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Gluten free Christmas cookies
Every year the Cookietime Christmas cookie sellers visit my workplace with free samples of delicious cookies which my colleagues are all too happy to accept. But when offered the allure of a bucket of delicious biscuits, my first question as a coeliac has always been "do you have gluten free ones". I've always been disappointed at the answer since Cookietime have been making the gluten free versions of their standard cookie that many of us are big fans of.
This year, the answer is different. Cookietime are finally making gluten free Chrismas cookies! I'm lucky enough to have got my hands on a bucket already and can confirm they're just as delicious as the full size gluten free Cookietime cookies. Due to their size, I also found them to be lighter and less crumbly too!
The gluten free cookies come in a 1 litre mini bucket for $15. If you have a lot of non-ceoliac cookie munchers in your family, you may want to also get a 2L bucket of regular (wheat based) cookies too. Trust me, you won't want to share!
I should point out that this is the first year that Cookietime have made gluten free Christmas cookies and the production run will be for a limited quantity. Therefore it's strongly recommended that you reserve yours now to avoid disappointment.
7 cookies were eaten while writing this blog post.
I've often reminded readers about the importance to keep checking the gluten free status on labels even for products that we buy regularly as the recipes sometimes change. Typically I am talking about gluten in unexpected places or products that were previously gluten free but have changed.
Today, I have a positive story to share quite the opposite is true!
I am of course talking about the newly formulated Burgen gluten free breads.
The new recipe adds yeast and egg to the ingredients achieving (in my opinion at least) a much better texture. But these new ingredients are allergens for some and were not present in the Burgen products before. So how did Burgen look after those with yeast or egg allergies? Not only is the print on the packaging completely different, but they went to the trouble of placing a sticker on the front specifically stating that these new allergens have been introduced.
Better yet, to further improve the chances of affected customers noticing, they began attaching these stickers to the old product shortly before the changeover! These guys deserve a medal for being so responsible and thoughtful towards their customers.
Let's hope more companies follow Burgen's lead when it comes to alerting us to changes in their recipes.
Gluten Free Flaky Pastry!
I've always thought it would be fantastic to be able to buy pre-made gluten free puff pastry. I once made some using Orgran Pastry Mix and it turned out fantastically. But it did take an afternoon of alternating between chilling the pastry in the freezer and rolling in the butter. Bakeries such as the totally gluten free bakery sell ready made shortcrust pastry which saves having to make your own for pie bases, but ready made puff pastry has remained elusive, until now that is…
Pavilion have come to the rescue with a new frozen gluten free flaky pastry (and shortcrust and sweet varieties) available at Pak 'n Save and no doubt all supermarkets in the near future. Using their pastry is as simple as removing from the freezer an hour in advance to thaw and then it is ready to use. I found the timing to be pretty spot on, despite it being fairly critical, the pastry starting off hard to roll and becoming a little sticky as I finished. This is the pie I created with the Pavilion Flaky Pastry on top (brushed with egg for lovely golden brown finish).
More gluten free breads in supermarkets
We all know there is a large and growing demand for gluten free foods from those of us with coeliac disease as well as the gluten intolerant.
The message has clearly got through to Goodman Fielder who are opening a dedicated gluten free bakery in Huntly.
Christchurch GF bakery change of ownership
For nearly 3 years now, I have been enjoying the convenience of living 5mins walk away from The Gingerbread Man Bakery on Blenheim Road. I've been visiting weekly to fill the deficit between what I bake and what I eat.
For Carl, the owner, it's been 10 years in the business and he's now decided to pursue something else. Thankfully, as much as we will miss him (and his renowned wit!), Carl has managed to ensure that his leaving won't adversely affect his regular customers.