Desserts are part of a universal language. We may have different names for cookies, brownies and cupcakes, but everyone flashes the same smile after their first bite. Unless celiac disease or food allergies has kicked "dessert" out of their stomach's vocabulary.
That's where Starry Lanes Bakery comes in.
As I mentioned in Monday's post, my dad surprised me on Valentine's Day with a box of goodies from Starry Lanes. Not only is the entire bakery gluten free, but it is also free of soy, tree nuts, peanuts, dairy and eggs. Gluten free and vegan? They must have some magic spicing up that kitchen!
Our box overflowed with chocolate biscotti, jam and shortbread cookies, (double) chocolate chip cookies, a fudge brownie, a maple blondie, raspberry macaroons, and a loaf of sandwich bread.
I already boasted how these moist, fresh treats won over even the gluten eaters in my family. But I thought my favorite goodies deserved some extra recognition.
First off, Starry Lane's chocolate chip cookies!
My taste buds claimed these babies as their personal heaven after my first bite. I'm not usually a huge cookie fan, but who resist a treat that's chewy, yet soft? Sweet, but not overpowering? Dotted with chocolate chips on a sugar cookie base?
And these cookies aren't small either. In fact, one is bigger than my hand! My family and I nibbled on chunks throughout the weekend and I still had a whole cookie to power me through a busy school week. Cookies that look normal and taste delicious without the top 6 allergens? I'm in (or they're in...my mouth!)
For all those who want to drown in chocolate, though, the fudge brownie is for them! When my dad bought this treat, Starry Lane workers even asked if he wanted a corner or middle. He asked for the latter...proof he knows me well!
I fell toes over taste buds right away. The brownie tastes thick and dense, yet moist and fluffy. It falls apart in your mouth, a burst of cacao and chocolate chunks. And, like the cookie, it isn't any bite-sized treat. More like sized for many bites...no complaints from me!
Starry Lane even has goodies for people who aren't rockin' a sweet tooth (the horror). In other words, they offer sandwich bread that doesn't mimic slices of cardboard. While being gluten free and vegan. I'd love to have just a sprinkle of their kitchen sorcery.
The bread is soft and spongy, yet hardy enough to handle a stack of sandwich toppings. Also, not only is it packed with home baked, whole-grain taste, it also looks normal! Not as large as gluten-filled bread I'll admit, but certainly more filling than the midget GF slices typically sitting on grocery store shelves.
My mom and I think it would be the perfect base for garlic bread paired with an Italian dinner or for a breakfast treat with a swipe of nut butter topped with fruit. My grandma, a self-professed gluten lover, tried it with a hint of margarine and thought it tasted delicious. Allergy sufferers and celiacs, there's finally a tasty bread for you!
At times, it seems like celiac disease ends the conversation about dessert. Thanks to inventive, adaptable cooks like those in Starry Lanes Bakery, though, it's time to add "treats" to the celiac dictionary.
*Also found at RunningwithSpoon's link party!*
What's your favorite dessert? Are you a chocoholic? Comment below!