Gluten-Free Chocolate Dipped Scotch Shortbread Recipe

Posted on December 3rd, 2014 by Alison | Posted in Egg Allergy, Recipes & Cooking Tips | ADD A COMMENT »

Pamela's Baking PartnerI was asked by Pamela’s Products to share a gluten-free cookie recipe using one of their products for their 12 Days of Gluten-Free Cookies. I chose their All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend to make a cookie I remember from my childhood — a shortbread that my mom used to make by hand and press into round pie tins to give away at holiday time. I decided to change up the recipe a bit by forming the dough into rectangular cookies and dipping them in chocolate! And by making it gluten-free of course!

This is a good recipe for anyone with egg allergies, as it does not call for any eggs. If you need it to be dairy-free, try using Earth Balance as a substitute for the butter, but the texture and taste will not be as rich as with butter.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Dipped Scotch Shortbread

GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE DIPPED SCOTCH SHORTBREAD

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1¾ cups Pamela’s All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 12 TBSP butter, softened
  • 3 TBSP cornstarch
  • Chocolate for melting (I use Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips – for dairy allergies, use Enjoy Life brand)

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 325°.

With a mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add in the sugar and beat until smooth. Add in Pamela’s All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend and cornstarch and beat until it comes together, but it won’t come all the way together, so using hands, gather the dough into a ball. You may want to separate the ball into two balls for two cookie sheets.

Between two pieces of parchment paper placed on a cookie sheet, roll out the dough to the thickness you prefer for your cookies (they will not rise when baking). Cut rectangular shapes, or any other shape you like. A pizza cutter is a great tool for making straight cuts! Re-roll any dough that is left over from cutting your shapes until you have used it all.

Once you have cut your shapes, spread out the cookies on the parchment to bake. Prick the cookies with a fork (this is just for looks). Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until just starting to brown.

Allow cookies to cool.

Melt chocolate either in a double boiler or in the microwave (little by little, on 50% power, stirring each time so as not to burn). Dip the ends of the cookies, or “paint” the chocolate onto the ends of the cookies, depending on how deep and fluid the chocolate is. Set the cookies on a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper to set. If you want them to set quicker, put them on a sheet pan or plate and put in the refrigerator for a few minutes.

An alternative to dipping in chocolate is to sprinkle with sugar before baking. Sprinkle with red and green sugars for festive-looking Christmas cookies!

Yield: about 28 1”x2” cookies


How to Make Gluten-Free Brownie Bites

Posted on January 26th, 2013 by Alison | Posted in Egg Allergy, Food Ideas, Holidays/Special Events, Recipes & Cooking Tips | Read 8 Comments - Add Your Own »

When I thought of how to make gluten-free brownie bites one day, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it earlier. So simple, and so useful! These are also egg-free, dairy-free and nut-free.

There’s really no recipe here, but instead, an idea. All you need is a mini-muffin pan (I use this one) and a gluten-free brownie mix that you like. Because my daughter also has egg allergies, I need to make them egg-free. The mix I have been using for years is Pamela’s Brownie Mix, which has a “Fudgiest Brownie” recipe the bag – the only thing you add is oil and water. Sometimes cooking without eggs or with egg replacer can result in a batter that seems undercooked or takes a lot longer to cook, but because these are made in a mini-muffin tin, they get baked through very nicely.

Tip for Allergy Moms: These brownie bites can also be used as mini-cupcakes – just add frosting and sprinkles. These freeze well, so make extra and store them for a later date. Easy last-minute treat!

Tip for Valentine’s Day:  Use a heart-shaped mini muffin pan to make heart brownie bites for Valentine’s Day. Make sure to smooth the batter in each one as much as possible, and don’t fill to the top so that it bakes flatter. Top cooled brownies with pink frosting and colorful sprinkles! (I just ordered this Wilton Silicone heart mini-muffin pan.)

Which brownie mix to use?
There are many, many (many!) gluten-free brownie mixes on the market, so take your pick (most of these are linked to Amazon in case you can’t find them where you live). After compiling this list, I was shocked at how many there are! I have not taste-tested these, so you will have to make decisions based on your own taste, ingredient preference, price and availability.

Which mix is your favorite? Your 2 cents is welcome here!


zpizza – gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free

Posted on August 19th, 2012 by Alison | Posted in Dairy Allergy, Dining Out, Egg Allergy, Restaurants/Stores, Soy Allergy | ADD A COMMENT »

Most of America takes for granted the ability to go out for pizza or have it delivered. Most families I know have pizza at least once a week and it is the standard food for birthday parties and sports team outings. If you have to avoid gluten, finding pizza gets a little more challenging, but there are more and more options out there. If you also have to avoid eggs and/or dairy, however, it becomes almost impossible to find a good, safe pizza.

zpizza, a pizza chain started in southern California, offers not only a gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free crust (made by Venice Bakery), but also offers Daiya cheese for those who want a non-dairy cheese option (it is also soy-free). They offer a gluten-free menu online and in the stores, as well as a vegan menu.

I really liked the pizza. The crust was crunchy but not crackery, and the toppings were really fresh. The meats are nitrate-free, the tomato sauce is organic and the veggies options are interesting, like arugula, shitake mushrooms, caramelized onions and capers.

But the best part of all was that my gluten-free egg-allergic daughter could order a pizza. It’s the little things!

Note: zpizza states that they are not a gluten-free environment. While I was at the Petaluma, CA location they seemed very careful and used dedicated pans in the oven, but please dine at your own risk. If you have nut allergies please note that they use peanuts and pine nuts in some of their sauces.

 


Gluten-Free Corn Dog Recipe – Dairy-Free and Egg-Free too!

Posted on July 12th, 2012 by Alison | Posted in Dairy Allergy, Egg Allergy, Recipes & Cooking Tips, Soy Allergy | Read 2 Comments - Add Your Own »

A seven year old kid that has never had a corn dog? Hard to believe, but even the gluten-free corn dogs on the market have eggs in them, which my daughter is allergic to. So, once again, necessity is the mother of invention! Corn dogs were on the menu at her camp this week, and I just couldn’t let my daughter be left out! Fryin’ up corn dogs at 8 am isn’t my normal morning routine, but the end result was worth my kitchen smelling like fried oil for the rest of the day. These corn dogs were so yummy, we even shared one for breakfast!

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Egg-Free Corn Dogs

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag Pamela’s Cornbread & Muffin Mix
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (for taste – optional)
  • Ener-G Egg Replacer prepared to the equivalent of 3 eggs (or use 2 real eggs if you can have eggs) (also, I’m not even sure you need any eggs or egg replacer at all – it might work without it but I didn’t try that!)
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread, melted (or use real butter if you can have dairy)
  • 3/4 cup water, more or less
  • 6 to 10 hot dogs, depending on the size
  • Oil for frying. How much oil you need is going to depend on what kind of pan you are using. If you have a deep fryer, lucky you. I do not, so I used a lot of oil in a pan big enough to lay a corn dog across.
  • Skewers

Directions:

  1. Mix Cornbread & Muffin Mix, sugar, melted butter and egg replacer together in a bowl – it will be extremely thick and dry.
  2. Gradually add water until the batter becomes uniform, but is still rather thick.
  3. It is best for hot dogs to be at room temperature and dry. Test the batter by dipping the end of a hot dog into the bowl to see how it sticks. If it is too thick, add more water.
  4. When the batter has reached the right consistency, pour it into a tall glass.
  5. Heat oil. I don’t have a thermometer to test the oil, but I read that you want frying oil to be at the point where a chunk of bread dropped in will brown in 60 seconds. I used this method with a chunk of gluten-free bread.
  6. Insert a skewer into each hot dog, almost to the end. If the skewer is too long, cut or break it off to leave just a small handle.
  7. Dip the hot dog into the tall glass of batter. You may have to swirl it around a bit to get it evenly coated. Pull the coated hot dog out of the glass and fill in holes with batter if needed with a wooden spoon.
  8. Immediately put in the frying oil until browned. Use tongs to pull the corn dog out and set on paper towels.
  9. Batter may get thicker as it sits. Add more water as needed.
  10. Serve hot or let cool and then freeze.

 


Gluten-free donuts in 5 minutes

Posted on January 24th, 2012 by Alison | Posted in Egg Allergy, Food Ideas, Recipes & Cooking Tips | Read 13 Comments - Add Your Own »

The other day I had a gluten-free donut emergency. There was a birthday in my daughter’s class and the kid brought donuts to share. I am always prepared for birthdays with cupcakes in the freezer and I can make a fast brownie, but donuts? That is not in my repertoire.

But then I remembered that my mom had just given my daughters a Babycakes Donut Maker. At the time I wasn’t that excited about another appliance in the house, but now I was ecstatic!  All I had to do was come up with a batter that was gluten-free and egg-free (daughter is allergic to eggs) and I would have mini donuts in about five minutes! I decided to use a pancake and waffle mix as the base and work from there. I always have The Cravings Place All Purpose Pancake and Waffle Mix on hand because it is a mix that does not call for eggs at all and somehow the waffles always defy gravity and come out fluffy. I sort of used their recipe (on their website) for Shortcake to make the donut batter. I can’t be certain I followed it exactly, because, like I said, it was a donut emergency and I was in a hurry! You can probably use any gluten-free batter with success.

When I brought the mini-donuts to school, I peeked in the donut box that held the “regular” donuts and to my pleasant surprise, there were donuts with vanilla icing and chocolate sprinkles, just like I had made! My daughter and another allergic girl in the class that I brought donuts for were very happy, and I have to admit that I felt like Super Mom that day!

Here is (approximately) how I made the gluten-free dairy-free egg-free donuts:

Ingredients:

Directions:

Cut the butter or shortening into the dry mix, using a pastry cutter or knives until the the butter or shortening is blended in, or resembles small pebbles. Add the sugar and water and mix until fully blended. Batter should be somewhat thick.

Take a ziplock bag and cut off one corner so there is 1/2 inch hole. Spoon the batter into the bag, and following the directions on the donut maker, squeeze the batter out of the bag into the donut rounds when the donut maker is ready (hot). Fill it pretty full (even though the directions say to fill each with two tablespoons, don’t bother measuring). The bottom side of the donut will brown more than the top, but if you turn the donut over before icing, no one will see the less-cooked side.

Let the donuts cool a little bit before icing them or the icing will melt down the sides. For a quick icing, I mixed a little Pamela’s Vanilla Frosting Mix with a little water until it was the consistency I wanted, but you can also just use powdered sugar and water or milk, and add some vanilla too if you like. It’s up to you how you want to ice them — you can dunk the whole thing to get a glaze all over, or ice the tops like I did. There are also several frosting recipes in the recipe booklet that comes with the donut maker.


Finding or making your favorite holiday foods – gluten-free, allergen-free

Posted on December 13th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Dairy Allergy, Egg Allergy, Holidays/Special Events, Peanuts/Nuts Allergy, Recipes & Cooking Tips | Read 4 Comments - Add Your Own »

For people who are gluten-free or have food allergies, the holidays can be a reminder of what we can’t eat. Gluten and other allergens are everywhere, and because we are more social at this time of year, this fact becomes more obvious as we attend holiday parties, share meals with family and friends, and are tempted by sweet treats all around.

But you don’t have to go without your favorite foods! You may not be able to indulge in everything, but think about what food would make you feel the most emotionally satisfied — is it pie, is it stuffing? Is it a box of chocolates, matzoh ball soup? Which one holiday food would give you the greatest pleasure? Then, make it happen! If you can buy it, treat yourself! If you have to make it yourself, do it. If someone else wants to make it for you, great! If you don’t have to stop at one food, by all means, don’t! If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the things you can’t eat, let’s simplify it.

I hope this short list of suggestions can help, and if there’s something else you’re longing for, let me know, and I will use my resources to try to find you the enjoyment you deserve!

GLUTEN-FREE / ALLERGEN-FREE GINGERBREAD MEN OR HOUSE

Buy it: Oops, we’re past the deadline already for ordering an allergen-free gingerbread house kit from A&J Bakery, but now you know for next year. Sensitive Sweets in southern California is also making an allergen-free gingerbread kit for purchase.

Make it: You can make this. Seriously, you can. Read my post “I made an allergen-free gingerbread house!

ROLL OUT SUGAR COOKIES

Buy it: I haven’t found any gluten-free shaped sugar cookies you can buy in stores that are gluten-free, and many of the sugar cookie mixes don’t make cookies that hold their shape.

Make it: I am very excited this year that I found a GREAT recipe for roll-out sugar cookies that are free of gluten, dairy, eggs and nuts! The recipe is from Heidi at Adventures of a GF Mom. (The recipe calls for almond extract which I replace with vanilla.) Cybel Pascal has a recipe for sugar cookies that is also free of the top allergens.

PIE OR PIE CRUST

Buy it: Whole Foods’ Gluten-Free Bakehouse brand has a pie crust, and you can find finished pies or tarts from Katz Gluten Free, Crave Bakery, and Christine’s Upper Crust Pies.

Make it: There are actually tons of gluten-free pie and pie crust recipes out there if you want to make it from scratch. Some of the sites that have recipes are Whole Foods, Simply Gluten-Free, Living Without Magazine, Elana’s Pantry, and Gluten-Free Girl. You can also use commercially available flour blends to make a crust, which saves you some steps. King Arthur shows you how, and if you want a really easy with video instruction, Pamela of Pamela’s Products shows you how to make a gluten-free pie using her mix (is also egg-free and can be dairy-free). Jules of Jules Gluten Free also shows you how to make pie using her flour blend.

GRAVY

Buy it: You can purchase gluten-free gravy mixes. Here is a list of search results for gluten-free gravy on Amazon. Mayacamas is another company that makes gluten-free gravy mixes.

Make it: Instead of flour, use a gluten-free starch. Here’s a little primer on wheat-free thickeners from FitSugar. Ali at Nourishing Meals explains how to make gluten-free gravy. A chef from Whole Foods shows in a video two ways to make gravy, and The Family Chef shares her easy steps.

STUFFING

Buy it: Look around — gluten-free bread  crumbs or croutons are available, but if you can’t find them, you can buy gluten-free bread like Udi’s or Rudi’s to use in any traditional stuffing recipe.

Make it: You can make a loaf of gluten-free bread to use in stuffing recipes. That’s what I do because I can make the bread dairy and egg-free also for people with multiple food allergies in my family. This recipe for Harvest Stuffing always turns out. If you don’t want to use bread, opt for a rice dressing, which will be naturally gluten-free. Make sure any broth you are using is gluten-free. If you have nut allergies, watch out — many stuffing recipes call for nuts.

MATZOH BALL SOUP

Buy it/Make it: You buy the mix to make your own matzoh balls. They are really good and I love the name: Mock-Zah Ball Mix.

POTATO LATKES

Buy it: Hmmm… nope, you’re going to have to make these.

Make it: Easy to make gluten-free, just substitute an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend for the flour called for in traditional recipes. Need to be egg-free too? Don’t worry, I figured this one out for you: Gluten-Free Egg-Free Latke Recipe

CHOCOLATES

Buy it: See’s Candies is still my favorite boxed-chocolates. They have an allergen list, so depending on your allergy, you might be able to find something you can have!

Make it: You can easily make chocolate lollies and shapes by following these steps:

  1. Buy candy molds in holiday shapes, like snowflakes or snowmen or Christmas shapes or Santas.
  2. Buy Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate Chips or Mega Chunks – they are free of the top 8 allergens.
  3. Temper the chocolate in the microwave by heating the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, at power level 5 or 50% for 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula in a gentle sweeping motion,  stir the chocolate, even if none of it has become liquid yet and return the bowl to the microwave oven for another 30 seconds. Remove, stir, and repeat until about two-thirds of the chunks become liquid and about one-third are in soft lumps. Continually stir to cool the chocolate until the soft lumps disappear and the chocolate has cooled a little.
  4. Pour the chocolate into the molds, or use a spoon or spatula to put it in, and let it set in the refrigerator.
  5. When chilled completely, wrap the chocolates with colored foil or clear wrap.

What else is tugging at your tummy this holiday season?


Simple Corn Flake Crusted Fish Sticks Recipe (gluten, dairy, and egg-free too!)

Posted on November 17th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Egg Allergy, Recipes & Cooking Tips | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

fish-sticks2

My memory of fish sticks is the processed perfectly-machine-cut kind that they served in my elementary school cafeteria. A peek at the ingredients of those fish sticks would reveal a long list that includes gluten, dairy, MSG, and preservatives. But you can make healthy fish sticks at home — and I promise, it’s really simple.

I use corn flakes for the breading of these fish sticks and I recommend using Erewhon Corn Flakes, because they are perfectly crispy and contain only two ingredients: Organic Milled Corn and Sea Salt. Other brands of corn flakes, especially gluten-free ones, add sweeteners, which I don’t really want with fish.

For this super-easy gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free recipe, read my post on the Attune Foods blog!

Simple Corn-Flake Crusted Fish Sticks Recipe


Allergic to eggs? Watch out for this sorbet…

Posted on May 9th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Egg Allergy | Read 3 Comments - Add Your Own »

I thought all sorbet was safe for my egg-allergic daughter, until we were at my friend Kelly’s house for dinner and discovered otherwise. Kelly had thoughtfully purchased sorbet to serve for dessert, knowing it was gluten-free and dairy-free, and didn’t even think to check the ingredients for eggs. I only looked at the label out of habit, and certainly didn’t expect to find eggs in sorbet either!

chocolate-sorbetSure enough, the Chocolate Sorbet made by Haagen Dazs has egg whites in it! I knew to watch out for Haagen Dazs ice cream — I think every flavor contains egg yolks, but the Chocolate Sorbet is the only sorbet flavor that contains eggs.

If you are looking for chocolate sorbet without eggs, try Ciao Bella Dark Chocolate Sorbet, Double Rainbow Chocolate Sorbet, or Sharon’s Dutch Chocolate Sorbet. Honestly, I think Haagen Dazs is the only sorbet made with eggs.

I love these choices also for dairy-free and egg-free chocolate frozen desserts:
Coconut Bliss Dark Chocolate Bars
So Delicious Organic Minis Fudge Bar

Let this article serve as a reminder to always read labels! (Whew — that was a close one!)


Egg-free soy-free mayonnaise

Posted on April 29th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Egg Allergy, Products, Soy Allergy | Read 18 Comments - Add Your Own »

I have been looking for egg-free soy-free mayonnaise, and have finally found it! Vegenaise has always been eggless, but they used soy in all of their mayos. Their new product is soy-free also for those also avoiding soy (mayonnaise is always dairy-free, in case you were wondering).

soy-free-vegenaise1I wanted the mayo for my daughter who is allergic to eggs and intolerant to soy. The funny thing is that since she is 6 years old and has never had mayonnaise, she is not accustomed to it. Someone who discovers their allergies or intolerance later in life wants to find replacements for the things he/she used to eat. Although my daughter is not very interested in it, I think I could use it to widen her food choices with mayonnaise dip for veggies, or maybe she’ll take to tuna salad.  (I never did!) Or, maybe it’s just nice to have it in case she ever feels deprived when we’re all dipping our artichokes in mayo.

It’s great that companies are making products for people with food allergies. I know I’m lucky that I live in area where I can find a wide selection of specialty items. For those living in other parts of the country, it can be so difficult. Ask at your grocery store to see if they can get the products you need.

Soy-Free Vegenaise Dressing and Sandwich Spread is a refrigerated item. The ingredients are: Expeller-pressed Hi-Oleic Safflower Oil, Filtered Water, Brown Rice Syrup, Apple Cider Vinegar, Pea Protein, Sea Salt, Mustard Flour and Lemon Juice Concentrate.

For more information about Vegenaise, go to www.followyourheart.com (you may not see this product on the website yet) or call 1-888-394-3949.

Does anyone have any good recipes that use mayonnaise?


Can your food-allergic child be trusted?

Posted on April 7th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Babies & Kids, Egg Allergy, Emotions | Read 23 Comments - Add Your Own »

I thought she understood. I thought she would say no. But she ate it, at school, when no grown-ups were around. It was a cupcake, given to her by a friend at recess, and she ate not only the frosting, but half of the bottom.

Food Allergy Child Keeping a SecretI thought she would have at least told me that she had done it after the fact. Nope. Not a word. So how did I find out? From another mom, whose daughter also was given a cupcake at recess by the same friend. She told her mom that my daughter ate it too. The mom told me, out of concern. I confronted my daughter — at first, she said it was only the frosting, but days later, she admitted that she had eaten part of the cake.

I have to admit, I was shocked. It’s not like she committed a crime, and I didn’t make her feel that she was in trouble for doing it, but I had to initiate the “You could die” talk, to which she responded, “I could die? But I’m only six years old — I have barely even lived a life!” Heavy stuff for a 6 year old. My heart was breaking, but what else am I to do? The fact is that the cupcake could have had nuts in it. Unlikely, but WHAT IF?

I don’t blame anyone — the generous kid didn’t know, the school didn’t see it. It’s the responsibility, albeit a big one, of my daughter to say no. Aside from reminding her about the big shot she would have to get in her leg (to prevent her from dying), I also repeated what I have told her before: that any time she is offered a treat and says no, she gets to have a treat that’s as good as or better when she gets home. I promise. “But it just looked sooo good.” Sigh.

If there is any silver lining to my daughter sneaking a bite of potentially fatal food, it is that she didn’t have a reaction. It didn’t have nuts, but surely the cupcake had egg in it. She had an anaphylactic reaction to an egg last summer, but it was not baked. One study showed that the majority of children with egg allergies (74% in this study) could tolerate heated eggs, baked in a muffin or in a waffle, because the heat reduces the allergenicity of the egg. According to an interview with one of the researching doctors about the study, “past history of anaphylaxis was not an exclusion criterion and we found no difference in rate of anaphylaxis between those who reacted or tolerated baked egg.” So, I’ll be making a call to the doctor to set up another egg challenge. Let’s hope it goes better than the last one.

Allergy Moms and Dads, I would love to hear your thoughts! Has your child eaten food they shouldn’t have? What are your strategies for keeping them safe and having them take responsibility for themselves? At what age is telling your child he/she could die too much information, and at what age is it necessary? And how about that egg allergy – anyone do a baked egg challenge?