It is no great secret that I am baking challenged. I make no bones about it and I’m definitely more of an add water, eggs and oil to a pre-packaged mix kind of guy. That being said, I do actually enjoy the end result and satisfaction that comes with baking from scratch, but never seem to have the time or motivation to do it.
When the owner of The Grain Exchange reached-out to me to sample their new gluten-free all-purpose flour blend, I was a bit hesitant to say the least. It was after all, a five pound resealable bag of flour and for someone that doesn’t bake, seemed excessive. I always make a point of putting new products through their paces and would never want to accept a product that would just sit on the shelf or not get a proper sampling. So, I put on my baking cap and took the lead from the recipe for double chocolate chip cookies on the bag of flour. The flour blend is a mix of white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch and the all important Xantham Gum. It’s a direct cup for cup replacement for traditional gluten-filled flour.
I actually did not immediately realize that I have been enjoying baked goods from The Grain Exchange via Fresh Direct for a couple of years — their salted caramel brownie is a personal favorite. They were kind enough to send a pair of their pre-made items along with the flour and that’s when it clicked.
After a quick run to the market to collect the ingredients, I was ready to give it a go. Cookies seemed like a safer option for this experiment and with just a few simple steps it was actually quite easy — though not owning a mixer (I have since purchased one) gave me a solid arm workout.
The flour was super-fine and very easy to work with. It mixed perfectly with the other ingredients so there were no lumps or pockets of dry flour that is sometimes the case — and remember I was stirring by hand so that’s saying something. The recipe yielded about four dozen cookies that were absoulte perfection. Slightly crispy on the outside but wonderfully soft on the inside. They stored well in a sealed container and we were able to enjoy them through the week.
Update: I have also since made a batch of organic French lavender cookies with a sugar crust and topped with candied violets. The flour mix worked absolutely perfectly delivered great results.