By Benjamin Leatherman
GFCB's "Chocolate Delight" Cookies: egg-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, but not flavor-free.
When I last visited my doctor in April, he didn’t pull any punches. Start losing weight now, he told me, or you’ll be dead in 10 years or less.
As depressing as his proclamation was, it put me on my current path of banishing sugary drinks and fast food from my diet and pursuing vegetarianism. I’ve done so well with my healthy-eating routine that my doctor had much better news when I visited him last week: I’ve lost 35 pounds since June.
Needless to say, I was ecstatic. I felt like indulging my sweet tooth in celebration with some of the vegan baked goods made up by Gluten-Free Creations Bakery (2940 East Thomas Road, 602-522-0659).
A female artist friend of mine who suffers from Celiac disaease (a.k.a. intollerance to anything made from wheat) reccomended the place to me when she heard I was looking for a vegan bakery. It's a little hard to find, as the golden-colored building sits behind a barber shop just off Thomas Road. I shoulda just followed my nose, as an aroma of cakes and cookies wafted over me as a approached the front door.
As its name implies, Gluten-Free Creations specializes in breads, cakes, muffins, and other baked treats that are made with nary a speck of wheat. A portion of their products are also completely dairy- and egg-free, making them suitable for vegan consumption.
The "Chocolate Delight" cookies wrapped and ready to go.
My friend urged me to give the “Chocolate Delight Cookies a try, which look just like ordinary chocolate cookies, but are made from a combo of rice flour, raisins, non-dairy chocolate liqueur, cocoa powder, dairy-free chocolate chips, and other ingredients. You get eight decent-sized cookies per package, and while the taste and texture of the baked treats are a little different than your momma’s recipe, they’re still delightful to nosh on. The raisin chunks were juicy and the non-dairy chocolate chips melted in my mouth. I polished them off with a tall glass of vanilla soy milk in one sitting.
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A couple of slices of the aromatic herb bread.
I also couldn’t resist getting a loaf of herb bread to take home with me. It was frozen (as this particular kind is normally baked on Wednesdays), but it was very aromatic and smelled irresistible as I was toasting up a few slices later at home. The GFCB staff told me it’s mostly made from rice flour and tapioca starch, as well as loaded with basil, herbs, and garlic. I thought about smearing it with Earth Balance whipped spread, but instead dipped it into some olive oil mixed with a pinch of rosemary and garlic salt. It was fabulous and I never once tasted like I was eating wheat-free bread.
Hell, it was even better than the herb bread I usually get at some restaurants.
Beat that Macaroni Grill.