Cherrybrook Kitchen was kind enough to send along some of their new gluten-free mixes for an Allergic Girl tasting. They sent GF sugar cookies, GF chocolate chip cookie, and GF chocolate cake with GF chocolate icing. [If you recall, I had a small incident with the GF chocolate chip cookie dough-I gobbled the whole thing, in it’s pure raw form, pre-tasting. So I replaced it.] The mixes can be made with dairy or without; I made them with butter and Lactaid milk for this particular tasting crowd.
The usual suspects helped me to taste test: Dani, yoga enthusiast, sometime raw foodie, and healthy eater; and Bo, Anusara yoga teacher, nutrition counselor, and healthy eater.
And here’s the caveat that they both mentioned post-tasting: they aren’t GF and don’t have extensive [or any] food allergies. Apparently, food tastes different to them. [Next time I think I’m gonna have to a shout-out to all NYC based bloggers, GF, and allergic eaters to join me so we can get a tasting that way.]
My thinking in having both allergic and non-allergic tasters is that I want to know if the stuff can stand up to all eaters not just specialized ones. But I’m also recognizing that my taste has changed and adapted to my current diet. Textures that bothered these tasters barely registered to me.
Packaging: the box was instantly recognizable by the tasters but not by name. So it was mentioned that the logo could be more pronounced. The kiddie characters were also liked by all.
The bigger winner overall: the GF chocolate cake with the GF chocolate icing [which was especially loved].
Positives: “doesn’t scream vegan”, “tastes like a good Duncan Hines ”, “would serve it to a mixed GF/non-GF crowd without hesitation”, “would be thrilled to find this cake to serve to an allergic child”, “would be happy if this was my birthday cake.”
Slightly less positives: “has a slight mealy-ness”. This will be a running theme with the GF products and I suspect is an issue with which many companies who make GF mixes need to contend.
Second place were the cookies, both varieties. The gluten eaters really did not like the cookies; I really did.
About the chocolate chip cookies, the GF eaters said: “light tasting”, “taste is good”, “slightly unpleasant mealy mouthfeel”, “don’t look like Tollhouse ”, “crumbly but not unpleasant”.
About the sugar cookies, the GF eaters said: “tastes like a pecan sandie without the pecan”, “it’s a better cookie base than the chocolate chip.”
This Allergic Girl thought the chocolate chip cookie *was* reminiscent of a Tollhouse : the buttery and chocolate chip aromas hit my nose just before biting into the cookie. Very Tollhouse. The sugar cookies were equally yummy and butter-y. After it was pointed out to me, I detected a very slight crumbly/mealy factor in the cookie finish, but it was almost undetectable and certainly not bothersome nor did it detract from the integrity of the cookie.
The Allergic Girl upshot: I love this company; their gluten-free, nut-free dessert mixes are fantastic; their website is easy to navigate; and most importantly, their allergen-free practices are clear, the ingredient list available, they answer their emails, and they are available nationally at a reasonable price point.
Cherrybrook Kitchen, thank you!