Chocolate Monday: Embrace Sweets Brownies

I have a real weakness for brownies; I always have. When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things to do was to bake brownies with my mom. I don’t remember spending much time in the kitchen learning how to cook from her, in fact, in high school I once tried to make my boyfriend a hamburger and was very worried I was going to mess it up (which was sad since it was an already formed and frozen patty). However, we both had a sweet tooth, and even if it came from a package, and it usually did, Mom always let me help her bake.

Brownies were one of my favorites because after they were fnished, we always got to sprinkle them with delicious powdered sugar. It was so fun to use the sifter to make designs on the top of our brownies. Not to mention that I always thought our brownies were so exotic compared to those other people made. As an adult, I realize they were from a package and the only thing “interesting” about them was that powdered sugar, but as  a kid, I thought they were truly decadent.

My tastes have developed a bit more these days, which is why I found myself cruising the Embrace Sweets website, trying to decide just what to buy. Not wanting to pen myself in to one flavor I might not like, I opted for the variety pack. The box of a dozen brownies that arrived only days later containted 9 different flavors of brownies (with 3 Triple Chocolate Chunks).

Since I had three of the Triple Chocolate Chunks, I figured I should start there. This is exactly what I have been hoping for in a brownie! It was incredibly moist, despite having traveled through the mail. There were some chocolate chips in the brownie, but instead of ruining that smooth, fudgy texture, they seemed to melt into the brownie. It reminded me of the brownies I make, only without all of the work, which I LOVE! The brownie definitely needed a glass of milk to help wash it down, but it wasn’t so overwhelming rich that I found it hard to finish. I gobbled it up easily!

My next variety was the Chunky Walnut. I was not enthusiastic because I’m not a walnut fan. Usually they muck up the texture of the brownie, but this one was just as smooth as the Triple Chocolate Chunk. It was really moist. The walnuts were all on the top, so unlike most versions with nuts, they actually stayed crunchy instead of getting all mushy. Just like the first one, it was fudgy. Like I said, I wasn’t excited about it, but it turned out pretty darn good.

The PB & J Blondie started off on a bit of a low note for me. It was my first end piece brownie. I know some people love the edges so much they make special pans so each one is an end piece, but I am not that person. I like the soft middle brownies (or cake pieces, or cinnamon rolls). Despite it’s name, I didn’t really detect much of a peanut butter taste. I did like the bits of cranberry, but the overall taste wasn’t great. Then again, I don’t like the sandwich version either. This one was a bit drier than the chocolate brownies. It really needed milk to finish it. I wouldn’t want it again.

Disappointed with the first blondie, I decided to try the next one, which was just a regular brownie. It too was a little dry. There were chocolate chips in it, which made it really chunky. It reminded me far more of a cookie. I don’t mean to be a downer here, but I just don’t get the appeal of blondies, nor can I figure out why variety packs always include them. They aren’t brownies. If I want to spend the money on brownies, I want, well, brownies. It’s not even like blondies are chocolate free for those who don’t like or are allergic to chocolate. Nope, they still have chocolate in them. I just feel they are useless and not at all what I’m looking for.

The brownie collection was redeemed a bit with my next selection: Peanut Butter Blitz. It was moist and fudgy, but I think “blitz” is a bit of an overstatement. It’s not very peanut buttery. Still, just like the other chocolate versions, it was tasty.

The Tropical brownie had a bit more texture to it, which initially worried me. It quickly made up for its lack of smoothness with the great sweet coconut on top. I simply LOVED the toasted coconut on top. There were also small macadamia nuts that didn’t distract from the flavor at all. It was FABULOUS!

I only had three brownies left to try, and it was a hard decision to make, but I went with the Carmel Pecan, in other words, the generic “turtle.” Just like the walnut version, the nuts are on top, so they don’t ruin the texture. The caramel seemed to sink down  into the top layer of the brownie, so it was not overwhelming. I actually thought it could use a bit more of a caramel taste. Once again, it was an end piece (although good odds, only 2 of 12 were ends) and at the end it does get a little dry. It was still quite tasty.

I only got to try a small bit of the Toffee Almond brownie. The toffee and almonds were once again on the top, so it was mosit and fudgy. Just like the caramel version, I didn’t find the toffee to be a very strong taste. It also wasn’t a crisp toffee like I enjoy. I actually had trouble telling the almonds from the toffee since they both got a bit soggy on top. I actually thought this was going to be one of my favorites, however, I’d take the Triple Chocolate Chunk any day.

I saved what I thought was going to be my favorite one for last: Chocolate Raspberry. I have a real weakness for raspberry anything. Whenver I’m picking out a sweet treat, if there is a raspberry filling, it’s my first choice. This one looked really cool. It had a neat web pattern of what looked like raspberry. The problem was that it was only on the surface. No part of the brownie really tasted like raspberry to me, which was a big let down. It tasted like the Triple Chocolate Chunk. And while I know I’ve already raved about that one, this one wasn’t as good because I had tangy raspberry expectations which were not met. In all fairness to the company, they do tout it as having “a little raspberry tartness.” I would agree; it had very little raspberry anything.

Overall, I was impressed and happy with my assortment. One particular bonus with these tasty treats, was that I bought them using a Groupon, so instead of costing the usual $49, they were only $25. That made them twice as worth it!

Taste: 8.5/10

Appearance: 8/10

Value: 9/10 (b/c of Groupon, without it, I would still buy these brownies, but I think it drops them to a 7/10)

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Filed under addictions, chocolate, cool links, food, my childhood, nostalgia, products, ramblings, what makes me me

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