I recently got three boxes in the mail that helped me get over my not-yet-spring doldrums. Each was full of baked goods, and I want to tell you about all of them.
One of the boxes was from my mom, and the only review I can give there is: if my mom ever offers to bake you gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, you should take her up on it. They’re really tasty.
If my mom doesn’t offer you cookies, fear not. The other two boxes were sent to me, for review here, from bakers with slightly wider distribution nets: Katz Gluten-Free and Wheat Don’t Need You. Read on for the details.
Katz Gluten-Free makes far more than one gluten-free product, and all of the treats that were sent to me were really tasty. Aside from being gluten-free, they’re also kosher, nut-free and dairy-free, and the website includes an allergy-search functionality if you also need to steer clear of other common allergens. A quick search on their site turned up a fairly robust distribution network, so you may also be able to pick up Katz products in the store.
The company makes a variety of breads and sweets, but I was particularly excited about some of the traditional Jewish pastries that I haven’t eaten in years. For the first time in ages, I finally got to have some hamentaschen, which were sweet and dense and sure to appeal to any child come Purim. I can only hope that they’ll introduce a poppy or prune filling sometime soon because those used to be my favorite.
However, what I particularly enjoyed were the cinnamon rugalech, which weren’t shaped especially traditionally but which were nevertheless flaky and sweet and fun to peel apart and eat. They were tasty fresh, but since Katz recommends freezing what you can’t eat quickly I made sure to store a few. Turns out, I like them even better straight from the freezer (this could just be me being strange).
I was also sent some gluten-free hamburger buns and gluten-free challah bread, both of which toasted up nice and light and handled themselves well with whatever I topped them with: scrambled eggs, sausage, roasted pepper spread, butter and cinammon, etc. Although I didn’t have the willpower to freeze some of the buns and see how they reheated (ate them too quickly!), the challah didn’t suffer from being frozen and thawed. Also notable, both were portioned generously enough for me to feel like I was eating a real sandwich – often not the case with gluten-free breads.
Wheat Don’t Need You makes one product, and them make it well: the Triple Thrill. It’s a bar cookie, chock-full of gluten-free oats, chocolate chips, caramel and pecans. I was really pleased with the ratio of ingredients, as none of the flavors or textures overwhelmed the others and it was satisfyingly sweet without making me fear a toothache.
If you live on Long Island, you might see these in the store. Otherwise you can order online by the pound, and I’m happy to say that my cookies arrived in western Pennsylvania tasting fresh and delicious.
Have you tasted the gluten-free goods from either company? What did you think?