The Chocolate Cult

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Putting the Veggies in Your Chocolate Cookies

November is #WorldVeganMonth so in honor of that we're checking out vegan cookies that go that extra step in their claims and their ingredients.

Sneaking veggies into food isn't new but I've noticed it as part of the marketing and packaging of more and more products in the past few months. When the company FarmandOven Snacks, Inc., came to my attention I reached out to them. They send me one box of their Bakery Bites in the Zucchini Chocolate variety in exchange for this article about my experience with the cookies. Unlike other brands which hide which veggies are included in the fine print, this makes it clear that you will be eating zucchini which is widely used for bread and bar making if you can get your hands on fresh veg. By and large, I've liked baked good made with zucchini so I'm happy to give these a try. No additional compensation was received in exchange for sharing my honest taste testing of these cookies.

On the wrapper the claim is made that eating three cookies, one serving in a single foil sleeve, will give me 40% of my daily recommended vegetables. There is also no wheat flour but there is corn fiber, eggs, tapioca and almond flours in case any of those might be allergens for you (like my hubby). These cookies are also made with chocolate chips, chocolate liquor, and cocoa powder. When I opened the sleeve I found three thick but smallish cookies that look to be made by hand if the imperfect. I think I see mini chocolate chips but they aren't as shiny and black as I'm used to. The scent is strongly evaporated cane juice which I'm not a big fan of; I hope these will taste like chocolate so let's find out. These are firm but still easy to bite into, they have a brownie-like texture. These are sweet, again more than I was expecting and that sweetness quickly overpowers the light cocoa flavor I get; I can't taste the zucchini but that is generally true for me with baked goods made with that vegetable. There are bursts of chocolate when I bite into or chew up one of the chips; those can compete with the sweetness.

These certainly have a lot of chocolate ingredients in them and I applaud FarmandOven for not cutting back on our favorite food. Personally these are a bit too sweet and not chocolate flavored enough for me to want more than one cookie at a time. If you want to check out their other cookies, they currently offer six varieties and three of them have chocolate.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Chocolate Recalls to Start November 2019

Recalls to start off November 2019.

---------- Recalls ----------
Nestlé Cookie Dough Recall

Nestlé USA is initiating a voluntary recall of ready-to-bake refrigerated Nestlé Toll House Cookie Dough products due to the potential presence of food-grade rubber pieces. This voluntary recall only covers specific batch codes of the following products, which include ready-to-bake refrigerated Nestlé Toll House Cookie Dough bars, tubs and tube-shaped “chubs.” These products were distributed in the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Not impacted by this recall are the following products: Nestlé Toll House Morsels, Nestlé Toll House Ice Cream Sandwiches, Nestlé Toll House Edible Cookie Dough, and Nestlé Professional SKUs.

The recall is limited only to the ready-to-bake refrigerated products below, with batch codes that begin with 9189 through batch codes that begin with 9295.

Simply Delicious Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (18oz)

Simply Delicious Nestlé Toll House Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (18oz)

Simply Delicious Nestlé Toll House Sugar Cookie Dough (18oz)

Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Chub (16.5oz)

Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Chub (30oz)

Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Lovers Club Tub (80oz)

Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Tub (36oz)

Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Tub (80oz)

Nestlé Toll House Fall'n Leaves Cookie Dough (16oz)

Nestlé Toll House Frozen II Cookie Dough (14oz)

Nestlé Toll House Holiday Chocolate Chip Tree Sprinkle (16oz)

Nestlé Toll House Monster Munch (16oz)

Nestlé Toll House Pinch of Grinch Cookie Dough (14oz)

Nestlé Toll House Triple Chip Cookie Dough Bar (16oz)

Nestlé Toll House Ultimate Chocolate Chip Lovers (16oz)

Nestlé Toll House Ultimate Turtles Cookie Bar (16oz)

Nestlé Toll House White Chip Macadamia Nut (16oz)

Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Bar (16.5oz)

Nestlé Toll House Mini Chocolate Chip Bar (16.5oz)

Nestlé Toll House Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bar (16oz)

Nestlé Toll House Sugar Cookie Bar (16.5oz)

Nestlé Toll House Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bar (16.5oz)

Nestlé Toll House Peanut Butter Cookie Bar (16oz)

M&M’S® Everyday Cookie Dough (14oz)

M&M’S® Ghouls Mix Cookie Dough (14oz)

M&M’S® Holiday Cookie Dough (14oz)

Batch codes can be identified on the product packaging. Please utilize reference images below and look for the four-digit batch code after the “use or freeze-by” date and before the number 5753. Additional product information is available here.

Product Names                                                         Impacted Batch Codes
Ready-to-Bake Refrigerated Cookie Dough Bars         9189 through 9295
Ready-to-Bake Refrigerated Cookie Dough Tubs         9189 through 9295
Ready-to-Bake Refrigerated Cookie Dough “Chubs” 9189 through 9295

Nestlé USA is taking this action out of an abundance of caution after receiving reports of food-grade pieces of rubber in some of these products. We have identified the source of the rubber and have already fixed the issue.

No illnesses or injuries have been reported that required medical treatment.

Consumers who may have purchased the products listed above should not prepare or consume them but should instead discard the product. Please retain your proof of purchase and contact Nestlé Consumer Services at nestleproductinquiry@casupport.com.

The quality, safety and integrity of our products remain our number one priority. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this action represents to both our consumers and retail customers.

We are working with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on this voluntary recall and will cooperate with them fully.

For consumer support and product questions please call 1-800-681-1676, which will be available 24/7, or email nestleproductinquiry@casupport.com.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Michel Cluizel New Single Origin Chocolate Bars

Plantation La Laguna Bars, Michel Cluizel
I love when a brand trusts us enough to share their new products with us! Today we are going to look at the new Plantation La Laguna single origin chocolate bars from Michel Cluizel. This new single origin bar is part of their growing artisan chocolate bar collection which includes 38 different flavors and cacao bean regions. Plantation La Laguna is their newest line and right now there are the two flavors we're going to look at below. The cacao farm is located in Alta Verapaz central Guatemala; the birthplace, some believe, of cocoa farming back during Mayan culture. It wasn't until a few years ago that cocoa farming starting booming in the country again spurred by bean-bar and artisan companies looking to connect with local farmers and Guatemalans looking to increase their economic power. I was sent these bars for free in exchange for sharing my experiences with them on this blog; no other form of compensation was received for my honest descriptions of my taste testing.

Plantation La Laguna 47% Bar, Michel Cluizel
The Artisan Milk Chocolate Bar will taste darker to many Americans who enjoy mainstream brands of milk chocolate and candy because it has 47% cacao instead of the normal less than 35%. The ingredients are:  whole milk powder, cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar, and bourbon vanilla pod. Yes, the bar looks light brown but a lot of candy sold as chocolate simply is darker for artificial reason so don't let the color fool you. This bar has a strong vanilla and cocoa scent that is very balanced. I bite a square in half and let it set in my mouth. The immediate flavor is the vanilla but then it starts to change. I get a bit of a light creamy coffee, an intense burbonlike touch, but the cocoa flavor, indeed darker than most milk chocolates, builds with each second until it dominates my taste buds. I love this and as you all know by now, I'm more of a dark chocolate lover. Let's move on to that bar.

Below you can see that Artisan Dark Chocolate Bar is much darker than the high cacao milk chocolate bar.

Michel Cluizel Plantation La Laguna Bars Compared

Plantation La Laguna 70% bar, Michel Cluizel
The darker Plantation La Laguna bar not only looks dark but has a stronger cocoa fragrance, not edged by any other scent. The ingredients cocoa solids, sugar, cocoa butter, and bourbon vanilla pod. I bite one square in half and immediately my tongue is coated with an intensely dark chocolate flavor. Interestingly, that bitterness decreased with time, and gains some fruity under current that is very pleasing. If you chew this chocolate the more bitter edge remains so think about how bitter you like your chocolate and consume accordingly. I loved this bar whether or let it melt or chewed it but if I had to pick one way, I'd let it melt so that I can fully experience the changes in flavor.

I liked both of these Plantation La Laguna bars and can recommend both without hesitation as Sacrament Worthy. My caution is that you should like darker chocolate since even this milk chocolate is not as creamy as you might expect.

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