Saturday, October 31, 2015

Winner! 2015 Halloween Treat Challenge

This was our 7th Annual Halloween Treat Challenge. The winner may claim 30 days of FREE sidebar ad space (something that we do not sell directly to companies normally here on The Chocolate Cult) for any month they wish until this blog ceases to exist. Let's review the entries to see who won.

Pied Piper Chocolates' Red Velvet Mouse while very unique and wonderfully crafted really requires a better couverture to make it the best it can be. As Pied Piper Chocolates grows, I hope they will be able to invest in better basic chocolate to work with.


Seattle Chocolate sent two categories of treats.

Their BOO! Box had three types of truffles -- Pumpkin Spice, Salted Almond, and Espresso. The first two flavors were great but we have mixed opinions about the coffee variety.


Their six full sized chocolate bars -- Devil's Delight, PB & J, Dead Sea Salt, Campers' S'Mores, Choc-o-Lantern, and Lemon Ice -- were all good so this is very much a contender for our winner status.


Finally from Chocolate.org and Enjoû Chocolat we got a Milk Chocolate Pumpkin Puzzle. This tasted like we expected and the simple puzzle nature makes it a fun idea to send as a gift. This is also a contender for winner status.


I had hoped more of you would have voted this week to share your feelings about who should win but not enough of you did to really make it worth factoring into our decision. It always comes down to the quality of chocolate here on The Chocolate Cult but for Halloween it also needs to reflect what most of you may be doing with chocolate during this season.

With that in mind, The Seattle Chocolate full-sized bars are this year's Halloween Treat Challenge Winner. While not many of you may give out full-sized candy bars, this company's prices are reasonable for the quality and they have a lot of good social, environmental, and economics practices that should make you proud to support them. My grandmother would have loved these for all of us grandkids. with her memory in mind, Congrats to Seattle Chocolate!


Friday, October 30, 2015

Homewmade Halloween 2015 Treats

This week I tried out some ideas for homemade chocolatey treats because this year instead of buying mass produced candy to give out, we are giving out fake tattoos, stickers, mini pens, buttons, and colors. But my family and friends still want something spooky to enjoy. I figured I could control the ingredients if I made a few things and when Country Crock (whom I've tested before) contacted me with their October recipes and asked if I'd give them a try, I looked into it. Previously Country Crock gave me freebie coupons for two of their products and I tested one recipe so this is sponsored by that other coupon; otherwise I was not paid in any way to mention their products.

I looked at one of the Country Crock recipes, Halloween Marshmallow Crispies, and decided I could do it a bit healthier or at least with fewer calories. This is the result. Aren't they cute? They come in at 124 calories a piece; yes, that includes everything you see here, the bar, the frosting, and the candies.

This is how I made it.

Double Chocolate Spooky Halloween Rice Krispies Treats

Ingredients:
6 cups Cocoa Rice Krispies Cereal
6 T Original Country Crock Spread
4 oz German's 48% Chocolate
10 oz bag of Miniature Marshmallows
Spooky candies (this is where your calorie count will change)
7 T Skim milk
3 C Powdered Sugar
Food Dye (I used blue and yellow to make a soft green)

Instructions:
1) Place a large sauce pan over lowest heat and add in 3T of Country Crock and your marshmallows.

2) Spray a pan so that your treats do not stick. The size of the pan will determine the amount of calories per bar. I used an 13 X 9 X 2 in pan so that the bars are thick.

3) Break up the chocolate into smaller pieces, the smaller the faster they will melt but don't take too long because you need to get back to your marshmallows.


4) Stir the marshmallow and Country Crock and add in your chocolate. Stir until all of the marshmallows disappear and the mixture is smooth and chocolatey.


5) Add in the crisp rice and stir together until all of the puff grain is covered with chocolate and marshmallows. This may seem easier than when you just use marshmallows because of the added chocolate.

6) Spoon or pour into your prepared pan and smooth out as flat as you can. Place this in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

7) While that cools, cut parchment to line a larger flat pan -- I used a 17 X 11 X 1 in cookie sheet.

8) Use an electric mixer up your frosting using the remaining ingredients. I alternate the milk and sugar but use the 3 T of Country Crock right away. You'll need to experiment with the dye to find a color you like or just go with white. You can also go with a tub of frosting but that has more fats and calories.

9) Take the set crispy rice out of the refrigerator and carefully turn them out onto the parchment lined pan. Now cut them into the sizes you want and leave space between each piece. I cut mine into 24 pieces.


10) Spread the frosting over the treats then return them to the refrigerator for 5 minutes.

11) Remove from refrigerator and decorate with any Halloweeny candies you like. You can even add other frostings but I used only enough candies to add in 4 calories per bar for a total calorie count of 124!


12) Store in the refrigerator until you serve.

I also tried a mold candy kit from Baker's Chocolate that I got last year. Trying to use regular food dye to dye chocolate is a no-go -- I'll need to research what I should use for the future -- so I ended up with only half of my white chocolate for the ghosts.  I used the mixed together leftover candy melts from the Rhodes Cinnamon Rolls testing last weekend to make more ghosts and jack o'lanterns, waste not, right?

Now we'll see if anyone comes over to our open house on Halloween afternoon to help us eat these treats! Don't forget to vote for this year's 7th Annual Halloween Treat Challenge Winner here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Who Should Win the 2015 Halloween Treat Challenge?

I want you to help me decide this year's Halloween Treat Challenge!

Vote on the Poll below. It will close at 5am (Eastern Time) on Halloween!


Who should win the 2015 Halloween Treat Challenge?



Reminder of the Challengers if you have forgotten:

Pied Piper Red Velvet Mouse


Seattle Chocolate Boo! Box Truffles


Seattle Chocolate Bars


Enjou Chocolate Pumpkin Puzzle


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Rhodes Cinnamon Rolls with Chocolate

I'm a member of Tryazon which allows me to apply to test products by hosting parties where I use the products in some fashion. I've done this three times so far with Zoku popsicle makers, Splenda, and Brownie Brittle. Unfortunately, I caught a bad cold that delayed my testing of Rhodes Cinnamon Rolls, but Tryazon and Rhodes were flexible enough that I was able to reschedule, putting together two smaller testing groups using our gaming groups. This allowed me to try out three bags of cinnamon rolls by using three different methods of basic preparation; two of these were recommended by the product directions. I received three free coupons to get the products I tested as well as a free potholder and $1 coupons for the folks who tried these with me; no other form of compensation was received for this honest evaluation.

I had some difficulty finding the product Rhodes originally wanted me to test, the Microwave variety of Rhodes Cinnamon Rolls. The Rhodes website claimed they were available in a Marsh grocery store near me, but at the nearest Marsh store their customer service department couldn't find the product in that or any other nearby location. Luckily, Rhodes was OK with my testing any of their bread products, so I went to our nearby Kroger and found their basic 12-pack of frozen cinnamon rolls, so at least we got a similar idea to how the microwavable cinnamon rolls might taste. As it says on the bag: Quick Method may make rolls less smooth on top. Flavor is unaffected. Best appearance is achieved using the Regular Method.

Note: Defrosting these rolls is time consuming. They suggest either setting them out in your kitchen overnight, or at least for 3-5 hours, or 1.5 hours in the oven on low heat. No wonder they are trying to introduce a microwavable version, because that sort of planning ahead may be difficult for many working people today and certainly will not satisfy sudden cravings for cinnamon treats. I used three methods to defrost and bake these rolls -- three bags = three experiments, right? Similarly, because this is The Chocolate Cult, in addition to the cream cheese icing that came with them, I tried white and milk chocolate candy toppings from a candy making kit I was testing earlier (you'll see a review of it closer to the Winter Holidays). Waste nothing, especially chocolate!

The Frostings Used -- Cream Cheese, Milk Chocolate Candy, and White Candy:


Test #1: Microwave Defrost Idea

For my first test, I realized that I didn't have enough time before people came over to follow the directions on the bag literally.  But fortunately I had three bags and could afford to experiment.  I defrosted these for 4.5 minutes using my microwave oven's defrost program, flipping them over halfway through.

Note 1.1: Of course, this made for smaller, denser rolls (only rising to 1.5 inches once baked). Any textural difference with these rolls falls on me, not Rhodes. I shared these with the six men in my Sunday gaming group, as you can see in my photo below.


Note 1.2: After defrosting them using this method, the cinnamon rolls took 5 minutes longer to bake than the suggested time on the bag. However, they also expanded a great deal, as you can see in this side-by-side photo of the pre-defrosted (left) and baked (right) rolls. The height of these rolls was just over 1 inch.


Results: All seven of us who tried this -- the six guys in my gaming group and myself -- really liked the cinnamon rolls. Everyone also liked them with each topping that they tried; at least three people tried all three flavors. This made me very hopeful that the next two tests, using the methods on the bag, would result in even better cinnamon rolls.

For the next two tests I added in a mint dark chocolate topping as well, when my testers claimed that they'd had mint dark chocolate and cinnamon and found it to be delicious ... I'm always up to using dark chocolate!


Test #2: Regular Method on the product bag

This requires putting the rolls into the pan you will use and covering the entire thing with plastic wrap, then letting them defrost in your kitchen for 3-5 hours until they double in size. As you can see in the accompanying photos, I shared these with a seven-person gaming group that came over on a Friday evening, including both men and women.


Note 2.1: This is a moderate time to wait, but the resulting risen rolls were 1.8 inches high prior to baking and 2.2 inches high after baking! They were actually so much bigger than the frozen version that I tried to remove some to another pan, which made one of them fall. I'd recommend two 11"x17"x2" pans to start with if you make a full dozen. Below you can see the Quick Method rolls after they were baked (left) versus the pre-baking risen rolls using the Regular Method (right). As you can see, the the Regular Method rolls are already bigger, even before baking!  I thought I'd gotten a photo of the post-baking Regular Method rolls, but apparently my phone lied to me.


Note 2.2: These were so closely baked that it was nearly impossible to get the first four rolls out of the pan cleanly. Pieces just stuck to each other, even though I let them cool a bit before removing them. Below you can see some of this damage to the unfrosted Regular Method rolls versus the finished Quick Method rolls (left); frosting them (right) hid a lot of damage.


Results: Four of the testers had rolls from all three methods, and this was the prefered cinnamon roll. Of the testers from the same tasting group, this was also preferred over the Quick Method rolls. However, both were liked a lot.

Test #3: Quick Method on the product bag

This requires heating the oven to 175°F, turning it off, and then placing the panned rolls into the oven for 1.5 hours until the rolls double in size... These did not look double the size. The rolls were 1 inch high before they went into the oven and 1.5 inches high after baking. Below you can see the pre-risen rolls (left) versus the baked quick method rolls (right).


Note 3.1: Prior to baking these rose to 1 inch and were larger than the microwave attempt, but definitely smaller than the Regular Method. Baked, they were 1.5 inches in height, but had spread out to fill the entire baking pan; again, this was better than the microwave attempt but less than the Regular Method.

Note 3.2: You have to let these cool at least 4-5 minutes before attempting to remove them from the pan, or the rolls will fall. After this time, the fluffiness created by the air is trapped much better, and the rolls remain fluffier.

Results: These had a lighter texture than the microwave risen rolls did, though they were still a bit doughy in the very center, even though I baked them at the maximum time (20 minutes) recommended on the bag.

I had leftover from the Regular and Quick Methods so I shared those on Saturday afternoon, October 24, 2015, with another small group of friends adding one new person to those who tried the rolls. And then they were all eaten!

Overall Impressions

In total, 15 individuals tried these rolls with me over the course of two get-togethers; five women and ten men tried these out. Three of the 15 were my own family; my guys tend to be more critical of what I serve than any of my friends.

The rolls have a strong yeast scent to them as they are defrosting by any method and a light cinnamon fragrance when in the oven. They have wheat, soy, and dairy, in case those are allergens for you, as well as (obviously) cinnamon; I have a friend with a cinnamon allergy.

The more time I gave the rolls to rise before baking, the larger they got in all dimensions.

The smaller rolls were more doughy, but the larger rolls could become doughy if you did not let them cool enough before removing them from the pan.

Individual tasters liked different rolls, but everyone prefered the largest ones, which were made using the Regular Method.

Some tasters prefered the Microwave Risen rolls over the Quick Method because they liked the stickiness and increased cinnamon flavor of those. Again, no one said they wouldn't eat any of these rolls if offered.

The cream cheese frosting was very rich and sugary; it would have been fine with half the amount, most tasters agreed. The most popular frosting was the mint dark chocolate -- it goes great with cinnamon.

Readers, have you tried these Rhodes Cinnamon Rolls in any form? Did you add chocolate? Let us know in the comments below!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What are Your Halloween Treat Choices for 2015?

I know that all of us what excellent but we also need to watch how much money we spend. This is particularly tricky at Halloween when you may have dozens to well over a hundred kids coming by your house. We'll have between 150-200 ourselves on Halloween. The problem with cheap candy isn't just the calories but also issues of fair trade, sustainable farming, and supporting your local community. We've look at some excellent high quality chocolates so far but let's get real; most of you won't be spending that kind of money. But let's say that you are willing to spend a bit more for some select trick o'treaters. What are your options. This year I want to look at two possible options -- Snickers and Twix. I received one of these for free through my Kroger loyalty card and paid 99 cents for the other; either could have been free with my card so it honestly don't matter which is which, right?

Here they are unwrapped and as you can see, the Snickers Pumpkin is a tallish jack o'lantern while the Twix Ghost is basically a design on the oval of candy. Both are from Mars so it isn't surprising that the ingredients are fairly similar; both have cocoa butter and chocolate (probably liquor or mass) and also a lot of preservatives and added sugars and fats; the Twit also had cocoa powder.


What would you expect these to taste like? The regular candy bars Snickers and Twix, right? Inside you can see that they look very similar. The Snickers peanuts are in smaller pieces but otherwise this tasted, smelled, felt, and sounded the same when I and our Milk Chocolate Acolyte tried it. The Twix basically was the same as the regular candy in every way but the basic look and shape it.


This is the sort of thing that my grandmother would have given out to her grandkids. Would you give these out to any trick o'treaters in your life? Why or why not?

Monday, October 19, 2015

How to Chocolate Walk with All Your Friends!

Today we're going to meet Laura Mann who has attended the Brown County Humane Society's Chocolate Walk with a group of friends for many years now. The Chocolate Walk couldn't be successful without the chocolate and pet lovers who walk around the community gathering tasty chocolate treats. I know why I do it, but let's learn about Laura's motivations to participate in and her tricks for a successful Chocolate Walk. Laura, thank you for speaking with us today.

How did you first learn about the Chocolate Walk?

I first learned about the Chocolate Walk from Jane Weatherford.  Her nephew is my son-in-law and while we were on a visit to Nashville, she told us about this great fundraiser.  

What motivated you to go to the walk your first year?

Brown County/Nashville, IN is what I call my "happy place".  Nashville is such an amazing area with so many different things to do.  We love to visit 3 or 4 times a year.  The Chocolate Walk was a great excuse to visit again!  I am also the founder and fundraiser of a shelter for women and children that are victims of domestic violence and I am always looking for new ideas to raise money for the Shelter. 

The second year I attended the Chocolate Walk, I had a large group of eight people but I've found it difficult to get everyone back together every year even though I never go alone and generally get 4-5 folks to come with me and several others to attend in different groups.  How have you been able to get together the same folks and even expand your group over the year?

Our group loves to do things together but when we are at home, with all the commitments of family and work, we find it difficult to get together to do fun things.  Going to the Chocolate Walk is the perfect way to get out of town and spend some awesome time together.  We are always talking about our trip with other friends and family, which has caused our group to grow.  

The walk can take a few hours to do. Does your group have a plan of where you go and how long you spend in any one stop? If so, what is it?

We all have the mindset that we are there to just RELAX and enjoy the day.  We started at one end of town and just wander to the other end.  We stop for lunch about halfway through and then finish the rest of the stops.  If someone wants to spend extra time in a specific shop, the rest of the group just enjoys talking with one another, people watching, and snacking on the goodies we have already picked up.  

Some of the stops on the Chocolate Walk are there year after year but others drop out. Is there a stop you remember fondly that  you wish would participate again?

There isn't a specific one that I remember that I would like to have back, we just enjoy whatever is available each year. 

I'm not far from Nashville, just over in Bloomington, so this is always a day-trip for us. But I hear that you make this a weekend getaway. Where are you all from and how far in advance do you all need to make your arrangements for housing?

We are all from Plymouth, IN which is about 4 hours north of Nashville.  The first year we arrived the morning of the Walk and quickly realized that we needed to come the night before so we could be ready for a big day!  And we also realized we needed to spend Saturday night, too!  This year we will be arriving on Thursday afternoon and leaving on Sunday.  

We stay in a Brown County Getaway's cabin.  Peggy, the owner, is wonderful!  Her properties are absolutely gorgeous and are well-equipped to meet our needs.  This year we are staying in the Rustic Elegance Lodge because it has the 5 bedrooms we need.  We make arrangements for the next year while we are at the current event.  

Nashville is known for a lot of unique shops and, of course, all of the shops hope the walkers stop and spend some money. Do you also do other shopping or events in Nashville when you come for the Walk?

The day of the Walk we browse all the stores and then the next day we go back and make our purchases.  I personally do Christmas shopping for the hard-to-buy-for people on my list because of the unique items in the stores.  

If someone out there is thinking of trying this chocolate walk this year (everyone within a few hours of Nashville, Indiana, needs to try this out), what advice would you give them to make it a truly enjoyable event?

Advice I would give to a "first-timer" would include #1, comfortable shoes!  The next thing would be to be prepared to spend the entire day exploring the shops.  I am sure some people can complete the walk in less time but it is so much more fun when you give yourself plenty of time to look at all the interesting items that the merchants have to offer.  Attendees will also want something to carry their chocolate treasures in while they are walking from store to store.  I have seen many different ideas that people have but I would be sure to use a tote bag of some sort that can be easily put over your shoulder so it is out of the way while you are shopping.  If you are not going home right away, I would also recommend a plastic storage bag to keep some of the baked items fresh.  

Thank you so much, Laura, for sharing your experiences with us all.

Thank you for letting me talk about the Chocolate Walk!  This event is run so well.  As an attendee, I appreciate that they have thought of everything to make it an enjoyable day.  In my opinion, the Chocolate Walk is a perfect weekend getaway for everyone!!  What's not to love...raising money for animals, shopping, time with friends and family, and CHOCOLATE!!  :-)  

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Puzzle Out this Halloween Treat

In the past we've featured chocolate that you play with in terms of making a chocolate treat. This year as part of our 7th Annual Halloween Treat Challenge, the folks from Enjoû Chocolat sent us their Pumpkin Puzzle to try out via the Chocolate.org website which networks over 200 small, independent chocolate shops from around  the USA and Canada. The product information on Chocolate.org is not correct for this product; there are not nuts in it but I am sure there is dairy (it is milk chocolate after all) and probably a soy lecthin given the texture and taste but since the ingredients are not on the package, I can't be sure. I was sent this product via Chocolate.org so that I could test it, write about here on this blog, and post a review on their website; otherwise no other compensation was received for my honest review.

As you can see, the pumpkin puzzle I was sent has four pieces. You can see that is it milk chocolate but it also has a green stem and orange highlights, making this look a bit like a reverse jack o'lantern. When we look closer at these colored sections it looks like it was added to the milk chocolate after it set. The colors could be made with either white chocolate or a white candy coating, without ingredients I can't be sure but I broke off these sections and tried them alone as well as with the milk chocolate. Alone these is very sweet but not creamy so I'm guessing this is a colored candy coating that has been dyed. No one of the three who helped me test this could taste any dye. The colored candy coating blended well with the milk chocolate sections.

The milk chocolate makes up the bulk of the pumpkin puzzle and I could break them easily with my hands every though you can see it is over an inch thick. Breaking it up or taking a bite made a soft snap but otherwise the milk chocolate simply melted quickly after a few chews. The milk chocolate is creamy and slightly sweet, less sweet than I thought it might be. The vanilla sharply appears after the third chew then blends back into the milk chocolate. When I let a piece melt in my mouth, it heightens the creamy quality of the flavor while it coated my tongue, mouth, and throat. The chocolate has a slightly waxy texture that suggests a lecithin  that would help keep the puzzle's shape during shipping from the store; this texture doesn't distract from the pleasure in eating this.

This Pumpkin Puzzle is a fun gift for a young child who may be learning to put together simple puzzle or for an adult who prefers milk chocolate and has a love of cute Halloween things. Mine came with this lovely two-ribbon decoration on it which gave it a gift look. Our Milk Chocolate Acolyte really liked it a lot and even our White Chocolate Acolyte enjoyed it. On Enjoû Chocolat website I discovered that you can also order it in dark chocolate which I think would have been amazing to try out. Chocolate.org has a lot of Halloween treats on their site so go check it out because you have a few only before the spooky night is upon you.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Steampunk, Vintage Shopping on The Chocolate Walk

Today is another look at our forthcoming Pilgrimage to the Brown County Humane Society's Annual Chocolate Walk that I hope all of you who live within a few hours of Nashville, Indiana, will be attending in November. For those of you who love shopping for vintage items, unique items, and even steampunk style items, this is the interview for you.

Thank you, Nancy, for talking with us here on The Chocolate Cult today about your participation in the Brown County Humane Society's Annual Chocolate Walk. Would you tell us about your business, 4th Sister Vintage, and your role there?

4th Sister Vintage is owned by Artist Nancy Crocker, it carries fun vintage items from bar-ware to larger furniture.  Nancy also sells her utilitarian art and upcycled items in her store.  It is located in the front room of the Olde Magnolia House Inn at 213 S Jefferson St, Nashville, In 47448.
The best place for people to see my work is my Facebook page

One of the great things about this annual event is that it connects two great loves in many people's lives: pets and chocolate. How did you get involved with the Chocolate Walk?

I have two 75 pound retriever mix dogs.  The Human Society is an integral part of our community and supporting it and it's endeavors seems logical as a shop owner and dog lover.  One of it's volunteers came by my store and we started talking and I signed up on the spot.   In my other life I was a Home Economics teacher and I love to bake so it was a good fit for me.



How long has the 4th Sister Vintage been a stop on the Chocolate Walk?

This will be my second year.  I have been open since June of 2013.

Do you have pets of your own and if so, what do you have?

Teddy is my 75 pound Goldendoodle and Max is the same size Flat Coat Retriever.  I also have a couple of porch cats that have warmed their way into my heart from the house next door.  

Do you like chocolate? Do you have a preference for white, milk, or dark chocolate?

YES!  Darker the better!

Do you all make the treats you give out at your shop for the Chocolate Walk? If not, how do you get them? If you do make them, who does all of that work and how long does it take?

My sister in Bloomington made them last year.  I helped but she did most of the work.  It took a couple of days.  The hardest part is packing them into the small containers.

Such a large event is certain to be filled with challenges. What is the largest challenge your shop deals with during the event?

The distribution spot, my store is pretty small.  I am lucky to have family that will help.

Your shop focuses on furniture. Would you tell us more about the services you offer and the types of furniture you sell.

Furniture is just one part of the store.  I also sell home decor, some antiques and just fun things I find.  All of my items are gently used.  I do my art on usable objects such as jewelry boxes, suitcases, picnic baskets and my favorite thing.....anything metal.  I am also a steampunk artist and I love to make weird lamps etc...out of otherwise out of use objects.  

FInally, is there anything you'd like our readers to know about your business that we haven't asked about?

I love to share ideas with others that are like minded and my favorite thing to do is custom orders.  Making something for someone specific and knowing where it is going is fun for me.  I have attached a picture of my most recent piece for you.  It is called "Hot Pink Suitcase Girls"

Thank you so much, Nancy, for speaking with us. I know several folks who may be very interested in your shop and the things you make. So who out there is going to the Chocolate Walk?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

6 Haunted Treats from Seattle Chocolates


My grandmother always handed out big candy bars to her grandchild on Halloween. If you like to do something special for certain trick o'treaters in your life, Seattle Chocolates has six bars this year that you might want to check out. Three appear to be specifically wrapped in Halloween style wrapper but the others are more fall or general wrappers. We tried all six of these under controlled conditions and this is what we discovered in our taste testing as we worked our way from white chocolate to dark chocolate. Seattle Chocolates sent me these six bars to test and write honestly about; I received no other compensation for this review.

Lemon Ice is real white chocolate -- no added fats here, this is cocoa butter, folks. As is the case with white chocolate, it isn't actually white in color as our photo shows. Cocoa butter has a more creamy or light yellow color to it. The bar has two servings and it marked into four sections that you can easily break apart; each section has a sort of woodgrain pattern on the top. The bar has a light dairy and butter fragrance with a hint of lemon. Along the edge you can make out little lemon candies inside the chocolate; these make a loud crunching noise when you chew. The initial flavor is creamy then slowly the lemon sneaks out but never overpowers the white chocolate though it does make my eyes water a bit. The sweetness of the white chocolate is well balanced by the sour lemon. Our White Chocolate Acolytes said I like it a lot with a huge grin on his face. If you are allergic to dairy, soya, or coconut, this is not the bar for you. I couldn't find this bar on their website so this must be a very limited edition bar; I'm honored to have had the opportunity to try it out so that all of you could learn about it.

Choc-o-Lantern is milk chocolate with pumpkin spice; it has dairy, soya, and coconut oil if these are allergen concerns for you; some of you may be allergic to spices and these aren't listed individually on the wrapper so be warned. When I unwrapped this, I was first struck by the strong spice scent that you can smell all around you these days when you go out, and then the milk chocolate fragrance appears. As you can see, there are four sections to the bar and the same wooden pattern on top. From the side I don't see anything inside the chocolate. A bite makes almost no sound and my mouth first gets a creamy chocolate flavor with an edge of spices. The spice intensity builds with each chew and each bite; it never overpowers the milk chocolate but if you want to lessen the spice, eat it slowly or let a bite melt in your mouth to really let all of the flavors blend. I really liked this when I let it melt in my mouth and I'm not a huge pumpkin spice fan.

Campers' S'Mores is a milk chocolate bar with graham crackers and marshmallows which would be perfect for August as well since that is a huge S'mores month but folks are still camping and doing cook outs around us so this works.  In terms of allergens, there is dairy, soya, eggs, and wheat. This has a strong and very sweet chocolate scent to it when I unwrap it. As you can see, on the top side it looks like the previous bars but on the bottom you can see clumps of probably marshmallows and pieces of graham crackers... not evenly spread. The graham crackers are spread more throughout, these seem to me crumbled crackers yet they are very crispy and add a nice crunch to each chew. The marshmallows are a touch sticky but not overly so, safe for your teeth, and also not overly sweet. The textures here are a delight to explore and the flavors compliment each other leaving the result is much like s'mores I've made and enjoyed over a campfire.

Dead Sea Salt is still a milk chocolate bar but this time with sea salt and toffee (not made with almonds). As you can see in the photo, some fat bloom has happened that may affect the flavor, it does lessen the intensity of the smell. This didn't happen with the other bars so I'm not sure what happened here. In terms of allergens there is coconut oil, rice syrup, dairy, and soya. There are tiny pieces of something inside when I broke over pieces but they are too small for me to capture with my camera. These tiny pieces are sparse but make a burst of butter and a bit of crunch when you encounter them. The flavor is a bit creamy and a touch chocolatey but I think the bloom here really affected it. Remelting it and mixing it would solve that problem so I might do that later and use some of my small molds.

PB and J is a dark chocolate bar with peanut butter and jelly though why dark chocolate? Let's find out. As you can see, the peanut butter is visible as soon as you break it into the four sections but only a spot of jelly (see that darker spot in the center). When I unwrapped the bar, the dark cocoa scent hit me immediately; it was only after breaking the bar in half that I got a roasted peanut fragrance as well. The jelly is supposed to be strawberry but I note on the ingredient list that it has plum, apple, baobab, black carrot. and citrus pectin. Baobab is a type of tree whose fruit is often described as "grapefruit, pear, and vanilla" tasting. The result is that the jelly is sweet but not specific tasting and it also has a very chewy texture. There is both dark and white chocolate as well but I'm not sure where the white chocolate is... maybe in the peanut butter mixture? Don't get me wrong, this was good but not what I was expecting.

Finally the Devil's Delight is a dark chocolate bar with peanut butter and pretzels. Again you can see the peanut butter inside but also hints of pretzels on the bottom and the sides if you look closely. This has a very dark cocoa scent with a hint of roasted peanuts and salt as well.  I take a bite and discover that the pretzel pieces are fairly bit, they make a bit of a crunch for the first couple of chews. The chocolate is the immediate flavor quickly followed by the wheat and salt of the pretzel then the roasted peanut butter before the dark chocolate makes a comeback. The peanut butter is not creamy, a bit dry really compared to the PB&J Bar. I do not know the degree of darkness in this bar in terms of percentages but it tastes substantially darker so this is really for dark chocolate lover like me! Again I see white chocolate on the ingredient list so this must

All of these bars except the Lemon Ice are certified Rainforest Alliance. All of them are certified Kosher Dairy. Seattle Chocolates itself is a WBENC, Certified Women Business Enterprises Corporate Member. You can buy a six or 12 pack of their chocolate bars or one at a time. Given that the Lemon Ice is not on their website, I suggest calling them to see if other flavors might be available when you check them out. You never know, you might get a very interesting surprise for yourself or a loved one. Aside from the fat bloom, which may be a shipping issue, these are Sacrament Worthy chocolate for the Halloween season. For me, your Chocolate Priestess, I liked them all but the Camper's S'mores and the Devil's Delight were my favorite. If you've had these, what were your favorites? What do you think you'd like. Leave a comment and let us know please.