This cute publication is what I would describe as a child-friendly cookbook – cute notes throughout, recipe stories, baked goodies that would appeal to young and old, and simple illustrations. To note, there aren’t a lot of recipes within (eighteen in total, which I have outlined below). However, the author seems to cover all of the baking bases, and after testing one of the recipes, I can only say, wow! There is something to be said for focusing on a hand-full of recipes and perfecting them.
I had a friend over for some social time while I whipped up a batch of the “Traditional” Chocolate Chip Cookies. My friend eats a healthy, mostly whole food diet, and she enjoys hearty recipes, but she isn’t gluten-free, dairy-free, or free-from any particular food. We both loved these cookies. In fact she stated, “They taste like regular chocolate chip cookies. Good!” I was even impressed with how well they stayed together, and what a nice “normal” texture they had. They were crispy on the outside, but soft, forgiving, and chewy on the inside. Plus, I appreciated the whole food ingredients that the author used. I had to make one substitution – I was out of evaporated cane juice / sucanat, so I used organic dark brown sugar. I am sure this made the cookies a bit sweeter; in fact, I think the recipe as written (with the evaporated cane juice) would be perfect.
The title actually underestimates the recipes; beyond gluten-free, they are all dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, vegan (a couple recipes may use honey, but you could easily sub agave), and the few that contain nuts can be made nut-free since the author doesn’t utilize nut flours (they are just add-ins).
Though I haven’t trialed it myself (I’m not really a chocolate cake or cakey brownie fan), you can sample the Chocolate Cake Brownie recipe from this book, which is pictured below and published online as a recipe sample.
The only downside I found with this book was the religious overtone throughout. I love the positive attitude, but the author includes scriptures as introductions to the recipes, which may offend some who do not hold the same religious beliefs. It always seems a touch odd to me when cookbooks include religious quotes, since it can alienate some readers. Nonetheless, if this is something you like or can overlook, the book is one I recommend.
The recipes in this book include: Oatmeal Orange Spice Cookies, “Traditional” Chocolate Chip Cookies, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies, Garden Soup, Banana Pecan Muffins, Banana Coconut Muffins, Banana Chocolate Muffins, Deluxe Petite Banana Bread (essentially the same as the Banana Pecan Muffins), Banana Cupcakes, Raspberry Squares, Apricot Squares, Lemon Shape Cookies, Lemon Sandwich Cookies, Chocolate Cake Brownies, Carob Sunflower Brownies, Petite Chocolate Cakes, Three-Layer Chocolate Cake, and Sharon’s Icing Recipes (really 4 icing recipes in one).