Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Lava Cakes

Oh my goodness… I am in chocolate heaven!

dairy,egg,soy and peanut/tree nut free chocolate lava cake on a plate

Rich, warm, gooey chocolatey bliss!

Can you tell…I am a chocoholic!

If you love chocolate…rich chocolate…purely decadent chocolate…then this is the indulgence for you!

I first made these unbelievably delicious Chocolate Lava Cakes 5 years ago as a special Valentine’s Day dessert for my husband and I.

Chocolate is the essence of romance!

romantic dessert of dairy,egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free chocolate lava cakes for two

Ever since, I have thought about adapting the recipe to be dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free so my son Michael could also savour pure chocolate perfection…but how?

Enter flax-seed meal!

Flax seed meal is full of nutritional goodness: soluble and insoluble fibre, lignans, omega-3 fatty acid and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

Health benefits include: lowering the risk of heart disease, prevention of some types of cancer and as a treatment for some immune disorders.

Flax seed meal has many uses: in cooking, baking, as a fresh food additive, and even as an egg and fat replacer!

I love sprinkling my Gold Top Organics Flax Seed Meal on my morning oatmeal or as an addition to my homemade applesauce.

For the benefit of this recipe, I am using the flax-seed meal as the egg replacer one egg is equal to: 1 tbsp of flax-seed meal mixed with 3 tbsp of water left to sit for 3-5 minutes then stir. The mixture will have thickened to a ‘gummy like’ consistency…perfect!

Despite the addition of flax-seed meal to this scrumptious dessert…I would still consider it a once in a while indulgence. lol

The timing is perfect for the unveiling of this recipe…Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!

This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine January 2007, Molten Mocha Cakes.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Lava Cakes

dairy,egg,soy and peanut/tree nut free chocolate lava cake on a plate

2 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Sticks or Earth Balance Soy Free Natural Buttery Spread
1/3 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
1 tbsp Gold Top Organics Flax Seed Meal
3 tbsp water
1 tsp instant coffee
pinch of kosher salt
3 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
Earth Balance Vegan Sticks and dairy free Guardian Angel Cocoa for greasing and dusting two ramekins.

Grease two ramekins with Earth Balance and dust with dairy free cocoa.

ramekin greased with earth balance and dusted with guardian angel cocoaPlace Earth Balance and chocolate chips in a microwave-safe dish and heat on high for 20 seconds. Stir until melted. (may need to do a little more depending on your microwave)
Let chocolate mixture cool slightly.
In a small dish, combine the flax-seed meal and the water. Stir and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Stir again. Mixture should have thickened and have a ‘gummy’ consistency.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flax-seed meal mixture, sugar and instant coffee.

flax seed meal mixure, instant coffee and icing sugar

Whisk in the chocolate and then the flour until just combined.

batter all mixed together and ready for the ramekinsPour batter into two prepared ramekins.

batter in ramekins ready for the ovenBake at 400 F until a toothpick inserted 1/2 inch from the edge of the ramekins comes out clean and is wet in the centre.
Timing will be varied depending on your oven. Start testing at the 12 minute marker. Mine took approximately 15-16 minutes.

baked dairy,egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free chocolate lava cakesLet cool for 10 minutes.
Invert onto plates and dust with icing sugar and decorate with a fresh strawberry…yummy!

enjoying a bite of dairy,egg,soy and peanut/tree nut free chocolate lava cake

Enjoy immediately…best still warm and gooey!

Tip 1: Keep an eye on them in the oven, as you want them slightly undercooked in the middle for the gooey lava effect!

Tip 2: I love that you can make the cakes ahead of time and then pop them in the oven while you are having your dinner…ready just in time for dessert!

Tip 3: Can also be enjoyed right out of the ramekins!

P.S. My cakes stuck a little in the middle…not to worry. Just scrape it off and dab it on the cake and cover with icing sugar and a strawberry or berries of choice…perfect!

Question: Do you have a favourite allergen free chocolate dessert you like to bake for your sweetheart(s) on Valentine’s Day?

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Celebrating Our Ukrainian Heritage: Egg and Dairy Free Daiya Cheese Pierogies

One of my husband’s favourite meals growing up was Pierogies, Cabbage Rolls and Meat on a Stick.(a recipe I am hoping to master and post about soon)

dairy free daiya pierogi, roasted beets, steamed brocolli and a cabbage roll

My father-in-law’s parents immigrated from the Ukraine to Canada before he was born. He was raised in Northern Canada on his mother’s Ukrainian cooking, learning to speak Ukrainian along with French and English.

With his parents passing, his ability to converse in Ukrainian waned…however, his love for his mother’s Ukrainian dishes lived on.

My father-in-law is the Pierogi King!

my father-in-law...the pierogi king

New Year’s Day found us on the road home from our visit with my brother’s family. We stopped in at my in-laws to wish them a Happy New Year. My father-in-law was busy whipping up batches of pierogies. A sampling was packaged up to add to our supper.

Over the years, my father-in-laws pierogies have been the most sought after dish at any family gathering. Not so for my boys…Matthew, who can eat them, wouldn’t and claimed he didn’t like them…Michael, who couldn’t eat them due to his dairy allergy, would look longingly at them, wishing he could try them.

It is only just lately, that Matthew’s curiousity has got the better of him and he has been asking to sample a pierogi…much to his delight he has ‘seen the light’ and is now a pierogi convert!

All the more reason for me to put my thinking cap on and work out an adaption.

Bringing them home that night was yet another reminder…but wait…I could adapt them…what if I used Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds for the cheese and Earth Balance Butttery Vegan Sticks for the butter?

The next morning found me out and about picking up potatoes and Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds…I had enough Earth BalanceButtery Vegan Sticks.

I found a recipe for Pierogy Dough at Ukrainian Classic Kitchen and International Cuisine. Click here for the Potato Water Dough (8) recipe.

I figured out a recipe for the potato filling from what I knew my father-in-law put in his pierogies and the starting point of measurements from a family friend’s Ukrainian family recipe… then just tasted for any adjustments.

May I present to you…a thing of beauty…Egg and Dairy Free Daiya Pierogies!

bowl of dairy free daiya pierogies

Egg and Dairy Free Daiya Pierogies

Potato Filling Ingredients

10 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Vegan Sticks, more for coating in bowl
1 cup Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
freshly ground pepper to taste
reserve 2 cups of potato water for dough

Tip: For a soy free version use Earth Balance Soy Free Natural Spread.

Follow recipe for dough from Ukrainian Classic Kitchen and International Cuisine, Potato Water Dough (8). (link above)

Tip 1: I kneaded the dough until it was nice and soft and then wrapped tightly in Saran wrap to rest.

Potato Filling

Thinly slice potatoes and place in a large pot. Fill with water to just cover the potatoes with a 1 tsp of kosher salt. Bring to a boil and let simmer until fork tender. Drain water, reserving 2 cups of potato water in a liquid measure for dough.

Mash potatoes in pot. Stir in the Earth Balance and Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds and pepper to taste.

potatoes with earth balance and daiya cheddar style shreds for pierogies

Once the dough has rested, take a small tablespoon size of dough and using your fingers, spread out the dough in a circle. Place on a well floured mat and roll out nice and thin. Scoop out a couple of tablespoons of potato filling and place in the middle of the rolled out dough. Pull the dough up and over the filling and seal the dough.

stages of putting together a dairy free daiya pierogi

Place the pierogi on a floured tea towel and continue.

dairy free daiya pierogies on a tea towel

Be liberal with your use of flour…helps with the sealing of the pierogi.

a finished dairy free daiya pierogi

Tip 1: Be sure to seal your pierogies well so there will be no leaking of potato filling in the water.

Tip 2: Only cook what you will eat that day and the next. The rest can be frozen on a cookie sheet and then transferred to freezer bags.

Cooking the Pierogies

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add a few pierogies at a time. They have finished cooking when they float to the top of the water. Place in a large bowl with Earth Balance…add enough to keep the pierogies from sticking together…you be the judge.

Enjoy!

enjoying a bite of a dairy free daiya pierogi

I had to come back later for this photo as we were so hungry I forgot to take any extra pictures…it was a pierogi feast…they were soooooo good!)

I cooked up way too many pierogies…perfect for leftovers the next night…Bacon and Onion Fried Pierogies anyone?

Bacon and Onion Egg and Dairy Free Fried Pierogies

a plate of bacon and onion fried pierogies, dough balls and steamed carrots

In a fry pan, add 5 slices of diced bacon and a diced small onion. Cook until starting to crisp. Add in the leftover pierogies and toss to warm up with the bacon and onion. You may need to add a bit more Earth Balance.

dairy free daiya pierogies frying in a pan with diced bacon and onion

Enjoy!

enjoying a bite of a dairy free daiya bacon and onion fried pierogi

What do you do with any leftover pierogi dough? My father-in-law would say makeDough Balls.

Egg and Dairy Free Dough Balls

Michael rolled out tablespoon sized dough pieces.

pierogi dough rolled out for dough balls

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and toss in all the dough pieces. When they have risen to the top they are cooked. Place in a bowl with Earth Balance and toss to cover.

cooked dough balls in a bowl with earth balance

Enjoy!

Here is how the boys rated the pierogies:

Michael liked the Dough Balls, then the Bacon and Onion Fried Pierogies and then the Original Pierogies.

Matthew liked the Original Pierogies, then the Dough Balls and lastly the Bacon and Onion Fried Pierogies.

P.S. Making Pierogies is very time consuming…but well worth the effort put into them. I made half one day and the rest the next day. I highly recommend making them at one time…I left the dough out on the counter and it went all moldy…I had to make another half a batch of dough for the rest of the pierogies…those I froze.

After discussing my faux pas with my in-laws, they recommended making the potato filling the day before and then the dough and the Pierogies the next…never both and certainly not at the same time as making Cabbage Rolls. Ooops!

As my husband said, “Don’t ask me…ask the experts!”

P.P.S The timing for making Dairy Free Daiya Pierogies and Cabbage Rolls is perfect for celebrating Ukrainian Christmas on January 6, 2012.

P.P.P.S. Cabbage rolls will be posted on Friday…my mother-in-law’s specialty! Click here for the link.

P.P.P.P.S. My in-laws just purchased a Black and Decker Bread Maker in the sales and made their first loaf of bread…they substituted in oil for the fat…a healthy choice.

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free ‘Oreo’ Style Cookies

I couldn’t resist adapting the Toronto Star’s Cookie Calendar, Day 18 cookie: The all-time, go-to favourite store bought cookie of everyone’s childhood…The Oreo!

Now…Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free ‘Oreo’ Style Cookies.

dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free oreo style cookies

I thought these would be the perfect cookie to bring on our visit to my brother’s to share with his two boys.

There will be a lot of energy exerted over the next few days…it’s all about hockey when we visit.

My eldest nephew is in the Bell Capital Cup…we will be spending a lot of time in hockey arenas cheering his team on…Go Silver Seven Go!  My brother has built his annual backyard hockey rink for the boys to practice their shots in between games…and if that is not enough…there is always hockey in the basement!

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free ‘Oreo’ Style Cookies

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut oreo style cookies

For the recipe click here.

For a dairy free version: I replaced the butter with Earth Balance.
For an egg free version: I used 1/2 tsp of baking soda and 2 tbsp of water.
For a soy free version: use Earth Balance Soy Free Vegan Spread

I didn’t follow the recipe’s instructions…I actually creamed the Earth Balance with the sugar. Added the water and mixed until combined. I combined all the dry ingredients separately and then added it to the creamed mixture. I followed the recipe for forming the cookies and baking them.

For the cream filling: I halved the recipe and used Earth Balance to replace the butter. I used the leftover Dairy Free Chocolate Icing from my Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Yule Log to fill the cookies and created…

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free ‘Fudgeo’ Style Cookies.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free fudgeo style cookies

Matthew opted to try the’ Fudgeo’ Style Cookie and Michael choose the ‘Oreo’ Style cookie…both declared them ‘yummy’.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free oreo and fudgeo style cookies

Planning ahead is key for a successful trip away from home when you have multiple food allergies.

Along with the ‘Oreo’ cookies, I am bringing a batch of Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies and of course…Dairy Free Rice Krispie Squares. Don’t leave home without them!

To help out with the meals, I am bringing a batch of our Spaghetti with Meat Balls that my hubbie whipped up and a Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free French Stick. Both will be for the dinner the day we arrive.

I will also be bringing a Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Apple Pie I made in the Fall and froze along with a second Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free French Stick. They will be perfect for our rescheduled Christmas Dinner.

Packages of homemade Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Pancake mixes, Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Sub Buns, Natural Selections Smoked Uncured Black Forest Ham, Crackers, Natura Soy Milk, Ryza Rice Milk, Guardian Angel chocolate and Surf Sweet Candies will all be brought for Michael to meet his food allergen needs.

Spending time with my brother’s family is a highlight during the holiday season for my boys. Taking the time to prepare and plan for this trip is top priority to me. Where there is a will…there is a way!

I hope everyone is enjoying time with their families this holiday season.

P.S. How do you manage the holidays and travelling to family functions with multiple food allergies?

P.P.S. Can’t forget the World Junior Hockey Championship Tournament that is playing in Edmonton and Calgary!      Go Team Canada Go!

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.

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Speculaas Cookies

I have been following Jennifer Bain’s Cookie Calendar Countdown to Christmas in the Toronto Star’s Living section throughout the month of December. Posting my adaptions, on Facebook, to make each cookie recipe dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free.

I have been eager to put one of her recipes to the test. I adapted her Speculaas recipe (click here for recipe)… Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Speculaas Cookies.

dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free speculaas cookies

Speculaas cookies have always intrigued me…they are a traditional dutch cookie that are not too sweet and compliment a cup of tea or coffee with their touch of spicy simplicity.

Typically, a carved wooden mold was used to create images on the Speculaas such as a windmill. This is such a mold I picked up while travelling in Europe in my youth.

carved wooden mold for speculaas cookies

My mother and I set out in search of a similar mold. My mother suggested European Imports/The Dutch Market. Inside, the shop was filled with an assortment of Dutch products: baked goods, a deli, specialty food items, chocolates, tea towels, and wooden clogs. I couldn’t resist purchasing the beautiful windmill tea towel!

Alas, we did not find a windmill mold. So we improvised…and went to Michael’s…and purchased a fancy mold for stamping the Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Speculaas.

stamp from michael's to stamp speculaas cookie dough

Although the stamp is not specifically made for pressing into sticky dough, it worked out pretty well. Make sure you keep flouring the stamp between pressings.

cooling dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free speculaas cookies with stamp

For my dairy free version, I replaced the butter with Earth Balance. For a soy free version, use Earth Balance’s Soy Free Vegan Spread. I omitted the ground cloves, nutmeg, mace (my kids prefer less spice) and almonds. If you like a spicier cookie, I would increase the ginger and cinnamon.

The dough was rather sticky. I thought I had made the cookies thin enough, however, I would have liked them thinner for a crispier cookie. My husband, on the other hand, loves softer cookies and felt these were perfect in texture and spice. I loved the touch of lemon!

Enjoy!

enjoying a dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free speculaas cookie

 Tip: Packaged up, Dairy,Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Speculaas make a great little something to give to family friends to thank them for all they do for, in my case, my mother.

When you live a distance from a loved one…nice to know there are people that you can count on to be there for the ones you love. Thank you.

package of dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free speculaas cookies for family friends

P.S. The Cookie Calendar, Day 17 adapted version: Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Double Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies, will be posted on Friday.

Matthew’s verdict…tasty with crunch. Michael’s verdict… very good. My verdict…amazing…a minty, fudgey decadence!

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 Thumbprint Cookies

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Thumbprint Cookies are another adapted childhood favourite of mine!

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free thumbprint cookies on a plate

The second half of dough made from Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolate Chip Snowball cookies can be used to make and bake Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Thumbprint Cookies.

Two types of cookies from one batch of dough…perfect!

My favourite jam for the centre was either apricot or raspberry…these have been filled with my boys favourite jam…homemade strawberry.

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Thumbprint Cookies

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free thumbprint cookies on a plate

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

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free thumbprint cookie dough

Roll a tablespoon full of dough into a balls. Set aside in a bowl.
Melt 2 tbsp of Earth Balance or measure canola oil into a small bowl.
Pour corn flake crumbs into another bowl.
Roll balls in melted Earth Balance or canola oil, dredge in corn flake crumbs and place on a silicone pad or parchment lined cookie sheet.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free thumbprint cookie dough rolled into balls, canola oil, and corn flake crumbs in a bowl

Using your thumb, gently press an indent in the middle of the cookie ball.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free thumbprint cookie dough balls on a cookie sheet with a pressed indentBake at 350 F for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and re-indent the cookies.

reindenting dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free thumbprint cookies after 15 minutesBake a further 3 minutes.
Let cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free thumbprint cookies cooling on rackWhen cool, fill with your favourite jam.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free thumbprint cookie filled with strawberry jam

Enjoy!

Tip 1: I put together a little thank you package for my neighbour/hairdresser for squeezing in my boys for a haircut this week. Thanks Char!

a package of dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free thumbprint cookies with a candy cane and a small jar of strawberry jam

Tip 2: Cookies can be made ahead and frozen.

Tip 3: Cookie dough can be rolled out for cookie cut outs.

Tip 4: Cookies can also be filled with glazed cherries or some melted chocolate.

P.S. Do you have a childhood favourite cookie you have adapted for your specific food allergens?

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

The Christmas Tree is up…the decorations have been strategically placed throughout the house…and the Christmas tunes are cranked.

dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbread men on christmas tree I took over the kitchen this weekend for some holiday baking…Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Gingerbread to be exact!

I am so excited to be baking and building our first Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Gingerbread Houses with the boys.

dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbread houses

I have been eyeing this Gingerbread House mold from Lee Valley for some years now.

Gingerbread mold from Lee Valley

I am unsure where my Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Gingerbread recipe originates. I went through a few recipes before Michael claimed this one the winner. The baking instructions for the Gingerbread House came with the Gingerbread House mold.

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Gingerbread Dough

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp water
1/2 cup fancy molasses

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

creamed Earth Balance and sugar for dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut gingerbreadMix in the water, vinegar, and molasses.

molasses, water and vinegar added to creamed mixture for dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbreadIn another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger.

dry ingredients for dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbreadSlowly add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture until completely combined.

dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbread doughDivide dough in half and roll into 2 balls.
Wrap each ball in wax paper and refrigerate for at least an hour.

2 balls of dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbread dough wrapped in wax paperSpray mold with canola spray.
I rolled out the dough to the thickness of the mold and then cut pieces to press into the mold.

rolled out dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbread dough for gingerbread mold from Lee Valley

Press Gingerbread dough into mold.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut gingerbread dough pressed into gingerbread house mold from Lee Valley

Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes.
Let gingerbread cool in mold for 10 minutes.

baked dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbread in gingerbread house mold from Lee Valley

Carefully remove the pieces to a cooling rack.

dairy, egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbread house cooling on rackRepeat. Two batches are necessary for a complete house.

Tip 1: One ball of dough made one side of the mold. I made 2 batches of my Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Gingerbread Dough for two houses. I used the leftover dough to make mini and large Gingerbread Men. I poked holes at the top with a straw (before baking) to thread ribbon or string through for decorating the tree.

dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbread men to decorate treeThe third house was made using the Gingerbread Dough recipe that came with the mold. It was actually dairy and egg free already! It was very crumbly so I just pressed the dough in the mold. Not as impressed with their recipe…not as tasty and couldn’t roll out the leftover dough to make Gingerbread Men.

Tip 2: I used Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Molasses in both the recipes. Michael noticed right away that the dough was different. “The dough is darker…what did you do differently?” he questioned me. Then he tried them…”I know you did something to these cookies?”  “I’ll eat them, but I like the other ones you make better.”

I didn’t think changing the molasses would make such a difference…apparantly, I was wrong. I know how much he loves and looks forward to me making these cookies each year…I should have known better than to mess with them.

For Michael’s favourite Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Gingerbread Cookies one must use Crosby’s Fancy Molasses.

Building the Dairy,Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Gingerbread House

Constructing the Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Gingerbread Houses is a story in and of itself…let’s just say…one needs a lot of patience!  

The Royal Icing recipe recommended in the instruction booklet to ‘glue’ the house together, required egg whites. For our egg free version, I mixed together 2 cups icing sugar with 7 tsp of water.

A ziplock sandwich bag with a corner snipped off was filled with the icing sugar mixture. The boys and I squeezed out the icing to ‘glue’ our houses together.

constructing dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbread houses

Eventually, the bag broke and icing was everywhere! Matthew and I  then tried using a plastic icing bag with a metal tip. This ended up to be futile…we resorted to using our fingers to spread the icing while trying to hold the houses together.

We left them to dry before attempting to add anything else for fear of them collapsing…once again! A little more finicky than I had anticipated.

constructed dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbread houses

The boys found the whole enterprise quite amusing!

Note to self: Next time, make the gingerbread pieces thinner, especially the roof!

Of course everyone knows that decorating the Gingerbread Houses is the best part!

Decorations included: Gimbal’s Gourmet Jelly Beans, Surf Sweets Jelly Beans, Gummy Bears and Worms, mini marshmallows, Mentos mints, Enjoy Life chocolate chips and chocolate chunks.

allergen free candies to decorate dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbread houses

I called the boys in from playing road hockey to decorate their houses.  A neighbourhood friend joined in on the fun.

decorating dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbread houses with allergen free candies

All in all, we were all very pleased with the end results.

decorated dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbread housesMatthew’s Masterpiece:.. ‘architectural perfection!’

matthew's decorated dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbread house

My Masterpiece… ‘a jelly bean and gummy delight!”

my decorated dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbread house

Michael’s Masterpiece…‘a disguised security device…middle, top chocolate chip has a hidden camera!” lol

Michael's decorated dairy,egg and peanut/tree nut free gingerbread house

“I can’t wait to eat it…we can eat them, right?”, exclaims Matthew upon finishing applying his last candy.

Enjoy!

Have you a favourite allergen friendly Gingerbread recipe for Gingerbread Men? Does your family construct and decorate an allergen friendly Gingerbread House each year? What are your holiday baking traditions?