That’s right….Betty Crocker has come out with a new line of Gluten Free baking mixes! Those of you with Celiac disease, food allergies or sensitivities know….this is monumental. These new baking mixes can be found right in the baking isle, by all the other cake mixes. They also cost considerably less than most gluten free mixes! As soon as I heard the news, I went out and purchased some to try them myself.
This might not make sense to someone who hasn’t gone years making nearly all their food from scratch and driving miles out the way to find gluten free substitutes, but seeing those yellow boxes right up there with all the “normal” baking supplies nearly brought tears to my eyes. There they were! Mixes for Yellow Cake, Devil’s Food Cake, Brownies, and Chocolate Chip Cookies. It has been many years since I purchased something from that section of the grocery store, and it was an oddly emotional moment.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that many of these mixes are also egg and dairy free, and that some of them are soy free (with no soy ingredients, but they carry the warning that they may contain soy…probably because they are processed in a plant where soy is also used). If you can’t have dairy or eggs, you can use egg substitute and soy or rice milk and have allergen free treats!
I decided to put the mixes through the Three Point Picky gluten-free test. Are they as easy to make as a regular cake mix? Do they taste as good? Are they worth the money? I’ve gotten good at making everything from scratch, so to be worthwhile a product has to either be better than I can make on my own, or as good but much easier or faster to make.
The first box we tested was the Brownie Mix. Here are the results, along with some photos!
The Three Point Picky Test (TPP):
1. Can my ten year old make it?
2. Does an unsuspecting guest notice it’s gluten free?
3. Is it worth shelling out the money when you could skip it or make it yourself?
1. The ten year old test: Middle Child did make these brownies by herself! They were easy to make, had clear directions, and only required 2 eggs and 1/2 stick of melted butter besides the mix. The only difficulty was that she needed help putting the batter into the pan and spreading it around, because the batter is very thick. She would have needed help here with any other good brownie mix, however. I do recommend greasing the pan very well, as they were a little hard to get out. However, we relied on the stoneware’s patina and didn’t grease the pan at all. Next time we will!
2. The unsuspecting guest: We gluten free families are used to food that tastes a little bit odd, after awhile you forget what “normal” baked goods are like. So I decided to test these with someone who didn’t know there was anything different about them. They passed! They are chewy, moist, and very chocolaty. They taste like any other brownie, although they are slightly more dense and perhaps a little chewier. There was no rice-y flavor. We loved them! Just like the yummy brownies from pre-gluten free days, and fast and easy too. I hate to say it, but I think they are better than the ones I make from scratch…all the chocolate chips in this mix really add to the taste and texture.
3. The budget test: Because they are more expensive than regular brownie mixes, they have to be pretty good for me to buy a mix rather than do it myself. However, it was very nice to just open a box and go. You only have to add 2 eggs and 1/2 stick of butter, which isn’t a lot of extra ingredients. It also allows for you to make substitutions if you need to! They do not make as many brownies as some mixes, but the ease of having the mix and the yummy end result made this worth the money. I will keep a box of these in the pantry all the times for unexpected guests or surprise chocolate attacks…and it helps that it’s easy enough for my kids to do by themselves!