Ahhh, the holiday season, where my love for the festive can be united with my love for the chocolate. Christmas is second only to Easter, in my mind, for quality seasonal candy items. Don’t even talk to me about Halloween. All it offers are mini-sized versions of everyday candy bars. Give me the unique seasonal fare!
As we roll into December, it’s time to start stockpiling this stuff and jamming as much into your greedy face as you possibly can. It will be gone soon. Don’t worry about extra calories. Did you know that your body’s basal metabolic rate increases in the the cold? That means you will burn more calories just by doing nothing! Sure, the additional calories burned are negligible, but every little bit counts. And, as I shared yesterday, the holiday season affords you with all sorts of opportunities to amp up your calorie burn with outdoor activities. There is no better way to refuel than candy.
Looking for saccharine inspiration? Here’s my top six favourites for the holiday season. I had to throw in a sixth just so you don’t think I’m biased towards mint-flavours.
#6. Almond Roca: My token non-mint seasonal favourite. My love for this confection is purely nostalgic. I used to get a canister of it every Christmas. Mostly, I sucked the chocolate off the outside then suffered through the cloyingly sweet, sticks-in-your-teeth-forever filling. It’s best in small doses but the iconic pink tin screams Christmas to me, so I had to include it.
#5. Ovation: This is yet another nostalgia bomb for me. Ovation candies were a major part of my childhood. They seemed classy, each coming in its own little monogrammed sleeve, and they had a delightful candy snap lacking from their soft and oozy, yet often-preferred cousin, the After Eight. I don’t even think they sell these in Canada anymore, which is better for my waistline but worse for my heart.
#4: Mint M&Ms: These addictively delicious little bastards are notoriously hard to find. You see a festively colored bag of M&Ms on the shelf and your heart soars with anticipation until, upon closer examination, you realize that, no, they are just regular M&Ms in holiday colours. Your heart sinks and you continue in your search for mint M&Ms elsewhere. When I find them, I buy only one bag, because I would eat all of them at once if I were to buy more than one bag. That, my friends, is the hallmark of an excellent candy.
#3. Hershey’s Kiss Candy Can Mint Candies: First, and most importantly, do NOT confuse these with the Hershey’s peppermint bark bells. Sure, those are fine in a pinch, but they don’t hold a candle to these gems. It’s also important to know that I am a major white chocolate fan (as you’ll see from the next couple items on my list). If you are not, to you I say: great! more for me! Also, you probably won’t like these, although I do find that the peppermint cuts the sweetness a fair bit.
#2: Lindt Lindor Candy Cane: See? More white chocolate and mint. I am obsessed. I curse those people at Lindt for making such perfectly sinful little chocolate balls. I especially curse the person who said ‘let’s take white chocolate and peppermint and turn it into a Lindor.’ Now I must exercise willpower every time I visit the grocery store, or else I’d buy a whole sleeve of the damn things and eat every last one of them (relax, there’s only 5 in the sleeve).
#1. White Chocolate Peppermint M&Ms: There is one reason and one reason alone that I lament Target’s failure in Canada: the white chocolate peppermint M&M. It was the only place I could find these bites of perfection in Canada. Yes, I could order them from the States, but one of the small handful of lessons I’ve actually learned is life is that if I order a dozen bags of candy, I will eat all of them single-handedly and in short order. If you can find these, I implore you to indulge as often as your stomach can tolerate during the holiday season. They are sweet. They are minty. They have a slightly thicker candy coating shell that, if bitten properly, can be cracked off leaving the entire orb of pepperminty white chocolate behind to blissfully melt in your mouth. Perfection. Holiday perfection.
So there you have it. I have given you all manner of ways to start your holiday season off on the wrong foot. Remember, there is always New Years for renewed pledges to your health and wellness.