Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Spread Dark Chocolate Bar

Don’t worry, I won’t complain too much, but I need to get this out in the open: the LSAT isn’t killing me, but it is kind of stressful. And, at risk of sounding somewhat stereotypical, sometimes the best medicine for stress is chocolate and a ton of alcohol. As having a stiff drink wouldn’t be good before the gym (I look drunk enough running on a treadmill when I’m sober) I opted for the former when Miss Love and I picked up this speculoos spread dark chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s today.
Speculoos is this year’s red velvet or last year’s cupcakes or 2010’s salted caramel. For those of you who don’t know, and I’m assuming that includes the Amish and diabetics, speculoos is like shortbread’s tanner, more exotic cousin from the Netherlands. It’s spicy and crunchy and is fairly simple to make and eat. And ever since people found out that flying Delta meant free Biscoff cookies, they’ve been going crazy for them. Personally, I only get Biscoff cookies when I’m flying Delta versus buying them in the grocery store because I feel like I’m being rewarded for dropping $500 on a flight crammed with babies and the morbidly obese, but since the debut of their new Biscoff spread, I’ve seen many a cupcake or cookie made with them.
This chocolate bar isn’t explicitly advertised as being made with Biscoff spread, but since Trader Joe’s sells popular brands under its own private labels, it isn’t necessary to be Scooby Doo to figure this mystery out. The bar is very smartly presented in a bright gold wrapper and navy blue outer liner. The dark chocolate coating on the bar is fairly thick and is molded beautifully. For a dollar candy bar, it’s glossy and crisp with a delicately textured grid on top and separates easily into six pieces with a good snap. The dark chocolate is woodsy and smooth and melts coolly on the tongue, if a little slowly. The filling is where this most shines. It has a thick, buttercream-like texture to it and a few basic spice notes– cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, were immediately present in the bite. It is a little greasy but doesn’t induce queasy feelings and has a slight crunchy grittiness from the cookie pieces embedded inside.
It’s quite tasty and isn’t afraid to be a little salty, but could have been more aggressive in flavor, as the dark chocolate was very powerful and thickly molded around the filling. In the end pieces, this tends to overwhelm the filling. Still, if I only had a dollar to buy a candy bar, this would win every time. Its quality far surpasses its price. I’ll have to stock up on my next visit to Trader Joe’s in case this disappears during the next financial quarter.

belVita Breakfast Biscuits: Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry, Honey Oat

Cookies for breakfast! No, your inner nine-year old didn’t mishear you. And we’re not talking about the Hollywood Cookie Diet, either. These are honest-to-goodness cookies…probably the ones your inner child would make a face at, but still. Cookies. You win some, you lose some. Already a hit in the UK, much like One Generation, Nutella, and the Royal Wedding, people are crazy about belVita. Although “belVita fever” does actually sound like some sort of jungle-based disease straight out of Conrad.
Kraft sent these over in the three varieties currently available- apple cinnamon, blueberry, and honey oat. A few logistical issues presented themselves immediately after opening the box. For starters, while the UK is clearly a very educated and clever place in close proximity to France, where the name’s double entendre invokes whimsical thoughts of a “good life.” Here, it just rhymes with Velveeta, an association nobody really wants to have when they think of breakfast or cookies. In the packaging department, while belVita markets itself as an on-the-go supplementary alternative to less healthy foods, it lacks the structural support of a granola bar to just toss in a purse or bag and forget about. Even before we tried transporting these, they were crumbled out of the box and broken in many places. Trying to bring them somewhere would likely reduce these to crumbs.
So, the flavors. Unquestionably, blueberry was our favorite out of the three. It tasted like a buttery cross between a Lorna Doone cookie and a muffin, complete with chewy dehydrated blueberries in each cookie. The combination of the crispy, dense oats and the fruit was delicious and it made a great addition to oatmeal as well as a fine stand-alone snack. Honey oat was more basic and would likely be good in the morning as a bland, easy snack before your taste buds wake up and demand real food. The only one that we really disliked was apple cinnamon. It had a fake, synthetic flavor that seemed more like the aftermath of chewing green apple bubble gum and then eating a cookie than a flavor unto its own. It was far too sweet and had a grittier texture than the rest. All were sweet, but could have used a little more salt to enhance the buttery cookie base.
While I like the concept of belVita- eating a few different things for breakfast to mix up the selection, I don’t think it’s a very healthy way to start the day. Its fiber is really the chief appeal- it adds an extra 280 calories and 8 grams of fat to whatever you eat. Although I’ve never been much of a breakfast person and prefer to nurse a cup of coffee, I still think that this is counterproductive if one is trying to eat better. That being said, one of these made a wonderful topping for my salted molasses oatmeal.

Birthday Cake Oreos

Oreo is celebrating their 100th birthday this year, and they sent me these a week before they hit grocery store shelves to help pump you up for the celebration. And like a DJ at a lackluster Bar Mitzvah, I never fail to get the party started. (Except when the chicken dance is on.)
Oreo has knocked it out of the park with this one, folks. This isn’t some chintzy special packaging or colored deal. This is a brand new flavor, vanilla birthday cake with sprinkles, with a special pattern on the cookies and a limited run. Oh, and they’re Double Stuf, which you know is some serious business. Featuring a new resealable package format and a limited edition seal of approval, I’m pleased to report that these are some of the tastiest new members of the Oreo family since freaking peanut butter.
I’ll admit, I was a little worried when I first opened the package. It smelled a hair artificial, like one of those flavored candles at Walmart that looks edible, but will definitely get you dragged out of the store for biting into. However, those fears were assuaged the moment I cracked one of those bad boys open. Funfetti, you’ve met your match. These are crammed with rainbow-colored sprinkles. Eating these is like a party in my mouth where everyone has their own cake.
Where these succeeded the most was in the impeccable flavor juxtaposition. The Oreo cookies, never too sweet, provided an excellent contrast to the sugary center. The filling provides a rush of nostalgic flavors with its creamy texture and Betty Crocker-esque frosting taste. A wonderful new cookie to celebrate an amazing landmark in Oreo history.
From three generations of Oreo lovers, I would like to cordially wish Oreo a happy, happy birthday, with the hopes that the brand lasts another 100- and then some!
You can get these Oreos starting March 6th, Oreo’s official 100th birthday. They’ll be available for a limited time only, so if you’re a fan, stock up while you can!

Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme Santa

This candy has long been a favorite of mine, and I know I’m not alone. I think the Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme Bar is one of the only ones to incorporate a little salinity into their chocolate, which makes it my automatic preference when it comes to picking out movie candy or a treat. It’s one of the only commercially popular white-chocolate based bars out there as well as one of the few cookie-centric treats that has survived the 90’s. Guys, remember the Reese’s Crunchy Cookie Cup? A moment of silence. I’ve seen assortments of dark and milk chocolate bars along with the white ones in miniature bars, but I haven’t tried them yet.
Everything about this bar is pretty much perfect, from the salty, crispy cookies that actually taste like chocolate wafers to the sweet white chocolate. It’s a little too sweet, but those cookies make it just dreamy. This Christmas-themed Cookies ‘n’ Cream bar is shaped like Santa Claus’s head. It’s nicely molded and cheerful, until you remember that you’re slowly dismembering an already decapitated public figure. Can’t win ’em all. That being said, this was great to eat- thicker than the bar and packed with a denser layer of cookie pieces, and gone in about four bites.
Sorry, big guy.

Hershey’s sent this over along with a few other goodies that you’ll see pop up in a neat recipe this week. Wanna win a Hershey’s holiday gift pack? It has one of these beautiful babies along with some other classic favorites repackaged for the holidays- a Hershey’s Kiss Santa hat, creamy Hershey’s milk chocolate holiday bells, Rolo candies, and more!
To win, just comment on this post with something holiday-related. Tell me what you’re going to eat. Tell me about the worst gift you’ve ever received. Extra entries will be given if you retweet or post on your Facebook with a link to this post including the phrase, “Meet me under the mistletoe, Foodette!” or any other slightly creepy-sounding holiday-oriented phrase and let me know where you put it. The link, that is. Options include, but are not limited to, “Let me see your latkes,” and “Honey, where’s the Ramadan?” Failing that, “My daughter has her own website and all I got was a half-eaten box of artisanal truffles.” I’ll post the winner on the 18th, and you’ll be eating bells by Christmas!

Oreo Chestnut Crunch Bar

I’m lucky to know the people I know. I’m aware that everyone has a great set of friends and family members, but trust me, mine are the best. There are a lot of annoying, boring dickholes in the world, and I pride myself in having an automatic filter that sorts them out of my pack. I like ’em weird. I like ’em smart. Eating the Oreo Chestnut Crunch bar sort of solidified this affirmation in my head. I like what I like, and the rest can go to hell.
J-List’s wonderful scouts sent this bar, along with some other fantastic treats, over to us. I was incredibly excited to try this because nothing stokes my fires, and that includes Michelin stars, like foreign versions of American products. Give me taro pies from McDonald’s and karaage-flavored Doritos- Cooler Ranch has nothing on that. Chestnuts and Oreos seem like it would do well on the consumer market, especially around winter time. If New York vendors are still able to consider roasted chestnuts a lucrative treat despite being somewhat obsolete, how bad could this be?
The Oreo base has a texture somewhere between an actual Oreo and an Oreo truffle- dense, with a slight crunch, and that waxy almond bark-style coating I tend to enjoy when paired with cookies. The crunch is pleasant and I found myself really enjoying the crispiness of the bar and that addictive bittersweet Oreo cookie flavor that makes them so delicious. The chestnut flavor was pretty hit-or-miss. While it had a buttery, creamy flavor that real nuts sometimes have, the flavor manifested itself in more of an artificial syrup, like the kind you’d typically see in a latte. But while that has its place paired with coffee, a drink bitter on its own, paired with Oreos and chocolate makes it a little saccharine. If I hadn’t known this was chestnut-flavored, I would have guessed mocha. It has that sweet coffee flavor that I’m somewhat endeared to. Nevertheless tasty. I’m really liking Oreos in bar format- they just have a more grainy, crunchy texture and lend themselves to more flavor additives.Check out this and other awesome snacks at www.j-list.com!

Ginger and Black Pepper Truffles

Halloween, you were fun, but now you’re merely a thing of the past. For the record, I didn’t dress up. I sat at home taking the practice LSAT for the second time. Spooky, right? Oh well. One can’t do everything, namely, ingest Slippery Nipples in a sexy pediatrician’s costume and get hit on by poorly made up Jokers. I did, however, leave Halloween in the past and focus on the latest and greatest upcoming holiday, Guy Fawkes Day. Because it’s strictly against my zoning laws to blow stuff up, I made gunpowder-inspired cookie truffles instead- smoky, spicy, snappy.

Cookie-based truffles and cake truffles are nothing new. Everybody and their mother has done something with them, and in eight katrillion flavors. But however hard I looked, and believe me, I looked hard, I couldn’t find truffles that utilized my absolute favorite cookie, Newman’s Own Organics Ginger-O. God, how I love it. It’s one of the only cookies that passed our scrutiny enough to buy it time and time again. To celebrate November and a three point raise from my first test, here are some Ginger and Black Pepper Truffles.
These are easy to make and even easier to doll up with interesting flavors if you’re so inclined. I used cinnamon and ground ginger in my white chocolate dip, and a cracked black pepper garnish on top. I only made 1/3 of the recipe, which yielded 16 truffles, but if you’re making these for a crowd, use the entire package. The reduced and full recipes are both below.
To start, take your Ginger-O’s out of the package and put them in a food processor.
Grind them up until they’re completely crumbled. I sprinkled some ground ginger in there, too. Make sure there aren’t any whole pieces left that have escaped the wrath of the blade.
Take your cream cheese- 1/3rd of the package or the entire block if you’re making all the truffles, and blob it into the food processor. Pulse that together until you have a blended dough.
Shape the dough into relatively round balls and place on a cookie sheet. Chill for no less than an hour and as long as overnight. While your truffles are chilling, prepare the chocolate bark.
The grocery store was out of Wilton’s candy melts, so I tried these Dolci Frutta melts. While I figured them out, they made too thick of a shell and were absolutely infuriating to mold. Stick to chocolate bark or candy melts.
I mixed in my cinnamon and ground ginger and melted the chocolate. It didn’t get any more fluid than a thick paste, so I had to improvise and mold it around the balls, like a fondant. After that, quickly dust the truffles with cracked black pepper- while they are still wet so it is able to adhere. Chill for four hours to overnight, and eat!
These were delicious- a cross between a snickerdoodle and a spicy ginger snap. Hopefully these will kick off a new trend in cookie ballery. I know what I’m making for holiday cookies this year.
Ginger and Black Pepper Truffles (makes approximately 50)
Ingredients
1 pkg. Newman’s Own Organics Ginger-O’s
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pkg. white chocolate baking bark
Cracked black pepper to garnish
1. Dump the cookies into a food processor and blend until finely ground.
2. Blob in cream cheese and blend until soft, smooth dough forms
3. Roll dough into small balls (2 tsp.) and chill for one to twelve hours.
4. Melt chocolate baking bark in double boiler and add spices.
5. Dip chilled truffles into melted bark and garnish with cracked black pepper.
6. Chill for three to twelve hours and eat!
Adjusted ratios for 1/3 of a batch
1/3 pkg. (approximately 12) Newman O’s
1/3 pkg (2.6 oz) cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 package white chocolate baking bark
Cracked black pepper to garnish

Chocolate Chex Mix Cookies & Cream

There are certain flavor profiles that I automatically reach for when I’m looking for a snack. If I’m in the mood for chips, the spicy flavor is usually my first draft pick. With sweet snacks, it’s a little different, because there’s usually a much wider range, but I do know that if I ever see a cookies & cream flavored confection, that’s the one I end up taking home. Such is the case with this new Chex Mix flavor. I’ve never seen a C&C flavored snack outside of chocolate bars and ice cream, and wondered how this would shape up.
According to the prestigious publication, Convenience Store Decisions, this debuted in July after a positive response to the homestyle Muddy Buddies flavor and is the first salty snack mix to incorporate a cookies and cream flavor. So stop dreaming, Funyuns. As excited as I was to try this, actually eating it was just disappointing. Let me put it to you this way. I originally bought this as a small treat for Keepitcoming Love on our drive to Mohegan Sun, but had the foresight (hunger) to try it ahead of time. Miss Love is our resident cookies and cream aficionado, and this was so weak that giving it to her would have seemed like an insult.
It was awful. For a product that has the potential to incorporate a variety of textural and flavor nuances throughout a bite or two, this was upsettingly one-noted. Each piece was coated in a filmy substance, a finely ground dust in greyscale that I’m assuming is the cookies and cream condensed to a powder with the texture, but not the expertise, of a dessert at wd-50. Even on the pieces that seemed to be more grey, as though they contained more cookie, the flavor was overly sweet and lacking in any chocolate flavor. The package screams that there are “real cookies” in it, as opposed to the plastic “my first kitchen” ones I use when I make Chex Mix. I’ve already called witness protection and the FBI, as it appears as these have been processed through a woodchipper and slid into my plastic bag. Real cookies, my ass.
Perhaps the most aggravating element in this was the “sweet creamy coating” on the Chex. I’m not stupid. I know that any substitute or clever wording for chocolate (in this case, white chocolate) is a way to imply chocolate without having it in the ingredients. At the very least, I expected white mockolate. This didn’t even rise to the level of Palmer-esque confections. The coating caused it to fail as a portable snack, as it left a cocaine-like residue all over my desk. That wasn’t so bad, because at least the cocaine-esque stuff made me look like a cool, edgy person, but the flavor was downright unpalatable. As a cereal, the powder sank to the bottom and left an oily sheen on top. It was creepy stuff and made my teeth hurt.
I’m annoyed that the essence of the Chex Mix in itself is an endearingly haphazard, thrown together sort of affair and with that philosophy, neglected to include its flagship ingredient. Would it have been so hard to throw some pieces of Hydrox or co-brand with Kraft and use “real Oreo pieces” in there? I’m disappointed that a snack like this had so much potential and then dropped the ball. With a slim market for cookies and cream snacks, this isn’t helping other brands branch out into similar versions.

Momofuku Milk Bar, New York, NY

In my mind, I’ve had an ever-expanding bucket list of restaurants and products I’ve been dying to try or purchase. It spans from the 500 bottle EuroCave, complete with a 30 year Donnhoff and Yquem vertical for my tasting, to a dinner for two at wd-50 or French Laundry to a MetroKane Rabbit. One of the more attainable goals on my list was to check out David Chang’s Momofuku Milk Bar, one of five of his restaurants around New York City. Milk Bar is most known for its rotating selection of unusually flavored soft serve ice creams, the skill of its founding pastry chef, Christina Tosi, and David Chang’s hatred of bloggers. I was hoping that Milk Bar would impress me so that I would not end up on this seemingly persnickety shit list. Unfortunately, I was not dazzled by the hype.

Tucked cozily into the front of Ma Peche, customers must navigate like lab hamsters through the walls of low-lit pastries and chalkboard-written specials to find their lunch, but those looking for Milk Bar will find the decor and layout fairly easy to understand. Specialties include the Compost Cookie and Crack Pie, which former addicts will be pleased to know, does not contain actual crack, and the cereal milk milkshake. We tried all three, plus a pack of cake truffles and a few more cookies.

The best treat of the day was undoubtedly the cereal milk milkshake, and not simply because we were parched from the heat and screeches of teenage girls at Prada for the first time. While $6 buys you a squat, small cup and the promise of organic whole milk, the result is incredibly refreshing and not too sweet. The cereal milk manifests itself in a slurry of Corn Flakes and gelatin, strained out into a smooth milk and frozen. The result is a malty, neutral flavor with a cool, smooth texture that didn’t require the fellation of the straw to extract the goods. On a hot day, it was perfectly sweet with no sugar high and eventual crash.

I expected the cake truffles to be luscious, and they were. The pistachio truffle was well prepared with large chunks of pistachio nuts, a moist texture, and a nice hint of lemon zest in the white chocolate coating. It was slightly saccharine on the way down, but I chalked it up to the frosting glaze.

Next, we tried the cookies. Of the five cookies offered on the menu, we sampled three. After tasting those, I did not regret passing on the other two. The first selection, the corn cookie, seemed like it would be a pleasant follow-up to the neutrality of the milkshake. The vegetal flavors were well incorporated into the composition of the cookie. It tasted like an ear of fresh corn with butter and salt, but its excessive sweetness and flaccid break literally left a bad taste in my mouth. The texture was especially noticeable as a result of its flat, pancake shape. I found it disorienting to have such a light, fresh flavor combined with such a heavy mouthfeel. It had a texture absolutely saturated with oil, to the point where it made an audibly gooey squelch with each bite, and there was too much sugar to compliment the Willy Wonka-esque combination of vegetable and dessert. The texture was uniform with no corn pieces or salt crystals, and in the glow of natural light, the oil seeped out and glistened on our fingers.

This was not an aberration from the norm at Milk Bar. This super-sweet, unctuous quality was present in each dessert we tried, including the infamous Crack Pie. We wanted the Crack Pie to be our ironic saving grace, our narcotic Jesus in a world of greasy slickness, but it fell short of its name’s promise. (If I weren’t committed to keeping this website classy, I’d comment that I could have stayed home and eaten better crack pie free of charge).

The blueberry and cream cookie came across as a slightly-luxe version of the cloying $4 per dozen supermarket cookie. There was nothing outstanding about it that made me want to eat more, or frankly, eat it at all. The compost cookie had a uniform crunch with little balance between salty and sweet. The chunks of whole pretzels and nuts were reduced to a fine grain and the flavor was predominantly nutty and chocolatey.

Trying Milk Bar as a David Chang test-run doesn’t make me want to pony up for a full dinner, especially considering the sketchy, pretentious reservation system and ban on photography. Badass doesn’t have to mean bad-tempered, and in this case, Chang’s “do it or shut the fuck up” method comes across in the mediocrity of the cuisine.

Momofuku Milk Bar (Midtown) on Urbanspoon

Triple Double Oreo

I think one of the most common responses to my begrudging mentioni-er, casually handing someone my-er, passive-aggressively bringing up this website is a generally rhetorical question about my weight. How do you not gain weight? (I don’t) How do you keep off weight? (Prayer and vomiting) And, the coup de grace, how are you so beautiful and sexy? (God made me in his image, obvs- bangable to the max, son.)
I like to think I have both the best interest of marketing and personal taste in mind when choosing items to review for this site, yet also the interests of my friends, family, personal trainer, and mortal enemies in my thoughts as well.
Talkin’ to you, Scorpion.
But sometimes, solely for my own curiosity, I’ve just got to suck it up and review products that are neither fancy nor fit-making. I texted my mom while buying these Oreos in the grocery store. “For tonight’s post, which one of these would shame you less? Oreos? Or frozen pizza?” I typed, vapidly scanning the latest California Pizza Kitchen bastardization and the new Freschetta “Pizza, Cookies, Leftover Cereal and My Cousin’s Homemade Strain of Purple Diesel” kit for stoners and binge eaters. She said the Oreos, and off home I trudged. Little did she know that these were no regular Oreos, but mutated Oreos for the obese and biracial demographic. A cookie to bring home to Mom, assuming you’re Fat Albert. Yes, I’m referring to the underground marketing American Beauty, the Triple Double Oreo, brought to you by Michele Obama’s doppelganger, Ochele Mobama. Sounds a little evil. (Nabisco, why dun u answer my calls?????)
“Triple Double”, as the artist’s depiction presents above, is not three layers of Double Stuf creme. That would be, and is confirmed to be, pretty fucking gross. Though it’s worth noting that the white creme gloopily adhered to the cookies while the chocolate creme slid off in a solid mass. In this review alone, I have more fodder for a sociology paper than I did the last semester of college. It is a triple layer of cookies, that is to say, three cookies, sandwiching two layers of creme in chocolate and standard hydrogenated flavor. Got that? Soon we’ll move onto card counting, Raymond Babbitt.
Don’t banter over the linguistics in the comments form, people. I’ve already consulted with Noam Chomsky on this one, whereupon receiving the email and attached sexy Oreo pixxx, he shot himself in the head. So the crab play on cookies with a quacker on filling pretty much confirms my theory that Nabisco is just phoning it in at this point. They’re not very interesting at all. For starters, you’ll see that the filling flavors are simply ones we’ve had before, but now they’re crammed in a package in a lopsided formation worse than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Though it’s clear that the Italians, with the exception of one Pauly D, would not touch these.
They couldn’t even bother to make a separate middle cookie for these, that’s how little thought there is invested in this new selection. That being said, I was surprised at how happy I was with the textures inside the cookie. The closest parallel I can draw is to the Reese’s Crunchy Cookie Cup, with a layer of mush surrounding a layer of crunch. There is more crunch on the outside, but the inner texture is a welcome change from the gritty stickiness of the creme. The flavor of the two cremes is indistinguishable, and the overall flavor ends up tasting like a bulkier Oreo. Without milk, it was painful to consume, so I went with scotch instead. I imagine it would be better with the libation of your choice.
After the last bite, I was left feeling fairly apathetic, left only with a lust for the Crunchy Cookie Cup and a slight need to go run a few miles. The gym was closed, so I compromised by lighting the remainder of the package in front of the weight machines in a ritual sacrifice. If you’re craving a crunchy cookie with a crunch in the middle and a special filling, the Oreo Fudge Cremes are probably a better choice, unless you’re just dying to play a one-man pointy-edged version of Chubby Bunny with these behemoths.

Sucré Salted Caramel Gift Box

With its adorable boxes in colors reminiscent of Tiffany blue, lined in a chocolate brown clearly meant as a wink to its contents, Sucré New Orleans is the gastronomical definition of Southern genteel. Its offerings range from the tame, like chicory ganache truffles, to the thrilling, with confections like the sicilian pistachio and absinthe truffle, but always seem to be appropriate and fitting for any range of occasions.
Sucré recently sent us a few offerings, one of which happened to be their Salted Caramel gift box, chock full of goodies that eloquently displayed their range of expertise in chocolate making, baking, and gorgeous presentation. This box included a fifteen piece box of their Avery truffles, which features dark chocolate covering a chocolate caramel ganache with sea salt sprinkled on top, three of Sucré’s famous dark chocolate caramel cookies, and two flavored chocolate bars, salted pretzel and nibs ‘n’ brittle.
The cookies illustrated on their website looked large, but nothing could compare to the actual size of these behemoths. Seriously, they looked like edible Rai stones, but instead of a hole in the middle, there was an Avery truffle. I’ve long since attempted to get my cookies thick, chewy, and tall, and these were either baked in miniature springform pans or clearly beamed down from space. They are unworldly. The flavor is redolent with brown butter and the cookies are not shy about using salt as an accentuating component in their overall development. The dark chocolate drizzles on top of the cookie and the central truffle add a distinguishing textural difference to the cookie’s body. With the nutty, salty scent wafting up from the bag and the crumbly, cakey chew, these are not so much an assault to the senses so much as a duet with them.
After those cookies, which tasted freshly baked, the ensuing confections would have to be solid gold or rolled up dollar bills to compete. Luckily, their simplicity and quality ingredients were all it took. Sucré’s offerings rarely offend. While they aren’t necessarily as strange or unusual as other chocolatey offerings I’ve been privy to, they are always consistent in their usage of fine, locally sourced ingredients and generously proportioned quantities for your money. The chocolate bars are probably the best example of this general credo. I’ve previously reviewed the Sicilian pistachio and rose petal bar and with that in mind, tried these bars. The pretzel bar is a classic. In the past, I’ve seen it done with pretzel twists. I liked the pretzel stick idea, as it made the bar visually appealing in a classic geometric fashion, but there were far too few pretzels and far too much blank space in between them. One out of three bites had pretzel in it. When it was there, it was delicious. Crispy, slightly metallic, salty, and balanced perfectly with the chocolate. But other bites were just chocolate. Delicious chocolate, but not what was advertised and somewhat deadened by the lack of toppings.
The other bar didn’t suffer from this as much. It had a few different toppings, including a beautiful, glassy pecan brittle. In this bar, the salted element was much bolder. Then again, it was also lightly dusted with fleur de sel. This provided a sweet, non-astringent note to the creamy chocolate. I think this was my favorite bar of the two as it had a buttery, nutty flavor throughout and reminded me of a high-end Skor bar. I really loved the translucent amber-colored brittle.
The Avery truffles were delicate, bite-sized jewels sprinkled with a conservative, yet perfect amount of salt. Oddly enough, this was the least salted-caramel tasting confection of all the candies, yet was delicious in a unique fashion. Because the Avery isn’t so much a chocolate covered caramel so much as it is a chocolate covered chocolate caramel ganache, it had a dulled caramel flavor overall. However, mixed with the dark chocolate, it took on a flavor and consistency very similar to molasses mixed with the tang of salt, which we loved. It was a different take on a popular treat, and offered up some pleasant irregularity in the mix.