Katz Gluten-Free, a four-year-old, certified gluten-free bakery with completely dedicated facilities (which, in fact, are also dairy-free and nut-free) sent us samples of their chocolate chip cookies and two different kinds of rugelech: Chocolate and Cinnamon. (What is rugelech? you might be wondering, if you’re anything like us. Well, it’s a word native to Eastern Europe, specifically the Yiddish language. According to Merriam-Webster, “rugelach” is “a pastry made with cream-cheese dough that is rolled around a filling…and baked.” The Katz variety isn’t made with cream cheese, seeing that it’s dairy-free, but the stuff we were sent was cut into slices so it could be eaten as individual, cookie-like slivers.)

Our review in a word: Genuine. Each baked good tasted authentic, and had the gluten-free status not been evident from the company name, I don’t know that any of us would have known the difference. Here’s a product-by-product rundown:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients: Gluten-free flour (Brown Rice, Potato, Tapioca, Sorghum,) Brown Sugar, Palm oil, Fresh eggs, Chocolate Chips(Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, soy lecithin, Vanillin), Baking Soda, Xanthan Gum.ChocChipCookies

We loved every bite. In fact, we relished every cookie as if…well, as if it contained gluten. Slightly chewy, but mostly crisp, these cookies had that perfect homemade texture and just a little bit of crumble. And that’s hardly even half of it: Hats off to Katz for pulling off dairy-free chocolate chips. Everyone knows a chocolate chip cookie, no matter how splendid its texture, is only as good as its chips. And somehow, Katz loaded these goodies with diary-free morsels that tasted just like the regular ones.

Chocolate Rugelech

Ingredients: Gluten-free flour (Potato, Tapioca, White Rice, Brown Rice, Sorghum), Sugar, Canola oil, Fresh eggs, Orange Juice, Cocoa, Dry Yeast, Xanthan Gum, Salt, Cinnamon, Coffee, Vanilla (Pure).ChocRug

These treats ranked at the bottom of the three we were sent…but that isn’t saying much. Though we didn’t find them quite as enjoyable as the chocolate chip cookies or the cinnamon rugelech (unlike the chocolate chips, the chocolate filling was a tiny bit stiff for us dairy-eating chocoholics), we still devoured them pretty quickly – in fact, probably too quickly. I have a distinct feeling that they would have been even more delectable had we waited for some dipping milk.

Cinnamon Rugelech

Ingredients: Gluten-free flour (Potato, Tapioca, White Rice, Brown Rice, Sorghum,) Sugar, Canola oil, Fresh eggs, Orange Juice, Dry Yeast, Xanthan Gum, Cinnamon, Salt, Vanilla (Pure).CinnRug

This wins the award for best consistency. Somehow, these wrapped just the right amount of moisture up in their cinnamon-sparkled spirals. Mm. Mm. They tasted almost like a breed of snickerdoodle…or like a flattened cinnamon bun. That’s right. A gluten-free cinnamon bun. A delicious one. And never ask me to distinguish this rugelech from a full-gluten version. I won’t be able to tell them apart.

Overall, Katz gets a wave and a salute from us here at Triumph Dining. Good job, folks, and keep up the good work!

Visit Katz Gluten-Free at www.katzglutenfree.com.