Kika’s Treats Dark Chocolate Brazilian Honey Cakes

Whenever I’m reminded of anything reminiscent of elementary school, my thoughts inevitably turn to school lunches and the intense bartering inside “the system.” Man, there were more transactions in one table of Tisko Elementary than on Wall Street. Doritos flew and pretzels and raisins went untouched for the most part, but the real stars of lunchtime were the snack cakes. If you were that one lucky kid whose mom bought Little Debbie or Hostess, you had an entire cadre of food or even money at your disposal. Kids fought with their bare hands for snack cakes.These days I like to think I’m above strangling someone for an Oatmeal Creme Pie. After all, I’m not in prison, and somehow the novelty of eating a snack cake dissipated once I discovered that they were sold in packs of twelve for three bucks and that they were, for the most part, pretty commonplace. I haven’t had one in ages due to my nearly unlimited supply of better, cheap as free foods, one of those being Kika’s Treats. First Tracks alerted me to these and picked up a few packs, noting that they won the award of best cookies in SF Weekly in 2009 and gave them to me to test out.Brazilian honey cake, or pão de mel, is a confection I don’t have much experience with, but after doing a little preliminary research, is similar in texture to a lebkuchen and is generally eaten for breakfast or as a snack due to its dense structure and restrained sweetness. Cover it in chocolate and you’ve got an instant hit. In this case, it brought me right back to my childhood, but with better snacks! Eating these is like eating a snack cake for an upscale adult audience. It’s fluffy with a good structure, so it isn’t prone to falling apart. The cake to chocolate ratio is perfect. The cake is flavored with a heady, aromatic mix of spices, the clove and cinnamon persistent without being overwhelming. The honey also brings a comforting richness to the cake. It brings back nostalgia with none of the hydrogenated guilt that comes with the Hostess territory. Keepitcoming and I were so smitten with these that we talked about them for most of yesterday afternoon and well into today. They were perfect representations of a better take on an old classic.

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