Tag Archives: M&Ms

12 days of Christmas Cookies: Tollhouse and M&M Cookies

12 days of Christmas Cookies: Day 7

If memory serves me correctly, Cook’s Illustrated recently did an article on how to make the best chocolate chip cookie and found that the Toll House Cookie recipe that we’ve all come to love is as close to perfection as one could get (at least when it comes to chocolate chip cookies).

That’s not to say that one cannot nor should not tamper with a classic, all in the name of “The Holidays”. To wit, add red and green M&M’s in place of some of the chocolate chips and voila!…Instant holiday cookies.

Part of me is fascinated by the fact that one can add red and/or green ingredients to a cookie, and suddenly it’s thought to be a “Christmas Cookie”. It’s amazing to me that these two colors are so iconic.

Equally amazing to me is the fact that legend the “red” in the red and green comes from the representation of the blood of kings and then later the King of kings. Note that this is probably not a good tidbit of trivia to share with children and the more fundamentalist of Christians.

Thanks to Tara for pointing this tidbit out. Oh, and the color green? As best as I can gather, it roughly represents the fertility of soil extrapolated from any number of myths and traditions revolving around death and rebirth.

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup plain M&M’s
  • 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat your oven to 375° F.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine your flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in the M&M’s, chocolate chips and walnuts. . Drop by rounded tablespoon onto parchment lined baking sheets.

Place the cookie sheets in the oven and bake between 9 and 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 4 dozen, give or take

Technorati Tags: Cookies, recipes, Toll House Cookies, M&M’s

What can You do when you’re a Candy Oligopoly?

Well if you’re the Mars Company, it means that you can cut off candy resellers from their supply of Colorworks M&M’s.

What does this mean? As Cybele writes:

…when it comes to smaller quantities (one pound or less), buying directly from M&Ms means at least a 20% premium. (Yes, youâ??d think buying direct would mean youâ??d pay less, wouldnâ??t you?) When you knock out the middleman, I can imagine that M&Ms profits on these are pretty high. Even with economies of scale itâ??s clear that the ColorWorks are a huge moneymaker for Mars. A half pound of ColorWorks (whether part of a color blend or a single color) are $4.69 for eight ounces ($.59 an ounce). M&Ms cost about $3.50 for a 12 ounce bag (not on sale) at your local grocer ($.29 an ounce).

Basic Econ 101 – When you’re the single distributor for a product in demand, you control the price. I think it’s time for a road trip to Canada to stock up on some Smarties.

Technorati Tags: Candy, Mars Candies, M&M’s,

A Tale of Two…no, Three…Candy Companies

One of the several reasons why I don’t get along with corporations is that they tend to stifle a great amount of innovation. Once a “new” idea is presented to the corporation, it has to be run by the manufacturing department (to see if they can make it), and then the marketing department (to see if they can sell it). Afterwards, focus groups and test markets become involved to see how much interest and profits can be had. By the time a “new” product is introduced, the uniqueness is long gone, battered by the development process.

Not all corporations and companies do this, but enough of them.

I bring up this generalization, as I want to introduce you all to two new products, to illustrate the above point.

Somewhere in Hershey, Pennsylvania, it was decided that the corporation needed to make more money, and that a new product should be introduced. After running through the above process, and after an extended period of time, a product was released to the general public. Called Kissables, They are “miniature candy-coated versions of one of the world’s most recognizable brands. These colorful, fun-able candies, blue, red, yellow, green, and orange, come in convenient, single-serve packaging.”

What you have is a corporation that has spent thousands, if not millions, of dollars on a product which sounds eerily like M&M’s.

Now people may run to the defence of Hershey’s, saying that there’s precious little one can do in the field of chocolate. Once you’ve dealt with caramel, nuts, shredded coconut, marshallows, maybe a little peanut butter in your products, you’ve covered about 80% of all chocolate products already out there.

But then you look at Jelly Bellys. They take up a far smaller segment of the candy market. As a company, they wish to increase how much money they make. So what do they come up with? A product called JBz. As their product page states, JBz’s are “chocolate centers with candy shells with twelve delectable flavors such as Chocolate Cappuccino JBz and Chocolate Caramel JBz, as well as classically delightful pairings of chocolate in Chocolate Coconut, Chocolate Vanilla, and Chocolate Fudge Brownie.”

Sounds like M&M’s, but with a new twist, doesn’t it? Granted, it probably wasn’t a stretch for the Folks at Jelly Belly’s to go “Hey, let’s add flavors to an M&M style candy!”, as they have already done this with their Jelly Bean line. But they have added to the diversity of the candy marketplace, something Hershey’s didn’t do with their Kissable line.

Why Marketing people are very silly people indeed.

Typically I’d not post on items like the new release of the Mega-sized M & M’s, but there was a line in the reporting that made me shake my head.

The new M&M’s are available in milk chocolate and peanut varieties and come with an “adult-oriented” color scheme that includes teal, beige, maroon, gold, brown and blue-gray.

What a very odd idea that there are “adult-oriented” colors. Are these colors not to be viewed by children under the age of 18? And why Teal or Maroon? Personally, I thought the color scheme of the old Good n Plenty was very adult, what with their pink and white shells and black insides.

What’s amazing to me is that there was an experiment somewhere which resulted in someone recieving a very decent paycheck to write an e-mail/memo/report stating that adults respond enthusiastically to blue-gray colors.