In 2004, Jill and Jim Pomeroy started Cloud Nine Brownies as a small, local Colorado business. After some growth, they’re recently changed names to Aspen Brownie Works, drawing off of the Aspen Highlands, located just by their new kitchen. I don’t know how different their old look was,but I do like their new one. Their packaging uses recycled materials and eco-friendly ink; I find the natural look very appealing, accented by the right colors and designs.
The box I was given contains 20 mouth-size brownies. They also come in half and full sizes. Each brownie is individually wrapped to ensure freshness and giving them a rather nice look when you lift the box’s lid. Only downside was that I started turning obsessive compulsive when I saw their labels. Aspen BrownieWorks puts assortments of six flavors together (unless you custom order), but doesn’t seem to arrange them accordingly. So I found myself switching them around so that all the flavors were next to each other. The flavors are also uneven in amount: three chocolate chip, two raspberry, three espresso dark chocolate, four walnut caramel, four peanut butter, and four toffee.
I started with an espresso brownie, which was drier than I’d hoped for. I came in expecting almost gooey, rich dark chocolate (Aspen uses Ghirardelli chocolate). But the moistness is really only in the middle section. At first I was disappointed, but as I kept getting positive feedback when I shared any, I realized that I had just come in with too many expectations. What Aspen Brownie Works does is create a brownie with a crumbly outside that gives way to the more traditional fudginess. The duality is what sets their brownies apart from what you’d make out of a box. It’s natural enough for a homemade feel, while still unique enough to buy.
I only wish that the individual flavors had more presence. Espresso, what espresso? The toffee brownie has a sweet and salty flavor from its topping, but when the raspberry is just drawing off of a couple of jelly stripes, there’s very little raspberry flavor. Same with the peanut butter. The walnut caramel and chocolate chip pass since their added ingredients are more solid. When Aspen stresses their focus on quality, natural ingredients, they would do better to tweak the ingredients they use for the extra flavors. Otherwise, there isn’t much point in having so much variety. But besides this one point, I’m satisfied.