The Big Book Of Gluten Free Baking: A Sweet And Savory Cookbook by Paola Anna Miget
If all you do is read the recipes in this book, the author will have you convinced that they are all, each & everyone of them, the best gluten free cookie, brownie, cake, pie, bread, etc. you will have ever had. I know, because she convinced me of just that.
Before I get into the recipes I want to point out something very annoying about this cookbook, the measurements are all over the place. Before even getting to taste my first cookie, I was already shaking my head over the measurements. For one recipe, I needed to weigh the flour, cocoa powder, shortening, & sugar. Everything else was measured with measuring spoons. For another recipe, I needed to weigh the oats, flour, sugar, & cranberries. I needed a measuring cup for the butter or non dairy alternative (I used organic shortening). In a previous recipe, this was done by weight, now it is listed as sticks, as in 16 tablespoons or 2 sticks of butter or non dairy alternative. I had to break this down into cups. So while working on baking 2 cookie recipes, I needed both a kitchen scale, measuring cups & spoons, plus a little brain power to do measurement conversions.
Consistency would be nice. Do it all by weight or do it all by utilizing measuring tools such as cups & spoons. Don't mix it up. Just don't. I'm not even half way into baking & I'm already annoyed. Thankfully, I've been cooking & baking for over 2 decades & have all the various kitchen accoutrements one needs (but not everyone does). Some folks are just getting started, while others bake only on occasion. Not everyone has a kitchen full of tools or a brain full of knowledge from decades of experience.
I picked two recipes to get started. It is important to me to at least prepare a few recipes in a cookbook before reviewing. Just about anything sounds good on paper, how the finished product turns out is something else entirely.
I started with my old time favorite & well missed 'Thin Mint Copycat Cookies' A gluten free Girl Scout Thin Mints cookie recipe. OMG, yes! I followed all the rules, measured the way the author instructed, etc. The finished cookies looked & smelled like they would be out of this world. The taste & texture were totally unappealing. I tried my first cookie warm, because it is a bakers privilege to enjoy ones work fresh out of the oven, or in this case fresh out of the minty chocolate dip. Bleh, not good. Okay, let it chill, let those flavors really meld. I try another cookie later on, at first bite it does seem good, but then that gritty mouthfeel sets in & the flavor is just off. I tried to make myself like these. Nope, not happening. Thankfully, I have lots of happy feathered friends running around. They thanked me for the organic gluten free cookies & looked for more. Hint: they didn't have long to wait.
The next cookie recipe I tried was the 'Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies'. As with the Thin Mints, I followed all the rules, etc. The taste of these was almost like eating the air, or maybe this is what cardboard tastes like? Not having eaten cardboard, I can't say for sure, but it's what they reminded me of; cardboard & cranberries with the barest hint of nutmeg. The texture wasn't good either. Oh these feathered friends of mine, had a lovely cookie feast. Me? No cookies for me. Just out a lot of organic gluten free & dairy free ingredients & not the least bit happy about the waste. I try to console myself that the birds got a nice treat, but it's not working.
There are a lot of other recipes in this book for all sorts of delicious sounding treats. The author tricked me twice. She's not fooling me again.
The cookbook 'The Autoimmune Protocol Comfort Foods Cookbook' has the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. It is both gluten & diary free. It is also low in sugar. I make these cookies every chance I can get. Even my husband loves them.
Another book with some great recipes is 'The Low-FODMAP Cookbook: 100 Delicious, Gut-Friendly Recipes for IBS and other Digestive Disorders'. It was my go-to cookbook until I ordered The Autoimmune Protocol Comfort Foods Cookbook. I still love the Low FODMAPs book & thankfully, so does my husband. He always seems happiest when I make meals utilizing recipes from this cookbook in particular. The baking recipes are very good as well. It has a thumbprint cookie recipe that is amazing!
There is a wealth of amazing gluten free & dairy free as well as allergen free cookbooks on the market that have recipes that actually taste good. This unfortunately is not one of them.
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