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Sweet stuff

By KRISTINE HANSEN
Photos by Dan Bishop

December 2012

Caramel apples at Amy's Candy Kitchen in Cedarburg

For the sweet-toothed person in your life, a sugar-coated treat with Milwaukee-area ties is the perfect gift for the holidays, whether itís caramel apples, chocolate bars, truffles, hot-chocolate mixes or wacky concoctions like margarita caramels. Here are some sugary sweet suggestions.

Amyís Candy Kitchen | Cedarburg

The Goodies: Caramel cooked in copper kettles and Belgian chocolate are ladled over apples to create nearly 100 different caramel apples ($10-$25) inspired by seasons and life events, such as a winter-holiday favorite (peppermint caramel apple with white Belgian chocolate) and a quirky specialty (gummy-bear covered caramel apple). Itís a five-star twist on a classic treat.

Backstory: Making caramel apples since 1996.

Find It: Retail store at W62N579 Washington Ave., Cedarburg; or via AmysGourmetApples.com or (800) 513-8889.

Great for Gifting: You can tailor your selection to almost any age or interest.

Omanhene | Whitefish Bay and Ghana, West Africa

The Goodies: Hot-cocoa mixes in two flavors (mint hot cocoa, $8.75; and hot cocoa, $7.50); produces intense, velvety cups of hot chocolate when milk is added.

Backstory: Whitefish Bay resident Steve Wallace started Omanhene in 1991 as the first company to export a chocolate product from Ghana. All 300 Omanhene employees receive health care and subsidized housing.

Find It: Beans & Barley, Outpost Natural Foods, Alterra Coffee Roasters and Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co.

Gifting With a Cause: Itís a socially conscious chocolate with local ties.

Le RÍve Patisserie & CafeWauwatosa

The Goodies: Macaron cookies (95 cents each) sandwiched together with pastry cream, in pretty pastel colors crafted from natural flavors such as pistachio or hazelnut. They are the only macaron makers in southeastern Wisconsin.

Backstory: Part of this French restaurantís to-go pastry case since opening in 2008.

Find It: Le RÍve, 7610 Harwood Ave., Wauwatosa.

Great For: The foodie who thinks he or she has tasted it all.

Beckyís Blissful Bakery | Pewaukee

The Goodies: Four-ounce box of margarita caramels ($10.99) made with all-natural, all-organic ingredients like organic blue-agave tequila along with pressed-lime juice a dusting of sea salt.

Backstory: Since 2007 owner Rebecca Scarberry has whipped local, organic ingredients into her line of sweets.

Find It: Good Harvest Market, Whole Foods Market and Larryís Market.

Great for Gifting: Theyíre perfect to tuck into a desk drawer for an afternoon treat.

Indulgence ChocolatiersWaukesha

The Goodies: Chocolatierís Selection truffles ($7.85 for four, $22 for 12 and $43 for 24) with artisan and offbeat flavors like coconut haba-ero, Thai peanut butter or limoncello espresso.

Backstory: Globe-hopper Julie Waterman started this artisan chocolate company in 2007, the flavors largely inspired by her trips around the world.

Find It: 4525 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood; or at Stone Creek Coffee, Beans & Barley or Sendikís Food Markets.

Great For: Fussy sweet-toothed palates.

The Hot List

RED ALERT: Is no one going to mention the elephant in the room? Or, in the case of the Third Wardís new chocolate cafe, the large red elephant projected outside on the Broadway-adjacent sidewalk? Opening last month, Red Elephant, 333 N. Broadway, is a chocolate lovers paradise ó whether you prefer to sip, spoon or nibble. Decadent truffles, rich chocolate whipped cream, pastries, dipping sauces, hot cocoa, mochas and more guarantee you a cocoa experience that, much like its namesake, you will never forget.

TEA TIME: The Pfister Hotelís afternoon tea is again being served to save one and all from the winter doldrums in a most elegant setting. Tea is served from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday inside Blu, located on the 23rd floor of the Pfister, 424 E. Wisconsin Ave. Itís silver service tableside, complemented by an array of fresh scones, sandwiches and pastries. A tea butler is there to educate, blend and suggest perfect pairings. Afternoon tea is by reservation only at (414) 935-5942.

ALL THINGS COFFEE: Stone Creek Coffee just completed a top-to-bottom renovation of its factory operations at 422 N. 5th St. The 1898 Cream City brick building, designed by Chicago Worldís Fair architects Burnham and Root, has been home to Boston Store and Palmolive Soap, among others, before becoming Stone Creekís roasting facility in 1999. Check out the new The Factory Store, a place for sipping java and The Stone Creek Kitchen, where specialty food products designed to pair with Stone Creek coffee are made. The building also now houses a training center and coffee quality lab. For more information, go to www.stonecreekcoffee.com

ó Jordan Dechambre and Janet Raasch

 


This story ran in the December 2012 issue of: