A while back, I was sent a copy of "The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Cakes and Cookies" to review. The name of this book is a bit insane, but the recipes seem to be pretty great. All the recipes inside are Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, and Soy-free. She also tells you which ones are Nut-free. So there!
I'm not gluten-free, but a lot of people I love are -- including my excellent cousin and a few of my beloved yoga students and friends. So, I like to have some reliable GF recipes on hand so that I can bake for them. Plus, if you think about how rarely people ever bake vegan treats for you, just imagine how the GF folks feel, and especially how the Vegan GF'ers feel. My goodness. Just imagining that sad state of affairs is enough to inspire me to go bake someone a cake.
Of course, it's not like I need to be eating cake all the time, so it took me a little while to get around to writing this review. Recently, though, our excellent friends B&D invited us over for dinner, and B is one of my special GF friends. So, I seized the moment and made - not one, but TWO cakes to bring along! Ha ha!
Then, last weekend I was teaching a weekend-long yoga retreat, and I have a tradition of always bringing along a big batch of cookies so everyone can have a sweetie after lunch. There are usually a few GF folks on the retreat, so I decided to turn to this book again for help. After much consideration, I chose to make the Chocolate Chunk Tahini Cookies. They were great! The only fat in these cookies comes from tahini - how cool is that? Naturally, I used roasted tahini for extra deep flavor goodness! I think I over baked them slightly, but no one seemed to complain - and that was probably my fault for multi-tasking while they were baking. All the same, they really came out well, and I look forward to trying more GF cookie recipes from this book.
Overall:If you're a vegan GF person, or if you have any GF folks in your life that you enjoying baking sweeties for, I think this is a really good book to have in your collection. There are a wide variety of recipes (cakes, cookies, and bars) -- with an array of flavors, so you're likely to find a number of them appealing. Also, lots of the recipes are really creative (like the Tahinopita cake) - not just the same ol' recipes you've already made loads of times.
Lastly, I really appreciate that for each recipe the author specifies which types of flours to use (tapioca, brown rice, sorghum, etc) - and not just "1 cup gluten free flour mix." That sort of recipe drives me nuts because it seems so unreliable. These recipes are clear and specific.