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BonBonBar 2010 Holiday Newsletter… Blogged

Saturday, February 6th, 2010
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Happy Holidays!  Even though I have been quiet on the newsletter front, it has been busy at BonBonBar.

The most exciting news is that I have been hard at work writing a cookbook! It is called Beautiful Candymaking, and it is due out in the Fall of 2011 through Sterling Publishing.  The book will feature my take on a wide range of candy recipes — from toffee to fudge to caramel corn — along with candymaking tips/techniques and gorgeous photography courtesy of The White on Rice Couple.

After developing so many recipes for the book, I thought that it would be a good idea to recharge and seek new inspiration for the company’s confections.  So, BonBonBar will be closed from December 23 to February 1 as I eat my way around France, Italy, Brazil, and California.  I am looking forward to returning with refreshed ideas for new products, but it most likely also means that, unfortunately, some candies will be rotated out in the new year.

As always, thank you so much for your support and enthusiasm.  Happy customers have always been my favorite part of this BonBonBar adventure, and you have given me the amazing opportunity to run a truly artisan food company that will be going into its fourth year. I am grateful, and lucky.

All the best for a happy and sweet holiday season, and I hope that BonBonBar treats will be a part of it!

Thank  you!


Founder & Chief Chocolatier,BonBonBar


So far, our candy bars are being featured in Fine Cooking, DailyCandy, and The Huffington Post’s 2010 holiday gift guides.

If you would like to place your holiday orders in advance of when you would like them to ship, please let us know in the comments of the order.

All orders placed during the break will ship after February 1.

BonBonBars at The Sugar Cube in Virginia

Friday, February 6th, 2009

BonBonBars have arrived at The Sugar Cube in Alexandria just in time for Valentine’s Day!  Not only do they have my Scotch, Caramel Nut, and Orange Candy Bars available individually, but also several gift collections that include handmade caramels as well as candy bars: Scotch, Nutty, and Farmers Market.

I urge you to click on the link for The Sugar Cube, not only to learn about a candy store that’s run by two sisters with an enthusiasm for candy and quality (and that I wish was about 3, 000 miles closer to me so that I could go myself), but also to read their completely wonderful write up about BonBonBars on their front page… It makes me blush and be so grateful that my candy is appreciated.

And I snapped a picture of the gift collection boxes before I sealed the mailing box…  I have to admit, I’m not usually a ribbon and bow kind of person, but I loved the ribbon that I found and would be rather thrilled to get a gift like them myself….

Fatted Calf – Napa

Friday, November 14th, 2008

There are some names for which I have an instant affinity. I remember the first time that I read the word “Fatted” followed by the word “Calf” on Sam’s blog (edit: link fixed!) when I lived in Napa. I knew that somehow I would get to know this Fatted Calf myself. It took a while. They opened their charcuterie store in Napa’s Oxbow Market after I had moved back to LA, and it wasn’t until I took a mini-desperation-vacation to Napa in February of this year that I was finally able to purchase their goods and try it for myself (after driving it back to Southern California in a mini-cooler w/ ice brought along for exactly that purpose).

And it was phenomenal. The bacon and the sausage became legend in my mind.

When I took my more relaxed visit to Napa last week, I was prepared to buy more, and couldn’t help telling everyone I knew about them and offering to take orders to bring back some. So, this time, I brought a larger cooler for their meaty goods, and got a bag of dry goods besides.

Bacon… Greens Sausage… Sheep’s Milk Ricotta… Bierwurst… Sweet Italian Sausage… Those were my spectacular goods this time. There’s a certain kind of freshness and exuberance of flavor that informs every product. The texture is very important, too — being rather looser than usual in the sausage and salami, and slightly more substantial than usual in the bacon. In the best and most respectful way, you realize that the meat comes from real animals who were treated well. I’ve never had anything quite like it, and I’m quite addicted. I wish I had bought more and my next trip to Napa will probably be fueled in large part by an overpowering craving; only a few strips of bacon remain, preserved in my freezer, and they don’t ship. I am even saving the rendered bacon fat, something I’ve never done before and I don’t really know what I’ll do with it.

If I lived in Napa, I don’t know how I’d resist having something from them daily. Their offerings rotate some every week, so I wouldn’t really get bored of flavors… And one a day would be balanced by a healthy diet overall… And they also sell gorgeous fresh meat, sandwiches, Rancho Gordo Beans, and Bates & Schmitt’s apple products (I got the syrup last time), so yeah, complete meals all around… And… And… hmm, I’ve put a lot of thought into this.

I have not been completely bedazzled by the Kool-Aid, though — the Beef Jerky that I got is way too tough for me, and I don’t know what to do with the pieces that remain. And the Rabbit Pate was a bit too firm for me, though I remember getting some kind of wonderfully silky pate last time… and perhaps will again next time!

California Tart Company – Los Angeles

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Ok… even just writing the title of this post has given me a tart craving.

I have the fantastic fortune to sell BonBonBars next to the California Tart Company at the Brentwood Farmers Market on Sunday mornings. Right now, it’s a two-person company: Evelyn heads up the baking side more while Roberto heads up the sales side more.

Their products are savory tarts — most modeled after the Italian torta pasqualina — as well as sweet tarts. And the tarts are just my style: lots of delicious filling encased by a thin layer of rather lean dough. There are 2.5 cups of vegetables in every tart. The vegetables are allowed to shine as the often farmers market-fresh stars that they are; unlike so many prepared vegetables available for sale in stores and restaurants, they are not drenched in oil or smothered in a rich filling. These tarts are really about feeling good — you feel good when you buy them (b/c Roberto and Evelyn are wonderful to chat with and b/c they’re fairly priced at $6.50), while you’re eating them because they’re delicious… and afterwards because you feel nourished, not stuffed…

Here’s a sampling…

Spinach & Pea Tart, “a taste of Liguria”

Leek & Brie Tart, more of a French-style

Oh, and there’s this landscape of porcini and assorted mushrooms, over caramelized shallots, sprinkled with thyme….

There’s also an amazing Zucchini, Basil, & Parmesan Tart, “with the feel of Positano.”

Although I should know better, I still work under the delusion that I can last through the whole Brentwood market without eating, but it is a 6 hr market and I often end up scoffing a cold tart down at some point, which gets earlier and earlier every time, because it’s too good to put off. But if I wait (or act brilliantly and buy multiple tarts), their full flavors are really unleashed after being heated up in the oven for a few minutes… Add a salad and a glass of wine, and it’s an even more perfect meal…

Especially since you can keep the party going with one of their dessert tarts…

This is their Pear & Chocolate Tart… DO YOU SEE ALL THAT CHOCOLATE???

This post may overflow with dithering admiration, but you see, I barely buy pre-made food anymore — it’s so rarely good and so often over-priced and needlessly fatty. I’m so grateful to have access to their tarts because they’re exactly what I would want to make for myself at home. They focus on the good stuff.

For now, they’re selling to the lucky customers at the Brentwood Market and the Manhattan Beach Market on Tuesdays… but the word “store” has come up. And in the meantime, they do catering, too.

Mora Iced Creamery – Bainbridge, WA

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

The Blueberry Ice Cream was phenomenal, so full of flavor, at Mora. I lasered in on blackberry dishes while in WA, but the blackberry ice cream I sampled was a little subdued. The blueberry was intense while still being creamy. I finished the whole thing, which is rare.

The 30-minute ferry to Bainbridge island was only about $6.75 roundtrip — a small price to pay for access to ice cream excellence.