A Cookbook Review: Simply… Gluten-Free

by Valerie on April 2, 2011 · 4 comments

lunch and muffins 014

Don’t these Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins look good? I used Ricki’s oven-dried cranberries to make the muffins and loved them. I ate them as a sweet but not too sweet breakfast or snack and alongside and atop several bowls of black bean soup for a sweet and savory experience.

And what about these Black Bean Brownies?

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Both are from Carol Kicinski’s upcoming cookbook, available April 12:

clip_image003 Simply . . . Gluten-free Desserts: 150 Delicious Recipes for Cupcakes, Cookies, Pies, and More Old and New Favorites

I have been reading Carol’s blog for quite some time.  It contains wonderful recipes and Carol is a gem.  I was a bit in awe of Carol and, as far as I remember, had never commented on her blog, so I was completely taken aback when I realized one day she had listed me on her Gluten-Free Community page. I have commented more on her blog since and have come to appreciate Carol’s warm personality, which shines through her blog, even more.

Her book, Simply . . . Gluten-free Desserts, is just like Carol’s blog in book form. Warm tone, scrumptious recipes and beautiful photographs.  When I was offered a review copy, I was intrigued by the press release that noted that several recipes were grain-free, and some dairy-free and sugar-free.  That sounded right up my alley, as I have been eschewing gluten-free grains in my baked goods in favor of almond or legume flours.  So, I was especially excited when I found the above two recipes, which are grain-free, dairy-free and refined-sugar-free (sugar-free in this book means refined-sugar-free) along with a slough of others such as Grain-Free Chocolate Cupcakes and Coconut Mango Panna Cotta.  Carol does use agave in several of her recipes, but in restrained amounts.  There are other recipes that contain regular sugar as well.

Simply . . . Gluten-free Desserts also contains many recipes based on Carol’s own flour blend, which is a sweet rice flour blend. I like that this book has something for everyone – gluten-free desserts that will likely taste identical to their gluten-full counterparts (thanks to the beauty of Carol’s flour blend), but also additional free-from desserts  for those of us who discovered multiple food intolerances in addition to requiring a gluten-free diet.  Dairy-free, sugar-free and grain-free recipes are all noted as such prominently.  I definitely want to play around with several of the recipes that include sugar and perhaps substitute palm sugar and I would like to see if I can make the above two recipes without eggs (I used small duck eggs that are about the same size as large chicken eggs).

That’s the thing with Carol’s book – the recipes are great and the book and photography are so inspiring that I keep wanting to bake and experiment.  Simply . . . Gluten-free Desserts will be released on April 12, so be sure to pre-order a copy now.  Also, Carol was on QVC a few weeks ago – I do not know if she will be on again anytime soon, but do keep an eye out.

This is also my submission to Gluten-Free Wednesday over at Gluten-Free Homemaker.

Update January 2012: I am also submitting this to Wendy’s In My Gluten Free Kitchen – Sharing Sundays Cookbook Shelves Roundup at Celiacs in the House.  I should note that since I reviewed this book I no longer eat eggs, but I do think there are many recipes in the book that are already vegan as well as gluten-free, and definitely a few more that can be adapted.

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  • General Disclosures
  • Specific disclosure regarding Simply… Gluten-Free Desserts: I received this book free of charge. My view of this book is not influenced in any way by the fact I received it free of charge.


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 gfe--gluten free easily April 2, 2011 at 11:00 pm

I love Carol! She's such an energetic, warm soul in our gluten-free world. :-) And her recipes rock as you have clearly demonstrated, dear. Great review!



2 Alisa Fleming April 3, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Oh no, that cookbook looks just too amazing – and I really don't need any more sweets! Can't wait to check it out :)


3 simplygluten April 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Thank you so much for your kind words! Hope you enjoy the book and realize you can always sub out the sugar for unrefined sugars like palm sugar. I tried to include some dairy and grain free but obviously the focus is gluten free and it is a dessert cookcook :)

Thanks again!


4 Jenn @leftoverqueen April 4, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Looks like a great addition to my cookbook collection!


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