Blondies and Brownies (or are they Auburns?)

I had a couple of gluten free baking mixes burning a hole in my pantry and I was waiting for an opportunity to make them when we’d be able to take them somewhere – so I wouldn’t end up eating them all.  Labor Day weekend was the perfect chance because we had two cookouts to go to on back-to-back days.  I made a double batch of chipotle corn salsa so I could take a batch to each party, and made both mixes so I could take half of each to each party.

The brownies were the Trader Joe’s Gluten-free Brownie mix that I received in my August Foodie Pen Pal Package.  It wasn’t my favorite overall because the bars end up very thin and chewy, almost tough  – I like them more fudge-y, I guess.  I would totally buy it again if I was too short on time or ingredients to pull off homemade.  I picked up the ONEearth Blueberry Amaranth Blonde Brownie Mix at Marshall’s for $4.99 (I think).  It sounded really unique and the ingredients were cleaner than standard baking mixes.  Part of the reason that I wanted to make two different mixes was in case this one sucked.  It ended up being my favorite of the two though.  The blondies had a definite red tint to the (from beet extract) and they were more cake-like.  They had dried blueberries to stir into the mix as well as some mini-chocolate chips.  I added another handful of chocolate chips, just for good measure.  I can tell they were made with rice flour because they had a bit of fine gritty texture to them – but that’s a texture that I actually like since I’ve gone gluten-free.  I’m sure not everyone likes that so much though.  I would definitely buy this again if I saw it because it’s not something that I can easily replicate at home if I want something other than brownies or regular blondies. Note: I just checked out the product website and it says “As tempting as it is, please avoid eating the raw batter”.  Oops.  Eggs are pasteurized, so I typically try batter of anything I make – and gf batter is often terrible tasting, but it ends up tasting fine when baked.  This batter was really good raw!  Not eat-by-the-spoon good, but I definitely had high hopes for them after tasting the batter.

People seemed to like both of them, or at least they were polite enough to not spit them out.  My brother-in-law did a side by side comparison of 3 available brownies but I forgot to ask him what he thought of them as a non-GF eater.  I think he reads this….Patrick – what’d you think?

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