Anyone who's followed my blog for awhile knows that I love to bake, but not necessarily baking from scratch. Being gluten and dairy-free, I find homemade recipes either to costly to curate lengthy ingredient lists, or too complicated for my liking. Luckily, I've found just the product to meet my Goldilocks-like gluten-free baking needs.
Enter Scratch and Grain Baking Company, an innovative company that merges the magic of baking from scratch with the convenience of mix-like efficiency. The game changer here is that each ingredient is individually packed so that customers can customize their baking experience while minimizing the mess.
After a glowing recommendation from my friend Alexis from Gluten Free in Orlando, Scratch and Grain Baking Company has earned a top spot on my must-try list. Thinking that I'd have to wait for summertime temperatures to die down so that I could order from their website, a recent trip to DeLand, FL to visit DeLand Bakery and Natural Market, rendered a gold mine of gluten-free finds, including all three gluten-free varieties from this company. Snatching up one box of each, I couldn't wait to put Scratch and Grain to the test. Wondering why they sound familiar? This company was featured on the popular show Shark Tank, as the two women behind the brand made a deal with Barbara Corcoran.
Each box with an assortment of ingredients ranging from the base (Ex: gluten-free flour/baking powder) to ingredients that jazz up the cookies (Ex: ground flaxseeds/course sea salt/organic vanilla powder). You can control the amount of sugar in the cookie (or swap with your sweetener of choice), mix-ins (don't add nuts or add in your choice mix-ins) and control what fat to use: butter, oil, or vegan butter (I used Earth Balance soy free baking sticks). Mix it all together, and you've soon got a custom cookie that's sure to please.
For my review, I had to start with the chocolate truffle mix, which proved so tempting, I made it the day I brought it home. This cookie is a chocolate-lovers dream, requiring both cocoa powder and chocolate chips to bring intensity to the chocolate flavor. Customizing my own blend, I left off the walnuts and made half the batch with course sea salt on top and half without. Following the directions to a "T," the cookies came out perfectly and rendered a half dozen easily.
The cookies are the baking love child between chewy chocolate chip cookies and rich, fudgy brownies. They're richly decadent and oh, so luxurious. I loved the chewy, texture and the chocolate chips embedded into each and every bite. I wish I had put more sea salt on them, because the few cookies I sprinkled it on were one a whole different level, the sweet and salty flavor taken to the delicious extreme. These would also be great with caramel flavoring mixed in, either drizzled on top or mixed into the dough. I would definitely buy these again and consider them one of my favorite chocolate/brownie-like desserts I've ever had.
The next baking mix I used was the chewy peanut butter. This mix, as with the chocolate truffle, features an array of healthy ingredients such as vanilla powder, brown sugar, flax seeds, and PB2 peanut butter powder. I decided to omit chopped peanuts in the last step in favor of a more chewy instead of crunchy cookie, but the ample amount of PB2 ensured that the cookies did not lose any peanut punch.
In the oven, the cookies turned thick and chewy and turned a beautiful golden brown. I cooked them a little longer than recommended, which rendered them chewy on the inside and crunchy on the outside- just the way I like them. This mix, as promised, made 12 good-sized cookies and really delivered a good balance between the sweetness of brown sugar and the nuttiness of peanut butter without being too oily or greasy.
While last to be reviewed, the snickerdoodle definitely did not disappoint as they easily held there own as the third mix I made. Unlike the other two mixes, the I did not omit any ingredients in the prep for these cookies. Of the three, these cookies are the messiest and most labor intensive, as they require a final step of rolling the dough into a cinnamon-sugar mix, but as I found out, sticky fingers are totally worth the end result.
The cookie themselves remind me of sugar cookies. The flavors of the cane sugar, brown sugar, and dairy-free butter I used rendered a sweet (but not overly so) and buttery base. The dusting of cinnamon and sugar on top added just enough sweetness and spice to give the cookies the definitive snickerdoodle flavor. Thick and chewy, the cookies' texture is spot on, and rendered 11 jumbo cookies.
It's really hard to play favorites between the three, because each mix produces delicious cookies that pleased both myself and my gluten eating family. I will probably keep one of each on hand whenever I get in a baking mood. Scratch and Grain certainly deserves a round of applause for mastering the art of merging the creativity of DIY baking with the ease of baking from a mix.
Disclaimer: This review is current to the original publication date. Updates will be noted. Ingredients and manufacturing processes can change without notice. Each product should be reviewed for individual nutritional needs. Feel free to to contact me with any questions or comments. I purchased this product independently and the review is a reflection of my personal opinion.