Bake Like A Pro with Scratch and Grain Cookie Kits

Bake Like A Pro with Scratch and Grain Cookie Kits

Disclosure: I was provided samples for review.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced.

I absolutely love baking, especially in the fall.  It’s a form of therapy for me.  It helps me relax and I get to share all the goodies I’ve made with my family and friends.  Most times when I bake I prefer to start from scratch but sometimes I want something sweet but I don’t feel like starting from scratch, so I may use some store brought dough or a mix.  When I found the Scratch and Grain Baking Co website I knew I wanted to try their cookie kits.  I was sent two kits to try a Chocolate Chip and an Oatmeal Raisin.  I didn’t know what to expect when I tried it but I was really excited.

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All you have to add to your kit is an egg and four tablespoons of butter.  I use margarine for most of my baking so that’s what I used.  As you can see in the photo the kits come with all you need.  Mines had some flour settling outside the box.

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There are numbers on the items so the steps are easy to follow and that makes it pretty much fool proof.  Just follow the easy directions on the box and you’re sure to end up with great cookies.

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This is the batter before I baked it.  Looks delicious doesn’t it?  I have to say I couldn’t wait for them to come out the oven so I could try them.

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I got ten cookies from my kit but you can get more or less depending on the size of your cookies.  As you can see these are a good size cookie.

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These are some of the Chocolate Chip and some of the Oatmeal Raisin cookies.  If you notice above the kit has a packet of Flax Seeds.  I didn’t notice it until it was time to make the mix and I was worried about how my family would deal with flax seeds in their cookies.  It’s not something we eat but I didn’t want to leave it out either.  The only thing I noticed is that my dough looked a little like wheat flour but that’s it.  My family loved these cookies, so much so my husband ate six of the Oatmeal Raisin cookies that same night.  The kids just loved the Chocolate Chip cookies.  They were all gone the next day and they didn’t even know about the flax seeds at all.  I highly recommend you pick up some of these cookie kits and give them a try.  They are perfect for gift giving as well.  With the holiday season in full swing when you head to a holiday party wrap up ones of these boxes and gift to the host they’ll love it.

I got this package of their limited edition Holiday Sugar to try as a surprise and I can’t wait to make it for the holidays.  I’m sure these will be a hit as well.

About Scratch and Grain Cookie Co:

Scratch & Grain Baking Co. was started by two women who live in Southwest Portland. Taya and Leah are neighbors who had this crazy idea that there was a better way to bake. We love baking with our families and created these kits to make it something we could do without a lot of hassle.

Funny enough the business started with one of us sending the other a text saying “I have this business idea, want to come over and talk about it.” and the other saying “sure.” As we sat down together and discussed the concept of the product as well as the vision we have for the company, we knew we had to go ahead with the idea.

After much research and exploration, we navigated through the world of product development and design. We have not outsourced any aspect of our product. We have poured our blood, sweat and tears into the packaging design, recipe creation and kit manufacturing, all done right here in Portland, Oregon.

Buying the Kits:

You can purchase the kits from the website.  They are priced at $7.49 for their regular kits and $7.99 for their Gluten Free kits.  They are also sold in sets for four.  The cookie kits are also currently on sale at Abe’s Market and should be for sale on Amazon in the very near future.  Shipping and handling is just $5 on all orders.  The kits include:

  • Classic Sugar
  • Chocolate Chip
  • Oatmeal Raisin
  • Holiday Sugar
  • Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle
  • Gluten-Free Chocolate Truffle
  • Gluten-Free Chewy Peanut Butter

Be sure to connect with Scratch and Grain on Twitter and Facebook for when they post special offers and contest.  Get to know more about the company and the two fabulous women behind this brand and if you’re looking for a great host gift be sure to pick these up to gift year long.

 

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Almondina: The Delicious Cookie Without The Guilt

Almondina: The Delicious Cookie Without The Guilt

Disclosure: I was provided a sampler box of Almondina Cookies for review.  Any and all opinions are my own and have not been influenced.

I was contact by Almondina to try out their delicious cookie.  I was very intrigued and couldn’t wait to give them a try.  My package arrived and it was filled with lots of different choices for my family and I to try.

All three of the kids wanted to try the cookies right away.  We tried the original first and there was mixed reactions.  My two year old loved them.  He ate most of the pack.  My five year old didn’t like it as much I think he didn’t like the almonds.  My daughter didn’t like the original but she love the Chocolate Cherry and Choconut.  I shared a few packs with my sister and mother.  They really liked it and because they want to find better snacks to reduce their sugar intake.  The packs have three compartments and you can just take a few with you to snack during meals or for your after meal snack.  They also work great in the kids lunch boxes.

About Almondina:

Yuval Zaliouk was a world renown musical conductor and for the past two decades has been the owner of Almondina. Zaliouk’s company is based in Ohio and his Almondina cookies are sold in all 50 States and several foreign countries.  Almondina available at stores such as Fairway, Hy Vee, Giant Eagle, Brookshire, Mollie Stone’s, Hannaford, Jewel, Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Cost Plus World Market, TJ Maxx, Marshalls and many others. You can see our complete distribution @ store finder.  Almondina are unique – a gourmet cookie, health food and snack, all in one. These extraordinary gourmet treats are created from Yuval Zaliouk’s secret family recipe which has been passed down from generation to generation and was introduced to the market in 1989.  It is wonderfully crunchy and does not have to be dipped.  It is a delightful accompaniment for coffee, tea, soft cheeses and fine light wines.

Almondina® biscuits in the following flavors:

  • Original – America’s all natural favorite with almonds and raisins
  • Chocolate Cherry – We combined the world’s finest dark chocolate with plump cherries to produce an irresistible, decadent treat without guilt
  • Choconut – Rich tasting crunchy chocolate, but low in calories
  • Cinnaroma® – The original biscuit for cinnamon lovers
  • Gingerspice – Trend setting, with chunks of Australian ginger
  • AlmonDuo® – Double-nut wonder with almonds and pistachios
  • AnniversaryT – Award winning delight with a touch of anise
  • BranTreats® – Made with oat bran and the finest cinnamon “Cookies For Breakfast”
  • Sesame – Irresistible, exotic, flavorful
  • Seasonal Pumpkin Spice – A seasonal attraction with a delightful touch of fall spices combined with the highest quality almonds and pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Including new products:

  • Chocolate Dipped – the Original® dipped in the finest, pure, rich dark chocolate was previously offered only certain times of the year is now available year round
  • Delights – The Original® Almondina totally encased in Milk chocolate
  • Yogurt Dipped – Brantreats® dipped on one side with a layer of all natural yogurt

Almondina® Biscuits are: All Natural, free of cholesterol, coloring and preservatives, made with no added fat or salt, low in calories – only 30 per slice, kosher and pareve (non dairy),  great with tea or coffee, as a cracker with cream cheese, Brie or other soft French cheeses, with a glass of sherry, crumbled as an ice cream topping, served to kids with milk,  as a delicious breakfast on the way to work, crunchy, addictive, and healthful.

 

 

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Homemade Cookies Delivered from Sweet Andy’s

Homemade Cookies Delivered from Sweet Andy’s

I am a self proclaimed baker, so I rarely if ever buy baked goods.  Well if it’s a great deal I’ll snatch it up and on days when I feel lazy I may use it.  Here’s the thing I just prefer my homemade goods because they taste homemade.  They are not full with preservatives to make them have a long shelf life.  I’d read a review of Sweet Andy’s Cookies and the skeptic in me jumped out.  I couldn’t believe that you could get homemade cookies delivered to your home that would take anything like the ones I bake in my oven.  So I wanted to try it, I reached out and Sweet Andy’s agreed to send me some to review.  When my box arrived I was in bliss.  I was so wrong about what I thought.  You can have homemade cookies delivered from Sweet Andy’s that tastes great.

My cookies arrived with a personal note.

When I opened my box I first saw the note and though how cool is that.  Then I noticed the six different varities I was going to try.  I got Sugar, Chocolate Chip, Triple Chip, Chocolate , Lemon, and Oatmeal Raisin cookies.  They were jumbo cookies and they had a nice size weight to them.  I also noticed they had an expiration date on them.  This let me know they were baked fresh and didn’t have added ingredients to extend the shelf life of the cookies.  I also knew all the ingredients in my cookies so I felt good about sharing them with my family and friends.  I first took a bite out of the chocolate cookie and I loved them.  What I didn’t realize is how hard it would be to pick a favorite from the bunch.

I really enjoyed the triple chip, I thought I wouldn’t because of the peanut butter chips but having the chocolate and white chips all in the one cookie made them really good.  All my cookie flavors were equally tasty and they all tasted like homemade baked goods and not the stuff you get in the store.  My husband loved the lemon and oatmeal raisin the most.  My sister really liked the chocolate cookies.  Each bag comes with five jumbo cookies so they are idea for sharing but you can certainly keep them all to yourself.  They are great for parties, events, or just for those times when you have a sweet tooth.  IF you’re interested in picking up some of you own you can visit their online store.  You can order six bags for $35.95 with free shipping, four bags for $23.95 plus $5 shipping or one bag for $5.99 plus $1 shipping.  Be sure to check out their monthly contest as well.

About Sweet Andy’s

In 2009, Andrew (Sweet Andy) found himself in a position like so many others at that time in our past; the economy was quickly spiraling downward and he had left his job in the financial services industry. Although Andy had an MBA in Banking and Finance and had even written a book entitled, “A Guide to Taking Control of Your Investments”, he found himself to be disenchanted with the financial industry and left to pursue “other work.”  The “other work” that Andrew pursued was with the Church and did not provide financial support for the family.  During this time Andy and his wife, Lissa, struggled to find other forms of income. They did what they could for themselves and their five children but often it was not enough. But there were many family and church friends who did help in many ways. Andrew and Lissa’s Church Friends and Family helped them by fixing things around the house that needed repair (such as a faulty furnace); some people kept getting the family car running when it seemed to have already run its course and others even filled their cupboards with food.

It was a very difficult time for Andrew and Lissa but yet they felt blessed to have such wonderful friends. In Andy’s words, “ I wanted desperately to give back to everyone for all that they were doing for me and my family, but I didn’t really know how to do it seeing that we didn’t have much money. Andrew was a bit of a cookie monster himself and began making cookies for the kids. One day he felt as though he should start baking cookies as “Thank You’s” for all of those people who had helped them during this time.

Andy worked for many weeks trying to create a unique and perfect chocolate chip cookie that he could be proud of; proud enough of them that he could give back to those who were helping him and his family in so many ways. It was his way of saying, “thank you.”  He and Lissa started handing out platters of cookies to those friends and family who had helped them. Everyone had the same shocked reaction; first, that Andy had actually baked the cookies himself, and second, that they were so delicious and different than any other cookie they had tasted. Andrew’s friend Brian Kraus owned the Sunset Deli in Westhampton Beach.  Brian and Andrew sat down and Brian offered suggestions and advice on how to begin selling these cookies to stores. After Brian’s advice, Sweet Andy’s Cookies were placed in his store for sale.  He quickly sold out, asked for more and the start of a new business, Sweet Andy’s Cookies, was born.

You can also connect with Sweet Andy’s on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Disclosure: I was provided a sampler box from Sweet Andy’s for review.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced.

 

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Lucky Mint Chocolate Chip Scones

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This week I baked some scones.  I’ve had a taste for chocolate chips scones for a few weeks but never got around to making them.  Well this week I finally gave in and decided to give it a try.  I found a recipe on pinterest and adapted it based on the ingredients I had on hand.  One thing I just hate is not having buttermilk on hand when I need it and I just don’t use it enough to always buy it.  My husband jokes with me that he thinks it looks like sour milk anyway so why do I worry  about it spoiling.  LOL!  Needless to say the recipe I found called for buttermilk and I didn’t have it.  I know I can make a substitute (mix one cup of milk with 3 teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes) buttermilk but I just didn’t want to so I used what I had.

I had brought this to make some green velvet cupcakes and decided to use it in the scones just to see how it would taste.

I got these on clearance at Target after Christmas and I figured they would go perfect with the Irish Coffee Creamer.  So that’s how I ended up with these lucky scones.  Lucky because I was able to eat them without any interruptions from my toddler.  Trust me it seems that boy has a food radar, as soon so I go to eat he wants to be held or played with or something else to make me put it down.  #Joysofmotherhood

These are the scones before I put them in the oven.  I put sugar on mines but you don’t have to do that at all.

I hope you give these lucky mint chocolate chip scones a try and you don’t have to just make them around St. Patty’s Day either.

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White Velvet Cupcakes

cupcake collage

I am working on getting better at posting the cupcakes I bake but I have been baking weekly cupcakes like I said I would.  I love these white velvet cupcakes, I adapted them from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes.  I had to change some things to make it easier for me to bake since some of the things she listed I didn’t have them on hand.  These are sure to become you go to Vanilla cupcake and it’s a great base recipe to create even more delicious goodies.

White Velvet Cupcakes

I really like these because they are soft and fluffy but better than any box mix you can find.  It’s not hard to make at all and they keep moist.  I left mines out overnight and the next day they were still as soft as they were the day before.  They would work great for weddings, birthday parties, showers, or what ever occasion you are celebrating.  Plus you can do like I did and use different kinds of frosting on the cupcakes as well.

Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Cupcake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

The first cupcake has buttercream frosting on top and the second has White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.  Both work well with this cupcake and I’m sure it could work with a Chocolate Frosting or a Ganache as well.   Check out the recipe below.

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Chocolate Chip Muffins

Chocolate Chip Muffins - Nicki's Random Musings

I recently shared on my baking fan page Nicki’s Sweet Treats that I was planning on making a different cupcake a week fifty two weeks.  While I have to admit already it’s been a bit harder than I thought I am still working on sticking as close to the challenge as possible.  That’s still my goal and I don’t want to change it so I aim lower.  This past weekend was so hectic I didn’t get to make the cupcake I wanted but I did get the baking edge and decided to make some Chocolate Chip Muffins instead.  It’s not that I didn’t want to make cupcakes its just I was missing ingredients (note to self – make shopping list for cupcake challenge in advance).  Any how I felt like muffins so I made me some.

muffin batter

 

The recipe was super easy to make and as you can see from my batter I wanted to add a good bit of chocolate chips.  You can add as little or as much as you please in the recipe.  The end result was amazing for me.  Watch the cooking time because it can vary based on each oven you don’t want it to dry out.

Chocolate Chip Muffins - Nicki's Random Musings

 

Trust me they taste as good as they look.

Muffins

 

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