Taste Testing Cup 4 Cup Flour!

The Flour

Several weeks ago, I finally managed to snag a bag of Cup 4 Cup flour at Jane’s Gluten-Free Foods in Moncton. (We purchased their regular gluten-free flour blend, but Jane’s also offers their pizza crust mix and a pancake/waffle mix.) I’ve heard great things about this flour but this was the first time I’d seen it in Canada. This blend is made up of the usual ingredients (cornstarch, white and brown rice flour, milk powder, tapioca flour, potato starch, and xanthan gum), but it promises a smooth texture and the ability to substitute it one-for-one for regular wheat flour. My hopes were high, especially since the three-pound bag cost $19.99.

I decided to test it out on my mom’s chocolate chip recipe, which is quite similar to the one on the bag of Cup 4 Cup flour.

The Recipe

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup shortening (I always use Crisco)
  • 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 ½ cups flour (I used Cup 4 Cup without adding anything else to the pre-blended mix)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream shortening and brown sugar together until well-mixed.
  3. Add egg, milk, and vanilla into the wet mixture. Blend well.
  4. In separate bowl, blend flour, salt, and baking soda together.
  5. Put half the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Blend for a minute, and then add the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix just until blended, particularly if using regular wheat flour. (The more you mix, the more the gluten gets activated, and the drier your cookies will be. Luckily, if you’re using gluten-free flour, you don’t have to worry about this!) If you find that the dough is dry, add another tablespoon or two of milk.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes for regular cookies, 10 to 14 minutes for gluten-free cookies.
  9. Cool and enjoy!

The Results

While I was making the cookies, I tasted the dough (which has always been my favourite part). It was not great – very rice-y and weird tasting. I added another teaspoon of vanilla extract and some more chocolate chips, which was probably unnecessary. Then I baked the cookies and hoped for the best.

Some sort of magical transformation happened in the oven. The wonderful smell of “real” cookies filled the house and they cooked up just like a regular cookie. I ate one as soon as it came out of the oven and it was like heaven – warm, gooey, and delicious. I couldn’t believe how incredible they tasted. Here is a picture of a few of the cookies after they had been cooked and cooled. I broke one open so that you can see the gooey, chewy texture.

 

I don’t think that these cookies tasted exactly like the ones my mom used to make, but I’d say they are pretty close. The batch of 20 cookies lasted just three days. It was worth every penny that I spent on the flour, and I would definitely buy this product again. In fact, I’m already planning a trip to Moncton to buy a bag of Cup 4 Cup pizza crust mix!

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  1. #1 by Chrisanna Doyle on June 2, 2014 - 12:05 pm

    Cookies and cakes have no need of xanthan gum or other ‘gluten replacers’ – They all have a ‘delicate crumb’ as the goal. Any recipe that directs you to “not over-beat”, is trying not to activate the gluten – Try brown rice flour as a 1:1 ratio (optinally add 1 Tbsp tapioca starch per cup), as your flour replacement for cakes and cookies – much cheaper, and yields great results!

    I’ve also found I can cut back on the fats in my G-F baking – the flours don’t absorb as much.

    • #2 by glutenfree4hfx on June 2, 2014 - 12:07 pm

      Thanks for the tips!

    • #3 by Dave on June 2, 2014 - 4:23 pm

      Chrisanna, The problem with brown rice flour as a 1:1 replacement in cake and cookie mixes is that it often adds an unwanted gritty texture (and also can add an unpleasant rice-y taste).

      Thanks for the review–I’m really curious to see how the pizza crust works out!

      • #4 by glutenfree4hfx on June 2, 2014 - 4:46 pm

        You’re welcome! We’ll be sure to post another review once we get our hands on some 🙂

      • #5 by Chrisanna Doyle on June 3, 2014 - 5:26 pm

        I use Cusine Soleil (http://www.cuisinesoleil.com/) brown rice flour and it is milled finer than Bob’s Red Mill… I’ve never heard anyone call any of my baking “rice’y”, or even realise it wasn’t wheat…

        I feel a bake-off coming on 😀

      • #6 by glutenfree4hfx on June 3, 2014 - 5:27 pm

        Where do you buy that brand? Would be interesting to try it!

      • #7 by Chrisanna Doyle on June 3, 2014 - 6:11 pm

        (I can’t reply to the question below, so I hope this falls in line)

        Ocean Organic on Quinpool carries Cusine Soleil. I sometimes order it from Well.ca too. Their buckwheat flour is usually cheaper at Well.ca – Nothing like Canada Post carrying your groceries to your door for you! 😀

      • #8 by glutenfree4hfx on June 3, 2014 - 9:12 pm

        Great to know – we will have to check that out!

  2. #9 by kirstenh on June 3, 2014 - 5:12 pm

    Just thought you might like to know that Nicole over at Gluten Free on a Shoestring has a DIY Cup 4 Cup flour mix – http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/better-than-cup4cup-gluten-free-flour-blend-d-i-y-how-to/
    Enjoy!

    • #10 by glutenfree4hfx on June 3, 2014 - 5:13 pm

      Thanks for the tip! I have her book and it’s great, but I find the ingredients in this mix hard to find in Halifax 😦

      • #11 by Chrisanna Doyle on June 3, 2014 - 5:21 pm

        Any Bulk Barn and Ocean Organic on Quinpool have all those ingredients.

  3. #12 by kirstenh on June 4, 2014 - 11:38 am

    I was also going to say all of the ingredients for the mix can be found at bulk barn (where I get almost all of my stuff). I usually go to the one at Woodlawn, never had a problem getting any of them!

    • #13 by glutenfree4hfx on June 4, 2014 - 3:35 pm

      Bulk Barn has a great selection, but I’ve gotten sick several times from ingredients purchased there (I suspect from cross-contamination). Might be better now in stores like Woodlawn, though, where there is now a separate GF section.

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