16 Sweet Snacks & Gift Picks - 2016 Good Food Awards & Fancy Food Show

The Best Caramel in the World?

Goat milk caramel sauce from Fat Toad Farm
Fat Toad Farm Irish Whiskey Cream goat milk caramel sauce. Susie Wyshak

Fat Toad Farm won the most coveted Specialty Food Association award in 2015 — Outstanding Product Line — for its insanely delicious Goat’s Milk Caramel Sauces.

The goat milk caramel company has also won several Good Food Awards for their perfectly made caramel sauces that come in rich flavors that deliver an eye-rolling experience for caramel lovers.

The big test for any caramel sauce is the “eat it out of the jar” factor. Seriously, it’s almost a waste to eat Fat Toad Caramel Sauce any other way. Flavors include: Original, Salted Bourbon, Cold Brew Coffee, Spicy Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, Irish Whiskey Cream, Vermont Maple, and Cinnamon.

They’re beautifully packaged for gifts and made with the most minimal and pure ingredients with milk from goats tended by the nearby Vermont Creamery...whose cheese is another cause for major cravings.

Amoretti Cookie Spreads - From Speculoos to Peppermint Chocolate

Amoretti cookie spreads
Amoretti cookie spreads - first they make the cookies then grind them into spreads!. Susie Wyshak

Amoretti supplies a line of interesting specialty ingredients for pastry makers and confectioners. 

In a most brilliant move, Amoretti created a line of cookie spreads that taps into the new American love of cookie butters. It's a crepe-maker's dream — and another excuse to eat cookie spreads with a spoon. Mint chocolate cookie spread, gingerbread and graham cracker are just a few of their flavors, all made in California.

Thin Organic Cookies in Giftable Cylinders from Spain

Gift packs of thin cookies from Culinary Collective
Crispy thin cookies in adorable gift packs from Barcelona. Susie Wyshak

The Culinary Collective discovers delightful foods from Spain and beyond, and their organic Paul and Pippa Biscuits from Barcelona are a real treasure. 

In flavors including Lime, Coconut, Apple & Cinnamon and Cocoa & Salt, the impossibly thin cookies touch upon some of the most popular flavors that span the seasons. 

The playful illustrations and brightly colored cylinder tins make Paul and Pippa Biscuits a really fun gift or treat for home that you'll want to keep out on display.

Fran's Chocolate Foil Wrapped Chocolates

Fran's Chocolate foil wrapped chocolate gifts
Fran's Chocolate foil wrapped easter bunnies and eggs. Susie Wyshak

Fashion meets chocolate in this line of bright pink and lime green foil-wrapped chocolates by Fran's Chocolates. Famous for her smoked sea salt caramels, Fran is always innovating to create new and exciting products for gift shops and to sell in her own Seattle candy stores.

She's done it again, this time for Easter. 

The Most Brilliant Jelly Belly Gift - BeanBoozled Jelly Beans

Beanboozled Jelly Belly candy
Beanboozled Jelly Bellies turn candy eating into a super popular game. Susie Wyshak

The Jelly Belly company has achieved millions of YouTube video views starring candy lovers daring to eat BeanBoozled Jelly Beans.

It's a kid's dream. The company's 4th Edition BeanBoozled flavors contains 10 pairs of beans that look identical but that are in flavors that are either “yum!” or “yuck!” — for example Dead Fish and Toothpaste.

Basically it's like the candy version of a dare game where you never know how good or disgusting the candy you're eating will be. When Harry Potter came out, a series of Jelly Bellies in flavors like grass and dirt proved just how popular gross can be. And who can resist being BeanBoozled?

California Crisps Fruit Slice Lollipops

Lollipops with thin dried fruit slices
The most beautiful lollipops? California Crisp candies thin fruit slices in these colorful natural pops. Susie Wyshak

Dardimans California Crisps began not too long ago as a home-based cottage food business in Southern California. 

Now they are cranking out transparent, thin, crunchy, dehydrated fruit slices individually wrapped, packed in gift boxes and most notably embedded in lollipops. 

What a beautiful way to showcase dehydrated fruit and to make us feel good about eating lollipops.

Marich Chocolates Single Serve Candy Packs

Marich Chocolates grab and go single serve packs
Marich Chocolates grab and go chocolates and candies. Susie Wyshak

You know Marich from the bulk bins of candy stores. The company re-branded and created a full line of single-serve, snack packs of candies in flavors we love to eat by the handfull like chocolate-covered almonds, espresso beans and cherries. 

Whether you're a candy lover, a retailer or a gift-basket maker, check out Marich's line, which is sure to be a recipe for success for this old-time candy maker.

Dick Taylor Chocolate

Dick Taylor chocolate
Dick Taylor award winning bean to bar chocolate. Susie Wyshak

While Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate won a Good Food Award for its 70% Bolivia, Alto Beni bar, they won my heart with the story of their packaging.

A big part of the craft of successful food craft brands is the packaging. Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor use a letter press to stamp each package with the name of the flavor. This laborious process adds dimension and an old-time touch to the chocolate experience.

The old-timey illustrations on the packages are courtesy of a Pixar designer, who happens to be a relative. 

Ruby Jewel Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ruby Jewel mint ice cream sandwiches made in Portland Oregon
Ruby Jewel mint ice cream sandwiches with dark chocolate cookies. Susie Wyshak

More great food and great connections, Ruby Jewl is a Portland, Oregon ice cream shop that packaged up its ice cream sandwiches to the delight of people like me.

Mint chocolate loves will go wild over the brightly minty ice cream sandwich flavored with mint from a long-time Oregon mint grower, Seely Mint Farm

Bees and Beans Candy Bar Made in Portland

Bees and Beans award winning caramel nougat candy bars from Portland
Bees and Beans award winning caramel nougat candy bars from Portland. Susie Wyshak

Bees refers to honey. Beans refers to cocoa beans. 

Faith Dionne works these two magical ingredients, along with other simple, local ingredients, to create candy that has won several Good Food Awards. 

The Portland, Oregon confectioner uses local honey, butter, cream, coffee, berries, mint, walnuts and filberts as well as domestic bean to bar chocolate. The result is candy bars that are tender and flavorful, a must for the candy bucket list!

Artisan Gelato on a Stick With Local Flavors

Artisan popsicles from Bar Gelato - Gelateria Naia
Bar Gelato features farm-direct fruit flavors and ice cream bar flavors from local partners like TCHO Chocolate and Ritual Coffee Roasters. Susie Wyshak

Bar Gelato continues to innovate with new products (like a Home Ice Cream mix) and new flavors for their gelato bars that come in flavors representing close partnerships with fellow California producers — like a Numi Tea Jasmine and St. George Spirits Single Malt Whiskey.

(Their branded gelato bar freezer makes for a delightful addition to specialty shops and cafes.)

Black Dinah Chocolatiers

Black Dinah Chocolatiers chocolate bars
Black Dinah Chocolatiers chocolate bark bars. Susie Wyshak

Oh Black Dinah keep on coating. The little Maine chocolatier that could is now getting nationwide fame as multiple Good Food Award winners (recently for their Maine Mint Truffle). 

Black Dinah Chocolatiers makes a variety of playful confections like chocolate frogs to more serious bars (for serious chocolate eating) with inclusions like Maine Sea Salt and almonds. 

They're a small operation that blends local ingredients like Maine mint with world-class chocolate.

Bixby Bars From Maine

Bixby Bars - specialty candy bars in interesting flavors
Bixby Bars made in Maine are a new twist on candy bars, and they're gluten free to boot. Susie Wyshak

Bixby & Co. makes you realize that being vegan and munching on great candy bars might just be doable. Kate McAleer and her family run a small operation in coastal Maine combining nuts, fruits, chocolate and other good ingredients into award-winning, fun-flavored vegan chocolate-coated candy bars pretty enough for baskets, store shelves and definitely as stocking stuffers. 

Oh, they are wicked delicious too.

Figgy Pops Organic Super Snacks by Made in Nature

Figgy Pops Tart Cherry Fig Super snacks by Made in Nature
Made in Nature Organic Supersnacks are about as healthy as a snack gets. Susie Wyshak

The most natural of all the sweet snacks featured, organic FiggyPops Tart Cherry super snacks from Made In Nature make the perfect hunger quencher for lovers of dried fruit and nuts.

The size of these small balls takes away the hassle of a snack bar. Pop one in your mouth for a healthy energy burst that's just nothing but natural.

Flavored Marshmallow Gifts from Plush Puffs

Gourmet marshmallows in fun flavors in gift boxes
Marshamallows in fun flavors packaged for all occasion gifts. Susie Wyshak

Even the healthiest eaters want organic marshmallows, and while Plush Puffs aren't organic, they do not have any artificial colors or flavors or even corn syrup.

Made in Southern California, Plush Puffs come in a variety of gourmet flavors such as Lemoney Meringue, Mochacchino and Toasted Coconut. Packed into boxes printed with photos of what's inside, they're a great addition to gift baskets or as a gift for marshmallow lovers like yourself.

Nelly's Organics Candy Bars

Organic candy bars by Nelly's Organics
Nelly's Organics makes better for you versions of familiar candy bars. Nelly's Organics

The quality of Nelly's Organics candy bars really blew me away.

I've tasted a lot of "better for you" natural candy bars made with only ingredients you can pronounce (like Ocho Candy). Nelly's candy bars, made in small batches in Southern California, are organic and sweetened with raw agave and brown rice syrup. Yet they achieve the quality that you find from fine confectioners. 

Most of the bars are not truffle in the classic sense but have fillings like coconut, layers with peanuts, and other fillings we know and love from our lifelong candy eating habits. Kudos to Nelly's for making a bar priced for organic eaters at an accessible price.

Craving salt and spice?

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