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Drinking Lake Champlain Chocolates Hot Chocolate at Stowe

The weather reports for our Vermont ski resorts are bringing in nothing but good news: Killington had 18 inches of fresh powder as of Thursday morning, and Stowe and Sugarbush both report a good foot so far, with more to come. But hitting the slopes (and the pow) can be tiring, and when you are in need of sustenance, there is no substitute for a good bite of chocolate. Here are some chocolates that always make a good mountainside snack:

1. Chocolate coins: The perfect size to take out while waiting in line for the lift, I never go skiing without filling my pocket with a handful of these. They also make you very popular with your friends when you share!

2. Granola five star bars: the best part about these candy bars is that they contain our home-made granola blend, complete with almonds and cranberries. So even though they are covered in a sumptuous dark chocolate, you can still argue that you are having a healthy snack (particularly since dark chocolate is good for you!)

3. A thermos of our hot chocolate: I used to go skiing with a (British) friend of mine, who would whip out a thermos of hot tea whenever we were on a particularly long lift. This was great, but even better would have been a thermos full of hot chocolate! Why not start the tradition with your skiing group?

Whatever you are planning on doing this weekend, make sure to bring some chocolate along. It always makes an adventure more fun (and tasty!)


How Big, Really, is Our Giant Easter Bunny?

Posted on February 26, 2013 10:00 AM by Caitlin

Lake Champlain Chocolates Giant Chocolate Easter BunnyEaster is coming up quickly, and nothing celebrates Easter better than our giant Easter Bunny, affectionately called Mr. Goodtime Bunny, who is made with over three pounds of chocolate. In fact, when the chocolate is poured into the molds to make him, the molds have to be left for several hours before he dries. But, without seeing one in person and picking one up, it’s hard to conceptualize exactly how much he weighs or just how big he is. To give you a better idea, we've come up with a list of things that weigh the same as our Mr. Goodtime Bunny:

  1. An average broiler chicken – think of all the leftovers you have when you roast a chicken for your family, and convert that in your mind to chocolate.
  2. 590 pennies – If you have 590 pennies in a jar somewhere, you’ll know that it is not an insignificant weight!
  3. A human brain – yes, Mr. Goodtime Bunny weighs the same as an average human brain, but unless you have the taste preferences of a zombie, he is much more delicious!
  4. Half a gallon of milk – our giant Easter bunny is made with milk chocolate, so if you remove the chocolate and sugar, and keep the weight the same, you would end up with half a gallon of milk.
  5. An Ostrich Egg – just like the one our Easter Bunny is holding, except from an Ostrich.
  6. Three Guinea Pigs – Not one, not two, but three guinea pigs weigh the same as our bunny (who probably causes less damage, although he may not be quite as soft to pet.)
  7. A dozen filled donuts – as delicious as filled donuts are, they cannot compare to joy of making your way through over three pounds of Belgian chocolate.
  8. And here’s a bonus: Our huge Easter Bunny is 16 ¼ inches tall, which is approximately the same length as an average newborn baby.

So get one while it lasts, and when you pick it up, remember to bend with your knees, not with your back!


Almond Butter Crunch: How It's Made

Posted on February 20, 2013 11:18 AM by Caitlin

Finished Lake Champlain Chocolates Almond Butter Crunch Mixing Toffee

Lake Champlain Chocolates began by creating truffles by hand out of the back of a restaurant. Now, thirty years later, we still craft many of our confections by hand. One of these chocolate candies is our Almond Butter Crunch, an English-style crunchy toffee filled with almond pieces, and covered in milk chocolate. Here is how it is made:

Pouring Almond Butter Crunch mixture

1. The toffee is cooked up in our large copper kettles. Using a blend of sugar, butter and evaporated milk, our cooks create a delicious gooey and sticky mixture. They add roasted almond pieces to this mix for the final touch.

Spreading warm toffee

2. This mixture is poured out onto our cooling table, where it is spread by hand into an even layer and left to cool.

Cutting Toffee in the Chocolate Factory

3. Lines are indented into the mixture to create pieces. Once the mixture has cooled and begun to set, it is indented into squares using a rolling cutter.

4. The toffee is left to harden: this takes several hours. When completely cool, the mixture becomes a crunchy toffee. If it is left out too long, it will begin to get sticky, so there is a specific window during which we need to work with it.

Chocolate Factory Workers Snap Toffee

5. Our factory team snap the toffee into pieces along the indented lines.

6. The morsels are sent through our "enrober": The enrober is possibly the coolest machine we have in our factory. Also known as a "chocolate waterfall," the three-inch-high curtain of liquid chocolate will coat anything that goes through it in a layer of chocolate. (You can see it coating our Sea Salt Caramels here.)

sprinkling almonds on toffee7. We top the chocolate-covered toffee with almonds that we have crushed ourselves: each piece of Almond Butter Crunch is sprinkled with almonds which are then patted down into the chocolate with a spatula.

Lake Champlain Chocolates Almond Butter CrunchSo now you know our secret. If you're ever near our Burlington factory, stop by for a visit, take a factory tour, and see our confections being made in person! In the meantime, feel free to buy our Almond Butter Crunch through our website.


Chocolate NonPareils from Lake Champlain Chocolates

There are all sorts of love, from the romantic kind to the familial type, and you should celebrate every kind of love on Valentine’s Day. So why not make sure you get something for your best friend? If you’re thinking that it can be a little odd to send a friend a red heart-shaped box of chocolates with romantic phrases written on the top, don’t worry, there are plenty of things that can carry the idea of a valued friendship without the romance.

For instance, getting something sharable is a great idea; not only do you get to partake in the treat, but you can throw in a DVD, and a pack of microwave popcorn and call it a ready-to-go night in with the gals or guys! For chocolate, try our nonpareils or some chocolate covered nuts. For movies, think Wayne’s World or Thelma and Louise, or, if you want to suggest something that might be in the works, When Harry Met Sally.

Whatever you choose, good chocolate will always be an integral part of the final package!


Our Director of Marketing, Cathy Wisloski, was on WCAX last night, talking about pairing our chocolate with local wine from Shelburne Vineyard. Watch the clip below for some great pairing notes, and read more about the pairings she mentions:

1. Lake View White with our Crème Fraîche Truffle: This wine has a light crisp flavor profile, with a little acidity and a little sweetness. The crème fraiche folded into our smooth milk chocolate in this truffle means there is a slight tartness to its flavor. Together, the sweet crispness in the wine offsets the tanginess in the truffle, creating that elusive, third flavor that only the perfect pairing can produce.

2. Louise Swenson with our Bergamont and Tea infused truffle: The astringency of the tea in this truffle is blended with the richness of the chocolate. Together, the chocolate highlights the fruitiness of the wine, and the wine lifts out the orange spice in the truffle.

3. Duet Ice Wine with our Caramelized almonds: In this pairing, the rich, luscious, thick body, of the wine is complemented by the buttery, rich flavor of the caramelized almonds. Together, the nuttiness in the almonds and the hints of apricot in the wine combine to create an incredible desert pairing

4. Vermont Marquette with our 70% dark Peru Chocolate: The Peruvian origin of the beans in this dark chocolate means it contain deep cherry notes, and these help to bring out the subtle spiciness of the Vermont Marquette, which is rich in a deep red fruit flavor.

Is all this talk making your mouth water? Come Visit Us at Shelburne Vineyard this Saturday, February 9, from 11 am to 5pm, to try it for yourself!


What to get your kids for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is a time to show how much you care for those around you, and that includes all of the members of your family, even the little ones. Fortunately, we have the perfect gift for the children in your life. We have put together a fun little child-friendly box of chocolates. With six chocolate candies, all of which are milk chocolate, you can be sure the young ones will enjoy each piece.

Frog Coloring Page Image

But why stop at chocolate? We’ve created a coloring page based on the box top, which you can download here. Complete the set with a box of crayons, and you have a winning combination!

As an alternative to the box of frog-chocolates, or maybe in addition to it, you could also pick up one of our Chocolate Frogs. Kissing him might not turn him into a prince, but it will certainly taste good!

Whatever chocolate you chose, a little chocolate and a little coloring are sure to go hand in hand for your kids.

Download the Frog Coloring Page

Download the Chocolate Box Coloring Page


Free Chocolate at Stowe!

Posted on January 29, 2013 3:27 PM by Caitlin
Stowe Ice Carving Competition

Thanks to our beautiful store in Waterbury, just down Route 100 from Stowe, we are the official chocolates of Stowe Mountain Resort. This weekend was a big one for the resort, as they were part of Stowe’s Winter Carnival, and on Saturday they hosted their annual Ice Sculpture Competition.

With only a few hours to create art out of frozen water, it was amazing to see these carvers work. Chainsaws, hand tools and rags were all used to create beautiful finished sculptures.

Free Chocolate for Everyone

All of this was great fun to watch, but with temperatures in the teens and an added wind-chill factor, we knew we had to help keep the crowds warm and happy. My mother always had chocolate in her pocket when we went skiing, and we passed along the tradition this Saturday, handing out free chocolate squares to adults and children alike.

Five Star Bar Sticker

If you missed us this past weekend, don’t worry – we’ll be back for more fun at the s’mores pit on February 16. In the meantime, look out for our 5 Star Sticker. It’s an awesome sticker to slap on a helmet or boot bag, but it’s even more awesome when you realize that it’s good for a free Five Star Bar, redeemable at our Waterbury location! Stowe staff will be handing them out if you look like you’re having a five star day, and you can always come and ask us for one at the s’mores pit!

Happy Winter! We hope to catch you (with some chocolate) on the slopes!


Might it be fair to say that traditionally it has been men who buy chocolate for women? Let’s think about that – does it have to be so? Are we implying that chocolate is inherently feminine? Now let’s change those stereotypes and start to think about what types of gifts us ladies can get for our husbands and boyfriends.

If chocolate is associated with women, beer is more often associated with men. When we put the two together, we create the kind of perfection you have your heart set on for Valentine’s Day. Fortunately, we have a page of our website dedicated to beer and chocolate pairing. You can also find more pairing options listed in other blog articles. Buying a gorgeous bottle of specialty ale and a nice box of chocolates is a great way to play to both sides of Valentine’s Day, and who knows, he might even share! In addition to the ones listed in the links above, here are a few more pairing ideas:

Peak Organic Ale and Chocolate Caramel Hearts

A New England Organic favorite, Peak Organic Nut Brown Ale, is widely available and has a light smooth and nutty flavor with hints of caramel and toasted malt. For Valentine’s Day, give him a bag of our Caramel Hearts to go along with it. The caramel tones in the beer itself along with its slightly sweet aftertaste complement the hearts well, and the lightness of the beer will stop it from overpowering the milk chocolate covering on these hearts.

Hobgoblin Beer and Spicy Chocolate

Stepping further afield to a foreign land, try Wychwood’s Hobgoblin, a British Beer and a great example of an ESB (Extra Strong/Special Bigger.) This dark, roasty beer has aromas of toffee and chocolate with a buttery finish. Package it along with our 5-piece truffle box and see how well the smooth ganache in the dark chocolate truffles works with the beer!

Wine and Chocolate

But it isn’t all about beer: you might want to heat up your evening with an organic spicy Aztec chocolate bar. To top off your gift, give him a few of those bars along with a nice bottle of red zinfandel, perhaps from the Ridge Lytton Springs or Geyserville. The 55% chocolate rounds out the acidity in these wines and counterbalances the tannins, while the pumpkin seeds enhance the wine’s roastiness and the cayenne spice in the chocolate balances the wine's fruity tones.

WhistlePig Whiskey and Chocolate Truffles

Finally, our newest style of truffle, the revel, features the Vermont-made WhistlePig Whiskey in one of the chocolates included. Get your guy a bottle of this fine rye whiskey (which has earned the highest marks from whiskey aficionados around the world) along with our chocolates. What could be more manly and yet more seductive?

The choice is yours, but whatever you decide to get your husband, boyfriend or good guy friend (with maybe the potential for more), don’t be intimidated by tradition.


Lake Champlain Chocolates Smores at Stowe!

Posted on January 14, 2013 3:43 PM by Caitlin

Having hot chocolate after a long day of sledding is a tradition, but wouldn't it also hit the spot after a long day of skiing, particularly at Stowe?

Lake Champlain Chocolates At Stowe Make Smores with Lake Champlain Chocolates

Of course! Fortunately you won't have to go without a cup hot chocolate any weekend that you ski at Stowe. In fact, every weekend from 2-4pm, free hot chocolate is paired with s'mores at Stowe's very own fire pit. Even, better, this happy event is sponsored by Lake Champlain Chocolates on certain special weekends throughout the season.

We just recently hosted our first s'mores event of the year, and what a success it was! Our Traditional Hot Chocolate earned high accolades from the tasters at the event -- both parents and children alike -- and if you think a s'more is good with standard chocolate, try making one with Lake Champlain's gourmet milk chocolate!

Hot Chocolate at Stowe

All in all, our first event was a snowy, sticky, sweet success, and we hope to see you there again this Saturday, on January 19th for some more free hot chocolate and s'mores.


The Twelve Chocolates of Christmas

Posted on December 21, 2012 11:41 AM by Caitlin
Grand Holiday Chocolate Basket

Who said Christmas Chocolate could only be given out on the 25th? There are twelve days of Christmas, and twelve chocolates we have specifically chosen below (mostly because they fit the original song pretty well)! Be sure to sing along...

On the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
And an 11 piece truffle spruce tree!

On the second day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Two nonpareils,
And an 11 piece truffle spruce tree!

On the third day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Three Cocoa Tins,
Two nonpareils,
And an 11 piece truffle spruce tree!

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Four orange peels,
Three Cocoa Tins,
Two nonpareils,
And an 11 piece truffle spruce tree!

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Five five Star Bars,
Four orange peels,
Three Cocoa Tins,
Two nonpareils,
And an 11 piece truffle spruce tree!

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Six maple crunches,
Five five Star Bars,
Four orange peels,
Three Cocoa Tins,
Two nonpareils,
And an 11 piece truffle spruce tree!

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Seven sea salt caramels,
Six maple crunches,
Five five Star Bars,
Four orange peels,
Three Cocoa Tins,
Two nonpareils,
And an 11 piece truffle spruce tree!

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eight chocolate snowmen,
Seven sea salt caramels,
Six maple crunches,
Five five Star Bars,
Four orange peels,
Three Cocoa Tins,
Two nonpareils,
And an 11 piece truffle spruce tree!

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Nine chocolate truffles,
Eight chocolate snowmen,
Seven sea salt caramels,
Six maple crunches,
Five five Star Bars,
Four orange peels,
Three Cocoa Tins,
Two nonpareils,
And an 11 piece truffle spruce tree!

On the tenth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Ten mint crunch coins,
Nine chocolate truffles,
Eight chocolate snowmen,
Seven sea salt caramels,
Six maple crunches,
Five five Star Bars,
Four orange peels,
Three Cocoa Tins,
Two nonpareils,
And an 11 piece truffle spruce tree!

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eleven chocolate revels,
Ten mint crunch coins,
Nine chocolate truffles,
Eight chocolate snowmen,
Seven sea salt caramels,
Six maple crunches,
Five five Star Bars,
Four orange peels,
Three Cocoa Tins,
Two nonpareils,
And an 11 piece truffle spruce tree!

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve Giant Santas,
Eleven chocolate revels,
Ten mint crunch coins,
Nine chocolate truffles,
Eight chocolate snowmen,
Seven sea salt caramels,
Six maple crunches,
Five five Star Bars,
Four orange peels,
Three Cocoa Tins,
Two nonpareils,
And an 11 piece truffle spruce tree!