Sunday, May 26, 2013

Annabelle Candy Company

I'm not entirely sure when or how I first heard about Annabelle Candy Company.  It was fairly recently however, which is surprising, given that they've been around since 1950.  I guess their products just never stood out amongst the more common offerings from the Hershey, Mars, and NestlĂ© empires.

Annabelle is even sorta a local candy maker, founded in San Francisco, but now located in Hayward.  And it is still family run, the bars are all still made by hand.  If you go to their website, they have been featured on Unwrapped a few times, and have videos of the production.  They make 8 different candy bars, and none of them are plain boring chocolate ones, they all incorporate some kind of fun chewy element like nougat or marshmallow.  They also give all sorts of serving suggestions, which is a bit funny ... don't you just eat them out of the wrapper?  Sure, but it turns out, that the U-No is way better if you freeze it and eat it like an ice cream bar (I haven't tried this), and that the Big Hunk is way better if you microwave it (which I can attest to - amazing!)
Rocky Road.
This is their most famous product, and the one that started the company.  "Handmade chocolate covered marshmallow with roasted cashew nuts, crunchy malt.

The marshmallow was very, very fluffy.  I was shocked, as I expected a not-fresh marshmallow to be more like regular store-bought marshmallows.  That part I loved.

But I didn't care for the chocolate coating, it wasn't creamy, nor rich.  But it also was not low end waxy chocolate either.  I can't quite pinpoint what I didn't like about it.  It may have actually been the tiny bits of cashew in the chocolate that gave it a slightly bitter taste that I didn't like?  Regardless, I wouldn't get again.
"Thick rich chewy taffy, with a rich creamy peanut butter filling in the center."

This thing was seriously chewy.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect given the description, but I wanted more peanut butter.  Instead it was most made up of very, very chewy taffy, with a tiny bit of peanut butter in the middle.  It takes a long time to break down a tiny piece.  Too much work.   Not enough pb. Meh.
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Big Hunk

"Chewy, honey-sweetened nougat with whole roasted peanuts."

Ok, first I tried a regular bite of it, just out of the package, like you would with any candy bar.  It was a bit hard to bite into and break off.  It was chewy in a pleasant way.  As promised, it was indeed slightly sweet nougat, with some crunchy peanuts in it.  Ok, but not particularly interesting.  I was ready to move on and just hand it over to Ojan (he uh, gets my candy discards pretty regularly ...)

But then, I went to the website to copy down the description to write this post.   I read on the website that they recommend heating it up in the microwave for a few seconds.  This sounded crazy to me, but I tried it.  The results? Amazing!  It basically turned into peanuty, marshmallow-fluff like goodness.  Even better with some additional peanut butter mixed in.  A spoonful of warmed up Big Hunk and warmed up peanut butter made such a fantastic treat.

Totally addicting.  Seriously, try one, and definitely microwave it.