Easy Allergen-Free Valentine Brownie Bites

Posted on February 13th, 2015 by Alison | Posted in Egg Allergy, Holidays/Special Events, Recipes & Cooking Tips | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

Gluten-Free Valentine Brownie Bites

These gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free treats are easy to make for Valentine’s Day and your kids will have fun decorating them too! Everyone will love the dark chocolate taste!

This is all you do:

  1. Use Pamela’s Chocolate Brownie Mix (or your favorite gluten-free brownie mix). I make the basic recipe using egg replacer. I like to use coconut oil where it calls for oil, which you have to melt first before you mix into the batter. (Note: Pamela’s Brownie Mix does have a warning that the chocolate chunks may contain traces of milk, so not suitable for someone with a severe dairy allergy.)
  2. Spoon into mini-muffin tins and bake until you no longer see oil top of the brownies — it took around 12 minutes for mine. You don’t want to overbake but you don’t want it to have pools of oil on the top either. Let them cool for a little while before you try to remove them from the tin.
  3. After removing them and cooling completely, use a piping bag and tips to pipe frosting in different shapes. Put the sprinkles on as you go, before the frosting hardens.

That’s it! They look pretty and are yummy too.

One bag yields about 20 brownie bites.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Gluten-Free Valentine Brownies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Dipped Scotch Shortbread Recipe

Posted on December 3rd, 2014 by Alison | Posted in Egg Allergy, Recipes & Cooking Tips | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

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 | Comments Off on zpizza – gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free

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.