Posts Tagged ‘sugar’

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!

lalasnuts

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

Product Information:

Nicole from Lala’s Nuts brings you freshly made sugar and spice pecans from Madison, Wisconsin. The delicate, crispy coating and traditional spices brings back memories of growing up baking holiday cookies in the family kitchen.

I received a pouch of these pecans in my December box from Knoshy!

Tea Suggestion:

These nuts make a delicious tea time treat.  I decided to play to the nutty flavors of this snack and brewed a cup of this Hojicha from Aiya.  A yummy choice!  The Hojicha added a delicious, roasty-toasty element to the sweet, crunchy, nutty snack.  A really delightful tea time!

What I Think:

I could hardly wait to tear into this pouch of Sugar & Spice Pecans from Lala’s nuts!  I love candied pecans (pralines?) and these are some of the best that I’ve ever tasted.

???????????????????????????????Each pecan in this pouch is completely coated with a lightly caramel-colored hard, bubbly candy shell.  The pecan flavor is nutty and it is the strongest flavor I taste with each bite.  Delicious!

The candy coating leaves these tasting sweet, no doubt about that, but there are some tantalizing spice notes in these tasty morsels too.  I can taste the subtle notes of clove in these, hints of nutmeg, and a little stronger taste of cinnamon.

My Final Thoughts:

They are deliciously crunchy, and I love that while these are sweet and a little bit spiced, the pecan is the star of the show.  I taste the pecan front and center, and I think that’s what makes these better than the average candied nut which sometimes tastes more like candy than nut.  My only complaint?  The nuts seem to disappear too quickly.

burntsugarfennel

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

Product Description:

This small New England company from Essex, Massachusetts bakes some of our favorite shortbreads ever. Baked just last week in small batches, these burnt sugar and fennel cookies have delicate notes of licorice with a toffee crunch from the caramelized sugar.

Tea Suggestion:

These shortbread cookies are the IDEAL tea-time treat!  They are SO good with a cup of hot tea (especially black tea, as these cookies are great for dipping, if you’e in to that kind of thing!)  I brewed up a cup of this Organic Ceylon FBOP Black Tea from Kally Tea and … (insert joyful eating noise here).  Yeah.  YUM!

What I Think:

YUM!  These are amazing!

Of course, my expectations were high because I have tried a couple of other cookies from Lark Fine Foods and have loved what I’ve tried.  Plus … just the name of these shortbread cookies:  Burnt Sugar and Fennel.  Seriously … that sounds deliciously sweet and spicy.  And that’s exactly what these cookies are.

The shortbread is crisp and buttery.  The burnt sugar is in little clusters in the cookie, and when the tooth meets these clusters of burnt sugar, a chewy texture is enjoyed.  I really enjoy this contrast.  It is almost like discovering a “raisin” in a crunchy cookie … it’s that kind of chewy contrast to the crispness of the cookie.  But this tastes even better than a raisin because it’s caramel-y.  And caramel is always better than raisins.

The spiciness of these cookies is a really delicious balance to the sweetness from the caramel notes as well as the sweet, buttery cookie base.  It tastes like a zesty licorice-y taste with some warm peppery notes.

My Final Thoughts:

I love these cookies!  I might even like them better than the Salted Rosemary Shortbread from Lark.  Thank you, Knoshbox, for including them in this month’s box!  I want more!

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Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn from Rocky Mountain Popcorn

Product Information:

Cinnamon Sugar is our newest flavor that tastes like your mom’s cinnamon toast! We are proud to have this fantastic product in our line up and we are sure you will love the sweet taste.

I received a bag of this popcorn in my December Goodies Box.

Tea Suggestion:

Because this popcorn already has a delicious sweet and cinnamon-y taste, I decided to go with a pure tea (rather than a flavored tea!), so I chose this delicious Royal Golden Safari Black Tea from Butiki Teas.  The natural spice notes of the tea were accentuated by the cinnamon sugar coated popcorn.  A really delightful tea time!

What I Think:

After trying some other gourmet flavored popcorn, Cinnamon Sugar popcorn just seemed kind of … ho-hum.  Boring.  Or so I thought until I tried it!  This is really yummy! It reminds me a lot of kettle corn, but with a delicious cinnamon-y twist.

The popcorn has a fluffy yet crispy texture, and I didn’t find the hulls to be too bothersome.  I was a little disappointed in the state of the popcorn … there were more small pieces of popcorn rather than full-sized, popped kernels … as if the package had been smashed or something.  I got some full-sized kernels, but there were considerably more “crumbs” than anything to this pouch.  The “crumbs” are still tasty, of course, but it’s easier to eat the full-sized kernels than the crumbs so it was a little less than ideal to snack on because the majority of my package was crumbs.

I did find a few un-popped kernels, as well as a few half-popped kernels.  I like half-popped kernels, so I’m not going to complain about that, but, when the package is mostly crumbs, and I’m left needing to pour the crumbs in my hand to eat them, and I bite down on an un-popped kernel in the handful … that’s a little unpleasant.

My Final Thoughts:

Overall, I enjoyed this snack, it was tasty … I just wish that there were more big, fluffy kernels and fewer kernel bits.

quinnpopcorn

Photo from Quinn Popcorn.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

Subtle, sweet, salty, and slightly addictive, our Vermont Maple & Sea Salt is a little like kettle corn excpet with the smooth sweetness of maple.

Like all of our popcorn, we never use GMO crops, coatings or chemicals on the bag, or any other scary stuff! This is truly microwave popcorn reinvented.

Learn more about Quinn Popcorn on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

I generally like iced tea with popcorn, because I like something I can drink easily (not so hot that I need to blow on it to cool the surface!) to help tone down the saltiness as it builds on my palate.  I wanted something crisp and clean, something that wouldn’t interfere with the yummy flavors of the popcorn.  I chose to chill some Dragon Well Tea from Foxfire Teas, and it was just perfect.  The tea was sweet and mild, slightly vegetative, and allowed the flavors of Maple from the popcorn to really shine through.  Yummy!

What I Think:

This review is LONG overdue.  I received this popcorn in my Earth Day Foodzie box (yes, that’s right, back in April), and I did eat one bag of the popcorn back in April.  It was so good, and impressed me so much, but the flavor was so distinctly autumnal, I decided to save the second bag of microwave popcorn for an evening later in the year, when the maple flavor would be something I really savored.

This popcorn reminds me a little bit of the original Orville Redenbacher’s flavored microwave popcorn varieties that were released a few decades ago … back when the cheese powder or the caramel were packaged separately from the popcorn, and you’d first pop the popcorn and then add the caramel or cheese powder.  Not in flavor or quality, mind you, because this is infinitely better than anything I’ve ever tasted from Orville Redenbacher’s, but because the flavoring comes in a separate pouch and you sprinkle it on yourself after the popcorn has been popped.

But that’s where the similarities end.  First of all, unlike the microwave popcorn that you buy in the grocery store, this is not all caked onto the center portion of the bag, because there is no oil or whatever that congealed gunk is in the microwave popcorn bag.  The popcorn in this compostable, chemical-free bag is loose, freely roaming in the popcorn bag, not stuck together in some weird goop.

After the popcorn has been popped, you open the bag, and pour in the package of canola oil.  According to this, the oil used is supposed to be good for you, or at least better for you than aforementioned caked gunk that is in the other microwave popcorn bags, and I’m inclined to believe it.  I don’t know why I believe it, I just do.  congealed goop versus clear, pourable, expeller pressed canola oil.

This canola oil doesn’t really impart a lot of flavor, but it does keep the powdered flavor of maple sugar and grey sea salt on the popped corn kernels.  I like that these flavor pouches come separately, and I can choose how much of each ingredient I want in my popcorn.  I used half the pouch of the oil, and I still very much enjoyed the popcorn.  This did result in some of the maple and salt ending up loose, in the bottom of my bowl rather than stuck to popcorn, but I didn’t really seem to mind as the bowl of popcorn vanished in record time.

The popcorn – underneath the flavored sugar and salt, underneath the canola oil – is the key to what makes this popcorn so much better than any popcorn that had been popped in a microwave.  It is light and fluffy.  Tender yet crispy.  The hulls are thinner and not as hard as some other microwave popcorn.  Even without the flavoring, this is easily the best microwave popcorn I’ve ever had.

But the flavoring!  Oh wow!  Maple sugar and grey sea salt.  Do I need to say more?   This is the best kettle corn ever!  This flavor of popcorn could easily be a vegetarian’s substitute for bacon.  All that’s missing is a little bit of smoke, which could easily be supplied by tea if you choose a Lapsang Souchong like the one I mentioned above.

My Final Thoughts:

I requested an air popper for Christmas, because I do prefer air popped popcorn.  I like the option to serve popcorn without any additives (although occasionally, I’m sure I’m going to melt some butter and have a little sea salt on it), but, for the times when I want flavored popcorn, I’m probably going to order some Quinn’s Popcorn online.  I want to try the other flavors too!   This stuff is outstanding!  My one complaint:  I wish there were fewer unpopped kernels in the bottom of the bowl.  Other than that, this popcorn is without fault!

This picture is from Knoshbox. Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

There is nothing like the sweet flavor of these Belgian Liege Waffles with crispy crunchy pearl sugar crystals! Imported from Belgium.

These Belgian Pearl Sugar Waffles are available in the Knoshbox’s Marketplace for a limited time.

Tea Suggestion:

Because I normally associate waffles with breakfast – I had to reach for a black tea because black tea  goes best with breakfast (maybe that’s a bit too traditional, but there you go).  Try this Shagadelic Breakfast Blend from The Tea Spot!  It’s “really groovy, baby,” and it turns this Belgian Waffle “snack” into a sweet, light meal of sorts.

What I Think:

This product had me scratching my head for a while.  A packaged waffle?  Packaged as a snack?  Really?  It just sounded kind of weird.  I guess I come from the school of thought where waffles are for breakfast, and are best when served freshly cooked right off the waffle iron.  My youngest daughter loves the frozen waffles … and that’s her usual breakfast choice.  But, when I want waffles, I drag out the old waffle iron and I make ’em from scratch.

So this Belgian Pearl Sugar Waffle packaged like a treat – like an alternative to a big cookie or a muffin – just seemed so different and unusual and really quite odd.  But hey,  I was willing to give it a shot.

For the purposes of this review, I heated the waffle in the oven for a few minutes (not enough to really get it hot, but, just a little warmer than the room temperature waffle).  I cut it in half to try one half as is – no topping whatsoever … and with the other half, I just couldn’t resist trying some of the Bing Cherry Sauce and Preserves that was also included in this month’s Knoshbox.  (The sauce is really yummy, by the way, and I’ll be reviewing that a little later).

While I did have my doubts, these are really yummy!  They are sweet … the same kind of sweetness you might get from a muffin … but in waffle form.  I can even taste (and feel the texture from) the little pearl sugar crystals in this, and this adds a really tasty (albeit sweet) dimension to the waffle.  The texture of it reminds me a bit of the sugary crumb topping you might find on a muffin … and here it’s been baked right in to the waffle.

And to tell the truth, I like this better without the topping than with it.  Without the topping, it reminds me a bit of a funnel cake, but a little more dense and because of the denseness it has a real hunger satisfying quality to it.  With the topping, it is really sweet – still delicious (and I’m loving the Bing Cherry topping) but just a little sweeter than I wanted.

My Final Thoughts:

Yeah, I really didn’t know what to think about this waffle thing when I first got it as part of my Knoshbox, but I really enjoyed it and I think it fits in with the “fair” theme that Knoshbox selected as it’s theme for August.  Tasty – if I saw these in the grocery store, I’d buy them again.  I don’t know that I’d place a special order for them online, but, if I happened to be at the store and saw them on the shelf, I’d add a couple to my cart.

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

About Spun City:

Seeking a way to satisfy snackers who had both a serious sweet tooth and an eco-centric sensibility, Spun City fluffed up its first batch of cotton candy using organic sugar in 2008, starting with classic grape flavor and ultimately spinning out to cherry vanilla. Their cotton candy has no chemicals, dyes, or pesticides, and is vegan, fat-free and sodium-free.

Learn more about Bernod’s Spun City on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

Cotton candy has a way of drying the mouth, so I recommend something you can gulp down quickly and easily … it’s iced tea to the rescue again!  Because I really wanted to explore the cherry and vanilla notes of this confection, I went with something simple:  Green Rooibos from Shanti Tea.  This unflavored, pure green rooibos has a light, natural fruit-like taste to it that really seemed to bring out some more of the cherry and vanilla tones, which I found to be a bit delicate with this cotton candy.  A perfect pair.

What I Think:

Cotton Candy has always been a favorite of mine, especially when I was a child.  As a youngster, whenever I’d visit an amusement park, there were two culinary delights I wanted:  corn dogs and cotton candy.  So, something inside me gets very excited when it comes to cotton candy, and it was this item that prompted me to select the Boardwalk Box this month.

But let’s face it, packaged cotton candy has nothing on the freshly spun sugar floss that is found at the amusement park, and sadly, the same is true of this packaged cotton candy.  Don’t get me wrong, this stuff is really good, sweet, fluffy and melt-in-my-mouth delicious, but, it doesn’t have that lighter-than-air taste and texture that I miss from the amusement park.

All that said, this stuff IS good.  Very good.  It melts as soon as it hits the tongue, dissolving into a sweet, slightly grainy crunch of sugar with a hint of cherry and vanilla flavor.  My sweet tooth approves.

My Final Thoughts:

I loved this product.  Will I buy it again?  Well, I don’t think I’ll go searching for it, or pay shipping charges to purchase it online, but, if I found it while shopping, I might pick up a bag or two.  I think I need to save my pennies and get myself a cotton candy machine, though.