Whether it’s rich, decadent fudge, or the sweet-salty combo of artisan salted caramels, there’s someone in the Portland area who makes your favorite candy with pride, and often with local ingredients. Check out some of our favorite artisan candy makers below for sweet gifts for the holidays or for nibbling with your family.
photo: Back to Eden Bakery almond butter fudge by Ziyan C. via Yelp
Back to Eden: Nut Butter Fudge
Even dairy-free and gluten-free eaters can enjoy nut butter fudge from Back to Eden Bakery. This vegan fudge is silky smooth, dense, and intensely flavored with almonds or peanuts. Just because it’s missing butter doesn’t mean it isn’t decadent. Make an order 48 hours in advance if you want to make sure fudge or truffles will be available you drop by the store.
2217 NE Alberta St.
Brigittine Monks: Hazelnut Fudge Royale
Some of the best fudge you can find in the area isn’t made by upstart tattooed hipsters. It’s made by monks. Yes, monks! The Brigittine Monks pay their bills by making velvety and delicious fudge out of their monastery, an hour South of Portland in Amity. If you’re in that area, you can stop by for a taste during open store hours. Locally, you can find this heavenly fudge at Made in Oregon Stores. Try the Hazelnut Fudge Royale for a true taste of local Oregon.
Priory of Our Lady of Consolation
23300 Walker Ln.
Made in Oregon
photo: courtesy of QUIN
Drop by the oh-so-happening and modern Union Way shopping arcade to pick up some high-end QUIN caramels, made with Jacobsen sea salt. For a more grownup taste, try the Smith Tea Lord Bergamot Caramels. QUIN also makes marshmallows, lollipops, and “twizzlie rolls” with chocolate and Water Avenue Coffee. These aren’t your average, everyday treats, but impressive holiday gifts or a once-in-a-while splurge. In addition to the retail shop in Union Way, you can find these treats at an array of specialty shops in town, including New Seasons Markets.
1022 W Burnside St.
photo: Honey Bar courtesy of Bees and Beans
Bees and Beans: Honey Bar
Bees and Beans makes fancy candy bars with simple local ingredients, like the popular Honey Bar made with Wessel’s Honey from Forest Grove. This bar balances flavor (sweet, salty, bitter 70% dark chocolate) and texture (smooth caramel, salted hazelnut nougat) for a satisfying and toothsome bite. While the Honey Bar is popular, it just doesn’t get any more Portland than Bees and Bean’s Malt Bar, inspired by the “malt cloud” of the heady scent surrounding local breweries.
Bees and Beans bars can be found in a number of specialty shops, including Food Front, Pastaworks, Cheese Bar, Ruby Jewel, and QUIN. Or, stop by New American to visit their new retail outlet.
2103 N. Killingsworth St.
photo: courtesy of Xocolatl de David
Xocolatl de David: Raleigh Bar
The Raleigh Bar, created for Pine State Biscuits, is made up of nougat, caramel, and nuts coated in chocolate. This being Portland, you can also get a version with bacon caramel. Xocolat (pronounced sho-KO-lah-tuhl) also makes irresistible salted caramel sauce by the jar, made with local cream and butter.
Products can be purchased at Cacao, The Meadow, Cheese Bar, Foster & Dobbs, Pine State Biscuits, Salt & Straw, and Meat Cheese Bread. See website for all retail outlets.
What’s your favorite local confection? Spill the jelly beans in the comments!
— Kelley Gardiner