Appetizers

Purely Simple mixes keep it real

Pillsbury’s new Purely Simple mixes use no artificial colors, preservatives or flavorings.
Pillsbury’s new Purely Simple mixes use no artificial colors, preservatives or flavorings. Pillsbury

Want “real food” but convenience, too? Pillsbury has come up with a simple solution: Box mixes with no added colors, preservatives or artificial flavorings.

Appropriately named “Purely Simple,” this new line of box mixes features several familiar favorites: Chocolate chunk brownies, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, white cake, chocolate cake, buttercream frosting and chocolate frosting. The difference is what these mixes don’t contain, such as hydrogenated oils (full of trans fats) or polysorbate 60 (an emulsifier compound used to prevent scorching).

Instead, the straightforward ingredient list for these mixes sound very familiar. For example, the sugar cookie mix content list reads like a recipe: unbleached wheat flour, sugar, canola oil, corn starch, baking soda, salt and vanilla. The only thing missing from that list are the quantities.

Which is where the beauty of a box mix comes in; everything is pre-measured. Just add an egg and butter, water or oil, depending on the mix. The instructions were very quick and simple, too.

The results taste very much like baked goods made from scratch, especially the cookies and brownies. The cakes turned out denser than Pillsbury’s traditional cake mixes, but the frostings were silky smooth and lustrous. No one will suspect these baked goods came out of a box.

“Tips and Tricks” on each box take these mixes a step closer to “home made,” such as adding raspberries to the brownie mix or dipping the cookies in melted chocolate.

Suggested retail price is $1.99 to $3.29. Find Purely Simple mixes in supermarkets in the baking section.

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