Monday, October 5, 2009

Homemade Mixes

So we all know why we buy mixes, right? Because they’re easy. Problem: Everyone I know has no time, no energy, and can barely even think about cooking, let alone make everything from scratch. I’m a stay at home mom, but between Homeschooling, cleaning, running around to activities, and writing, sometimes I don’t feel like cooking. And I like to cook!
Solution: Homemade mixes. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s not. If you can find ten minutes, you can throw together one of these mixes, and it will save you tons of money, tons of time, and plenty of peace of mind. Have you ever read the ingredients on the store bought mixes? Why exactly do brownies need Dicalcium Phosphate & Dextrose? Do they make it better?
So here I present to you some homespun mixes. Mix them up, store them in a Tupperware or an old canning jar and enjoy!

Double-Fudge Brownie Mix
6 C. Flour
4 tsp. Baking Powder
4 tsp. Salt
8 C. Sugar
1 (8oz.) can Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Makes about 15 cups of mix.

To use the mix:
¼ C. butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 ¼ C. Brownie Mix
½ C. Chopped nuts, chocolate chips, chopped Andes candies, etc.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease & flour an 8 inch square baking pan. Combine all ingredients and stir just until mixed. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 - 35 minutes.

Homemade Biscuit & Pancake mix
Note: I’m not allowed to call this what it is. But I think you know.
6 C all purpose flour
3 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp salt
1¼ C solid shortening -- butter flavor, Crisco preferred

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in shortening with 2 knives or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Store in a container with tight-fitting lid. Use as you would Bisquick.

Variations: For a healthier mix with improved flavor and more interesting texture, make All-Purpose Biscuit Mix with 3 cups white flour and 3 cups whole wheat flour. For Buttermilk All-Purpose Biscuit Mix, add 9 tablespoons dry buttermilk powder to the basic mix.

Wonderful Homemade Chocolate Pudding Mix Recipe
4 cups nonfat dry milk powder
2 2/3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups cornstarch
1-1 1/3 cup baking cocoa (1 cup for light, 1-1/3 cups for a dark rich flavor)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Sift together all ingredients. Store in airtight container or plastic bag. Makes about 10 cups of mix.

To use the mix:
1 C. pudding mix
2 cups milk or half-and-half
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine 1 cup of dry mix with 2 cups milk in a very heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a med boil; stirring constantly (watch closely not to burn!).
Stir in butter and vanilla. Divide into bowls. Also great for making fudge pops!

That should get you started. Good luck!

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