5 sweet spots for your gluten-free loved one

By Ali Dugaw

(This article was originally written for and published by Fabulous Arizona)

Ah, February. The month of love. It’s time to start thinking about what to get your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. If you’re looking for gluten-free treats for your GFGF/GFBF (gluten-free girlfriend or boyfriend), take a look at the best sweets being offered in the Phoenix area.

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Breakable heart by Sugared Edge Bakery

Sugared Edge

Founded by a chef with food allergies and chronic illness, Sugared Edge specializes in treats for everyone, whether you’re gluten-free, vegan or otherwise. On the Valentine’s Day menu this year: customizable 7-in. breakable chocolate hearts, DIY heart cookie kits and chocolate-covered strawberries. Sugared Edge also has anti-Valentine’s desserts ready for those who loathe the holiday. Check out www.sugarededge.com.

Intentional Foods

This top-eight-allergen-free restaurant in Tempe not only offers a full menu and a new bar, but it also has a large selection of treats on the menu. Headed into Valentine’s Day, you can find heart-shaped sugar cookies with organic strawberry, raspberry or lemon frosting, heart-shaped gingerbread cookie sandwiches, heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies with chocolate drizzle, mini chocolate Bundt cakes with chocolate ganache and strawberry-frosted vanilla donuts. All free from gluten, soy, dairy, fish, tree nut, egg, fish and shellfish free. Check out intentionalfoods.org.

So Sweet Strawberry gluten free cupcake by Urban Cookies Bakeshop

Urban Cookies Bakeshop

This mainstay in Phoenix isn’t a 100 percent dedicated shop, but they do bake with several precautions to avoid cross contamination. Urban Cookies will be featuring two gluten-free Valentine’s Day-themed cupcakes: The So Sweet Strawberry is a strawberry cake filled with house-made strawberry filling, topped with strawberry buttercream and Valentine’s hearts, and the You’re Bomb Chocolate Cupcake with chocolate cake filled with milk chocolate buttercream, topped with rich dark chocolate ganache, chocolate pearls and Valentine’s hearts. Urban Cookies will also feature two loved-themed gluten-free, vegan doughnuts. The bakery is now accepting preorders. Check out www.urbancookies.com.

Gluten free cookie kit from Sparkling Divine Bakery

Sparkling Divine

This certified home-based baker in Peoria customizes 6- or 8-in. round cakes and offers gluten-free and vegan options. For Valentine’s Day, the baker is adding cookies to the menu with heart-shaped sugar cookie kits. Each kit includes 12 sugar cookies, vanilla frosting bags in three colors, two cups of sprinkles and instructions on how to frost. According to Sparkling Divine’s website, they bake with separate utensils and bake all the gluten-free desserts first in order to avoid cross contamination in the kitchen. Check out sparklingdivine.com.

Gluten Free Creations Bakery

This 100 percent gluten-free bakery is offering Valentine’s Day special with red heart or “Be Mine” 6-in. chocolate or yellow cakes, rose cupcakes or a bouquet of cupcakes – all dairy and egg free. You have until Feb. 8 to put your order in from either the Phoenix or Scottsdale location. Check out www.glutenfreecreations.com.

Ali Dugaw has been on the hunt for the best gluten-free spots for the past decade. She currently lives in Phoenix and works as the senior booking producer for “Good Morning Arizona.” Follow her gluten-free adventures at @GlutenFreeTravelGirl and www.facebook.com/GlutenFreeTravelGirl.

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