September 01, 2001

home-gift-basketThis year, food allergy sufferers can enjoy a sweet treat in their stocking. Home Free treats offers organic cookies and coffee cakes that are peanut, tree nut, egg, and dairy free.

The product: Home Free cookies ($5.49 for a 6-cookie container; $27.95 for a gift basket including three boxes and three individual cookies; available at select grocery stores nationwide and online)

The taste factor: Just like the real thing! These cookies may not contain any eggs or milk, but they capture the wholesome and perfectly sweetened flavor of your family's favorite recipe. We sampled the mini chocolate chocolate chip cookies, which were bite-size, crispy cookies with the perfect amount of chocolate chips, and the soft oatmeal cookies, which were crumbly, hearty treats with a subtle  sweetness. Though they didn't exactly capture the straight out of the oven flavor, they did an excellent job at satisfying our need for an afternoon treat.

The health factor: We were pleased to see the Whole Grains Council's symbol on the side of the Home Free boxes. And the Nutrition Facts label wasn't bad either. For 120–130 calories and 4–5 grams of fat, you can enjoy one oatmeal cookie or six mini chocolate chocolate chip cookies. They don't contain any trans fat or cholesterol and even have 1–2 grams of dietary fiber. But most importantly, they're made in a factory containing no peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, dairy, or wheat. For those suffering with food allergies, that's a sweet deal.

Why we love it: There's no reason for any child—or adult—to miss out on dessert because of food allergies. These cookies are delicious, and they're made of quality ingredients. What's not to love? Plus, they come in beautiful baskets that make a generous gift to your favorite cookie monster.