Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dark 70 Chocolate Bar Caramel With Black Sea Salt

I may have to find a way to incorporate this chocolate bar into my sex life. It is THAT GOOD. Like, scandalously good. Like, as I'm eating it, I can't stop whispering "Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod," and I feel like I'm doing something kind of dirty and naughty every time I take a bite.
That is the caliber of product we are dealing with here.
You have been warned.
Strangely, I have never noticed this chocolate bar in TJ's. I received Dark 70 Chocolate Bar Caramel With Black Sea Salt from friend J as part of a birthday gift, and she had casually offered, "It's really good" when I opened it. I said, "It does sound yummy" and "Funny, I've never seen it before," and then I didn't really think about it much till later that night, when Seth and I dug into it on the couch while watching one of those ridiculous "Real World/Road Rules Challenge" shows on MTV. (Quick episode recap: Young people drinking. Young people arguing drunkenly. Young people in helmets trying to push each other through a tunnel, for money. Young people talking to camera, reflecting on their drunken arguments and helmeted pushing challenge. The end.)
But now back to the chocolate. Oh my. For starters, this is 70%-cacao dark chocolate, my friends. Sooo deliciously bitter! Secondly, the bar itself is thin and delicate, which causes the chocolate to melt very quickly in your mouth---mmm. Thirdly, the combination of caramel and sea salt inside the chocolate is totally perfect and addictive. Salty-sweet! Sweet-salty! ...playing on an endless loop, with that velvety bitterness of the dark chocolate mixed in. PERFECTION. Naughty, naughty perfection.
And I should add, too, that I'm not normally a caramel-with-chocolate fan. That combination is usually too sweet for me, too one-note sugary. But THIS caramel is more buttery than sugary, and the addition of the sea salt keeps the sweetness from overpowering all of the other flavors.
I am going to have to keep one of these in stock in my cupboard at all times, going forward. It is one of those to-be-savored-on-couch-after-kids-have-gone-to-bed indulgences.
Now I just need to find a fabulous TJ's wine to pair it with.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Wafer Cookies

Two of my favorite foods are dark chocolate and peanut butter, so when I find them together, blended into one deliciously sweet-and-salty treat, I reflexively grab that treat and tuck it right into my shopping cart faster than you can say "Try exercising some self-control for once, Mo."

When I spotted TJ's Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Wafer Cookies earlier this summer, I did not hesitate to pounce on them like a cat pounces on shiny moving objects. Reese's has nothing on TJ's reputation for using pure, simple ingredients---these cookies contain dark chocolate, natural vanilla, peanut butter, sugar, enriched flour...and that's about it. No preservatives or artificial flavors to be found.

Not at all surprisingly, these cookies barely lasted half a week in our house. I loved them, the kids loved them, and Seth presumably would have loved them, too, had he gotten the chance to try one before they were devoured by the rest of us. Maya, in particular, enjoyed them so much that she couldn't understand why I refused to bust them out at breakfast.

What makes these cookies so great and addictive is the inclusion of dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. The bitterness of the dark chocolate keeps the cookies from being sickeningly sweet and rich, which, in turn, makes these cookies easier to eat in large quantities. The light, crispy wafer cookie inside the chocolate achieves the same feat, so that the cookies seem less sugary than they probably are.  (The label says there are 10 grams of sugar in four cookies. So, yeah: they are sugary; although, I've seen breakfast cereals that contain twice as much sugar than these cookies do.)

The end result is a snack that has crunch, creaminess, sweetness, saltiness, bitterness, and airiness, and that really can't hold a permanent place in my cupboard because I lack the self-discipline to handle such a perfectly delicious treat in a mature and reasonable fashion.