Giving Bob's Another Go

Last week, I was -- to put it mildly -- disappointed with the way my gluten-free pancakes had turned out after testing out a Bob's Red Mill GF pancake mix. I tried (and failed) at explaining that out of curiosity, I'd decided to cut gluten out of my diet for a while just to see if it had any effects on my terribly sluggish digestion and bloating lately. Yes, bloating. Now you all know.

The pancakes were unequivocally awful, but I'd already invested some cash in a few other GF products and was bound and determined to test the rest of them out instead of blithely wasting money. The first of those was a GF chocolate chip cookie mix that was also a Bob's Red Mill product.

This time, instead of supplementing the mix with any other weird ingredients (I used soy milk in the pancake instead of regular milk, not that I think it had an effect on the horridly salty taste), I used just the straightforward products the mix called for: one egg, two tablespoons of water and half a cup of butter at room temperature. Pretty simple setup, especially good for those of us who are always on the run.

The dough came together nicely in my stand mixer, although it looked very dry (as the package had warned it would). Despite this, the cookies held together with just enough moisture as I shaped them into little balls and put them on a cookie sheet. Into the 350 degree oven they went for exactly 15 minutes.

Unlike regular chocolate chip cookies, the Bob's Red Mill batch did not taste good fresh out of the oven. I felt like had stumbled into some bizarre Twilight Zone episode -- how can cookies taste so bland and uninspiring when they're still all warm and gooey? The good news, however, is that the cookies tasted ten times better after cooling. And weirdly, they tasted even better the next day. Go figure.

While they were far from the world's best chocolate chip cookies, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they turned out not only edible, but actually pretty good. The mix was cheaper than buying a box of premade cookies, far better for you and easy to throw together for a family who has GF children or someone on the go who struggles with celiac disease but doesn't have the time or wherewithal to experiment with other flours besides wheat flour for their baking needs.

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Katharine Shilcutt