Friday, February 23, 2007

Let them eat gluten-free cake

Something big is coming this weekend. Really big. And you’d think by the way everyone is prattling on about it that a gigantic window-rattling parade of porn stars in solid-gold Hummers is set to invade Hennepin Avenue this Saturday at noon. Nope. Nothing like that. It’s just the white stuff floating down from those lint-lined cumulous clouds. Big, giant flakes of not-so-adult entertainment.

So what better weekend to hole up at home stuffing your face with delicious baked goods? Better yet—wheat-free, gluten-free, and peanut-free baked goods? Delish and lovely baked goods that are actually, well, almost good for you?

The brainchild of self-proclaimed recovering lawyer Judy Malmon, Cooqi (pronounced “cookie”) is a bright and homey new bakery on Marshall Avenue in St. Paul. And the little bakery serves up everything your healthy little hearts desire: chocolate chip cookies, blueberry muffins, ginger cookies, brownies, cupcakes, pizza crusts, cookie dough, and more.

Malmon uses whole-grain flours instead of the unhealthy bleached and refined stuff that does a body no good. Even if you don’t suffer from gluten allergies, processed white flour is about as healthy as this year’s baddest boy, Mr. Evil High-Fructose Corn Syrup. So how can she create fluffy mountains out of gluten-free muffins? How can she make bread crusts bounce without the aid of yeast?

It doesn’t matter what the secret is to Malmon's sugary, gluten-free heaven. As long as it doesn’t have any of the white stuff (flour, not snow), we could devour eight cookies and two brownies in one sitting. Yes, one single session of cookie-eating brownie-binging madness. So you'd better hurry if you want to get your hands on these baked goods. By mid-afternoon, fans of Cooqi’s gluten-free goodies have gobbled up nearly everything in the display cases.

Cooqi: 2186 Marshall Ave., St. Paul,

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