Posts Tagged ‘Lemon’

???????????????????????????????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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Sweet Lemon Pepper Biscotti

Product Information:

Not too sweet but very flavorful and somewhat addictive; do not let the “pepper” throw you. Made with Gran Marnier and fresh lemon peel. You will be pleasantly surprised.  Perfect for serving with a glass of wine and cheese or just as a dessert.

I received a bag of this biscotti in my February Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

I enjoyed my biscotti with this Budlabeta Estate Assam GBOP SPL from Upton Tea Imports.  This was a perfect pairing!  A bold, rich flavor of the tea was enhanced by the delicious, bright flavor of the lemon-y, peppery biscotti.  A really great tea-tea time treat!

What I Think:

Before dunking (because really, that’s the joy of biscotti, isn’t it?  Dunking it in tea?) I took a bite of the biscotti to test the texture.  Most biscotti is hard and crunchy … some veering on the side of rock hard!  Right off the bat, I notice that this biscotti is different!  Yes, it has that dry, crunchy texture, but it’s softer … not quite as hard on the tooth (and necessitating the dunk to soften the bite!) … this biscotti could actually be eaten without dunking, if you so desired.  It has a texture that reminds me of shortbread … buttery … almost crumbly/flaky!  It’s really quite splendid and a welcome change from the standard biscotti.

The difference – for me at least – between dunking and not dunking is that I found that the flavors were intensified when I dunked them into my cup of Assam tea.  Dunking brought out the sweet-tart flavor of the lemon and the hint of spicy bite from the black pepper!  The pepper was especially noticeable from the dunk … and not quite as prominent when it isn’t dunked.  But when not dunked … I notice more of the buttery, flaky, melt in your mouth consistency of the cookie, and I really liked that too!

My Final Thoughts:

I really loved the texture of this biscotti – it was almost tender rather than the rock hard biscotti that is so common.  It reminds me of a buttery shortbread.  It was sturdy enough to maintain its integrity when thoroughly soaked from a dunking, but, tender enough to bite into without the dunk!  You won’t break your teeth on this biscotti!

picture from BigSpoon Jam. Click on the pic to go there!

I received a jar of this jam in my Seattle tasting box from Foodzie, but I’m just getting around to reviewing it now… yes, I’m behind on my reviews.  Sorry!

Product Description:

Local berries star in this perfectly sweet preserve. Super for yogurt, swirl into oatmeal or warm and pour over ice cream. The daring may try muddling or shaking into a mixed drink.

Learn more about BigSpoon Jam on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

Since I typically enjoy jam on toast and when I eat toast, it’s usually breakfast time, it seemed only natural to choose a breakfast-y blend to enjoy with this jam.   This Capital Breakfast blend from Capital Teas is one of the best I’ve tried recently!  It has a very rich flavor with a hint of smokiness that really accentuates the unique flavors within this jam very well.

What I Think:

For the purposes of this review, I sampled this jam on toasted 8 grain bread as well as right off the spoon (it is called “BigSpoon Jam, after all!)

When I first opened this jar, I thought something might be wrong.  This did not look like jam to me.  It looked more like strawberry sauce, like the topping my gramma would make for strawberry shortcake or to ladle on top of morning waffles.

The strawberries are HUGE in this jam, and the rest of the jam is really quite runny, like sauce.  It cannot be spread, like most jams or jellies, because there are the large, whole berries that have been rendered quite soft from the cooking process, and then there is the liquid, which when spooned over the toast, just sort of absorbs into the toast and does not allow itself to be spread.

But that does not mean that it isn’t absolutely delicious – because it is!  The berries are BURSTING with fresh taste, they taste like they are fully-ripened on the vine and full of that delicious strawberry flavor which is accentuated with a touch of vanilla to give it more sweetness and a hint of creaminess too.  The lemon is very slight, just enough to give it an acidic brightness.

Even though this is a very runny jam, it really is delicious and very well balanced.  I would not recommend it for your toast, but instead, do as suggested in the product description (above):  add it to your hot cereal, or perhaps top your ice cream or yogurt with it.

My Final Thoughts:

This is delicious, but it is probably not something I’d buy for myself because it is a bit pricy and as a hot cereal/ice cream/yogurt topper, when used liberally, there would be about four uses in the jar.  That’s a pretty expensive ice cream topper.  Yummy … but there are a lot of other delicious jams out there that are prices a bit more reasonably and this just wouldn’t be worth it to me.   All that said, this addition to the Seattle tasting box certainly did increase the value of the last box I received from Foodzie – and that makes me happy!

Product Description:

Buttery, Lemony, Loves me love me not cookies. We`ve been eating these wonderfully taste bud tempting daisies petal by petal. The little treats come perfectly packaged in twos which makes them lunch box friendly.

Learn more about Dancing Deer Baking Co. on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

There really are very few treats that go better with a cup of tea than shortbread cookies, so really, any tea would be delightful with these.  However, I’m partial to a Breakfast Blend – like this English Breakfast Blend from Golden Moon Tea. The robust richness of the tea is a perfect complement to the light, crisp, lemony layers of these buttery shortbread cookies.

What I Think:

Attention mommies, aunties, grandmas and even daddies of little girls!  You should keep a box of these shortbread cookies on hand for whenever that special little girl wants to host an impromptu tea party.

Sure, they’re deliciously flaky with buttery layers and bright with lemony goodness, but, what makes these even more special is that they’re shaped like daisy flowers, complete with a lemon yellow center.  What little girl wouldn’t love to over these up to her tea party guests?

On a more serious note, these are seriously tasty cookies. They go well with tea, of course, and the convenient inner packaging (they are packaged in ‘happy packs’ of two cookies) make it easy to add them to the kids lunches.  And their sunny lemon flavor is sure to brighten your kids day when they open their lunch bag to find them.

I also find these ‘happy packs’ are very convenient to help limit your serving size – rather than opening a whole sleeve of cookies and overindulging, these packages offer you two so that you’re not tempted to steal another … and another.

My Final Thoughts:

I love buttery shortbread cookies, I love lemon … what’s not to love about these?  They have a crisp texture and they melt in my mouth.  Sweet with just enough tangy lemon.  YUM!  And if you don’t want to order them online (and buy a whole case in the process), you can shop for them at your local Whole Foods market.

Where to Buy:  Biscotti Bari on Foodzie

Product Description:

Our Lemon Poppyseed Biscotti are a sweet treat loaded with crunchy poppyseeds and a tangy, lemony zip! Our secret ingredient is Sonoma Syrup’s Lemon Extract (shh- don’t tell).

What I Think:

This Lemon Poppyseed Biscotti reminds me very much of the Authentic Almond (also from Biscotti Bari).  The flavors are different, of course, but both possess the same light, tender texture that is crunchy without being too hard.

The lemon flavor here is so sunny and bright.  The poppy seeds add a little something to the texture as well as a light yet satisfying nutty taste.  While this is reminiscent of one of my favorite muffin flavors – I am finding this to be even more satisfying.  Perhaps it is because I can dip this in my tea and not have it fall apart (ever try dipping a muffin in tea?  Yeah, it just doesn’t work very well).

I really love the two pieces of biscotti that arrived in this month’s Tasting Box – and these taste so good that I’ve been inspired to order them again, along with the Pistachio Chocolate Chunk.  (What can I say?  I’m a chocoholic)

My Final Thoughts: 

Biscotti Bari has definitely raised the Bar(i) (sorry, I couldn’t resist) when it comes to biscotti.  No more ordinary biscotti for me!

Where to Buy:  Liz Lovely on Foodzie

Product Description:

Similar to a traditional coconut macaroon, but mellow and soft, with a hint of lemon. Born from late night cookie binges with limited ingredients in the pantry, these “macaroonie” cookies became a pick-hit.

What I Think:

After trying last month’s Ginger Snapdragons from Liz Lovely, I had to order more.  They were so good.  And, as I was placing that order, I decided that I would like to also try these.

These are a little different than I was expecting.  It has always been my experience that a coconut macaroon was a coconut macadamia nut cookie, but there are no macadamia nuts in these.  But even though I was kind of looking forward to that crunch of macadamia nut in these, I am finding it hard to say I’m disappointed.  Even without the anticipated macadamia nut, these are incredibly good.

The cookie itself tastes a bit like a sugar cookie might, except that there is a beautiful lemony note to these.  It is not an overpowering lemon taste – it is just enough to make your taste buds perk up and say “hey, there’s something deliciously different about these!”  It really brightens up the flavor.

Without the macadamia nuts, the coconut really becomes the star of these cookies, giving them a creamy sweetness and a chewy texture. I paired these with this rich, delicious Keemun from Two Leaves and a Bud.  The savory cocoa notes of the Keemun complimented the coconut flavor nicely.

Just like the Ginger Snapdragons, these are incredibly soft cookies.  But unlike the Snapdragons, these have a very mild flavor.  These cookies are an incredibly comforting food – they just taste like something gramma would have made!

My Final Thoughts:

Liz Lovely takes vegan baking to a whole other level with these cookies.  The fact that these are vegan is not something that is noticeable in the taste.  They just taste like delicious, indulgent cookies.  YUM!

Where to Buy:  O Pair on Foodzie

Product Description:

Bees and hummingbirds find lemon & mint irresistible and so will you. Fresh, bright, refreshing and cool; this one is definitely all about summer. A true sunny basket of taste!

O Perfectly Paired :: We use fresh-from-the-garden mint for a zest that complements floral and fruit notes in a crisp, elegant Sauvignon Blanc; an intense Chenin Blanc; or an aromatic Gewürztraminer. A real stunner of a cookie: our tasters finished these off in one go!

What I Think:

In a word:  YUM!  Of course, one word makes for a very short review, and really tells you very little about these delectable crackers that I can’t seem to stop popping into my mouth.  So in between bites I will try to convey my thoughts about these delightful snacks.

If you’ve tried any of the crackers from O Pair, you’ll recognize their base taste and texture.  They start with a shortbread type dough that tastes rich and buttery, but not overly sweet.  When baked this dough makes for a lightly crisp, flaky “cracker” that reminds me more of a shortbread cookie than a cracker.  It is the savory ingredients added that make these more like a cracker.

Except in this case.  With the combination of lemon and mint, these are much more like a delicately sweet shortbread cookie.  The lemon lends a hint of tartness to the cookie, and the hint of mint offers a refreshing note that seems to rescue the palate from being bombarded with too much buttery goodness (if there is such a thing!)

As I said when I reviewed O Pair’s amazing Blue Cheese & Fig crackers, I am not much on wine, so I didn’t pair these Lemon & Mint crackers with wine, but with tea!  (I must say that these crackers would make a delightful tea-time treat at your next tea party)  For these delicious cookie/cracker/delicious-bite-size-treats, I decided to brew a cup of one of my very favorite teas:  Harney & Son’s Indian Nimbu.

And this pairing is perfect with these crackers.  The crackers not only compliment the lemon-y tones of the tea, but also help to bring out the caramel-y flavor as well.  The muscatel notes of the Darjeeling come through brilliantly.

Oh, yes, I can see myself ordering more of these!

My Final Thoughts:

A deliciously sweet yet savory cracker that is a little more like a cookie than a cracker with these ingredients.  However, as these are a little lighter on the sweetening than the typical shortbread cookie, they do not come off as cloying or too sweet.  Another excellent offering from this company on Foodzie that is quickly becoming a favorite of mine!