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Katie Arnold-Ratliff (3 posts)
P.O.P. Candy’s Thyme, Walnut ‘n’ Cherry Butter Crunch Toffee, $13 for 8 oz. Inspired by (brace yourself) the ingredients in holiday stuffing, this sweet slab of faintly herbaceous toffee (pictured) just plain works: it’s buttery, nutty, and delightfully unusual.
Obsessive Confection Disorder’s Apple Cider Caramel, $4 for 1.2 oz. Few flavors evoke the season like apples and cinnamon, both of which figure prominently in these artisan treats from a small California company (whose adventurous caramel menu also includes Artichoke-Limoncello and Black Garlic With Smoked Pepper). Filled with chunks of fruit and a generous dash of nutmeg, the Apple Cider Caramels pack a tart, spicy punch, and—though you’d never guess it—are 100% vegan.
Chuao Chocolatier Love At First Bite Chocolate Fangs, $5.95 each. Unlike those sticky wax choppers from childhood, these sumptuous white chocolate fangs offer a surprising center of strawberry balsamic caramel. Fangtastic! (Oprah.com readers get 20% off until Dec. 31; use code OPRAH)
Bissinger’s Blueberry Acai Gummy Pandas, $4.75 for one 4 oz. bag. We don’t typically consider candy a health-food item, but these intensely flavored gummies feature not one but two sources of antioxidants—and taste about ten times better than the bland bears of old.
Vosges Day of the Dead Red Fire Skull Lollipop, $3 each. Each November, the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos celebrates those who’ve gone on to the great candy shop in the sky—and these lollipops will have you celebrating the delicious marriage of dark chocolate and ancho and chipotle chilies.
A documentary reveals the damage mainstream media does to women.
When Jennifer Siebel Newsom (left) learned in 2009 that she was expecting a baby girl with husband Gavin Newsom—California's lieutenant governor—she struggled to imagine how her daughter "could grow up to be emotionally healthy," she says in Miss Representation, the documentary she directed to expose how American media erodes female self-worth.
Salt & Straw, Portland, OR
This newcomer, which just opened in the city's hip Alberta district, packs its small-batch creations with 17% butterfat (most ice creams contain about 10%) to ramp up the richness in each bite, and ships a sampler of flavors nationwide. Portlanders can also book the company’s old-timey ice cream cart to enliven birthdays, weddings and other gatherings in need of sweet treats (and which ones aren’t?).
Safe bet: Chocolate with Gooey Brownies
For the adventurous: Three Berry Barbecue (a strawberry, huckleberry, and Oregon marionberry base, ribboned with sweet barbecue sauce)
Our favorite: Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Cracked Pepper