It’s my birthday this week, and one of my coworkers has talked me into celebrating myself. So, this week I am taking off from (1) creating a new recipe and (2) a day of work to go pamper myself with overdue girly things, like a manicure and pedicure. But don’t be disappointed – thanks to Stonewall Kitchen, I still have yummy allergy friendly treats to share with you (and to indulge in on my birthday)!
Last month, when I hosted my Allergy Friendly Jam Bar Cookie Giveaway, the kind folks at Stonewall Kitchen generously offered to provide a jar of their yummy Raspberry Peach Champagne Jam for the swag box. As another generous surprise, they sent along a couple boxes of some of their gluten free mixes – Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcake Mix and Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie Mix. Since having spied Stonewall Kitchen’s Gluten Free Mixes on my mini staycation with my husband, I have been wanting to try some. Our cashier at Stonewall Kitchen’s National Harbor store had raved about the gluten free cupcake mixes, so I was thrilled to find these extra goodies on my doorstep!
OMGoodness – I have fallen madly in love with this specialty foods store! Perhaps, I should share my secret love with my husband (and that I just bought three more boxes of Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie Mix)? Maybe I will – right after I share with him that I’m taking off on my birthday to go pamper myself. (He seldom reads my blog, so likely will have no idea about my (now public) splurges.)
I was surprised by how yummy (and easy) Stonewall Kitchen’s Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcake Mix and Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie Mix are. Not being a huge chocolate fan, I figured I would prefer the vanilla cupcakes – which, as evidenced by the icing on my children’s lips (scroll down), were delightful – but the gluten free brownies were utterly AMAZING!! Topped with a packet of fudge swirl, Stonewall Kitchen’s Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies are so rich, moist, chewy, and decadent that I admit having double-checked the box to make sure I hadn’t accidentally been given a non-gluten-free brownie mix!
Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free (and Vegan) Vanilla Cupcakes
Stonewall Kitchen’s Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcake Mix does not include dairy or eggs, but the instructions call for the addition of both. I was curious to see whether this gluten free mix could also make yummy vegan cupcakes, so instead of adding an egg, milk, and butter, I substituted in egg replacer, soy milk, and dairy free buttery spread. (Because the mix is also soy free, you probably could try coconut milk or almond milk for a soy free version.)
To make my vegan, gluten free vanilla cupcakes, I followed the easy instructions on the side of the Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcake Mix box with a few minor modifications.
For the cupcakes: Replace the regular milk with soy milk, the butter with 3 Tbsp. dairy free buttery spread (I used dairy free, soy free Earth Balance), and the egg with 2 tsp. of Ener-G Egg Replacer “packed” mixed with 2 Tbsp. of warm soy milk. (For best results, wait until right before adding to mix the Egg Replacer in the soy milk, warmed in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Measure Egg Replacer by firmly packing into measuring spoon, and stir until thickens.)
For the frosting: Replace the butter with 3 Tbsp. of dairy free buttery spread (again, I used dairy free, soy free Earth Balance) plus 2 Tbsp. of dairy free, soy free shortening (like Spectrum Naturals Organic).
Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies
Since the Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies Mix contains milk, you should avoid if you have a dairy allergy.
The mix only calls for the addition of butter and eggs. Since we don’t usually have butter in our home, I substituted an equal amount of a vegetable oil spread stick. (I did not test whether this mix works well with egg substitute.)
I followed the quick and easy instructions on the Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies Mix box, substituting my melted vegetable oil spread for the melted butter. The mix comes with a fudge packet that you swirl on top of the uncooked brownie batter to make the brownies super fudgy and moist. The instructions say to swirl with a knife, but I wasn’t able to create much “on top” swirling action. Instead, most of my fudge packet mixed deeper into my brownie batter – but, this didn’t seem to be a problem at all in the end.
The only thing I do recommend doing is baking the batter quite a bit longer than the recommended time (or at least I had to). The instructions say to bake for 30 to 33 minutes at 350°F, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, but still fudgy on the bottom. But, at 33 minutes my toothpick came out covered in gooey brown undercooked fudge. I do not know if it was due to using a vegetable oil stick instead of butter, poor fudge swirling, or some other reason, but I had to bake my brownies an extra 15 minutes before my toothpick came out clean.
My Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free desserts were so amazing that I did not share them as much as planned. My desire was to take some treats into work to see what my colleagues thought, but I found them too delicious to share. Plus, I discovered that these easy-to-make gluten free goodies keep longer if stored in an airtight container in the freezer. After thawing at room temperature, they practically are as moist and delicious as they are straight from the oven. (And thanks to this secret, over two weeks after baking, I will enjoy my last Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free brownie and cupcake on my birthday!)
Stonewall Kitchen’s Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies are seriously the best brownies that I can remember enjoying (perhaps ever) – homemade or from a box, and gluten free or not! I was worried that the texture might be too gooey, or maybe over-dry from leaving them in the oven longer than instructed – but patience pays off with this mix. These gluten free brownies are amazingly moist and chewy, melting in your mouth! Enhanced by the fudge packet and bits of chocolate chips, their decadent, rich, chocolaty flavor pops even more. And the brownie tops (mmm . . . I’m getting excited just reminiscing) have that perfect cookie-like crispness and flakiness that is characteristic of only the most heavenly brownies. I am not exaggerating when I say that these brownies are irresistible! Along with my easy-to-make Gluten Free Jam Bar Cookie Mix (of which my mom just enjoyed her layered version this weekend), Stonewall Kitchen’s Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies Mix will be my quick and easy go to dessert – regardless of whether my audience is gluten free or not!
And even with my vegan twist on Stonewall Kitchen’s Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcake Mix, these cupcakes were deliciously moist, with a sweet buttery cookie-like flavor. The cupcakes’ firmer texture made me think that the mix might also work well for a bundt cake. And the frosting was so light and sweet that others were fooled into thinking that I had made it from scratch. Little Man’s and Baby Girl’s favorite part of Stonewall Kitchen’s gluten free goodies was licking the delightful vanilla frosting from the beaters, bowl, and cupcake tops!
Despite my stinginess, I did share some of my Stonewall Kitchen gluten free treats with my hairdresser Tenika who has come to love my made-from-scratch allergy friendly treats. Neither my hairdresser nor anyone else at her shop guessed that these brownies and cupcakes were gluten free or came from a box! Eventually, I admitted having had “help” (from Stonewall Kitchen). And just as the boyfriend of one patron was wooing the first bite of his cupcake, I also revealed that they had no flour, dairy, or eggs. He jokingly shared his disappointment in hearing that all of his favorite ingredients were missing, and then proceeded to finish his cupcake in so few bites that he couldn’t have inhaled it faster.
My hairdresser’s unwillingness to share her Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies (not even with her beloved daughters) was a clear showing of their irresistibility! After Tenika took a bite out of one of the four gluten free brownies I brought her, she immediately decided not to mention their existence to anyone else! Like me, she was moved by the brownies’ moist and chewy texture, cookie-like tops, and chocolate chip and fudge enhanced rich, decadent flavor. She agreed that these were: “By far the best brownies ever – in my life! Hands down!!” Tenika was shocked that something gluten free could be so amazing. I have had to promise to return with more batches of Stonewall Kitchen’s Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies if I want to return as a customer – mind you I’ve been going to Tenika for over seven years. Good thing (for both of us), I just ordered more brownie mixes!