Best. Cookies. Ever.

IMG_5723 immaculate cookiesSerious. Dead serious. Not kidding. These cookies are the most awesome cookies ever, even better than glutenous cookies!

Imagine, if you will, the outer edges of a brownie – just a little crispy on the outside but still chewy on the inside. Then imagine an entire cookie exactly like that. That is what the Immaculate Baking Company has created with their Fudge Brownie Cookie Dough. You get 12 balls of dough in a tray. Flatten those out (I use wax paper and the palms of my hands), pop them in the pre-heated oven, and BAM! 15 minutes later you have the most amazing cookies ever. Even my gluten-mongering friends are like OMG with these cookies. Best. Cookies. Ever.

Seriously – you could put some vanilla ice cream and other stuff on them and make a brownie barge type thing but they are so good I hate the idea of actually putting anything on them. I appreciate them all by themselves.

WARNING – do NOT bake all of them at once if you are alone. You will eat them ALL. I tend to cook four at a time right before I bring two to a friend. If I wasn’t bringing them until the next day, I would eat them all. You will not be able to resist. Honestly.

Run, don’t walk, to your nearest Safeway or the other stores which carry this product. You won’t be sorry.

More information (including a store finder) is available at www.immaculatebaking.com.

IMG_5739 immaculate cookie

 

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EATING RIGHT Gluten Free Cake Mix – Yellow

eating right yellow cake mix IMG_6666

Not very “yellow” but that’s okay.

Well, this was interesting. I wanted to make a gluten-free spice cake, but Safeway didn’t have any mixes in that flavor. Their new “healthy” EATING RIGHT label offered only yellow cake mix, so around $3.00 per box, I decided to get that and check online to see what spices to add.

I did some searching and found spice information on The Sister’s Cafe:

1 yellow cake mix box
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice or cloves

So, I followed the instructions, added the spices, and commenced to mixing. I went with cloves instead of allspice since the birthday boy has an aversion to the latter. Then, my epiphany: wait a minute, why does it say to “grease or spray a 9×9 cake pan”? Shouldn’t it say PANS – like as in plural?

HA HA not. Even though the picture on the front and back of the box show a two-layer cake, the contents of the box are indeed for only one layer. Oops. That’s probably why it was so inexpensive. Doy.

The birthday recipient always expected a two layer cake: more frosting, you know? (By the way, I always use the Martha Stewart recipe for cream cheese frosting. It works out well.) So, I made two fairly shallow round cakes and baked them for a shorter time.

The day of baking, the cake was surprisingly moist and the consistency was excellent for gluten-free. The spices worked out perfectly, even though they were for TWO cake layers, not just one. But, as the days went by, the flavor faded. It was very strange.

Recommended? Sure. But betware – you will need TWO boxes to make a two layer cake.

Namaste Foods Gluten-Free Baking Mixes

Howdy all,

Sorry I’ve been scarce.  I’ve been writing articles for Celiac-Disease.com.  If you are looking for product suggestions and/or reviews, that site is extremely thorough.

Meanwhile, I’ve tried the Brownie Mix and Spice Cake Mix by Namaste Foods.  They are awesome:  moist, rich, and great flavor.  I didn’t even think the Spice Cake needed the gluten-free cream cheese icing I made.   Check out their website at www.namastefoods.com

That’s my tip for today…eat well!

Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownies

Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownies Part One:  The Social Dilemma

Ever have a shock that just messes you up?  That happened to me last Wednesday while I was shopping at Wal-Mart.  I was in the baking mix aisle looking for the Jiffy Cornbread Mix for my gluten-mongering spouse when my sight unintentionally fell on something completely unexpected:  Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownies.

Say what?  Damn straight.  You heard me right.  I did a double-take.  I stood frozen in the aisle behind my cart.  No frikkin way…really?  Gluten-free brownies by…Betty Crocker?  I had to have read it wrong.  So I touched the box to make sure it was real.  It was, indeed.  $3.79 was the price.  I don’t tend to bake gluten-free brownies, but I had to try this out, so I gingerly placed it in the cart.

It was time to go to produce, but I still couldn’t move.  What exactly did this mean?  As mainstream as Betty Crocker, and as universal as Wal-Mart:  were Celiacs finally getting the service we have been asking for?  Or are the numbers of gluten-intolerant people becoming so staggering that a conglomeration as large as Betty Crocker saw a profit potential there?  Part of me was incredulous on a happy level, while another part of me was stunned by the possible gravity of it.

Then I started to feel a little badly for the companies who have supported Celiacs all along, producing gluten-free cooking mixes because they cared.  And now, here was Betty Crocker, jumping on the band wagon, getting prime real estate at Wal-Mart, and selling the mix for only $3.79 (compared to $5.00 and more for other brands).  How are the little companies who have supported folks suffering from gluten-intolerance going to compete with this?  What about Pamela’s, and Bob’s Red Mill, and all the other “little guys”?  These companies started producing gluten-free foods long ago.  How will they compete…and survive?

So, I will try one batch of these Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownies in order to review them.  I understand that many people do not have access to small health food stores which carry gluten-free products, or the internet, but do have a Wal-Mart in their town.  But my heart will be with the little guys who were there for me when I was first diagnosed and didn’t know what to do. 

Stay tuned for Part Two…The Product Review!

Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownies Part Two:  The Review

Okay, it was time to try out the Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownie Mix.  Part of me was reluctant, as I mentioned in Part One, because if this mix turned out to be good, that meant trouble for the “little guys” like Pamela’s and Bob’s Red Mill.  And since I have been eating more healthily with less gooey sweets, brownies were really not on my diet.  But the box had been sitting on the counter, staring at me, daring me to try it despite the horrendous stove in my apartment.  I accepted the challenge.

The directions are incredibly easy.  The mix requires only eggs and melted butter.  Betty Crocker’s web site even offers butter-free directions for non-dairy diets.  The directions state that the “batter will be thick.”  That is an understatement.  They offer three different size pans; don’t even THINK about doing anything larger than the smallest:  the 8×8 pan.  It is so thick and elastic-like that you couldn’t spread it any farther if you had to.  I’m not kidding.

31 minutes later, I pulled my little square pan of brownies from the oven.  I let them cool most of the way, then tasted a sample.  Honestly, I have to say, these brownies were incredible.  Thick, rich, moist, chocolately, and I really couldn’t tell that they were gluten-free.  There was no grittiness whatsoever.  They were crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.  I covered and refrigerated them, and they lasted for about a week between myself and my gluten-mongering spouse.  He actually found them to be a little too rich for his taste.  I did notice that I would cut 1 inch squares for a quick snack and that would more than fulfill any food or chocolate craving.  After being refrigerated for a few days, they did become somewhat fudge-like and if you don’t seal them tightly (as it instructs to right on the box), they will get pretty crispy/stale.

The three plusses are there:  inexpensive (compared to other gluten-free brownie mixes), easy to prepare, and delicious.

So, that is my verdict:  Betty Crocker’s Gluten-Free Brownie Mix is a winner. 

Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownie Mix

Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownie Mix

http://www.bettycrocker.com/products/gluten-free/gluten-free.htm

© 2009 K. S. Brooks / Gluten-Free Gusto