Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bloggin' About the Log

Our family loves the holiday season. We’re rooted in our traditions but also seem to be competitively searching for the next sure thing. For example, Aunt Stacey’s sweet potato casserole is now a Thanksgiving staple, replacing traditional squash and sweet potatoes. Conversely, Papa’s stuffing with bacon bits made only one unpopular appearance.

In my search for a namesake tradition, I look to Van Otis Chocolates. Pecan Rolls are the perfect delicious and affordable holiday treat. Offered in chocolate, vanilla, and pumpkin, these thick logs of creamy fudge are covered in a layer of crunchy pecans. The vanilla and chocolate live up to Van Otis’ standards of making the best quality fudge. The pumpkin is my personal favorite. The creamy pumpkin fudge has the perfect amount of pumpkin spice, which compliments well with the nutty exterior.

I highly suspect Thanksgiving guests may be asking for another slice of log rather than another slice of pie.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dip You'll Fall For

Here’s an easy recipe for a fall-inspired dip that’s great served with apples, Bosc pears, a spoon, or your index finger.

Cream cheese spread is recommended for easier dipping. Caramel dip can typically be found in the produce section, especially during apple harvest season.

Van Otis Almond Butter Crunch is toffee candy dipped in gourmet milk chocolate and rolled in almond bits. The candy comes in a traditional size when purchased in a box or at the retail candy counter. It is also available in a larger size from the prepackaged Temptations line.

The amount of candy used is really dependent on individual taste. You won’t ruin the recipe by adding too much Van Otis Almond Butter Crunch.

One 8 oz. container of cream cheese spread
1/2-3/4 cup of caramel dip
2-3 Van Otis Almond Butter Crunch candies, crushed
Apples and/or Bosc pears, sliced for dipping

Spread cream cheese in the bottom of a shallow serving dish. Cover the cream cheese layer by drizzling on approximately 1/2-3/4 cup of caramel dip. Sprinkle crushed Van Otis Almond Butter Crunch on top of the caramel layer.

Serve immediately with apples and/or Bosc pears for dipping.

Change is in the Air

Leaf colors aren’t the only things changing this fall. Van Otis announced some exciting new changes to their team and website that don’t require a rake or a plastic bag. Change is good.

In September, Van Otis Chocolates welcomed Chocolatier Jack Michael Pisciotta to the Van Otis family. Jack Michael comes to Van Otis with nine years of classical training and experience as a Swiss chocolatier at Andre’s Confiserie Suisse in Kansas City, including an apprenticeship under Master Swiss Chocolatier Marcel Bollier.

“We look forward to Jack Michael’s confectionary artistry and his capable influence in maintaining Van Otis as the premier destination for New Hampshire’s best chocolate,” Marc Amiet, owner.

Patrons were eligible to win a Jack Michael creation at Van Otis’ first annual Trick-or-Treat Night held on October 29th.

Pictures from the event can be found on Van Otis Chocolates’
Facebook page.

In October, the new Van Otis website and online store was launched at the same web address,

Altos Marketing Group, a Bedford, New Hampshire company, developed a website providing a rewarding online experience to Van Otis customers. Online customers now enjoy streamlined access to Van Otis products, information, specials, and current events. Improved navigation expedites ordering favorite Van Otis treats.