Friday, August 15, 2014

XOXO Chocolates

Is there anything we like more than receiving a box of chocolate products in the mail?

No. There is not.

XOXO Chocolates is a small, independent Las Vegas chocolatier and bakery. They make fudge and various types of bark and biscotti and brownies and just a whole host of delicious things. So we sampled some of them, as we are wont to do.

The white chocolate fudge (upper lefthand corner) was salty and sweet, with an excellent texture, the kind of soft that melts in your mouth.

The espresso fudge (upper righthand corner) was excellent if you're a coffee fan. It had a strong coffee flavor, and bits of coffee bean throughout it, to add texture.

The biscotti (lower righthand corner) was not very chocolatey-tasting. It was plain biscotti with raisins, so really the only chocolate came from the white and dark chocolate drizzled on top.

The bark (lower lefthand corner) was a little milky for my tastes, but the almonds added nice texture, and the white chocolate drizzled on top made it look pretty. I tried only this one kind of bark, but I can see on the website that they have peppermint bark (which is my favorite type) and sugar-free almond bark (which seems useful), so I think you just need to pick your flavor wisely.

The winner from my perspective was definitely the espresso brownie (in the center, with the bow). The brownie was straight-up delightful, and its frosting was what carried the coffee flavor, so you could easily scrape off some or all of it if you don't love coffee.

The prices are also reasonable. I think a package of XOXO Chocolates would make an excellent gift for someone--it certainly made an excellent gift for me!

BOTTOM LINE: An up-and-coming dessert company that clearly loves chocolate as much as we do

Thursday, August 14, 2014

McVitie's plain chocolate digestives

My junior year in college, I studied abroad in the UK. During the ten months that I was there, I ate roughly one thousand McVitie's plan chocolate digestives.

To clarify for Americans, I will say that "digestives" are basically cookies, sort of like graham crackers, and "plain chocolate" means dark chocolate.

When I lived in England, I would go through a pack of these in a couple of days. They are just so compulsively eatable. They taste basically like a s'mores only without the warm marshmallow inside--just something like a graham cracker with some dark chocolate coating it. It's not too sweet, and it's not so intensely flavored--it's like the dessert equivalent of pretzels, in that it's kind of plain and you just want to keep eating it.

Fairly recently, McVitie's digestives have become easily available in some U.S. grocery stores. They're only a couple dollars; not even priced like an import. When I first discovered this, I briefly felt like, "This isn't right. I only want to eat these when I am in England." Then I got over it. Now I eat three or four digestives every day.

Since my time in England, McVitie's has refined their packaging, adding this nifty re-sealable top, so you don't necessarily have to eat all the biscuits in one go (though obviously you can if you want to).

And because this is the U.S. and we have laws here, they've stickered the packages with FDA-friendly nutritional information, meaning that now, for the first time, I could find out just how many calories and grams of sugar are in each of these. I mean, I haven't read the label, so I don't actually know. But I could.

BOTTOM LINE: If you're buying a pack of grocery store cookies, I would definitely advocate for these over the Oreos, Chips Ahoy, or pretty much anything else on the shelf. Perfect for tea time, snack time, or coming home from a party at 3am.