Posts Tagged ‘handmade’

christmasgiftpack

Photo From Wondermade.
Click on the Pic to go there.

About Wondermade:

Every box of Wondermade marshmallows is handcrafted and taste great right out of the box. You can also drop a few in a cup of hot chocolate, melt them on top of baking brownies, or toast them on a skewer or in a s’mores.

I received these Marshmallows as part of the Christmas Set available from Wondermade.

What I Think:

After my first bite, I couldn’t really taste much honey-like flavor.  It wasn’t until the aftertaste that the honey really came through.  After that, the honey was very prominent – so I guess it would be fair to describe the flavor as one that develops.  One is not enough of this particular marshmallow (seldom is one marshmallow enough when you’re talking about homemade marshmallows!)

Tasty.  I found these to be particularly nice in hot chocolate, and I mixed them with the Bourbon marshmallows (one honey and one bourbon) in the hot chocolate to give a honeyed bourbon taste that was really quite tasty.

My Final Thoughts:

Of the four boxes of marshmallows in the Christmas set, this was my least favorite and it’s the main reason that I bought the set because I had never tried a “honey” marshmallow.  That said … it’s still a really tasty marshmallow and I’m not at all disappointed that I bought the set of four flavors.  I love everything about Wondermade Marshmallows – I love the size, I love the packaging, and most importantly – I LOVE the marshmallow itself.  So yummy!

sugarcookieProduct Information:

What would Christmas be without sugar cookies? We’ve sugar cookied our marshmallows so you can sugar cookie your tea, your hot chocolate or just your afternoon snacks.

What I Think:

As you might remember, I was introduced to this handmade marshmallow company by Knoshy in my November Knoshbox.  After visiting the Wondermade website, I decided I had to try their Christmas Gift Set of Marshmallows, which includes their Bourbon flavored Marshmallows, Honey flavored Marshmallows (which is only available in this Christmas set), Peppermint flavored Marshmallows, and these Sugar Cookie flavored Marshmallows.

These … are amazing.  They taste like marshmallows, of course, but I can definitely taste the sugar cookie element too.  I can taste a cookie dough-like flavor.  It’s not a strong, overwhelming presence, but its there.

The marshmallow itself tastes like a vanilla marshmallow.  Like what we think of when we think “marshmallow,” but with the added dimension of sugar cookie-ish flavor.  YUM!

And of course, the marshmallow is infinitely better than anything you’ll ever taste from a supermarket.  Trust me, if you haven’t yet tried a homemade marshmallow, once you do try one, you’ll never go back to the mass-produced stuff they sell in the grocery store!

My Final Thoughts:

These are delicious right out of the package.  That’s how I ate my first few … but then I made myself stop and save the rest for a cup of hot chocolate. They make a good, steaming cup of hot cocoa taste even better, and I was surprised that I could even taste the sugar cookie-ness of these when they were submerged in the hot chocolate!  It’s certainly more subdued in the presence of the chocolate, but, the flavor does come through.  YUM!

As I mentioned in my review of Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cups earlier this month, Knoshbox changed their name to “Knoshy.”  So, if you’re looking for past reviews of Knoshbox products and/or monthly subscription boxes that I’ve received, they can now be found under Knoshy in the category section rather than Knoshbox.

This change also comes with a slightly higher price tag.  We were once charged $29.95 with free shipping, and there is no longer free shipping.  The new shipping charge is $7.95.

???????????????????????????????That said, I still love Knoshbox/Knoshy and I’m not going to let this higher price tag deter me from getting my Knoshy!  As someone who used to run my own online business, I know that the cost of shipping is a killer!  And as long as Knoshy continues to crank out the boxes every month that made me fall in love with them in the first place, I’ll continue to get my Knoshy every month.

The first treat that I uncovered in this month’s box is an old favorite – but one that I’m glad is in the box because I absolutely LOVE these things:  The Pepp from S’more Bakery.  These were also in last December’s box, but, like I said, they were so good that I’m thrilled to find them in this year’s box.

Then I found a box of Lark Cookies!  This is the Holiday Trio Box, which includes Burnt Sugar & Fennel Shortbread Cookies and the Salted Rosemary Shortbread Cookies – both of which I’ve also already reviewed.  But the box also comes with some that I’ve not yet tried:  Espresso Chip.  I especially like what Knoshy said on their product card:

Pairs well with Earl Grey tea, family, friends and good cheer.

Sounds to me like they’re finally getting the tea thing.  (Heh!)

There were TWO chocolate bars in this month’s box too.  Yes, I said TWO – count ’em … 2! – CHOCOLATE bars in this month’s box.  And they’re from a somewhat local company:  Theo Chocolates.  Two of the seasonal chocolate bars:  Gingerbread Milk Chocolate bar, and Coconut Mint Chocolate Bar.  YUM!

Finally, there is a package of Sugar & Spice Pecans from LaLa’s Nuts.

All of these items are so tempting and again, exemplifies why I love Knoshbox … or Knoshy … or whatever they want to call themselves.  I love them.  Please guys, you can change your name, but, please don’t change what you mean to me:  yummy food in my mailbox every month!

alehousecheddarProduct Information:

Castleton Crackers of Vermont never ceases to amaze us with their delicious new crackers. The latest out of Vermont is their Alehouse Cheddar made with local craft ale, cheddar cheese and very mild horseradish mustard. All natural, and hand-made in Vermont.

I received a full sized box of these crackers in my November Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

I chose a mild white tea go to with these crackers.  I wanted something mild because I didn’t want anything to interfere with some of the more nuanced flavors of the cracker and I wanted something cooling to soften the effect of the horseradish mustard.  The horseradish is mild, as the description above states, but, it does build a little bit and the white tea helped to cleanse the palate in between crackers.  I chose this China Mutan White Tea from Mark T. Wendell – and the crackers and tea made for a lovely tea time!

What I Think:

I’ve tried a few different Castleton Crackers since I’ve started this blog.  The first package that I tried were the Windham Wheat crackers, and then I tried the Rutland Rye and the Sesame Graham crackers.  Now we have the Alehouse Cheddar Crackers and these are reaffirming for me why I love this company’s crackers so much.

Not only are they a handcrafted cracker that are made in small batches and obviously broken by hand rather than crafted in an assembly line in a factory somewhere, but the flavor of these crackers just cannot be beat!  You just can’t get this kind of taste in a commercially manufactured cracker.  The crackers not only look like they were made in someone’s home kitchen, but they taste like it too!  You can taste the love in them.

As much as I loved the salty and sweet contrasts of the aforementioned Graham Crackers that I tried most recently from this company, I think that these Alehouse Cheddar might be my new favorite.  It’s surprising to me, really, because I’m not a big fan of alcohol, as I’ve mentioned before, but, I love the way the flavors are represented in these crackers.

I taste the cheddar, but it doesn’t hit me over the head with cheesy flavor.  I taste notes of the ale, but the most intriguing note that captures my interest is the horseradish.  It’s not an overwhelming flavor … it’s in balance with the other notes in the cracker.  But, it is a flavor that builds and after I’ve eaten a couple of crackers my mouth is pleasantly warm and I can feel that enjoyable “burn” in the top of my throat and even that hint of a sting near my eyes and nasal passages that one gets from horseradish.  I love horseradish, so these notes were certainly a welcome surprise to this cracker.  I like that it starts out subtle but the heat builds.

My Final Thoughts:

I really like these crackers.  Then again, I’ve really enjoyed all the different crackers I’ve tried from this company … but I think that the unique layers of flavor in this cracker might just make it my favorite!  They have the cheese, they’ve got some ale flavor, and some horseradish mustard … all that you need is a cup of tea!

marshmallows

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

Product Information:

These could be our favorite new product of the year. These delicate morsels are crafted with pure Maker’s Mark Bourbon and exhibit notes of wood, vanilla and oak. Each box contains 16 marshmallows, a perfect amount for eating.

I received a box of these amazing marshmallows in my November Knoshbox!

What I Think:

For quite a while now, I have sung the praises of a certain marshmallow making company, so please don’t take this review as my way of changing “favorites.”  I still love that company, but I think there’s room enough at the top for two marshmallow favorites.

These marshmallows are amazing.  As in … they are SO GOOD.  They are fluffy and chewy and sweet.  And I can definitely taste the bourbon in them.  I could even smell the bourbon when I opened the package.  I’ve never been big on alcoholic beverages (as I’ve said before, I’m more like a TeaTotaler!  ha!) but I like the contrast of the flavor of bourbon with the marshmallow sweetness.  It’s like a sweet confection that’s just for adults.

And it isn’t just the flavor that I love … I love the size of the marshmallows (bite size!), I love the packaging (the box is adorable, isn’t it?) and I love the variety of flavors that Wondermade offers (I think I’m going to have to this Christmas Pack before the holiday arrives as a special Merry Christmas to me!)

My Final Thoughts:

I love these marshmallows.  I’m so happy that Knoshbox put them in the November box!  These taste amazing as a topper for hot chocolate or for sweet potatoes, and they’re delightful eaten on their own.  If you have a soft spot for homemade marshmallows, you’ve got to try these.

These unique puffs are described as simply

A fall favorite

240Sweet Marshmallows are available on the 240Sweet website.

Tea Suggestion:

When they’re not serving as a fluffy, delicious cap to my hot cocoa, I usually prefer to eat marshmallows with a cup of hot tea.  However, the heat from the ginger on these gives me cause to want something that is easy to “chug” … lest I need to cool the palate immediately.  So I chose a white tea because even when served hot, I prepare it at a cooler temperature than I do other tea types, and white tea tends to offer the body and palate cooling properties.  I chose this amazing Organic White Tea from Steenbergs Organics.  The sweet, crisp flavor of the tea offered lovely refreshment from these deliciously sweet yet spicy puffs.

What I Think:

I think I may have mentioned before that 240Sweet makes my favorite marshmallows.  And it’s not just because the marshmallows are huge and fluffy and perfectly sweet.  It’s not just because 240Sweet has managed to create works of art with their marshmallows.  Sure, these reasons factor in to why I love these marshmallows so much, but there’s something more to it too.

It’s their gutsy approach to marshmallows.  They’re not afraid to get ballsy with their marshmallows and put flavors in them.  They’re not content with just letting a marshmallow be a simple little puff of sugary sweet goodness.  I mean, seriously, who ELSE would think to put SWEET POTATO flavor in a marshmallow, encrust it with crunchy, candied GINGER and turn those simple little puffs (or in this case … HUGE puffs) into spicy, savory, sweet bits of culinary joy?

Oh.  My.  Goodness!  These are amazing.  So yummy!

These puffs evoke thoughts of Thanksgiving dinner when I was a child (which is why I chose to schedule this review for Thanksgiving) … My stepmother would always make sweet potato casserole.  And this puff is very much like that sweet potato casserole, only BETTER because first of all, it’s a confection and so it’s OK that this is sweet.  (Now that I’m grown I’m a little disappointed that the delicious flavor of the sweet potato was masked by all that sugar and stale, commercially manufactured marshmallow)  Second … the ginger on this gives it a fiery heat that my stepmother could never duplicate (she had no clue when it came to spices).

The sweet potato flavor is IN the marshmallow itself.  However, if you want to taste the sweet potato flavor, you need to be sure that you bite into a bit of the marshmallow that is not studded with the crystallized ginger.  Otherwise, what you’ll taste is mostly spicy-hot ginger.  The sweet potato flavor is overwhelmed by the ginger when you bite into the ginger … but when you take a bite into just the marshmallow, you can taste the creamy marshmallow and the sweet, savory taste of the sweet potato.   I like to alternate bites, eating some of the puff without the ginger.  Its sweet and savory, the sweet potato adds such an interesting flavor to the marshmallow.   Then I like taking a bite with the ginger and POW!  It’s like a spicy kick in the mouth!

My Final Thoughts:

I wanted to try these because they sounded so unique (come on… sweet potato flavor in a marshmallow?  Aren’t you at least a little bit intrigued?) and I’m really glad I did.  I love the contrast of flavors and textures that these puffs provide.  A lovely autumnal treat!

Product Description:

We blend the spicy tea ourselves for this puff

What I Think:

I love chai … I love 240Sweet’s marshmallows … it’s kind of a no-brainer!  I knew I’d love these puffs!  They are so fluffy and sweet, but also deliciously spicy.  And these aren’t like vanilla marshmallows that have been rolled in finely ground spices and tea, the spiced tea has been infused into the marshmallow, flavoring every inch of these huge marshmallows, making for a very satisfying tea and marshmallow experience … all in one!  Of course, a cup of tea along with it doesn’t hurt!

Believe it or not, though, I found these to be better with a cup of hot cocoa.  I put one in the cocoa to melt while I munched happily away on another (for review purposes only, of course, I needed to see what it tasted like without the cocoa’s influence).  Because of the spices and the hint of tea in the marshmallows, they offered a lovely layer of flavor to the cocoa that I really enjoyed.

I can taste the cinnamon and the peppery kick of the ginger in this.  I also taste hints of clove and I can even taste the subtle note of tea in there.  The aftertaste is a little bit like cardamom.  The spices are very warm and delicious, and offer a pleasing contrast to the sweet flavor of the marshmallow base.

My Final Thoughts:

240Sweet’s marshmallows are my favorite and there’s a reason for that.  They’re superb!  Have you ever tried a homemade marshmallow?  They are so much better than anything store-bought.  You really MUST get to 240Sweet and order some Marshmallows.  They have so many tempting flavors from which to choose … and this one may be my favorite one yet.  I love the spices here – they’re spicy without being out-of-control hot … tempered by the sweet, luscious, puffy marshmallow.   So good.