Saturday, September 24, 2011

Product Review: Wow Baking Company

E headed back to the state she grew up in and, in preparation for this trip, picked up some snacks for herself at our local co-op. Among other things, she picked out two different types of cookies from the Wow Baking Company. She's not gluten-free, but her mom is encouraging her to avoid wheat--and from the research I've started doing on this, it seems like this might be moderately sound advice. Recent studies indicate that maybe we're not so well-equipped to digest wheat--and here's a link to a well-digested (pun intended) news article about these studies--and that part of the rise in gluten sensitivities is not only increased awareness in the medical community, but a reaction to the higher proportions of protein in wheat. But that's not the point of this post.

The point: a review of the two flavors of Wow Baking Company cookies E bought.

She picked up the boxed, smaller cookies (8 ounce boxes), which I expected to be crispy/crunchy because so many gluten-free products are crunchy. I wasn't particularly looking forward to this aspect, but agreed to eat them if she didn't like them. She bought Snickerdoodle Ginger Molasses.

A gluten-free flour mix (brown rice, sweet rice, tapioca) makes up the base of both these cookies -- the lack of bean-flours keeps these products from "tasting gluten-free." You know what I'm talking about if you've started in on GF eating, I'm pretty sure. The Snickerdoodles were particularly sweet--maybe too sweet for my tastes, but my roommate likes those better (I think both flavors are good). They have just the right amount of cinnamon (though it's the last ingredient on the list!) and, unlike some snickerdoodles, have flavor all the way through.

The Snickerdoodles have 3 types of sugar (cane, cane syrup, sugar) and they're high on the list. Even the back of the box says "a simple delicious cookie full of sugar..." and 240 calories per 2-ounce serving with 13 grams of sugar and 11 grams of fat.

That  being said, the molasses cookies are actually higher in sugar (probably because of the molasses) with 16 grams per 2-ounce serving, 229 calories, and 10 grams of fat. There are 3 types of sugar in these cookies too (cane juice, cane syrup, molasses), if you're keep track. I love ginger and loved these for their spicy taste, particularly with the nights getting cooler--it's starting to feel like the right time of year for warm-spice flavored things.

I learned, from the Wow Baking Company website, that it's possible to buy the dough for these cookies in some areas and that the company even makes cake mix. I'd certainly try these other products. As E pointed out, it's hard to tell the difference between these and non-gluten-free products. If you do decide to cruise about the website, don't take the ingredients too seriously. For instance if you click the ingredients for the Ginger Molasses cookies, you'll see that there are chocolate chips (dear Wow Baking Company, need a webmistress proofreader? I'm available). Don't worry -- in the real ginger molasses cookies (and on the box) these are blissfully chocolate free.

These are available (indirectly) through Amazon and other online retailers, if you don't have these products in your local co-op or grocer--but if you don't and you're gluten-free, you might try to request the product!

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