Here at Food & Wine, we diligently sample hundreds of products throughout the year—from mind-blowingly spicy hot sauces to insert-obscure-meat-here jerky. From these taste tests. we pull those foods that most impress us with their uniqueness, that are perfectly executed and that we just can't stop snacking on. 2015 has been an especially good year for sweets, as makers around the country rethink nostalgic favorites with unusual pairings, hyper-local ingredients and global flavors. We’ve tasted, debated and tasted again to give you this: Our five favorite new sweets from 2015.
Salted Orange Wheat Beer Caramels
These creamy, orange-scented caramels from SunnysideLOCAL are made with a local wheat beer from Hanger 24 Brewery and a hint of salt. Hurry and order quickly: They only make these gorgeous caramels during the cold months. Also not to be missed: SunnysideLOCAL’s Blood Orange Bourbon Caramels. $8 for 4 oz.; sunnysidelocal.com
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Almond + Fennel 73% Cacao Bar
This unique bar from Antidote chocolate uses both raw and roasted cacao. The dark chocolate is flecked with crunchy almonds and toasty fennel seeds, and has a pleasant sweet-licorice note. $6.95 for 2.3 oz; antidotechoco.com