[Review]: Pillsbury GF Funfetti Sugar Cookies

Who doesn’t love cookies for their birthday?

Personally, I have never been one for cake on special occasions. Often in our household, we tend to gravitate towards a cookie type of dessert instead. It’s no different this time around! I saw this mix around Easter (which happened to be my birthday this year!). I decided to splurge a little and I’m so glad I did!

The box is pretty classic to the pillsbury style. The directions are surprisingly simple, there is no complicated process, and the needed ingredients list is so small! For this box mix, you literally only need one egg and 1 stick of butter! This makes this so very easy for small children to manage the ingredients. Not only does the small list keep the recipe simple, it helps keep the mess down! The instructions even have small drawings demonstrating the needed temperature, a mixer, and an oven ready to go. How cute!

 As a dairy free household, I decided to substitute Smart Balance dairy-free butter. The swap from “real” butter didn’t make a bit of difference in texture from a normal cookie. The box boasts that the mix is easily combined using a hand mixer, but in all honesty, a mixer isn’t really needed. You can easily use a large spoon to combine the ingredients. The batter doesn’t come together in a chunky manner, it quickly becomes smooth. The best part for little ones is the ease in which you can see the sprinkles!

 The mixture is rather easy to make into round cookie shapes if you have little helpers. I personally would recommend using gloves to shape these cookies out simply because they do leave a slightly greasy residue. In our house, I love to utilize tin foil to create less mess and easier removable after baking. These cookies held up well on the foil, didn’t stick at all, and didn’t burn due to surface condition.

And voila! These cookies cook rather quickly so be prepared to keep an eye on them. Overall, I would definitely recommend them especially if you have small children. The instructions are easy to follow, the ingredient list is small, and the bake time is small. The texture is very consistent with cookies that are made with traditional flour, soft and chewy with a small crunch at the edges.  Often gluten free cookies suffers with a waxy, fake aftertaste that makes you not want to eat them. These don’t have anything! The aftertaste is nonexistent, which is fantastic! They go well with milk or on their own. They didn’t last more than two days in my home! Definitely give these a try, you won’t regret having the sweetness in your life!

[Review]: Kathleen’s Quick Oats

A pattern seems to be emerging here at Shutters and Honey!

WE LOVE BREAKFAST.

With being active, breakfast is SUPER important! We make a conscious effort to always eat a solid breakfast before we start our day. The oatmeal cups we’re reviewing today are PERFECT for the mornings you don’t want to put a whole lot of effort into the day’s beginning.

We found these little gems at Costco and they came in two varieties. The Ancient variety was the first one that we grabbed out of the variety pack and it is loaded with good things! It states plainly on the container that it contains flax meal, hemp, chia, AND brown sugar. That’s quite a great selection of healthy qualities!! Not to mention it is clearly labeled as gluten free right in plain view!

When we peeled back the seal, we were greeted with your typical oatmeal cup. The instructions on the side of the cup were very simple and precise. Children would be more than capable of following the instructions and making their own breakfast! Fantastic news, right Mommies?!

The instructions also give the option of microwave or just adding hot water to the cup. Either option is relatively simple and quick in results.

When you add the water to the oatmeal, it will definitely look like you added too much! When we made the oatmeal the first time, we did not cover the top of the container. This resulted in a watery mess! We recommend that you cover the container for a few minutes in order for the oatmeal to soak up the heat and moisture better. This will result in the oatmeal being less watery and more on the gooey side that oatmeal should be!

Overall, the oatmeal is fantastic! It solidifies well, it tastes great, and there’s plenty of room to fill the cup with more goodies! The oats aren’t crunchy in the slightest and the texture of the oatmeal is classic. I definitely would recommend this product to my allergen families due to the reasonable price point, the amount that you receive, and the ease of preparation.

Oh! And one last recommendation! Add a little cinnamon and vanilla for a small boost!

YUMMY!

[Review]: Ardenne Cinnamon Muffins

Hello lovelies!

I know it’s been a small minute since the last time I posted, but today I’m back again! BOY! This time around I have a WONDERFUL review for you!

I have the perfect on-the-go breakfast for those mornings the kids aren’t moving fast enough, the alarm clock decided to take a vacation, or the bed was just so warm and inviting! The moment you take a bite of these, you won’t be able to get enough!

I found this mix at my local produce stand (lucky for me they have a nice little selection of allergy friendly products!) for $5.99. The price was a little on the steep side, but my family recently enjoyed the blueberry muffin of the same brand, so I thought “Why not?”. The packaging itself is rather simple in design. The front displays a photograph that roughly showcases the end product, but ultimately does not do the muffins justice. As a sufferer of food intolerances, I greatly appreciate how Ardenne clearly labels the item with a clear gluten free label! Also those of special diet preferences, this product is also vegan. That’s not the BEST part! The best part is the ingredients are completely RECOGNIZABLE!

The item list you need in order to make these is surprisingly easy to obtain and the items are more than likely in your home already. That’s already an added bonus for you stay-at-home moms! No added grocery trips! Not only is the ingredient list easy, the items that you add can easily be interchangeable. Due to being dairy free, I substituted soy milk and oil based “butter” and they still baked beautifully!

The ingredients are simple to combine, blend together well, and require little effort in mixing!

The next step has the baker (that’s you!) creating the crunchy topping. To be honest, I was expecting this layer to completely melt within the muffin itself.

This section of the recipe is a little harder to mix by hand, but it still mixes rather quickly. The instructions say to spread the smaller mixture on the muffin batter. I took this opportunity to have a little fun with the batter and created spirals!

Overall the muffin mix is delightful! The directions are very easy to follow, the needed additions are within reach, and the end product is beautiful! The taste is a very soft vanilla cake flavor with just enough cinnamon to create a nice compliment. The top is a crunchy coating that melts as you continue to chew and the inside is moist and decadent.

Now! For this beautiful muffin, let’s enjoy some pictures!

[Review]: Scratch&Grain Baking GF Cheesecake Brownie Kit

Imagine wishing for a warm, delightful brownie during the rare pops of winter weather in the heart of the South. Now imagine not wanting to go through the ordeal of collecting a ton of ingredients from your pantry and measuring out each tiny teaspoon needed.

That’s what Scratch&Grain Baking’s Gluten Free Cheesecake Brownie Kit is perfect for! To be honest, I didn’t expect much because I tried previous products and I wasn’t too fond of the results.

This particular one actually surpassed my expectations!

The box makes the steps seem all too simple and the ingredients list boasts of completely recognizable items, which in my opinion, is the best part! Seeing as my family is primarily gluten free and dairy free, the allergen label does state that it contains soy and the possibility of milk. So just a heads up to all those allergen free homes! Also, the box offers suggestions for those who follow vegetarian and vegan diets. Score! I love a versatile product!

The box informs you that the items you will have to supply for this are rather simple. I found this to be wonderfully simple to follow, it was mostly things that I already had on hand.

– 2 Large Eggs

– 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (I made it with Smart Balance Dairy Free butter!)

– 8 oz. Cream Cheese Softened (I used Daiya Cream Cheese style spread!)

– 1 Egg Yolk

– 2 Bowls (on the larger side!) and a stirring utensil

– 9×9 baking pan

When the box is opened, the items inside are wondrously labeled and color coded. Comparing the ingredients to the instructions, one could easily tell which item went with each step. Each small bag had a color coded number that corresponded with the instructions on the box. I thought that would be excellent for families who wanted to create these brownies with small children! The packaging is also very easy to tear open, making it all the better for tiny fingers!

 The little packets made the process so much faster! I didn’t have to really measure much (only the butter needed measuring! The cream cheese came in a 8 oz. container!) so the ease factor was out of this world!

The instructions state that the beginning mixture will lighten in color. The only disappointment with this product was that the color change was very small. The smallness of the change made determining if the batter was ready for the next steps a bit hard. The mixture did become a bit fluffier, which is what I used to figure out if it was time to move on. This particular stage combined rather smoothly and didn’t produce a lot of lumps.

The rest of the ingredients that are brownie related combine easily as well. The batter can be a little hard to fold together, but if you keep working the batter it comes together quite nicely. The consistency is not too thick to stir, but sticks nicely to the spatula.

The mixture pours effortlessly and with little mess. The batter was so smooth I was tempted to leave out the cheesecake portion entirely!

The cheesecake portion is very easy to add, especially with the pre-packaged ingredients. Simply placing dollops of the mixture on the top of the brownie portion makes the marbling of the dessert a fun addition. Children should be able to spread the dollops over the top with no sweat! The swirling also gives the appearance of a professional touch!

The amount of time it takes to cook is about average for a dessert this size. The consistency is pretty firm on the edges and outside, but as soon as the brownies are cut you’ll be in heaven! The texture of the brownies are so moist and chewy!

The outside edges came out to have a very crisp, crunchy texture and the inside portion possessed a soft, chewy center. The edges didn’t burn despite the amount of time the brownies require for baking and the center cooked through quickly. The amount of time required was pretty average for a boxed dessert. The chocolate nibs that were added into the batter did not fully melt, which allowed for a burst of chocolate that brought a smile to our faces. The flavor of the brownies were rather rich and reached chocolatey depths, I definitely think one brownie at a time is plenty! All in all, I definitely would recommend this product if you’re looking for something to do with your little ones, or just a small taste of something sweetly satisfying! I would buy this again in a heartbeat and I actually can’t wait to!