by Kathleen Walck

If you’re like me, all this snowy, cold weather has encouraged my oven to be on nearly every day.   Why is it that sweet treats make days stuck indoors better? (please don’t remind me of that question when swimsuit season comes around).  The smell, warmth, and, of course, tastes from oven treats can take your mind off being stuck indoors, or else be a cozy greeting when you make your way back inside.

If you live a gluten-free lifestyle, you don’t have to do without.  While there are tons of recipes for cookies out there, sometimes it’s good to stock the pantry with a few mixes in case you don’t want to bother with measuring and pulling out all the ingredients.

I recently tried a “hand-crafted baking mix” from a company that is new to me: AmongFriends.  Created by two friends, this company supplies tasty and easy-to-use baking mixes, including ones that are gluten-free.

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The mixes contain no GMOs or peanuts, but they do contain whole grains and often, organic ingredients.

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I tried out the Phil ‘Em Up Chocolate Cranberry Cookie Mix, and I couldn’t have been more impressed.

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The cookies were tender, chewy, with delicious bits of cranberry and chocolate throughout.  They do tend to fall apart a bit when you eat them, but that’s not a problem for me.  This mix contains ingredients that I can actually recognize, like oat flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, dried cranberries, sunflower oil, baking soda and sea salt.

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It does contain soy lecithin and coconut, which might be allergy triggers for some.

To make the cookies, you just need 1 egg (I subbed 1/3 cup applesauce with no trouble), 1 tsp vanilla and 4 tbsp butter (or another substitute).  Easy peasy.

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Directions couldn’t be simpler too.  Just empty the mix onto the softened butter, egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.

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Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets and bake 7-9 minutes.  I got about 2 dozen out of the mix, though the package says it makes about 34 cookies.  Mine were just a little larger than the recommended 1″ balls.  (I was lazy and only wanted to dirty two pans).

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They came out perfectly done, and taste amazing.  My family devoured them within a day.  So I couldn’t tell you if they stored well.

February 19, 2014 019 February 19, 2014 016 February 19, 2014 017I’d like to try some of AmongFriends other baking mixes, like CJ’s Double Chocolate.  Luckily, I can find this brand at my local health food store, Echo Hill, but I see that you can get it at Healthy Alternatives in Trexlertown, or order it online.  It’s encouraging to see the variety of convenient options now available for gluten-free foods.

I want to disclose that I was sent a sample package of this cookie mix to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.
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