This is more of a what’s new at Costco kind of post, instead of my normal bunch of reviews. Embarrassingly, I’ve been trying to get this posted for several weeks now. There are always lots of interesting new products at Costco, I think, these are just a few of the ones that I know about. All of these are products that are new to Costco locations in the US, though the beer advent calendar might be available in the UK too (if not, it should be because I think it would be a big seller here).
German Beer Advent Calendar – Some fellow Costco fans gave me a heads up about this brilliant Christmas gift for the beer connoisseur in your life. They found this collection of 24, 16.9 ounce bottles of beer on a recent/October trip to their Shoreline, Washington Costco location. All of the beers behind the traditional little advent calendar doors are imported from Germany and they are all different. I don’t drink beer, but this seems brilliant even to me. This beery Christmas treat is $59.99, or $2.50 per bottle, which seems reasonable (I think). I do love that it even has the little doors, just like a regular advent calendar, but instead of chocolate or something, it is a bottle of beer. This probably won’t be around for much longer, so if you want one you should try to get to your Costco to pick it up sooner rather than later.
Bob Evans Side Dishes – I don’t know if these are available at Costco locations across the US, but a reader in Chicago alerted me to this new addition to his local Costco store. It doesn’t surprise me that they would be in Chicago stores, because I remember Bob Evans restaurants being all over there. You can get 32 ounce family size versions of at least some of the Bob Evans side dishes like mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. These could definitely be a bit of a helping hand for the holidays, huh? The family size packs at Costco serve seven, according to the packaging, at least, but your hunger may vary. The mashed potatoes are made with real potatoes, cream and butter – yum! The mac and cheese is made with real cheddar cheese too. Aside from these two, I’m not sure if they have any of the other side dishes available. I noticed that they also have mashed sweet potatoes, which would really be perfect for Thanksgiving, so I hope they have these at Costco too. Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton of information available about this offering at Costco, but it is something to be on the look out for at your Costco.
Duncan Hines Decadent Premium Chocolate Baking Mix – I saved this one for last because it’s something I’ve actually tried. Plus, not only is this new to Costco, but it is a totally new Duncan Hines product. And it is brilliant! This is a very clever multi-purpose mix that can make a cake, cookies, bars, and even pancakes. All chocolate, of course. On the back of the box, they actually have recipes for seven different items you can make with this one mix: cake, chocolate chewy bars, whoopie pies, biscotti, pancakes, cupcakes, and cookies. I’ve used Duncan Hines cake mixes for years and have always been quite pleased with the results. My favourite is probably the dark chocolate fudge cake mix (which is what is in my cabinet right now), so this chocolate multi-mix is really perfect for me. I haven’t used it for making a cake yet, but we did try out cookies and pancakes, both of which were outstanding. Depending on what you want to make you’ll need to add things like water, eggs, butter, milk, and vegetable oil, which is all fairly standard for cake or brownie mixes. The prep and cooking times will obviously depend on what you are making too, but this does make it just that bit quicker and easier to prepare a delicious chocolate treat. Making the cookies was a breeze and we were eating hot, decadently chocolaty cookies in half an hour or so; made with Kirkland Signature chocolate chips of course. You use one bag of the mix for each recipe but it does make quite a bit. I think we ended up with between two and three dozen cookies and maybe ten pancakes. I normally wouldn’t make chocolate pancakes, but this mix made it so easy. I topped them with a squirt or two (or three) of whipped cream and some cherry topping and they made for a yummy weekend breakfast. I think the pancakes would be great mixed with another one of my favourites: Nutella. I haven’t tried the whoopie pies, but I’ll probably give those a try next, though I might have to come up with a couple of different fillings to sandwich between the two cookies. I think this mix is ideal for holiday baking time too because you can use the big box at Costco to make four different recipes and save yourself a bit of hassle. I’ve got two pouches of the baking mix left and I am looking forward to picking my next two desserts to whip up.
You can find a bit more information, like the list of ingredients, at the Duncan Hines website; they’ve also got a couple of additional recipes too. At Costco you get a box that contains four bags of the mix and the price is right around $7.50. It’s quite a good deal if you like to bake but, like me, don’t mind taking a few shortcuts to get to the delicious treat-eating stage a bit sooner. I was fortunate enough to get a box of this new baking mix hot off the production line from Duncan Hines, but you can find it at various Costco stores in Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, Arizona, and California (here’s a PDF of stores where you can find it already). I am hoping that it will be a big seller and Costco and Duncan Hines will make it available everywhere soon.