Last week I arrived at work, only to be greeted by my co-worker Barbara who presented me with a gluten-free chocolate biscotti from the Bean Counter Bakery, located in Worcester and Shrewsbury, MA. Barbara is awesome. Ever since I explained my gluten-free diet to her, she has been bringing me gluten-free menus and gluten-free samples anytime she finds them. (Don't we all wish we had friends like Barbara!). As I have mentioned before, Worcester, MA is the Mecca of gluten-free living. I can't believe the variety of options available to gluten-free shoppers and diners in this city. So, when Barbara brought me this biscotti, I had to find out more about this Bean Counter Bakery that was supplying fresh gluten-free baked goods.
I instantly sent an email to Bean Counter Bakery's owner, Alice, asking for more information on the bakery as I wanted to feature the biscotti in an upcoming Friday Finds feature. Not only did I hear back from Alice, but she offered to put together a sample of her gluten-free products for review. The Bean Counter Bakery has three locations – Bean Counter Worcester in Highland Street, Bean Counter Shrewsbury on Rt. 9, and Black Diamond Coffee on Rt. 140 in Shrewsbury. Each of these locations always carries the following gluten-free options: vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with vanilla or chocolate butter cream frosting, almond and chocolate biscotti, chocolate chip and peanut butter chocolate chip, coconut macaroon, and pecan squares available fresh daily. They will also be adding Raspberry Linzer Sandwich and Lemon Cream Sandwich, Hamantaschen, and Specialty Theme Cookies as needed, to their daily offering, without an advanced order. Their premium gluten-free "flour" contains ingredients derived from rice, corn, and tapioca. It is all natural, kosher, and parve. Not yet featured on the menu, is their complete line of tarts. Contact them for a complete list of products or to place your order.
Gluten-free Chocolate Biscotti.
So, back to the biscotti. I was having a particularly long day, so lunch time couldn't arrive soon enough. I brewed myself a cup of tea and sat down to try my little biscotti treat. It looked really hard, and I must admit I was worried it was going to be a tooth breaker because as typical long, hard, dense, biscotti can be but fortunately that was not the case. I bit in and what a delight, rich coco flavor like a brownie filled with creamy chocolate chips. Delicious! Usually, biscotti is dry and crumbly but this one wasn't at all which was very surprising since it is gluten-free. It was firm and crunchy, like a biscotti should be, but not hard like a rock ready to break your teeth. Because it is hard, it stands up to being dipped into a warm cup of coffee or tea. I sat at my desk and savored my afternoon treat, and of course, shared some with Barbara who was so sweet to have thought to bring this to me.
This past Monday, Mark and I ventured over to the Bean Counter Bakery to pick up the sample package. We were greeted by a very friendly young woman at the counter and a box filled with four absolutely beautiful cupcakes. First, we sampled the Luscious Lemon Cupcake, a moist vanilla cake filled with a fresh lemon cream, frosted with a subtle lemon buttercream frosting, topped with a delicious bold lemon curd that tasted almost like lemonade. As anyone who reads my blog knows, I really don't like fruit flavored desert but this cupcake is amazing. They manage to capture the lemon essence in three distinct toppings that blend perfectly and are just the perfect amount of sweetness. Additionally, their White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake, is not to be missed either. It consist of a moist vanilla cupcake, filled with a creamy, velvety, raspberry center that tastes almost like raspberry ice cream, topped with a white chocolate frosting that is soft, creamy, and buttery with a subtle hint of vanilla. Two fabulous fruit flavored cupcakes.
And then there was chocolate. What can I say, I have a chocolate problem. I'm not ashamed to admit it. I need my daily allotment of chocolate as much as I need green vegetables and protein. The Bean Counter Bakery has two absolutely fabulous chocolate cupcakes. The first, Death by Chocolate, is a moist, cocoa-y, chocolate cake, filled with a chocolate mouse creamy center, topped with a decadent thick chocolate fudge almost like a ganach. The second, my favorite of the two, is their Chocolate Cupcake with Vanilla Frosting, a simple but perfect dessert. It is the perfect amount of chocolate in moist cake topped with a thick layer of delicious buttercream frosting that is subtly hinted with vanilla, covered in beautiful dotted sprinkles. As Mark said, it is like the kind of cake your mom would make you if she was highly skilled in the art of gluten-free baking. I savored every morsel of this decadent treat until not a crumb was left on the plate.
Gluten-free Raspberry Linzer Heart
The final stop on our gluten-free tour of the Bean Counter Bakery is their Raspberry Linzer Heart Cookie. This delicious, buttery, flaky pastry is filled with gooey raspberry jam. It is fabulous as an afternoon treat with a subtle cup of tea. I am very impressed with the variety of textures, flavors and options that the Bean Counter Bakery manages to pull of for its gluten-free patrons. I highly recommend every product that I had the good fortune of sampling. So whether you are in the mood for an afternoon treat or in need of a dessert for a party, check out one of the Bean Counter Bakery's three locations. You will not be disappointed.