Posts Tagged ‘Bakery’

???????????????????????????????Learn more about Decadent Creations here.

What I Think:

While shopping at my local New Seasons Market, I found this cute little box of macarons on the bakery shelf.  The packaging was almost as alluring as the contents:  the box is a pretty French blue, and it’s been wrapped in twine.  Really cute with a very French sort of appeal to it.

It didn’t take me long to start in on these treats.  I could think of little else on the way home except those macarons in the grocery bag!  I did take a moment to read the label and I found that Decadent Creations is a local bakery in Beaverton, Oregon.  I like supporting local businesses, so I felt even better about this purchase.  (I always feel a little guilty when I buy treats for myself, and knowing that I’m supporting a local business … lessens the guilt just a little bit.)

The macarons are delicately crisp on the outside and light and airy on the inside.  The creamy filling adds the right amount of decadent sweetness.  These seem to just melt in my mouth.  So delicious and … yes … decadent.  They named their bakery appropriately!

???????????????????????????????There were three flavors in this box:  2 pistachio macarons, 2 lemon lavender macarons and 1 salted caramel.  The pistachio macarons were very sweet and it was a little difficult to discern the nutty pistachio flavor through all the sweetness until the finish, then the pistachio nuttiness came through.  The pistachio macarons were good … but my least favorite of the three.

The lemon lavender macarons were delightful!  The lemon comes through prominently as soon as I bite into the crackly crisp shell of the macaron, and the lavender pops through as I continue to eat and allow the flavors to move across the palate.  I like that the lavender is delicate here.  It’s just the right amount of lavender to add a hint of sweet, floral contrast to the tangy lemon notes … but not so much to overpower the confection and give it a soapy taste.

The salted caramel macaron was by far my favorite.  Oh my goodness.  Perfection!  The caramel is sweet and creamy and luscious, and there is just the right touch of salt to cut through that sweetness to keep it from becoming cloying.  I only got one Salted caramel macaron in my box of five macarons, and I found myself wishing that all five of them were the salted caramel!  They’re so good!

My Final Thoughts:

These were delicious.  At $6.99 for a box of five, they’re a little spendy, but, macarons ARE a little difficult to find and when you do find them … the price I paid is comparable for what I’d pay elsewhere.  These were a little bit of heaven.

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Product Information:

Stacy’s Bake Shop Bakery Crisps are made from bread that is twice baked to create a flavorful, crispy snack.

Bake Shop Bakery Crisps can be enjoyed by themselves or with dips and toppings to accompany any snacking occasion. These versatile snacks are appropriate throughout the day, whether as a mid-morning snack with coffee or an end-of-day treat.

Learn more about these Bakery Crisps here.

Tea Suggestion:

These Vanilla Pound Cake Bakery Crisps make a really, REALLY great tea time snack.  I enjoyed them with a chai latte that I made using this Strong Brew Chai Concentrate from Chico Chai.  Delicious – and I liked how the vanilla notes of the crisps brought out the vanilla notes in the chai!

What I Think:

???????????????????????????????This product has been catching my eye lately in the grocery store, and when one of the grocery stores offered a dollar off coupon, I decided that I’d try them.

Basically, they’re like a snack cracker/cookie that has been made by thinly slicing bread and then baking them until they’re crisp.  They come in several different intriguing flavors – two sweeter varieties:  this Vanilla Pound Cake and also Banana Nut Bread (I got a box of this flavor too, so I’ll be reviewing it at a later time), and two varieties that are on the savory side:  Herbed Baguette and Pretzel Bread.  The store where I purchased these two boxes only had the two sweeter crisps, so, those were what I grabbed … but I think even if all four were offered, I would have definitely grabbed a box of this Vanilla Pound Cake.  It just sounded too yummy.

And these are really tasty.  They are crunchy and sweet, reminiscent of a butter shortbread cookie, but a little sweeter.  I really like the texture, because in addition to the crunchy … there is this fine … buttery texture to it that evokes thoughts of … well, of a rich, buttery pound cake.

My Final Thoughts:

I really like these.  They make a great tea time treat.  I also served some of these to my youngest daughter and her best friend and they both really enjoyed them. I can definitely see myself buying these again … and again!

smorecookie

Photo from Knoshbox
Click on the pic to go there

Product Description:

These all-in-one s’more cookies are hand made by S’more Bakery of New York City. Semisweet chocolate chunks, handmade vanilla bean marshmallows and rolled oats come together to create a delicious thin and crispy cookie.

Made with unbleached all purpose flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, eggs, old fashioned oats, unsalted butter, pure vanilla extract. Due to the delicate nature of these crispy cookies, some breakage may occur during shipping.

I received this S’more Cookie in my July Knoshbox!

Tea Suggestion:

When I grabbed this S’more Cookie, I was already sipping on a Chai Latte!  I made a rich, delicious Chai with this Strong Brew Chai concentrate from Chico Chai!  I am sure I could have found a more suitable pairing in my cupboard, but I love this chai, and the cookie was delicious with it. YUM!

What I Think:

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My cookies out of the package …
broken and crumbly … but still yummy!

I was a bit disappointed when I opened my July Knoshbox and found this cookie broken into bits with quite a few tiny crumbs at the bottom of the package.  I know that the cookie tastes the same whether it’s broken or whole … but let’s face it, if presented with a platter of cookies, most of the time you’re likely to choose a whole cookie rather than a broken one, am I right?  Whole cookies are more fun to eat.  That’s my story and i’m sticking to it.

Before reading the above product description and before opening the package, I expected that this would be a thick, soft cookie, but it isn’t.  This is a thin, sort of crispy cookie.  I say “sort of” because even though it’s been baked to be crisp, the chewy marshmallow-y aspect of the S’more cookie gives it a compelling chewy texture.  The so it is crisp when you bite into it, and then it becomes chewy as you chew.

These are actually quite tasty.  They are chocolate-y and I can taste the oats, and I like the cocoa and oats combination.  On the rare occasion that I bake oatmeal cookies, I usually prefer chocolate chips to raisins, so the chocolate and oats combination is a welcome pairing.  The marshmallow is not so much “tasted” as it is experienced in the cookie.  The aforementioned chewiness gives this treat a very intriguing texture.  There is also a LOT of butter in this cookie.  Not complaining about that … I like a buttery cookie.

My Final Thoughts:

This is not so much a s’more taste to me as it is a chocolate and oat cookie, so therefore I feel like these cookies suffer from a bit of a misnomer.  People who might buy this thinking they’re going to be eating a s’more are in for a bit of a surprise.  I expected more of a s’more-like taste but it is still really delicious and something that I’d be happy to eat again.

In my last article about the Baconery Sampler Pack, I talked about the cookies that were in the sampler pack.  Now, I’m going to talk about the “Rest” … the other items that were in the sampler pack:  The  Bacon Brownie, the Maple Bacon Blondie, and the Bacon Marshmallow Bars.

baconery

Click on the logo to go to baconery.com

What I Think:

Of these three remaining goodies in the Baconery Sampler Pack, my favorite of the three is definitely the maple bacon blondie, and I can’t tell you how much it pains me – as a chocoholic – to say that.   It almost feels blasphemous.  But, somehow, this dense treat captured the flavor of the bacon perfectly.  I could taste the maple and the salty bacon.  This blondie makes the whole sampler pack worthwhile!  If I ever DO become a repeat customer of the Baconery, the Maple Bacon Blondie is the first thing going into my cart!

The Bacon Brownie was more chocolate-y fudge Brownie than it was bacon.  Every other bite or so, I’d discover some bacon, and it added a chewy texture and certainly some bacon-y taste to the bite, but again, I find myself wanting more from something called “Bacon Brownie.”  Even though I’d get some of that chewy texture, I didn’t get a strong bacon flavor along with it.  I do really like it when I find the bacon, and I love the flavor it adds to the brownie.  I’m just wishing there was more of the bacon flavor.

On the plus side, these brownies are fairly decent sized – they look as though they baked in their own, small individual pan and I like that because it means more of those slightly crispy edges.  The brownies are nice and fudge-y in the middle, but not the dense, moist kind of fudge-y… more like a moist, fudge-y cake-like brownie.  The same is true of the blondies, these were baked in the same, small, individual pan.

The marshmallow treats were more of a chocolate-y marshmallow treat, and less of a bacon-y one.  Sure, it was delicious, but, I think that the flavor of the bacon got a little lost amid the flavor of the marshmallow and the rice cereal and the chocolate.  These three flavors reigned which left very little room for the bacon flavor to shine through.  Again, a tasty treat, but this isn’t going to be one that I’d be willing to pay the hefty price of shipping that Baconery charges to get more.

My Final Thoughts:

I think that my experiences with the ‘rest’ of the Sampler Pack were better than with the cookies, if for no other reason than the fact that these treats tasted fresher than the cookies did, and I absolutely loved the Maple Bacon Blondie.  My favorite treat of them all, and probably redeemed the Sampler Pack somewhat to me.  Next time (if there is a next time!) I will forgo the Sampler all together in favor of a six pack of the blondies.  And I must admit, I am a wee bit tempted by the Bacon Pecan Pie.  Does that sound amazing or what?

Yay!  I love it when my foodie tasting boxes arrive!  It’s almost as wonderful and amazing as when I get tea in the mail.  Almost, but not quite.  Tea still wins out over food!

Please excuse the orange-ness of my photo. I’m terrible at taking pictures and the lighting here was not great. On the other hand, it IS November … autumn. Maybe I’m just making an artistic statement about the season …

The theme of this month’s Knoshbox is “Bourbon Box” which got me excited!   Foodzie  – before it became Joyus … a transition which lead me to seek out new tasting boxes, which lead me to discover Knoshbox, and I’m so much happier with Knoshbox than I was with Foodzie! – anyway, Foodzie had a Bacon and Bourbon box about a year or so ago, and I loved it.  I’m not so keen on Bourbon (I drink tea, and am not a big fan of alcohol … I’m a tea-totaler!  hahaha!), but, I did love the bourbon products that were in that Bacon and Bourbon box, so, I am keeping an open mind and a hungry stomach (that sounds kind of Iron Chef-ish, doesn’t it?) to the possibilities of this box.

But what excites me more than the theme of this box, is the items it includes.  First, there’s the handmade marshmallows from 240Sweet … Bourbon Sugar Bourbon Marshmallows!  For those of you who haven’t read many of my reviews on this blog, 240Sweet are my #1 choice when it comes to marshmallows, because they’re AWESOME!   And I love that Knoshbox decided to include them in this box.  It makes me love Knoshbox all the more!

Also in this box are Bourbon infused brownies!  Yes, you read that correctly:  Bourbon infused brownies from Cacao Sweets & Treats.  Then there is a jar of Fat Toad Farm caramel (Bourbon infused caramel!) and Bourbon Salted Pecan pancake mix from Southern Culture.

Yes, this is an amazing box … and I’m excited to try each and every item.

Now, Knoshbox, you know I love you, right?  How about a tea time box?  I’d be happy to serve as a consult on that box, if you want.

On the afternoon of April 17, aka Tax Day, my husband and I took a short drive to Tigard, Oregon to visit PF Chang’s which is located in the Bridgeport Village Mall.  (My review of our visit to PF Chang’s will be published soon!)  After lunch, we walked across the way to visit Sweetest Thing Cupcakes because … well, I Love Cupcakes

Location:  7413 SW Bridgeport Village Road, Tigard, Oregon

Order:  2 cupcakes – Lady in Red ($2.50) from their Daily Menu and Turtle Cheesecake ($2.75) from their Tuesday/Saturday Special Menu.  Also, I ordered a cake pop ($2.25) for my youngest daughter.  Since the cake pop actually managed to arrive intact to my daughter (I didn’t even sneak a bite!), I can only tell you what she thought of it, which was “It was good.”  When I attempted to get more details, I was told “I don’t know!  It just tasted good.”  She’s ten… but, somehow she’s already managed to get the attitude of a teen-ager.

What I Think:

I haven’t had a lot of luck with Red Velvet cupcakes, but, I’ve really WANTED to like them.  They’re so popular, it seems, and it would also seem that every cupcake bakery has a Red Velvet cupcake.  But to be honest, I’ve never really understood it.  I never really got it.  Red Velvet, well… tasted just kind of… meh.  I love the frosting, which is typically a cream cheese frosting.  But, the cake part just never really made me jump up and down with excitement … and I felt like I should be jumping up and down with excitement with a red velvet cupcake because it’s basically a cupcake (like ’em) with a light chocolate flavor (um… LIKE chocolate, uh huh)… so then, why don’t I love red velvet more than I do?

Cupcakes on Display at Sweetest Thing: I chose the Lady in Red (top right) and the Turtle Cheesecake (Bottom Left)

Well, that all changed this evening when I tasted Sweetest Thing’s Lady In Red cupcake!  This cupcake is not “meh” … it is YUMMEH!

The cake is light and moist, and it had a red-brown color to it.  I could taste the chocolate, and yes, the chocoholic in me was kinda sorta saying … “hey, more chocolate please!”  but since I realize that red velvet is only lightly chocolate, I wasn’t upset by the light chocolate flavor here.  I was pleased by the balance of flavor, it didn’t taste too heavy or cloying.  It has a very palate pleasing taste with just the right amount of acidity to offset the sweet flavor of chocolate, and also the sweetness of the decadent cream cheese frosting.  To top this cute cupcake off there was a little flower on top, made of a paste of some sort.

After finishing this cupcake, I thought that there was no way the Turtle Cheesecake could top it and I saved that one for last because I knew I’d love it … so that is to say that I really LOVED the Lady in Red … and I can now happily say that I like red velvet cupcakes.

But, I quickly forgot about how stunning the Lady in Red was after my first bite of the Turtle Cheesecake cupcake.  Oh. My. Goodness!

I had cut this cupcake in half with the intention of sharing it with my husband.  But, as he was asking me how good it was, I had already started to bite into his half of the cupcake.  (Sorry my love!)  And I told him this:  “It is really good.  I would share it with you, but it’s too good to share, and I want it.”   So, I ate his half too.

And, I might feel guilty about that if it hadn’t tasted SO GOOD.  But, it did, so I don’t.

The cupcake was rich and moist and deeply chocolate.  It was filled with a deliciously creamy caramel filling, topped with a bit of cheesecake-like filling, and then frosted with a rich chocolate cream frosting, and topped with crunchy toasted pecans.

Seriously … that was one of the best cupcakes I’ve ever tasted in my life.  And my only regret is NOT that I didn’t share it, but that I didn’t buy more than just one of them.

My Final Thoughts:

I am very happy that I had the chance to visit Sweetest Thing, and I will be definitely be bugging my husband to return … hopefully next time on a Sunday, so that I can try their Breakfast in Bed and their Salted Caramel cupcakes.  And this time, I’ll remember to get my husband a cupcake or two, as well.

Sweetest Thing Cupcakes on Urbanspoon

Product Description:

Hand made and hand cut, these bring out the kid in all of us. Sweet delicate puffs, available in vanilla and peppermint. Great as a confection on their own, on top of hot chocolate, or a midnight snack.

Learn more about Rubicon Bakery on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

While marshmallows are typically thought of a topping for hot chocolate, I enjoyed these right out of the package with a fresh, hot cup of Masala Chai!  Which one?  Well, the Original Masala Chai from Yogic Chai that was featured in the Ski Lodge Cafe box, of course!  The soft, fluffy, vanilla-y flavor of the marshmallows seemed to bring out the warm spicy tones of the chai so wonderfully.  And… here’s a tip:  instead of making a chai latte, try pouring the freshly brewed chai right over a marshmallow and let it melt in there like you might with a cup of hot chocolate.  It’s a cup of creamy spiced deliciousness!

What I Think:

I can’t remember exactly when it was, but it wasn’t but a few years ago that I actually “discovered” homemade marshmallows.  Before that, marshmallows were those stale bits of cloyingly sweet stickiness that came in a plastic bag from the grocery store.  They made a good roasted marshmallow, mostly because they were so dense and sticky that they are able to adhere nicely to the end of a roasting stick.  But, really, other than for that occasional marshmallow roasting, I wouldn’t buy commercial marshmallows because they’d end up going even more stale before the bag was consumed.  They just weren’t all that good.

Then … I tried a homemade marshmallow.  I think I found my first package at Trader Joe’s.  And, let me tell you, I was in marshmallow heaven!  Since that time, I’ve had the opportunity to try many different homemade marshmallows, but it is one confection I of which I never tire!

These Vanilla Marshmallows from Rubicon Bakery are delicious.  They are sweet and fluffy, not heavy or cloyingly dense like commercially manufactured marshmallows.  When they melt in a cup of hot chocolate (or tea!) they impart a delightful creaminess without tasting too sweet.  And… when I eat one on its own, it’s like a soft, vanilla cloud!  However, I don’t recommend eating more than one, they tend to get a little too sweet after the first one.  But that just leaves more for later!

My Final Thoughts:

I am not going to say that these are the best marshmallows that I’ve tasted, because I’ve tasted quite a few homemade marshmallows that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and I don’t know that these were necessarily “the best.”  But they are VERY good!