Sunday, January 4, 2015

Russell Stover Pumpkin Pie Big Bite

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!

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