Happy 2015, everyone! The last half of 2014 was quite dead for my blog, and that stinks. So one of my resolutions is to update a bit more regularly. I enjoy getting my thoughts out about subjects like...snacks & restaurants, but I'm thinking I'l try & expand a bit this year. I'm considering sharing/documenting some recipes I make. Could be fun, huh? My other resolution is to be a bit more healthy & smart about what I eat. Ha, yeah, they're kind of in opposition. I also want to start blogging about food news across the world - my old occasional series, 'Food I'd Like to Eat' - I should bring that back. It was a fun way to highlight food from around the world, without me having to actually eat it! We'll see what 2015 brings - hopefully a good balance between fun blog posts & healthy eating.
We'll start with something fun.
Russell Stover is a brand I've written about a few times on the blog, their brand never used to catch my eye in the USA but they've really expanded their lines & started doing more interesting combinations: things like Red Velvet filled Santas & Caramel Apple Big Bites. Luckily the patriot snack-suppliers of American Sweets stock a great selection of Russell Stover holiday offerings & general catalog chocolates. Let your sweet flag fly & choco-buy. 2015 is going to contain a lot more awkward wordplay. Get used to it.
Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite desserts, but it can be a bit overly spiced - especially when the components of it don't actually contain pumpkin. If it's just pumpkin pie flavored stuff, there is a good chance it will be overly cinnamon-y.
The bar is super heavy, being a part of the 'big bite' series it's kind of a giant version of a chocolate box chocolate, visually. It's a nice look, and something different from just a bar or an egg. It's a way to sell big fat seasonal items kind of year round - now red velvet doesn't have to involve Santa - nor does coconut cream have to be held down by Easter's egg monopoly. You can just have a big hunk of chocolate filled with coconut cream - all the fun of filled chocolates filling-to-chocolate ratio (high filling, low chocolate), but secular!
The chocolate was surprisingly high quality for Russell Stover - I say that every time I review them now, but maybe it's time I acknowledge that they've actually improved upon this base recipe quite a bit since say, 2010. It wasn't really dark, but it wasn't very milky or sweet. Maybe most similar to an American semi-sweet chocolate chip, in terms of taste. Your classic Tollhouse.
The filling was lovely. Smooth and very sweet - with just a bit of warming spice as you would expect in a pumpkin pie. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and maybe a tiny hint of ginger. I think the part I liked best about the filling was the thick and kinda 'gungy' nature of it - a lot like true pumpkin pie filling. Excellent texture & a sweet, spicy taste! Went really well with a cup of tea.
When I bought this bar on American Sweets I didn't notice that had a graham cracker attached to it - but man, am I ever glad it did. The graham cracker added some legitimate pie-feelings & a good bit of salty crunch to break up the gungy sweetness of the filling. Even though it had came a bit loose in transit, it had held up remarkably well for something that came all the way across the Atlantic ocean!
I'd happily order this bar again & I'm looking forward to more of the Big Bite line...perhaps only just once in awhile this year, though. D'oh!