There are a lot of people who, as a general rule, eschew baking mixes. After all, why use a boxed mix when you can do it yourself and produce a better result? This standard may hold true when it comes to the average inexpensive store-bought cake mix, but there is a wide range of high quality, gourmet mixes available now that produced baked goods that will rival not only homemade things, but those from pro bakeries, as well. In fact, many of the mixes are coming from these pros to begin with. Jacques Torres has recently launched a line of baking mixes for several of his most popular chocolate treats: Pure Bliss Brownies, French Kiss Cookies, and Mudslide Cookies. The mixes are made in conjunction with King Arthur Flour and contain all the necessary basics for replicating the chocolatier's favorite treats at home, including a lot of chocolate. They retail for $12.95 each.
I sampled the end results all of the mixes at the SF Fancy Foods Show a few weeks ago, and while all three were excellent, the chocolate-filled chocolate chip French Kiss Cookies were probably my favorite. If you want to give one of them a try from scratch as a comparison, you can find the recipe for Jacques Torres's Mudslides here.