Posts Tagged ‘Stocking Stuffer’

In my Stocking Stuffer Tasting Box, I received four different Sun Cups:  a milk chocolate sunflower butter, a dark chocolate sunflower butter, a caramel cup and a mint cup.  I tried each of these at different times and took notes of each tasting so that I could compose one review for all four Sun Cups. 

Product Description:

Imagine a luscious, nut-free, organic chocolate cup filled with roasted sunflower butter or mint cream or caramel. That’s a Sun Cup!

To Learn More about Sun Cups and Seth Ellis Chocolatier, visit the website.

What I Think:

I started with the milk chocolate sunflower butter cup, and it is delicious.  The sunflower butter is creamy and satisfying and nutty, tasting like… well, sunflower seeds.  No big surprise there.  The milk chocolate was quite sweet and even though I’ve a sweet tooth, as I finished the cup I found myself wanting something to help cut through the sweet, cloying taste that had developed on the back of my palate. Delicious (incredibly so!) … but sweet.

Which is why I found the dark chocolate sunflower butter cup much more to my liking.  With the first bite, I noticed that the more assertive flavor of the dark chocolate did mute out some of the softer flavors of the sunflower butter cup at the start, but, as I took my second bite, I noticed the flavor of the sunflower butter coming through.  The aftertaste is bittersweet from the chocolate.  This is really lip-smacking good!

The Mint Cup is really good.  Much better than I was anticipating.  I figured, “oh okay, this will kind of be like a peppermint patty” but, it is so much better.  The dark chocolate is thicker than in the typical peppermint patty, so it presents a stronger flavor.  It is a rich, dark chocolate, and what I like is the creamy mint filling, because it doesn’t taste overly sweet.  Sure, it’s sweet, but, it doesn’t have that cloyingly sweet flavor of the average peppermint patty.  It compliments the dark chocolate of this cup well.

I saved what I thought would be my favorite of the quartet for last:  the Caramel Cup.  Before even opening the package, I found myself wishing that it had been made with dark chocolate.  My thoughts here did not change as I ate the cup, I think I would have preferred a dark chocolate caramel cup.

That being said, this is still one seriously delicious piece of candy.  The caramel is rich and smooth and creamy – I love the texture of the caramel.  It isn’t a viscid/solid kind of caramel; it is liquid, but, not a thin, runny caramel, it is thick enough and has enough body to it to stay inside the cup as I eat it.  In other words:  gooey, but, not oohey-gooey.

The milk chocolate is sweet and delicious.  One Caramel Cup is more than sufficient even for this sweet-toothed chocoholic, because the combination of caramel and milk chocolate was incredibly sweet.  As I said before, I found myself wishing it was a dark chocolate cup, or at the very least, it had been adorned with a sprinkling of sea salt to help offset some of the sweetness.  It is still delicious, but I think it could have been even better.

My Final Thoughts:

These Sun Cups were amazing.  YUMMY!  As for a tea recommendation, I had these four cups at different times (yes they were yummy, but, they were incredibly rich and I really couldn’t handle more than one at a time)… but I found one variable that remained steadfast, and that was a choice of tea:  I chose an Assam tea to drink with these confections.  I found that the hint of bitter undertone to the Assam was a pleasant contrast to the sweetness of the candy, and there were no extraneous flavors to compete with the flavorful fillings of the Sun Cups.  My current favorite Assam (my favorite does change from time to time!):  Golden Tips Assam from The Tao of Tea.

Learn more about Clarine’s Florentine’s here.

Product Description from Foodzie:

A favorite from our February Tasting Box, Clarine hand-makes these European-style cookies – a delicate layer of well-caramelized almonds slathered with bittersweet chocolate.

What I Think:

As I mentioned on my article about my Stocking Stuffer Tasting Box, this is the product that prompted me to buy this additional box.  Sure, I wanted to try the other goodies as well, but, these Florentines have been on my mental wish list for a very long time.

And as I also said in the aforementioned article, my Florentines were smashed upon arrival.  I was sad.  But, I was glad to learn that my Florentines would be replaced, so I wrote to Foodzie and instead of replacing them they are offering me a $5 credit.  Nice, but, I am still here, left with crumbled cookies.

But they still taste good, even though they’re in small bits. In fact, it might be more in keeping with the whole “Stocking Stuffer” idea, since, if I were a child given a cookie like this, I probably would have broken it up into little pieces to enjoy.

Thin slivers of almonds have been caramelized to a dark golden brown, rendering them sweet and chewy from the caramelizing process.  The bottom of the cookie is a thin, solid layer of dark chocolate which has just enough of a bitterness to it to give this cookie a sweet yet savory appeal.

It tastes very elegant and delicate but at the same time, incredibly indulgent … and I think when served whole, would be even more luxurious!  In one bite, I taste a delicious, earthy, nutty flavor, sweet caramel, and smooth, rich chocolate.  YUM!

For a tea pairing, my immediate thought would be a Keemun, but, perhaps even a Yunnan would be nice.  The spicy and earthy tones of the Yunnan would offer additional contrast to the sweet and bitter of the cookie while enhancing some of the earthy tones of the almond.  Ultimately, I chose this Yunnan Gold from Teavert.  The robust flavor of the Yunnan brought an amazing dimension of flavor to an already decadent treat.

My Final Thoughts:

Even though they were broken, these cookies are awesome.  It’s a little late to be ordering them as holiday gifts, but, they’d make a great Valentine’s gift (I know I’d be really thrilled with a box of these for Valentine’s Day!)  And they make tea time extra special!

As I mentioned in my article about this month’s Bacon and Bourbon Tasting Box, I was tempted and decided that I  needed to order an additional box this month.  In addition to choosing the Bacon and Bourbon Tasting Box as my monthly selection, I ordered the Stocking Stuffers box, which aside from the fact that there is a bunch of chocolate in this box, there were a couple of items (well, one, specifically) that I had on my mental wish list, and I think that is what ultimately inspired me to order the second box.

Unfortunately, that one item that had been on my mental wish list was smashed to bits when I received the box.  Sure, it’s a hazard whenever ordering products such as this online, but, fortunately, Foodzie said that they would ship me some more Florentines from Clarine’s Florentines.

This box is full of yummy treats that is sure to please the sweet tooth in all of us (and then some!)  In addition to the Florentine cookies, the box has Butter Crunch from p.o.p. candy, Sesame Ginger Popcorn (which I happen to be snacking on at this very moment, and let me just say … YUM) from 479 Popcorn, Old Fashioned Butterscotch Candy from Zeke’s Candy, “Put Your Money on Honey” Caramels from Droga Confections, a variety of Chocolate Sun Cups from Seth Ellis Chocolatier, and finally Blueberry Acai Gummies from Bissinger’s.  As some of you are probably aware, I previously reviewed the Blueberry Acai Gummies, as they were received in a previous tasting box.  Some might view receiving something in the tasting box that I’ve already tasted as a disappointment, but since I enjoyed them so much the first time, I’m happy to have more (and this time, I’ll even share them!)

Also included with the box was the theme card, on which Emily and Rob explain their inspiration for this box:

It’s December, just over a year since we launched the first Tasting Box and we can’t help but look back on the year and think about all the amazing things we’ve tasted.  We wanted to bring back some of the favorites that you all couldn’t stop raving about.  Of course, we wanted to throw in some new flavors that we can’t wait for more of in 2012 too.  We discovered real butterscotch (which we realized we had actually never tasted before) and it’s been one of the products that everyone on the team went nuts over.  As they say, the best sweet things come in small packages, and this box is stuffed full of them.  Share your past favorites by stuffing some into a stocking of someone you love and treat yourself to the new tastes.  The Tasting Box will be an even bigger part of Foodzie in 2012 and we can’t wait to continue to share our new favorite discoveries with you. 

As I had mentioned in my article about the November Tasting Box, I was and still am a bit disappointed with the changes at Foodzie.  As much as I loved the selections for December (so much so that I couldn’t settle on just one), I really liked the “surprise” of the previous tasting box, and I also liked the more affordable price.  I don’t know that I will keep my subscription going, I think I fwill go on a month to month basis … at this point, I shall try January’s box and see how I like it … and if I do, I shall then go for a box in February.  And so on.

For the time being, though, I am loving the sweets of this box … my sweet tooth happily approves!