Thursday, August 06, 2009

Gluten-Free Cookies : Schar Shortbread Cookie Review

Gluten-Free Cookies!
Bring 'em on!

I continue my gluten-free and wheat-free product review series today with something we can all enjoy: gluten-free cookies.

[by Nick - guest gluten-free blog author]

Well, today Mike had cookies on the mind, and he has asked me to write another review using my own recent non-gluten-free eating experience to compare another gluten-free food to what I would expect from the "real thing".

I’m sure you folks out there have enjoyed a cookie or two in your time - - I know I have. Now, when you hear the word ‘cookie’ you’re probably thinking of your favorite cookie that you enjoyed growing up as a kid. Well, I can tell you that what we’ll be talking about today here on the ol’ gluten-free blog is your basic short bread cookie, but of course it’s gluten-free.

Today's blog is dedicated to the Schar gluten-free shortbread cookie and my opinion of it and how it stacks up (here is a picture of a few on a small plate - click to get a nice large version of the product if you want).

Mike turned me onto the brand Schar, which makes a wonderful gluten free cookie that has the look and feel of a ‘Lorna Doone’, but without all the calories. But we must remember that it isn’t called a cookie for nothing. These cookie treats are made with corn flour, sugar and vegetable oils (palm, coconut and canola), as well as eggs, honey and artificial flavors. But, I would like to add that when you compare the ingredients and fat content to your average, every-day cookie in the snack aisle, these little gluten-free buggers are much healthier than their competition (they have rather low sugar and fat grams per serving) and the Schar shortbread cookie is a wonderful alternative for snack time in your wheat-free / gluten-free household.

So, how do they taste?

Well . . . . . . for starters, when I chomped down on one of these puppies, the texture was crisp and the immediate hint of honey was picked up by my taste buds on the tip of my tongue. Since butter is not used in this cookie, there is a distinct difference between this gluten free cookie, and counterparts containing butter, but one thing is for certain,... and that is there is plenty of flavor.

The aftertaste is quite pleasant too, and Mike and I have both agreed that there is a hint of vanilla that lingers soon after the last bite. As far as the sugar content is concerned, it’s relatively lower compared to other non GF cookies, with the Schar product weighing in at only 5 grams per serving; with a "serving" being 4 cookies (28g). Not too bad. Try getting that in your Oreos. Uh, not!

Now, the one thing I’m not too impressed with is the price. A little 7 oz. bag of these gluten-free cookies cost close to a whopping $5.00 USD. Now, you can imagine why it pays to bake your own gluten-free cookies and desserts: it’s cheaper and you can – with practice – get the recipe exactly to your liking. Of course, this is a good part of why Mike and his wife created their gluten-free desserts recipes and cookbook - to help themselves and others who have the time and desire to bake their own treats do so, and save some cash in the process. But, the simple fact is, there is not always the time (or desire) to slave over a stove when you just want (or "need") a quick gluten-free cookie fix; so, store-bought cookies like this Schar Shortbread come in handy in a pinch.

The Verdict
I would conclude that these cookies are pretty tasty and go great with a glass of milk or a good English tea, but they definitely are a bit expensive (which I am quickly learning is common with gluten-free foods and diet items). So, the verdict is in and for all of us out there that have Celiac disease, are living on a gluten free diet, or for us that are just looking for a slightly healthier alternative to our buttery cookies, snacks and desserts, the Schar shortbread cookie won’t necessarily hit you in the waistline but it will definitely hit your tastebuds in a good way while hitting the old wallet up for some more cash.


Lynn said...

I am not a big fan of shortbread cookies myself. In fact, I rarely buy packaged gluten free cookies anymore. I do use Pamela's mix to make chocolate chip/walnut cookies. I can't seem to get into purchasing a variety of flours and experimenting to see which I like best. Also, I'm trying to limit sweets, not that I do that well staying away from them.

Lynn Barry said...

I love these cookies too.

Laura said...

These are perfect for my 18 month old who doesn't have a lot of teeth to chew with yet. : ) Yum!