Sunday, June 14, 2015

Scratch & Grain Baking Gluten Free Baking Kits

While watching Shark Tank, I learned about Scratch & Grain Baking and their gluten free cookie kits.   When I started my blog two years ago, I was baking all the time, and enjoying it, but I have really lost interest in the last year.  I thought these kits would be a great way to rekindle my love of baking, and share the experience with my daughters.   

Scratch & Grain's cookie kits contain pre-measured ingredients that are all packaged individually.  My daughter Emma enjoyed cutting them open and adding each one to the mixing bowl.  The ingredients are labeled and numbered for ease of use, which definitely helped us put together our cookies.  The kits contain all natural and organic ingredients, and even sneak in some healthy items like organic ground flaxseed. They are also free of GMOs and preservatives, and are certified kosher. For all of the kits I ordered, all we need to prepare the cookies are an egg, butter, cookie sheet, and a bowl and spoon.  Each kit makes 9 to 14 cookies, which is great for portion control.  There is also the option to customize your cookies, and each kit has suggestions for customization on the box.  

Yesterday, Emma and I made gluten free chocolate truffle cookies.  In the time it took my oven to preheat, we had mixed all the ingredients.  Using a heaping tablespoon cookie scoop, we made 10 chocolate truffle cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet, that only took 11 minutes to bake.  As far as taste and texture goes, they were amazing.  They reminded me of cookies my family used to buy at a bakery in Hilton Head when I was a little girl.  They had an intense chocolate flavor, and I loved the addition of the walnuts, and the little bit of sea salt I sprinkled on top before baking.  I did not use all of the finishing salt that was provided in the kit, because I was worried my daughters would not like it, but the amount I used was just perfect.  

All of Scratch & Grain's gluten free products are regularly tested by Purity Laboratories in Portland, Oregon.  Online, I ordered a 3-pack that contains chocolate truffle, snicker doodle, and chewy peanut butter cookie kits.  They were shipped with an ice pack in an insulated bag through the United States Postal Service.  Even though they sat in our mailbox for close to 24 hours, none of the ingredients, like the chocolate chips that came with the chocolate truffle cookie kit, were melted.   

I haven't tried the chewy peanut butter or snicker doodle cookies yet, but I will update this review after we make them.  We stored our chocolate truffle cookies in an airtight container at room temperature overnight, and they were just as good today as they were yesterday when we baked them.  I would definitely order the chocolate truffle cookie kit again, because they were fun to make with my daughter, and the cookies were delicious.  

June 18, 2015 Update

This morning, my daughters and I made snicker doodle cookies with our Scratch & Grain Baking cookie kit.  We defrosted our unsalted butter in the microwave for 45 seconds to get it to room temperature.  I used my tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out the cookie dough after we put it in the fridge for 15 minutes to let it firm up.  

We ended up with 15 cookies that we squeezed onto a parchment covered baking sheet.  Because we had more cookies than the box said we should have, I wanted to bake them for one minute less than the suggested baking time, but I might have mixed up the "number of cookies" with the "suggested baking time," so I am not sure if I baked them for 8 or 10 minutes.  My girls think I baked them for 10 minutes, which might explain how they got so brown, though they did not taste overcooked.  

Both of my girls liked the snicker doodle cookies better than the chocolate, but the chocolate truffle are still my favorite.  I was impressed by how good the cookies were, and I liked having a fun project to do with my daughters this morning.  The snicker doodle were much much crispier than the chocolate truffle, and had a lovely cinnamon taste, without being overly sweet from the sugar.  

Update - The second time I made the snicker doodle cookies, I baked them for 9 minutes, and they were nice and soft.  They were so good, we all agreed that they are our favorite Scratch & Grain cookies.  The third time, I made 11 cookies instead of 14, and they had to be cooked for a couple of minutes longer.  

June 19, 2015 Update

This morning, my girls and I made the final cookie kit I ordered from Scratch & Grain Baking.  

Using a slightly heaping tablespoon cookie scoop, we made 12 cookies, that I cooked on a parchment covered baking sheet for 11 minutes.  I considered not using the peanuts that were included in the baking kit, because I wasn't sure I was going to like the texture of the cookies, but I decided to follow the directions.  

When the cookies came out of the oven, I place two mini Hershey's milk chocolate kisses on top, though I wish I had added four, because I love the taste of peanut butter and chocolate together.  I liked the cookies, but if I made them again, I would definitely leave the peanuts out, and maybe use chocolate chips instead.  I love peanut butter cookies, but I have never liked eating peanuts by themselves, so I didn't enjoy having pieces of  peanuts in my cookies.  Update - The gluten free chewy peanut butter cookie kits have been discontinued.

February 18, 2016 Update

Last weekend, while wandering around the SODO Super Target, I spotted a Scratch & Grain gluten free honey cornbread kit, and their gluten free chocolate truffle cookie kit, which was priced at $5.49, cheaper than you can purchase it from Scratch & Grain's website.

Last night, I made the cornbread for dinner.  I followed the directions, adding 1 large egg, 1/3 cup unsalted butter, and 1 cup of lowfat milk.  There are several baking options on the box.  This time around, I decided to make 10 standard size muffins, cooking them for 15 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  I allowed them to cool for five minutes before we dug in.  The muffins were incredibly moist, and I loved the level of sweetness, because I like a sweeter cornbread.  They looked a little overcooked on the outside, but they still tasted great.  Next time, I will probably make mini cornbread muffins with the mix.

My friend Amanda from The Gluten & Diary-Free Review Blog found Scratch & Grain cookie kits at DeLand Bakery and Natural Market.  You can read her review here.  

July 3, 2016 Update

Earlier this year, Scratch & Grain introduced a gluten free cheesecake brownie kit, which can be found in select Target stores, or purchased from their website.  

My daughter Katie and I made the cheesecake brownies earlier today.  If you cannot eat soy, they could easily be made soy free by swapping out the chocolate chips.

We followed all the directions on the package, and our brownies took 35 minutes to bake.

Brownies with a cream cheese swirl are my favorite kind of brownies, and Scratch & Grain's brownie kit did not disappoint.  We found them to be super moist, and loved them served at room temperature.  We sampled a small piece when they first came out of the oven, and I thought they were too sweet when hot, which is usually how I feel about baked goods.  If you served them at a party, no one would ever know they are gluten free.  

I highly recommend Scratch & Grain baking kits, because they all taste great, and they make baking with kids easy and fun.  

You can read more about Scratch & Grain Baking, view their store locator and ingredients, and order their products on their website here.  

What are your favorite Scratch & Grain gluten free baking kits?  


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