Category Archives: Product Review

Product Review: DCC Cinnamon Swirl Snacking Cake

Photo: Happy Thanksgiving

November is always a busy month for me because it is time for NaNoWriMo, which means I spend several hours a day working on a novel. In addition, I am also a municipal liaison, meaning I am trying to coordinate activities for other writers in the area. Bottom line is my cooking time is reduced to quick and easy things to make, which are mostly what I have already posted.

However, I also had a chance to try out another of Dixie Diner’s mixes. In this case, it was their Cinnamon Swirl Snacking Cake. The mix is not totally inclusive as you do need to add four eggs, one-half stick of butter and water to it. It does include the flour pouch and the cinnamon filling bag. The mix is simple, just add melted butter, eggs, and water and stir until it is completely mixed. Then add more butter and water to the cinnamon mix, drop it on top in clumps, and swirl it into the batter. Easy. Then bake.

Photo: DCC Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake

First, I added vanilla to the cake mix. It seemed to want some additional flavor, and in retrospect, I should have added some sweetener as the cake is not very sweet at all.

The snacking cake bakes up well, but I found it a little dry and thick. Oddly, with all that butter and eggs, you would expect it to be more moist. It did taste okay, but I’ve eaten better ones. I added a sugar-free powdered sugar icing with a touch of vanilla added that helped. But I warm it up to serve and still add more butter.

On the plus side, the cake makes 9 large slices with only 2 net carbs per slice. That’s hard to beat and it is satisfying.

If I were to make it again, I would add more vanilla and sugar substitute to the cake batter and possibly put chopped nuts on top before baking.

So, I rate this a four cooking spoons out of five for flavor. It’s not bad, but I can make better low carb ones from scratch.

Photo: Snacking cake slice
A slice of the Dixie Carb Counters Cinnamon Swirl Snacking Cake.

If you’d like to try it, you can purchase the mix from Dixie Diner or from Netrition.com.

Here are a few Thanksgiving recipe links if you’re looking for a few  coffee cakes, sides or desserts:

Amazingly Scrumptious Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake

Biscuit Based Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Warm Up Your Meal with Pumpkin Soup

Smashed Turnips with Leeks

Broccoli with Mornay Sauce

All reviews on my blog are my own opinion. I have received no compensation or test products from the manufacturers. I am simply sharing my views and experience with the product.

Product Review: DCC Double Chocolate Brownies & a Recipe

Photo: DCC Double Chocolate Brownie

Product Review: DCC Double Chocolate Brownies

Every now and then, when you go out to dinner at a place that offers gooey brownies topped with ice cream, you may be tempted to get one. Especially if you’re like me and you miss the chocolate deliciousness of a brownie. I actually have a pretty good brownie recipe, but the ease of having a mix that is so simple, you can put it together in five minutes is pretty alluring.

I recently bought a package of Dixie Carb Counters (DCC) Double Fudge Brownie mix to give it a try. First, it is a snap to get this ready to go in the oven. The easy to follow recipe walks you right through it. Before you begin, grease an 8″x8″ pan.

First problem, I can’t find my 8×8 pan, so I settle for my 6×6 pan. Okay, so my bars will be thicker than they would be in an 8×8, which means cook them a little longer. Also, I cut a piece of parchment paper to put on the bottom so they won’t stick. That takes a minute to do, so not an issue. Then spray the parchment with baking spray.

Next, melt one stick of unsalted butter and the contents of package 1, which is chocolate, together in a medium-sized bowl in the microwave. Works great. After one minute, I have melted chocolate and butter that I mix together.

Next add in 2 eggs, the flour and cocoa mixture in the second packet and mix well. Pour into your baking pan and cook for 15 to 18 minutes until they are done and spring back when you touch them. Cut into 16 pieces and you’re done.

Easy to make. But you don’t end up with the little beauty at the top of my page. Nope, that is my variation on this mix. While the mix will yield a 2×2″ brownie that is 52 calories and 2 net carbs, it isn’t iced and nutty like mine. To make my version, read on.

Caramel Pecan Brownie

Photo: Pan of Caramel Pecan Brownies

1 package of Dixie Diner Double Chocolate Brownie Mix
2 Eggs
1 Stick Unsalted Butter
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/3 cup Pecans, chopped
8 Russell Stover Sugar-free Chocolate Carmels, cut in half

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare an 8×8-inch baking pan with baking spray or cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom and spray with baking spray.

In a medium microwavable bowl, add the butter and packet 1 from the mix (chocolate bar), then microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir to mix together and make sure they are melted. (If not, put back in the micro for another 30 seconds.)

Add the baking mix in packet 2, vanilla extract, and the eggs. Mix together using a spoon or whisk until all the flour is incorporated. Add the pecans and stir to distribute.

Pour the batter into the pan and tap it down to make sure it is even. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the brownies look done but still soft when you touch them. Turn off the oven, then put the caramels on top of the brownies in rows of 4 across and 4 down. Leave the brownies in the oven another 5 minutes, then remove and spread the melted chocolate caramel over the top like an icing.

Remove and let cool so the caramel sets before cutting into 16 – 2 inch brownies.

Nutrition Information for 1 brownie (16 yield)
Calories: 84.3 Fat: 5.8 g Net Carbs: 2.5 g Protein: 1.5 g

If you make them in a smaller pan, like a 6×6″ one, then cook them about 20 minutes before checking, then follow the rest of the instruction, but cut them into 8 slices rather than 16.

Nutrition Information for 1 brownie (8 yield)
Calories: 168.7 Fat: 11.5 g Net Carbs: 5.0 g Protein: 3 g

Based on my experience with the Brownie mix, I’d give it five cooking spoons of deliciousness.

Tip: If you refrigerate your brownies, take them out about an hour before you want to serve them to allow them to come to room temperature and for the caramel to soften before cutting.

Product Review: Carb Counters™ Cinnamon Pita Chips

Looking for a tasty snack when you’re watching your carbs isn’t always an easy task. Recently, I ordered a bag, (4 oz.) of Carb Counters ™ Sweet Cinnamon Ovenbaked Pita Chips to try. I can report they are loaded with cinnamon and they are a satisfying treat to go with coffee or tea in the afternoon.

The pita base flavor is a little plain, but then pitas aren’t the epitome of bread flavor anyway. At least it tastes good and with the cinnamon and sugar substitute, you don’t really notice it.

Portion size wise, a serving size of 7 pieces is actually too many for my sweet tooth. Two of them will usually do me just fine. If you eat 7 pieces, the bag holds about 4 servings. This makes them a kind of pricey treat with a retail price of $8.39 from Dixie Diner. I ordered mine from Netrition.com for $6.49, which makes them a little more economical if you are placing a large order which will spread out the $6.99 shipping charge on it. Shipping cost is one of the problems with ordering these products online. I usually place a quarterly order at Netrition for all my needs and if I order more than $99, which is the norm, then my shipping is free.

So far as the low carb side goes, they are well within the low carb plan, even for those of use who can’t eat many carbs. The seven piece serving is 112 calories, but only 1 net carb. That makes it a very reasonable snack. Now, if you add a thinly sliced piece of apple* to your chip, it is really awesome and only about another half carb per chip.

Overall, I would give these a four tasty spoons rating. They are very good and satisfying, but I wouldn’t rush to keep them stocked in my house.

As an alternative, I would consider using a low carb tortillas (3 net carbs) and putting cinnamon, sugar, and butter on one, then popping it into the oven at 325 degrees to cook about 10 to 15 minutes to get it crisp, then cut or break into snacking pieces.

*When I say thinly sliced, I mean about 1/4 of a medium apple cut into 7 thin slices.

Product Review: Dixie Carb Counters Buns

Take a good look at that sandwich bun. It’s lovely, it’s fresh, and it’s easy to make as well as low carb!  What more do you need?!

To be specific, this is the Dixie Carb Counters ™ Multigrain Sandwich Bun Mix that I’m talking about. DCC makes excellent bread mixes. So far, when it comes to their breads, I haven’t found one that I didn’t like. The flavor is very good and they are sturdy breads. The same is true of the sandwich buns. Excellent taste and they hold up to a juicy hamburger just fine.

I made a few of these this weekend and tested one out with a hamburger at a friend’s BBQ and was pleased that it didn’t crumble at all under the big burger and the go-withs piled on it. Last night, I made a BLT sandwich with added guacamole and mayonnaise on it and the bun was sturdy enough to last through the sandwich. The best part is the bun is only 3 net carbs.

The mix is under $10 and it makes a dozen buns. The instructions include proportions for making 4 buns at a time or 1 bun, which I really appreciate. There are times you don’t want too many buns in the oven or the freezer although you can certainly make a batch and freeze them if you’d like. They are quick to make, mix together in about 5 minutes and cook about 12 minutes, then cut and use. The only ingredients you need to add to the mix are 1/3 egg whites for four buns, 2 teaspoons oil, and 1/3 cup warm water. They even provide four little aluminum pans in the package to bake the buns. What could be easier?

While I haven’t tried it yet, I’m pretty sure you could add some re-hydrated onion flakes to the mix to make an onion bun. Or you could add about 1/4 cup finely shredded cheese for a cheese bun or sprinkle the tops with sesame seeds if you are so inclined.

Nutrition information for one prepared bun, made following the instructions without any add-ins:
Calories: 126 Fat: 2 g Net Carbs: 3 g Protein: 14 g

On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the top of the flavor profile, I would give this a 5 when prepared as stated on the package.

You can purchase this product from Dixie Diners website or through Netrition.com or any other stores that carry their products.

Disclaimer: I have not received any promotional items to review and no one from any of the companies whose products I review have asked me to do so. I have purchased the product and am giving my honest opinion about it. Should any company send me a product to try, I will state it up front and will still give my honest opinion.

Product Review: DCC Carrot Snacking Cake

 

Dixie Carb Counters puts out a big assortment of low carb mixes and meals. Previously, I’ve tried and really like several of their breads. So, I picked up a package of their Carrot Snacking Cake and one of their Cinnamon Swirl Snacking Cake. Last week, I made the carrot one, but instead of making it a cake, I made cupcakes – mainly because I didn’t have the correct size cake pan. It calls for a 9×9 inch pan.

The cake goes together quickly and easily. You need to add water, eggs, melted butter, and oil. Once mixed, pour it into the cake pan and bake. Add their topping flavorings to the cream cheese and once the cake is cooled, spread the icing over it. Simple and it makes nine servings, each about 2 net carbs each. The instructions say that you can add nuts and/or crushed pineapple, water-packed with the liquid drained off, if you wish and it will add about one net carb to the count.

As I mentioned, I made cupcakes and got a dozen normal-sized cupcakes from the mix. Nice surprise for me. They looked great and so delicious. Then PK and I tasted them. They are not sweet, came out somewhat dry, and there is an aftertaste. I went back to look at the instructions thinking that I should have added sugar substitute to them, but it didn’t call for it. The added spices for the cream cheese also didn’t have much sweetener in it, so that didn’t help either. If you don’t like your carrot cake sweet, then you might enjoy this, but to be honest, the dried carrots in it didn’t seem to have much flavor and it didn’t have the moist rich texture that carrot cake usually has.

I took the last six of the cupcakes, broke them into bits and added more sugar substitute, eggs, cream, vanilla, and a little whiskey and made bread pudding out of them. I got six individual cups of bread pudding. It tastes much better, but the after taste still lingers. This uses soy flour, which I don’t care for, but I think the low glycemic mono-sacharide is the culprit producing the after taste and I suspect it is saccharine, from which I’ve always detected a bitter aftertaste.

I think if I was to try these again, I would add more oil, at least 1/2 cup sugar substitute, and pineapple to help increase the moisture. I would also add about 1/2 cup powdered sugar substitute to the cream cheese. Incidentally, I had at least half of the cream cheese left over, so it could be made with 4 ounces of cream cheese instead of the whole 8 ounce block.

On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the top of the flavor profile, I would give this a 2 when prepared as stated on the package.

Disclaimer: I have not received any promotional items to review and no one from any of the companies whose products I review have asked me to do so. I have purchased the product and am giving my honest opinion about it. Should any company send me a product to try, I will state it up front and will still give my honest opinion.