Product Review: Cherrybrook Kitchen Brownie Mix

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

A few weeks ago, I raved about Cherrybrook Kitchen’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. They were seriously awesome and, better yet, the mix doesn’t require eggs (for us veg*ns, this means egg replacer and the associated risk of lumps of egg replacer).

Last week, I broke out the box of Cherrybrook Kitchen Brownie Mix I had stashed in the pantry. With the memory of fluffy chocolate chip cookies still fresh in my mind, I had high expectations for this brownie mix. Alas, the brownies fell a wee bit short.

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The cooking instructions for the brownies are pretty straightforward: add margarine, water and vegetable oil; cook at 350 degrees for 16 minutes for fudge-like brownies, 18 minutes for cake-like brownies (2 minutes less for dark pans). Quick and simple.

I wanted fudgey, gooey brownies, so I removed the pan from the oven after 14 minutes and let them cool a bit. Ten minutes later, I tried to cut myself a piece and…got a butter knife full of batter. So back in they went.

I didn’t want to overbake them, so I checked in every two minutes to see how done the insides were. I ended up baking them an extra 6 minutes or so, but despite my best efforts, I ended up with cakey brownies. Maybe I was having bad luck, or perhaps I was just tired and cranky after a day of holiday baking – I dunno. Not my best batch of brownies, though. They’re good, just not very brownie-like.

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(Even the chocolate chip cookie pictures came out better!)

So…I’m not sure what to rate these. 3 out of 5 stars, maybe? 4/5?

Meh. Mom and dad, please to send me some more chocolate chip cookie mixes!? *nudge-nudge wink-wink*

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Product Review: Cherrybrook Kitchen Cookie Mix

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

I rarely review veg*n foodstuffs*, but this chocolate chip cookie mix from Cherrybrook Kitchen is so simple and yummy that it definitely merits a mention.

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The unusual thing about the Cherrybrook Kitchen line of mixes is that they’re designed for those living with allergies: they’re pea(nut) free, egg free and dairy free, and some of their mixes are wheat free and gluten free as well.

What does this mean for us veg*ns?

Well, since the mix is egg free – and it’s designed for those who can’t have eggs – the baking instructions don’t require eggs at all. That means no mucking around with egg substitutes. And anyone who’s had trouble getting the Ener-G Egg Replacer powder to dissolve fully in a few tablespoons of water knows that improperly mixed Egg Replacer equals dried glue-like blobs of gunk in your baked goods. So not having to substitute eggs is an awesome development!

Prep time for the Cherrybrook Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix was about five minutes and required three dishes: a measuring cup for the water, a bowl in which to soften the margarine, and a bowl in which to mix the ingredients. I had the batch of 18 cookies (two fewer than claimed by CK, so not that far off) done and in the oven within ten minutes (that includes time spent fending off the legion of begging doggehs), and a cookie was in my belly within 30.

The cookies themselves were really good: almost as yummy as my favorite “scratch” chocolate chip cookie recipe. Almost, but not quite. Still, pretty friggin’ good. Very fluffy and moist, with juuuust the right amount of melty mini-chocolate chips. And just as good the next day.

(More below the fold…)