Summer snacking definitely favors grab-and-go convenience, but it’s also about enjoying a great-tasting treat — especially if you are one to indulge your sweet tooth. Fans of cookies, brownies and snack cakes want a fresh, homemade taste, but the field of choices narrows significantly when your are gluten intolerant. If you are on a gluten-free diet, let me introduce you to Ethel’s Baking Company Dessert Bars. Individually wrapped and ready to toss in your bag for a trip the park, the beach, or for mid-afternoon office snacking, Ethel’s Dessert Bars are baked from a family recipe with only the freshest, high quality ingredients and they are certified gluten free! I recently received samples of two varieties of Ethel’s Dessert Bars for review on the blog, and I found them to be as tasty and indulgent as a slice of fresh, homemade pie.
Image Source (All Other Photos By Gail Except Where Noted)
Some of our favorite Halloween traditions may be off-the-table for this year’s scariest night, but there’s still time to create your own delicious festivities with a treat from Gourmet Gift Baskets that can be delivered direct to your door! Honored by Newsweek earlier in 2020 as a Top Food Site, Gourmet Gift Baskets has a few new offerings for Halloween that are scary good ways to treat yourself, or someone you love! Check out the Boo Baked Good Gift Box, packed with tasty sweets that I am currently enjoying here in the Chickpad.
Before we take a peak at what’s inside, can I just say that anyone would love this adorable, lidded-box that lets the gift keep on giving as it can be re-used to store whatever strikes your fancy once the enclosed treats have been gobbled up! So cute!
Brand new this season, the Boo Baked Good Gift Box, ($29.99) is stuffed with nearly dozen fresh-baked goods, including delectable, chewy chocolate chip cookies, fudge brownie cookies and a novelty crispy rice treat shaped like a giant Candy Corn. You need to see this to be sure your eyes aren’t tricking you! This very affordable gift will make anyone’s Halloween feel special.
The baked goods are individually wrapped to stay fresh, and each gift box arrives with its own greeting card, so your recipient knows it came from you.
Rice Crispy Treats are a favorite of mine since I was a wee lass and used to bake them with my Mom. I’m happy report that the Gourmet Gift Baskets bakers’ version of this classic is just as soft and chewy as I remember, and the candy coating takes it to the next level. This oversized treat is so rich that you might want share it with a friend, or wrap half of it to save for later!
Also brand new, for those looking for a more Adult-geared gift, is the Eat, Drink & Be Scary Beer Bucket ($69.99) which features delicious treats like handcrafted Kettle popcorn, peanut butter cups, and Halloween Junior Mints — packed in a fun and functional black cauldron pail — plus 6 assorted Beers that provide a perfect pairing.
Find the perfect Halloween Treats for your scary celebration now at Gourmet Gift Baskets!
Oasis’ Definitely Maybe was released 20 years ago this [past] weekend – and what better way to celebrate the birthday of this great British debut? A cake, of course. Baker Adam Cox said: “Creating a cake to mark the anniversary of this album was a must. It remains as one of my favourite albums and I wanted to celebrate it in the only way I know how to.”
I think the only thing missing is the globe?
Everyone probably has a memory of brownies baked at home: helping Mom with the mixing and getting to lick the spoon, then enjoying the tempting chocolate aroma filling the kitchen as they baked, waiting impatiently for them to be done and – at last – biting into that still warm chewy chocolate brownie. Ahh, you know you can almost taste them now.
If you enjoy eating fresh baked goods but really need to keep the bake-at-home preparation simple, then you are going to love Krusteaz brand Gluten Free Double Chocolate Brownie Mix, which will be in stores in late August/ early September! Krusteaz sent us over a box for review and I baked them this past weekend. It was so easy and the results were beyond my expectations.
This is all you will need to have on hand:
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
The instructions are so simple a child could do it. Seriously, it is impossible to mess it up.
Baking times suggest 48 – 52 minutes for a metal pan and five minutes longer for a glass pan. My oven is ancient and runs a little hot, so I opted for 48 minutes and they still got a little “brown” around the edges. I just cut that part off. No harm, no foul.
Take a look at the finished product: moist, chewy, and super chocolaty with tons of real chocolate chips in the mix! You would never know this is a Gluten Free Brownie because it lacks for nothing with regard to taste and texture. With Krusteaz you can have delicious home-baked Brownies in about an hour.
For more information on Krusteaz Baking Mixes and to find a store near you that sells them, visit Krusteaz Dot Com.
1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® White Cake Mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
Red and Green food color
1 container (12 oz) Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white frosting
Betty Crocker® Decorating Decors® Red, Green and White Candy Sprinkles
- Heat oven to 325°F. Generously grease 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with shortening or cooking spray. Make cake mix as directed on box, using water, oil and eggs. Pour half of the batter into medium bowl; set aside. Divide the other half of batter equally between 2 small bowls. (You will be left with 3 bowls of batter.) Add red food color to 1 of the small bowls and mix well. Add green food color to the second small bowl and mix well.
- Pour half of the white batter from medium bowl into cake pan. Carefully pour red batter over white batter in pan. Carefully pour green batter over red batter. Then pour remaining white batter from medium bowl over the top. Do not mix the colors.
- Bake as directed on box until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Turn pan upside down onto cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet; remove pan. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Place cake on serving plate.
- Divide frosting between 2 small microwavable bowls. Microwave 1 bowl on High about 5 to 10 seconds; mix well with spoon until smooth enough to drizzle. With the spoon, drizzle white frosting back and forth around the whole cake in a striping pattern until you use all of the frosting (allow some frosting to drip down onto plate in middle of cake, if desired).
- Microwave second bowl of frosting; stir in a few drops of green food color. Drizzle over cake, scattering back and forth in the same type of striping pattern. Decorate with sprinkles. Let stand until frosting is set before serving.
As anyone who reads this blog regularly can attest to: I am an unapologetic foodie who loves to eat! I’m also not one to diet or go for the low calorie option if a more decadent choice is available. Because that is how I roll.
That said, I’m not a teenager anymore and an extra pound doesn’t melt away as easily as it used to, so it pays to be a bit more vigilant and calorie conscious. It’s funny, then, that I was actually introduced to Weight Watchers super delicious Brownie Bliss baked goods at a gourmet food show this past July. The ladies at the Weight Watchers booth were conducting an informal “Blind Taste Test,” where they presented the Brownie Bliss snacks on unmarked napkins, only to reveal the Weight Watchers brand packaging after getting feedback from show attendees. I tried both the Triple Chocolate and Peanut Butter varieties of Brownie Bliss and was just blown away by their rich, chocolaty taste.
I asked Weight Watchers if they could please send me additional samples of these delicious Brownie Bliss treats so that I could conduct further research on my own, at home. They were happy to oblige so that I could present you with my findings.
Here’s what the Brownie Bliss looks like Up Close:
Behold, the Peanut Butter Brownie Bliss. It looks like a fancy piece of candy doesn’t it? My mouth is watering already. This little nugget of heaven is just 90 calories each, and worth every single one.
The Triple Chocolate Brownie Bliss also has that look of dipped-in-chocolate indulgence. Chocolate fans can’t do much better than this for just 80 calories per piece.
The above photo reveals an appealing cross-section of the Brownie Bliss. That’s a real layer of peanut butter – with no extra sweetness added – between the chocolate coating and fudgy, moist cake, so this flavor would be a good choice for folks who like Peanut Butter Cup candies, but need to steer clear due to being on a diet. I will confess that the Peanut Butter Brownie Bliss is my favorite new sweet treat! Even though I could eat several easily, I find it easy to be satisfied with just one.
The Triple Chocolate Brownie Bliss is made extra special with a layer of rich and creamy chocolate ganache, which melts in your mouth like a fine chocolate truffle. So yummy!
We all know that a challenging aspect of dieting is portion control, but each Brownie Bliss cake is individually wrapped, which not only helps to keeps them fresh, but also takes the guess work out of portioning.
I really love Weight Watchers new Brownie Bliss cakes and will be buying them again to enjoy guilt-free snacking! You can find Weight Watchers Brownie Bliss products at select national grocery retailers priced around $3.29 for a box of six pieces. Enjoy!
That new James Franco Wizard of Oz film may be getting universally panned by the critics, but I am sure this magnificent Cake, inspired by imagery from the original film, would receive rave reviews! Created by Mike’s Amazing Cakes of Redmond, Washington, the back of the cake (below) is also quite impressive!