Friday, January 8, 2010

Refilling the allergy free snack bucket

I am so lucky to have a couple of veggie loving girls.  They are just as likely to raid the fridge and pull out a head of celery to split between them as a piece of cheese or fruit.  Their favorite veggies are celery, cucumbers, broccoli and red or orange bell peppers.  My eldest will eat the bell pepper like an apple, but I find it less messy to slice it up for her.  Then the girls can split one.  Still, it's nice to have a treat once in a while.  Or more often...  ;)

When my daughter's food allergies were first tested, dairy was a very minor one but we still needed to avoid it for the elimination period.  In my searching for recipes, I came across this fabulous dairy and egg free chocolate chip cookie recipe and modified it to suit our needs.  If you like a cookie that is crisp and chewy out of the oven, and then nice and crunchy later, this recipe is perfect.  I finally found non hydrogenated shortening that was both soy and corn free at Whole Foods.  There are two that I use.  Spectrum shortening is made from palm oil and Jungle shortening is made from Palm fruit oil and high oleic Sunflower oil.  The Spectrum is white like crisco, but it tends to break into chunks if your home runs cool.  The Jungle shortening is more of a creamy pale yellow color and much creamier and easier to measure.  The dairy allergy turned out to be so minor that we were able to successfully add it back in after the elimination.  So I suppose we could use butter in these recipes, but they are so good just as they are that I still make them with the shortening.  There is less saturated fat in the shortening anyway.  If you're a whole wheat panty waist new to baking with whole grains you can use all purpose flour here.  But do try at least the ¾ cup as white whole wheat.  You'll never be able to tell it's there and it's a good way to introduce whole grains to your family.  White whole wheat is milled from hard white spring wheat, rather than traditional red wheat.  So it makes lighter-colored, milder-tasting baked goods.  Give it a try!  (My hubby says this is dangerous cookie dough because he could easily eat even more of it than with the standard tollhouse recipe.)



Awesome Chocolate Chip Cookies (Dairy, soy, egg and corn free)

2/3 c. Spectrum or Jungle shortening
½ c. brown sugar
½ c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ c. unsweetened applesauce
1 ¾ c. white whole wheat flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¾ c. mini dairy/soy free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a mixer combine the shortening, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla and applesauce. In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Add to shortening mixture and mix until creamy. Stir in chocolate chips and drop with a cookie scooper onto prepared baking sheet.

Bake 12-14 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool slightly on baking sheet then move to wire rack.

Adapted from foodallergymama.com


Now before I made the trip to Whole Foods and finally found acceptable shortening, I decided in my frustration to try the recipe with canola oil.  That turned out to be a great experiment and made great cookies as well.  If you like soft, cakey cookies, like my hubby does, this version will please you.
 
Cranberry Cookies (Dairy, egg, soy and corn free)
 
½ c. canola oil
½ c. brown sugar
½ c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ c. unsweetened applesauce
1 ¾ c. white whole wheat flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c. dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a mixer combine the shortening, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla and applesauce. In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to shortening mixture and mix until creamy. Stir in chocolate chips and drop with a cookie scooper onto prepared baking sheet.

Bake 12-14 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool slightly on baking sheet then move to wire rack.

These are also very good with cinnamon applesauce, but cut back on the sugar by 1 or 2 Tbsp since that applesauce is sweetened.  If you like nuts in your cookies, think about adding ½ cup of chopped pecans.  They are fabulous that way too!

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