Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Double Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies

The Toronto Star’s Cookie Calendar, Day 17 cookie, caught my eye…I knew my boys would go gaga over them…so I adapted them to meet their allergen needs.

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Double Chocolate Peppermint Crunch.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free double chocolate peppermint crunch cookies on a cake stand

They taste as good as they look. Crispy on the outside, minty and fudgey in the middle with an extra dose of chocolate and peppermint crunch on top…pure decadence!

Truly, they should be renamed, Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Triple Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies!

I adapted the original recipe (click here) to be dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free. Replace the butter with Earth Balance and use Enjoy Life chocolate chips. Replace the egg with 1/2 tsp of baking soda and 2 tbsp of water. For a soy free version, replace the butter with Earth Balance’s Soy Free Vegan Spread.

I baked these fudgy delights in the morning and had the boys help with the decorating after school.

decorating dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free double chocolate peppermint crunch cookies

Matthew crushed the candy canes in a sealed plastic ziplock back with a rolling pin.

crushing candy canes in a plastic bag with rolling pin

Michael drizzled the warmed up chocolate over the cookies while Matthew followed with the sprinkling of the crushed candy canes.

my boys drizzling chocolate and sprinkling crushed candy canes on dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free double chocolate peppermint crunch cookies

Picture perfect!

dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free double chocolate peppermint crunch cookies on a cake stand

Enjoy!

enjoying a double chocolate peppermint crunch cookie

The Peppermint Organic Candy Canes are made by TruSweets. I like them because they  are made in Canada with all natural ingredients, no artificial flavors or colors and are corn syrup free.

package of candy canes by TruSweet

It does state on the packaging: Produced on dedicated nut-free and gluten-free equipment in a segregated area of a facility that also processes dairy, eggs, peanuts, soy, tree nuts and wheat.

Depending on your level of comfort, these Candy Canes are a great option for those looking for an allergen free alternative, free of artificial ingredients.

In the Christmas Spirit… I just couldn’t help but want to share these delectable Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Double (Triple) Chocolate Peppermint Crunch cookies with the boys’ friends and neighbours.

Let’s not forget Matthew’s teacher…goes perfect with a Tim’s card!

packages of dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free double chocolate peppermint crunch cookies

P.S. Don’t worry boys, I saved youl some Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies.

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Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Orange Shortbread

Visiting my mother for the weekend is the perfect occasion to adapt and bake her Orange Shortbread…Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Orange Shortbread.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free orange shortbread

My mother’s Orange Shortbread is my childhood favourite holiday cookie.

I looked forward to the day she would bake it each year!

The combination of orange and light brown sugar slightly browned so as to give it that toasted caramelized flavour…divine! Makes my mouth water just thinking about it! 

My mother would bake her Orange Shortbread only at Christmas time. It was often baked and then wrapped up and gifted to friends…much to my chagrin!

In fact, to tease me, she has one sitting on the counter, all wrapped up and ready to be delivered to a family friend.

my mother's orange shortbread

A special one would be made for those occasions when friends stopped in for tea. I would savour each bite…slowly eating away at a slice, saving the best till last…the toasty edge!

Butter enthusiasts would cringe at the thought of replacing butter in a shortbread! Sacrilege…they would say!

Well, what if you have a dairy allergy? What is a shortbread lover to do?

Not to worry…one simply replaces the butter with an Earth Balance vegan spread.

Dairy and Soy allergy? It’s your lucky day…Earth Balance has a dairy and soy free vegan spread available too.

In fact, I was hoping to make this Orange Shortbread, dairy and soy free. I wanted to gift it to our family friend’s son who has a dairy and soy allergy. Unfortunately, there is not a store in my mom’s home town that sells it. Back home, my Foodland sells it. (Kicking myself for not purchasing it ahead of time) Upon calling the nearest Foodland in town, they were willing to look into getting it in for me.  Good to know, however, I needed it pronto.

Know that this recipe can be adapted to be both dairy and soy free. Ask your local grocery store…in my experience, I have found most grocery stores willing to bring in products that their customers request.

This recipe hails from an oldy but goody recipe book that my mother has been referring to for years…Hamlyn All Colour Cook Book. Flipping through it this weekend, brought back many childhood memories of recipes I would covet. Don’t be surprised to find me adapting more recipes from this treasure! 

Dairy (Soy) Free Orange Shortbread

a slice of dairy and peanut/tree nut free orange shortbread on a plate

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour
4 tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 cup Earth Balance (Soy Free for a soy free version)
grated zest of 1 orange
granulated sugar for sprinkling

In a large bowl, cream Earth Balance.
Add sugar and cream until light and fluffy.

creamed sugar and earth balance with orange rind on the side for dairy and peanut/tree nut free orange shortbreadStir in the orange rind.

orange rind stirred into creamed mixture for dairy and peanut/tree nut free orange shortbreadIn another bowl, combine the two flours.

Love my mother’s Pyrex bowls she received as a shower gift in 1963!

She still has the set of three…in perfect shape! They bring back so many childhood baking memories!

bowl of dried ingredients and bowl of creamed mixture for dairy and peanut/tree nut free orange shortbreadAdd the flour a tablespoon at a time to the creamed mixture.
Stir flour in until combined.

dried ingredients mixed into creamed mixture for dairy and peanut/tree nut free orange shortbreadRoll dough into a ball and place on a parchment lined or silicone pad lined cookie sheet.
Roll dough into a 8 inch circle, pinching the edges and prick the shortbread with a fork.
Cut through into 12 sections with the back of a knife and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

dairy and peanut/tree nut free orange shortbread dough ready for bakingLet chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Bake at 335 F for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on baking tray for 10 minutes before cooling on cooling rack.

dairy and peanut/tree nut free orange shortbread cooling on rack

Enjoy with a spot of tea…or a slice of orange!

a slice of dairy and peanut/tree nut orange shortbread on a plate with a slice of orange and holly

Tip: Dairy Free Orange Shortbread can be frozen.

Tip 2: Lee Valley sells a Scottish Shortbread Mold and a Snowflake Mold that could be used for this dough. Frankly, I prefer the more homemade, rustic look and the memories that come with it. Besides, it’s something to look forward to using next year with another adapted shortbread recipe!

Tip 3:  When baking at my mother’s, I leave a few ‘safe’ baking items behind just for such an occasion when I need to make an allergen free baked good.  The silicone mat and rolling pin are only used by me and kept aside from my mother’s kitchen utensils. (I keep a stash of my baking gear in the basement)

The bamboo spoons, bowls, utensils and the cooling racks can all be sanitized in the dishwasher for safe use. I highly recommend bamboo spoons. They are resilient to constant water exposure and will outlast any wooden spoon…worth the investment!

P.S. Do you have a holiday favourite cookie that brings back childhood memories?

P.P.S. To follow tradition…this Dairy Free Orange Shortbread is going to be gifted…I am giving it to a family that is trying to eliminate dairy from their diet. A nice treat for the holidays for them to share with family and friends.

dairy and peanut/tree nut free orange shortbread packaged up as a gift

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies

I have reinvented my favourite holiday cookie and created a new holiday favourite…

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Chip Snowballs.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free chocolate chip snowball cookies in a dishMuch to Matthew’s delight!

I grew up loving anything ‘shortbreadish.’ Not too sweet and extremely versatile. Sugar Cookie cut outs were a favourite as were my mother’s Pecan Balls.

Last holiday season, I was describing my mother’s Pecan Balls to my son, Matthew. It’s a pecan studded shortbread cookie ball, rolled in icing sugar. “Mmmmm”, says Matthew. “I would love it with chocolate chips!”

The next thing I knew, we were whipping up an adapted version…eureka…we have a winner!

The Sugar Cookie is a simple shortbread (most likely why I love it) which, with a little imagination, can be elevated into something so much more! (Stay tuned for Friday’s post for another twist on this easy to make and bake dough)

This recipe hails from Canadian Living’s 1977 special edition magazine they put out that year. The recipe was called ‘Quick and Easy Holiday Cookies’. I can still remember all the variations of cookies that could be made with this dough. I just loved gazing at all the cookies. My mother still owns her copy!                

How appropriate that my reinvented childhood recipe be paired in a picture with my childhood christmas tree ornaments.  Don’t you love the colours!

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Chip Snowballs

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free chocolate chip snowball cookies in a dish

1 cup Earth Balance vegan butttery sticks
1 1/4 cups icing sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
2 tbsp water
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (for half the batter)

In a large bowl, cream the Earth Balance and sugar until light and fluffy.
Stir in the vanilla and water.

creamed earth balance and sugar with vanilla and water

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture until combined.

creamed mixture combined with flour mixture for dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free chocolate chip snowball cookies

Divide dough in half. (only if you want to make two types of cookies with this dough)
Add chocolate chips to half the dough.

enjoy life chocolate chips added to half the dough for dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free chocolate chip snowball cookies

Roll a tablespoon of dough into a ball and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone pad.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free chocolate chip snowball dough rolled into balls on silicone covered cookie sheetBake at 375 for 15 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free chocolate chip snowball cookies coolingRoll cookies in icing sugar while still warm and let finish cooling on rack.
Roll once again in icing sugar once fully cooled.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free chocolate chip snowball cookies rolled in icing sugar for the second time

Makes approximately 24 cookies and one snowman!

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free chocolate chip snowball cookies on a plateEnjoy!

P.S. I had to add Michael’s comment on the cookies…”Mmmm…these are good…really good…I don’t remember them tasting this good!” Too funny!

P.P.S. Have you reinvented an allergy free version of a childhood favourite for your children?