Posts Tagged ‘December’

coconutmint

Product Information:

What do you get when toasted coconut and mint are combined with organic 45 percent milk chocolate? A cool, sweet tropical breeze in chocolate form! This limited seasonal release is one of our favorite bars to enjoy during the holidays.

I received this chocolate bar in my December box from Knoshy.

Tea Suggestion:

I wanted to go with a pure, unflavored tea so that nothing would compete with the flavors of the bar.  And because this is milk chocolate, I thought that a black tea might be a bit too strong, so I opted for a creamy green tea like this Magical Mao Jian Green Tea from Teasenz.  The tea is light and crisp and doesn’t attempt to interfere with the delicious chocolate, coconut and mint flavors … instead, the light, buttery note seems to complement these notes.  Nice!

What I Think:

Oh my goodness … I love this chocolate bar.

I love chocolate.  That’s no big secret by now.  Usually I prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate … but, this is so good, and I think that the creaminess of the milk chocolate works in the confections favor.  The creaminess of the milk chocolate melds beautifully with the coconut.

And while I thought at first that coconut and mint were kind of a “weird” flavor combination, those thoughts vanished with my first bite.  Oh wow!  So good!

The coconut adds a delicious coconut-y flavor and texture.  The mint is cool and refreshing.  Together the mint, coconut and chocolate create the perfect marriage of flavors.

My Final Thoughts:

I am in love with this chocolate bar.

Chocolate Dipped Madeleine

Photo from the Donsuemor website.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Information:

Our soft, moist Traditional madeleines dipped in a chocolate coating. Savor the contrast in texture and taste. These beautiful madeleines are a decadent and harmonious treat.

I received one of these Madeleine cookies in my December Love with Food box!

Tea Suggestion:

I decided to enjoy a chai with this madeleine cookie, and the chai that I reached for today was this Coconut Chai Tea from Zhi Tea.  I liked how the creamy coconut melded with the buttery cake-like cookie, and how the black tea and spices seemed to bring out the flavor of the dark chocolate.  Really delightful.

What I Think:

YUM!

When I look at a Madeleine cookie, I always expect them to be a crunchy cookie (I don’t know why!) but these are so soft and cake-like!  I suppose because they look to me like a cookie that has been pressed through a cookie press (although I know that they’ve been baked in a mold).

So, no, they aren’t a crunchy cookie, these are light and soft, with a delicious buttery taste.  It has a rich flavor, but there is a certain delicateness to it too.  It seems to melt in my mouth when I bite into it.

The cookie on its own is quite a treat, but then to dip it in dark, rich chocolate – oh yum!  It becomes quite a heavenly little treat.

My Final Thoughts: 

Love these.  I would buy these without a second thought if I saw them in the store.

lalasnuts

Photo from Knoshy.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Information:

Nicole from Lala’s Nuts brings you freshly made sugar and spice pecans from Madison, Wisconsin. The delicate, crispy coating and traditional spices brings back memories of growing up baking holiday cookies in the family kitchen.

I received a pouch of these pecans in my December box from Knoshy!

Tea Suggestion:

These nuts make a delicious tea time treat.  I decided to play to the nutty flavors of this snack and brewed a cup of this Hojicha from Aiya.  A yummy choice!  The Hojicha added a delicious, roasty-toasty element to the sweet, crunchy, nutty snack.  A really delightful tea time!

What I Think:

I could hardly wait to tear into this pouch of Sugar & Spice Pecans from Lala’s nuts!  I love candied pecans (pralines?) and these are some of the best that I’ve ever tasted.

???????????????????????????????Each pecan in this pouch is completely coated with a lightly caramel-colored hard, bubbly candy shell.  The pecan flavor is nutty and it is the strongest flavor I taste with each bite.  Delicious!

The candy coating leaves these tasting sweet, no doubt about that, but there are some tantalizing spice notes in these tasty morsels too.  I can taste the subtle notes of clove in these, hints of nutmeg, and a little stronger taste of cinnamon.

My Final Thoughts:

They are deliciously crunchy, and I love that while these are sweet and a little bit spiced, the pecan is the star of the show.  I taste the pecan front and center, and I think that’s what makes these better than the average candied nut which sometimes tastes more like candy than nut.  My only complaint?  The nuts seem to disappear too quickly.

sweetpotatotortillachip

Photo from Love With Food.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Information:

A hint of cane sugar enhances the natural nuttiness of the sweet potato in a chip that is a riff on a classic baked sweet potato. Try the chips with a fresh fruit salsa or garlic dip.

I received a bag of these chips in my December Love with Food box.

What I Think:

Over the course of the last couple of years, I’ve been introduced to some snack chip products that are providing some really delicious and seemingly more healthy options to tortilla chips.

Now, as I’ve said on more than one occasion, I’m not a nutritionist, nor do I pretend to be.  I don’t always eat as healthy as I could or should.  Flavor to me is just as important – even more important! – than nutritional value.  If something doesn’t taste good, I’m not going to eat it just because it’s good for me.

I’m liking these Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips.  According to the list of ingredients, corn is still a primary ingredient in these chips.  But what I like about this list of ingredients is the shortness of it:

Stone Ground Corn, High Oleic Sunflower Oil and/or Safflower Oil, Sweet Potato, Corn Bran, Evaporated Cane Juice, Sea Salt

There’s not a lot of stuff there that I can’t pronounce.  There’s not a lot of stuff there at all.  Sure, it might be healthier if the oils weren’t there, and the cane juice wasn’t there.  But, there aren’t a whole lot of chips out on the market that don’t have some oil in them.  That said, these don’t feel or taste oily or greasy.

Instead, they taste light and they offer a satisfying cruch.  They’re lightly salted, with a delicious sweet potato and corn taste.  The product description above suggests serving them with a dip or salsa, but, I like them straight out of the bag too.

My Final Thoughts:

These are definitely tasty.  A product I could see myself buying when I’m in the supermarket now that I’ve tried them.

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Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn from Rocky Mountain Popcorn

Product Information:

Cinnamon Sugar is our newest flavor that tastes like your mom’s cinnamon toast! We are proud to have this fantastic product in our line up and we are sure you will love the sweet taste.

I received a bag of this popcorn in my December Goodies Box.

Tea Suggestion:

Because this popcorn already has a delicious sweet and cinnamon-y taste, I decided to go with a pure tea (rather than a flavored tea!), so I chose this delicious Royal Golden Safari Black Tea from Butiki Teas.  The natural spice notes of the tea were accentuated by the cinnamon sugar coated popcorn.  A really delightful tea time!

What I Think:

After trying some other gourmet flavored popcorn, Cinnamon Sugar popcorn just seemed kind of … ho-hum.  Boring.  Or so I thought until I tried it!  This is really yummy! It reminds me a lot of kettle corn, but with a delicious cinnamon-y twist.

The popcorn has a fluffy yet crispy texture, and I didn’t find the hulls to be too bothersome.  I was a little disappointed in the state of the popcorn … there were more small pieces of popcorn rather than full-sized, popped kernels … as if the package had been smashed or something.  I got some full-sized kernels, but there were considerably more “crumbs” than anything to this pouch.  The “crumbs” are still tasty, of course, but it’s easier to eat the full-sized kernels than the crumbs so it was a little less than ideal to snack on because the majority of my package was crumbs.

I did find a few un-popped kernels, as well as a few half-popped kernels.  I like half-popped kernels, so I’m not going to complain about that, but, when the package is mostly crumbs, and I’m left needing to pour the crumbs in my hand to eat them, and I bite down on an un-popped kernel in the handful … that’s a little unpleasant.

My Final Thoughts:

Overall, I enjoyed this snack, it was tasty … I just wish that there were more big, fluffy kernels and fewer kernel bits.

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Chelsea Market’s Fat Witch Bakery creates some of the best brownies we’ve ever tasted. The Snow Witch brownie is a white chocolate brownie that’s golden, chewy, moist and delicious. 

I received this Fat Witch brownie in my December Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

With this sweet, chewy white chocolate brownie, I decided to go with a warmly spiced Chai like this Real Chai Tea Blend from Teas and Botanicals.

What I Think:

I love the texture of this brownie … this is exactly the texture I want from a brownie.  It’s got that soft, moist, almost fudge-like texture, but with enough crumb to the cake to remind you that you’re eating a brownie and not a piece of candy.

I can’t recall ever having a white chocolate brownie.  I’ve had a lot of traditional chocolate/fudge brownies, and a few “blondies” … but I can’t recall ever having a white chocolate brownie.

I found the texture of this brownie to be very enjoyable, I just found myself wishing that there was more of that dark, rich chocolate-y taste to this by the time I was about halfway finished with the bar.  I found this to be sweeter … cloying, even … than a typical brownie would be, and while it wasn’t really what I’d call off-putting, I did find myself needing to put the brownie away after I’d finished half the bar because it was overly sweet … something that would be better enjoyed in small bits rather than a whole confection.

My Final Thoughts:

This is tasty … but since I’m not as big a fan of white chocolate as I am of dark chocolate, I wasn’t as satisfied with this as I would have been with a dark chocolate brownie.  Positive:  I like the texture … not at all gritty, so smooth and decadent.  I could taste a butter-y kind of taste to it, and I found that enjoyable.  Negative:  It’s a bit sweeter than I would like it to be as I prefer the balance of bitter and sweet found in a dark chocolate.

cookies2Product Description:

These Jam Sandwich cookies will remind you of holiday baking with your family. The cookie sampler brings you four incredible flavors to try: raspberry lemon, blackberry lime, marionberry rosemary sea salt, and strawberry balsamic marjoram.

I received this sampler basket of cookies in my December Knoshbox; additional sampler baskets can be purchased for a limited time in Knoshbox’s Market.

Tea Suggestion:

I love shortbread cookies with a cup of good, hot black tea, and this English Breakfast tea from Butiki Teas proved to be just the right choice!  The richness of the tea together with the buttery, sumptuous flavor of the cookies was just heavenly!

What I Think:

Oh my goodness!  Is there anything better than a buttery shortbread cookie?  I think – other than peanut butter blossoms – that shortbread might just be my favorite kind of cookie.  And really, peanut butter blossoms are my favorite for sentimental reasons – they remind me of gramma.

But when it comes to the taste my palate craves, it’s butter shortbread cookies all the way!  I just love them.  So rich and delicious … I love the way the cookie just sort of crumbles over the palate and then seems to melt on the tongue, tasting of deliciously sweet butter.  YUM!

So, needless to say, I was thrilled when this cute little basket filled with four shortbread cookies … and because these are jam sandwich cookies that means double the shortbread pleasure.  And with a bakery name like Butter + Love, the buttery part of the shortbread is implied, isn’t it?  I knew I was in for a rich, buttery treat!

cookies
From the top, clockwise: Marionberry Rosemary Sea Salt, Raspberry Lemon, Strawberry Balsamic Marjoram, and Blackberry Lime

The first thing I notice about this sampler is that each of the four cookies are different, so, I consult the Butter + Love website to find out which one was which!  Here are my thoughts on each cookie:

Marionberry Rosemary Sea Salt:  This cookie is a culinary experience in savory and sweet.  The marionberry jam is sweet with just a hint of tartness to it.  I like that I am not noticing a lot of seeds from the marionberry jam here.  The rosemary is baked right in to the cookie, and it delivers a savory taste to the otherwise sweet, almost creamy taste of the shortbread.  Slightly resinous and woodsy tasting, I think that the rosemary gives this gourmet treat an almost rustic kind of taste.  The touch of sea salt here adds not so much of a salty taste (there is a bit of that too, though), and acts more to accentuate the flavors.  It brings out the buttery taste of the shortbread and marionberry and rosemary.

Blackberry Lime:  This was the next cookie I grabbed from the basket.  Another love at first bite!  Here I am able to notice the texture of the cookie better, I think, and I realize that these are not “golden brown” but quite pale.  They look like they might even be slightly underbaked, although they do not taste like it.  No doughy taste, they taste as though they’ve been perfectly cooked.  But what this pale color means is that there is very little crunch or crispy snap to the cookie, instead, it is soft and crumbly.  I like!  I like!  It tastes very fresh and I love the soft texture.  And the blackberry and lime is a compelling contrast of sweet and tart.  A well conceived combination of flavors.

Strawberry Balsamic Marjoram: YUM!  I love this sampler … every single cookie is like a new adventure.  The one thing in common between the four cookies is the cookie itself … the buttery shortbread.  But for the two square cookies – this and the Marionberry Rosemary Sea Salt cookie – there are other ingredients added to the shortbread.  Here, the addition is marjoram.  The marjoram gives the cookie a slightly citrus-y undertone with just a hint of woodsy flavor.  The strawberry balsamic jam is delightfully sweet and tart, and I like that the balsamic is just a hint of flavor, acting more to accentuate the strawberry rather than take on a big presence of its own… except in the aftertaste, where I notice the balsamic more.  This was a really yummy cookie.

Raspberry Lemon: I saved this one for last because I had a feeling it would be my favorite … I love lemon cookies, and I love the combination of raspberry and lemon.  This is delightful!  The raspberry gives just a little bit of sweetness, and the lemon brightens the whole cookie.

My Final Thoughts: 

While the Raspberry Lemon was my favorite of the bunch, I loved every single one of these cookies … and I don’t know that I’d choose one over another!  I’d want to get all four of them again … these are definitely going on my re-order list!