The Flour Series

I am going to be starting a series on different types of gluten-free flours, what they are best used for, key nutritional benefits and some of my favorite recipes. Stay tuned! I will come back and link them all here as I post them.  Comment below if I don’t have a flour listed that you are particularly interested in.

POSTS COMING SOON:

Coffee Flour

Buckwheat Flour
Banana Flour

Chickpea Flour

Almond Flour vs Almond Meal

Coconut Flour

Oat Flour

Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour

Rice Flour

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Expert Cookie Taster #4

This week I am going to feature and review two cookie brands since I haven’t done a review in a while. Also they are both going to have a chocolate cookie base. In my opinion I don’t prefer this type, but in their defense, they are significantly different cookies. Sometimes I crave a chocolate cookie over a traditional chocolate chip cookie (CCC, or triple C as I call it), and that is just a different craving. But I digress…

Number 1, Gluuteny Bakery’s Double Chocolate Chip Cookie. I believe I purchased both this and #2 at Soergels where I usually do my specialty shopping.

First of all, I love Gluuteny. I lived in Squirrel Hill for 2 years after college. During this time I met my husband, Nick, and subsequently was prompted to consider a gluten-free diet. Gluuteny Bakery on Murray Ave was a nice introduction for me into what gluten-free food could be (like, not gross and lifeless)!

The Double Chocolate Chip cookie was thick (a must), very chocolatey and not too dry. The size was good, big and filling. The flours used aren’t my favorite anymore (rice, corn, potato, tapioca), but they do provide a very “normal” texture.

Number 2, Nana’s No Gluten Chocolate Cookie. This isn’t actually a chocolate CHIP cookie, as it had no chips. The chips would have helped. I do like the fact that it has no refined sugar and I’m guessing the fruit juice helped it to be decently moist, although my thoughts on fruit juice are still being developed. The flours are similar (rice & tapioca), but the cookie was not as thick and slightly softer (not as sturdy). Size was similar and filled me up… But didn’t fill my CCC craving.

My overall opinion is, Gluuteny Bakery did a great job on taste and I love those chocolate chips. Health content aside, because they weren’t different enough, Gluuteny wins!

Stay delicious,

Lauren

Oktoberfest at Baked True North

I am reading this great book right now called “Bread and Wine” by Shauna Niequist. My fiend Kim lent it to me and I have been TEARING through it.  Nick is thoroughly surprised as I usually do not read through book suggestions this quickly… or through any books at all! I have this wonderful habit of reading a book 1/2 to 3/4 through and then starting another book and forgetting about it.  I actually did this twice consecutively this summer leading up to this book.  But it won’t happen this time as I can hardly put it down and will definitely have it finished within the 2 week mark.

Shauna’s simple and honest chapters have drawn me in and I have connected with them.  They seem to be teaching me a few things.  One, to experiment more with food and test and grow my boundaries. Two, she has rekindled my love for entertaining and instilled in me a desire to throw fantastically normal get-togethers at our house.  What I mean by normal… is just, the reminder that things don’t have to be perfect, they will never go how you planned, but people, love, and community are the important parts to make central to the event.

I got to practice this “let go and host” mentality for an Oktoberfest event for our small group.  I was only asked to provide dessert and open my doors and everyone else would bring the rest.  I invited a few last minute guests as well to test my welcoming spirit and 2 out 3 invites came and made the party so much better!

The recipe I chose for Oktoberfest challenged me as a baker to make something pretty, not just good tasting.  Most of the things I make are not difficult or detailed in presentation and I am not a detailed person so I do not often try complicated recipes. “The Best German Chocolate Cake in All the Land” was the base for my cake. I made a few adjustments based on need and preference, but just about followed this recipe from Yammie’s Noshery.

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This picture describes the massive, messy, chocolaty German cake we had.

The alterations I made to the recipe (linked above) was as follows:

  • Cake:
    • Midnight Cocoa (high in protein) instead of dark cocoa
    • Canned coconut milk instead of cow’s milk
    • 2 cups sugar + 1/2 cup Stevia instead of 3 cups sugar
    • All-purpose gluten-free flour instead of rice flour
  • German frosting:
    • Unsweetened shredded coconut instead of sweetened
    • Pecans only for the top layer, not throughout
  • Milk Chocolate Frosting:
    • 4 cups powdered sugar instead of 5 cups
    • Leftover evaporated milk instead of cow’s milk

So, a few of those things I changed out of necessity and might not have otherwise… like the pecans.  I didn’t have any and by the time Nick got home with them the cake was done, so I sprinkled them on top. I do try to replace some sugar with Stevia when I can, and there is SOOO much sugar in this recipe that you will NOT notice a difference in taste. I also almost never put as much powdered sugar into frosting recipes as they call for, just on general principle that I am appalled at how much sugar it takes to make frosting!

Although I am not adding it to the Baked True North menu, it has inspired a few new recipes that I will be experimenting with and you may see those on the menu in the next month (German chocolate cookies…?)!

Overall I had a blast making this recipe and everyone loved how rich it was, even though they couldn’t eat more than a small piece.

HAPPY OKTOBERFEST!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Expert Cookie Taster #3

First order of business, the winner from last week’s giveaway is…

Graci!

Congrats and I’ll be in touch to get your address for the cookies!

Second order of business, starting in July (actually July 9th) I’ll be posting up with my cookies at a local farmers market! It will be at the Mount Nebo Agway on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. Their first week is the July 2nd, but I won’t be attending until the following week… But check it out if you’re in the area!

Now, to the blog posts name sake…our new cookie test will be with a local company’s chocolate chip cookie, the Gluten Free Goat Bakery, based out of Pittsburgh, PA. We’re talking direct competition here! 😉

A friend asked me recently if I was going to rate every cookie less than perfect. And being honest I said, probably. Because if I find a perfect cookie that I don’t think I can make one better than… I might just stop baking. And who’s ever heard of a perfect cookie anyway?

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So here it is… Definitely cute packaging and the cookie looks very attractive, although maybe more of a sugar cookie feel (probably due to lack of brown sugar?)

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The ingredient list was good, not all ingredients I would use, but organic is in there and corn-free is pretty great too. The enjoy life choclate chips surprised me, only because I’ve never seen a brand called out in the ingredients before. Props to them because those chips are the best I’ve seen and tried so far.

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The cookie was good. Not the thick moist cookie that I brag, but a familiar and delicious cookie that I have grown accustomed to in the gluten free world.

Very good texture and quality ingredients. Hit the spot for a chocolate chip cookie for sure. Thanks Gluten Free Goat Bakery! Find them at Soergel’s Orchard in their gluten free shop and at the Amazing Cafe in the South Side of Pittsburgh.