Hannah reviewed Sun Flour Baking Shortbread for us. She received six varieties, but a couple have been discontinued, so we’ve edited her post.
The producers of Sun Flour Baking Shortbread unabashedly declaring on the front of every box “made without wheat, gluten, eggs, dairy…”. It’s clear at a glance that they take pride in not only what they put into their cookies, but also what they leave out.
To get a baseline taste of the Sun Flour Baking Shortbread line, I started with the Vanilla. Unfortunately, if this was any indication of things to come, then color me disappointed. Admittedly, shortbread tends to be quite dry and crumbly under any circumstances. But once you bit off a chunk, it dissolved into this powdery dust that stuck to my teeth slightly as I tried to chew. The taste was vanilla, I suppose, but in some terrible irony it tasted completely unnatural, like those awful protein powders that try to pass themselves off as “vanilla” flavored. Maybe if they were dipped in chocolate they would be more palatable. But honestly, what wouldn’t?
Not exactly the culinary epiphany I had hoped for after hearing so many other rave reviews, but still I soldiered on. It’s a good thing that I hadn’t given up after this lack-luster biscuit, because things started looking up from here.
More crumbly than any other cookie I would sample in this whole bunch, the Peanut Butter Sun Flour Baking Shortbread looked like someone had taken a hammer to them! It may be partially the fault of rough shipping, but the pieces pictured were the only full cookies in the box. Fortunately, I don’t take issue with it because that means you can pretend that you’re eating twice as many!
Sporting a yellow-ish hue, this shortbread exuded a nice nutty aroma appropriate for it’s designated title. The same textural issues were still present, but it was easier to ignore as these had much more flavor to distract the palate. I found that they were actually quite pleasant. Sweet and salty, these had the best of both sides of the snack food spectrum. In fact, as I munched thoughtfully, I found that it really grows on you, and it was hard to take just one cookie at a time. The quality that I had expected finally manifested itself in these. In fact, you can even see tiny pieces of the actual peanuts that contribute such great flavor and even a nice crunch every now and then.
Best intact of all were the Lemon Shortbread, shedding fewer crumbs but still a bit powdery around the outside. Looking similar to the Vanilla, it’s no surprise that once again, that off-putting mouth-feel was present. But this time it was accompanied by an almost buttery taste and feel. Paired with a bright citrus tang and only a vague sweetness, I truly enjoyed these alongside a nice cup of green tea. Perhaps this shortbread flavor isn’t something I would seek out again if given the choice of anything made by Sun Flour Baking Company. Nonetheless, it certainly isn’t something I would turn down if it were offered to me.
Dotted with dark chocolate chips, the cream-colored dough of the Chocolate Chip Shortbread looks just like any of the other interpretations of this classic treat. Easily yielding to the teeth, it definitely fit into my preferred style. Some like theirs crisp, others cakey, but this would fall into the chewy category. As the dough alone is usually my favorite part of chocolate chip cookies, I began by sampling a chunk without any chips. If anything, I found that it was perhaps lacking a little in the flavor department. It had no distinct flavor in particular, and at times I could have sworn there was some sort of medicinal after taste. But eaten with the chocolate pieces as it was intended, these draw backs were completely unnoticeable. The healthy sprinkling of chocolate was just the right amount to make it a very tasty snack overall.
After my initial disappointment with Sun Flour Baking Shortbread, things seemed to look up. On the whole, I would have to say this company really knows what they’re doing when they try to make favorite childhood treats into gluten-free fare. Sure, it might seem weird to eat a cookie made primarily of pinto bean flour, but don’t let that turn you away from something that is this delicious. Change is difficult, as anyone adjusting to a gluten-free diet might tell you, but it isn’t difficult to occasionally step out of your comfort zone and try new things. It’s really a small risk for those not limited by any allergies to take, and who knows, you might just find more sweet treasures like these.
The Facts on Sun Flour Baking Shortbread
Certifications: We did not note any certifications on Sun Flour Baking Shortbread.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Sun Flour Baking Shortbread is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian. Most varieties are soy-free (the chocolate chips they use contain soy lecithin) and most are made with peanuts. Nonetheless, check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.
For More Product Information: Visit the Sun Flour Baking Company website at www.sunflourbaking.com.