I was recently contacted by Silverland Bakery to see if I would be interested in sampling and reviewing some of their products. I will admit that I do get contacted quite often about reviews and I've had to learn to become picky about what I say yes to, as I don't want to end up in a situation where I have to promote a product I wouldn't otherwise buy/use/eat. However, in this case, I took one look at their website and sent back an email with an emphatic "hell, yes!!" (in a much more professional tone, of course). :-)
Silverland Bakery is small mother and daughter-run company, with an amazing selection of offerings including brownies, blondies, cookies, fruit bars, and raw bars; this includes several gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free products. Bonus: all of their ingredients are non-GMO and preservative & trans-fat free. Not only are they an awesome independent bakery that offers high quality products, but also founder Athena Uslander established a community foundation to enhance the lives and self-esteem of women and girls in need. A pro-woman company that offers handcrafted baked goods and gives back to the community? To me, that is the epitome of small business goodness.
Silverland sent me a complimentary package of twelve dessert bars, along with a giant White Chocolate Blueberry Cookie (one of their newest products). Holy motherload of desserts! I took the tray to a get-together with friends and quartered each bar so that we could all try a little of each (click photo to enlarge for maximum foodie porn!). We all loved each of the bars and had a hard time deciding on our favorites - personally, I was torn between the Siberian Bearclaw, the Salted Caramel Brownie, and the Raspberry Crumble Bar.
Here are few highlights of our sampling party:
Siberian Bearclaw: White chocolate brownie batter accented with white chocolate chips, whole cashews, and caramel. Hands down, this bar was a favorite of everyone who tried it (there may have even been a small scuffle for the last bite!). It has the perfect combination of flavors and is something that I haven't seen before at other bakeries. Trust me, this bar alone is enough to make a visit to Silverland worth your time!
Seven Layer Bar: Graham cracker crust, sweet milk, coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch drops, and walnuts. As they mention on their website, this bar is all "crunchy melty goodness."
Salted Caramel Brownie: Chocolate Caramel Brownie with a dusting of pure sea salt. Rich chocolate, gooey caramel, and salt... you really cannot go wrong with such a delicious combination!
Raspberry Crumble Bar: Raspberry-filled fruit bar with an all-butter crumble crust and topping. I tend to get very judgey when it comes to fruit bars (I love both raspberry and lemon bars) - Silverland's version definitely did not disappoint! It has a great balance of sweet/tart and the crust is very light & buttery.
Flax Raw Bar: Flax, sunflower, and sesame seeds with evaporated cane juice and non-hydrogenated soybean oil. Silverland's Raw Bars are all vegan, wheat free, dairy free, and have no added sugar. While I wouldn't choose to eat one for dessert (I'm sorry, but that awesome Bearclaw will win 100% of the time), they are a great alternative to shelf stable bars. In fact, everyone who taste-tested this bar mentioned that it was a like a fresher version of an energy bar.
Silverland Bakery is located in Forest Park, IL. You can also order their products online (free shipping for orders over $35!) or find them in select Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Argo Tea, and Nordstrom locations.