13 November 2017

Review: Foodstirs Organic Baking Mixes

I bake fairly frequently, so I like to make things that are quick and easy and have minimal clean-up. Baking mixes can help a lot with this, since most of the work and mess of measuring and mixing has been done for you. But if I'm going to use a mix, I want it to have the same quality ingredients I'd use if I were baking from scratch--and that's what I found in Foodstirs organic baking mixes.

My family surprised me with their Halloween cookie set last month, which included their sugar cookie mix, vanilla frosting mix, and ghost and bat shaped cookie cutters. The ingredients in both the sugar cookie and frosting mix really are exactly what you'd find in your own kitchen, with no preservatives, gums, or artificial additives. They're certified USDA organic, too, and the sugar cookies use heirloom wheat flour, so the quality standard is very high.

Foodstirs provides basic recipes on the boxes of their mixes, and lots of variations on their website, including vegan alternatives. I made my own variations to the cookie mix recipe, including cutting the butter from twelve tablespoons to four and substituting some maple syrup and milk for the egg. I also melted my butter instead of creaming it with an electric mixer, since I prefer to mix by hand. I was really pleased with the end result, though, which was a dough that was easy to roll and cut and cookies that baked up golden brown with crispy edges and a chewy center.

I'm completely new to decorating with icing, so the next step was a bit of a learning process for me. Since the icing mix is simply vanilla-flavored powdered sugar, I followed my own vanilla icing recipe and method. I used a piping bag fitted with a number 4 decorating tip to outline each cookie, then switched to a number 5 decorating tip to fill the middle of the cookies and used a butter knife to carefully smooth it over. This worked pretty well, and I was pleased with the end result--I finished the ghost cookies off with chocolate chip eyes and mouths, and topped the bats with chocolate sprinkles to make them brown. 

I really enjoyed baking with the Foodstirs mixes, especially since I was experimenting with new skills. While I always enjoy coming up with my own recipes and baking from scratch, I like the inspiration the kit provided and appreciated the time-saving aspects of using a mix. As we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas, I'll definitely keep Foodstirs in mind for my holiday baking!

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