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.

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