Friday, February 7, 2014

Baked Better: Au Bon Pain's Congo Bar

Welcome back to Baked Better, a recurring segment that I use as an excuse to eat cookies.  I taste test baked goods marketed as special--because theyre organic or all natural or gluten free or what-have-you--and then report back on my findings.  I pride myself on my commitment to baked goods, and Ill tell you whether Ive found a brownie worth your time and money, or whether to stick with Oreos.

The target: Au Bon Pain's Congo Bar.

I didn't take this picture; it came from here.  
Au Bon Pain does not provide their Congo Bar fans with any online visual aids.

The draw: It's gluten free.  I don't have a gluten sensitivity, but that doesn't mean I'm above a good gluten free cookie bar.  I'm still happy to taste test, in the name of science.

The rundown: If I could describe this Congo Bar in one word I would say: coconut.  The coconut flavor is super strong, and although coconut is often a nice natural sweetener, this tastes kind of fake.  That's because the ingredients list reads like a tongue twister, very long and with plenty of chemicals.  The result is a somewhat overly sweet bar that left me with a sour-ish aftertaste.  There are walnuts and toffee and even chocolate chips mixed in here, but they get lost in the coconut.  This bar is moist but super, super crumby... like unbelievably crumby.  Like still-finding-crumbs-in-my-purse-3-days-later crumby.

The score: 3 stars (out of 5).

Via here.  

The moral: Coconut is good and chocolate chips are better.  But this Congo Bar is not quite tasty enough to warrant so much mess.  I'll probably stick to gluten.

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