Sweet Stuff: Lillabee

November 1 2010, 11:30 AM

Over the summer, I left the Stapleton Farmers Market toting not just pristine produce but also baking mixes from Lillabee, a gluten-free (and allergy-friendly) company in Boulder.

It was a plate of brownie samples that lured me in. Mind you, I'm not gluten-intolerant, but I've sampled dozens of products with a friend who is. The truth is that while there are many gluten-free products on the market, few are any good.

Enter Lillabee. The brownie samples were gooey and decadent, with none of the usual trappings of gluten-free: grainy, cardboardy, dense. I went home with all four of the available mixes (fudgy brownie, anytime muffin, classic yellow cake, and perfect pancakes/waffles). 

In one baking-filled afternoon, I made each mix and offered the samples to my husband and neighbors. By design, none of us are gluten-intolerant, so when we tasted we were specifically looking for problems. Few arose.

The brownies were my favorite, but I did find that eating them straight out of the pan or heating them up later disguised a slightly sugary taste. My neighbors loved the muffins (I added mixed berries), which rose perfectly and offered an ideal crumb. Ditto the yellow cake. My husband's favorite was the waffles, which browned nicely and tasted no different than my usual recipe. (Note: Adding an extra splash of milk helps the batter spread in the waffle iron.)

I will definitely be making Lillabee’s again—next time for my friend. I think I'll start with the brownies.

Bonus: The pancake/waffle mix is so successful, it's popped up on the brunch menus at Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace and Lola.

Look for Lillabee mixes to soon appear on the shelves at Lucky’s Market, Marczyk Fine Foods, and possibly Whole Foods Market in Boulder.