First up: Necco's Easter Candy
1. PAAS Decorated Eggs Who doesn't have a positive association with that cute, retro-style PAAS bunny? Fond memories of dyeing Easter eggs and the happy, pastel-colored package art were enough to convince me to buy these little candies. Then I noticed that the hard, crunchy mini-eggs come in an assortment of five "smoothie" flavors: Blueberry, Banana Caramel (a flavor combination I've never actually seen available in smoothie form), Tropical, Peach, and Strawberry Creme. I was immediately intrigued by this exotic mix. I had mistakenly assumed that they would taste exactly like Necco's semi-spicy Sweethearts Valentine's Day candies (which I can take or leave, frankly).
The Strawberry Creme and Peach were my favorites: light 'n sweet. The Banana Caramel was good as well, though the caramel flavor was only slightly distinguishable as an aftertaste. The Tropical was, by far, the least appetizing of the bunch. It was extremely bland, having the flavor of cardboard--until, that is, I bit into it; the aftertaste was very bitter and had an odd, artificial pineapple essence.
Like the Sweethearts, the eggs are stamped (sometimes asymetrically or only faintly)--with the shapes and various lines with which you'd decorate an Easter egg, in this case--hence, the name. Super cute!
2. Mighty Malts Malted Milk Mini Eggs (try saying that five times fast!)
Yet another adorably designed box, perfect for any child's Easter basket. As you might guess, these tasted almost exactly like any other type of malted milk chocolate balls (i.e. Whoppers). The exterior shell, though, differed slightly in that it had more of a white chocolate quality to it: incredibly sweet and smooth in consistency.
With respect to the malted center/chocolate ratio, I think the shell may have also been a bit thicker than that of a Whopper. Plus it was pretty: brightly colored and flecked. The malted interior was small, crunchy, and rough in texture. Satisfying.
Oh my goodness. The absolute excellency of this egg can not be entirely articulated by yours truly. To put it bluntly? It blew my mind. Though small, this egg packs a punch. It's incredibly decadent: very dense and rich. The shell is milky smooth, but its creaminess can't even compare to the ganache truffle center! My only regret is that I only bought one when I saw them at my local drug store. I'm not sure I can wait another 10 months to sink my teeth into another one!
I will proudly admit that I am a former Girl Scout. I can't say that my troop really did all that much (beyond giggling and running around the basement of an old Protestant church in my hometown), and I'm not sure I'm a better woman for it. But I had a lot of fun and made some good friends. I dreaded cookie-selling season, though. I was shy with strangers and didn't feel comfortable going door to door. Not surprisingly, I didn't 'move' a lot of boxes. But eating GS cookies? Now that I relished! I loved every single kind (with the exception of Thin Mints--which are oddly GS' most popular). But the Samoa (or Caramel deLite, as I knew it as a child in the Midwest) has always been my favorite. (The Shortbread and Peanut Butter Sandwiches were close seconds). There are currently a few varieties that weren't available in my day, but that I'd kill to get my hands on: namely the Thanks-a-Lot (a shortbread cookie with a layer of fudge on it) and the Dulce de Leche.But, ah, Samoas: "round doughnut-shaped cookies about two inches in diameter with a hole in the center, covered in caramel and toasted coconut, and then striped with chocolate." What is there not to love? Sadly, I haven't had the opportunity to buy a box of GC cookies since I was a child, so I ecstatically accepted a sweet old patron's offer to nab some Samoas from her granddaughter. They are as good (if not better) than I remember. The crunchy quality of the toasted coconut serves as a nice contrast to the slick, moist chewiness of the chocolate/caramel combo. (The chocolate and the coconut especially, overpower the caramel in flavor, but I suppose this is to be expected.) Though a bit on the greasy side, the entire cookie just melts in your mouth. Fantastic. My friend Holly recently informed me that Edy's makes Samoas Cookie Ice Cream! And get a load of this: the scrumptious Samoas swim in a sea of fudge-swirled caramel ice cream!! I have to get my hands on some. Unfortunately it's only available during the cookie-selling season (January-April) and isn't sold anywhere within 50 miles of me. Argh!