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Top Pick Of The Week

June 24, 2008

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Brownies

Great taste and gluten free. So’s the whole line of Mariposa baked treats. From top to bottom: Triple Chocolate Truffle Brownie, Coconut Lemon Square, Mocha Truffle Brownie. Photography by Saidi Granados, using the gripperboard side of our favorite cutting board, from ArchitecProducts.com.

WHAT IT IS: Artisan baked goods that are wheat-free and gluten-free.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: They taste as good as wheat-based artisan baked goods—you don’t know that you’re eating wheat-free, gluten-free brownies, cake and biscotti.
WHY WE LOVE IT: These magic recipes enable people with gluten allergies to eat brownies and other goodies that taste as yummy as those available to the rest of us; and everyone at the table can enjoy them, too.
WHERE TO BUY IT: MariposaBaking.com.
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Mariposa Baking Company:
Gluten-Free Wonders

CAPSULE REPORT: This is the first gluten-free product to ever be named a Top Pick Of The Week, and the second “restricted diet” food.* But these brownies, coffeecakes and biscotti are good enough so that anyone can enjoy them and ask for seconds. With more people discovering they have gluten allergies, we want any of your friends and acquaintances who have such restrictions to know about Mariposa Baking Company.
*Divvies Cupcakes, a prior Top Pick, are dairy-free, egg-free and wheat-free. Some other Top Picks are naturally gluten-free because no products containing gluten are used in their production (e.g. olive oil and soft drinks).

Recommended by a NIBBLE reader, this bakery in Oakland, California, is a marvel. We taste quite a bit of gluten-free, sugar-free and fat-free baked goods, hoping to discover ones that taste good enough to recommend to people on restricted diets. Our standards are that they have to be good enough for everyone in the household to enjoy. Whatever magic is being practiced at Mariposa Bakery, these wheat-free, gluten-free brownies, biscotti and coffeecakes can be enjoyed by anyone.

So even if gluten-free isn’t your food focus, take a minute to think of someone who will appreciate you forever for forwarding this review. Read more about Mariposa’s delectables in the full review below. And take a look at our favorite baked goods in our Cookies, Cakes & Pastries Section.

     
THE NIBBLE does not sell the foods we review
or receive fees from manufacturers for recommending them.

Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.

 

Bake Your Own

Nordicware Sheet Pan Covered Pie Plate
NordicWare Half Sheet Pan with Lid. We treated
ourselves to new bakeware. Now we can make cookies that stay fresh and protected with a sturdy snap-on lid. Item #99510. Click here for more information or to purchase.
Stay Fresh Pie Keeper. We also love this easy-traveling pie plate. It also keeps the pie fresh at home. Bake the pie, then snap on the lid to transport it. Go green—no more aluminum foil or plastic wrap is needed. Click here for more information or to purchase.
Find These And Other Great Products
At Chefs Catalog Online
Chef's

Mariposa Baking Company: Gluten-Free Wonders

INDEX OF REVIEW

MORE TO DISCOVER

Introduction

If you have gluten allergies, you miss out on a lot of the finer things in life, making do with gluten-free cookies and cake that, let’s say, haven’t exactly made it past THE NIBBLE’s tasting panel.

But miracle of miracles, a reader tipped us off to a company in Oakland, California that deserves an award—and lots of business—for creating baked goods so good, no one would think that its brownies, coffeecake and other products weren’t regular topnotch goodies. Well, they are tops—they just happen to be gluten-free. If Mariposa Baking Company were our neighborhood bakery, we’d be a steady customer.

If you know people on a gluten-restricted diet, be sure they know about Mariposa. If you owe them a gift, consider your problem solved.

Coconut Lemon Bars
Coconut Lemon Squares: Large shavings of chewy coconut and a lemon filling atop a cookie base.

Gluten-Free Brownies & Bars

Who says a gluten-free brownie isn’t moist, chocolatey and delicious? These brownies can hold their own anywhere; and the Coconut Lemon Square is a winner, too.

Mocha Truffle Brownie
Mocha Truffle Brownie scores many brownie points.
Who could imagine these weren’t made with gluten-rich wheat flour, like any other brownie?

Triple Chocolate Truffle Brownie

A lovely, chocolatey brownie in the lighter, cakier style (e.g., not fudgy), the experience is very chocolatey without being heavy or rich. (Photo at top of page.) The ingredients are organic unrefined cane sugar, dark chocolate, butter, eggs, gluten-free flour mix (organic brown rice flour, potato starch and tapioca flour), walnuts, vanilla extract, guar gum and salt. If you need a dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free product, check out Divvies cupcakes and cookies.

Mocha Truffle Brownie

Mocha adds espresso and coffee extract to the basic ingredients list, and removes the walnuts. The result is a different flavor and attitude: Be sure to order both. (Photo at left.)

Coconut Lemon Square

Coconut and lemon are a great combination, and they are equal partners in the bar. The moist coconut provides lots of chewy texture; the coconut-lemon mixture sits atop a soft cookie base.

The ingredients include gluten-free flour mix (organic brown rice flour, potato starch, sweet rice flour and tapioca flour), dark brown sugar, eggs, natural unsulfered coconut, mechanically pressed organic palm oil, pecans, powdered sugar, organic unrefined cane sugar, lemon juice, lemon oil and salt.

The Brownie Of The Month Club is one gift that will never be regifted.

 

Sour Cream Coffeecake

With all the cinnamon, walnuts, sour cream, butter and vanilla in this fetching streusel coffeecake, no one would even think to question what grain the flour is milled from (it’s a gluten-free blend of organic brown rice flour, sweet rice flour, potato starch and tapioca flour). The unrefined cane sugar and dark brown sugar make this a classic treat.

At about four and a half inches in diameter, the coffeecake can be split into two portions. Or if it’s your birthday, put a scoop of ice cream on top, add a candle and enjoy the day.

The review continues below.

Gluten Free Coffeecake
The coffeecake, almost five inches in diameter, can be split into two portions.

A Bounty Of Brownies—Including Gluten-Free Recipes

Brownie Points Brownies The Ultimate Brownie Book
Brownie Points: Over 100 Outrageously Delicious and Easy Variations on North America’s Favorite Dessert, by Lisa Slater. Tested and proven, easy-to-make recipes for every imaginable kind of brownie delicacy, including muffins, cupcakes and cheesecakes. There are sugar-free and gluten-free recipes too, along with detailed discussions of baking methods and equipment. Click here for more information or to purchase. Brownies, by Linda Collister. Mouthwatering photography and foolproof recipes for a whole bakery full of brownies, Make everything from Peanut Butter to Chocolate Mint, Raspberry to White Chocolate, basic Brownie to Blondie. There are also brownie desserts like Brownie Cheesecake and Brownie Fudge Pie, plus an entire chapter of dessert sauces to pour over your brownies. Click here for more information or to purchase. The Ultimate Brownie Book: Thousands of Ways to Make America’s Favorite Treat, by Bruce Weinstein. Each recipe comes with a large number of suggested variations, both subtle and flavor-forward (toasted pepitas and chopped dried prunes in banana brownies, for instance). Some variations, such as Mexican Chocolate Brownies, are au courant, while Chile Brownies and Sweet Corn Brownies are cutting-edge. Click here for more information or to purchase.
Gluten Free Biscotti
Almond biscotti are one of six flavors in the gluten-free line.

Gluten-Free Biscotti

The final gluten-free bites belong to biscotti. We tried two of the six biscotti flavors, which include Almond, Anise Almond, Cinnamon Toast, Ginger Spice, Orange Walnut and Rustic Raisin. If you have difficulty choosing, there’s a Biscotti Of The Month Club.

Biscotti crumbs are also sold, and are a great substitute for graham cracker crumbs, enabling gluten-free cheesecake and pie crusts (there’s a recipe on the website).

Bread Products

The company also sells gluten-free bagels, croutons and pizza crusts.

People with gluten allergies can’t eat a lot of things that the typical person has at his disposal. The company’s butterfly logo represents the ability to enjoy life and spread one’s wings. Whether or not you have a gluten intolerance, you’ll enjoy life more with a plate of Mariposa’s products.

— Karen Hochman

FORWARD THIS NIBBLE to anyone who eats gluten-free food.

MARIPOSA BAKING COMPANY
Biscotti, Brownies & Coffeecake

  • Biscotti
    6.3-Ounce Box
    $7.50
  • Brownies
    $2.75 Each
    Gift Boxes Available
  • Sour Cream Coffeecake
    7.25 Ounces
    $7.25
  • See Website For More Choices

Purchase online* at
MariposaBaking.com

Or telephone 510.595.0955
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Pacific Standard Time.

*Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. THE NIBBLE does not sell products; these items are offered by a third party with whom we have no relationship. This link to purchase is provided as a reader convenience.

Biscotti Box
Sign up for the Brownie Of The Month Club or Biscotti Of The Month Club...or both!

 



Check Out These Other Top Pick Of The Week” Baked Wonders:

 

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