Friday, March 4, 2011

Product Review: Jo-Sef Gluten Free Cookies

Jo-Sef Gluten Free Cookies

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

For the first time in my ever-lengthening life, chocolate was not my favorite flavor for these cookies. The Cinnamon-O's sandwich cookies are divine - a blast from the past that tasted like those pink-iced animal cookies from my non-gluten-free childhood - YUM! The more elegant (dare I say mature?) square version, without the sandwich, were equally great. Vanilla-O's, and their plain square counterpart were both good, too. The chocolate could definitely have been more chocolatey, and I admit to being disappointed, but then I freely admit that the one item I miss from my pre-gluten free life is a certain chocolate sandwich cookie that is way too good to be good for me. Ah, well - these are still satisfying with a good glass of milk! Be forewarned: the sandwich cookies are sweet - almost too much so, and I think the sandwich cream is the culprit. One cookie was enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. Oh, and the Animal cookies? Who needs the little circus-car-shaped box - these are perfection! BC

While I agree that the Cinnamon cookies are absolutely the star flavor, I didn't think the chocolate was quite so lacking - I don't have a huge sweet tooth and the composition of these chocolate biscuits was just perfect for me! A glass of milk, while maybe not a necessity, was an ideal partner for these great little treats and, for being gluten-free, dairy/lactose/casein-free, egg-free, corn-free, nut-free AND vegan, these cookies are unbelievably awesome! Sign me up! KG

These are a bit on the gritty side, and for some reason the Chocolate-O's and chocolate squares were more so than the Cinnamon and Vanilla cookies. The grittiness is a function of the rice flour, of course, and maybe a finer grind might do the trick here. It's nothing to detract from the great flavors, except in the chocolate cookies - again, they were much grittier, and the grit did make me pause and think about it - NOT something one wants to be doing while enjoying a sweet treat. BC

While the cookies could be a little "gritty", I'm all about keeping things in perspective -- as biscuit cookies, these are amazing! They hold up to being dunked without crumbling/falling to pieces/dissolving into mush at the bottom of my morning cup of coffee. While there is no major texture difference between any of the three shapes (O's, squares or animal cookies), this does mean that that O's are a little thick on the cookie and thin on the frosting -- perfect for dunking, but a little challenging for solo consumption. KG


The cookies are in a thin plastic tray (except the animal cookies) and the tray slides into a plastic foil wrapper. On all the boxes of cookies I opened, every single wrapper caught on the tray and ripped to shreds - I blamed myself at first, but after all the packaging did this while I was being mindful, I'm pretty sure it wasn't me. I think the cookies will be stale before I can eat them all, and this is disappointing, especially since I really like these cookies! It's too bad a different packaging method couldn't be attempted, or that the wrapper couldn't be made bigger. It all slides into a beautiful box, of course, but the box won't protect against freshness. BC

The freshness issue is a big one - to be fair, I didn't have quite the same issue with the wrapper but regardless, I did end up sticking all but one box of them in ziploc bags to keep them fresh. That one box - the Vanilla Squares - was kept out as an experiment and I have to say, after a week of sitting on the counter in nothing but their opened foil wrapping and cardboard box, they were still pretty fresh - maybe not exactly fresh, but not soggy or stale tasting either - I was pretty impressed! KG


Four stars! Widely available in most grocery stores and natural markets, and through the Jo-Sef website as well. Worth seeking out, that's for sure! BC

While what Becky writes is true on the East Coast, these cookies are a rare find in grocery stores out West. Available online from, Gluten Free Mall and the Jo-Sef website you can definitely still order them, but good luck finding them in a grocery store. Sorry guys, but I'm giving you a 2/5... KG

Price Point
With an MSRP of $4.89/box for the O's, $4.49/box for the squares and $3.99/box for the animal cookies, these cookies fall into the average price range for gluten free baked goods - on the upside, the boxes are pretty darn full so I felt, at least, that I was getting a lot of bang for my buck -- instead of just packaging!


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