Posts Tagged ‘Shortbread’

EspressoChip

The Holiday Trio box has three different cookies in it: to the left is the burnt sugar and fennel cookies, the middle is the salted rosemary, and the right is the espresso chip.

Product Information:

100% whole wheat shortbread with espresso and chocolate chips

I received the Lark Holiday Trio box which included these cookies in my December Knoshy Box!

Tea Suggestion:

When I have shortbread cookies, I like to have a rich black tea to go along with … perfect for dipping!  I chose This English Breakfast Tea from Tea of Life to drink with these cookies.  Yum!

What I Think:

OK, I am not a fan of coffee.  No, that’s not completely accurate.  I used to be a big fan of coffee, but, I realized at some point that it was that morning cup of java that was making me feel ill around 11 am every day.  And what I’m not a big fan of is feeling ill.

So, I stopped drinking coffee and started drinking more tea.  At the time that I was drinking coffee, I was also drinking tea but I was more of an occasional tea drinker.  I fell in love with tea and the rest is history.

So, whenever I’m encountered with stuff that … has coffee or coffee products in it (and espresso is coffee) I tend to be a bit … leery of it.  And so I was leery of these shortbread cookies.  But, I do love the other cookies I’ve tried from Lark so I  was hopeful.

And these are tasty.  A strong coffee taste to them and notes of chocolate.  I wish there was more chocolate but every once in a while, I get a bite with big chocolate flavor and I like that.  I love the texture of these cookies.  Lark manages to nail the shortbread texture perfectly in their cookies.  It’s sort of flaky and layer-y and buttery and crumbly … and just plain WOW!

My Final Thoughts:

These were tasty.  Of the different Lark cookies that I’ve tried, I’d have to say that these were my least favorite, but that’s because of the espresso.  I would have much rather had the spiced chocolate krinkles cookies from Lark … they sound amazing!  However, these cookies do get bonus points for being made with whole wheat.  It makes me think I’m eating healthy when I know that I’m not.  But, the illusion helps me feel less guilty … somehow.  So, I liked them … but didn’t love them as much as I’ve loved the other Lark cookies.  Still real good though.

Sorry that I’ve not been posting over the last few days … I had a bad ’bout with food poisoning, of all things!  UGH!  It wasn’t fun.  I’m feeling much better now, so I thought I’d go through some of my drafts and finish up a couple of them to keep the reviews coming.  

rosemarypinksaltProduct Information:

Without even opening the bag, you can already smell the sweet Rosemary seeping through the wrapper. The playful balance of aromas makes this savory shortbread a perfect companion with an array of cheese and meat plates, or for a quick sweet snack, try adding a thin layer of strawberry jam.

I received one of these cookies in my November Love with Food Box.

Tea Suggestion:

Because of the sweet and savory flavors already present within these cookies, I wanted to choose a tea that would complement that.  Something that was neither too sweet nor too savory, and nothing that was too polarizing a flavor that might rob my palate of the joy of the flavors of this cookie.  I chose this amazing black tea from Joseph Wesley:  No. 03 Classic Chinese Black.  This tea is more sweet than savory, certainly, but, the sweetness of the tea helped to enhance the sweet, buttery notes of the cookie in a delightful way.  A delectable pairing.

What I Think:

Yum!  When I opened the package, I took a sniff and the rosemary is strong!

These shortbread cookies are a delicious balance of sweet and savory.  The shortbread is sweet and buttery tasting, with a delectable, delicate shortbread texture that I really like.  I’ve tried other cookies from this company before, and I can’t recall ever being disappointed by what I’ve tried from them, but this one might be the best one I’ve tried.  I love the contrast between the sweet and savory!

The rosemary and sea salt cut through the sweetness to keep the savory tones lingering into the aftertaste … these are just slightly more savory than sweet, but I like the way it works.

My Final Thoughts:  

A really delicious cookie and a nice alternative to the usual sweet shortbread cookie that one might enjoy during tea time.  I like the savory elements of this cookie.  If I must offer one complaint, then it would be that as I ate this cookie,  I did come across one single abrasive rosemary leaf that had not been crushed and obliterated, and while I do love the flavor of rosemary, I don’t love the prickly feel of the leaves when they get between my teeth.  But really, this is such a small issue for me and I enjoyed the cookie way too much to let that stop me from enjoying these in the future.

billionairesshortbread

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

Product Description:

fudge pieces, blanched almonds, milk chocolate drops and cranberries

I got this snack mix in my first Graze Box!

Tea Suggestion:

I went with a deliciously light, vibrant green tea to enjoy with this sweet “trail mix.”  The High Grade Dragon Well from Yezi Tea was an excellent choice.  The tea was refreshing and lightly grassy, and made a nice contrast to the sweet-tart cranberries.  The natural nutty flavors in the Dragon Well married deliciously with the blanched almonds, and the chocolate and fudge … well, they just made the tea time that much yummier!

What I Think:

I was so excited to start digging in to my snacks in my first Graze Box!  And of course the first snack I had to try has chocolate in it!

???????????????????????????????I was very interested in the Graze program when I first heard about it, mostly because I love trying gourmet foodie subscriptions like this, as well as the uniqueness of this particular program (You can’t get these mixes anywhere else … unless you make them yourself!) … but what else I really liked about this program was that the kind of snacks that it offers is exactly what I was looking for … something healthy to snack on while sipping on tea.  Because I drink a lot of tea.  A lot of it … and I like to find foods that are healthy and easy to snack on while I sip the tea.  Something tasty and preferably, something I didn’t have to make myself.  (Big bonus points for that one.)

This “trail mix” has four ingredients:  blanched almonds, dried cranberries, chocolate drops and fudge bits.  I would say that in my tray, all four ingredients were fairly represented.  I didn’t see like 75% of one ingredient, and scarce little bits of other ingredients.  ???????????????????????????????

It’s a tasty combination of flavors.  When each item is eaten individually, the ingredient I like least is the blanched almonds, mostly because they’re blanched almonds, and I prefer my almonds toasted, roasted, salted … but not so much blanched.  Even so, these aren’t that bad, especially if I happen to scoop up one of the other ingredients and pop both the almond and one other ingredient in my mouth at the same time and allow the flavors to meld together.  My personal favorite with the almond is the cranberry.

But what’s really delightful is if I pick up one of each item in the mix and pop all four ingredients in my mouth at the same time. The combination of these four ingredients at the same time is quite tasty.

The cranberry is tart and chewy.  The fudge is sweet and chewy.  The chocolate is sweet and creamy.  The almond is nutty.  It’s a tasty combination of sweet, tart, chewy and nutty with a hint of creaminess.

My Final Thoughts:

I liked this alright, but I don’t know if I like it enough to “like” it on the Graze website.   But I ‘am glad I tried it.  I like the size of these snack trays!  This is just the right amount of trail mix to satisfy me when I’ve got the munchies … it works great as a tea-time snack.

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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!

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!

AmericanVintageWineShallots

Photo from Goodies Company.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

These irresistible wine-infused cracker snacks are like savory shortbread. They’re crisp, flavorful and jazzed up with a trace of white wine, mellow shallot and a hint of cayenne-induced heat. Enjoy them solo, dipped, spread, topped or as a topper!

I received a small sample box of these cookie-ish crackers in my Goodies Box for November. 

Tea Suggestion:

Since these are wine-infused crackers, I decided to grab a wine-inspired tea to enjoy along with them.  It was a fantastic pairing!  I went with this White Tea Riesling from Vintage Tea Works and I loved how well the fruity flavors of the tea played with the savory notes from these crispy, cookie-like crackers.  It was a delicious snack!

What I Think:

These are some of the most unique crackers that I’ve ever tasted … they look more like a shortbread cookie than a cracker, and they do have a similar texture, but, they are not quite as buttery as a typical shortbread cookie.  Nor are they sweet – these are savory!

The first flavor I notice when I bite into one of these crunchy snack crackers is the flavor of the shallot.  It is a sharp onion flavor, a little spicy but also a little sweet.  After eating about three of the crackers, the cayenne really caught up to me, and I could feel the peppery heat on the back of my throat, a heat that spread to the back of my tongue, and slowly crept up to the very tip of my tongue.

I didn’t taste a whole lot of wine flavor in these.  Most of the time, it’s like, if it’s there, it’s really subtle.  And then every once in a while I’ll taste a bite and I can really notice the wine.

My Final Thoughts:

I really liked these!

The back of the sample package of these crackers suggests a list of different foods to eat with these crackers, like cheese, dips, soup or salad … but I ate them on their own with my cup of tea, and found them to be marvelously flavorful just like that.  If pairing these with a food, I would recommend choosing something that had a subtle flavor on its own because the flavor of these crackers/cookies gets intense, and it’s really enjoyable, I think that if I were to choose a strong cheese some of that flavor would be overwhelmed, and I wouldn’t want that!

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, Foodzie is changing.  Foodzie was recently acquired by Joyus, and what this means to me is that the Foodzie boxes will no longer be a subscription service that is automatically shipped to me.  That part wouldn’t be so bad, it’s the EXTRA ten bucks a month that is going to be tacked on to the tasting box that gets to me.

When the price was $19, I was happy.  A little skeptical at first, but once the boxes started coming in, I really felt like I was getting my money’s worth.  Then, the price jumped up to $29 late last year, and I was floored.  I wasn’t sure if I would continue the tasting box subscription, but I gave it a chance and for the most part, I was happy with the boxes, even though I did feel like it was a bit too pricy for my pocketbook.  But we all have to have our little indulgences, right?

But now that the boxes are going to be $39, that’s a deal-breaker.  I simply can’t justify spending that much on these boxes.  I might shell that out once in a while, so it is a good thing that it’s a one-off deal, and if I see something that entices me enough, I might cave in and buy it.  But I couldn’t subscribe to the box at $39 per month. 

But recently, I received a note from Benjamin at Petit Amuse, who introduced me to their Sample Box.  This box is very much like what Foodzie’s box was at the start for $19, filled with samples of different, delightful gourmet foods, a taste of something that you might not otherwise get the opportunity to try without the box.  But one big difference between Foodzie’s old box and the Petit Amuse Sample Box is that the Petit Amuse box is just $10!  Yes you read that right – that’s TEN dollars.

I just received my first box, and inside was a package of Sundried Tomato & Parmesan Popcorn from Oogie’s, Ice Wine Jelly from Caramoomel, Salted Rosemary Shortbread & Cha-Chas Cookies from Lark Fine Foods, and a Garukabar from Garukabars.  Of these items, the only one that I’ve tried before was the Salted Rosemary Shortbread cookies, but they were so amazing the first time, that I don’t mind indulging again!

Now that’s an impressive array of goodies for just $10.  No additional charges, no shipping or handling or anything else!  And what is also great about Petit Amuse is that they’re a one-stop type of shopping experience.  If you like one of the items you try in your box, you can order it from Petit Amuse, but if you like more or ALL of the products in your box, you can order them ALL from Petit Amuse at just one low shipping charge.  I LOVE that!

Also included in the box was a “contents” card which tells what is in each box on one side, and on the other, lists the ingredients of each of the items in the box.

Watch my blog for reviews of each of these items!  I can’t wait to start digging in.