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It appears only a couple of times during the year
It looks solid and menacing, but it really mostly sweet and salty
It brings temptation but also energy
When it arrives, the jerk that comes with it is most prized

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling! Did you create this riddle? - and if not, could you provide attribution? $\endgroup$ – puzzledPig Apr 3 '18 at 2:26
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The answer is perhaps

Caramel?

Because

1. "It appears only a couple of times during the year"
halloween, likely
2. "It looks solid and menacing, but it really mostly sweet and salty" it looks solid but is really chewy, and is generally salted
3. "It brings temptation but also energy"
Candy of any kind is associated with both of these
4. "When it arrives, the jerk that comes with it is most prized"
Being chewy is one of its large selling points.

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I believe this satisfies the criteria.

A piñata.

1

It is only used a few celebrations in the year.

2

It surely looks solid and menacing. It's filled with treats, both salty and sweet.

3

It beckons temptation and energy from those who will take a chance at hitting it and from those who will dive in to enjoy the filling.

4

The jerk of making contact with it brings great satisfaction, as do the prizes within.

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I'm going to guess that the answer is

King cake. The cake that has the plastic baby inside.

Clue one:

It appears only a couple of times during the year because it is used for different holidays. It appears at the end of the Christmas season in some places, and in other places it appears during the celebration of Mardi Gras.

Clue two:

The cake is certainly solid and can look menacing (especially because you run the risk of eating a hidden piece of plastic with every bite), but it is made of ingredients that are both sweet and salty. According to Wikipedia, common ingredients include: milk, butter, yeast, water, brown and white sugar, eggs, salt, nutmeg, flour and cinnamon.

Clue three:

It brings temptation, because instead of eating the cake normally, you want to rip apart the pieces of the cake to see if you are the lucky winner! But it also brings energy, first because there is a sense of excitement about being the one to have the baby, and second because there is the "sugar rush" that comes from eating cake.

Clue four:

When it arrives, the jerk that comes with it is most prized -- this either being the baby inside, or the one who has the baby in their cake, because they end up being the winner simply for being willing to eat a baby. What a jerk. :)

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I think it is

Candied Bacon (Jerky)

It appears only a couple of times during the year

It's a Christmas/Halloween treat

It looks solid and menacing, but it really mostly sweet and salty

It does look solid and menacing (seems hard/inedible at first sight), and it is really mostly sweet and salty

It brings temptation but also energy

Doesn't all candy? The sugar may be the "temptation", the bacon the "energy".

When it arrives, the jerk that comes with it is most prized

It often contains a "spicy seasoning mixture", a definition of "jerk", which is its most prized part.

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