Shain Says:

    1. malt, salted caramel, coconut
    2. dark
    3. los angeles and/or oklahoma

  15. G Says:

    Malt and coconut sound lovely. Salted and Spiced Caramel Nut, Coffee, Peanut Butter, and S’more do, too. I’m in Napa.

    I love El Rey’s milk chocolate. Both milk and dark chocolates are good in general.

    Re: Napa. If there’s something you need from Napa/Sonoma that you can’t get in LA, let me know. I’d be happy to get to know the ingredient sources in this region better.

  16. Nivedita Says:

    OMG! How exciting! Please please please pick me! The ones I’d love most to try: orange with dark chocolate; salty caramel nut - with either dark or milk chocolate; coffee - with either dark or milk chocolate. I am right here in WLA and visit the Saturday SM Farmer’s Market fairly often. :-)

  17. wwbd Says:

    1. Bourbon, beer, or anything else!
    2. Dark
    3. Bay Area, 20 mins. from Napa

  18. Cupcakes Says:

    pick me pick me!! I have a small cupcake shop and would looooovvveeeee to sell some artisan chocolates!!

    I live in the bay area, about 15 mins from napa (so i guess thats north bay)

    Im a milk chocolate kinda girl and think the coffee and all the carmels sound fab!!

    ** drool **

  19. Anita Says:

    Ooo!OO!oO!o!oooo!

    I’d love to try some. Malt, Spicy-Caramel, and Scotch would be my preference. Dark, preferably, but I’m not fussy.

    We live in San Francisco.

  20. Jessica Says:

    Oh WOW! I just read this post and almost fell out of my chair…your confections sound DIVINE!

    I’d do a little dance for you if I could taste the malt or the peanut butter! *doing a little dance*

    Milk or dark chocolate…I like ‘em both!

    I’m in the DC Metro Area.

    Cheers to your fabulous blog! I lurk/read daily, and I’m actually taking pastry classes at the moment and your blog is so inspiring. :)

  21. elarael Says:

    Oh yay! You’re still working on these. I’d wondered. I’d love to taste the Banana, Coconut and or Scotch, all in Dark preferably, but I’d enjoy Milk too. How exciting, and what a good idea, this project of yours! I feel you’ll be a great success. I live in Maui, and if you can’t send it here, then my mom in Washington state loves chocolate as much as I do and she’d love to taste them. Thank you so much!

  22. Irene Says:

    I’d LOVE to try the salty caramel nut, but would be open to trying any of them (dark is my preference, but again, I’m open to all chocolate).
    I live in the Boston area.
    Thanks, how exciting! (for you and for us!)

  23. Eileen Says:

    Hello! I’d like to try the coconut, peanut butter, and salty caramel nut. and malted! :)
    I prefer milk chocolate
    and i am in hawaiiii~~~~~
    thanks!!

  24. Eileen Says:

    i went through all your posts again and i have to say coconut and malted is at the top of my list! but everything looks GREAT! agh…please tell me hawaii is not included in international. >.

  25. Heather Says:

    oh the excitement!! i have been reading your blog for several months and really enjoy reading your combinations and ideas. thanks!!!

    all of the bars sound great save those with peanuts. i am particularly intrigued by the s’more, scoth, bourbon and beer bars.
    i love all types of chocolate but probably prefer dark.
    i live in st. louis.

    thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Anne Kent Says:

    Wow, I can’t believe we could beta test your candy bars! I re-read all the candy bar posts and I guess my top picks to try would be banana (I love shortbread), salty caramel nut (just had maybe the world’s best icecream, Salty Caramel, on my trip to SF or orange as I like almost any chocolate/orange combo. My husband is a scotch and coffee fanatic and would love to try either of those (particularly the scotch!). We live in the Chicago area and try to sample chocolate wherever and whenever possible. Dark chocolate is our most favorite. We’ll be eagerly checking our mailbox daily in case we get to actually be taste testers. Thanks so much for the great opportunity!

  27. JEP Says:

    I’d love the salty caramel nut ;)

  28. rainey Says:

    Your candy is sooooo gorgeous I’d be more than happy to do the very hard work of receiving a mail drop here in SoCal. ;> Anything but the beer would work for me.

    It’s very exciting that you’re going to be offering them in wide distribution. Best of luck with it.

  29. Karen Says:

    How exciting is this! I’m crossing my fingers…
    1. Spicy Caramel Nut, Beer, Salty Caramel Nut
    2. Prefer dark over milk, but either is good
    3. Katy, TX

  30. brian Says:

    Wow, what a super generous offer. I’m in SFO bay area. I like dark chocolate and I’ll take whatever is left, but I would prefer salty caramel nut. Hope I’m not too late–but I’m willing to reciprocate!

  31. carla Says:

    Exciting and smart venture, Nina! Just reading your proposed flavors is making my mouth water! Yum! Anyway, here’s a hopin’ I can be one of the chosen:

    1) FLAVORS I’D MOST LIKE TO TRY-this list would be longer, but 5 yrs ago I got slapped with a nasty nut allergy that I still can barely come to terms with, so my favs would be: Coconut, Smore, Orange, Beer (that one out of sheer curiosity, but kinda nervous)

    2) CHOCOLATE?-Dark….you know, for the “health benefits”. No really, I think that dark choc really intensifies any flavor its coupled with, more so than milk.

    3) NJean currently based out of Punta Gorda, FL

    Good luck with test tasting/research! YUM!

  32. Aaron Says:

    Glad to hear you are back at it!
    You are very talented and clearly extremely passionate. Good luck with this round of testing.

  33. Jen Says:

    Better late than never…
    1. I’d love to try malt, salty caramel nut, coconut, bourbon, scotch or beer.
    2. I love both dark and milk chocolate.
    3. I’m in Chicago.

    Thanks for the offer. I’ve experimented with making chocolate bars and caramels in the past and have thrown out a lot because the batches were big and there is only so much candy you can feed your friends before they get tired of it. (Crazy people…there is something wrong with them! *g*)

  34. Beth Says:

    OOH…I’ll try any of these! Send me the ones no one else wants!! I’m in New Jersey.

  35. Food Hunter Says:

    Thanks for the offer. I’d be interested in trying any of them. I like milk and dark.
    If I had to pick just one maybe the peanut butter or the bourbon or the orange. Ok so I can’t pick just one. I’ll take whatever. Thanks!

  36. Food Hunter Says:

    Sorry, forgot to mention I’m in Phoenix Arizona.

  37. lucette Says:

    Like a poster above, I’m afraid I’m dreaming this. But in case I’m not, yes please sign me up.
    I prefer dark chocolate, but will not turn away milk chocolate.
    I’d try any of these bars, but my especial favorites are
    Bourbon
    Spicy Caramel Nut
    Peanut Butter
    Malt
    I live in Cleveland, Ohio.

  38. Mary Says:

    Wow…the options are overwhelming and all sound incredibly creative and interesting. I live with my husband and our 2 boys. All of us are totally “hung up” on chocolate in any form and flavor, dark or milk. We would love to sample anything you would be willing to send our way.

    Mary
    We live in Oak Park, IL

  39. Tania Says:

    1.) The husband and I would share and have agreed that we’d be willing to try any of these flavors:
    Malt
    Coffee
    Peanut Butter
    Coconut
    Spiced Caramel Nut
    Spicy Caramel Nut
    Salty Caramel Nut
    Orange
    Beer (Guiness ganache and candied bacon? I am so there!!)
    2.) Either milk or dark.
    3.) Fairbanks, AK (it’s cold up here this time of year, so you don’t have to worry about things melting in the mail!)

    You’d be getting two for one, as my husband I would share and give you lots of feedback. The proposed flavor combinations sound delightful/intriguing/novel/yummy.

  40. Mandy Says:

    Ooh! Bourbon and malt sound best to me (though I would certainly not turn any of them down). I’ll always pick dark chocolate over milk or white (especially a good ~70%–I think the bitterness pairs well with sweeter fillings).

    On a tangent, I’ve been looking for a good dark maltball (or similar experience) for years now. I found some dark mini maltballs, but the chocolate was not quite dark enough, and there was too much of it relative to the tiny malt centers (I think it was a >1:1 ratio). I want something not-too-sweet, with the aromatic maltiness backed by chocolate bitterness (1:3 chocolate to malt sounds more appropriate). One of these days I may try some experiments with this sort of thing.

    (Oh please oh please send some goodies to Seattle!!!)
    ;)

  41. Hillary Says:

    Oh my, someone out there must really be looking after us all, with an opportunity like this! Here goes:

    1) Malt, Spiced Caramel Nut, Bourbon
    2) Milk or Dark, with a slight pull towards Dark
    3) San Diego, CA

    Really though, all your bars sound devine (and unique)!

  42. Jill Says:

    I think dark chocolate is always best. It has more intense flavor and sets off the tastes of the filling better than sweeter milk and white chocolate.
    The bourbon sounds wonderful, but the Scotch could also be good and is more unusual in combination with chocolate. Since I make different flavors of marshmallows myself (lemon, raspberry, honey, vanilla…)I know how awesome real vanilla marshmallow can be. That combined with a really good graham cracker layer could be an awesome s’more. And what about your malt granche with pecans?

    I’d love to sample some of your wonderful creations. Just reading your list of probable flavors made me smile. I am in La Canada, CA

  43. Mia Says:

    Wow, these all sound incredible, though I’m especially intrigued by:
    S’mores
    Banana
    Spiced Caramel
    Spicy Caramel
    Coconut

    Either milk or dark - I trust your judgment about which goes better with each flavor combination! I’m in Cambridge, MA.

  44. Doug Says:

    As one who’s tried several of the bars - if you don’t jump all over this you’re crazy!

    The Banana bar is not to be surpassed.

  45. Sandicita Says:

    Wow! They do sound amazing!!! In particular, all the nut ones (Spiced, Spicy, or Salty, as well as Peanut Butter) and the S’mores one sound fantastic. I like either dark or milk choc (slight preference for milk) and live in Somerville, MA. Do you sell these already? Can I buy some? :o)

  46. Mansi Says:

    Banana/Walnut
    Coffee
    Coconut

    I’d gladly have these any day, and I’m in Fremont, CA(Bay Area), so not too far from you:) I used to live in LA before..does that put me ahead in this list??!:)

    This is my first time on your blog, and I love it! great recipes!

  47. Net Llama! Says:

    Wow, this is awesome. I’ll gladly try whatever you’re willing to offer. I’m in San Jose, CA.

  48. o2cgirl Says:

    1. Salty Caramel Nut would be the first one I’d choose out of a chocolate box
    2. I LOVE dark chocolate, although I think that particular bar would be best with mikl
    3. Austin, TX

  49. Gary Says:

    Orange caramel with chocolate nougat.

  50. gwen Says:

    So obviously you have too many takers already, but here’s a challenge for you:

    VEGAN versions of your candy bars!

    The number of vegans who are absolutely obsessed with any gourmet sweets they can get their paws on is truly astounding, and often seems contradictory. If you tackled vegan marshmellow, nougat, and thick (proper) caramel making (they are possible!)…you’d have such an immense, financially supportive crowd at your feet. Something to consider.

    That said, if any at all are vegan, with dark chocolate of course, I’d love to try one. I’m in Massachusetts.

  51. Robin Says:

    I’d love to try the malt, banana, or peanut butter versions in dark chocolate. I live in central New Jersey.

  52. Cheryl Says:

    WOW!
    If it’s not too late I’ll put my offer in as well.

    1. Any, except Beer or Banana
    2. I prefer Dark, but am not opposed to Milk
    3. I’m a little south of you, in Laguna Niguel

    Thank you for the chance!

  53. monica Says:

    hi!! i am so curious about your bars and have been a “silent” reader for quite some time now. while i’d never turn down any flavor, i’m secretly craving your coconut, beer, s’mores, spicy caramel, malt…ok so i couldn’t really narrow it down. i love milk and dark chocolates equally — just depends on my mood. thanks for the opportunity!!

  54. Jessica "Su Good Sweets" Says:

    Hi Nina, your chocolate sounds delicious! I’d love to try the peanut butter and s’more bars. I prefer dark chocolate and am in NY.

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