I was not expecting the MASSIVE box of baked goods that arrived at my home; I must say it was arrived just in the nick of time--I was about to start baking copious amounts of gfcf goodies to keep us stocked up for Zoe through the New Year (Did I mention we went to several parties between Christmas and New Year's Day?)! When I opened the packaged and explained to Miss Zoe that everything in the box was gfcf, and therefore all Zoe-friendly, she squealed with delight; and then proceeded to immediately tear into the goodies. Hooray!
We received the following items: Ring Tings, a vanilla creme-filled cake similar to the Ring Dings and Ho Hos of my youth; Rasberry Roll, a spongy jelly roll cake with raspberry and coconuts; Chocolate Brownies; Chocolate Chip Cookies; Lady Fingers, crisp and delicate with a lemony flavor, and Pread Crumbs, an all-purpose breading.
With the exception of the Raspberry Roll, Zoe thoroughly enjoyed everything we received--Miss Z is not a fan of coconut (but lucky for her father and me, we love it--so you know what I had first). I thought the Raspberry Roll was very tasty, though my husband and mother-in-law both contend that it was rather sweet. Okay, so I like the sweet stuff; can you blame me? I was particularly impressed by how moist the cake was. And, like I said earlier, I love coconut. And the combination of raspberry and coconut is magical to me.
The Lady Fingers were the next to go. Zoe made quick work of them. Some of the cookies did break in shipping, but the cookie crumbles were used as topping for other desserts. Andrew mentioned that the cookies could be used as sandwich cookies as well; frankly Zoe ate them before I could even try that. They were a hit!
The Ring Tings were Zoe's favorite. The waxy outer coating on the cakes and the creme-filling were especially appealing to her. When you're a kid and you see your friends eating foods like Ho-Hos, it's gotta be tough to not be able to try it. I could tell Zoe was thrilled to have a chance to eat something that looked like a treat her friends eat all the time. It wasn't exactly like the stuff I remember eating as a kid, but it came pretty close. Besides, I actually had a similar commercial cake (brand name witheld so I don't get a nasty-gram) recently, and they don't taste like what I used to eat as a kid.
Next we had the Chocolate Brownies. These appeared to be not as moist as I would have liked, but that may have been due to the trip from New York to Florida. I did warm these in the microwave for a few seconds (outside of the aluminum tray it came in, lest I torch my house), and that seemed to help them. And who doesn't like a warm brownie? Zoe and her brother liked these very much. Flamenco Dad also thought the brownies were yummy.
The Chocolate Chip Cookies were the last thing to go, and I think there are a few reasons for that. First, the cookies had nuts and cinnamon, neither of which are very popular with my children. Second, the cookies sustained some breakage in transit, which made the kids (visual creatures that they are) less receptive to them. Third, they were somewhat crisp for our taste. I prefer my cookies kind of chewy, and so do Zoe and Ayden. The flavor was rather good. I don't ordinarily put cinnamon in my cookies due to Zoe's disdain for cinnamon, but I think the cinnamon added a nice touch. I may have to sneak some cinnamon into my next batch of cookies.
I have used the Pread Crumbs, but I do have some left. A few nights ago I used the breading to make zucchini stix for a side dish. And guess what? The kids ate the zucchini and LIKED it; whatever works for getting my kids to eat more veggies is good enough for me. I might try to use some of the leftover crumbs to work on a tempura batter, but I've gotta do a little tinkering with that one for a bit.
Our overall experience with these products was a very positive one--even our gluten-eating family members enjoyed them. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I am more of a from-scratch type of baker; but these were very well received by my kids, which makes these products a good go-to for a convenient baked treat.
Shabtai Gourmet recently launched their website, http://www.shabtai-gourmet.com/ and also sells some of their products on Amazon. You can visit their website for more information.