Category: News

I think everyone has heard of Bisquick® or maybe Michigan’s own Jiffy® mixes…
Whether you’ve used them for biscuits, dumplings, pancakes, cornbread or any number of other delicious recipes, one thing is for certain… They’re convenient.

Bakery mixes are SO convenient that it’s not uncommon to see a grocery store devote nearly half a bakery aisle to these boxed best sellers. Among the most popular are the national brand mixes for cakes, brownies and breads of all kinds.
Besides the obvious convenience, mixes offer a consistent, reliable outcome requiring a minimum of additional ingredients and only a few steps.

For most people, mixes are all that they’ve baked from their entire lives. In fact, due to the scarcity of skilled bakers and pastry chefs, many large commercial bakeries have also switched much of their product lines to use mixes for the same reasons. An additional benefit for these bakeries is that they also require less labor to use and less space for their storage versus all the space required when many separate items must be purchased and inventoried.

Smaller bakeries benefit as well because they’re able to produce a larger variety of baked goods using mixes.
From the at-home baker to both large and small commercial bakeries, modern bakery mixes are a win, win, win.
There is, however, a downside to bakery mixes. They’re a bit pricey (especially when you consider you’re mostly buying flour, shortening and sugar), AND they’re only as good as the quality of ingredients THEY, not YOU, put in them.
If you’re open to the idea of it, I’ve got just the solution, and it’s also pretty darn easy. Make your own.

You’re probably thinking:
A) They wouldn’t really be that easy to make (wrong).
B) They wouldn’t be as good (wrong again).
Hey, I’m a chef. Trust me on this. These mixes are pretty darn good.
And even if you don’t bake a lot, these mixes are a FANTASTIC homemade gift that people really enjoy receiving. This past holiday, for instance, I made a number of bakery mixes for a WDIV TV segment on holiday gifts you can make yourself, and they were a HUGE hit!

Here are some of the mixes I made for that show:

Chocolate Brownie Mix: Makes 1 – 8” x 8” pan or approximately 9 brownies

The Dry Mix:
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Cocoa
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt

Recipient / Baking Instructions (Write this on the box or on a tag):
2 Extra-Large Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
Directions to put on the bag, box or jar:
1. Add wet ingredients to dry. Mix well.
2. Pour into a greased 8×8 baking pan.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Bisquick® Style Biscuit and Pancake Mix: Makes about 6 cups

The Dry Mix:
5 cups All-Purpose Flour
¼ Cup Baking Powder
2 TBSP Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 Sticks Salted Butter, Cut in ½” pieces, Chilled

Place all ingredients in a food processor with an “S” blade, and pulse until the butter is finely distributed in the flour mixture. The mixture should look pale yellow.

Recipient / Baking Instructions (Write this on the box or on a tag):
For Biscuits: Add ½ cup milk to each cup of mix
For Pancakes: Add 1 cup milk and 2 eggs to each cup of mix.

Cowboy Cookies in a Jar: Makes 3 dozen cookies

The Dry Mix:
1 1/3 cups Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Light-Brown Sugar, Packed
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Pecan Pieces
1 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
1 1/3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt

Layer the ingredients in a 1-quart jar in the order listed from top to bottom. Press each layer firmly in place before adding the next layer.

Recipient / Baking Instructions (Write this on the box or on a tag):
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease cookie sheets.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together 1/2 cup melted butter or margarine, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
4. Stir in the entire contents of the jar. You may need to use your hands to finish mixing.
5. Shape into 1-inch diameter balls.
6. Place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.
7. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes in the preheated oven.
8. Transfer from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

Chocolate Cake Mix: Makes 2–9” round layers

The Dry Mix:
1 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 3/4 Cups Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Dark Cocoa
1/3 Cup Instant Non-fat Dry Milk, (Carnation)
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt

For the cake mix: Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, dry milk, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Store in a re-sealable bag in a cool, dry place for up to 3 months or until ready to use.

Recipient / Baking Instructions (Write this on the box or on a tag):
As Needed Cooking Spray
1 ¼ Cups Water
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
3 Extra-Large Eggs
1 TBSP Vanilla Extract

To bake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottoms of two 9-inch cake pans with parchment, and then coat with cooking spray.
1. Whisk 1 1/4 cups water, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until well mixed and slightly frothy.
2. Add the dry mix and whisk until well combined and smooth.
3. Divide batter between the prepared cake pans.
4. Bake at 350 F. until set and slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean—about 25 to 30 minutes.
5. Let cool in the pans 5 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack, right-side up, to cool completely.
6. Frost and decorate as desired.

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