Friday, September 11, 2009

Bobo's Oatbars & Howie's Cookies

I'm ending the week on a sweet note for folks with a sweet tooth.

still reviewing local vendors who sell their product at Boulder's Whole Foods Market; today it just happens to be two sweet treats.

I might be a purist when it comes to preparing healthful, whole, main meals, but after dinner, occasionally I do love a small sweet with a cup of fully-flavored tea enriched with a dash of half and half.

Last Friday, I met up with a foodie friend of mine. We were talking food, of course, and my friend posed the question: "What food or drink can't you go without."

"Oh," I said, "you mean what am I addicted to? Huh, that's easy, I don't have any addictions!" Then I said, "But I do like to have a cup of tea every day."

My friend said, "Okay, so I challenge you to go the whole day tomorrow without a cup of tea." And I said, "It's not going to happen."

I guess I wasn't shocked by my response; we all have our food vices. I do try and keep mine in check, i.e. no more than two cups of tea and one sweet item a day. Some days it's less and some days more.

I do know that if turned loose in a European patisserie, I don't consider myself a sweet tooth with an uncontrollable urge, but rather a patron of the arts.

You see, to me fine pastries are works of art, mini edible sculptures that often don't taste quite as magnificent as they look, but nevertheless are worth every eye-appealing bite -- especially if paired with a good cup of tea.

But I'm not in Europe, I'm in Boulder, and early this past summer I wandered into my local WFs on a Saturday morning and Julie, at the check out, who reads this blog and who periodically gives me something to sample, gave me a cookie saying, "This is one of our new local vendors, his cookies are delicious. Try it and see what you think."

So of course I went hunting for a cup of tea to drink with Howie's Wheat-Free Cinnamon Cookie (pic to left).

En route, I took a bite of the cookie and decided that though I'm not a coffee drinker the sweetness of the cookie would be better paired with the bitterness of a dry cappuccino.

And so that's what I did, I had a dry cappuccino (minimal milk in the espresso but lots of milk froth on top) with Howie's cookie.

The taste sensation reminded me of the European tradition of drinking a single espresso with several chunks of white sugar stirred in to counteract the bitterness of the coffee.

Howie's cookies are very sweet. They're a florentine-style thin cookie, but without the chocolate drizzle on top. Actually it's thinner than a florentine, and the surprise ingredient is oats. You can't taste the oats but they're there. You can taste the dusting of cinnamon on top, which adds much needed flavor to the sugary sweetness of this 99c treat.

When I'm on the lookout for a sweet, I do tend to gravitate toward cookies with oatmeal (I tell myself that they're somehow healthier), like Bobo's Oatbars (pic above).

Actually, Bobo's Oatbars (there are 9 flavors in all, including plain, chocolate, and apricot) are comparatively healthy for a sweet treat. They're organic, non-refined, and 100% non-GMO, plus they're vegan with no trans-fats and there's only 180 calories per 3oz bar. Read the Nutrition Facts and see for yourself.

They are a little on the spendy side at just under $3 per bar, but you can buy a box of 12 at Whole Foods and receive their 10% case discount. Or you can buy a box on Bobo's website for a discount.

Because I don't tend to bake for just me, I've treated myself a number of times to the plain, the apricot, and the chocolate Bobo's Oatbar and I have to say it's the kind of sweet that I enjoy at morning tea because it's not too sugary, it's packed with oats, and it's very moist.

And because of the ingredient list, I don't feel at all like a sweet tooth in denial when I tell myself Bobo's Oatbars are healthier than eating say, a double-chocolate peanut butter brownie.

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