The Good: Does not taste bad, Generally inexpensive
The Bad: Low on nutritional value, No zest/purpose, Not terribly sweet
The Basics: Sheila G’s Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle are a somewhat pointless snack that is unlikely to thrill brownie lovers and makes me wonder what the point is.
When I was in high school, I worked on a science project: the Male Pregnancy Project. I was designing a pouch for men that would include grafted uterine tissue inside a Gor-Tex “backpack” and a tapeworm-style filtration system that would connect the circulatory system of the parent to the unit. As I became obsessed with the project, my biology teacher pulled the plug on the concept because he could not see the point. After all, what is the point in a world suffering from the effects of overpopulation, of introducing a method of making more children? And what is the point of a male pregnancy project when women exist? While I began to justify the project as a way for gay couples and infertile women to carry children to term, the point was never lost on me; the applications were severely limited and utterly redundant. I begin my review of Sheila G’s Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle because as I consider the product, I am left feeling a sense of wonder over how the product ever made it into mass production.
After all, we have brownies and it’s not like they aren’t a wonderful and well-conceived snack on their own. And I’ll admit, I was very surprised by the product initially; with a name like Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle, I anticipated something like a peanut brittle where the peanuts were replaced by chocolate chips. That is, alas, not at all what the Brownie Brittle is. Instead, Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle is very much like the overcooked bits of brownies one finds stuck at the bottom of the pan when one does not grease the pan right. This is more like pita chips or bagel chips than they are analogous to either peanut brittle or sweet and delightful brownies.
Redefining the nature of traditional brownies, Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle are 1/8 – 1/4" thick chips that vary completely in length and width that are fairly smooth on one side (like the slightly glazed top of a brownie) and textured on the bottom, like a cookie or toasted bagel top. Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle come in a 4 oz. bag. According to the nutrition facts, a serving of Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle is six pieces (28 grams) and there are four servings per container. The bag we picked up for Christmas bore that out exactly, though the different sizes of chips with their varied shapes make it very hard to get exactly twenty-eight grams worth of chips out of any six random chips.
For those who have never had Brownie Brittle before, Brownie Brittle are flat, hard chips that are similar to bagel chips. Moisture - or saliva - dissolves Brownie Brittle on the tongue. The first real strike against the Chocolate Chip Brownie Bites is the lack of frequency of chocolate chips. Only one in about seven Brownie Brittle pieces in our bag actually had embedded chocolate chips in it.
Ease Of Preparation
Unlike making brownies from scratch, Brownie Brittle is easy to prepare. Simply open the resealable bag and remove six pieces and consume. There is no other preparation needed; this is a ready-to-eat product.
Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle smells exactly like fresh-baked brownies. Opening the bag takes anyone who has smelled brownies instantly back to a time and place when brownies were made fresh for them! The smell is distinct and chocolatey and inviting.
On the tongue, the Brownie Brittle is exceptionally dry. The flavor is only slightly chocolatey, as one might expect from a product based on overcooked brownie scrapings. As the saliva breaks down the snack, the flavor of chocolate comes out a bit and the Brownie Brittle takes on the flavor, but not the texture, of a very standard milk chocolate brownie.
The Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle leaves a slightly dry aftertaste in the mouth, much like what one gets when eating a cookie.
Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle is a baked sweet, so one ought not to be living off it. The Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle pieces are made primarily of sugar, enriched bleached wheat flour, and cocoa. There are, surprisingly, no unidentifiable ingredients in this food product. The bag of Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle carries an allergy warning for wheat, eggs, soy, and milk.
Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle has 120 calories per serving, 35 of which are from fat, though it is tough to stick with the somewhat nebulous serving size of 28 grams from just six pieces. The 4 grams of fat represent 6% of the recommended daily value of fat and 5% of the daily recommended saturated fat. As well, there are 95 milligrams of sodium and 14 grams of sugars (21 total grams of carbohydrates). There is a gram of protein in a serving of Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle, but there are no other real nutrients in these.
These are not nutritious, so if you were thinking of living off them, you might want to reconsider.
The Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle stores just fine in its bag and as long as they are kept in a cool, dry (preferably dark) place they ought to last for quite some time. That said, the bag that appeared in my stocking this Christmas had a late December 2013 expiration date.
Unless one really crunches down sloppily on these or lets the few chocolate chips in them melt, cleanup ought not to be an issue. If it becomes an issue, consult a fabric cleaning guide. Chocolate stains might be a problem, but again, it only becomes an issue if it gets melted. The rest of the brownie brittle very easily may be wiped up.
Sheila G’s Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle are a redundant, somewhat pointless treat. The concept is easy to replicate on one’s own (simply spread out the brownie batter on a much thinner surface when cooking the brownies) and seems to be based on a cultural tradition of which I am not a part; the packaging mentions fighting over corner pieces of brownies – everyone I know fights over the soft, gooey center brownie and loathes the crispy outer edges when the brownies are overcooked inadvertently. Ultimately, there is no zest or purpose to these; they are not easier to eat than regular brownies, not more nutritious than the standard brownie and not easier to prepare than other prepackaged brownies. Ultimately, it is a culinary experience that is a severe letdown; it tastes like pan scrapings without anything distinctive or indispensible from this incarnation of brownies.
For other sweet snacks, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Cadbury Screme Eggs
Quaker Vanilla Creme Brulee Popped rice snacks
Special K Protein Dark Chocolate Granola Bars
For other food or drink reviews, please visit my Food And Drink Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.