Toffe Covered Gluten-Free Coffee Cake for All

This morning I shared an idea i had been playing with for a decadent gluten-free toffee covered coffee cake with a friend of mine. Her response was that she wanted Gluten-Free AND healthy. After some thought, I sent her this response:

These days there are two reasons for giving up gluten. One is that the person has a true sensitivity to gluten and becomes ill from eating even a small amount. The other reason is because it’s a popular trend. Perhaps a person is trying to avoid GMOs or has read a certain book and thinks they’ll took like Cheryl Tiegs once they lose their “wheat belly”.

People from the second group always have the option to indulge every once in a while and have a sumptuous dessert in a restaurant. For those of us with a true gluten sensitivity that option does not exist. The only thing I MAY be able to get from the dessert menu of a restaurant is a fruit plate, sorbet, or a scoop of ice cream IF it’s a flavor that actually IS gluten-free. Even the “flourless chocolate cakes” offered in many establishments are not GF because the chef has coated the pan with butter and FLOUR to keep his cake from sticking.

There’s a GF bakery that I checked out when i was visiting a friend in a large city last April. Their offerings were beautiful and, frankly, I was a little intimidated after seeing their presentations. I bought a brownie and a couple muffins. Happily I didn’t try them till after leaving the store. They were GF, dairy-free, taste-free, grainy bits of Styrofoam. In each case I took a bite, spit it out and threw away the rest of the pastry because it just wasn’t worth the calories.

I have to admit I gained a size developing the recipes for my cookbook this summer, but normally I only bake when I’m going to some event or for a special occasion where there will be lots of people to share the goodies. Till I came up with my brownie recipe, I hadn’t eaten a brownie in years because the couple times I bought Gf ones they were terrible and I pitched them. As for the toffee topping recipe I sent my friend. I haven’t had a sticky bun in years, not only because of the gluten, but because most places also include cinnamon which makes me have severe cardiac arrhythmia that would turn me from physician to patient. Planning a Toffee covered coffee cake to take to an event this weekend has already assuaged years of cravings and I haven’t had a bite yet!

As a physician, as well as a person with gluten intolerance, I know that it’s very hard to get someone to give up an ingredient that means NEVER again indulging in their favorite foods. I think people with gluten intolerance deserve to have fabulous alternatives so that, though they may suffer from a medical condition, they don’t have to feel punished or deprived for the rest of their lives. And so, my new little cookbook was born. To balance the rich, delectable pastries I was not willing to give up, “Gluten-Free with Dr. Jeri” also has tons of healthy appetizer, salad, soup, side and main dish options as well as a few low glycemic cookies and muffins (recipes that I have offered to my diabetic patients in the past).

Whatever your reasons for being Gluten-Free, I hope that every once in a while you have a slice of pure decadence. You deserve it!

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