Thyme Flaxseed Rice Crispie Dark Chocolate Cookies and the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon

by Irvin on April 2, 2012 · 12 comments

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Because I’m an extremely famous blogger (no, actually I’m not, but somehow people seem to think I am, and who am I to dissuade them from their delusions), I get to do something fancy pants things like go on press trips, get an occasional review copy of a cookbook or hobnob with famous chefs. However, one of my favorite things to do is to judge contests! I think it might be because I’m naturally an exceedingly judgy person (oh no you did NOT just wear horizontal striped leggings!) and getting to be an official judge just legitimizes the fact that my opinions are correct (really, horizontal stripes in general aren’t a good idea, unless you’re Twiggy). So when the International Chocolate Salon invited me back to judge their San Francisco salon I immediately jumped to the chance. Going there is always inspirational, and this year was no exception as I found myself whipping up Thyme Flaxseed Rice Crispie Dark Chocolate Cookies inspired by a New Tree chocolate bar.

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Unlike last year’s chocolate saloon, I knew what to expect and did not attempt to taste every single chocolate on premise. Instead I brought a giant box of sandwich bags and politely informed each vendor that I was a judge and could they just give me one or two sample chocolates to take home and taste. Across the board, every vendor was appreciative, handing me a few samples, thereby letting me taste and take notes at home, judging in private.

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The fact is, with over 50 different vendors there, it’s pretty easy to overwhelmed by the selection. I arrived early to make sure that I had enough time to visit each booth before the crowds got there, but even still, by the time I left it was packed with barely any wiggle room. Some vendors even had lines of people waiting to sample and I tried not to pull the “Hey there, I’m someone important” card, but the minute I started to take photos with my big camera, people seem to naturally part for me. Yay DSLR!

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I had invited along my friend Sabrina of The Tomato Tart as my plus one, even though I know she’s not a huge chocolate fan (I know! I’m not sure why I’m still friends with her). That said, she does love citrus (like adores it) and so I was sure to steer her toward the citrus inspired chocolate creations. I also ran into Catherine over at Munchie Musings who came down from Sacramento and we ran around at the salon sampling chocolate to our heart content.

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Lately I’ve noticed a trend of savory herbs and spices sneaking into sweet desserts and New Tree’s Thyme Flaxseed chocolate bar is no exception. The grassy thyme in the chocolate really helps bring out the dark woodsy notes of the chocolate without being too overwhelming. I immediately started to think about how I could interpret it into a baked good, and the cookie seemed like a perfect translation. This is a pretty memorable cookie, with the crunch of the flaxseeds and the snap of the sugar coating playing with the moist yet tender crumb of the cookie. I think you’ll agree once you taste it that this is a cookie that everyone will judge a winner.

Special thanks to Taste TV for having me as a chocolate judge for their International Chocolate Salon. I was not compensated for the post above and all opinions are mine.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 2, 2012 at 6:21 am

These cookies look fabulous! Love the ingredients used in here. Yum!

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Belinda @zomppa April 2, 2012 at 6:39 am

Lucky lucky to taste all of this!! I promise no horizontal leggings if I can get some of these cookies.

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Jane F April 2, 2012 at 9:50 am

I shall have to bring you some of William Curley’s chocolates (williamcurley.co.uk) next time I’m over. He uses some amazing flavours, including wasabi, sesame and japanese black vinegar. (Glenn only ever wants me to bring him cheap Cadbury’s chocolate!)

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SMITH BITES April 2, 2012 at 10:39 am

oh how i envy your job Irvin – wowie, wowie!! lovely chocolate, lovely photos, lovely cookies . . . sigh . . .

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Dina Avila April 2, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Oh, I love this idea! Thyme and chocolate packaged in a beautiful cookie? Brilliant! You have my wheels turning now, Irvin!

Everyone looks so happily geeked out on chocolate, by the way…lucky bunch:)

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Shila April 2, 2012 at 10:35 pm

love your interpretation of the thyme/chocolate combo–def an intriguing one! The addition of texture with the flax seeds and rice crispies is also something I’d love to try.

I had the luck of hosting an artisan chocolate tasting last fall and was blown away by the amazing variety of good stuff–I loved olive and sinclair, a small southern company that uses brown sugar in their bars and madecasse and TCHO, for their infusion of amazing ethics into their bars.

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thelittleloaf April 3, 2012 at 5:28 am

I love the addition of herbs to sweet things – thyme and chocolate is delicious, and rosemary with anything super sweet also works really well. Looks like you had an incredible day – very jealous of all that tasting!

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Christa G April 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Oooh can’t wait to try these. Darn diet!

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Winnie April 4, 2012 at 4:58 am

Oh my lord Irvin! Great photos of what sounds like a fantastic event and I LOVE the sound of these cookies.

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Beth (OMG! Yummy) April 4, 2012 at 8:49 am

Hey Irvin – Nice photos from the Salon! So funny you were inspired by the bar that was both my favorite and my son’s. In fact, you’ll be pleased to know he sent me the link to your blog post – you have a new follower!

I was so intrigued by the herby, crunchy marriage with the chocolate. Was afraid it would scare my palate but quite the contrary — loved it. And I’m sure your cookies are equally palate-pleasing.

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Kim Bee April 5, 2012 at 9:04 am

You are totally famous. And how lucky for you that being famous means you get to do things like this. I would have passed out at the door. We have a lacking foodie culture here so I get overwhelmed easily. I recently tried a bar that had banana, cinnamon and fig in it. Was truly delightful. Loving the flaxseed cookies. The rice krispies would put it over the top for me. The texture is wonderful in baked goods. So I should stop wearing horizontal stripes? You sure?

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merri April 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm

mmm those look good. never had a rice krispies cookie before.

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