Hungry yet? Feast on this: Heady Topper truffles. Don’t let the name scare you – this is a treat for any time of day. I had two before noon. Laughing Moon in Stowe made them especially for the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, held July 20 at Shelburne Farms.
Many Laughing Moon truffles skew to the darker side of chocolate, but these creamy milk chocolate orbs are subtly tinged with pleasant, muted hop and ale flavors, light and rich all at once.
Efforts to elicit reviews from the newsroom were mostly met with “mmmmm”s and satisfied smiles. Tom Kearney responded, “Very unbeerlike, thank goodness. And, after having one, I could go right back to work with no after-effects!”
These special-edition bonbons flew out the door, but the other 30-plus varieties of truffles, buttercreams and novelties such as buttercrunch and fudge may help ease the disappointment if you miss out. A recent visit found truffles of chipotle-cinnamon, red wine, Vermont Silo bourbon, basil and black pepper, smoked sea salt, and lavender chèvre, as well as more traditional flavors — orange, raspberry, mocha.
Laughing Moon is also branching out with a tasty new endeavor — maple cotton candy. We caught up with them on their front porch for an early voyage with the sugar-spinning wonder. The machine was a delightful Craigslist find, acquired two years ago, but hasn’t seen much action until now.
Owner Leigh Williams and her staff are happy to whip up a super-fresh batch of sweet maple sugar clouds for each customer. This deliciously Vermont take on cotton candy will delight maple lovers of all ages. If you’ve never had freshly made cotton candy before, or if it stirs sticky memories of saccharine blue-and-pink fair treats, prepare for an awesome experience.
The machine sends the heady maple scent spinning through the air, which is probably the best smell in the state (besides the aroma of freshly manured fields, if you’re that kind of Vermonter). Out of thin air appear gossamer strands of sugary goodness, wrapped skillfully around a stick and teased into a
lovely blond bouffant. The maple sugar comes from Butternut Mountain Farm in Morrisville, mixed in equal parts with cane sugar for perfect, fluffy results.
Another sweet new enterprise at Laughing Moon is “Vermont Sunshine,” a cruel temptation for anyone not wishing to shamefully eat 8 ounces of pure chocolate sauce with a spoon. This maple syrup-sweetened creamy concoction is designed for use as an accompaniment for ice cream, fruit, coffee or anything else you like. If you’ve ever been in Laughing Moon’s shop and breathed in the heavenly aroma of bubbling chocolate, cream and maple, that’s what this tastes like.
Williams said that this was only their fourth batch of the dreamy stuff, and Ben & Jerry’s had immediately pounced on the opportunity to sell it in their Waterbury store. Get it for $9.50 at the store or online … I dare you to stop at one spoonful.
Laughing Moon Chocolates is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and is located at 78 S. Main St. in Stowe village, next to Mac’s Market — simply follow the floating fairy-dust trails of maple cotton candy.
See the sugar spinner in action at bit.ly/LMCmaple.