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Easter candy gluten-free and allergen-free

Posted By Alison On Mar 30, 2010 @ In Dairy Allergy,Egg Allergy,Holidays/Special Events,Peanuts/Nuts Allergy,Products,Recipes & Cooking Tips,Soy Allergy | 1 Comment

Easter is coming quickly! Are you ready?

Let’s cut to the chase! This list is by no means complete… but here are some ideas. You can also check out last year’s Easter article. Post more ideas in the comments if you have them!

JELLY BEANS:

  • Jelly Belly
    • Gluten-free
    • Free of top 8 allergens (wheat, milk, soy*, nuts, peanuts, egg, fish, shellfish)
    • SuperFruit flavors are made with all natural colors and flavors and was recently accepted by Feingold Association.
    • Allergen info (via web March 2010):
      *Soy lecithin is used on Chocolate Pudding flavor.
      Are your Jelly Belly jelly beans gluten-free?
      All flavors of Jelly Belly beans are free of gluten. We do not use any wheat, rye, barley, or oats in the basic recipe for Jelly Belly jelly beans. The modified food starch listed on the package is cornstarch.
      If I am allergic to peanuts, can I eat Jelly Belly jelly beans?
      Please continue to carefully check all ingredient statements on packages and bulk bins for peanut ingredients.  We discontinued Peanut Butter flavor of Jelly Belly beans (this flavor contained peanut butter and peanut flour) however, it is possible this flavor may still be included in packages sold in retail stores.
      None of the other flavors of Jelly Belly beans contain peanuts as an ingredient.  We no longer process peanuts in our manufacturing plants.
      Are Jelly Belly jelly beans dairy-free?
      Yes.  We work very closely with all of our ingredient suppliers to ensure that all ingredients are free of dairy.
  • Surf Sweets
    • Gluten-free
    • Free of top 8 allergens (wheat, milk, soy*, nuts, peanuts, egg, fish, shellfish)
    • Allergen Info (via web March 2010):
      Are your products gluten-free and casein-free? Yes, all of our products are both gluten-free and casein-free. Casein is the protein found in dairy.
      Are your products peanut-free? Yes, all of our products do not contain peanuts and are produced and packaged in a facility free of peanuts.
      Are your products produced and/or packaged in a facility with other common allergens? No, our products are produced in a facility free of: wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, tree nuts, nuts, fish, and shellfish.
      Surf Sweets products are made with natural colors and flavors, organic fruit juice and sweeteners, and provide you with your daily allowance of Vitamin C. We are also one of the only candies made without corn syrup.
  • Gimbal’s
    • Gluten-free
    • Free of top 8 allergens (wheat, milk, soy, nuts, peanuts, egg, fish, shellfish)
    • Allergen info (via web March 2010):
      Gimbal’s Fine Candies facilities are free of these eight most common food allergens.
  • Just Born
    • Gluten-free
    • Free of top 8 allergens (wheat, milk, soy, nuts, peanuts, egg, fish, shellfish)
    • Allergen info (via phone March 2010)
      Please always check packaging as ingredients can change from year to year, but at this time, the jelly beans are free of gluten and the top 8 allergens.
  • Update: Jolly Rancher, Starburst, Lifesaver and Mike & Ike Jelly Beans are all free of the top 8 allergens!

BUNNIES & CHICKS & EGGS, oh my!

  • Peeps
    • Gluten-free (including chocolate covered peeps)
    • Regular peeps are free of top 8 allergens (wheat, milk, soy, nuts, peanuts, egg, fish, shellfish). Chocolate covered peeps contain dairy and have an allergen warning for peanut, tree nut, egg and coconut.
    • Allergen info (via phone March 2010)
      Please always check packaging as ingredients can change from year to year,
      but at this time, Peeps are free of gluten and the top 8 allergens.
  • Hershey’s
    • Check label!
    • Stay away from Robin Eggs! These are Whoppers in an Easter disguise, and they contain gluten.
    • Hershey’s allergen info:
      The Hershey Company strives to provide its consumers with accurate, reliable ingredient statements upon which consumers can make their purchase decision. The Hershey Company has an Allergy Task Force that ensures that the ingredient statements are always accurate, and that any allergen statements placed on the label is understandable. Do your products share plants & equipment? We take food allergies very seriously at Hershey and have strict procedures in place to prevent crossover of allergens into other products that do not contain the allergen. In instances where we have a concern about possible crossover by an allergen we take the added precaution of including an allergy information statement on the label.
  • Make your own chocolate eggs and lollipops!
    If you’re worried about the ingredients in the available chocolates out there, trying making your own! Here’s how I did it:

    1. I got Easter egg and bunny lollipop molds at a baking supply store (Cake Art).
    2. I used Enjoy Life chocolate chips.
    3. I tempered the chocolate in the microwave (see end of post for instructions), poured it in, and let it set in refrigerator.
    4. I wrapped the little chocolates with colored foil and the lollipops with clear plastic and a pretty ribbon.
    5. I marveled at my work — it was so easy I couldn’t believe it!
  • Garnish baked goods with bunnies and other Easter decor
    If you can’t actually find a bunny to eat, then stick one on top of a treat! Last year I made these mini-cupcakes using Pamela’s Vanilla and Chocolate cake and frosting mixes, with Wilton sprinkles and some bunny decorations. They were a hit and I will be making something similar again this year.

How to temper chocolate in a microwave oven to make chocolate molds (from the Guittard website):

  1. Place chocolate in a microwave-proof bowl. Place the bowl of chocolate in the microwave oven. Set power level to 5 or 50%. Set time to 30 seconds. Heat for 30 seconds.
  2. Take the bowl out of microwave oven and use a rubber spatula in a gentle sweeping motion to stir the chocolate, even if none of it has become liquid yet.
  3. Return the bowl to the microwave oven. Heat for 30 seconds more. Remove. And stir.
  4. Repeat the intervals of heating and stirring until about two-thirds of the chunks become liquid and about one-third are in soft lumps. The temperature of the liquid chocolate at this point will be about 100°. Continually stir to cool the chocolate until the soft lumps disappear and the temperature lowers to 89°F.
  5. At this point the chocolate should be in temper and ready to use.
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