Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Maple Syrup Muffins To Celebrate Canada Day

Happy Canada Day!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Maple Syrup Muffins for Canada Day

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Maple Syrup Muffins are perfect to celebrate Canada’s 146th birthday!

What better way to celebrate Canada Day than with some maple syrup laced muffins!

These were the perfect treat to bring over to my neighbour/friend Leslie’s where my boys were having a fun afternoon swimming with their friends in their pool.

Natasha exclaimed, “They taste like pancakes!”

Not quite sure where I acquired and wrote this recipe down from…I have had it since before I was married…enjoy!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Maple Syrup Muffins

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Maple Syrup Muffins for Canada Day

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup quick oats
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup Natura Rice Beverage
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (make sure it is the real thing)

Maple Glaze

1 tbsp. Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks or Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1/4 – 1/2 tsp of water to thin the glaze to your liking

Instructions:

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
In another bowl, combine all the wet ingredients.
Add the wet to the dry and stir just to combine.
Fill 12 paper lined muffin tin with batter.
Bake at 350 F for 20- 25 minutes or until golden.
Let cool for 10 minutes in the muffin tin before removing them to finish cooling on a cooling rack.
Spread with Maple Glaze.

Enjoy!

How will you be spending Canada Day? Baking anything special to celebrate? Do share!

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Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free ‘Scream/Dream Bars’

May is Food Allergy Awareness Month in Canada and Sunday is Mother’s Day…this post aims to honour them both.

As a mother with two teenaged boys with multiple food allergies…Anaphylaxis Canada’s Youth Advisory Panel’s (YAP) 31 Tips for Parents – From Teens (click here) has encouraged me to learn more about what allergic youth of today need. To do so,  I have been visiting their site…Why Risk It?Where Real Life And Allergies Collide.

Why Risk It? is a great site for allergic youth to learn more about how their peers with food allergies are living/coping/dealing with their food allergies through real life stories of their own.

With two teenaged boys with multiple food allergies in the house…forever on the look-out for something tasty to eat…I was curious to check out the recipes on the Why Risk It? Blog.

I must say…I was a bit disappointed to find only 3 recipes. Out of the 3 recipes, only one stood out…I love a recipe with a good story.

The post was written by Arianne. Due to Arianne’s peanut/tree nut allergies and her brother’s egg allergies…Halloween treats were off limits at her house. Lucky for Arianne and her brother, her mother learned to make special allergen friendly Halloween treats, such as Scream Bars, for her and her brother to enjoy so they would not feel left out.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free 'Scream Bars'

Arianne states, “To this day, I still use her recipes and praise her every second that I get for helping me and my brother to truly feel the Halloween spirit.”

Click here for the original story and recipe.

I have adapted Arianne’s, already egg and peanut/tree nut free recipe, to be dairy free to accommodate my eldest son’s dairy allergy.

Adaptions and Recommendations:

1) Replace the 1/2 cup butter with Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks or Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread for a soy free version.
2) Cream the room temperature Earth Balance before adding the brown sugar…cream them together before adding the flour.
3)  Measure all the dry ingredients, excluding the coconut and rice krispies, in a large bowl.
4)  I used Adrianne’s 2 egg replacement: I measured 4 tbsp. of warm water in a little dish…just before I was to add it to the mixed dry ingredients, I added the 1 tbsp. of baking powder. I stirred it all together while it fizzed then quickly added it to the dry ingredients to combine. I then added the coconut and rice krispies.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Dream Bars

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free 'Dream Bars'

A sweet, crunchy, decadent treat!

Matthew found them…“Nice and crunchy with a powerful chocolatey taste.”

As Mother’s Day is this Sunday…I would like to take the time to thank my mother for encouraging me to help in the kitchen…she gave me the skills I needed to be creative in the kitchen, instilled in me a love for good ‘real’ food, and sent me off into the world with a pleather of great recipes…many of which I have adapted to share with my family today.

As a mother myself…I hope I can do the same for my boys.

On that note, I would like to wish all the mother’s out there with children, family members and/or friends with food allergies…here’s to you and all that you do…

HAPPY MOTHER”S DAY!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Covered Oatmeal Bars

My neighbour and friend, Leslie, is one busy mom…with two of her children in competitive swimming, one of them in rep soccer and a third child in karate….her schedule is all over the place.

Leslie was happy to share with me a recipe that her children enjoy as a snack to tide them over between meals when they are on the run. She hoped it might be something my boys would enjoy too.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Covered Oatmeal Bars

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Covered Oatmeal Bars

Oats, whole-wheat, wheat-germ, topped with a rich chocolate coating…one hardly notices these are full of fibre! Matthew loved them!

This recipe was passed on to Leslie from a long-time friend whose children love them. Surprisingly, her friend named these Brownies…an odd choice as they are nothing like Brownies.

I hand delivered samples of my version of Leslie’s Oatmeal BarsDairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Oatmeal Bars…to Leslie’s house. Her children were very excited to try them…their expert opinion…“Just like yours mom.”

A trip up the street to my other friend, Linda’s house where more samples of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Covered Oatmeal Bars were delivered. I am happy to report they were deemed…‘delicious’.

I am always pleased when I can adapt a recipe to be allergy friendly for my boys and at the same time be enjoyed by both adults and children without food allergies.

In my eyes…that is what I call a success!

This recipe was easy to adapt…I switched the butter/margarine to Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks or for a soy-free version use Earth Balance Soy Free Natural Buttery Spread, the egg to 1/2 tsp baking soda and 2 tbsp. water and I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Covered Oatmeal Bars

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Covered Oatmeal Bars

1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ or natural bran (I used wheat germ)
1 cup quick oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup demerera sugar
1/2 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks or Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread
2 tbsp. water
1 tsp pure vanilla

Topping

1/2-3/4 cups Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips or Chocolate Chunks

In a large bowl, cream the sugar and Earth Balance of your choice.
Add the water and vanilla.
In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
Combine the dry with the creamed ingredient mixture.
Pat into a 9 by 13 greased pan.
Bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are golden.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top and let sit for 5 minutes.
Spread the melted chocolate to cover the top of the oatmeal bars.
Let cool completely…will crumble if you cut it while still warm.

Enjoy!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Covered Oatmeal Bars

Tip 1:  Leslie’s daughter enjoys her Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Covered Oatmeal Bar warmed up in the microwave…her son Alex offers it up for dessert with a scoop of ice cream…while Evan, I believe he eats it anyway he can!

Tip 2:  I like to ‘tweak’ recipes…Here is my updated even healthier version of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Covered Oatmeal Bars…Oatmeal and Chocolate with a touch of cinnamon…yummy!

1)  Use an equal amount of canola oil for the Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks.
2)  Use a flax egg (1 tbsp. flax meal mixed with 3 tbsp. water and let rest in the refrigerator while you put together the rest of the ingredients) and add to the oil and sugar mixture.
3) Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon to the dry ingredients.
4) Reduce baking soda to 1/2 tsp and omit the 2 tbsp. water.

I dropped off samples at Leslie’s house…what would her children make of the change?  They loved them both!

If you are looking for an Oatmeal Barbake the original version. For more of an Oatmeal Cookiebake the updated version.

I happen to prefer the cookie version better…which would you prefer?

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Wholewheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been perusing through the piles of magazines that have been collecting in various corners of my house…tearing out recipes that I hope to adapt.

One such recipe that caught my eye was in the July/August 2012 issue of Eating Well Magazine.

A plate of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Wholewheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bev’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe was the winner of Best Cookies…after reading over the recipe…I just had to adapt them. Click here for the original recipe.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Whole-Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

A plate of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Wholewheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yum is all I can say about these crunchy little gems!

Their taste reminds me of a chocolate covered digestive…one of my favourite store-bought cookies my mom would purchase for special occasions.

Matthew was very taken with them…he polished off three of them in one sitting.

Adaptions:

I substituted 1/4 cup of Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks (for a soy free version use Earth Balance Soy Free Natural Buttery Spread) for the butter.
I substituted 1/2 tsp of baking soda and 2 tbsp of water for the egg. Just increase the baking soda in the original recipe to 1 tsp and add the water when the egg is added in the original recipe.
 I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Enjoy!

Enjoying a Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Wholewheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie

P.S. I am thinking… Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Whole-Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies will be the perfect cookies to send to my Secret Sister. Lovely with a cup of tea to warm up after a brisk walk with her dog. I have signed up for Carla @ My 1/2 Dozen Daily’s Spring Secret Sister Swap.

I will be posting my package to my Secret Sister in the coming month…watch out for it!

The Toronto Star 2012 Cookie Calendar Countdown: Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Shortbread Cookies

The Toronto Star’s 2012 Day 16 Cookie for the Cookie Calendar Countdown is no ordinary Shortbread Cookie…this recipe has a heritage.

Not only was Cathy Kehoe’s grandmother, Mary Ethyl Hare, creator of this Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookie but she was also the Private Secretary to R.S. McLaughlan, founder of General Motors. As I live in a neighbouring city of General Motors Canada…I felt it was fitting to whip up a batch. Click here for the original recipe at The Toronto Star.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Shortbread Cookies

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Shortbread Cookies

I enjoyed the caramel taste the brown sugar lends to the cookie. I also prefer my shortbread to be a little more browned than most…just like my mom…so I made sure to bake some a little longer.

I adapted the recipe to be dairy free by replacing the butter with Earth Balance Buttery Vegan Sticks (for a soy free recipe use Earth Balance Soy Free Natural Buttery Spread). I cut the recipe in half and found that I needed to up the temperature to 350 F in order to bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes…depending on the size of the cut out and the thickness of the dough.  (Not sure if it was a misprint to preheat the oven and bake the cookies at 300 F)

I hope you are all enjoying my adaptations…any favourites so far?

The Toronto Star’s 2012 Cookie Calendar Countdown: Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free ‘100 Good Cookies’

I have to admit…everything about the Toronto Star’s 2012 Day 9 Cookie Calendar Cookie grabbed my attention.

For starters, the name itself…’100 Good Cookies’…piqued my interest.

Secondly, there were the interesting ingredients…both butter (or non-dairy alternative such as Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks or Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread) and vegetable oil are required, cream of tartar, as well as a fun mix of oatmeal, rice krispies and coconut.

Thirdly, once again the timing of this recipe is stellar! Ever since both the boys tested negatively for coconut on their allergy skin testing, I have been looking for a recipe to introduce coconut…bingo!

Attention:  Anaphylaxis Canada does not include coconut as a tree nut, although they can cause allergic reactions. Therefore, consult with your allergist. Click here for a link to Anaphylaxis Canada’s list of top food allergens.

However, the actual selling point for me was the story…I love a recipe with a good story!

The recipe for 100 Good Cookies was sent in to the Toronto Star by Joyce Stephenson of Oakville. “Here is my favourite cookie,” the article states. “It is not fancy, not particularly Christmas-y, not exotic-but this recipe makes the best cookies you will ever taste. Every time I make them, people just gobble them up and want the recipe.”

Sold!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free ‘100 Good Cookies’

A plate of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free '100 Good Cookies'

I adapted the original recipe to meet my boys’ food allergies…I replaced the butter with Earth Balance Vegan Sticks (for a soy free recipe use Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread), and the egg with 2 tbsp of water added just before the canola oil and an extra 1/2 tsp baking soda to the flour mixture. Click here for the original recipe in the Toronto Star.

After baking up a few sheets of cookies, I tried one. I felt it was missing something…pure vanilla. I added about 1 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla to the remaining batter…they still needed something. Matthew and I both couldn’t taste the coconut, so I added a bit more coconut to some of the batter…both Matthew and I agreed we liked this version the best. Michael could not tell the difference…he liked them both.

My taste testers (with no food allergies), Victoria and William, enjoyed them…even Victoria who is not a coconut fan!

Topped with dab of Dairy Free Vanilla Icing and sprinkled with toasted coconut…

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free '100 Good Cookies'

…creates a festive touch for Christmas!

Tip 1: Next time, I would add 2 tsp of pure vanilla and at least another 1/2 – 3/4 cup of unsweetened desiccated coconut.

Tip 2:  I made the cookies slightly more than 1 tsp and baked the cookies for approximately 10 minutes.

The Toronto Star’s 2012 Cookie Calendar Countdown: Day 3: Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Date Drop Cookies

My BFF, Anne, is here visiting from Calgary…one thing we have in common is a love for dates.

It was serendipity when I read The Toronto Star’s Day 3 Cookie Calendar Cookie was Geoff Fleming’s Great-Grandmother’s family recipe from Germany…Date Drop Cookies. Click here for the original recipe at The Toronto Star.

“Oh, you have to make them!”, exclaimed Anne. So we did!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Date Drop Cookies

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Date Drop Cookies

Oh my gosh…delicious! Each one is a Ittle nugget of yumminess!

I replaced the butter with Earth Balance Vegan Sticks (for a soy free version replace butter wit Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread ), the egg with 1/4 cup cinnamon applesauce and omitted the walnuts.

“Aren’t you glad I made you make them”, Anne announced. “Oh my, yes!”…Anne knows me only too well!

Unfortunately, I could not interest the boys…my husband, Andy, on the other hand, couldn’t keep his hand out of the ‘proverbial cookie jar!’ He justified himself by stating, “But they’re so small”!

If you love dates as much as we all do…this is a must try recipe…sure to please those with or without dairy, egg, soy and/or peanut/tree nut allergies!

My parting gift for Anne…

A package of Dairy, Egg. Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Date Drop Cookies for Anne

…a package of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Date Drop Cookies to tide her over on her flight home.

If you are wild about dates…you may want to try my Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Date Squares that I made Anne last year. Click here for the recipe.

Tip:  Next batch will be made with whole wheat flour…I think it will complement the richness of the dates similar to my Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Date Squares.

The Toronto Star’s 2012 Cookie Calendar Countdown: Day 1: Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Diwali Chai Snickerdoodle

So excited…Jennifer Bain, Toronto Star Food Editor’s 2012 Cookie Calendar Countdown has begun. Click here to learn more.

Day 1 was Ajitha Cyriac’s ‘chai inspired cookies’ she adapted from a Snickerdoodle recipe to please her four kids. Click here for her original adapted recipe in the Toronto Star.

I further adapted her adaptation to please my own boys’ food allergies.

Dairy, Egg, and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Diwali Chai Snickerdoodle Cookies

A plate of Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Diwali Chai Snickerdoodle Cookies

I replaced the butter with Earth Balance Vegan Sticks, (for a soy free version use Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread) replaced the eggs with 1/2 tsp of baking soda added to the dry ingredients and 2 tbsp of water added along with the pure vanilla and omitted the pistachios.

The timing was perfect…I had a houseful of hungry boys still around from Matthew’s birthday sleepover party…eager to try cookies.

After a lunch of leftover pizza…the boys tried one. Matthew liked them…Michael made a face after the first bite…Carson thought they had a nice buttery aftertaste and William thought they would be more suited to adults as they were not very sweet.

That evening, Andy and I had the pleasure of attending a Christmas party at our friends house. Our hostess has two boys who are also not too fond of ‘Indian sweets’ as Ajitha was quoted in the Toronto Star.

I packaged up the Dairy, Egg, and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Diwali Chai Snickerdoodle Cookies to bring as part of my hostess gift.

Hostess gifts: Package of Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Diwali Chai Snickerdoodle Cookies and Glass Urn with Pomegrante and Greenery

She was thrilled to receive her special hostess gifts.

In addition to the Dairy, Egg, and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Diwali Chai Snickerdoodle Cookies, I decided to bake some kid friendly cookies that I know both my boys love at Christmas time…Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Gingerbread Men.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Gingerbread Men

One can never go wrong with Gingerbread Men…they are irresistible.

Four packages of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Gingerbread Men Cookies

Therefore, I made up 4 packages as there was another family attending the party with their two girls. Their mother was pleasantly surprised!

I am looking forward to adapting more of Jennifer Bain’s Cookie Calendar Treats as the month continues. Stay tuned!

Have you started your holiday baking? What are your favourite family go-to holiday cookies? Are you following along with The Toronto Star’s Cookie Calendar Countdown?

Happy Hallowe’en…celebrating with Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Zebra Cake and Gingerbread Ghosts, Bats and Cats

Happy Hallowe’en!

Happy Hallowe'en 2012

This will be the first Hallowe’en that both my boys will not be ‘trick or treating’ in the neighbourhood.

It is a bittersweet moment…on the one hand, I feel relieved that there will not be any peanut/tree nut candies and chocolate bars to worry about passing through our door yet on the other hand, I will miss the anticipation and excitement of the boys getting all dressed up and preparing to head out for a fun filled night of ‘trick or treating’ with their neighbourhood friends.

With both the boys in highschool…the teenage years is my new ‘norm’. My little boys are growing into young men.

Michael, my eldest at 16, has not been ‘trick or treating’ for quite a few years now. He enjoys answering the door and handing out all the candy to kids. This year, both Michael and Matthew will herald the door…I must say, I like to get in on the action too! Seeing the little kids all dressed up is my favourite…especially the neighbourhood kids!

Last year, I put on a Hallowe’en party for the boys’ neighbourhood friends. Click here to view. This year, the boys did not seem as interested.

One is never too old for treats…so I will be surprising my boys with some special Hallowe’en treats.

Hallowe'en treats for the boys

 Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Gingerbread Ghosts, Bats and Cats, black licorice, Yummy Earth candy drops and small packages of Yummy Earth Gummy Bears. 

I adapted this cute Zebra Cake from a Robin Hood Flour advertisement in one of those little booklets of recipes and coupons.

A slice of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Zebra Cake

I replaced the butter with Earth Balance Vegan Sticks (for soy free use Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread), replaced the 2 eggs with 4 tbsp of water and 1 tsp of baking soda, replaced the milk with Natura Enriched Rice Beverage and omitted the almond extract. The original recipe can be found by clicking Robinhood.ca

Kids will really enjoy the preparation of this cake…scooping the vanilla and chocolate batter in to the cake pan is the perfect task for ‘little helpers’.

Scooping the vanilla and chocolate batter in cake pan for Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Zebra Cake

I think this is the perfect cake to celebrate Hallowe’ena cake disguised as a zebra!

Enjoying a slice of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Zebra Cake

Enjoy!

Tip: I baked the cake for 40 minutes…next time, I would bake it a bit longer as the centre of the cake was a little undercooked…Matthew didn’t mind but Michael found it ‘too soft’.

P.S. How do you navigate Hallowe’en with your children’s food allergies? Click here for my chronicles on our journey with Hallowe’en.

P.P.S. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.