Monday, February 1, 2010

Plumbing projects and The Cravings Place cookie mix

Although I didn't truly mean to, I did stew over that last recipe for days... A number of weeks, in fact (yowza). But it was that good...

In the meantime, we've been retreating to hearty standbys - chicken and vegetable soup, stuffed acorn squash, and risottos.  I pulled together a little home-made marinara sauce (with freshly grated nutmeg - as the Germans do) and we enjoyed a number of nights with buffalo meatball and vegetable spaghetti. Anything full and warming that combines meat and vegetables in one warm bowl was definitely what we wanted on the menu.

This past weekend, inspired by a friend and our trip to Otto's Sausage Kitchen the weekend prior, I made potato-leek soup with creme fraiche and bacon (if you live in the area - go there! for their sausages smoked on site, and then buy some fresh meats to take home with you.  All of their sausages are gluten free!).  Long story short, friend took home some bacon (and later declared that if she disappeared it was because she had eloped with said bacon) to add to her potato leek soup she planned on cooking up later that day. I heard her version was delicious, right down to the last drop.  Mine?  Yes.

And, you might be surprised to know that this foodie knows her way around other parts of the kitchen as well; I installed our drinking water faucet and under-sink filtration system all by myself (and even in-between dragging rolls of insulation upstairs and pushing them through the attic access to Ben, who was installing an attic blanket!). 

Beautiful!  And it works just as good as it looks.  (and, by the way, I installed the sponge-holder you see there the day before - it keeps the sponges out of the way and allows them to dry quickly, reducing stink build-up).


After my plumbing task was done, I had to try out a cookie mix given to me by a co-worker.  Although the gluten free mixes cut baking time down considerably, I don't buy them often because, 1) my cookies usually turn out better, and 2) when I bake, I actually enjoy the process of baking - blending the flours, creaming butter and sugar, and seeing the dough take shape - mixes take that away from me.  

However, when time is of the essence and I am 100% out of any form of sweet treat, baking cookies from a mix is better than no sweets around when a craving hits. So, I am known to have one lurking in my pantry from time to time (maybe 2 or 3x a year?), but many have been disappointing; I was curious to know if The Cravings Place lived up to its name.

First of all, putting the ingredients together couldn't have been easier.  I did a test batch to see how they spread and quickly realized they didn't.  So, I rolled the dough into balls and flattened with my hands.  They don't spread or flatten beyond where you physically shape them, so keep that in mind.

Out of the oven, they are amazing.  Very delicious, with only a hint of grainy mouth-feel.  The next day, after hanging out on the counter in a plastic container, they are still pretty good and hold their own fine, but pretty grainy.  But, they don't change much after a number of days on that same counter (which is a fine feat, as many of us gluten-free-ers know).  Overall, as far as processed gluten free cookies go, they're up there among the best.  Compared to home-made?  Definitely a notch below. 

I would definitely go to these again in a pinch, and feel confident to try their other mixes.  They are all also egg free, dairy free, and nut free. 


Stephanie said...

My mom sent me a batch of this brand's peanut butter cookies. I used half peanut butter and half almond butter. They were pretty good. Even my gluten-eating, "real"-peanut-butter-cookie-loving husband liked them.

Lauren Denneson said...

Stephanie - good to know you also had a good experience with them!