Christmas sweets -- a dollar store taste test

What's the world's favorite sweet treat? In my book that's chocolate, and at this time of year, there's more and more of it appearing on store shelves everywhere, including dollar stores. A box of chocolates is always a good choice when you're not sure what to get someone or just to have on hand as an extra gift when unexpected visitors show up bearing presents.

Small boxes of chocolates or cookies also make great additions to gift baskets. For the last three years, I have been adding 3.60 oz. boxes of chocolate-covered cookies to gifts and, having taste-tested them myself, can truthfully say that they're yummy. The box says they're imported but doesn't say where they're imported from, however, I've never had any problem with them. As a bonus, although they look like a more expensive cookie because , they're only a buck a box.

If you read the fine print on the back of the 4.97 oz. box of cherry chocolates, you'll find that they were made for Tootsie Roll in the U.S. I gave the box to the cherry chocolate lover in the house, my husband, John and he gave them his stamp of approval. I sampled one myself and I would say that, while they're not as tasty as the name-brands, they are very good, with a whole cherry in the middle and lots of runny filling. The box of ten chocolates cost $2 at Dollarama.

The soft truffle sea shells were tasty enough that I couldn't stop eating them. These are imported from the UK and cost $2 for a 5.29 oz. box. Not shown and not tasted, is a 5.29 oz. box of "luxury flaked truffles" from Belgium. I can say that any dollar store chocolate I've ever had from Belgium has always been very tasty.

I really like the tins embossed with Christmas characters like reindeer and snowmen that contain chocolate chip cookies or fudge. They make great stocking stuffers or basket fillers. The cookie tin is 1.75 oz. and there is 1 oz. of fudge in the square tin. The fudge isn't as rich as some I've tasted, but soft and good-tasting nevertheless. The 4" cookie is the better value as there is only about 2" of fudge is the 5 1/2" tin. Both the cookies and the fudge are made by the same company in New Hampshire and only cost $1 each.

There are lots of brand name treats to choose from in the dollar store, as well, including individual sizes of Hersey's candy cane kisses and chocolate-covered marshmallow trees and snowmen. The boxed chocolates and cookies I bought all have expiration dates stamped on the boxes, so be sure to check to make sure the product your buying is fresh, especially if it's going to end up in a gift basket.

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes ideas and tips for home decorating using only items from the dollar store. Marlene is also the author of Christmas - Dollar Store Style, an e-book that shows you how to decorate, entertain and create beautiful gifts using only items from the dollar store.
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