Very, very much, I say. Very much indeed. (Thanks, Mom!)
After ferociously flipping through the pages and marking many, many new recipes to try, I picked out a few to try this week. One of them required that I buy a new product I've never tried before.
Enter our Product O' the Whenever:
Trader Joe's Multi-grain Baking and Pancake MixThe wonders of this product are not to be believed...
...as in, I cant believe I've never used it before.
The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook uses this mix to make many delicious baked goods, like cherry-berry crisp, and the blondies I purchased it for.
Blondies are like a chocolate chip cookie bar, and they did not disappoint.
Here's the recipe:
Hairdresser Blondies (named after the author's hairdresser, naturally)
- 2 cups Multi-grain Baking Mix
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/3 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup dry roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Grease an 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine baking mix, brown sugar, melted butter, egg and vanilla. Stir to combine.
- Add the cherries, nuts and chocolate chips, and stir to incorporate.
- Spread the batter in prepared pan and bake until cooked through, about 30 minutes ***I baked it for about 20 minutes, and it was done. Know thy oven.
What I love about this baking mix is that it adds so much more texture and flavor than using flour in your baked goods. It has big pieces of oats in it, and you know how much I love oats! Or maybe you don't know, but just trust me... Oats and I got a thang going on. I love them!
Anyway, I also love how convenient this baking mix is for us hard-working Mamas. For some reason, baking cookies, muffins and coffee cakes just seems SO much easier when you don't have to measure as many items. Even it it only cuts out a step or two, that can make a difference
And finally this mix is much more healthy than just using flour or regular Bisquick. It has several different healthy grains in there. BUT it actually tastes good. Most of the time when I bake with whole wheat four, I'm not thrilled with the fla-va... but this mix tastes excellent! Nutty, grainy goodness, ya'll!
I also came up with this healthy, delish banana bread recipe using the mix AND coconut oil instead of butter.
- 2-3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1.5 cups)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 2 + 2/3 cup TJ's Multi-grain baking mix
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts
- 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut (optional... it's good either way)
- Mix all ingredients except the last three.
- Add in baking mix and stir well to combine
- Add in nuts and coconut (if using), and stir again.
- Spread batter into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour.*
*NOTE: Okay, so here's the problem I ALWAYS have with banana bread. It never gets done in the middle, but it gets super brown/burned on top, so that I am stuck with a charred top and soggy innards. So what I do is, after about 45 minutes, I check it... and if the top is brown enough but the inside isn't done yet, I cover it loosely with foil and keep baking. I check it every 5 minutes until just done in the center! This trick really seems to get perfect results!