Somedays you just want to take the easier route. I definitely was feeling that today as snow was falling outside my house. I had bought Bob’s Red Mill Chocolate Chip Cookie mix about a month ago when it was on sale and was waiting for just the right day to bake a batch. I also decided to review the mix. What I did was to cut the mix in half, do one half as suggested on the package and the other half with any embellishments I felt may be needed.
I hope that this review will help you decide whether this product is meant for you or not. Although this is a review I am going to try and stay away from criticizing the product and base it on my own tastebuds as I am used to eating cookies baked from scratch and not from a package, however I am always up for trying something new to see where it leads.
So onto the cookies themselves.
First batch- done according to package:
After I split the mix in half (basically 1.5 cups in each bowl). I put in half of the margarine needed, although it says margarine I used Earth’s Balance as it is dairy free and I still wanted to be able to eat the cookies after baking them.The package recommends that you whip the margarine with an electric mixer but mine seems to be on its last leg so I used a wooden spoon and fork to whip it up.
The one problem with halving a recipe is the egg, instead of trying to figure out how much is half I just used the whole egg. Again it is suggested to use an electric mixer and I can see why they recommend it as it was hard to whip the margarine and egg together, I did my best and it sort of worked. Once I poured in the dry mix it was a lot easier to mix with the wooden spoon as well as using my hands, which I feel is one of the best ways to make cookies.
You will notice that once the dough is mixed altogether it is sticker then traditional cookie dough, but do not be alarmed as it is suppose to be like that. Using a regular spoon I scooped out about 2 tbsp worth of dough and transferred them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper which I definitely suggest you use, otherwise grease the baking pan before placing dough on it as the dough will stick to the bottom a bit, even with the parchment paper a few of mine did this but were not too hard to remove.
I got 12 cookies out of this half batch, which is a good amount in my opinion. I baked the cookies in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 11 minutes, the recommended time is between 10-12 minutes. Once done baking they will appear to still be undercooked but they do continue to bake once you take them out to cool. I let them cool for roughly 15 minutes and by then they were perfectly cooked.
They are a pale gold colour, slightly hard to the touch on the top, crisp golden brown on the bottom and soft and chewy in the middle. For a premixed cookie recipe these are rather good as is but I still felt they lacked in something, which brings me to be recommendations.
Second batch- my version:
I ate two of the cookies, and although they are good I felt that it was lacking in something. Even my mother said the same thing when she tried one, so I kew it wasn’t just me. Now I do want to point out that yes I did half the cookie mix, but not because I didn’t trust the mix on its own, but more of a just in case scenario. In all honestly I would easily leave the recipe as is and be very happy with the results, but why not also try to make it that much better?
Basically I followed the same directions and just replaced and added some ingredients to the recipe. To start I used the same margarine and whipped it up, but instead of adding the egg I replaced it with 2 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp water. This is a great alternative which I use in many baking recipes as it “veganizes” the recipe, I also added 1/2 tbsp vanilla. Once the margarine, vanilla and the flax are whipped together I added the dry ingredients from the package. At this time I decided that it needed more chocolate chips and added 2 tbsp of dark chocolate chips.
To the dry mix I also decided to add 1 tsp of cinnamon to really kick up the flavours. Then I just combined the ingredients as I did with the previous batch. Again this is where I changed it up, first I scooped up roughly two tbsp worth of dough and dropped them onto a lined baking sheet ( I got 12 out of this batch too), however instead of immediately placing them into the oven I chilled them in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up a bit. Then I baked the cookies in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 11 minutes.
Once baked they will look underdone but, remember they will continue to bake as they cool. Let them cool for at least 15 minutes until you consume them or put away for later. So, the big questing is, did these changes make it better?
If you choose the flax replacement you will notice that the cookies have a slightly nutty flavour which I personally enjoy, also the cookies will be darker overall, soft to the touch and the inside will be moist and chewy. The addition of more chocolate was also a welcomed taste, but honestly its not really needed. The smell of cinnamon definitely permeates the senses, making for a pleasurable and sumptuous feeling that rolls over your body. I think that my suggestions really brings theses cookies to the next level.
This version makes me want to sip tea and nibble on them as I sit cozily on the couch watching tv. If you want to use a premixed cookie recipe I recommend thinking about changing up some of the ingredients as those changes will make this your cookie recipe, something you will want to come back to over and over again.
All in all I definitely would recommend Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie mix as a great and easy recipe to make some quick cookies if you rather not get all the separate ingredients together, or perhaps are not much of a baker. If you want to add or change the ingredients up a bit I say go for it. Just keep in mind what is already in the package and what the instructions are so you do not accidentally mess up the recipe.
Other changes that you might consider are adding some other form of chocolate like white chocolate, or some nuts or maybe put in bit of cayenne or caramel flavouring. Also if you do not want to use an egg or the flax replacer in the recipe try 1/2 a banana or 1/4 of applesauce (unsweetened).