Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Review- Maryland NEW: Cookie Bites and Crispies

Another day, another biscuit review and this time, it is the turn of Maryland with all that is NEW - 2 lots of Cookie Bites and Choc Chip Crispies, featuring both coconut and caramel! Oooh choices! 

I searched high and low for this little lot, across what seemed liked all of the supermarkets with no avail.. That was of course until the day that the ever so lovely, Charlotte popped the entire selection in the post for me - Sods law! Damn you, slow-poke Tescy! Suitable for Vegetarians across the board with absolutely no artificial colours, preservatives, flavours, hydrogenated fats, sweeteners or GM ingredients, one might go as far as to say that these are actually a health food.. 

Choc Chip Cookie Bites

Mini choc chip cookies bites covered in milk chocolate.

Starting with the "plain" Bites, the marginally smaller than a £2 coin sized rounds were all well coated in chocolate and smelt most inviting. Satisfyingly crunchy in texture with lots of buttery biscuit flavour combined with cocoa, the Bites proved to be extremely moreish and all too easy to eat one after another. On the flip side however, they were equally as pleasant when left to dissolve and savour on the tongue rather than when munched - Yum! It's a 4 out of 5 from me. 

Choc Chip & Caramel

Mini chocolate chip and caramel flavour cookie bites covered in milk chocolate. 

Moving onto the caramel option which I so wish you could smell, these Bites once again possessed the feel of above with the same generous chocolate coating but with the glorious addition of sweet, indulgent caramel to compliment. Despite having that sugary edge, I found these even more enjoyable than the lone Choc Chip version - A 4.5 out of 5 from me. 

Choc Chip & Coconut Crispies

Coconut flavour cookies containing milk and dark chocolate chips, coconut and crisped rice. 

Having not bought Maryland Cookies in such a long time, my memory was a little hazy over how big (Or little in this case!) the biscuits actually are - They really were quite diddy and no more than 2 mouthfuls of a pleasantly grainy, slightly chewy contrasting crispy, airy mish-mash texture! Taste wise, the flavour was just as I remember with the signature Maryland flavour at the forefront with a coconutty edge that brought lots of sweetness yet was balanced out by the nibs of darker chocolate throughout. Tropical and tasty! Another 4.5 out of 5. 

Choc Chip & Caramel

Caramel flavour cookies containing chocolate chips, caramel pieces and crisped rice. 

Last up and by no means least, the Choc Chip & Caramel Crispies. Taking a bite, this cookie struck me as having the strangest feel out of the entire lot - It was hard and crunchy but perhaps had a little too much going on with the crisped rice being far more noticeable and bizarre harder lumps which I can only assume to be caramel pieces. Speaking of the aforementioned, I found the flavour to be a tad more artificial than that of the Caramel Bites and therefore somewhat masking the full biscuit flavour and not quite floating my boat. I did however enjoy the chocolate element once again! It's a 3.5 out of 5 from me. 

So, I am thinking if I were to eat one more cookie, I might just turn into one myself? - This NEW range of Maryland's isn't too shabby at all and without a shadow of a doubt, addictive! The Caramel Cookie Bites are my overall winner with the Coconut Crispies coming in at a close second. It's only really the Caramel Crispies that don't do it for me.. But having said that, offer me a cup of tea and I'll pretty much dunk and eat an old boot let a lone a much more delightful, if only "average" biscuit! Grab yourself a 120g pouch or 145g pack and let me know your thoughts.. Merry Marylanding! 

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Review- Oreo NEW Thins: Original and Chocolate Creme

Is anyone still on their "New Year, New Me" January diet? I failed to even start mine and bow down to those who are firmly on the healthy wagon.. But everyone needs a treat every once in a while and these skinny mini, NEW Oreo Thins might just be the little somethin' somethin' to hit the spot! 

Inspired by AKA copied, from my darling Nibs 'n' Scribs, the 94g boxes cost me 54p in Tesco where they were on some sort of special offer - I can't remember the full price but I didn't want to pay it, I know that much! Each containing 16 biscuits, spread across 2 foil packs, both the Original and Chocolate Creme are suitable for Vegetarians and come in at under 130 calories and less than 2.5g Sat Fat for 4 Oreos.. We'll choose to ignore the sugar part as sugar is the devil in disguise. Obvs. 

I am not entirely sure of the logic behind wrapping the biscuits in 8's when the recommended portion, as stated above, is half of this but there you have it.. Your willpower game had better be strong.

Chocolate flavour sandwich biscuits with a vanilla flavour filling (32.5%) and Chocolate flavour sandwich biscuits with a chocolate flavour filling (32.5%). 

One each of the very dinky, oh so thin Oreo which I promise, do have a centre filling..

There it is! Almost damn near impossible to twist and split thanks to the uber snappy and crisp texture, the biscuits still provided the signature, dark cocoa flavour that we all know and love with a seriously munchy feel which I think I actually favoured over regular Oreos. The sandwiched creme in both was of a good ratio to the biscuit and more than enough for a real sweet vanilla hit from the pure white of the Original and the Chocolate element of the other, adding further cocoa tones to compliment. Tasty and good for dunking! 

Overall, I enjoyed these NEW Oreo Thins more than I thought I would.. Much to my surprise! Usually being one to adopt the "go big or go home!" mentality, I didn't feel as though I was missing out on anything by having a slim jim biscuit opposed to the usual thick and chunky, albeit not as sizeable as the US version, Oreo.. And I did even manage to stop at 4 biscuits! Definitely one to put on your next shopping list whether you're watching your weight or as Nibs put it, a "sophisticated" adult or not!  - It's a 4 out of 5 from me. 

Monday, 23 January 2017

Review- Tesco Ready to Bake LE Toffee Apple Cookie Dough

I am going to warn you now.. The pictures in todays post are horrendous to the extent of me having to'd and fro'd over whether it was even worthy of a review for the last 3 weeks - The colouring is whack, I seem incapable of shooting things in the centre and one might even come with some sort of photo effect. Safe to say, I don't know what went wrong.. But Cookies! Cookies always come first!

Technically, this is actually Tesco Ready to Bake Toffee Apple Cookie Dough which I bought for £1.50 after having enjoyed the Chocolate Chip version. Given it's Fall-esque flavouring and Limited Edition status, I do wonder if it was originally for Autumn 2016.. But I can't say I saw it until just after New Year so it's a bit of a mystery. 

Designed to be cut into 8 rounds after being left out of the fridge for 10 minutes to soften, the cookies  are to be cooked at 160ºC Fan for about 14-18 minutes or until golden brown.

I opted for the lesser duration purely as I didn't want a rock solid biscuit and they turned out pretty nicely - Not to mention, smelling amazingly buttery combined with an almost acidic, fruity yogurt aroma which filled the entire house! 

Breaking the slightly warm cookie in half, pieces of the add-ins were visible and of a fairly generous quantity. Crunchy on the outside with a chewier centre, they tasted just as they smelt - Super biscuity with a pop of tart apple a long with pockets of sweet toffee. A tang was definitely apparent which once again, reminded me of a yogurt and worked surprisingly well in a Cookie. Perfect with a mug of tea, sprinkled over ice cream for that hot/cold hit or even with actual yogurt! - Delish!

Overall, this Tesco Ready to Bake LE Toffee Apple Cookie Dough seems to be a pretty foolproof way of a getting fresh, warm, decent tasting treat into your life without much faff at all.. Well, that is to say as long as you use some sort of baking parchment on your tray otherwise you'll never get the welded little buggers off! Give it a whirl whilst you can.. And a sneaky taste when raw! It's a 4 out of 5 from me. 

Friday, 13 January 2017

Review- M&S NEW Lemon & White Chocolate Tart

Don't you just hate that instant feeling of regret when leaving a shop empty handed, not having bought the something you know deep down that you longed for? I know I do and was stupidly this foolish last week when deciding against buying M&S's NEW Lemon & White Chocolate Tart - Lord knows what I was thinking!

Never one to make the same mistake twice and like a woman on a mission, I frogmarched myself to the stores bakery section today, whacked one in a baggy and paid my £1 at the till. Given my all round excitement, I kind of forgot to take note of any other detail regarding the product so I have no description whatsoever and it may be suitable for vegetarians, it may not.. Who is to say!? 

The tart cut in half with ease to reveal a sneaky hidden curd layer beneath a ooey-gooey sticky filling which both looked and smelt a treat. Crumbly and buttery, the pastry itself was perfection with a short texture and not all to dissimilar to a shortbread biscuit really! Undeniably lemon-y but without a super zesty kick (No where near as potent as the Lemon Muffins for reference), the citrus tones came across well, pairing with the silky smooth and rich, condensed milk like, white chocolate "ganache" mixture above - Strangely however, the left half possessed fair more flavour akin to actual white chocolate than the right! All the elements went well together to produce one very tasty, pleasantly sweet and indulgent tart that I could have quite easily eaten another of! 

So now my regret has progressed to the "I wish I had bought 12 more" stage - This NEW Lemon & White Chocolate Tart is oh so good and makes for a decently sized treat to have with a cuppa! The only fault I can find with it, not that I am particularly fussed but I can understand why some might be, is the fact that the citrus aspect isn't lip puckering or likely to keel anyone over.. But since, it isn't wishy-washy either, this really is just being pernickety - It's a 4.5 out of 5 from me!

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Review- Patisserie Valerie NEW LE Madame Valerie Slice

Patisserie Valerie AKA the place of dreams, dropped a bombshell yesterday.. A NEW, Limited Edition flavour available in both 8" Celebration Cake form as well as individual sized portions, is gracing the bakery come café this January! Huzzah! The excitement! 

I didn't need much persuading when it came to getting myself a mysterious, pretty pink bowed box containing the Madame Valerie Slice this morning.. It's only bloomin' Chocolate, Caramel and Honeycomb Gateau, priced at £2.95 to take away or £2.50 if you go, quite rightly too, for the 4 slices for £10 option! The nice lady who served me also mentioned that there's to be a different NEW addition to the regular range every month this year which resulted in a high squeal from me, slap bang in the middle of the shop floor - Expect 11 more PV reviews this year, folks! 

Crikey, what a sight to behold.. Check out those layers of stickyness!

Grabbing a fork, the Gateau was as tender as expected with three layers of feather light, moist sponge, providing plenty of rich cocoa tones whilst making for a soft yet stable base for the thickly sandwiched, pale gold cream. Smooth like no other, not to mention far superior to all other crème pâtissière, the aforementioned tasted ridiculously buttery and sweet without being cloying or delivering a nasty throat burn - Not full on, overpowering caramel but extremely luxurious! Nibbles of crunchy honeycomb pieces were sprinkled throughout adding a nice contrast in texture to all the soft as well as a pop of sugary goodness, with a helping hand from the toffee tasting curls hiding up the side of the slice. Topping the lot was a indulgently chocolate version of the previously mentioned cream, that features in the usual Double Chocolate Gateau which was once again, all kinds of velvety deliciousness and a crisp choux profiterole that I wanted a dozen of. AMAZING! 

Overall, this NEW Madame Valerie Slice is pretty much the best thing I have eaten.. Not just this year or this decade but like, ever! From the flawless cake in terms of both texture and flavour to the silky cream, honeycomb and toppings, the entire confection is sheer perfection! Oo that rhymed! It's top marks from me, 5 out of 5 and I can't wait to see what else Patisserie Valerie have in store for us this year! 

Monday, 2 January 2017

Review- Krispy Kreme NEW: Chocolate Orange and Tiramisu

Happy Monday! Happy New Year! I have good news. Possibly the best news ever. Krispy Kreme have only gone and released 2 brand spanking NEW Doughnuts today! Could there be any better way to kick of 2017? I think not!

Behold! A Chocolate Orange and a Tiramisu doughy delight! ..You're thinking the same as me, aren't you? Why these weren't the Christmas offerings, I'll never know - It makes zero sense given the festive feel of the duo but never mind I guess, better late than never! Purchased from my local Tesco cabinet as part of a trio box, I assume they were priced at the usual £1.90 individually.. But one can never be too sure when I am forever being charged varying amounts in my store!

Chocolate Orange

Filled with chocolate orange flavour kreme, topped with orange flavour gloss, dark chocolate shavings and decoration. 

Having come to the realisation that it is impossible to guess how much filling is inside all of KK's Doughnuts, I was overjoyed to see a packed centre of smooth kreme despite it's relatively light feel. Smelling exactly that of its namesake, taste wise it reminded me a lot of a cheap "Jaffa" Cake bar with a slightly bitter, medicinally orange flavour combined with generic chocolate - Not the Terry's, I hoped for by any means. The sticky gloss on top, I found to be far more pleasant than the filling adding a different sort of citrus tone.. Although still not quite spot on. As for the doughnut itself, there was not much to complain about with the signature KK flavour and light, fluffy texture, no stodge or uncooked dough. A 2.5 out of 5 from me.  


Filled with coffee flavour kreme, covered in white chocolate flavour coating - CONTAINS NUTS.

Moving onto the Tiramisu and the sheer panic of reading "Contains nuts" after eating the bloomin' thing! - Since when did Tiramisu feature hazelnuts?! Thank the lord it wasn't peanuts.. That would have been anything but a marvellous start to the year! Cutting into the aerated Doughnut, as seen above, the whipped to perfection kreme proved to be in abundance but didn't really have much of a scent to it at all.. Certainly not that of coffee which immediately didn't bode well in my mind. Taking a bite, thankfully I was proved wrong the a decent enough hit of creamy coffee coming through, albeit once again, a tad on the artificial side. The cracking and crumbling white chocolate added some sweetness to balance but as usual, was hardly of the highest quality and I am not sure, one would know what it was meant to be.. Which essentially summed things up entirely in being nothing like Tiramisu as I know it.. But could pass as Cappuccino/Latte inspired! A 3.5 out of 5. 

Hmm.. I can't help but feel a tad let down by these 2 NEW Doughnuts. The desired flavour is just not there with the Chocolate Orange and the Tiramisu is not really what it claims to be whatsoever.. I did much prefer the latter however as a all round coffee fanatic! A few tweaks and some better quality ingredients and KK might just be onto a winner..

Now, only time will tell what else might come our way this year.. But I beg of you KK, listen up and please let coconut feature! I need it!