Marta Darby, Brownie Goody Bars and Betty Crocker

August 26, 2010 in Ad free, baking, Betty Crocker, Food Porn

Betty Crocker related posts:


As you know, I got a chance to go visit the Betty Crocker test kitchens at General Mills this week and I had such fantastic fun!

There is quite a lot to talk about, photos to share, video to taunt you with, various topics like recipes, kid friendly adaptations of more traditional recipes, and a walk through of the food photography studios at General Mills. All of this will take a few days to post so stay tuned!

I am not going to just taunt you with photos but I am also going to share the recipe for this delicious treat below.

Baking with Betty event at General Mills

Brownie Goody Bars
(link to Betty Crocker recipe page)


  • 1 box Betty Crocker® Gluten Free brownie mix
  • Butter and eggs called for on brownie mix box
  • 1 cup Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Make and bake brownies as directed on box, using butter, eggs and any of the pan choices—except line pan with foil, then grease foil on bottom only for easier removal. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • Spread frosting over brownies. Sprinkle with peanuts. Refrigerate while making cereal mixture.
  • In medium microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and peanut butter uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring once, until melted. Stir in cereal. Spread over frosted brownies. Cool completely before cutting, about 1 hour. For bars, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

Betty Crocker listed the following nutritional information:

1 Serving (1 Bar)Calories 370(Calories from Fat 160),Total Fat 17g(Saturated Fat 7g,Trans Fat 1g),Cholesterol 35mg;Sodium 210mg;Total Carbohydrate 47g(Dietary Fiber 1g,Sugars 34g),Protein 5g;Percent Daily Value*:Vitamin A 4%;Vitamin C 0%;Calcium 2%;Iron 25%;Exchanges:1 Starch;0 Fruit;2 Other Carbohydrate;0 Skim Milk;0 Low-Fat Milk;0 Milk;0 Vegetable;0 Very Lean Meat;0 Lean Meat;1/2 High-Fat Meat;2 1/2 Fat;Carbohydrate Choices:3;*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Stay tuned for more decadence!

(Disclosure: General Mills paid for my travel and hotel stay for this blogger event but did not at any time require the I or any other blogger must reciprocate with reviews or blog posts in exchange for this experience.)

Going on a blogger outing to Betty Crocker

August 19, 2010 in Ad free, baking, cooking

Betty Crocker related posts:



The very friendly people at General Mills and particularly Betty Crocker have invited me to come out to their test kitchens to take a stroll about, sit in on some classes they are running for us, and generally take a peek into a company that has been a part of American Food Loreâ„¢ for a very long time. You can learn a bit more about Betty Crocker and the kitchens below.


From their site:

Since 1921, the Betty Crocker name has symbolized General Mill’s continuing tradition of service to consumers. Although Betty was never a real person, her name and identity have become synonymous with helpfulness, trustworthiness and quality. It all began when a promotion for Gold Medal Flour offered consumers a pin cushion resembling a flour sack if they correctly completed a jigsaw puzzle of a milling scene. The Washburn Crosby Company, a forerunner of General Mills, received thousands of responses and a flood of questions about baking.

“Betty Crocker” was created as a signature to personalize the responses to those inquiries. The surname Crocker was chosen to honor a popular, recently retired director the company, William G. Crocker. Betty was chosen simply as a friendly sounding name. Female employees were invited to submit sample Betty Crocker signatures; the one judged most distinctive is the basis for the one still in use today.

During this same time period, the company expanded its commitment to consumer service and product quality by sponsoring cooking schools across the country. In fact, the company launched a radio show in 1924. Later named “The Betty Crocker Cooking School of the Air” the broadcast became one of the longest running shows in radio history. The growth of consumer demand for information necessitated the hiring of 21 home economists. They were employed to carefully test and demonstrate the company’s gold medal-winning flour. This was the beginning of the Betty Crocker Kitchens.

First housed in the Washburn Crosby A mill, the kitchens were full of then-modern facilities such as running water and gas stoves. The kitchens formally changed their name to “Betty Crocker Kitchens” in 1946. When General Mills moved its headquarters to Golden Valley, MN in 1958, seven new kitchens were built, each one representing a different area of the United States: Arizona Desert, California, Cape Cod, Chinatown, Hawaiian, Pennsylvania Dutch, and Williamsburg.

With the re-model of the kitchens in 2003, the entirely new facility features more than 7,000 square feet of kitchen space with 19 fully equipped individual kitchens designed for over 50,000 recipe tests each year.

After the trip early next week, I will be coming back to blog about it here, share my photos and video, my impressions.

Stay tuned!

Here is a little more information about the kitchens!

Facts and features:

  • The entirely new facility features more than 7,000 square feet of kitchen space with 19 fully equipped individual kitchens designed for over 50,000 recipe tests each year.
  • Ergonomically designed workspace to accommodate the various needs of theBetty Crocker Kitchens staff.
  • More than 1,500 linear feet of cabinets and storage rooms, including a walk-in pantry in which to store dry foods.
  • America’s largest corporate cookbook library, complete with 1,260 feet of high-density rolling book shelves for easy access.
  • Eighteen tons of granite countertops.
  • A uniquely designed conference room with a complete kitchen station in which to hold presentations and cooking demonstrations.
  • A specially designed media kitchen that offers flexibility for a variety of broadcast uses and that features GE Profile appliances, Thomasville cabinetry and Corian countertops, all provided by The Home Depot.
  • Makore, an African cherry veneer, on appliances and cabinetry, creates a warm and inviting atmosphere throughout the kitchens.
  • A 375-square-foot, walk-in refrigerator and a 222-square-foot, walk-in freezer.
  • Located in the newest addition to the General Mills, Inc., world headquarters, the space features a glass-encased observation balcony to view the Betty Crocker Kitchens staff at work.
  • Atrium windows reaching two stories high to create an open and roomy atmosphere.
  • The existing five state-of-the-art photography studios that handle the company’s extensive food photography bring the total number of General Mills cooking facilities to 24.

Here is a video from inside the kitchen where GM food tasters are evaluating new recipes.