Recently, Lucy’s Cookies emailed me and asked if I wanted to sample their Maple Bliss Cookies in honor of Maple Syrup Month. I grew up in a house where we ate my father’s from-scratch pancakes every weekend, and one of my favorite things in the world is a warm pancake slathered with butter, covered with real, pure, maple syrup. So of course, I couldn’t refuse!
Lucy Gibney founded Lucy’s Cookies after discovering her son had severe food allergies. All of her cookies are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, tree nut and peanut-free. They are made in a dedicated bakery where trace amounts of these common allergens are tested for. Not only is this great for individuals with multiple allergies, but multiple allergies within a household.
I’ve had Lucy’s cookies once before. This past December, my friend served Lucy’s special holiday Merry Mint Cookies at a book club. I found them light but with a huge punch of flavor. Everyone else did too. These Maple Bliss Cookies are also light and crunchy which is driven by the oat-based ingredients (all gluten-free, of course). This cookie is sightly sweet and the maple flavor is present but not pronounced. The cookie actually captures the buttery-sweetness of a properly dressed pancake. I like this, but if you are looking to indulge at the end of the meal, this is not the cookie for you. Instead, this cookie is best enjoyed in the afternoon with a glass of milk.
Luckily, I am not the only one benefiting from Lucy’s Cookies generosity. I have an extra box to give away to a reader. Comment on this post by April 17 with your favorite way to enjoy maple syrup, and I will randomly select a winner!
Wegmans Recalls Gluten Free Mixes – Wegmans recalled four of their gluten free baking mixes in November because they could contain non-labeled ingredients such as milk, soy, or pecan. This comes just after they expanded their gluten free Wegmans brand selection of products. No news on whether new products will be developed.
Gluten Free Baking Class – As I mentioned before, I am co-hosting a gluten free baking class with Donna Marie Bruno of Donna Marie’s Gluten Free bakery. It is sold out, but keep an eye out for future events!
RCSG Cookie Exchange – The December meeting of the Greater Rochester Celiac Support Group is a fun holiday themed cookie exchange. Details here.
a special edition of gluten free news for November 2012
I am excited to announce that I will be co-hosting a gluten free baking class with gluten free baker, Donna Marie Bruno of Donna Marie’s Gluten Free Bakery on December 1 at the New York Wine and Culinary Center. The class will feature four cookie recipes just in time for the Holiday season. I wish I could say there are plenty of spots left in the class, but there aren’t! Only 2 places remain out of our 16 person class. Last night it was 6, and two days ago it was 14. I am joyfully overwhelmed by the demand.
This story begins a long time ago, all the way back in March 2012 when I was thinking about my return to the States in the summer. I thought about my passion for advocating for gluten free folks and decided to approach the New York Wine and Culinary Center about how they could help. After a couple of email exchanges, we decided to meet in the summer when I returned. Fast forward to mid-August. Sitting down with Chrys from the Center, I realized that the best way the Center could help gluten free folks was to put together a class. Chrys wasn’t totally buying it, reluctant to have her chefs tackle gluten free baking when they weren’t experts. So, I suggested Donna Marie Bruno. If you remember, Donna Marie made my wedding cupcakes, which were not only delicious but beautiful. I knew she had the talent to create delectable gluten free treats, but wasn’t sure she would be interested in teaching others how to. Luckily for me, and for all you gluten free folks in the Rochester area, she accepted my proposal. In less than three weeks, this little idea I had back in March will come to fruition thanks to Chrys at the Center for trusting me, and Donna Marie for agreeing to be in the spotlight and share her skills with all of you.
I have new favorite gluten-free cookies, “My Dad’s Cookies.” I found them, surprisingly, at Mozzarelli’s, which I recently visited. One wall of the pizza joint is littered with boxes of gluten-free cookies. While waiting for my pizza, I had nothing better to do but stare at the 10+ different varieties, wondering what each would taste like. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long to find out as the cashier offered me three (!) samples, baiting me to go for their 3 for $15 promotion. Although I would normally scoff at a $5 box of cookies (even Girl Scouts don’t charge that much), these were good.
I picked out my three varieties: black & white, to pay homage to the New York city treat; chocolate fudge because, it reminded me of those magical Keebler Elf cookies; and linzer,because its origins are Austrian and so are my fiance’s. Each was delectable in their own way, having different textures and flavors. My favorite was the raspberry linzer, whose gooey fruity filling paired perfectly with the light crunchy sugar cookie. The most telling judgement came from Alex later that evening, who asked me with concern, “Are you sure these are gluten-free?”
I’ve only seen My Dad’s Cookies sold at Mozzarelli’s but you can order them online, which I recommend you do, like, now.
I don’t know what it is, but I have the Christmas bug bad this year. As soon as Thanksgiving was over, I was ready to whip out my Christmas playlist and deck the halls. It’s my third Christmas in NYC this year and the second Christmas in my Peter Cooper apartment with my dog and I think I’m just having the urge to nest. So, to satisfy these Christmas-y nesting urges, I have a to do list this holiday season. It is:
Get advent calendar and take turns opening it and eating the chocolate hiding beneath the flaps
Get tree and decorate it
Go to the Union Square Holiday Market and browse
Make roll-out cookies and decorate said cookies
Blast Christmas music and sing along
Have a pre-Christmas apartment Christmas party with holiday foods and desserts and wine
This past weekend, I completed #1,2 and 4. #2 was slightly stressful due to the OUTRAGEOUSLY overpriced trees that is the norm here in Manhattan. I don’t want to talk about how much we dropped to get a 4 footer. #4 was really important to me. I needed to make these cookies to prove to myself that being GF during the holidays is doable and delicious too. I didn’t want to make the dough myself because I’m a baby, so instead I bought the Gluten Free Pantry cake and cookie mix. I’ve had previously successful experiences with it as a drop cookie because it tastes completely gluten-filled and non-xanthan gumm-y. But, turning this mix into a roll-out cookie dough was not as easy as I thought and I had to enlist the help of my cookie baker friend extraordinaire, Caitlyn.