Chocolate Score

The new chocolate I found at TJ’s is my newest foodie product score.

If I have no other great food discoveries in 2012, I can rest happily for the rest of the year with this find because this stuff is good.  Very good.

I made something with it and realized that it melts so smoothly, so evenly, so perfectly.

Sometimes you really have to “finesse” chocolate chips in order to get them to melt and really work at it, and some brands require more finesse and encouragement than others.

That’s because chocolate chips have stabilizers in them so that when you put chocolate chips in say, a batch of cookies and bake them at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, that you don’t end up with a pile of chocolate soup all over your cookies.  The stabilizers keep the chips intact; the chips melt and soften but do not liquify, which is good in cookies.

But not so good when you’re melting chocolate to make say, a homemade peanut butter cup, and you want liquified chocolate and have to keep re-heating it, stirring, repeating to get proper meltage going.

Enter the new chocolate.

It melts so easily and it’s as smooth as buttah.

I literally put a slab in a bowl, powered the microwave on, and in 40 seconds the slab had nearly melted on it’s own, no finessing necessary.

I barely touched it with a spoon and it was like a house of cards that fell apart by liquifying with great ease.  It was chocolate magic.

And the flavor is rich and creamy, just like the lady told me it was.

I will never go back to other brands, i.e. Bakers, if I can help it and this is a reminder for me to stop struggling with trying to melt chocolate chips when I can just melt a few squares from a PoundPlus bar.

There may be more Pretzel Peanut Caramel Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffles in my future sooner rather than later now that melting chocolate just got easier.

Or more Butterfinger Bars (No Bake, 3 ingredients, Microwave with Vegan & GF options)

And maybe I’ll whip up a batch of Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge (Microwave, 3 ingredients) with it…

Or some homemade Turtles

And I made something else with it.  Recipe coming soon.

Moving onto the winners of the NuNaturals Giveaway:

Ellen

Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous

Michele Sparrow

Katie

Questions:

Do you ever struggle with melting chocolate? 

Do you have a favorite brand of chocolate chips or chocolate bars?

I am partial to the TJ’s semi sweet chocolate chips.

I feel the flavor is much richer, deeper, and smoother overall compared to Nestle chocolate chips.

I rarely buy Ghirardelli or Scharffen Berger because they’re much more expensive.  I have, however, heard rumors that Trader Joe’s own chocolate, both their chips and their bars, is Scharffen Berger in disguise, re-labeled according.  I have no idea if this is true but I have read it multiple times over the years.

And sorry to those of you who don’t have a TJ’s nearby can can’t race out to buy a PoundPlus bar.

Do you have any cookie or baking tasks you struggle with?

Anything that has to do with a candy thermometer, I fail at.  I make glue rather than candy with them.

Any fun food finds of 2012 yet?  Or in 2011?

P.S. I have all my chocolate recipes compiled, with photos and links of all them, here

Enjoy your weekend!

   

57 Responses to “Chocolate Score”

  1. #
    1
    Loveforfood — January 6, 2012 at 3:16 am

    Oooh my goodness!! I am drooling over here…please send some my way!

    Reply

  2. #
    2
    cati — January 6, 2012 at 4:14 am

    On my list for my next TJ trip. Hershey’s special dark is horrendous to melt, it clumps together and then turns into a solid chocolate frosting! Love the taste (and the price, usually my other choices are ghiradelli, which is costly, or the store brand at my local super, which is poor quality) but hate the work involved, so thanks for the suggestion!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 6th, 2012 at 10:05 am

      Yes I know what you mean. That chocolate lump that just does not ever melt or come together.

      Reply

  3. #
    3
    dragonmamma/naomi — January 6, 2012 at 4:27 am

    That’s good to know. I usually avoid recipes calling for melted chocolate because I don’t enjoy wrestlling with it.

    Reply

  4. #
    4
    Heather (Where's the Beach) — January 6, 2012 at 5:32 am

    Oh girl – I totally screw up melting chocolate. Turned white chocolate into almost brownies trying to melt it just last week.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 6th, 2012 at 10:04 am

      white chocolate is the worst…a few seconds too long and it can scorch in a heartbeat!

      Reply

  5. #
    5
    Kathryn — January 6, 2012 at 5:41 am

    I always melt bars of chocolate rather than chocolate chips – I think the chocolate in chocolate chips can sometimes taste a bit artificial and I much prefer the real thing. Can’t wait to see what you come up with with your new chocolate!

    Reply

  6. #
    6
    katie @ KatieDid — January 6, 2012 at 5:49 am

    I alwaysss seem to burn chocolate when I go to melt it. I’ll keep that in mind about the stabilizers and look for one without next time. My favorite bars are lindt dark with sea salt.

    Reply

  7. #
    7
    Sarah @ blueeyedbarbie.blogspot.com — January 6, 2012 at 5:52 am

    I think i would give a kidney to have some of your Pretzel Peanut Caramel Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffles shipped to my house haha.

    Reply

  8. #
    8
    Anna @ On Anna's Plate — January 6, 2012 at 6:06 am

    Your posts always make me wish we had a Trader Joe’s nearby :-)

    Reply

  9. #
    9
    Claire @ Live and Love to Eat — January 6, 2012 at 6:06 am

    I think I’m going to try your butter finger bars in my mini muffin tin tonight. :)

    Reply

  10. #
    10
    Robyn | Add a Pinch — January 6, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Now I’m going to start petitioning Trader Joe’s to please come to my very small hometown. Just for the chocolate! :)

    These all look fabulous!

    Reply

  11. #
    11
    kaity — January 6, 2012 at 6:42 am

    i got that chocolate in my stockin this xmas and it was amazinggg!!

    Reply

  12. #
    12
    Felicia (Natural + Balanced) — January 6, 2012 at 6:52 am

    that is the best chocolate from TJ’s!! i always melt it with a touch of coconut oil, never really do the double boiler thing, just keep it on super low heat to not burn. have a great weekend averie :)

    Reply

  13. #
    13
    Kelli — January 6, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Hi Averie! I am going to pick up some of that chocolate this week! It has always caught my eye! I have the Wilton Chocolate Melting Pot and it is perfect for melting chocolate. We make buckeyes every year and it is such a time saver! You would love it :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 6th, 2012 at 10:00 am

      I’ve thought about getting one of those things but I don’t make enough truffles to justify it..or I am purposefully telling myself, I don’t need it! :)

      Reply

  14. #
    14
    Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous — January 6, 2012 at 7:35 am

    I hate when melted chocolate turns all gritty. I’ll have to try TJ brand.

    Reply

  15. #
    15
    Katie — January 6, 2012 at 8:02 am

    YES! I love that chocolate. I bought so much of it for the holidays because I made three different kinds of chocolate bark! Great price, great quality.

    I FAIL at things with the candy thermometer. It took me FOUR TRIES to make caramel!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 6th, 2012 at 9:58 am

      Girl I won’t even make caramels anymore. Have ruined far too much good sugar, butter, and cream to attempt it yet my mother is a pro at them. But me…no.

      Reply

  16. #
    16
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — January 6, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Wowzers! I’m in love!

    Reply

  17. #
    17
    Stephanie @ Ultra Ambitious — January 6, 2012 at 9:47 am

    My fabulous foodie find was Mountain Rise Granola from Wegmans the other day!! I’ll actually be doing a review of it later this evening. It’s seriously the perfect granola. The one I purchased is vegan, with cinnamon, raisins, and nutmeg. It’s just sweet enough so you know there is sugar, but not so sweet that you feel like your eating dessert. Reminds me of a really delish oatmeal raisin cookie. Best part is that Mountain Rise is a small family run (organic) company in upstate NY. I love supporting small family farms! :)

    Reply

  18. #
    18
    Anna @ The Guiltless Life — January 6, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Wow, to get good quality dark chocolate (70%+) in that quantity is so hard for me to find up here! Next time I nip over the border I’m heading straight for TJ’s :).

    Reply

  19. #
    19
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — January 6, 2012 at 10:51 am

    I want some! Like NOW

    Reply

  20. #
    20
    Amber K — January 6, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Oh my gosh, if there is a way to mess up a recipe, I will find it! It’s like a (not-so) secret gift I have, lol. I had no idea that I should be using bars to melt instead of chips. That would have made my Christmas candy making so much easier! It’s a long trek to Trader Joe’s, but I might have to swing by again. I still haven’t found a real reason to go out there, this might be it!

    Reply

  21. #
    21
    Erin — January 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I LOVE that bar from TJ’s!!! I, however, do not care for their chocolate chips, I think they’re too sweet. I buy Ghiradelli when they’re on sale, usually 2/$6 (which is comparable to TJ’s) or sometimes even cheaper. I also buy like 4 of the big bags when they’re on sale at world market over the holidays. My fav brand however is Guittard, but those are a splurge, and only when they’re really on sale! The pound plus bar is awesome to bake with, but I was really disappointed when they discontinued the semi-sweet chocolate caillets, the little discs…. those were by far my fav and I was crushed when I stopped seeing them on the shelf :(

    Reply

  22. #
    22
    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — January 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I struggle with melting chocolate ALL the time, particularly those stupid chocolate candy melt things, that are specifically designed for melting but never do! I use them for cake pops and they cause me nothing but frustration.

    Reply

  23. #
    23
    Christine (The Raw Project) — January 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Very interesting chocolate info here and awesome find! I have actually never melted chocolate, but you’ve mastered it and created some amazing treats.

    Reply

  24. #
    24
    Eliot — January 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Oh, how I long for a Trader Joe’s!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  25. #
    25
    Heather @ dragonflygirlruns — January 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Peanut Butter Fudge is the one recipe my sister and I struggle with!! It’s either too much or too little of one ingredient and it goes haywire!!

    BTW, I think I need to go to Trader Joe’s more often!!

    Reply

  26. #
    26
    Emma — January 6, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    i just bought a block of it, based on your recommendation. Can’t wait to try it out.
    I also bought some of the Speculoos Cookie Butter (no shortage here) form TJs and made your chocolate chip cookie dough balls, subbing the cookie butter for maple/agave. They are AMAZING!!!!!!!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 6th, 2012 at 7:17 pm

      Oh I’m so glad you tried the cookie butter! I bet that it’s great in the choc chip cookie dough balls and have you seen these

      http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2011/12/no-bake-cookie-butter-spread-ginger-molasses-cookies.html

      You could use graham crackers or really any dry ingredient, crushed, if you dont have the cookies I used as the dry ingredient.

      I also have a few recipes coming up that you could sub the cookie butter in for, too…I wish they weren’t still out of stock at my TJs :( Others across the country though have said they’re still out. Consider yourself lucky to have no shortage :)

      Reply

  27. #
    27
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — January 6, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Going to TJ’s in the morning! Going to pick up a bar of the chocolate! I hate melting chocolate. I have used semi sweet chocolate chips and it never melts right, it either gets to hard, or I think I burn it, plus it never seems creamy enough! So with t hat, I will try TJ’s new pounder bar and hopes for better results!

    Reply

  28. #
    28
    Katie — January 6, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    This: http://ghirardelli.com/products/bars_dipping_white.aspx

    BEST white chocolate EVER. I know I’m no expert, but HOLY HELL. I ate so much of this at the house I was staying at. Best part of the vacation, really. ;)

    THere is also a double chocolate one….both are amazing. I like them both better than the TJs, but they may cost more. I am pretty sure the white is cheaper though. And worth it. So worth it.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 6th, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      I’ve had plenty of just plain white ghira
      http://ghirardelli.com/products/squares_vanilla.aspx

      Never tried that one you linked but yes, ghira is good stuff.

      There is a Dutch white choc I can get in Aruba, like the dutch cookie butter, it blows anything else away. I get very spoiled there and it’s all CHEAP! And to think the Nestle White choc chips are twice the price of higher quality white. Not fair.

      Reply

  29. #
    29
    J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) — January 7, 2012 at 1:05 am

    Sure, find something awesome that’s 75 miles away from me at best! :P I’ll stock up on my bi-yearly excursion to TJ’s.

    Reply

  30. #
    30
    Ida — January 7, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Dude! Chocolate is so cheap at TJ’s! In Norway we have to pay double price for HALF the amount of those bags of chocolate.. I wish I could live in USA, but my boyfriend doesn’t :p

    Reply

  31. #
    31
    Deborah — January 7, 2012 at 8:13 am

    You have got to stop showing me these TJ finds – I’m so jealous!!

    Reply

  32. #
    32
    Lindsay — January 8, 2012 at 12:45 am

    I love the TJ’s dark chocolate sea salt caramel bar! I’m 99% sure it’s Vosges… the packaging is nearly identical. It’s my favorite TJ’s find so far… but I am definitely going to be on the lookout for that pound plus bar the second I get home from Hawaii!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — January 8th, 2012 at 3:57 am

      You’re right…the packaging IS super close. Try the pound plus bar..for the money, really, can’t be beat IMO!

      Reply

Leave a Comment





Current day month ye@r *