Within the last few weeks, I’ve tried two Maine-made mixes, The Original Bangor Maine Brownie and Winterport Co.’s Premium Original Chocolate Chunk super chunk cookie mix. Bottom line: Either would be a nice addition to a gift basket for a nonbaker, but neither competes with homemade treats.
First the brownie: not bad! A bit dry for my taste, I prefer my brownies far fudgier and chewier, but these had good taste and a nice texture. At a price ranging from $6.50 to $7.95, though, it’s best as a gift item for a noncook. Homemade brownies are so easy and inexpensive to make, that it’s hard to justify purchasing the mix, which makes only one 9 x 9 pan’s worth.
As for the name, the bag proclaims: “According to baking folklore, the very first brownie was baked in Bangor, Maine. In the eary 1900s, a Bangor housewife was baking a chocolate cake and it fell. Instread of disposing of the cake, the frugal baker cut the colapsed cake into squares and served it to her guests.” Whether true or not (likely not; it’s a Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau promo), it would explain the more cake-like texture of these brownies.
The cookie mix is also probably best as a gift for those who aren’t comfortable baking from scratch. No quibbles about the chocolate chunks; the mix is generous with big pieces of bittersweet chocolate. These aren’t an overly sweet cookie–they’re a better choice for adults than kids. Neither the flavor nor the texture wowed me; they’re good, not great, but good. The mix, which retails for $5.95, makes about 18 two-inch round cookies.