27 Brattle St. | Cambridge, MA 02138
There are many wonderful things about Cambridge. One thing I particularly enjoy is the abundance of cafes and coffeehouses where you can find all manner of people getting together, doing work or simply relaxing with a cup of Joe. On one of our Sunday walks, my roommate and I passed by Crema Cafe in Harvard Square. I’d heard good things about it, so we went in to check it out.
As I approached the counter all set to order some caffeine for a post-Saturday night pick-me-up, I was distracted by a little sign proclaiming, “GLUTEN-FREE.” Excited, I started looking around for more. There were an abundance of gluten-free goodies on the counter! Macaroons… no, definitely a cranberry and pistachio granola bar. NO. A chocolate walnut cookie. For only $1.50. YES.
I have to say, I made a great choice. So great in fact, it eclipsed my need for caffeine at all. There I was cookie and refreshing juice in hand, ready to try what promised by a name I remember being something along the lines of “Chocolate Walnut Avalanche” to be explosively chocolatey, and we couldn’t find a seat. The place was packed! Luckily, after a few minutes, a table cleared. After much anticipation, I took a bite of my cookie.
It was quite disappointing. It was crunchy and dry, almost dusty. Disheartened, I took another bite. To my surprise it was delicious! I’m talking molten, moist, chocolately goodness complemented by crunchy walnuts. The walnuts added substance to the melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, and I finished off this cookie very satisfied. These were absolutely among the best gluten-free cookies I’ve tried, and I believe my Sunday afternoon walks will be taking me to Harvard Square quite often from now on…
Rejoice! Betty Crocker makes cookies for the gluten-free, too! The discovery of this product in my hometown grocery has sort of revolutionized baking for me. Gluten-free baking has never felt so accessible — a household name on the box, a low price on the sticker, and simple, easy-to-follow directions printed on the back. And it’s only the gluten that is missing! Sure, casein-free or sugar-free cookies are probably better for me, but when I bake chocolate chip cookies, I’m looking for a cookie that harkens back to my youthful days when I didn’t know what calories were, nor how bad sugar is for you. My friend Betty brings back those memories for me in just three easy steps.
These cookies are very good, only a slight graininess to their texture. The directions say to let them sit 2 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack, but I would leave them longer. They were very soft and fell apart easily when I tried to move them. Mine baked thin and were a bit flimsy, so next time I think I’ll try baking them for longer.
Not only is this mix easy to whip up, but it’s priced much lower than most other gluten-free cookies. At $3.39 at my local Hannford, these cookies may be a bit flimsy, but their taste is not unlike that of Betty Crocker’s usual mix!
54 Main St.
Orleans, MA 02653
My gluten-free discoveries are usually deliberate. Either I follow-up on a recommendation or I do some research and seek out places others have reviewed. Cape Cup, however, was a discovery by chance. I was on the way to spend the day at Nauset Beach on Cape Cod with some friends when the other girls began demanding a Dunkin’ run. After a stop at the adorable Friend’s Marketplace for gluten-free beach snacks (cheese and rice crackers…mmm!), we were about to head out of our way to Dunkin’, when the local among us suggested the much closer (not to mention cuter) Cape Cup.
I wasn’t in the mood for coffee, so I elected to stay in the car. I couldn’t help but gush to our local friend at how incredibly adorable and clever I found the name Cape Cup for a coffee shop! I already loved it. That love was reaffirmed when, as she was getting back into the driver’s seat, my sister threw a bag of baked goods at me. One look at her smile and I knew they were gluten-free.
What a delicious treat they were! She picked up chocolate chip cookies and muffins. They cookies were rather thin, crumbly and crunchy, but they were loaded with chocolate chips and tasted fresh-baked, not dry like the store-bought kinds you can find in supermarkets. I quite enjoyed them. I found the Gluten-Free Blueberry-Oat muffin to be delicious. Unlike the Whole Foods muffins, it was light and not too moist. The addition of the gluten-free oats gave it a more complex and textured taste than most gf products and I really enjoyed that.
Upon investigation of their website, it seems Cape Cup offers other gluten-free menu options and different specials. If you’re on the Cape, I’d recommend getting your morning coffee at Cape Cup… and grabbing a treat while you’re at it!