Monday, December 26, 2016

Boxing Day

Normally I am a scratch baker, but with the holidays and schedules I am also a keep it easy and simple person, too.

While I was shopping at HEB, I found two boxed mixes to try -- Central Market (HEB's sister "foodie" grocery store) Peppermint Bark Brownies and King Arthur Flour's Essential Goodness Sour Cream Coffeecake Mix.

Both priced at $4.98 each, though they had a $1 off coupon for the King Arthur Essential Goodness mixes.

If you like peppermint, you will like the Peppermint Bark Brownies.  There is mint flavor in the brownie mix and of course in the crushed candies.  The vanilla bark is a packet of chips, which melted easily and had a nice, not artificial flavor.  I can't say the same for the candies - try a nibble before dumping the entire packet atop.  I ended up only using half.

Also be forewarned, the brownies are very rich -- you add 3 eggs and a stick of butter.   The directions veered away from traditional layout and you had to pay attention and actually read to follow along.  When you are pressed for time this can add a little to the frustration level.

I would rate this mix a C  - It's pretty and a gourmet brownie take up, but I don't think I will make it again.  Half of the brownies were still left after two days with three people.  And they asked for a "small piece"  You might be better off adding half a teaspoon of peppermint flavor to a brownie mix and placing some of those striped red and white chocolate Hershey Kisses on top while still warm and spreading like frosting.   Done and done.

The King Arthur mix also called for 1 stick of butter, divided between the topping and the mix, and only two eggs.  The directions were easier to read and follow on the back of the box.

And if you love the smell of cinnamon, be prepared.  The box says they use premium cinnamon and they do.  Halfway through baking, the house was infused with cinnamon.

Their mixes do not have preservatives, artificial colors, flavors and no corn syrup.  Just the essentials of goodness.

The King Arthur people know their flour and I knew in advance it would be good, but this was way better than expected.  (I use their flour in my scratch baking.)  The sour cream in the mix kept the cake moist and flavorful.  Even the next day, what was left was still yummy.   No one said, let me only have a little bit.  Except what was left - that person was lucky!

I also like the fact that with each box sold (see the rest of their line up here), they will donate one meal to Feeding America.

I would give this an A.  Try it for an easy and delicious weekend coffeecake, if it lasts the weekend.

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