Walmart and JoAnn’s Fabrics

Like any liberal, East Coast elitist, I had always frowned at Walmart.  Their imports from China, their union issues: I scoffed at customers.  That is, of course, until I started baking.  Because now, I have seen the light: they have one of the most extensive baking collections of pretty much anywhere.  I can hear you laugh: Walmart?  Seriously?  But it’s true: when I was in Delaware, my trip to Walmart netted me the biggest cache of all.  And I cannot WAIT to go back.

I made a beeline for the grocery section, specifically the baked goods.  I’m always reading from American bloggers about how they found this or that little ingredient at Walmart and I was determined to be the finder of the amazing ingredients.  Check out this massive baking section.  It kicks the butt of my little Sainsburys…  I miss having access to a wide variety of cake mixes.  Not that I’d trade in my cakes from scratch!  But it would make doing things like cake balls or stuffed cupcakes a lot easier… There’d be much more time for the decorating if I could easily whip up an interesting flavour of cake!

I am still kicking myself for not buying the root beer, as I think it would have been really nice in frosting (also – mint versus peppermint?  No idea!  Walmart spoils you…)

I found them.  I’d heard that these faux Girl Scout cookies exist and there they were in Walmart: looking as bold as brass, not even during Girl Scout season!  I bought two boxes – one for me to snack on and one for me to used to make stuffed cupcakes.  I think they’ll love them at Beardy Boyfriend’s work!  You can see the loot I bought on the right.  The trip was really about Caramel Bits because I’ve been dying to melt caramel down to use in a couple recipes.

You can see the caramel bits, the Girls Scout cookies, some Biscoff spread, Funfetti cake pops (to review for the blog), various puddings to use in fun baking ways.  These Chips Ahoy cookies are going to be the base for some delicious peanut butter stuffed cupcakes for my friend Niall’s birthday (Niall is my fellow peanut butter freak).

Next stop was Jo-Ann’s Fabrics in Newark.  My mom has long shopped there for supplies for making Halloween costumes, but since they moved premise a couple years ago, they now have a baking section, so armed with a couple of coupons, my mom and I headed over for a serious browse.

They were already very much into Halloween mode (Wilton has some great Halloween stuff, although I find that it’s harder to get some outside of the US, which is why I really enjoyed the shopping spree).

In addition to sprinkles (which are, obviously, totally necessary for my cake pops/cupcakes/cookies for Halloween), I also bought a set of these fondant knives (I can think of all kinds of fun Halloween scenarios), the cookie cutters with pumpkins/ghosts/cats as well as some cute cupcake cases.  I was fairly disappointed that they didn’t have any kind of Thanksgiving inspired bakeware (as odds of finding that in London are slim to none), but I am keeping my eye out for turkey cookie cutters, if anyone happens across any?!

I’m also interested in branching out more into chocolate moulds.  I love the ones I have and I love that they can double for everything from toppings on cupcakes to covers on pretzels to the makers for a little bag of chocolates as gifts.

I really enjoyed both changes to indulge my love of baking and if anyone sees any Thanksgiving baking paraphernalia around London, please let me know!

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