Extreme Chocolate Cake Mix

One of my all-time favorite gluten-free baking mix companies is Gluten Free Essentials (GFE).  Not only are their founders quite possibly two of the nicest people you will ever meet, but their mixes are 100% fool-proof and super easy to whip-up.

I have long been a fan and customer so was excited when a sample of their New Extreme Chocolate Cake and Pancake & Waffle mixes arrived courtesy of my friend Gluten Free Dee.  I made the chocolate cake which involved adding some eggs, applesauce, butter, and water.  Oh, you do have to mix it as well but I mean come on, could it get any easier?  I am always leery when baking because it is definitely not one of my strong areas but GFE truly have their mixes down to a science and I have never been disappointed in the end results.

The chocolate cake lived up to its name – EXTREMEly delicious that is.  The cake rose like a dream and cooked to moist perfection.  I have said it before and I will say it again the thing that really sets GFE mixes apart from the competition is that they are a perfectly sweetened without being too overpowering.  This allows for the chocolate to really shine as it melts across your palate.  This cake did not stand a chance with both me and my non-GF other half eating our way through it in three days.  We had it plain, drizzled with chocolate sauce, with ice cream, and with ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce.  I am planning on trying the pancake mix this weekend and will report back.

Head on over to GFE’s Web site and check out their baking mixes.  You can also view their entire portfolio of products that goes well beyond the realm of baking.

Decadent Brownie Mix

Continuing with my sampling of Gluten Free Essential’s baking mixes I recently ordered the Decadent Fudge Brownie mix (among others) and it did not disappoint. 

First things first, the mixes are just so simple to make you do not need any advanced planning or a weekend to bake any more.  In fact, I made the brownies yesterday after a long day at the office.  It was a whim, but I felt like something sweet and the oven was already on heating-up dinner so I though Why Not?  The brownie mix requires one additional ingredient than some of the cookie mixes I have had before – apple sauce – so make sure you have some on hand when these arrive.

So, I melted one stick of butter, combined it with some apple sauce and two eggs, mixed and voila, Brownies.  Well, almost – you do actually have to bake them J.  So about 30 minutes later, just as dinner was coming out of the oven so too were the brownies for cooling.  What I love about GF Essentials is that their products are decadent but not overly sweet.  I actually tweaked this mix just a bit as I has some chocolate chips laying around and decided to add them to the already generous amount in the mix.  Hey, I just could not resist!  These brownies also rose much more than Betty Crocker’s GF variety (which I like as well) but these were more cake-like in texture.

The end result?  A fabulously moist brownie that was rich but light and airy at the same time.  I have the remaining brownies chilling in the fridge for a cool treat this evening. 

Vanilla Sugar Cookie Mix

I wanted to make these cookies a week ago but when the mood struck me I realized I was out of eggs.  While luxuriating in a day off yesterday, and with my egg coffers replenished, I decided to make these sugar cookies.  I have always been a fan of the sugar cookie with its uncomplicated sweet goodness.  It makes no pretentions and is quite possibly the most versatile cookie out there.

The mixes from Gluten Free Essentials could really not be easier (see my previous review of their Cocoa Mudslide cookies).  You simply dump the mix into a bowl, add 1 stick of melted butter (delicious), and stir in two beaten eggs.  Oh, and then you chill it for half an hour.  I mean really, does it get any easier.  Well, I suppose they could arrive baked but GFE mixes let me pretend that I am actually a baker and know what I am doing.  Both mixes I have tried were completely fool proof.

These cookies were delicious.  They remained soft after cooling and were not sugary sweet – just the right amount of sweetness to bring out the wonderful vanilla undertones.  My non-GF partner also raved about these cookies so if you have a GF/non-GF household these are sure to please even the most hardcore cookie fanatics.  Next time I make these I might even get bold and add a few mix-ins or toppings.  Somehow the thought of a Hershey’s kiss centered in each cookie seems quite perfect.

Mudslide Cookie Mix

I recently had the opportunity to sample a brand that I had never seen before and was excited to give it a try.  As many of you know, I am not a baker by any stretch of the imagination so welcome any product that can help me become just a little more like Betty Crocker.  Well Gluten Free Essentials was just the little helper that I needed.

I tried the Cocoa Mudslide Cookie Mix, because quite frankly can you go wrong with chocolate and marshmallows?  First, the instructions could not be simpler – all you need to do is add 2 eggs and a stick of melted butter, mix in the cookie mix, and chill for at least a half hour in the refrigerator.

Once the dough was chilled all I had to do was form it into balls, place on a cookie sheet, and put it in the oven to bake.  It really was fool proof and prep took no time at all.  I had reserved making these on a weekend but now realized that these are so simple, I could easily whip them up after a long day at the office.

The cookies were really delicious.  They were moist and full of chocolate chips and marshmallows but at the same time were not overly sweet.  Their consistency was really smooth and not at all mealy as is sometimes the case with gluten free mixes.  Honestly, you could serve these cookies up to any non-Celiac and they would never be able to tell that they were gluten free.  Gluten Free Essentials clearly got their flour mix right (in this case sorghum and rice) and even when you look at the mix in the bag you can tell it is finely milled to an almost powder-like consistency.

One 16 oz. bag yielded 9 rather large cookies which were my personal size preference.  If you made more normal-sized cookies you could easily double that amount.  I also have Gluten Free Essentials’ sugar cookie mix to sample next and I am definitely looking forward to it – just as soon as I finish these cocoa mudslide treats.

Be sure to check out Gluten Free Essentials’ website.

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