Mixes, as you might guess, are really not my thing. I always prefer to make something from scratch if I can. That said, I don’t think that mixes are inherently bad or anything.They’re certainly useful in a pinch because they can be made very quickly and with little fuss. And there are some pretty good mixes out there – I like the Ghirardelli triple chocolate brownie mix quite well, for instance. So every once in a while I’ll give a new one a shot.
I picked up this bag of Trader Joe’s new Gluten Free Brownie Mix the last time I was in the market. Gluten free cooking isn’t something I do a whole lot of and because good GF recipes often call for unusual flours/ingredients to get a good consistency, a mix is a nice thing to have on hand.
These brownies primarily use brown rice flour and evaporated cane juice. They’re free of wheat, nuts, milk/dairy, soy and corn, so they’re a good option for almost any allergy-specific diet. All you do is mix in oil, an egg and some water to the powdered mix, pour it into a pan, and bake. Chocolate chips are optional, and you can replace sone of the oil with applesauce (as per the directions) to make a lower fat batch. Mine took a bit longer than directed because I used a heart-shaped pan instead of the 8×8″ pan called for, but the brownies ended up turning out very nicely. They were moist, fudgy – very fudgy, actually - and tender, and though they don’t have quite the same texture as “real” brownies (if you’ve ever used brown rice flour, you might have noticed that it can give a very slightly grainy feel to some baked goods), they’re very good for a quick and gf fix.
I’d buy them again and experiment with different add ins - cinnamon and spices, dried cherries, white chocolate chips – in the future, and I’ll definitely keep it in mind when I want to bake something easy and tasty for my gluten intolerant friends.