Muffin review: Eddie’s of Mt. Vernon

 

I’ve been doing a little exploring here in my new Baltimore town, and one of the places that’s recommended to the student population (and now for the Varsity kitchens) is a local grocery store called Eddie’s of Mt. Vernon.

Having grown up in small town New Jersey with only large chains of grocery stores nearby, Eddie’s, a mom and pop grocery store two blocks away from me, is a totally new experience.

It’s a quaint little shop with a deli counter, fresh local produce and a decent selection of other items. Since it’s so close, I figured this would be a great place to start sampling some of Baltimore’s homemade baked goods. (Apparently, this store also carries Bergers Cookies, a classic, Baltimore-based treat. I will be going back tomorrow to see if I can find these cookies!)

Today I picked up a whole grain, banana blueberry muffin, topped with a delicious, sweet glaze.

As you can see, the muffin isn’t exactly packed with blueberries, so this turned to be a of a banana muffin with glaze, which, in my opinion, isn’t a bad thing. This was a moist, think muffin with great banana taste and little pops of blueberries.

I look forward to going back and trying the other flavors!

Cost: $1.99
Servings: 2
Location: Eddie’s of Mt. Vernon

 

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Product Review: Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Bars

My dear Bakers Anonymous family, sometimes I get tired of eating baked goods.

I know, I know, blasphemy. How can I not want to eat baked goods all the time, right? Between the cakes, cookies, brownies, bars and other numerous baked treats, how could I want for anything else?

I don’t know, my friends, but there are days when I just a darn chocolate bar.

A few weeks ago, I heard about these Girl Scouts cookie bars from CRUNCH and thought I was going insane. What do you mean, my beloved chocolate bars are combining with Girl Scout cookies? Are you trying to blow my mind? And then I heard they weren’t coming out until June, and suddenly, I was a lot less excited.

But then, when I was in CVS on Sunday afternoon, innocently heading to the pharmacy in the back of the store, I spotted the display of Girl Scout cookie bars. I did a double take, a triple take, and then started to drool over the display of individual (AND BOXED. THEY SOLD ‘EM IN BOXES) bars – Thin Mint, Caramel and Coconut (Samoa) and Peanut Butter Creme (Tagalongs).

Since I don’t like peanut butter cookies (that doesn’t make me Communist, I swear), I only picked out the first two.

The Thin Mint candy bars might as well be the cookies themselves. If there’s one thing companies around the world have managed to do, it’s perfectly replicated the delicious and delicate balance of chocolate and mint. Inside the bar are chocolate wafer layers, topped with what seems like the exact same mint creme used in the regular cookies and a sprinkling of puffed rice on top (to make it more Crunch bar-like?)

As for the Samoas, which are my undeniable favorite in Girl Scout cookie form, these bites are drizzled in orange caramel topping, filled with crispy wafer layer, more caramel and a hint of toasted coconut, which you can see just under the coating of milk chocolate. Overall, these are mildly sweet and the chocolate has an artificial taste that takes away from what could potentially be an amazing treat.

So there you have it. These are definitely worth the $1.19 each I paid, though I wish (oh, do I ever) that the caramel ones were much closer to their namesakes. In the meantime, I’ll have to settle for these Keebler Coconut Dreams. Not like I”m complaining.

– Niki

Niki’s Note: By the way, these things taste a million times better if they’re refrigerated over night. I highly recommend it!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Filling: Betty Crocker Style

Sometimes here at Bakers Anonymous, we like things to be simple and thought-free. Okay, all of the time, which is why I was so intrigued by the Betty Crocker FUN da-Middles cupcake mix. It may have a terribly cheesy name, but who doesn’t love the thought of a no-frost cupcake? And a cupcake with filling, at that!

The box comes with a package of mix and a packet of thick filling. There are three different varieties of the mix: chocolate cupcake with vanilla filling (which you see here), vanilla with chocolate filling, and vanilla with vanilla filling (apparently people like vanilla more than chocolate. So sad!).

According to the packaging, there are many great features of this cupcake mix!

Ah, natural and artificial flavorings. Yum. Note the warning in the corner - don't eat the raw batter! Like that's going to stop me.

The ingredients are the same as any other cake mix – eggs, water, and oil. The filling is pre-made, so there’s nothing to add to it. This mix only produces 12 chocolate cupcakes.

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place in the paper baking cups.

2. Prepare the mix according to the directions.

3. Carefully fill each of the cups about one-third full, making sure the entire bottom is covered.

4. Squeeze the filling package about 20 or so times to warm up the filling and make it squeeze-able. Evenly distribute the filling between the 12 cups, making sure that it DOES NOT touch the sides.

5. Layer the rest of the batter on top of the filling, and then bake for about 35 minutes.

6. Let the cupcakes cool before you bite into them. THE FILLING WILL BE EXTREMELY HOT. (Speaking from experience, here.)

These cupcakes are actually very moist and the cake is delicious, but while they may look like Hostess cupcakes minus the chocolate frosting and little white squiggly on top, the filling isn’t anything amazing or true vanilla tasting. I’d give these three stars for the ease of baking and the ability to taste delicious even without frosting!

Niki’s Note: I don’t think these Betty Crocker commercials have ever aired, but be sure to check out all three videos. They sure are weird!

Blueberry muffins, Betty Crocker style

Picture courtesy of charmed-desserts.com

Here at Bakers’ Anonymous, we love baking mixes because it gives us the opportunity to take fancy desserts and cut the baking time in half. So, when there are sales at Shop Rite that match up with coupons from the newspaper, guess how many boxes of mix come home with me?

Yeah. A lot.

At the last sale, I picked up a Betty Crocker blueberry muffin mix pouch because 1) I love muffins, and 2) muffins are delicious for breakfast. And according to the pouch, all I have to do is add water to the mix and BAM, muffins will appear.

So I made the muffins, baking them according to directions, even pouring them into cupcake liners. The batter makes exactly six muffins, so this mix is great for a family looking for a quick breakfast or for a simple baking exercise with the kids. It only takes about 20 minutes for the muffins to bake. I recommend eating the muffins after baking, because the batter is actually quite thick and sticks to the wrapper.

Note how much of the muffin gets stuck to the wrapper. Missing pieces from my muffin are a no-go.

Be careful not to bake too long, because, as you can see from this picture, the bottoms cook very quickly.

The interior of the muffin isn't dry at all. It's slightly cakey, though the exterior can be stiff overnight.

I recommend this mix if you want only six muffins for a quick family breakfast (and are going to eat them right away!), otherwise, make sure that you get the Betty Crocker box mix, which gives you more muffins, though it is a little bit more work.

I give this ** out of ***** .

Niki’s Note: The star scale is as follows: * – don’t eat! ** – maybe you’ll like it; *** – worth a shot; **** – you would LOVE this! ***** – why are you sitting there? Go GET THIS.