Author Archive: Bryn Kirk

Dark Chocolate Banana Chips

Want to put yourself into a better mood?  I think by now most of us have heard that chocolate is a great mood enhancer. For years, it’s been known that chocolate does more than just taste good, it can actually do the body good.

Cocoa boosts serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for maintaining a balanced mood and feeling of well-being. It stimulates the happy-making parts of your brain!

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BarkTHINS Snacking Chocolate

Last month I wrote a review of 7th Street Confection’s Dark Chocolate Thins (Raspberry & Quinoa). I thought they were pretty tasty.

Today, I have an extremely similar product from BarkTHINS®. To the best of my knowledge, BarkTHINS came first, in 2013. The flavor is different, but the concept is the same; thin dark chocolate pieces with inclusions. Today I’m trying Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed with Sea Salt.

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Hammond’s Chocolate Bars

Once again we get to my birthday, and here come the gifts of chocolate!

Yay, I have new chocolate bars to try and this time they are made by Hammond’s Candies in Denver, CO.

According to their website,, Hammond’s has been in business for more than 90 years. In 1920, Carl T. Hammond, Sr. founded Hammond’s Candy Company in Denver, Colorado. His first candy creation was the Honey Ko Ko - a chocolate topped with shredded coconut.

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The Chocolate Trader: Dark Chocolate with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

Here’s a little Milwaukee, Wisconsin history. In 1916, Joseph and Lottie Helminiak, founded Quality Candy Shoppes on Mitchell street in Milwaukee. Over the next 100 years, the company has grown, been through some changes, and became well known in Wisconsin.

In the 1960’s, Quality Candy bought Buddy Squirrel, a nut roasting and gourmet popcorn company, also located in Milwaukee. It became Quality Candy/Buddy Squirrel. Later, it was purchased and renamed Buddy Squirrel, LLC.

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7th Street Confections Dark Chocolate Thins

7th Street Confections is a new line of “better for you” treats from the long established Pearson’s Candy Company. The line up of Dark Chocolate Thins include flavors such as Raspberry & Quinoa; Strawberry; Blueberry & Almond; and Pineapple & Toasted Coconut.

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M&M’s 49% Dark Chocolate Peanut

This past week was snacking on the new 49% dark chocolate peanut m&m's.

Naturally, I assumed that the “49%” advertised on the label indicated that there is now more chocolate in the recipe. I don’t really know for certain, since I haven't been able to find the cacao percentage for the original dark peanut m&m's.

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Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel

Ghirardelli recently introduced a new variety of chocolate square; Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, I think this is another example of “sounds better than it is”.

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CocoLove Raspberry Bouche Bar

Vacationing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming was amazing! The Tetons, the hiking, the biking, the chocolate! The chocolate?

Every vacation destination I make a point to hunt out a local chocolates shop and this was no different. We stayed with family living in Jackson, and they knew where to take me - CocoLove Dessert Boutique. It was full of beautiful creations by pastry chef Oscar Ortega.

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MilkBoy Swiss Alpine Milk Chocolate with Crunchy Caramel and Sea Salt

Milkboy is made in Switzerland and according to their website,, cows that graze the alpine meadows “produce some of the best-quality milk available, milk for which Switzerland is rightly famed.”

In addition to “best-quality milk,” the milk solids content is 24%. This is much higher than minimal levels required for milk chocolate in the U.S. (which is 12%). No wonder it’s uber-milky and creamy! Read more

Wild Ophelia Barbeque Potato Chip Chocolate Bar

I must say, there are some interesting flavored chocolate bars out there (I’m referring to what’s added to the chocolate, not the natural occurring terroir). And by “Interesting” I mean, raise an eyebrow and ask yourself, “who would think of such a thing?”

Today’s bar for example, honey and hickory barbeque potato chips with smoked paprika in 70% chocolate. Hmmm?

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