Sunday, March 30, 2008

Easy Bake in a "Jiffy:" Mixing Things Up For Less

I spied a "Jiffy" [s.i.c. since 1930] brand baking mix on my friend's counter and was immediately transported back to the 1970s and thoughts of my Easy Bake Oven on the kitchen counter. While my brother ran through the woods beating things with sticks ala Lord of the Flies, I built a culinary education that would serve me well should I ever be trapped in a incandescent-bulb-lit, well-stocked pantry hungry for miniature baked goods.

The Easy Bake mixes, sold in the toy section, exceeded my allowance and my frugal family's sense of economy. So Mom figured out that 1/2 of a Jiffy Mix substituted nicely for an Easy Bake mix. So, if your little light-bulb baker is begging for the $5 Hasbro Betty Crocker cake mix (that has to be bought in toys rather than at the grocery), swing by the baking aisle and grab a 67 cent box of "Jiffy" cake mix and a 67 cent box of frosting mix instead ($1.34 total). Both make and frost two Easy Bake cakes, but (GEEK BONUS) "Jiffy" offers the practical math experience of dividing a recipe by two.

Amazon sells "Jiffy" mixes in bulk (24 box multi-packs) if you want to avoid the store all together or start a Easy Bake supply store for the whole neighborhood.

But, in the wonderous age of the Internet, you can also make your own mixes for pennies on dollar while building valuable math and (dare I say it) actual cooking skills. The nice folks over at Budget 101 have started a registry for Easy Bake and Queasy Bake mix recipes.

Tired of the same old cake mix? Well, you can spice up "Jiffy" mixes with their FREE recipes (online or in booklet form) that transform Banana Nut Muffin mix into Banana-Berry Tarts and Crust and Frosting Mix into their celebrated Easy Coconut Cookies.

In searching for images of my model of Easy Bake Oven, I stumbled upon a most amazing Easy Bake Oven cookbook issued in 2003 honoring Easy Bake's 40th birthday (and I didn't even send a card!):

I kid you not, The Easy Bake Oven Gourmet is a serious gourmet cookbook with contributions from the hungry minds of Mollie Katzen, Mark Bittman, Rick Bayless, Bobby Flay, and others. You can bet that a copy will soon be arriving here at Baby Toolkit Headquarters (even though I no longer have an Easy Bake Oven and Ranger is a few years away from using one).

Maybe I can just cook these on my dashboard during mid-summer [Thanks, Kevin Kelly via street use!].

***This is the independent and often odd opinion of the geek parents at Baby Toolkit. We have no relationships with and have received no compensation from Hasbro, Running Press Publishing, David Hoffman, "Jiffy," or Chelsea Milling Company. Chelsea Milling Company sent us a free copy of their fascinating "Jiffy" mixes recipes booklet but they'll do that for anyone in the United States.


Cassie said...

I always wanted an easy bake oven but I never got one {sniff}. Maybe that's why I can't cook!

Anonymous said...

They have stopped making easy bake ovens, as we found when my daughter asked for one for Christmas and her birthday.

We were able to find a good used one (the microwave), then we started looking up recipes on line.

Thank you for your post!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much. I needed this for my 9 year old.