In the case of the macarons, there's a texture we're not used to eating all the time. It's a uniquely "macaron" or "macaroon" texture. And, personally, I've had way more macarons from TJ's than from anywhere else. But in the case of the snickerdoodles, they approximated a very "normal" texture without using gluten. It's harder to imitate something that's usually made with gluten than it is to just make something different.
So making a gluten free cupcake seems like it should be pretty close to impossible. But I've gotta say, they came incredibly close.
Once again, they nailed the flavor of a chocolate cupcake. I personally liked the frosting, too, although Sonia thinks it was too heavy for her tastes. I must admit, it was thick and very buttery. But it had a nice vanilla taste, and it blended well with the chocolate cake.
The cake part was super-moist. It broke apart in the same way any chocolate cake would, but once you started chewing it, there was just a tiny hint of what I might call "starchiness." It's like portions of the cake crumbs wanted to stick together just a hair more than with a glutenful cupcake that perfectly "melts in your mouth." But that's nitpicking. Really. The effect was very subtle, and if I hadn't already known that these were gluten-free cupcakes, I might not have noticed it. I think it's gotta be the "potato starch" that you can see there in the ingredients list photo, which wound up looking like the culinary equivalent of an American Apparel ad. I washed it all down with a tasty caramel latte, and my tummy was a happy camper. And sure enough, my stomach didn't puff up the way it does when I eat regular cupcakes. I should probably do this gluten-free thing full time. With products like these, I wouldn't feel like I'm giving up the world.
The checkout guy at Trader Joe's exclaimed, "Enjoy the cupcakes. They're excellent!" when I bought them. He's certainly not wrong. Sonia's only complaint was the heaviness of the buttercream, although I was a fan of the icing. And my only complaint is the oh-so-barely-there weirdness of the cake texture. Definitely, if you're eating gluten-free out of necessity, these cupcakes will be your friends.
Sonia gives them 4 stars. I think they're worthy of a 4.5.
Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.