Saturday, May 18, 2019

Love Reese's? Add Milk Chocolate!

Today is #ILoveReesesDay so in honor of that, let's look at one of the ways that brand is being incorporated into other products.

Hershey's w/Reese's Pieces Bar
Not long ago, through my Kroger Friday Freebie program, I got a Hershey's milk chocolate bar with Reese's Pieces in it making it a new variety of the chocolate bar I grew up with a kid. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I love chocolate and peanut butter and that I also grew up eating Reese's products often. However, to be honest, I prefer the M&M peanut butter candies versus Reese's because they are more chocolaty flavored and less sweet. Thus, I did worry about this bar becoming too sweet and less chocolatey. Keep reading to learn about my experience with this bar. Neither Kroger, Hershey, nor Reese's expected me to do this feature article about them so beyond the free bar, no other form of compensation was received for my honest descriptions below.

Hershey's Reese's Pieces Bar

I looked up how this new variety compares to the current Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar nutritionally and they are very close in all categories. The candies are visible from the top and the bottom of the bar as the above photo shows. It still has that Hershey milk chocolate scent but the peanut butter is definitely there when I take a whiff of the bar. The sections still snap apart easily, the mini pieces break clearly apart when they cross the sectional lines. When I put one section into my mouth and chew I get a crunch sound and a crispy texture with chew. The initial flavor is that milk chocolate but the peanut butter and sweet candy coating builds up with each chew to be the final flavor.

The chocolate flavor almost makes it to the end so I think I'd love this bar in their special dark version. I hope they make one so I can try it out.

Have you tried it? What did you think? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Chocolate Chip Flaxseed Cookies

Wednesday, May 15, 2019, is National Chocolate Chip Cookie day so I wanted to share a slightly changed recipe that I have been using for a couple of decades. The change? Milled flaxseed for oatmeal. The result was a plumb cookie that didn't taste any different than if I had made it with only whole wheat flour but where each cookie had more than 1 gram of dietary fiber! The milled Eternae By Nature flaxseed I got through the Amazon Vine


Chocolate Chip Flaxseed Cookies
By TammyJo Eckhart

Ingredients:

2 Egg Whites
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 T Cocoa Honey
1/3 C Hot Water
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 C Plain Applesauce
1/4 C Splenda
1/4 C Brown Sugar
1 C Milled Flaxseed
4 C Whole Wheat Flour
12 oz Chocolate Chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Mix together Flaxseed and Flour.


3. Dissolve baking soda in the water.

4. Mix together all "wet" ingredients until smooth.


5. Slowly add in the sugars and salt until full blended.

6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones slowly until it is fully blended.


7. Stir in the chocolate chips.


8. Add cookie dough by small spoonfuls to the lined baking sheets. The cookies will NOT spread out, so the shape you make them in is what they will look like at the end only slightly darker.


9. Bake cookies for 11 minutes or so.

10. Cool and then eat!


Have you used milled Flaxseed in baking before?

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Cook Up Cinco de Mayo Chocolatey Foods

If you are looking for ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with chocolate, I have found a book that might help you. Maricel E. Presilla's The New Taste of Chocolate, Revised: A Cultural and Natural History of Cacao with Recipes.


I was given this book several years ago as a gift, I think it was for my birthday. I have the 2009 edition so that is what I am referring to in this book review. I get so many books from publishers, from authors, and through the Amazon Vine program that gifts often fall to the back particularly if they are not light and fun. This book is packed with history and culture, it is a lot of soak in and even now, I'm not convince that I have absorbed all the information in this book.

The book has six chapters.


"Growing Up with Cacao" is the shortest of these but gives Presilla a personality and background so I felt she would know what she is writing about.


"A Natural and Cultural History of Chocolate" is the second largest chapter and frankly I think it should be required reading for anyone who loves chocolate. It fully settles human relationships to chocolate within well explained contexts without hyperbole or judgement. The images are numerous and illustrate the points well. Points that Presilla wants to bring out well are highlighted on lightly brown colored background that draw the eye but do not make it difficult to read the text.


"Identifying Cacao" is over 30 pages long and was mind boggling. I've read studies and histories on chocolate before but this really laid out how complex the plant really is and why truly single-source chocolate is so amazing in terms of flavors. It also proves that if you care about chocolate, you need to care about the farming of it because it all impacts the products you love (or hate).


"From Cacao to Chocolate" tells the technical, economic, and social aspects of how the chocolates we love have been and are made. Presilla introduces us to peoples, individuals, and brands as well.


"Tasting Chocolate" is basic how-to appreciate chocolate by being mindful when you consume it. We talk about the procedure we use in almost every feature article we publish and we've interviewed chocolate tasters and judges who have discussed these techniques as well.


Then we get to the recipes, the largest chapter in the book. Every type of dish you could possible make with chocolate or cacao is covered in this book -- main dishes, desserts, appetizers, drinks, and even stable ingredients you might want to keep on hand. Each chapter gives a background to the recipe and insight into how Presilla either learned or recreated it. This is not only the European style of chocolate but it really focused on Mesoamerican traditional foods. This is why the book could be great for you to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I want to try out some of the savory main dishes but my family is not very supportive of this idea... I may just do it anyway and not tell them. You will need access to a really inclusive grocery store or a speciality store to find some of the ingredients.


Have read or used this book? Let me know in a comment what you thought.

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