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Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

Take simple shortbread to a new level with a simple microwave caramel layer and a chocolate ganache top. These chocolate caramel squares are a showstopper!

Take simple shortbread to a new level with a simple microwave caramel layer and a chocolate ganache top. These chocolate caramel squares are a showstopper!

These special 3-layer chocolate caramel shortbread bars are way, way easier than you may think. And they’re some sort of magic.

Each of the 3 layers has its own unique texture, with the caramel layer having the most chew. But when you take a bite into one, all 3 layers somehow have the same bite. 💫

I’m not sure I’m explaining myself very well. Maybe scroll down to the bottom still photo and you’ll see what I mean?

Take simple shortbread to a new level with a simple microwave caramel layer and a chocolate ganache top. These chocolate caramel squares are a showstopper!

Easy caramel without a thermometer

I happen to really love making candy of all types. I have no problem using an instant-read thermometer (I have the Thermopop instant-read thermometer and use it for nearly everything).

If you’re like me, maybe you’d prefer to make the caramel layer on the stovetop. Just use the instructions in this gluten free Twix-style recipe, and cook the mixture to a final temperature of 235°F.

But if you shy away from making caramel of any kind but you still love the taste and don’t just want to melt a bunch Kraft caramel squares for the pleasure, this one’s for you.

Take simple shortbread to a new level with a simple microwave caramel layer and a chocolate ganache top. These chocolate caramel squares are a showstopper!

If you’re nervous about making caramel in the microwave, don’t be. It’s more forgiving than you think, and more forgiving than making it on the stovetop. If you end up cooking it beyond the “soft ball” stage (235°F, when sugar holds its shape in a soft ball once it’s cooled), it won’t suddenly become brittle and hard.

You can, of course, stick a thermometer in the bowl at any point during the process. But you’re going to be guided by time, and by color more than anything.

I used a few different microwave caramel recipes on the Internet as a guide (this one was especially useful) but ended up kind of going my own way. Some recipes recommend cooking the mixture for 90 seconds at a time, others for 6 minutes at a time.

I found that 90-second intervals mean that the caramel never quite heats up enough to change state gradually. I highly recommend cooking the mixture for at least 5 minutes during the middle interval (as described in the recipe).

Take simple shortbread to a new level with a simple microwave caramel layer and a chocolate ganache top. These chocolate caramel squares are a showstopper!

Please be sure to take into account the maximum wattage of your microwave. My microwave is 1200 watts, and I cooked everything on HIGH power. If your microwave is particularly powerful, just use a reduced power wattage. For example, if your microwave is 2000 watts, 60% power would mean cooking at 12oo watts.

When the caramel begins to darken in color to a slightly deeper brown, you know that it’s changed state to something like the soft ball stage. The hard ball stage comes next, and the hard crack stage after that. Those are quite a ways away, and you aren’t likely to reach them.

And cleaning up cooked sugar is a breeze, I promise. Just soak the bowl in warm water, and allow it to sit in the sink. It will magically dissolve and be able to cleaned easily. I told you these bars were magic!

Take simple shortbread to a new level with a simple microwave caramel layer and a chocolate ganache top. These chocolate caramel squares are a showstopper!

Ingredients and substitutions

For information on ingredients in the brown sugar shortbread layer, please see this recipe for brown sugar shortbread. The caramel and chocolate layers in this recipe are new, so here are my thoughts on the ingredients in those parts of the recipe.

Dairy-free: I’ve never made a dairy-free caramel, but I’m sure it could be done. You could try replacing the butter with half Earth Balance buttery sticks and half nonhydrogenated shortening (I like Spectrum brand).

I have read some success stories about replacing the traditional sweetened condensed milk with coconut milk sweetened condensed milk. You can purchase canned dairy free sweetened condensed milk, or trying making homemade sweetened condensed milk.

In place of the heavy whipping cream in the chocolate layer, you could use canned full-fat coconut milk. Just be sure to use dairy-free chopped chocolate.

Corn syrup: Okay, so light corn syrup is not the same as high-fructose corn syrup. It’s an invert sugar that helps keep sugar from crystallizing while it cooks. It’s particularly useful when making caramel in the microwave since the mixture is heated in bursts, as opposed to one gradual process as it is on the stovetop.

Since corn syrup can be difficult to find outside the U.S. (or you may not be able to have anything derived from corn), you can use Lyle’s golden syrup in its place. Honey will not prevent sugar crystallization like these invert sugars, so it’s not a proper substitute here.

Egg-free: All layers of this recipe are delightfully and naturally egg-free. 🎉

Sugar-free: I’m afraid I don’t know any way to make caramel without sugar. When heat is applied to the sugar in the caramel layer, it changes physical state. I don’t believe that sugar substitutes can be used in homemade candy-making. I’m happy to be proved wrong, though!

Take simple shortbread to a new level with a simple microwave caramel layer and a chocolate ganache top. These chocolate caramel squares are a showstopper! #glutenfree #gf #shortbread #millionaire #caramel

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 12 to 16 bars

Ingredients

For the shortbread layer
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup (73 g) packed light brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (140 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch

For the caramel layer
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, chopped

1 1/4 cups (273 g) packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup (168 g) light corn syrup

7 ounces (1/2 can) sweetened condensed milk

For the chocolate layer
12 ounces bittersweet, dark or milk chocolate, chopped

3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream

Coarse salt, for finishing (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside.

  • To make the shortbread layer, in a large bowl, place the butter, brown sugar, and salt. Beat with a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the flour, xanthan gum and cornstarch, and mix until just combined. The dough will seem crumbly at first, but just keep mixing until it comes together. Transfer the cookie dough to the prepared baking pan, and press it into an even layer. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until lightly golden brown on the edges and set all the way to the center (about 18 minutes). It’s set in the center when it no longer shines. Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside to cool completely.

  • While the shortbread is cooling, making the caramel layer. Place all of the caramel ingredients in a large microwave-safe bowl. Use the largest bowl that will fit into your microwave since the mixture will bubble as it cooks. Place the bowl in the microwave and cook on high power for 1 minute or until the butter is completely melted. Remove the bowl from the microwave and mix to combine. Return the bowl to the microwave and cook on high power for 5 minutes. Remove from the microwave and stir. Return the bowl to the microwave and cook again until the mixture has begun to darken slightly in color and has either reached about 235°F using an instant-read thermometer or can be pressed into a soft ball when dropped in a bowl of cold water. That should take another 3 to 4 minutes. The mixture will have changed in color to a slightly darker golden brown. The bowl will be quite hot by now. Pour the hot caramel mixture over the cooled shortbread, bang the pan flat on the counter to break any large air bubbles, and allow to set at room temperature.

  • Finally, make the chocolate layer. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium-sized, heat-safe bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer over medium-low heat on the stovetop (or in the microwave) and pour over the chopped chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for about 1 minute before stirring until smooth. Pour the chocolate over the cooled caramel layer, and bang the pan flat on the counter a few times to break any large air bubbles. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes before sprinkling with the optional coarse salt.

  • Allow the bars to chill for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator until they’re firm enough to hold their shape when they’re lifted out of the pan. Using a sharp knife, slice into bars and serve chilled. If you allow the bars to chill so much that the caramel layer is hard to bite or slice, allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing or serving.

Love,
Nicole

Classic Gluten Free Apple Pie

Classic Gluten Free Apple Pie

Baking your gluten free apple pie in a bag ensures perfect fork-tender apples and a light and flaky, perfectly browned crust every time. Long live pie season!

Baking your gluten free apple pie in a bag ensures perfect fork-tender apples and a light and flaky, perfectly browned crust every time.

Baking pie in a paper bag 🔥

You should know straight up that I haven’t ever burned my house down baking an apple pie in a paper bag. Don’t worry I’m only kidding a 375°F oven is not going to get the paper bag hot enough to have it burst into flames.

Just don’t even think about turning on the broiler with the paper grocery bag inside the oven. And keep the bag away from direct contact with the flame.

Baking your apple pie in a bag means that your apple filling is always always always perfectly tender. It also ensures that your crust is extra special flaky even without blind-baking the bottom crust.

Baking your gluten free apple pie in a bag ensures perfect fork-tender apples and a light and flaky, perfectly browned crust every time. Try this old-fashioned technique during pie season—or any time!

Then, all that’s left to do is to tear open the top of the bag and finish baking. The crust will be absolutely positively the most gorgeous golden brown color you have ever seen in your life.

This is my favorite way to make a classic gluten free apple pie. But it’s far from the only way to make apple pie. Remember that we have a recipe for gluten free Dutch apple pie and even a recipe for handheld gluten free apple pies. Both of those recipes will produce a filling with more of a bite to it, unlike the super soft filling here.

And if you’re worried about rolling out pie crust, I have a how-to video for making extra flaky gluten free pie crust. The same techniques apply to the pie crust recipe here as they do in the extra flaky crust.

You can even double that recipe and use it in place of the double crust recipe below to make this pie. That’s what I did in the recipe video and it was amazing. That pie crust recipe is even easier to handle than the ice water recipe reprinted here, but both produce a light, flaky result.

Baking your gluten free apple pie in a bag ensures perfect fork-tender apples and a light and flaky, perfectly browned crust every time. Try this old-fashioned technique during pie season—or any time!

Deep dish or standard shallow pie plate

When I first published this recipe on the blog in 2014, I baked it in a traditional shallow pie plate. In the video and newer photos, I used a deep dish pie plate.

In either a deep dish or standard pie plate, the baking time stays the same. The paper bag technique is designed to cook the apples perfectly by steaming them in the bag.

The crust is shielded from any direct heat of the oven until the inside is nearly completely cooked. The final 10 minutes of baking time is just to fully brown the crust.

Baking your gluten free apple pie in a bag ensures perfect fork-tender apples and a light and flaky, perfectly browned crust every time. Try this old-fashioned technique during pie season—or any time!

If you decide to bake this apple pie in the sort of standard shallow pie pan you see above, you won’t use all of the sliced apples. Just cook the remaining apples down on the stovetop in a small heavy-bottom saucepan until tender.

As the filling mixture has sat in the bowl, some of the moisture has been drawn out of the apples. They shouldn’t need any additional liquid to be cooked separately. If you’re concerned about the apples burning, just add a splash of water to the pan.

Baking your gluten free apple pie in a bag ensures perfect fork-tender apples and a light and flaky, perfectly browned crust every time.

Ingredients and substitutions

Despite having a few steps and stages, this is a relatively simple recipe. It’s naturally egg-free if you omit the egg wash, and actually has relatively little sugar added. However, there are a few substitutions you might like to make, so here’s the information I have on the subject:

Dairy-free: The apple pie filling is naturally dairy-free, but the crust calls for plenty of butter. My favorite dairy-free substitute for butter in pastry is Melt brand vegan butter. It has a similar moisture content to butter, and a great taste.

I don’t recommend Earth Balance buttery sticks for pie crust. They have a ton of moisture when tends to cause the crust to leak and never become flaky.

If you can’t find Melt, try using Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening. You’ll definitely want to brush the crust with the egg wash, though, as shortening doesn’t brown particularly well.

Sugar-free: The only added sugar in this recipe is the half cup of granulated sugar in the filling. You can try replacing it with Swerve brand granulated sugar replacement.

Tapioca starch: You can replace the tapioca starch in the filling with arrowroot.

Baking your gluten free apple pie in a bag ensures perfect fork-tender apples and a light and flaky, perfectly browned crust every time. #Thanksgiving #GF #glutenfree #pieBaking your gluten free apple pie in a bag ensures perfect fork-tender apples and a light and flaky, perfectly browned crust every time. Try this old-fashioned technique during pie season—or any time!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 9-inch apple pie

Ingredients

Double Pie Crust
3 cups (420 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I highly recommend Cup4Cup, my Better Than Cup4Cup blend, or my Mock Cup4Cup), plus more for sprinkling

1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend  already contains it)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

12 tablespoons (168 g) unsalted butter, roughly chopped and chilled

3/4 to 1 cup cold water, iced (ice cubes do not count in volume measurement)

Pie Filling
3 pounds medium-size Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced about 1/4-inch thick

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon (9 g) tapioca starch

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For Finishing
Egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon cold water, beaten) (optional)

Large paper grocery shopping bag, plus a stapler

Directions

  • First, make the pie crust. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the chopped and chilled butter, and toss to coat it in the dry ingredients. Flatten each chunk of butter between your thumb and forefinger. Add 3/4 cup of water and mix until the dough begins to come together. Add the remaining water by the teaspoon until no part of the dough is crumbly.

  • Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured piece of unbleached parchment paper and press into a disk. Sprinkle the dough lightly with more flour, and roll it out into a rectangle that is about 1 inch thick, moving the dough frequently and sprinkling it lightly with flour if it begins to stick. Fold the dough over on itself like you would a business letter. Sprinkle the dough again lightly with flour, and roll out the dough once again into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Twice more, remove the top piece of parchment paper, sprinkle lightly with flour, and fold the dough over on itself like you would a business letter. This will smooth out the dough and make it quite easy to handle. Divide the dough into two equal parts, wrap each separately in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill.

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Make the pie filling. In a large bowl, place the apples, sugar, salt, tapioca starch, and ground cinnamon, and toss to coat the apples evenly. Set the filling aside.

  • Assemble the bottom crust and filling. Grease a 9-inch metal pie plate generously and set aside. Remove one half of the pie crust from the refrigerator. Place on a lightly floured piece of unbleached parchment paper, dust lightly with flour, and roll into a 12-inch round, about 3/8-inch thick. Roll the pie crust loosely on the rolling pin and then unroll it over the prepared pie plate. Press the pie crust gently into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate and, with kitchen shears, trim the excess crust so that only 1/4-inch of excess is overhanging the plate. Tuck the 1/4-inch of excess either under the bottom crust edge and crimp the edge gently all the way around the crust. Arrange the apples filling on the bottom crust in concentric circles, overlapping one apple slice slightly over the previous one.

  • Shape the other crust and finish assembling the pie. Remove the other half of pie crust from the refrigerator. Place on a lightly floured piece of unbleached parchment paper, dust lightly with flour, and roll it into a rough round about 3/8-inch thick and trim to 10-inches in diameter. Carefully lift the top crust and center it over the pie plate. Tuck the very edge of the pie crust under either the bottom crust or under itself. Crimp the edge all the way around and press together to seal the top and bottom crusts.* Place it in the freezer for 10 minutes (or the refrigerator for 30 minutes) to chill until firm.

    *Note: At this point, the assembled raw pie can be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to a month before baking and serving.

  • Brush the top crust and edges of the chilled pie generously with the optional egg wash. Place the paper bag open on its side, and slide the assembled and chilled pie inside so that the back edge of the pie is about 1-inch away from the bottom of the bag. Fold the bag opening over on itself and stable shut. Place the pie in the bag on a large rimmed baking sheet and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and cut a large hole in the top of the to expose the top and sides of the pie. Return to the oven and bake until the pie is golden brown all over (about another 10 minutes). Remove from the oven, and allow to cool slightly so the filling sets before slicing and serving.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2014. Recipe largely unchanged, most photos original, video and some text new.

Love,
Nicole

The Best Corn Tortillas | 8 Brands To Try

The Best Corn Tortillas | 8 Brands To Try

The best corn tortillas are soft and flexible, and taste and smell like corn. For when you need to grab something quick, here are 8 packaged brands of naturally gluten free corn tortillas to try.

The best corn tortillas are soft and flexible, and taste and smell like corn. For when you need to grab something quick, here are 8 packaged brands to try.

Why I’m reviewing packaged corn tortillas

When I began these product reviews my goal was to help you save money by ensuring that you don’t waste that hard-earned cash of yours on products that disappoint. Reviews on sites like amazon.com are great (really), but I often find that the reviewers have relatively low standards for gluten free products.

It’s not that anyone wants to waste money. But it’s easy to get caught in the cycle of judging things as “good, for gluten free.” That simply isn’t good enough. I judge every gluten free product against the best of its kind—whether it contains gluten or not.

This is my list of the best corn tortillas from my own personal experience. Nothing has been provided to me for free (I don’t accept free product from manufacturers outside the rare sponsored posts I do about once a year, or less). I’m reviewing these products as a consumer, just like you. I don’t believe that any other process would be very valuable.

If you have something else on your best corn tortillas list, please let us know in the comments below. Please try to include as many details as possible, including price, availability (in the U.S. and in the rest of the world) and best uses of the product.

I live and work in New York, in the U.S. Please keep that in mind when I discuss the product availability. If you live in a different part of this country or a different part of the world, please contribute availability information for these brands from where you live.

What isn’t included in this list?

Unlike when I reviewed the best packaged gluten free flour tortillas, none of the brands of corn tortillas that I tried in preparation of this best-of list were truly awful. Corn tortillas have been around for a long, long time, and have been perfected by many major brands. Many of those brands were likely always gluten free, and are just now advertising their product as gluten free to capture our attention.

One glaring omission from this list is Vista Hermosa brand corn tortillas. I have heard how great they are but had the hardest time locating them.

The Vista Hermosa website isn’t very helpful in locating individual products as opposed to stores that simply carry their brand (they also make other products like tortilla chips). I finally contacted them through their website after searching at the two Whole Foods stores within driving distance.

Vista Hermosa was able to explain that their corn tortilla wrap products at Whole Foods are usually displayed separately, next to the avocados in the produce section. They even emailed me a photo of the display, so I know they’re there. If I purchase and try them, I will update this post with my review.

Types of packaged corn tortillas

There are essentially two types of packaged corn tortillas. One is thin and flexible right out of the package. They’re relatively well-priced, widely available and have a mostly neutral flavor. The Guerrero, Chi-Chis, Mission, and La Banderita tortillas on this list fall into that category.

The other main category is thicker, tastes and smells more strongly of corn (masa harina precooked cornmeal flour), and isn’t flexible until heated. The tortillas on this list that fall into this second category are Mi Rancho, La Tortilla Factory, Masienda Bodega, and Del Campo.

Del Campo has some unusual characteristics, though, which we will discuss below. This category of tortillas tends to be more expensive, however, as they’re less likely to be mass-produced and are typically made with fewer perservatives. Del Campo brand is super expensive, to be honest, but I really love them.

I’ve included 4 corn tortilla brands in each category. Each category of tortillas serves a different purpose, and I use them each regularly in my home.

Guerrero White Corn Tortillas

The best corn tortillas are soft and flexible, and taste and smell like corn. For when you need to grab something quick, here are 8 packaged brands to try.

Of the four corn tortillas on this list in the first, super-flexible category discussed above, my favorite brand is Guerrero white corn tortillas. They’re thin and super soft and flexible right out of the package.

Guerrero white corn tortillas have absolutely no aftertaste and are probably the most flexible of this first category. They’re also really inexpensive and widely available. They also have fewer ingredients than others in this mass-produced category.

Here are the other details:

  • Size of tortilla and package: 5-inch diameter tortillas, various package sizes
  • Price you should expect to pay: About $2.30 for 30 tortillas.
  • Shelf-stable, refrigerate after opening.
  • Availability: Very good. My local grocery stores (Stop & Shop, Shop Rite) carry Guerrero corn tortillas.
  • Ingredients: corn masa flour, water, contains 2% or less of: cellulose gum, guar gum, amylase, and propionic acid, benzoic acid and phosphoric acid (to maintain freshness).
  • Heating instructions: none specified.

Mission White Corn Tortillas

The best corn tortillas are soft and flexible, and taste and smell like corn. For when you need to grab something quick, here are 8 packaged brands to try.

Mission corn tortillas are sold in white corn and yellow corn varieties, and even in a “super thin” variety. All of them are quite thin, though.

These white corn tortillas are flexible right out of the package, and very widely available. They do make flour tortillas and mixed corn-flour tortillas, so if you need to be gluten free be careful which package you grab off the shelf.

They’re my gluten free son’s favorite packaged corn tortilla, although he can’t fully explain why. But he is an absolute connoisseur of corn chips and tortillas, so I take his opinion seriously. I find Mission corn tortillas to be rather bland, but they hold up in enchiladas and for a quick quesadilla.

Here are the other details:

  • Size of tortilla and package: 5-inch diameter tortillas, various package sizes
  • Price you should expect to pay: About $2.50 for 30.
  • Shelf-stable, refrigerate after opening.
  • Availability: Excellent. I can’t remember the last time I was in a mainstream grocery store of any size that didn’t carry Mission corn tortillas. You won’t find them at Whole Foods, though. I guess they’re too unfancy.
  • Ingredients: corn masa flour, water, contains 2% or less of: cellulose gum, guar gum, amylase, and propionic acid, benzoic acid and phosphoric acid (to maintain freshness).
  • Heating instructions: For best results, heat in an ungreased skillet over medium-high heat for about 10 seconds per side. Can microwave by placing 4 to 6 tortillas between two damp paper towels, then microwave for 30 to 45 seconds or until heated through.

Chi-Chi’s White Corn Taco Style Tortillas

The best corn tortillas are soft and flexible, and taste and smell like corn. For when you need to grab something quick, here are 8 packaged brands to try.

Like the others in this category, Chi-Chi’s white corn tortillas are flexible right out of the package. They don’t have any aftertaste and are relatively bland.

Bland doesn’t have to be a bad thing, though. They can’t compete with fresh corn tortillas, but few things can. I like to think of them as a blank canvas since “bland” sounds like a value judgment.

They cost a few dollars more than the others of their kind, but it’s not a particularly expensive category of packaged product so I don’t mind that too much. I’m including them here in this best-of list because you should know that they’re good, in case you can’t find some of the others in your local store.

Here are the other details:

  • Size of tortilla and package: 5-inch diameter tortillas, various package sizes
  • Price you should expect to pay: $1.59 for 10.
  • Shelf-stable when unopened. Doesn’t say to refrigerate after opening, but I always do.
  • Availability: Very good. We buy Chi-Chi’s mild salsa all the time (see discussion above about my son and his tortilla chips), so I’m often in that aisle of the grocery store. Chi-Chi’s corn tortillas seem to have become more available recently.
  • Ingredients: white corn masa flour (white corn flour, propionic acid (preservative), guar gum, cellulose gum, benzoic acid (preservative), phosphoric acid, enzymes (to preserve freshness), trace of lime), water, contains 2% or less of calcium sulfate, xanthan gum, cellulose gum, guar gum, enzymes, propionic acid (preservative) sodium hydroxide, methyl paragon (preservative), propyl paragon (preservative).
  • Heating instructions: In an ungreased skillet over medium heat for 10-15 seconds on each side, in a 350°F oven wrapped in foil for 10 minutes or until soft and flexible, or in the microwave between two damp paper towels on high for about 20 seconds (up to 4 tortillas at a time).

La Banderita Corn Tortillas

The best corn tortillas are soft and flexible, and taste and smell like corn. For when you need to grab something quick, here are 8 packaged brands to try.

La Banderita corn tortillas are absolutely the softest packaged corn tortillas I’ve ever seen (or touched). I honestly don’t think you really need to heat them at all before eating them unless you want to heat whatever you’re putting inside of them.

They do have a slightly unpleasant aftertaste, though. They’re my 4th choice of any tortillas in this category for that reason. But it’s truly amazing how pillow-soft they are!

If you’re strictly gluten free (like we are), you might hesitate before purchasing La Banderita corn tortillas. The package states that they are made in a facility that also processes wheat (and soy). We haven’t ever had a problem with them, but please make the choice that is best for your family.

Here are the other details:

  • Size of tortilla and package: 5-inch diameter tortillas, various package sizes
  • Price you should expect to pay: $3.30 for 20.
  • Shelf-stable when unopened, but only closes with a twist-tie. Refrigerate after opening.
  • Availability: Good. In my local area, La Banderita used to be more widely available, much like Guerrero. Lately, they’ve become a bit harder to find.
  • Ingredients: whole grain corn, water, gums, preservatives (propionic acid, sorbic acid, fumaric acid, methyl and propyl paragons), lime.
  • Heating instructions: warm one tortilla at a time in a pre-heated skillet.

La Tortilla Factory Organic Yellow Corn Tortillas

The best corn tortillas are soft and flexible, and taste and smell like corn. For when you need to grab something quick, here are 8 packaged brands to try.

With La Tortilla Factory corn tortillas, we begin talking about our category. Like most of the others in this category, these are thicker, and not flexible until heated.

They do smell and taste heavenly, just like masa. In fact, La Tortilla Factory does have the most flavor of all of them. They’re expensive, though, and not widely available.

I do think that these corn tortillas are truly the best substitute for freshly homemade corn tortillas. So they’re kind of hard to resist.

Here are the other details:

  • Size of tortilla and package: 5-inch diameter tortillas, 8 tortillas per package
  • Price you should expect to pay: $17.95 for 16 (2-pack) on Amazon (I know!).
  • Shelf-stable, but refrigerate once opened.
  • Availability: Poor. I can only seem to find them on Amazon.com, and the price is not good.
  • Ingredients: water, stoneground organic yellow corn masa flour, organic guar gum, lime.
  • Heating instructions: Microwave one at a time for 20 to 25 seconds or until warm. Heat one at a time in a medium-hot, ungreased skillet for 10 to 15 seconds per side until warm and soft.

Mi Rancho Organic Corn Tortillas

The best corn tortillas are soft and flexible, and taste and smell like corn. For when you need to grab something quick, here are 8 packaged brands to try.

Like La Tortilla Factory corn tortillas, Mi Rancho corn tortillas are flavorful and aromatic, similar to homemade corn tortillas. They’re pretty significantly thicker than any of the others, though, and are not flexible at all until heated. These tortillas are cheaper than La Tortilla Factory, and easier to find (at least for me).

Generally, these more-like-homemade corn tortillas aren’t your best choice for rolling tight. They’re great for quesadillas, though. But you wouldn’t look to make a burrito out of them (for that, I’d stick to flour tortillas, with one notable exception below).

Here are the other details:

  • Size of tortilla and package: 5-inch diameter tortillas; a package of 8 tortillas.
  • Price you should expect to pay: $2.99
  • Not shelf-stable. Keep refrigerated.
  • Availability: Fair. They seem to be available at most Whole Foods markets.
  • Ingredients: water, organic whole white corn, organic yellow corn masa flour, trace of lime, organic guar gum.
  • Heating instructions: None specified.

Masienda Bodega Heirloom Corn or Blue Corn Tortillas

The best corn tortillas are soft and flexible, and taste and smell like corn. For when you need to grab something quick, here are 8 packaged brands to try.

Unlike the other corn tortillas in this second category of aromatic corn tortillas, Masienda’s tortillas are even slightly flexible before being heated. And they come in these two fun varieties.

I will be totally honest, though, and admit that the white and blue varieties taste the same to me. When I buy blue corn chips, they tend to be cut thicker and heartier, so they seem different to me. But the corn tastes like corn.

If you’re going to go all out and make fresh tortilla chips for a party, I’d start with this brand. Make blue and white chips!

Here are the other details:

  • Size of tortilla and package: 6-inch diameter; package of 10.
  • Price you should expect to pay: $3.99 for 10.
  • Not shelf-stable. Keep refrigerated.
  • Availability: Fair. They seem to be available at most Whole Foods markets.
  • Ingredients in white/yellow: 100% stone-ground corn (non-gmo), water, lime.
  • Ingredients in blue: 100% stone-ground blue corn (non-gmo), water, lime.
  • Heating instructions: Heat for 20 to 30 seconds per side in a skillet over high heat until soft and hot. For extra tortilla softness, rub each side of the tortilla lightly with water before reheating.

Del Campo Tortilla Co. Corn Tortillas

The best corn tortillas are soft and flexible, and taste and smell like corn. For when you need to grab something quick, here are 8 packaged brands to try.

Finally, we come to Del Campo brand corn tortillas. They’re 8-inches in diameter, unlike the others which are at most 6-inches in diameter, and they’re super thin and flexible once heated.

I really love these corn tortillas, and in some instances, they can actually replace my favorite packaged flour tortillas. Their larger size means that you can use them as burrito wraps—and they taste really good. They manage to straddle the line between the more mass-produced and the more homespun categories we’ve been discussing.

However, there are downsides, some of which you can see below in the remaining details. They are not easy to find, and they’re super expensive as compared to other corn tortillas. The packages that I bought also arrived with a fair amount of breakage in about one-quarter of the tortillas.

Still, I plan to order them somewhat regularly. And maybe even beg the company to find someplace else to stock them!

Here are the other details:

  • Size of tortilla and package: 8-inch diameter “wrap size”; a package of 8
  • Price you should expect to pay: $10.95 on Amazon (I know I know)
  • Shelf-stable, refrigerate after opening.
  • Availability: Poor. I can only seem to find them on Amazon.com, and the price is not good.
  • Ingredients: corn meal, water, salt. Contains less than 1% of the following natural preservatives: propionic acid, benzoic acid and phosphoric acid (to maintain freshness), guar gum, cellulose gum, and enzymes.
  • Heating instructions: Warm in a nonstick pan or hold over an open flame for a few seconds until it becomes flexible.

What did I miss?

What are your favorite packaged corn tortillas? Please be sure to provide as many details as possible about your favorites, so we can all help each other.

The best corn tortillas are soft and flexible, and taste and smell like corn. For when you need to grab something quick, here are 8 packaged brands to try. #glutenfree #naturallygf #productreview #tortillas

Like this recipe?

Love,
Nicole

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