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Fixing Trader Joe's Blondie Bar mix

This new product is in a tall box like the truffle brownie mix, which weighs 16 oz to the blondie mix's 15. Both call for a half cup of oil, the blondies for 1 egg and the brownies 2. By comparison, Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate brownie mix is 20 oz and calls for one half cup oil, one egg, and one quarter cup water. I made the blondies for the first time last week. Mixing them up, I noticed how dry the mixture was - more like topping for a fruit crisp than batter. I was tempted to add water or milk but did not, thinking maybe somehow there is a moisture source in the dry mix that is activated in baking. Dumb idea, I know. I was making them in mini-muffin pans as I do the Ghir, so I lowered the temp to 325 and baked for 15 min. When using a scoop to fill the pan, I had to press hard to get the mixture to hold together. The blondies are tasty but rock hard, like a teething biscuit. Same oven, same oil, same pans as when I make the Ghir, which have moist, fudgy centers. If I make the blondies again I will add at least two ounces of milk or water. I do have a good congo bar/blondie recipe but the convenience of not having to check whether I have enough brown sugar, chips, etc., on hand make buying the mix a hard to resist temptation.

Has anyone else used this mix, and if so, what were your results?

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  1. They were sampling them in my store and I believe they made them with butter instead of oil and added a cup of melted cookie butter to the mix along with the egg. They were also handing out recipe cards. I believe they 'frosted' them with cookie butter and then chilled it. It was ridiculously sweet and rich. I prefer maple walnut blondies so I haven't bought their mix or tried their recipe tweaks, but the extra cookie butter would certainly add more moisture.

    5 Replies
    1. re: ohmyyum

      Interesting that they were not following the label instructions for their own product. That might mean they know there's a problem. However, using butter instead of oil would make the product drier, not moister. The water in butter evaporates during baking. This is why boxed cake mixes call for oil and turn out moister than typical scratch recipes, although many of us are happy to trade the better flavor of butter-made cakes for the somewhat drier texture. But you are right that melted cookie butter - which is in effect oil - would soften the blondies.

      1. re: greygarious

        Forgot to mention - since you like maple walnut - that the new ones in the TJ bakery aisle are quite good. They are 4 to a package.

        1. re: greygarious

          Picked up this box mix about 2 months ago (sucker for the sample) but haven't made it yet. The directions on the box I have calls for 1 large egg & 1 stick of melted butter. Maybe you got a really old box?

          1. re: mrswatermelon

            A half cup of oil equals a stick of butter, melted. Other mixes of comparable size call for additional liquid. You will see when you use your box that the dough has the consistency of
            streusel.

            1. re: greygarious

              so maybe use it as a streusel topping over a cake or crumble and be done with it?

      2. smittenkitchen blondie recipe is so dead-easy and comes out great every time.

        http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2006/1...

        they come together in 5 minutes, so i don 't see the point of boxed mix, sorry.

        3 Replies
        1. re: hotoynoodle

          As I purposely explained in my OP, I already have a superb recipe. I prefer not to buy chocolate chips and brown sugar separately since they will sit here for literally years before I use them up. Neither is an ingredient I use more than a couple of times a year, if that.

          1. re: greygarious

            I made them about 10 days ago. I made them with about a third cup of grapeseed oil rather than butter, and added a tsp of vanilla.

            The dough was really stiff, and I thought about adding some liquid, but decided to go with it. I used a 9 inch square cuisinart baking pan and it took a bit of effort to press out the dough in the pan evenly.

            I baked them at 350 for about 18 min for super soft rather than their recommended 28. The edges of the pan were just barely crinkly, the center was very, very soft.

            Next time I think I will add an ounce of liquid, maybe Cointreau or amaretto, and cook for 20 min.

            I don't think I would use a muffin tin for these. I'd probably try them as cookies first.

            1. re: greygarious

              i guess i find boxed mixes not worth the money. if even the store has to gussy them up...

              a double batch of blondies will use an entire bag of chips. i store my brown sugar in the freezer and it lasts about forever and does not turn to cement.