Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Enjoy Life Cookies for Everyone--Cookbook Review

            This book touts a collection of 150 recipes that are not only gluten free, but also free of dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, and eggs.  This book devotes four chapters (55 pages) to the benefits of alternative eating, the what's and where of allergens:exposing hidden and harmful ingredients, stocking an allergy friendly kitchen, and allergy friendly baking 101.   These are good chapters if you are just getting started, and gives explaination of the purpose of certain foods in baking.   The rest of the book are recipes that are broken down into the categories of drop cookies, bar cookies, no bake cookies( tartlets, and other bite sized goodies), and lite bites ( healthy cookies, bars, and bite size treats).

            With 150 recipes, there is surely something for everyone. We decided that each child that could cook, would pick a recipe to bake, and we would rate it as a family. We rated the recipes on a scale of 0 to 10. 10 stars--everyone liked it. 0 stars--no one liked it.   Here are the six recipes that we tested.  You will notice our taste testers have code names, named after foods.  So you will see Kids Code Name Choice and then The Name of the Recipe.

  • Momma Endive's Choice --- Oh-So-Delicious Sandwich Cookie   (9 Stars ) 
              This cookie remind me of a mini whoopie pie.  The chocolate cookies cooked up firm, but soft on the inside.  The recipe call for a powdered sugar filling.  I opted for a peanut butter filling instead, because we were in the mood for a Reese cup taste.  The kids and Dad loved it.   Momma  thought it had a hint of grittiness, but was still very good. 
             I really liked that this recipe called for your choice of white, brown, or sorghum flour.  We used a blend of all three. 

  • Chowder's Choice ---Choco-Loco Bites  (5 stars)
            These are brownies made in a mini muffin tin.  They are great little snacky foods, that yield about two dozen.  They were a little dry when cooked at the time given.  I undercooked the last batch and that helped.   

  • Streudel's  Choice ---Lovely Lemon Raspberry Bites  (3 stars)
              The biggest reason for not liking these muffins, were the texture.  I knew when I read the ingredients it probably wasn't going to be a winner, but to be fair, I followed the recipe ( with the exception of using blueberries).  The main ingredients were lemonade, sugar, and white rice flour.  Most of the time, when a recipe calls for only white rice flour, the baked item tends to be gummy.  This recipe was no exception.  Dad commented that it was waxy, and reminded him of chewing on a candle.  I think this recipe would have been better with a blend of flours.  Maybe we will try it again with our favorite flour blend. 

  • Yummy Chocolate's Choice---Chocolicious Petit Fours  (7 stars)
 (I didn't get a picture of these.  They ate them all before I could get one!)  
               Once again, this one called for only white flour.  I couldn't bear to do it again, so I  used a blend of brown rice, white rice, and sorghum flour, instead of the called for white rice flour.  I then proceeded to follow the rest of the recipe as written.  The cake bars were nice and firm.  Most of the kids liked these small squares of chocolate cake.  The adults were quicker to notice that the cake just crumbled in your mouth.  Neither of us really liked that sensation.  We would have preferred a moister cake.

  • Sweet Tart's Choice--- Hearty Chocolate Chippers (6 stars)
                 These cookies were well received by the kids.  The adults weren't all that thrilled.  This recipe relied heavily on sorghum flour.  The adults like their sorghum in smaller amounts, so this was a bit too much.  However, if you are a sorghum lover, then these cookies are for you.  The cooking time was too long and that needed to be drastically adjusted.  It cooked in half the time recorded. 

  • Cheesburger's Choice --- Light'n Lacy Oatmeal Crisps  (10 stars)
             Everyone in the family absolutely loved these!   These are just like the Oatmeal Lace cookies.   This recipe is definately going to be added to our recipe box.   Yummy! Yummy! Yummy!

                The cold hard facts were, that my kids gobbled up five out of the six cookie recipes.   They throroughly enjoyed them.  As for the adults, we enjoyed  two out of  the six.  In the end, I am torn.  In fairness to the author, I only tested 6 out of 150 recipes.  I am going to check the book out from the library and try some more recipes.  When I make more cookies,  I will be sure to post the updates.

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