President’s Choice continued to play Santa this week and I opened the last two holiday treats from Phase I. In this post you will find two product reviews and a recipe review!
We begin with PC Mini Peanut Butter Melts. They really look like miniature peanut butter cups which I thought was very cool. The package says, “Peanut butter-filled chocolatey cups for baking” so I had to slice them to see if that was what they indeed were:
It does appear that the peanut butter is inside a tiny little chocolate cup but to be honest, I could not taste chocolate at all. All I could taste was peanut butter. If you look at the list of ingredients, you will see that the only chocolate used was cocoa and it is listed towards the end of the list. Curious.
I just had to put these through my test kitchen. I decided to make the recipe on the packaging because I hear, so often, those are the best recipes in the world.
In a bowl I put 1 cup of flour (not organic, which the recipe calls for which I thought was kind of weird), 1/3 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of softened unsalted butter. I crumbled everything together with my hands to form large-ish chunks. You are supposed to grease and line the bottom of a 11″ x 7″ pan with parchment paper but I had to use a different sized pan since I did not have one that size.
Once again I used my measuring cup to press the crust down to make an even layer. Bake in the center of a 350F oven for 15-18 minutes. Since my pan was larger than what the recipe called for, I took mine out a little early. You need to bake until crisp and golden and then let crust cool but the recipe does not say for how long. I decided to cool mine for 10 minutes.
In a bowl whisk together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour and 1 tsp of baking powder. Stir in 3/4 cup of sweetened flaked coconut and…
1 cup of the peanut butter melts. Pour on top of kind of cooled crust:
Spread with a spatula to make an even layer. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and top with the last of the peanut butter melts. Return to oven and bake 18-20 minutes until evenly golden with a slight jiggle in the center. Cool completely in pan before cutting and serving.
I do like that you can see the mini peanut butter melts on the top like that. Visually they are very fascinating to look at but unlike their name, they do not seem to melt like a typical baking melt, would… melt. The squares turned out a little too dry, hard and crunchy for me. I could really taste the peanut butter, the coconut was an after thought and I did not get the “chocolatey” element of this recipe.
The next morning I woke up to discover that the last present of Phase I of the product giveaways was President’s Choice Medium Heavy Duty Freezer Bags. Considering that the recipe I made with the melts made enough for an army, I knew how I was going to put them to use:
I absolutely stuffed the with the peanut butter bars and was impressed, they held up very well. They have duo locking mechanisms and the plastic is quite hefty, thick and strong.
I do love this product and would probably pay the $3 to buy them but solely for their peanut butter flavour and cool visual appeal. I would not use them as “melts” and definitely would not use them for chocolate flavouring. I give these three and a half out of five wooden spoons mostly because I think the marketing for them was not accurate. I taste no chocolate, they are not melts. But they are all peanut butter goodness!
PRESIDENT’S CHOICE MEDIUM HEAVY DUTY FREEZER BAGS
Normally I do not need heavy duty freezer bags but on the rare occasion I put something with a lot of liquid that would be a disaster if it leaked, these are the bags I would use. They are definitely worth the $3 if you want something you can really depend on. I give this product four and a half out of five wooden spoons.
PRESIDENT’S CHOICE CHOCOLATEY PEANUT BUTTER & COCONUT BARS RECIPE
I normally do not like following recipes on packages or labels because I find them tough to read and in this case, when I opened up the package to use the “melts” I cut off the top of the recipe by accident which made following it all the more challenging. The instructions on how long to let the crust cool was confusing. My bars ended up being really tough and dry, good with a cup of tea but not that great in general. I tasted no chocolate and the coconut was completely overshadowed by the peanut butter. I give this recipe two and a half out of five wooden spoons.
Phase I is now complete! I have yet to receive a second package in the mail so perhaps this product reviewing odyssey is complete. I for one feel so honoured to have been given this opportunity. It has been very exciting and lots of fun.