Captivating Confections, Inc., sent us samples of their toffees and caramels to share with you all. The caramels are in the smaller boxes, six pieces each in two flavors, and the toffees are in the bigger box also in two varieties. Located in East Islip, New York, they made all of their treats by hand and their flavors vary by the season but also upon request for specific occasions. Let's take a closer look at these offerings she sent us to reveal to you all.
Peanut Butter Banana is the year round variety you can find online. This milk chocolate covered caramel varies in size, these are handmade, I expect this, but all are more than a quarter an inch thick. There is a strong scent of peanut butter and milk chocolate when I bring one cool piece to my nose; perhaps an undercurrent of banana and some sweetness, too. This isn't at all what I was expecting when I take a bite. Instead of chewy or sticky caramel the inside is more creamy with a strong sweet peanut butter flavor and a much stronger banana essence than the scent suggested there would be. What it reminds me of are those frozen banana on a stick treats but with a peanut butter flavor to them instead of the crunchy pieces on the outside. In terms of caramel I just am not getting that but in terms of the chocolate, banana, and peanut butter those flavors are there, identifiable yet also blended well together.
Teri's Toffee that is topped by hazelnuts that you can easily see in this photograph. The toffees are broken into pieces making them easier to eat and I've flipped a few over in the photo to show you the bottom as well as the dark chocolate on the top. This has a sweet scent plus a bit of the dark chocolate's essence and it makes a very loud snap when I take a bite. The hazelnuts have a subtle flavor and crunch to them. By itself the dark chocolate have a good buzz potential to it but it is almost overwhelmed by the buttery toffee on the bottom layer that lingers long after the first bite is consumed. This is basically what I have come to expect from chocolate covered toffee really so for toffee, this ranks as well as several others we've tried. If you want more of the chocolate flavor, place that side down on your tongue but the sweet tang of the toffee is going to be the last essence regardless.
S'more's Toffee that Carol sent us that has a milk chocolate top with mini-marshmallows and a graham cracker bottom layer that I hope you can see in the pieces I've flipped for the photo. The cracker layer is a bit thicker than the milk chocolate but not by much and the marshmallows seem fairly evenly placed over the chocolate layer. This has a very slight scent over all, a hint of the milk chocolate, some graham cracker sweetness and flour and a hint of that cornstarch that covers marshmallows. On closer examination I can see three layers, a toffee layer is between the chocolate and the graham crackers and this definitely comes out when I take a bite. There is a very some sound and the cracker layer crumbles into my mouth to leave the tang of the toffee dominant. The milk chocolate and the marshmallows are there but again over whelmed by the toffee. Still if you close your eyes and focus on your mouth you can get the sense of a candied up s'more treat.
These are unique chocolate treats that are made with great ingredients by a very nice lady. Of these four, the Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Caramel was my hands down favorite because the chocolate was the strongest here. One of the neatest aspects of the toffee is that I could see the cracker base for them and that reminded me of how I've made homemade toffee myself, confirming that these are indeed made by hand and actually making me wonder if I could try to copy the s'mores idea for August... but that's getting away from the treats themselves. They make a lot of other chocolate treats and we'll see more of Captivating Confections later in the year because they are the first company to get on board for our 4th Annual Halloween Treat Challenge so that event is off to a great start. Check them out and let us know if you've tried their creations yourself.