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Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Brownie Mix, reviewed

Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Brownie MixMixes, 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.

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  • Ryley
    February 15, 2008

    Man do I miss TJ’s..
    We don’t have them where I live now, every 6 months or so, I go to visit my parents and TJ’s is one of our normal stops. I fill up on my staples, and pack them all home..
    (My dog can’t live without peanut butter treat..and I can’t live without their spaghetti sauces and frozen cubed garlic, basil, cilantro, and parsley!)
    Now that my cousin is Gluten intolerant.. i wish even more that we had one. These brownies sound like a great fix for her.. I guess i’ll have to grab them on my next trip!!

  • Deborah Zemek
    February 17, 2008

    I make brownies for my mom who is gluten intolerant and I use oatmeal flour 1 to 1 for wheat flour. I realize that some people who are gluten intolerant can’t use oatmeal, but if they can, the texture is almost exactly like regular brownies and the flavor is awesome. I prefer them to “regular” brownies. When she uses mixes, she uses the Gluten Free Pantry – they have the best mixes in her opinion and you can get them on amazon.com with free shipping.

  • Stacy
    March 1, 2008

    Fair warning – if you are sensitive to xanthan gum – there is a lot in this brownie mix. Fine if you can limit yourself to one little brownie, but quite scary if you can’t.

  • Mark
    October 2, 2008

    I agree, TJ’s brownie mix is really good. In fact, I didn’t think anything could top it. Now I wish TJ’s would also bring in Patsypie brownies. I brought a bag on a trip to Toronto. By far, the best gluten free brownies I’ve ever eaten. It’s the first time I’ve ever bought a gluten free product that my wife actually thought was as good or better than regular bakery goods. She kept checking the bag to make sure it was really gluten free. She usually feels sorry for me, since I can’t eat, as she puts it, “real food”. Anyhow, I’ve ordered a couple of times from the company’s website at http://www.patsypie.com. I’ve also tried their chocolate chip cookies and cranberry biscotti. Both excellent.

  • Allison
    November 14, 2008

    Warning: My son ate two of these brownies (cut small) and had diarrhea. I ate a tiny taste and got major heartburn. I won’t be buying these again. If you have a Whole Foods near you, their gluten free mixes are SUBERB.

  • natalie
    January 4, 2009

    bleh–just tried these because i’m on a GF diet and my brother got it for me for christmas. really not pleased. it has a very strange taste to it. i have made brownies on my own, using very easy to use all purpose gluten-free flour, which trump this by SO MUCH that i’m never going to buy this. i’d suggest just looking for a brownie recipe that doesn’t rely too heavily on flour, picking up any old bag of all purpose GF flour, and substituting it straight across.

  • Annie
    January 10, 2009

    I just made these the other day and they are fabulous! I added in a tbs or two 🙂 of vanilla. My picky 7 and 9 year olds loved them as well. They did not hold up in a school lunch tho, they turned a bit “slimy”. That said, the 7 year old quickly ate another out of the pan and said they were great.

  • kay
    January 11, 2009

    These are very good and amazing if you add things to them, ie: nuts, gluten free choc. chips. In the gluten free world of baking, everything seems to have a sandy texture. These are wonderful! They are all natural as well in comparison to anything that you will buy in a box in the grocery store.
    So simple my 5 year old whips them up with my supervision easily. Give them a try! Total kid pleaser for sure!@

  • Greg
    March 25, 2009

    I added coconut to these. Not a lot, I really didn’t measure. The coconut added a nutty flavor that made theme taste closer to a real (wheat-containing) brownie.

  • Cat
    June 17, 2009

    I substituted the 1/4 cup water with espresso, which made for a very rich brownie! A bit of crumbled walnut does great things too if you’re not allergic.

  • Janet
    September 22, 2009

    Made them a few days ago, they were a gummy, funny-tasting mess. I’m sure I followed the recipe exactly. I have previously used a mix from Whole Foods that was good. I’ll try GF flour now.

  • Andy
    November 28, 2009

    There are a favorite here, I toss in chocolate chips, add some butter for taste, for a gf’er these are great. We make these 1-2 x a week. My son loves them as well and takes them to school, if they even last that long. Hard to beat for the price, as are the other gf products at TJ’s, unfortunately they don’t sell wine here in CT.
    Sure there are other gf brands, but sometimes not worth the extra $$.
    Since I have been on a gf diet, everything is mostly made from scratch and fresh ingredients, having a quick good tasting mix is a welcome change.

  • Ann
    June 30, 2010

    I hate that they used to have organic sugar as the first ingredient and now they don’t…also there are way better ones out on the market these days…my vote is no…

  • Donna
    November 23, 2010

    Ugh, these have the most nasty texture. They taste fine, but they were a greasy mess, and I had to pry them out of the pan. I’ll be avoiding this product from now on.

  • Marcie Williams
    December 8, 2010

    I LOVED the mix — took it to an office party — and others who tried it LOVED it too — I did make some adaptions though…..
    added organic marshmallows and extra large choc chips
    used only 1/3 the oil, and made up the rest with organic butter substitute, melted

    That was it – texture = great if you like ‘wet’ brownies which I do. I will definitely buy again.

  • Bill
    January 14, 2011

    Gummy, lousy brownies. Bob’s red mill GF brownies are delicious, these are lame. Look at the ingredients – there is no leavening of any sort.

  • jill
    January 23, 2011

    These are terrible brownies. If you can hack gluten then the best brownie mix is Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate…only the Dark Chocolate is good.

  • christabel
    May 7, 2012

    I am gluten intolerant, so have not had brownies for a very long time. I made them per the instructions, but added a cup of Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips. Yummo! I didn’t tell my family they were GF and they loved them! First brownie mix I have found that actually tasted better than regular brownies!

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