David Hammond

S’mores, the traditional summertime after-cookout treat, have always struck me as one of the most ridiculous desserts. Sure, options are limited when you’re doing dessert on an open fire, but though the flavors of s’mores work well together, the problem I have is that the heat of the marshmallow never quite melts the chocolate and the chocolate used, usually Hershey’s, is never that awesome.

Fannie May’s S’mores have the advantage of being made with high-quality chocolate. Yes, it’s commodity chocolate, and there’s loads of fancier stuff on the market, but I prefer Fannie May to what comes out of many other large chocolate makers, like Hershey’s, of course, but even Godiva and Guylian, which are sometimes presented in cool shapes like tiny hearts and seashells but often seem to have a waxiness that I just don’t dig.

On top of that, my usual preference is for dark not milk chocolate, and Fanny May S’mores are, indeed, milk chocolate, but using that kind of chocolate balances out the flavor with other ingredients.

I really like this candy.

Fannie May’s S’mores are a combination of chocolate-covered marshmallows and tiny honey-infused graham crackers with a crisp woven texture that creates a very pleasant counterpoint with the marshmallow, crunchy vs. cushy. This is not hugely sophisticated candy, but it’s so satisfying.

Fannie May had sent me a bag to check out, and we liked it so much we ended buying more. We’re now on our third bag.

These snacks fall in the danger zone of candies. Carolyn and I have been extremely cautious with our health during this pandemic, and I don’t recall buying any other candy since we went into quarantine last March.

Fanny May S’mores are hard to stop eating. As one reviewer noted, “If you have addiction issues, do not buy this.” But overcoming such temptations builds willpower, right? And if you don’t have sufficient willpower to resist them, Fannie May S’mores come in many sizes, including two-ounce bags, which you want if you’re challenged by portion control.

Of course, if you need to justify an extra handful of chocolate candy, soothe your conscience by referencing the world renown Cleveland Clinic’s findings that chocolate is good for heart health. Other research indicates that chocolate also reduces stress and produces a feeling similar to falling in love, making chocolate candy even more appealing during the holidays.

This year, Fannie May, founded in Chicago in 1920, has been celebrating its 100-year anniversary. Longevity like that, for a novelty business like candy, is remarkable. One of the reasons for Fannie May’s long-lasting appeal is that it’s simply a solid choice for good candy, maybe not as high-toned as other chocolate offerings on the market, but likely to please most of us.

Takeout 25 is a fantastic opportunity to score some righteous chow while you help local businesses. Fannie May Confections, Inc., is headquartered in Chicago, and the company has an Oak Park outpost (1020 Lake Street). You can also get Fannie May S’mores at Costco (which recommends crushing these candies and using the pieces as a condiment for ice cream).

So, if you need a last minute gift or stocking stuffer, give Fanny May S’mores a shot. As an added holiday bonus, they pair well with candy canes.

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David Hammond

David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of LTHForum.com, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David...