Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review: Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Quick background:  about a year ago, I found out that I am allergic to wheat.  Since then, I have cut out almost all sources of the offending grain.  While I feel so much better when I don't eat wheat, I desperately miss a good loaf of crusty bread, and a killer chocolate chip cookie.

A few weeks ago, I discovered that Betty Crocker makes gluten-free baked goods mixes.  I have tried other gluten-free mixes from Trader Joe's and the local health food store, but I was curious to try one made by a major food corporation.

Two weeks ago I bought and made a box of Betty Crocker GF brownie mix.  Maybe I've gotten used to gluten-free baked goods, but I thought the brownies were easy to make and pretty tasty.  Not as tasty as a regular, wheat-flour-based brownie, but if it's this or nothing, I'll take it.  Riding on that success, I decided to try the cookie mix.

To make the cookies, you first mix softened (but not melted) butter with vanilla and an egg, then add the cookie mix.  I figured it would be better to use an electric hand mixer to combine the ingredients.  It turns out that it didn't really matter what I used.  Why?  Because while the box said that the batter would be crumbly, that was a mild understatement.  You know how, when you make a regular batch of chocolate chip cookies, you can just scoop some batter out of the bowl and it holds together on its own?  Well, this batter was ridiculously crumbly, and I had to smush it together in an effort to keep the cookies intact.  Didn't quite stop the cookie sheet from being covered with crumbs, but whatever.

The finished product wasn't particularly cooperative, either.  If I tried to remove the cookies before letting them cool enough, they'd break apart.  If I tried to pick one up off the cooling rack too soon, it'd fall apart.  Do you notice a trend?  Yeah, who wants to eat cookies with a spoon?

I have to say that they taste pretty good.  Again, maybe it's because I'm used to gluten-free flour now, but the cookies are definitely passable.  But it would have been nice to hold a cookie and take bites instead of shoving it into my mouth before all of the zillions of pieces crumbled all over the place.  And there is no reason why it took ninety minutes from mixing to baking to cooling.

Conclusion:  I will not be buying this mix again.  Instead, I will continue to purchase Lucy's cookies.  They're really tasty, come in four flavors, and they come out of the package ready to eat.

Grade:  B-

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