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Cookies Have A Bitter/metallic/salty Taste. What Is It?
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I'm new to gluten-free eating. I discovered a place in town that does gluten-free baking and pizza. I bought half moon cookies (black/white) there today to surprise DH and my kids with how good gluten-free treats can taste. Well, they were disgusting. The kids spit them out. DH and I tasted a bitter, I guess metallic type flavor. Dh thought maybe it was too much baking soda. But I'm wondering if a type of flour substitute, xantham gum or other type of gluten-free sub would cause this. Is this a common side effect in gluten-free baking or just an isolated thing, perhaps a mistake? Gosh I would've hated to have brought these to a party to share they were that bad.

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Sometimes the pea and bean flour can impart an undesirable taste to things that are supposed to be sweet, or it could have just been a bad recipe or wrongly executed. Hard to say. There are some really delicious gluten free foods out there, although I personally admit that it is hard to duplicate gluten cookies with gluten-free flours. Hub found a good choc. chip recipe the other day, quite by chance, and using all the same ingredients we usually use - the proportions just happened to "work".

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Dh thought maybe it was too much baking soda.

Actually, I think this is pretty good guess.

I know some people don't like Wikipedia as a reference but it summerizes it nicely:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baking_powder#Usage_of_aluminum_compounds

Have you ever noticed that you can buy aluminum free baking powder? Tells you that there must be some baking powder with aluminum in it, huh? You can google it and find more info but it's used in the form of an acidic salt.

I had a friend that made banana bread and brought it into work where just about anything is scarfed down immediately. A couple of pieces were eaten and then it just sat there. She was wondering why and had a piece herself and it was terrible. I had a piece as well and yes, it was terrible - bitter is the word that came to mind. I was helping her figure out what she did wrong and we figured out she used four times as much baking powder as she was suppose to.

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I also wanted to add that usually in gluten free baking, there often is a need to use more leavening than in the (equivalent) gluten recipe . . . but not to the point where it affects the taste.

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I can taste baking soda as a metallic taste. I agree that was probably it.

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Take the cookies back and tell them they have an "off" taste, they may want to know, since all of you are tasting "something."

Too much baking soda is really awful, both salty and bitter. I did this recently with a pancake accidentally, thinking it wouldn't matter that I spilled a bit extra into it. I know what my pancakes are supposed to taste like. Gaaack !

I have heard about some tapioca having a metallic or off taste, but have not experienced it yet.

I can taste xanthan gum (I know, I'm weird) and don't like it, so I tend not to use it that much, and try to add more spices or flavorings when I do. But xanthan does not taste bitter, and if the cookies had too much, they would be comically rubbery and this probably would have been noticed by the bakers when they were stirring the dough. I also don't like the slightly bitter, metallic taste of flax meal, but most people don't notice, and cookies usually don't have flax, or very little. This makes up for my not minding garbanzo and navy bean flours, which bother so many other people. Altho using vinegar, cumin, and a sweet spice such as Chinese 5 spice powder tends to neutralize it, and they work well in breads when blended with other flavorful flours. I don't like soy flour very much, but it's not metallic.

Most of the standard white flour gluten free substitutes- starches of corn, potato, tapioca, and rice flours- are neutral tasting- none have a tendency towards "off" except some imported tapioca. So this leaves either the baking soda or shortening(s) or butter as the other likely culprit- but they tend not to be metallic - unless the frosting/glaze was messed up.

CSI - Operation "Store Bought Cookie" seems to all pointing towards the baking soda.

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I'm pretty sure it was baking soda. I bought 4 cookies. They are huge so DH and I split one and the kids split one. I was brave and tried another one the next day and it tasted fine to me. Then tried the last one and even convinced DH to have another bite and that one was fine too. Must have just been a bad batch or it wasn't mixed thoroughly and that one cookie had all the soda. I'm relieved that this places' gluten-free baking isn't so horrid because I was so excited to find this gem right up the street from me.

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