Sinfully Good Treats from Sinfull Bakery
Ever since my run-in with some miserable gluten-free (GF) pancakes a while back, I've been wary of GF food in general. But wary doesn't mean I don't keep trying the stuff in hopes of finding some magical GF cookie that doesn't taste like a Frisbee.
This past weekend, I spotted a display of Sinfull Bakery's offerings at Georgia's Farm to Market (12171 Katy Freeway). I'd never seen the cookies or loaves of sweet bread there before and was intrigued by the addition. When I got closer and saw that Sinfull's baked goods were both vegan and gluten-free (and, in some products, sugar-free as well), the deal was done. Curiosity had gotten the better of me. And, I have to admit, the no-frills packaging was pretty easy on the eyes.
No eggs? No butter? No [normal] flour? No sugar? Could this stuff possibly be any good?
According to its website, Sinfull Bakery was founded by a vegetarian who's allergic to dairy -- nearly a vegan, in essence -- but still had a sweet tooth to satisfy. After interning at a vegan bakery in Portland, Oregon (natch) for a while, Brittany-Dylan packed up her car and the recipes she'd created while baking vegan goodies and headed back to her hometown, Houston.
Sugar-free cookie on the left; gluten-free cookie on the right.
I bought two different kinds of Sinfull's chocolate chip cookies to take home and test with a friend: a sugar-free version and a gluten-free version. Both were vegan: no eggs, no dairy. And both looked entirely different from one another.
The verdict from both cookies was surprising. The sugar-free chocolate chip cookie was sweetened with agave nectar, which I could taste immediately. The texture was fantastic: slightly chewy and filled with plenty of chocolate chunks. If it had been made with regular sugar, I wonder if it wouldn't have tasted just like a regular (non-vegan, that is) cookie.
The gluten-free cookie did contain sugar, and was my favorite because of it. The other taste-tester preferred the sugar-free cookie, however, because of its texture. The GF cookie was fat and crumbly, almost too much so. It felt a bit too starchy in my mouth, but I'm guessing that's a result of the three different wheat flour replacements used: rice flour, sorghum flour and potato starch. It's interesting to see this blend of flours coming quite close to replicating the taste and mouthfeel of wheat flour, even if it's ever-so-slightly off the mark.
The final verdict from both parties: Both cookies were great. We agreed that we'd like to combine the taste of the GF cookie with the texture of the sugar-free cookie, but overall we were quite impressed with the way that both cookies -- all vegan -- tasted nearly as good as the real thing.
Sinfull doesn't have a storefront right now, but sells its wares at places like Georgia's as well as several farmers markets around town -- even out west in Katy -- and in retail operations like Wabash and Taft St. Coffee. I'm sure the cookies would wash down even better with a cup of coffee and a seat on Taft's patio now that the weather has cooled off a bit.