I like people who understand that food is the perfect gift. At least for me it is. A few weeks ago, Dave and I were watching one of my favorite Food Network shows, Throwdown with Bobby Flay. One of the reasons I love it is because he often showcases lesser known food producers that have more of a regional following.
In the episode, Bobby challenged Katherine and Shawna of Vermont Brownie Company. As soon as I saw their brownies, I stated “I want those. Now.” Metaphorically speaking. I’m not really one to go ahead and mail order brownies for myself. But luckily, Dave’s dad was searching for a present for me and Dave passed on this little item from my wish list. And lo and behold, the VBC brownies were mine. (Thank you Peter!) I wish that could happen more often.
Lucky for me, he ordered a sampler pack, meaning I got to try several different flavors. VBC makes nine flavors in total. I could say that the Signature brownie was the first that I tried. But that would be a lie. It WAS however, the first one I photographed. The brownie is cocoa-y with a soft and fudgey inside that is not dense or heavy. The top crust is smooth and crumbles nicely when you bite into it.
Another reason I love VBC is that they source as many ingredients locally as possible. They come from companies you’ll recognize: King Arthur Flour, Highland Sugarworks Maple Syrup, and Vermont Butter and Cheese Company, to name a few.
The Walnut Chunk brownie was one of my favorite flavors. It is packed with big pieces of walnuts and topped with bittersweet chocolate chunks and sprinkles of sea salt. I don’t often like walnuts in brownies, but they got it right in this one. The texture of the brownie was the perfect complement to the nuts. When brownies are very rich and fudgey, I find nuts to be overkill, and if the brownie is cakey, I find the nuts too dry. This brownie was the perfect middle ground and the large, very fresh walnuts were a welcome addition. The chocolate chunks and sea salt on top added an extra note of sweet and salty.
With the abundance of holiday desserts, I did not feel the need to devour all of the brownies right away, so for now the rest are chilling safely in the freezer, as VBC recommends doing. I plan to do a follow up post when I try the remaining flavors, which include: dark chocolate chevre (the flavor featured on Throwdown), espresso dulce de leche, and maple toffee crunch. I am also dying to try peanut butter and pumpkin spice.
If you’re curious to know who won the throwdown, see the clip below, though you can probably guess.
Vermont Brownie Company