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REVIEW: Cherrybrook Kitchen Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies

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Cherrybrook Kitchen's Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies

Cherrybrook Kitchen is fairly new to the allergy/gluten-free scene. I remember when I first saw their products in 2005. I was taken with their cute packaging. Back then, the only gluten-free item I remember seeing from Cherrybrook Kitchen was their icing. I never tried it because, well, icing is something I usually make myself and happens to be naturally gluten-free.

Things have changed! Cherrybrook Kitchen now has gluten-free mixes and premade cookies. So, I picked up two boxes of their premade gluten-free cookies: mini-chocolate chip and mini-vanilla graham.

The packaging is just as cute! I love it when "specialty" companies who cater to the allergy/gluten-free market take the time to make their packages look appealing.

When I opened the package, the first thing I noticed was the smell. Do you remember McDonald's mini-chocolate chip cookies? They haven't sold them in years but I always remember them fondly. During car trips to Vermont, my parents would buy me a box as a treat. I hadn't thought of those cookies in years. But one whiff of Cherrybrook Kitchen's mini-chocolate chip cookies brought me back.

See how thick these mini cookie are?
See how thick these mini cookie are?
I plucked a cookie out of the box and was surprised by how fat it was! This is a chubby mini-cookie, measuring about 1/4-inch thick. Since the cookie is only about the size of a quarter, I expected it to be a little thinner.

After examining the cookie, I popped it into my mouth. I was hard. Really hard. Again, I expected something different from these cookies. I was looking for a crisp cookie. This cookie wasn't crisp. It was firm and hard plus a little gritty. I'll be honest, the texture wasn't really winning me over.

Sadly, the taste didn't win me over either. When I think of a chocolate-chip cookie, I am looking for something remarkably simple. I want the cookie to taste buttery with hints of brown sugar and vanilla. As I thought about my ideal cookie, it dawned on me. These cookies aren't just gluten-free(!) but peanut-free, dairy-free, nut-free and egg-free. While I saw this on the box, I didn't really think about it until I tasted the cookie and noticed the missing buttery undertones.

Let me be frank. When you are on a multiple-food allergy diet that excludes gluten, eggs, and dairy, it can be a challenge to create baked goods that work. In this respect, I think Cherrybrook Kitchens is doing a great job. If you require a cookie that is free of many of the top allergens, these cookies are great. They hold together--albeit a little hard--and look/smell like a chocolate chip cookie.

Now, if you are "only" on the gluten-free diet. I don't think you will be enamored with these cookies. Because of their dairy-free status, the cookies contain canola oil in place of butter. Using canola oil really changes the cookie. The reason the taste didn't win me over was because these cookies don't have the lovely delicate flavors I have come to expect in a good gluten-free cookie. In addition, I picked up a slight "after taste" in these cookies. If you have been on the gluten-free diet long enough, you are familiar with "after taste." You can't really put your finger on it but you know when you taste it. These cookies has a little of that weird gluten-free "after taste."

I wanted to love these cookies. They are so cute and smell so good. But the truth is, I didn't love them. I was done after just one cookie. However, if you or someone you love is on a multiple food allergy diet, I would give these cookies a whirl. For excluding so many allergens, Cherrybrook Kitchen does a good job.

Summary: If Gluten-Free only>:C If on a multiple food-allergy diet:B

Gluten-free summary: Cookies were hard with a gritty texture and odd aftertaste. They are cute and would package easily into lunchboxes if you or your child aren't put off by the texture.

Allergen-Free Summary: If you are on a gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free diet, give these cookies a try. Before sampling, know that they are hard. However, with limited options available for multiple food allergy diets, you might just find you enjoy these cookies.

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