Posts Tagged ‘Love’

greatbeanchocolate

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

Product Description:

Great Bean is on a mission to deliver the highest possible state of wellbeing through raw, organic chocolate. After working as a professional chocolatier in Austin, Texas, founder Nora Hamerman became well known throughout town for her creations. In 2012, she set out to create an innovative, healthy, and environmentally-conscious chocolate company. Great Bean chocolate was born to nourish, indulge, and regenerate.

I received this bar of chocolate in my February Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

I like eating chocolate bars with a cup of pure black tea, preferably one with a natural chocolate-y tone to it.  However, because of the lovely notes of cinnamon in this tea, I thought that I’d select a tea with a slightly spicy intonation, like this Grand Yunnan Imperial from Le Palais de Thés.  It was an excellent pairing,  I like the way the warmth of the tea brought out some of the deeper flavors of the chocolate bar, and the sweet fruit notes of the tea accentuated the flavor of the fig in the confection.

What I Think:

It’s chocolate!  OK, I’ve got a confession … I tend to ‘hoard’ my gourmet chocolate bars that I receive in these boxes for times when I really need … good chocolate.  That’s why … I haven’t reviewed this chocolate bar until now.

This is really yummy.  I am not always as excited about raw chocolate as I am for roasted chocolate, because the roasting of the cacao bean brings out some really lovely flavors in the chocolate.  But the combination of the fig, cinnamon and herbs really works to the raw chocolate’s advantage, I think.

There is a really sharp snap to the dark chocolate. The cinnamon melds beautifully with the chocolate to give it a warm flavor … something that I think would be “lacking” in the raw chocolate otherwise.  The cinnamon sort of gives this candy bar that sort of warmth that it needs.  In addition to the herbs I taste sea salt and of course – the fig!  I love the fig in this bar!  It adds a neat texture that is chewy and the seeds of the fig crackle in my mouth!  And it’s sweet and really quite yummy.

My Final Thoughts:

The bar is not overly sweet, it is a good balance of bitter and sweet flavors.  There is a really nice depth of flavor to this bar … it’s a delicious, multi-dimensional candy bar.  It is at once bitter, sweet, salty, and just … INTERESTING to eat!

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!

Well, technically, when this published, it will have arrived yesterday.  But on the day that I wrote this review (yesterday) … it arrived today.  Confused yet?  I am, and I’m the one writing it.  I can only imagine how confused the reader must be at this point.

DecKnoshboxSorry about that.  It’s just … the arrival of my Knoshbox is one of the highlights of my month … it is, without a doubt, my favorite sampler box that I subscribe to.  The only thing better than getting my Knoshbox in the mail is getting tea in the mail.  Now, if Knoshbox were to do a tea-time theme one month … that would be absolute perfection.

The theme this month, though, is “The Holiday Collection” – and I’m really happy about it too, because the box was filled with delights to appeal to my sweet tooth.  Two treats from Butter + Love:  Gingerbread Mustache Cookies and a Jam Cookie Sampler.  From S’more Bakery, there was a package of “The Pepp” s’mores.  There’s also a chocolate bar from The Ticket Kitchen (that name may sound familiar to anyone who’s read my blog for a while, the Ticket Kitchen makes those amazing hot chocolate on a sticks!) and finally a “Snow Witch” white chocolate brownie from Fat Witch Bakery.

My goodness!  What an amazing bunch of sweet goodness!  My sweet tooth is ready to dive right in!  Please keep watching my blog for individual reviews of each item!