Like a Kid in a Candy Store

When it comes to any place that?s food related, I?m easy to spot, usually excited like a kid in a candy store. Well, just imagine if I were actually in a candy store. Or a chocolate shop. Or a date shop even.  It was certainly the case when I was recently at Economy Candy in New York City, exchanging oohs and aaahs with Dorie Greenspan about our favorite candies and growing nostalgic as we shared memories of our family’s top picks.

Economy Candy, New York CityEconomy Candy, New York City

More oohs and aahs followed when simply walking the streets of Manhattan, taking in all the sights and smells of the city.  Smells?!  Perhaps not quite what you expected, but I’m talking about one aroma in particular.  Nuts 4 Nuts!  I don’t actually like nuts in baked goods, but when they’re crisp and coated in sugar on their own, or mixed into chunky sweet granola, what’s not to like?  And who can really resist that smell of vanilla sugar that wafts from these nut stands below their orange umbrellas, those nuts caramelizing away, tantalizing you to buy those small, white, wax paper bags for a couple of dollars?

Now imagine those nuts with chocolate.

Nuts 4 Nuts, NYCNuts 4 Nuts, NYC

I was online customizing my own chocolate bars, a totally fun concept by the German company chocri that now ships to the United States (using and Switzerland (using You choose your base chocolate (extra thick, organic, fair trade chocolate from Belgium): dark, milk, white or even strawberry, and then you select up to five toppings (there are over 100!) from categories such as fruit, spices, confections, decor and… nuts.  And there they were, roasted almonds and roasted peanuts, both appearing to be candied in the photo, but their description just said “roasted.”  So I asked. The reply: “Thanks for uncovering that – they’re both like those that you would get at a New York Nuts for Nuts stand, roasted and caramelized.”  (The descriptions on the website have since then been changed.)  And so, on to the ingredient list they both went for my first bar.

Nuts 4 Nuts, NYCNuts 4 Nuts, NYC

What else did I want to add? I love chocolate with coffee, so ground coffee beans were the next ingredient.  And it worked perfectly for my New York bar, as I pictured New Yorkers buzzing up and down the streets with take-out coffee cups in hand. To top it all off, I chose sea salt, to balance the sweetness of the caramelized nuts and the deep flavor of the coffee.  Only, I hope next time the salt will be better distributed, or simply lighter. Even taste tester #2 and my right-hand man (=husband), who would add salt to salted butter, thought it was way too salty.  With ingredients selected, the final step to putting together my chocri bar was getting to name it!  What did I choose?  “Nuts for Nuts in NYC,” but of course.

Chocri SchokoladeChocri SchokoladeChocri SchokoladeChocri Schokolade

For my second bar, I decided to go a little crazy.  I stuck with dark chocolate as base again, my preference.  I wanted this bar to be pure fun, colorful and of course tasty too.  There I was once again, like a kid in a candy store, clicking on all the lists of ingredients, in a virtual chocolate factory, creating my very own chocolate bar.  Dragées (think mini M&M’s or Smarties) went on there, along with dehydrated strawberry and raspberry.  I loved this combination.  I chose nougat too, but was extremely disappointed when it resembled milk chocolate, neither the classic chewy French confection I love and thought it was, nor nut brittle which I was told it more resembled. With a chocri bar-code on the back of the packaging, you can reorder your previous creations.  I probably wouldn’t do the same bar again; perhaps keep the dragées and dehydrated fruit, and add organic salt pretzels in the place of the nougat and hazelnut brittle, which was likewise disappointing.  Mmm, now that sounds good to me.

Chocri SchokoladeChocri SchokoladeChocri SchokoladeChocri Schokolade

As you have seen, I enjoy mixing and matching when baking, playing with cookie recipes, making ice cream sundae concoctions and most recently “make-your-own crumble.” Now it’s “make-your-own chocolate bar.”  So what would you put on YOUR bar ?

chocri schokolade

28 Responses to “Like a Kid in a Candy Store”

  1. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday says:

    Dark chocolate with dates, bourbon vanilla, and pecans :d

  2. Deb says:

    Rice crispies & raisins, yum!

  3. The Jetpacker says:

    Why do we insist on reading this when we’re trying to eat healthy?

    Wait, more importantly, why can’t we live in reverse land, where chocolate is healthy and broccoli is a heart attack waiting to happen?

  4. Strawberry CAKE says:

    Heavens to Betsy! That is hard…I like your first bar. I am a purist when it comes to chocolate so hmmm well if I had to choose I would do Coffee Toffee Caramel!

  5. Kerrin says:

    Samantha, ooh you picked my very favorite ingredients – dark chocolate and dates ! I might have to try your bar idea, thanks !

    Deb, love it !

    The Jetpacker, hey, I eat healthy too ! Dark chocolate is healthy for the heart, and did you see the dehydrated fruit I added to my bar above ? 🙂 That said, your idea of a reverse land sure sounds good to me, let’s try it !

    Strawberry CAKE, mmmmm coffee toffee caramel, YES ! A definite winner !!

  6. Emma says:

    Okay, I’ve run through the gamut of options. I am so excited to develop my own and have it mailed to me! Okay, some possibilities:

    Dark 64%; then…

    1) Date bits, basil, honey chocolate bits

    2) Sour cherries, fig bits, bourbon vanilla, pistachios, writing: “I love you!!!!!!” Or maybe… “Just married” …to the chocolate!

    Thanks for opening my eyes to the beauty of chocri!

  7. Kerrin says:

    Emma, I love your ideas and can see you going through the ingredient pages over and over again like I did, taking notes and considering different possibilities. And love seeing dates again. With basil and honey, how interesting. The CEO of chocri in the US, her favorite combination is dark chocolate, strawberry and basil. Hadn’t thought of basil before she mentioned it. I love your second one too, wow – you will of course have to let me know your final creations… and especially their names ! Have fun !

    As for opening your eyes to a new chocolate… hey, that’s what I’m here for ! 🙂

  8. sabriena says:

    this make your own chocolate bar is maybe the best thing I have ever seen.

  9. Meeta says:

    chocri – oh you have no idea how thankful i was to you for emailing me that link! after our Ritter Sport experience in Berlin I think you more or less know what we’d be going for. Oh and that reminds me you still have not guessed right!!

    For sure mine would have Fleur de Sel!

  10. Lauren at KeepItSweet says:

    I really need to order some of these chocolates or finally make them myself!

  11. valentina says:

    Well, each post is a surprise. I really look forward to the weekly posts to entertain me, delight my mind and get my taste buds all excited. My customised bar…I’d definitelly add hazelnuts. They are the only nuts that I like to eat in a chocolate bar. Oh, lie….peanuts are not too bad either but they would have to be slightly covered in a sugary syrup. Contrary to you I don’t have half the enthusiasm so it’s very refreshing to look at it through your eyes. it makes one feel even adventuous.Now, how do you find out about stuff like that?? It’s an awesome discovery. Have a great weekend.

  12. valentina says:

    Forgot to mention the base: dark 64%..and cinnamon as well. I know, I’m boring in the chocolate front.

  13. dorie says:

    What fun we had on our New York day — can’t wait to do it again. xoxo

  14. Kerrin says:

    sabriena, totally do it !

    Meeta, how did I know you would like fleur de sel ?! So let’s see now, Tom wasn’t the one who chose the jelly beans and colored streusel at Ritter Sport ? Reeeaaaally ?? 😉 If you order a bar at chocri, definitely let me know what you get, and the name of course.

    Lauren, go for it ! Hope you enjoy.

    valentina, thank you so much for your wonderful comments. I love that you can discover new things here, and I will keep trying to surprise you ! 🙂 So dark chocolate with cinnamon and hazelnuts for you, that sounds excellent, not boring at all. And if you like sugary peanuts, the ones I chose above would be perfect for you too. How did I find chocri, as usual my sweet radar took me right to it ! 😉 I just love to read about chocolate trends and am always interested in trying new brands, so chocri certainly got my attention.

    dorie, we most absolutely did ! And you know I can’t wait either. xoxo right back to you !

  15. Pami says:

    Oh wow! Wow!

    Thanks for sharing this! I never knew something like that existed and now I’m soooo ready to order something!! I’m a long time blog-stalker of yours (sorry not to introduce myself before now!) but couldn’t resist commenting on this one!

    I think my first one (ok, my first 4!) will be:

    Zartbitterschokolade mit
    + Orangenstückchen
    + Mandeln
    + Kakaobohnensplitter

    Weiße Schokolade mit
    + Kokosraspeln
    + Honig-Weizen-Flakes

    Vollmilchschokolade mit
    + Maiscornflakes
    + Haselnusskrokant
    + Mandeln, gebrannt

    Zartbitterschokolade mit
    + Kaffeebohnen, geschrotet
    + Kakaobohnensplitter
    + Karamellstückchen

    A little conventional, yes I admit, but I guess I’m not that into herb flavourings in my sweets.. but I won’t say no to trying, so maybe I’ll design a more ‘adventurous’ one to try!

    Keep up the fabulous chocolate (and Swiss) posts!

    – Pami

  16. Andrea M. says:

    How cool is this!!!!!!!! Bravo for finding such a unique link!

  17. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    Even though it just breakfast time here, I was instantly hungry for make my own chocolate. If someone was going to uncover that, it was going to be you, right?

    What a neat idea. Not sure what I would put in. I’d have to go the dark chocolate base and maybe try:

    – a range of fruit and nut combinations (one of my favourite chocolates!)
    – the candied lilac or rose petal
    – would try the salt, even if Mr “more salted in the salted butter” thinks it’s too salty

    Just thinking, maybe I can try and do this myself!!!!! Ohhhhhhh, great holiday gift ideas! 🙂

  18. Kerrin says:

    Pami, you are too funny, thank you for revealing yourself here ! Really appreciate your comment. I guess the chocolate temptation here was too strong to resist 🙂 And thanks so much for sharing your combinations, they all sound really great, nothing wrong with conventional. I am not a fan of herbs in my chocolate either. And I may have to follow you and do something with cornflakes, love that combination. So now you just need names for those bars… let me know what you get and what you think for sure !

    Andrea, thanks ! Totally cool, right ? So, you going to play ?

    Julia, but of course, you know you can count on me to uncover chocolate stuff like this ! Love your options, each one so different. And you totally can do make the bars yourself if you have rectangular molds, or simply do more rustic chocolate bark. A fantastic holiday gift idea for sure. And knowing your talent for presentation, they will be gorgeously packaged with beautiful paper, ribbon and tags. Lucky friends and family… ! 🙂

  19. Anna Johnston says:

    What a fun idea to design your own chocolate bar. I’m totally in love with your date & dark chocolate number.

  20. Lani says:

    Ok….so what would be my all time favorite chocolate bar? I do think obviously dark chocolate with nougat. I like the sweetness of the chocolate and the crunchy stuff that gets stuck in your teeth. What a fabulous find for all! I can’t believe how the chocolate industry has changed since Hershey first came out….how absolutely sophisticated our taste buds have become. The best of all is that most of the chocolate is available to everyone! Custom made chocolate bars where in the world did you find this site????

  21. iain says:

    wow. loved the multi-colored dragée & dried fruit bar. not sure how it would taste, but i bet it’s majorly fun to eat!

  22. Lucie says:

    I love making my own chocolate bars–once the tempering is done, the fun can start!! Candied ginger makes a great companion for dark chocolate!

  23. Kerrin says:

    Anna, oh definitely so much fun. Dates and dark chocolate all the way ! 🙂

    Lani, dark chocolate with nougat – oh yes, we do have similar tastes ! All this chocolate being far from Hershey’s, you could not be more correct. How far we have all come. The chocolate companies and us, the consumers as well.

    iain, the multi-color bar tasted really good, if a bit busy for the taste buds. 😉 Perhaps more fun than sophisticated, but hey, sometimes you just want to have fun !

    Lucie, oooh good idea on the candied ginger. Ginger is bit too strong for me in general, but an excellent combination for sure.

  24. Jamie says:

    Oh too much fun! When do you start distributing your choco bars? Woowee love the colorful dragées but both bars sound delicious and look gorgeous! You are one talented chocolate freak, my friend!

  25. Shaheen says:

    WOW! I wish I could get my own candybad. I’ve been snacking on milk chocolate whenever I get this urge to eat something sweet. And I’ve eaten a pound of in in the past four days. My mom better not know of this! If I coudl make my own bar, it’d have – biscuits bits, hazelnuts and honeycomb (like crunchies) LOVE it soo much.

  26. Kerrin says:

    Jamie, “one talented chocolate freak” – that’s a new one. Works for me, ha ha !

    Shaheen, don’t worry, I won’t tell your mom about the chocolate 🙂 One pound in 4 days is quite impressive, bet it was awful good. I love your ingredients for your own creation, most especially honeycomb, I loooove honeycomb !

  27. Emma says:

    Ha! That’s exactly what I did. I went through each page ninja-style, quietly sneaking around… but making notes of everything I saw and liked. Best of it, my notes went into my day planner, so that I can conveniently remind myself of which combinations tempt me most whilst here at work!

  28. Jeanne @ CookSister! says:

    I would skip Economy Candy (you know me and my unsweet tooth!!) but OMG I LOVE the customised chocolate bar idea!!!! LOVE your first combo 🙂

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