Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gluten Free Cookie Mix Review

Recently I purchased a box of Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cookie Mix after reading several glowing reviews online.  I even watched a YouTube video on how to prepare the boxed mix, just in case there were some secret gluten-free baking tips I needed to know.  Oh, and I even searched for reviews on how to make it better,  because that's just what I do.  

Let me first confess that I was a self-proclaimed "Cookie Snob" until my snobbiness morphed into complete "Baked-Goods Snob".  I can't help it that I'm extremely picky with what baked goods I'll eat. Cookies have to be almost under-baked on the inside with a tiny ring of crisp on the outside.  Brownies need to be fudge-like and of double thickness....not overcooked thin bricks.  That's besides the point...or is it?

Before my body decided to let me know, with a vengeance, that it could no longer tolerate gluten, I was extremely proud of my ability to bake amazingly scrumptious treats.  Other people would ask me for recipes and others would just insist I bake this or that for an upcoming get together.  Banana Bread, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies,  Brownies (a crowd favorite!) and crisps....all wonderfully moist and decadent.  Obviously, I had a talent for baking.  Key Word: had

When I went Gluten-Free on July 16, 2011 I did not bake...I was scared to.  Partly because I didn't know squat about gluten-free baking, but mostly because I was seeing this as an opportunity to change my horrible eating habits.  Being Gluten Intolerant was a wake up call for my health and I needed to manage my weight...quickly.  With this realization, I decided that I was not going to buy "Gluten-Free" processed foods or find substitutes for items I always ate. I stuck to whole foods and in turn, I've lost a little over 20 pounds and I've dropped two full dress sizes.  Hip! Hip! Horray!! 

But I digress, my recipes were tried-n-true.  I had spent countless hours perfecting each one, complete with specific baking times that included one for 29 minutes for my brownies.  Twenty. Nine. Minutes.  Why not just thirty or... twenty-eight and a half?  Because that one extra minute (in my oven) was the difference between ooey-gooey brownies or too dry brownies...once they cooled.  
I baked when I was happy. Sad. Depressed. Angry...and Hungry.  My favorite past-time was taken from me instantly and a new world of eating was plopped right in front of my face.  I couldn't cheat because I would get so nauseous that I was dreaming of ways to induce vomiting.  So, I just didn't bake.  

Until today. 

When I saw the box mix, I started to crave my cookies again.  I had to buy it and, honestly, I figured that if Betty Crocker was endorsing a Gluten-Free Mix, then it would most likely be pretty least something I could work with as a base so I wouldn't have to have a dozen different flours in my pantry.

I followed the directions on the back of the box to a "T", very excited to finally have a gooey chocolate chip cookie.  The dough had a "wet sand" texture and when I tasted it, felt sandy in my mouth.  My heart sank for a moment. I had heard about gluten free baking and some of the issues with it, read blogs of famous gluten-free baking bloggers who have perfected the right combo of flours in order to prevent gritty dough, and I've even contemplated purchasing a well-known baking mix online...just so I could start baking again. 

The cookies looked really good when I pulled them out of the oven.  There were twelve soon-to-be-gobbled-up cookies with light tops and golden brown edges.  I waited for just a couple minutes and then scooped them off the sheet and onto a plate.  They were a bit crumbly, but I wasn't going to let that deter me.  Once they cooled enough to handle, I ate one.  I chewed it,  swallowed it and then tried very hard not to cry.  I didn't want to be too harsh a critic.....I mean, I hadn't had a cookie since July.  I really wanted to like this cookie, so I broke a cookie in half and willed myself to like it.  It felt like I had just eaten sand, or a few tablespoons of brown sugar all at once.  I grabbed a napkin and discreetly spit it out.  Then I proceeded to turn off my oven and dump the rest of the cookie mix in the garbage.  My kids seemed to like it, but I think they just miss their mama's cookies.  

So there you go, folks.  This is my review of the Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix.  No offense to Betty can't please everyone.  And hey...thanks for saving me from gaining a few extra pounds.  

I do want to try the cake mix though.  Maybe I'll make one of my famous crisps, but use the yellow cake mix as a topping.  There has to be something I like, right?!


1 comment:

  1. I agree - they were really bad the way they baked and after came out of oven and sat for awhile it was like picking up a handful of brown sugar....not to even mention how all the little tiny crumbs fell on floor. Think I spent more time trying to clean the crumbs up than it took to bake the things. Betty Crocker needs to know they do NOT make even passable gluten-free cookie mix.