As a small business owner myself, I’m a huge fan of small businesses. I managed to get a chance to talk to the owner and discovered that Ardenne Farm was a brand new business that started in her home and had only recently had their Grand Opening! At the Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo I went to in Chicago a few weeks back, I popped a cookie into my mouth and completely “geeked out”. Since going gluten free, I’d never put something so delicious in my mouth that it surpassed “normal” taste. They’ve got nine different mixes; 2 muffin, 4 cookie, 2 cupcake, and one brownie mix. Three of the nine mixes are also dairy free; the brownie mix, sugar cookie mix, and oatmeal cookie mix! All of the mixes are peanut and tree nut free with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives! I was super psyched when they provided me with a few to try at home. The packaging is recyclable and made from 35% recycled materials, which is awesome.
I was super excited and impressed to find that when I opened the Blueberry Muffin mix, there were no freeze-dried blueberries. Instead, there was a can of fresh wild blueberries in their own juice. Nothing like fresh blueberries in your muffins!
Instead of just throwing everything in a bowl and mixing it up, I first mixed up the eggs and oil, then the almond milk to minimize how much dairy was in them (for me). The muffins puffed up really well and were light, moist, and flavorful. My husband, who doesn’t have any allergies and is a baker by trade, couldn’t tell they were gluten free!
The Gluten Free chocolate cake mix got made into cupcakes and, while I was the only gluten free one there, they were RAVED about! I even had one gal comment that they were the best chocolate cupcakes she’d ever had! Cautionary note: they do contain dairy. They mix up smooth and fluffy, and rise high! The finished product is very moist and tender, too.
Now for the grand finale: the brownies. Gluten AND DAIRY FREE!
They aren’t your typical chewy, heavy brownies. These are light and fluffy, very chocolatey, and could even substitute for the chocolate cake mix if you can’t have dairy. If you bake them in an 8×8 pan, like I did, you’ll need to bake them significantly longer, but it results in a nice thick piece that holds up well to being frosted. The whole recipe disappeared pretty quickly, if that’s any indication of taste.
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