Product Review: Milk Bar’s cornflake-chocolate-chip-marshmallow cookie mix

The Background Story: A couple of moths ago, I came across an article on Refinery29 about gourmet and organic foods available at Target.  Since I go to Target several times each month and I like gourmet and organic foods, my interest was piqued.  I clicked through the slideshow (ugh, slideshows!) until I saw this:

Cookie Mix!

What?  New York’s famous Milk Bar has a cookie mix?  And it has cereal and marshmallows and chocolate chips?  And it’s available at Target?  For $4.99?  Oh, heck yes!

The next morning, I waited patiently as a nice Target employee unlocked the doors to the store at 8 AM.  I smiled, said good morning, and then did a bit of speed-walking to the baking aisle only to find a big empty shelf where these cookies were supposed to be.  Seriously?  Actually, I had to return to the store at least five times over the course of the next month until, finally, I found a single, solitary box.  But by then I decided to attempt (and complete) the Whole30 Challenge — and cookies were a no-no.  So the box sat on my shelf for a month.  Until yesterday, when baking finally commenced!

The Unboxing: The box for the Milk Bar’s cornflake-chocolate-chip-marshmallow cookie mix contains two plastic bags.  The first contains sugared corn flakes.  The second contains the actual cookie mix (with flour, sugar, chocolate chips, marshmallows).  The only other supplies necessary are one stick of butter and one egg.  Not bad!

The Baking: The instructions say to toast the cornflakes first at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Which is fine, because it gives one time to combine the mix with the butter and egg.  And that’s the point where I kind of messed up a little.

The corn flakes are getting toasty!

The recipe calls for “softened (but not completely melted)” butter.  I had taken a stick out 30 minutes earlier, but it wasn’t close to being softened, so I popped it in the microwave.  It looked good, but as it sat there as I was getting out my bowls and spoons and checking on the corn flakes, it proceeded to get a little melty.  I didn’t think this would be that big of a deal, but…

…once everything was mixed together and the cornflakes were incorporated, I put the first batch of six cookies into the oven.  Almost immediately the edges of the cookies began to get a little runny and then, after only six minutes (of the suggested 10 – 12 minutes of cooking time), I noticed the edges beginning to brown at an alarming rate.  My darned melty butter!

Regardless, after ten minutes, they were done.

The finished product.

The finished product. They don’t look too bad, but the edges and bottoms were definitely a little burnt.

The Results: So how were they?  Well, the taste was excellent — despite being slightly burnt.  I was really surprised how much the marshmallow flavor really stood out.  It was a welcome addition to what would have otherwise been a fairly standard chocolate chip cookie.  I say this because the corn flakes didn’t really do much for me.  In fact, their texture left a lot to be desired! The cereal portion of the cookie was actually chewy instead of crispy!  And yes, I know — this may have been caused by my incorrectly softened butter, but next time I’ll toast them longer than the suggested ten minutes — just in case!

It should be noted that I have never had the original version of this cookie from Milk Bar in New York, but now I really want to go there.  I’d love to find out how these stack up to the original!

The Link: If you would like to try this mix, you can order it online from Target for $4.99.

The Rating:  Milk Bar’s cornflake-chocolate-chip-marshmallow cookie mix gets a rating of 4 out of 5.

 

 

 

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Roasted Rosemary Lemon Chicken with Potatoes and Onions

One of the best meals that I made during my Whole30 Challenge, this roasted chicken dish is so easy to prepare!  The chicken came out incredibly tender and I loved the way the tartness of the lemons balanced so well with the savory rosemary.  Typing this, I want to make this dish again right now (and it’s only 9:00 am)!

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Roasted Rosemary Lemon Chicken with Potatoes and Onions

Ingredients:

4-6 pieces chicken thighs with skin (I used bone-in)
1 lb. baby red potatoes or fingerling potatoes
½ onion – cut in large chunks
2 lemons, 1 sliced and 1 juiced
⅓ cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary plus sprigs for garnish
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Spray a glass 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

3. Chop onion and thinly slice one lemon.

4. Arrange chicken pieces (skin side up) in the baking dish, followed by the potatoes, sliced onion, and lemon slices.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Pour mixture all over chicken and potatoes. Add more salt and pepper.

6. Bake uncovered for about 1 hour, or until chicken and potatoes are fully cooked.

Original recipe can be found at Laughing Spatula.

Lemon Blueberry Bread with Lemon Glaze

This ultra-moist dessert bread absolutely pops with flavor and was a big hit with all who were able to try it!  Use only fresh blueberries for this recipe, folks…Oh…and sorry for the terrible photograph.

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Lemon Blueberry Bread with Lemon Glaze

Ingredients:

For the bread:

2 cups all-purpose flour plus another 1 tbsp. (for the blueberries)
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup. coconut oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup plain greek yogurt
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
1 cup fresh blueberries

For the lemon glaze:

¾ cup confectioners sugar
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Continue reading

The Best Tomato Sauce Ever…Improved!

I’ve recently been reading Marcella Hazan’s The Essentials of Italian Cooking and found what I thought was the perfect tomato sauce recipe.  Then I improved upon it.  (At least I think so!)

(Full disclosure:  My mother’s tomato sauce is, and always will be, the best of its kind.  Anything else is just…gravy?)

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The Best Tomato Sauce Ever…Improved!

Ingredients:

 

1 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes
5 tablespoons butter
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
8 large fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt, to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan.  Add salt to taste.

Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with a spoon. Add salt as needed.

Discard the onion before tossing the sauce with pasta.

Beer, Bacon, and Cheddar Bread

There were three things I that I really missed when I was slogging through my Whole30 Challenge: BEER, CHEESE, and BREAD.  This recipe has all three!  Add bacon into the mix (literally and figuratively) and you’ve got the makings of a winner!  Behold the wonder that is Beer, Bacon, and Cheddar Bread:

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Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
1 egg
12 ounces of a solid India Pale Ale
4 pieces of thick-cut bacon, diced
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Thoroughly grease a 9×12 loaf pan.
  3. Cook the bacon over medium heat until just about crispy (4 minutes should do).  Drain fat and then set aside.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
  5. Whisk egg with honey, then pour it onto flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.
  6. Slowly add beer and mix into the batter, then fold bacon and cheddar into the batter.
  7. Pour batter into loaf pan, using a spatula to even out the top, and bake for 50 minutes or until a butter knife inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean.
  8. Allow the bread to sit in the pan for at least 5 minutes before moving onto a wire rack to cool.

The original version of this recipe can be found at Food Republic.