Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Brownie Brittle Party Report

I was selected as a party host by the Sheila G Brands, LLC, company for their Brownie Brittle products through Tryazon. This is 1 of 50 blogs to get the honor of testing and reporting on the four varieties of this lower calorie treat for our readers to learn about. I was sent this sample that you see in the photograph to the right. It includes 10 1oz packages of their Chocolate Chip and 10 1oz packages of their Salted Caramel Brownie Brittle; 1 5oz package of all four flavors including the two mentioned earlier as well as Toffee and Mint Chocolate Chip; a 16oz bag of the Chocolate Chip variety; and finally a Cookies for Kids Cancer spatula. I also was given a $15 off code and I have $10 codes to hand out to guests should they want to order the product. Since I have this exact same spatula from the 2014 Cookie Exchange, I had a drawing for one of my guests to win it this past Friday evening.

The first thing to note is that this is one serving of Brownie Brittle. The big pieces survived best in the large, 1 pound bag of the chocolate chip variety. Most of the pieces in the 5oz bags were broken up and there were a lot of crumbs. I'm a bit concerned that the 1oz bags I gave to my guests will be nothing but crumbs. If that was the case, I hope they leave a comment below letting the brand know because this could be a probably with how they are shipped. How do I know that these two in-tact pieces are one serving? I weighed them with my kitchen scale. There were enough in-tact or half in-tact pieces that I used them for a particular treat you'll see later in this post. Keep reading, you'll get there.

Allergen Note: All four varieties have wheat, eggs, soy, and milk in them as well as cocoa processed with alkali. Only the toffee variety has tree nuts it in so you know it is real toffee just sugar and butter pretending to be toffee.

I consulted the information in the box and on their website and used their recipe ideas for the party. I made three recipes in all. Because they will get samples of two of the four varieties of Brownie Brittle I made a simple dip (recipe from their website) and scoops of vanilla ice cream to try with the Mint Chocolate Chip and the Toffee Crunch so that they could taste those directly. Here's my dip recipe:

Simple Dessert Dip

1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2 C creme de cocoa
3.5 C powdered sugar
8oz low fat cream cheese

1. Set cream cheese out to bring it to room temperature.

2. Pour whipping cream into a large bowl. Add in the creme de cocoa and the powdered sugar.

3. Using the whisk attachment of your beater, slowly mix in the powdered sugar, scraping the sides and bottom at least once.

4. Turn the beater on high and beat for 8 minutes. Resulting mixture should be light and fluffy.

5. Next mix the cream cheese up by hand using a spoon until it is smooth and creamy.

6. Add the cream cheese to the whipped cream mixture. Switch to paddle attachment on your beater and mix slowly for about 2 minutes.

7. Spoon into bowls to serve with Brownie Brittle pieces, fruit, veggies, or other treats. I used red and white bowls at the party to signal what had tree nuts (red) and what didn't (white) for allergy concerns.

I also made Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes. I basically used a box cake mix (Fudge this time), crumbled up the Brownie Brittle Salted Caramel in the 5oz bag and layered it on top of one spoonful of batter, then added a half spoon of batter onto that and baked it as the mix directed. After letting the cupcakes cool I added caramel frosting and sprinkled it with more of the crumbs.

Finally I used the Brownie Brittle Chocolate Chip variety which had large pieces of brittle -- the other bags had much smaller pieces (a problem with this product being shipped in a bag frankly). I layered it as I might graham crackers with frosting -- the leftover caramel and plain vanilla.

Finally I offered my guests a scoop of vanilla ice cream to try any of the leftover brittle pieces with and everyone tried that out..

I had enough people who said they were coming, I put out an invitation two weeks before, but some guests pulled out at the last minute. I was getting very stressed and all this stress was making me never want to do a hosted party for a brand again unless they pay me a good chunk of money to cover the costs and my time. I tried to put my best face on for it and hope that the people who came enjoyed when I created and the brand itself.

But did the folks who did make it have fun? Did they like my recipes and the product? People really seemed to like most of the varieties. Everyone agreed that the chocolate chip, mint, and salted caramel tasted like their name but everyone had difficulty finding the toffee flavor in that bunch. I think unless you hit a bit of the toffee itself it was more difficult to taste. People also preferred the brittle plain or with only vanilla flavors added, the caramel frosting and the dip, while good I was told, overpowered some of the brittle's flavor. Let's take a look at some of those guests in action.

We waited until four people arrived to start the line. As you can see it was calm, everyone was taking a turn moving from one side of the table to the other.

You can't see the vanilla ice cream option, leaving that out would have only led to melting but one person, who didn't want his photo taken, let us take a photo of his ice cream with the brittle over it. Yes, he used the Toffee variety.

My tasters took their task to evaluate very seriously. Here you see one intent upon her treats while you can sort of see another person trying his out as well off to the left hand side.

The man on the left you can see here because he won the spatula for his camper so he can make treats when he goes out camping. He had an idea that bigger pieces of Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle might make for a substitute for graham crackers in s'mores.

Since people pulled out at the last minute I continued to serve up the treats over the rest of the weekend when other people came to the house. Here you can see them trying the cupcakes with the Salted Caramel Brownie Brittle Cupcake and the bagged samples as well. Some really got into the eating with enthusiasm.

Others were very serious about trying those cupcakes and put their all into it.

Cupcakes, always a challenge to the mouth but my tasters made a go of it. You have to open wide to get the cake, the frosting, and the brownie brittle in one bite.

Sometimes you just want to taste the product itself, not it in a recipe. I'm that way myself. If I don't like the ingredient alone, why would I want it in a recipe?

While the party itself had lower turn out, having leftovers allowed me to share the Brownie Brittle with more people. I took this tray of the Chocolate Chip and Mint Chocolate Chip variety to a potluck along with the dessert dip and shared it with about three dozen other volunteers for the university museum. I put out a card with the name and varieties of the products on it and I had a handful ask me more about it. You can see the bowl with the brittle and my dessert dip on the table. This was just a few of us at the start of the party. Thank you to our director for sending me this photo.

Ultimately I shared Brownie Brittle with around 50 people so I no longer feel too bad about folks pulling out of the party in the last hours. I do, however, feel that unless I have a lot more lead time to arrange a brand tasting and greater flexibility in dates, that this was a lot more stress than it was worth.

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