HAND-CRAFTED SWEETS: Ashlee’s Sweet Creations Artisan Gourmet Chocolates
-by Ted Scheffler
Is there anybody who doesn’t like chocolate? If so, I haven’t met them. And even if you think you don’t like chocolate, my guess is that you’ve never tried chocolates from Ashlee’s Sweet Creations.
Named for owner Ashlee Peterson, Ashlee’s Sweet Creations makes more than 60 unique and delicious flavors of Gourmet Artisan Chocolates, each and every one of which is painted by hand with colored organic cocoa butter, creating beautiful mini pieces of edible art that melt in the mouth. “My chocolates are guaranteed to be as pleasing to your mouth as they are your eyes!” says Peterson.
When asked how she produces these lovely chocolate morsels, Peterson says “I fill each colorful and ornate shell with mouthwatering ganache and caramel flavored with the best ingredients. I do not use flavorings or preservatives in my chocolates, so they taste very different (100 times better) than most of the other mass produced chocolates out there. They are European-style high-end gourmet chocolates.”
And boy, what a tantalizing array of flavors! Ashlee’s chocolates run the gamut from traditional favorites like Raspberry and Blueberry (made with real berries), Vanilla Bean and Pecan Turtles, to unique flavors like Mexican Hot Chocolate, Creme Brulee, Key Lime Pie, and to holiday flavors like Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Cranberry Orange Pecan. “Each one will truly blow your mind,” says Peterson, adding “ With my chocolates you will not need a flavor card to tell you what flavor you just ate. That is the difference. You will definitely know what flavor it is as my flavors taste exactly like the flavor they are supposed to be, unlike many other well known chocolates I have tasted.”
It’s hard to believe, as remarkable as these chocolates are, that this is a seasonal business for Peterson, who says “I am also the founder of my other company “Free-Spirited Faith.” I teach about the science of the mind and energy of creation in several online courses, which I used to teach as live multi-day workshops. I am a published author, speaker and creation coach. I wrote a couple books Healing from Heartbreak: 7 Spiritual keys to Healing from Heartbreak and Breaking the Pattern and How to Create Your Dreams: 7 Steps to Creating Your Dreams with P.L.A.Y.”
“As long as I can remember, I have been interested in high-end treats and quality chocolates,” says Peterson. “I am very picky about how I use my sugar calories, so I have always enjoyed creating my own quality treats. I have been experimenting with candy making since I was a kid. My dad nicknamed me ‘junk-food-junkie’ when I was growing up because I was always creating sweet concoctions in the kitchen. When I was 18, I moved to Alaska on an adventure and ended up working at a high quality chocolate factory. I fell in love! I decided I wanted to be a chocolatier and have my own Sweet Shoppe one day.”
In describing her marketplace niche, Peterson says “Although high-end chocolate is fairly common in Europe it is definitely still a novelty here in the States. Especially here in Utah, where it seems many people think of mass produced See’s Candies or Godiva chocolates when they think ‘high-end’ chocolate. Although Godiva carries the high-end price tag they definitely don’t carry the quality or fresh flavors.”
She continues, “The difference is my chocolates are made with real ingredients, this is why Key Lime actually tastes like Key Lime Pie; it is made with real lime juice and lime zest. My chocolates are not preservative-filled and therefore cannot just sit on a shelf for months like some other well known brands. Would you leave your fresh cream, fruit or jam sitting on the counter for months? Neither would I. These are real chocolates with real ingredients, so they don’t have a long shelf life. This is what makes the the flavors so intense and irresistible!”