Athena’s Silverland Dessert Collection, Part II

Here’s the next selection of bars from Athena’s Silverland Desserts. I’ve been slowly nibbling away at them, little by little, and they’re just fantastic. I ate three flavors of bars today, and I am full and bloated, but for you readers, I’d do anything. 😉

I started out by trying a 7-layer bar, also called a magic cookie bar. That’s how I’ve always known them to be, magic cookie bars. They’re bars with a graham cracker crust base, condensed milk, nuts, chocolate, walnuts, and coconut. I don’t actually think there are seven layers, just seven ingredients. They’re prepared in layers, though.

This particular bar had a nice, chewy coconutty flavor, with the addition of butterscotch chips with the chocolate. My mother doesn’t like to put butterscotch chips in her bars because she thinks they’re too sweet, so growing up, I never had the luxury of trying the bars with butterscotch. It’s fantastic. I love how the butterscotch adds a salty bite to the bar and gives it a slightly richer taste.

The bar itself wasn’t dry, but the coconut was a little flaky and fell off in parts. I could not taste any nuts, but the graham cracker crust was moist and buttery. Warm, it melted in my mouth. The bar was tasty and very rich.
7/10- WONDERFUL

I also tried the chocolate toffee crunch. This brownie was chilled in the fridge for whatever reason, so I let it sit a while at room temperature and get a little warmer. The brownie base was good, a nice, chewy, almost fudgie brownie, but there was very little toffee to see on the brownie. I couldn’t taste much within the interior, either. My mother said that she felt as though the brownie was undercooked, but I thought it was perfect

The toffee that I did taste reminded me less of toffee than it did caramel, and it wasn’t very noticeable. It was overpowered by the chocolate, which was good, but didn’t balance well regarding the ratio of chocolate to toffee. I would have preferred to see a layer of toffee, or perhaps hard toffee pieces, because it said it was a toffee crunch, but there was no crunch to speak of.

5/10- OKAY

The last brownie I tried for today was the hopscotch bar, and I’m a little confused about it. Looking on the website for the description, I saw no notice whatsoever of the hopscotch bar. There wasn’t any product description or photo for it, and nothing came up when I searched, either. I’m thinking hopscotch might be a cute nomiker for their blondies, which is the closest thing that came up for me.

Either way, it was a good bar. It had lots of chunks in it, and lots of goodies- chocolate chips, butterscotch, and walnuts, on a blonde brownie base. The texture was very rough, but it provided a nice contrast to the smoother flavors I’d been having. The walnuts were big in the flavor department here, and went very well with the vanilla-flavoring in the base.

6/10- TASTY

Again, excellent selection! See you tomorrow for Part III of the bar reviews! I have some backed up reviews for you, too, including Mia’s Mallows, Barker Chocolate Box, and Strawberried Peanut Butter M&M’s!

Papa John’s Pepperoni Pizza with Special Garlic Sauce

I started the first day of my new job today, and we ordered pizza from Papa John’s for lunch. Never had Papa John’s before, but from what I have heard, it’s a relatively comparable chain brand, most people calling it better than Pizza Hut or Domino’s.

So the pizzas came, and to be honest, I was a bit worried. They were pretty tiny to feed eighteen people, but each piece was surprisingly filling. I had two slices and was full. Could have eaten three, but we are all good sharers in camp and took enough to feed everyone. The pizzas themselves remind me of a really well-cooked frozen pizza- the way the box wants it to look. There are those little delicious crispy dots on the cheese, saying that it’s cooked, and the color is nice and even.

The pizza itself is good, a softer and thick pizza, but not quite as thick as the DiGiorno’s I had to completely eliminate it from the pizza category. The crust is good, if a little dry. The pepperoni was all over the pizza, which was good, and it was a nice, thin slice of meat with good flavor and a nice chew to it. There was a sauce labeled only as “Special Garlic” boxed in with the pizzas, and that was quite intriguing. I’ll eat anything that looks like badly typed Engrish in Comic Sans.

I opened the sauce and found a yellow, melty substance, that could only best be described as pee. No, not pee, but it just looked like melted margarine, not a special sauce. I dipped it in my crust. Not garlicky. Not special. Just sauce. Margarine sauce.

Overall, the pizza was good. I’m not sure if I’d get it again as it is just a tiny little thing and not really worth the money, but was tasty. That being said, my pizza chain alliance lies squarely with the stuffed crust enterprise. Come on. You know that’s incredible shit.

SPECIAL GARLIC: 2/10- UNIMPRESSIVE
PIZZA: 6/10- OKAY

A selection from Whisked Away Bakery

Aside from having an incredibly adorable name, Whisked Away Bakery does whisk me- in both senses of the word- to a gastronomical fantasy land.

I got a large package, filled to the brim with treats and colorful paper. There were four treats to eat, an Aztec brownie with cinnamon, chipotle powder, and pine nuts on top, two chocolate chip cookies, two white chocolate cranberry cookies, and an orange creamsicle rice crispy treat.

I tried the white chocolate cranberry cookies first, while munching around and looking at the rest of the goodies. These are huge, huge cookies, about the size of a dessert plate, and thick as hell. They are overall, quite crunchy, with very little give. The white chocolate is dotted intermittently throughout the cookie with the cranberries, as well as some sort of strange, unlisted nut.

Shauna, the proprietor, puts an ingredient list on the back of each package so you know what’s going into it. There is very little going into these, and in this case, less is more. These cookies are very filling, if a tad too crumbly for me, but have a delicious, homey feel to them that makes them high on my list.

7/10- LOVELY

Next up were the chocolate chip cookies. I mean, damn, these things really are large and hefty cookies. The batter was similar, with the same warm and homey feel of the white chocolate cookies, but was liberally studded with chocolate chips.

I guess I felt like there would have been a little more chocolate in these, or maybe might have hit the point home better if they were half-dipped in chocolate. They were just a little too crunchy for me, but my dad liked them. He’s an aficionado for all things crispy-crunchy.

6/10- YUMMY

Next was the orange creamsicle rice crispy treat. This was truly a gourmet treat. It was two layers thick, one layer consisting of a vanilla bean rice crispy treat and the other layer an orange flavored treat, just like the frozen delight!

The cutest, most adorable part about this, which I personally loved, was the ice cream stick it was perched upon. This served two purposes. It made it into a lollipop, which was extremely cute and original and really played off of the ice cream pop flavor, and it took the stickiness away from my hands. Not that this was even a very sticky treat, actually.

The orange and vanilla, when eaten separately, were delicious, but together, fused a delightful and creamy-tasting treat. The crunch is of the utmost perfection when you sink your teeth into this. I loved how it retained its shape and stuck together without crumbling.

This is, without a doubt, the ultimate kid’s delight. And adults, too, now, with this sophisticated flavoring and tasty portability.

9/10- EXCELLENT

The last treat was the real star of this batch, the Aztec chocolate brownie. I have to admit- I almost didn’t try this. The idea of chocolate and spiciness has been kicked around by a number of chocolatiers, and the idea just didn’t appeal to me as much. But I had to try it, and I can never turn down a good, fudgey brownie.

I was so, so wrong. I warmed the brownie up for a few seconds before eating it, and topped it with a little whipped cream. I took a bite. It was chewy. It was smooth and dense, almost like a ganache cake than a brownie. But no heat. Just when I was about to write it off, it was like a little tiny Shauna was at the back of my throat, pounding at it going, “Not on my brownie, you don’t!”

Heat.

HEAT.

HEAT!

It burnt. It made me salivate. It was perfect. It was perfect and chocolatey and delicious. The ancho chipotle provided a smokey, but very subtle and tasty burn in my throat that didn’t hurt or take away any of the taste. It just warmed up my entire sensory system, like drinking a hot chocolate or eating something with lots of cinnamon. It was warm. And so, so tasty.

I was wrong. I’ll be the first to admit it. It was incredible. This brownie was like a dessert rather than a bake sale treat. It was amazing, and I’d be glad to try it again…and again…and again! I wish I had a picture to show you, but it’s a brand new product from Whisked Away. The pine nuts were the perfect, subtle crunch, too.

10/10- SUPERB

So if you’re like me, and dissuaded by some new things, don’t be! I tried quail egg…why not this?

Whisked Away Bakery
whiskedawaybakery.etsy.com

Newman’s Own Organics Sea Salt Soy Crisps


Hello, everyone! Sorry for the lag in posts. It was a very busy week.

I did get some snacking done, though, and I tried the lovely sea-salt flavored Newman’s Own Organics Soy Crisps.

I am a potato chip fiend through and through. Nothing delights me more than a good, crispy chip, which I do have for review soon, but to my surprise, I couldn’t stop eating these crisps.

They have a nice, rice and soy based crunch to them, very crispy, and soft throughout. Unlike other crisps, there’s no strange and brittle crunch. The sea salt comes out in them in a very subtle, but tasty way. They are quite low in calories.

If these could be improved, I might say that they could use a little more sea salt. I ate them on a stomachache and their plain and simple flavor was very tasty and easy on my stomach, especially with the overall consistency, but to some, they may be a little bland.

6/10- OKAY

Welch’s 100% White Grape Juice

Compared to the red grape juice of yesterday’s post, this juice was much better.

It’s a nice, white grape juice, and tastes very, very sweet. Much sweeter than the red grape, but still tasty. For some reason, I didn’t get as much syrupy flavor as with the red, but would have diluted it anyhow. It was a tasty juice.

A little bottle is enough for me when it’s that syrupy anyhow. It was thick, but seemed to get better as it chilled in the freezer. Welch’s makes a damned fine juice, but I think I’m going to stick to the lite kind for now. I’ve been raised to its standard. Curse you, diet kings and queens!

6/10- GOOD

CVS Simply Divine Luxury Wafers with Chocolate Creme

These are your standard, “I forgot to bring a gift to this party oh shit, what should I bring, I only have the cash that’s in my change drawer,” gift.

They come in one of those little cylindrical canisters, the packaging is very pretty, if a bit over the top. Ribbons, banners, and scripty font are vomited all over the package, making it look like a cotillion’s afterbirth residue.

The wafers themselves are pretty distinguished, actually, with gaily patterned stripes and dots, looking like what giraffe bones might. The taste isn’t anything special, really.

When you bite into one of these, you’re immediately stabbed by the shards of the wafer. At least they’re tasty shards, albeit mingled with blood. The creme really is chocolate creme. It’s melty and tasty and not stale-tasting or resembling mockolate at all.

6/10- ALL RIGHT

Burger King Orange Icee


Hmm.

It’s certainly been a while since I’ve had an Icee, but for 1.00 for twelve ounces, how could I pass it up?

It was an orange Icee, with that creamy slush-style that we’re all accustomed to. Not my favorite- I prefer a Slush Puppy style, chipped ice and syrup drink, but we can’t all have what we want.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to sip this and taste not orange, but my favorite soda of all time- Stew Leonard’s Orange Cream, which I’ll soon be doing a review on. I had no idea this was dreamsicle flavored!

The ice wasn’t consistently textured. Sometimes, little blobs, like Dippin’ Dots, of ice came up in the straw. Interesting, at the least. But the flavor was tasty and not burning-sugary.

6/10- TASTY

Late Night Doritos: Tacos At Midnight

Image Copyright Frito Lay

I tried them! I finally tried them!

You don’t know how excited I was to finally find these in a store in my crappy New England town- a town that can only dream of the Midwestern delicacies and snacks that it can never provide!

I slid on the laminated floor at Walgreens and collided into a mildly perturbed Food, screaming, “IT’S LATE NIGHT DORITOS! LATE NIGHT FOR LATE NIGHT STANDS! I FOUND THEM!”

He took me home. With my Doritos.

I was really excited to try these- after all, so many blogs had lauded them! I opened the bag and inhaled, and they smelled crisp and fresh and like a real, live taco- with the sour cream.

I ate them, and they were good. But alas, it might have been my euphoria, or perhaps the fact that I ate all the obnoxiously seasoned ones, but I got tired of them. I was sad.

My late night tacos with greasy grease, nevermore…

6/10- OKAY

Dunkin’ Donuts Boston Creme

Image copyright The Traveling HungryBoy

Mmmm…doughnuts. Nothing better than those.

D&D ran a contest about a month ago, and I genuinely hope I win. Why? Because I got to create the ultimate doughnut.

See, I love Boston Creme. It’s a love hate affair between the two of us. On one hand, I love the glaze, the cream, and the overall gooshiness of the product, but the cake…it’s just bleh. I love their glazed sticks- that’s good cake, but this is more of a Wonder-bread like product than their cake doughnuts, and it brings an almost neutral, bland taste to the entire thing.

I love it. I just wish there was more sugar and flavor, and that’s why I created my doughnuts.

6/10- MAYBE