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.

Four squares of Trader Joe's poundplus chocolate

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.

Raw vegan peanut butter cups cut in half

Enter the new chocolate.

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

Four squares of Trader Joe's poundplus chocolate

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.

Box of Trader Joe's poundplus chocolate

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.

Baker's chocolate squares and bag of chocolate chips

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.

Pretzel Peanut Caramel Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffle in half

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

Butterfinger bars with candy corn

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

Stack of chocolate peanut butter fudge

Or some homemade Turtles

Chocolate turtle
cut open chocolate turtle with caramel and popcorn

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.

Trader Joe's white chocolate and 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!

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