I, like many other people, find joy in the culinary arts: I love to cook, and bake, and try interesting new recipes that I find online. I have always loved to bake cakes, cookies, and brownies. My treats have almost always turned out delicious! However, my life was thrown a curve ball when I was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity. For those of you who are unfamiliar with gluten sensitivity, it means that I can not eat wheat flour without having an allergic reaction.

Fun fact: My allergic reaction to gluten is that I cannot gain weight! Seriously!

The gluten in wheat flour effects my thyroid glands and prevents me from absorbing the nutrients in everything else that I eat so I never gain weight. I could eat a whole chocolate cake every week and not gain an ounce. In addition to this, I have Hypothyroidism, which means that my thyroid is constantly overworking so my body quickly burns up everything I put in it.

The struggle is real

So now my struggle - as a lover of good food - is how to make desserts that are traditionally made with wheat flour still taste good using an alternative. The answer? I am still working on it. Although many stores now offer gluten-free cookie mixes and cake mixes, the results have a grainy texture and a nasty taste.

For example, one gluten-free chocolate chip cookie mix my family tried tasted like cornmeal and chocolate chips. Oftentimes gluten-free baking mixes will contain a lot of other junk to make up for the lack of gluten and it just ends up making the food taste bland and grainy. Why can't there just be a flour substitute for the same recipe?

Why are all gluten-free recipes so different from recipes that use wheat flour?

In my opinion, for most things, the recipe should not be different; it is unnecessary.

King Arthur gluten-free all-purpose baking mix

My family found King Arthur Gluten-Free All-purpose Baking Mix and we discovered it works well as a substitute for wheat flour in most cases.

With this gluten-free all-purpose baking mix, I have been able to make chocolate cakes, Chocolate Chip Cookies, cinnamon streusel coffee cake, waffles, and many other delicious desserts and foods that taste just like regular desserts and foods made with wheat flour. The best part is I didn't have to change the recipes at all to make them taste good. I just followed the normal recipes for chocolate chip cookies and other desserts and substituted the all-purpose baking mix for the wheat flour!

That is not to say that this baking mix works perfectly well for everything. Even this godsend has its limitations.

The main struggle with this product occurs when it is used to make a dough. The batter is perfectly fine, but the dough is a struggle because it crumbles easily and is hard to mold.

The gluten in wheat flour is what holds everything together and makes the dough pliable and strong. Without the gluten, the dough falls apart.

The hardest part of making gluten-free homemade pizza crust is trying to keep it from crumbling and falling apart, and making it taste like a regular pizza crust. For some reason, this gluten-free all-purpose flour just doesn't work as well for dough - for either flavor or texture - as it does for the batter.