Foodstirs is a new monthly baking subscription box created by Sarah Michelle Gellar. Every month you’ll receive family-oriented baking kits made with premium and real ingredients, free of preservatives, artificial dyes and flavors. The mixes use organic and non-GMO ingredients when available. You can also choose to subscribe monthly to their sugar cookie, brownie, or vanilla cupcake mix. You can choose to get the monthly kit or start your subscription with one of the kids in the store.
This box had a really nice presentation, so I expected a lot.
Everything in the October Ghost Cookies kit.
The box included a card letting you know the ingredients needed, tools, baking time, quantity, etc. I liked that it broke down the ingredients you need twice (the second time being what you need at home).
The instructions, plus the ingredients list (hint, the list is very short – you can click on the photo to see it up close.
I received a bonus wooden spoon, and the ghost cookie cutter for the recipe.
I didn’t find the cookie cutter impressive – I found it pretty cheap. It was tarnished/rusty and was in general a cheap cookie cutter. Given SMG’s stated goals to have a line of cooking tools for kids, I wasn’t impressed.
The mix plus chocolate chips and powdered sugar. I was disappointed to see that the chocolate chips exhibited sugar bloom (due usually to incorrect storage). It’s cold enough that this shouldn’t have happened in shipping.
Now time to make the recipe.
I scratched my head a little at the cold butter called for creaming in the directions, but did it anyways, and was rewarded with what I expected – a solid mass of butter on my beaters. I usually leave my butter out for an hour before beating it.
My daughter performed the great egg separation procedure (we had a really fun time making these).
I “beat” the egg in with the butter (after holding the mixer up for a long time and letting the butter whirl out to the sides of the bowl).
Unsurprisingly, we did not get a dough. I had to work it with my hands to get the butter soft enough to form the dough. The next step was to freeze the dough for 20 minutes, which caused me to wonder why I’d preheated the oven as instructed first thing. Mind you – I have baked a great many things from scratch and none of these things are the way that I would ever bake a cookie, but for the first go at a box, we try to follow the directions, because not everyone is an experienced baker – that’s the point, right?
We removed the dough from the freezer after 20 minutes, which was far too long, and it was rock hard and broke. I ended up again warming it in my hands (and honestly, the dough didn’t need freezing). We got 9 full ghosts and some blobs (expected number – 10-13).
The directions called for letting the cookies cool completely (they did not note how long to leave them on the sheet – we left them on for the standard 2 minutes). Oh and we reduced the baking time from 13-16 minutes to 11. The ones on the right below were a little more brown because we put the dough on the warm cookie sheet. The recipe itself called for brown edges and really was a rather brown cookie, which we don’t prefer. So we did ultimately give up on following the directions.
And then we got to the eyes – the directions said to wet your finger, wet the bottom of the chip, and press on. Understandably, this did not get the cold chips to adhere to cooled cookies. I heated a bowl in the microwave, pressed the chips to the bottom, and then we stuck them on.
The cookies were indeed quite tasty and turned out great despite the instructions and were nice and tender. We liked the ingredients and the commitment of this company to sending kids treats that aren’t as terrible (although there’s still plenty of sugar!), but the testing of the recipe instructions left much to be desired. I thought this was unacceptable for such a big company with such star power behind it. I seriously question whether they had anyone test it in any home kitchen. I was willing to put up with the directions until the overbaking, and at that point I just had enough. I do have friends that don’t really know how to cook that would have ended up with some real trainwrecks.
That being said, it looks like next month’s is much easier to pull off, but I expect a box like this to not have any issues, except for any of my own personal failings.
A note about value: They sell the sugar cookie mix for $7.95 as a single purchase, so I paid a $12 premium for a baggie of chocolate chips, powdered sugar (which was nice and fresh), and a crappy cookie cutter, plus the recipe. The shipping is $2 more on the recipe kits over the single cookie mix, too. The items besides the cookie mix were definitely not worth $14 extra.
You can get a coupon for this box, but it’s email only, so if you’d like one, enter your information in this form, which we will enter in the Foodstirs site, and they’ll send you one.
Update 11/2: I got a 30% off coupon in my inbox this morning. Use code NEW30. Exp 11/5.
The Description: Get curated themed baking kits delivered straight to your door every month. A convenient, delicious and healthier way to bring families together in the kitchen. Get family-oriented baking kits made with premium and real ingredients, free of preservatives, artificial dyes and flavors. Organic and non-GMO ingredients when available.
The Price: $19.95 + $5.95 shipping
The Coupon: Save 15% on your first box – Foodstirs coupons must be emailed. Use this link and we’ll enter your information so you can get a coupon.