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I am not much of a cookie eater, but I was noticing the number of them on sale when I was traveling abroad last week. In Italy and France there were cookies everywhere, and while I wasn't tempted, it would have been challenging if I were because none was gluten free.
"That's a bit of a shame," I thought, as I looked in one pastry shop window decorated with Halloween cookies. That's because in some cases the gluten free flours used for baking might be superior because you don't need the same light, airy texture of bread that comes from wheat flours because of the elasticity and resilience of the gluten they contain.
Wandering the aisles in my grocery upon returning home I found a broad expansion of gluten free products in the cookie section. There is now a much larger selection than when we last reviewed gluten free cookies and I first noticed Tate's Bake Shop cookies. Someone had told me their ginger snaps were the best ginger snaps (wheat flour or otherwise), but those weren't available. There were lots of Tate's cookies, but only one gluten free: their Chocolate Chip.
These are advertised as UNIQUELY CRISPY on the package and they are indeed thin and crispy with small chunks of chocolate chips. I suspect that this is from a very (VERY) high butter content. The cookies are flat and sort of crunchy but then melt away in your mouth. Taking a look at the package I was not surprised at the fat content: two cookies have 7 grams of fat and 4.5 grams of saturated fat. Read that: BUTTER. Make no mistake: these are really good cookies. Forget that they are gluten free because you would never know. All you would know is that they are rich, rich, rich, and at 140 calories for two an occasional, not an everyday treat.
Next up was the Lucy's Chocolate Chip cookies. Our previous review of their Sugar Cookies and Oatmeal Cookies was not so good, but these are really good. They taste a lot like a high quality Chips Ahoy with much more flavor, a crisp cookie texture, and a nice creamy mouthfeel after chewing the cookie. There's a more than adequate number of chocolate chips, and with no peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, or gluten they tick a lot of boxes for folks that are allergic. At only 130 calories for 3 cookies (each a bit larger than Chips Ahoy), they are a good choice (they also have 2 grams of fiber as a bonus).
Last were the Glutino Gluten Free Chocolate Chip cookies. Glutino products are hit or miss, and as they have grown their products have become more and more commercial. That doesn't mean that have become more and more better, however, and this is true with these cookies. They are just wrong in every way. The flavor starts with a strong taste of cocoa and the texture is almost exactly that of a Chips Ahoy. That's not bad, necessarily, but this simply does not have the finesse of the other two cookies. At 120 calories for only two, there's no comparison to the Lucy's product.
Leave the Glutino at the store.
Eat the Lucy's when you want an occasional snack (fiber bonus!).
Serve the Tate's to your friends.
First posted: November 20, 2015