Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Warning: Don't Read This Review: Gluten Free Gloriously

I warned you. Read this review at your own risk.

Curiosity drew me in and now I'm hooked.  It doesn't help that this place a just a few short blocks from one of my favorite local bike shops.

I was first told about this lovely little gem by the Nutritionist in my office, Carol Clinton. She brought me an incredible lemon bar and I decided I had to check it out for myself.  Finally, almost a year later, I wandered into their tiny establishment and had a complete fangirl moment. My inner child was doing cartwheels. I felt like the chubby kid in the Wonka factory... if there had been a chocolate river, I assure you I would not be here to type this blog today. Many of their creations are also dairy and nut-free, but everything is gluten free... from fresh-baked bread to cheesecake bars and cupcakes. I was completely overwhelmed with options and for those of you who have also been forced by your body's violent protests to gluten, I'm sure you can understand how rare that can be in the world of tasty gluten-free goodies.

***DISCLAIMER: I do not support embarking on a gluten-free lifestyle simply to replace processed, sugary foods WITH gluten with processed foods WITHOUT gluten. I support a diet filled with whole foods, lots of fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, and minimal sugar... but when I am going to have a treat, I want it to be WORTH IT and SATISFYING. And as a bit of a self-proclaimed foodie, I have found a lot of disappointments out there. So when I find a winner, I want to tell you about it!***

Photo taken from GFG's facebook page
The staff was extremely friendly and helpful, allowing me to sample many of their treats to help me decide what I would be bringing home to test, as well as a couple surprises to share with my hard-working assistant/office manager, Valerie. I think the best thing I can do here is give you a review of all the things I sampled. As I sampled, I noticed that they were making adorable cake pops that looked like chicks for Easter. I also learned that they freeze all their baked goods to preserve them but the samples I had were previously frozen and I had no idea until they told me. Impressive! They also provide party trays and custom cakes and their products are carried at select Shop-rites.

The Bread:

Wow! Chewy gluten-free BREAD! The dough for all the bread is the same. They simply pipe it into different shapes depending on it's use. There are dinner rolls, baguettes, sandwich rolls... I opted for a bag of dinner rolls... great on it's own or with some grass-fed butter. They could even be used to make small sliders and single serve bruschetta. I couldn't help but wonder if they ever made soft pretzels with the dough... the texture would have been perfect with an eggwash and coarse salt.

The Cupcakes:

Cupcakes have always been a weakness of mine.

I rescued this little fellow from the case (he was all by himself!):
That's a scoop of gluten-free cookie dough on top!
"Remember this cupcake..."

I also picked up a container of cream-filled chocolate cupcakes labeled "Remember this cupcake" from the freezer to share with Valerie. They reminded me of the Hostess kind I used to eat in my misguided youth. Both varieties were some of the best gf cupcakes I've ever had. Moist and delicious, I stopped to wonder for a moment if they could really be gluten-free. Had this bakery pulled the wool over my eyes????

The Cookies:
Batman vs. Superman themed sugar cookies
I loved the whimsy of the sugar cookie battle! I'm also a sucker for sprinkles, so of course I had to try the sugar cookies. Though not chewy, they were not grainy either and had a good flavor. The chocolate chip cookie matched in texture and were equally delicious. 

The Brownies:

These not only were one of the best gf brownies I've ever had, but may actually be THE BEST BROWNIE I've ever had... fudgey and chewy with a crunchy crust on top. I highly recommend sampling these for yourself.

Then again, DON'T.  I can't get them out of my head and I'd hate for you to suffer from the same haunting visions.

Gluten Free Gloriously's store can be found at 267 Main Avenue, Stirling, NJ. They can be contacted at 908.647.7337

*DISCLAIMER*: This was not a sponsored review and is not a paid advertisement.

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