Allergy Shmallergy

Simplifying life for families with food allergies.

Allergy-Friendly Bakeries in the Metro DC Area May 31, 2016

Read below for our continually updated list of allergy-friendly bakeries in the DC metro area.

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With all the end-of-school, summer birthday, last sports game, graduation parties to be had, there’s no time to bake your own free-from desserts.  Let’s support these fabulous businesses who are trying to make life a little easier for families living with food allergies.

 

When you’re looking to buy baked goods for someone with food allergies, it’s feels almost impossible to find a safe option.  Here’s a list of some Nut-free, Gluten-free, and/or Vegan (read: Dairy and Egg-free) bakeries in the DC metro area to satisfy your sweet tooth.  (I’m salivating as I research these great places and now dying to go to each and every one!)

 

Cole’s Moveable Feast Picture
http://www.colesmoveablefeast.com/
Led by a former attorney turned home baker, Cole’s Moveable Feast serves the Northern Virginia area.  They offer custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies, seasonal breads, pastries, and pies baked to order without dairy, egg, nuts, gluten and/or any other allergens you specify.  Using custom gluten-free flour lends and egg substitutes, their biggest sellers are cakes and cupcakes made without gluten, nuts, dairy or egg, but they can accommodate nearly any allergen (including soy and corn).   NOTE:  they even have a weekly snack delivery option!
Free from:  Nuts, gluten, dairy, egg; can customize to exclude other allergens.
Phone/online orders only.

 

Baked by Yael
https://bakedbyyael.com/
A tree nut-free and peanut-free bakery in D.C.  Among their many products, they offer gluten-free chocolate cakepops as well as dairy-free gingersnaps and egg-free raspberry bars.  A great stop after a day at the National Zoo.
Free from: Tree nuts, Peanuts.  Some goods: Dairy, Egg, Gluten.

 
Dog Tag Bakery
dogtagbakery.com
A nut-free bakery and cafe with a mission to support veterans.  They serve everything from egg and cheese sandwiches to muffins, croissants, quick breads and desserts.
Located in Georgetown.
Free from: Nuts
 
 
 
Happy Tart BakeryÉclair
happytartbakery.com
We are a 100% gluten free French patisserie!  We do bread, cupcakes, tarts and other wondrous goodies! 
Located in Del Ray, Alexandria.
Free from: Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy, Nuts
 
 

Out of the Bubble Bakery
www.obubblebakery.com
Based in VA
We specialize in cakes, cupcakes, and cookies for those with food restrictions.
Phone/online orders only.
Free from: Dairy, Nuts, Eggs, Soy, Dye, Gluten and made without GMOs.  Vegan and organic.

Sweet Serenity Bakery
www.sweetserenitybakery.com
Based in VA
Every ingredient is meticulously checked and manufacturers are contacted for anything questionable.  We also do not use any artificial flavorings, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, or high fructose corn syrup.
Phone/online orders only.
Free from:  Eggs, Peanuts, and Tree Nuts

 
 
 

Cookies/Scooby.jpgThe Lemonade Bakery
A dedicated Egg-free, Peanut-free, and Tree Nut-free bakery.
Delivery of cakes, cupcakes, cookies, scones, and breads to the metro-DC area.
Phone/online orders only. Delivery optional.

 
 
 
Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, and Nut-free bakery  and can also make Gluten-free, Vegan, or Custom Allergy-free cupcakes.
See Allergy Shmallergy’s Happy Birthday post from December 2010.
Phone/online orders only.
 
 
   
  
 
  
 
 
 
 

Hello Cupcake in Dupont and Capital Hill, although not a nut-free facility, offers Gluten-Free and Vegan options.

1361 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Just south of Dupont Circle, across from the Metro

705 8th Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
3 blocks south of Eastern Market Metro

 
  
 
 
 
 

Fancy Cakes by Leslie, in Bethesda, offers some Gluten-free selections including cupcakes, cookies, and marzipan.

4939 Elm Street
Bethesda, MD  20814

  
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

 Sweetz Bakery, located in a kiosk at the Dulles Town Center mall (near the food court), is a custom bakery that makes Gluten and Dairy-free cakes as well as Vegan flavors.

Dulles Town Center Mall

21100 Dulles Town Center Circle

Sterling, VA 20165

 
 
  
 
   
  
   
 
 
  
 
 

Sticky Fingers

An award-winning Vegan Bakery, also available at many retail locations including select Whole Foods in the mid-Atlantic and DC-metro area.  Everything they make is Dairy and Egg-free, and they also offer a few Nut-free and Gluten-free desserts (but are not a nut and wheat-free facility).

1370 Park Rd NW

Washington, DC  20010

   
  
 
 
 
 
 

 Sweet and Natural

An all-Vegan restaurant, also offers a selection of Vegan desserts – some of which are also available in local health food stores.

4009 34th St
Mt Rainier, MD 20712

 
 
  
 
 

Cake Love

Offers Vegan and Gluten-Free products.

Locations throughout the metro DC area including:

DC; Arlington, Tysons Corner, & Fairfax, VA;

Silver Spring, National Harbor, MD

  
 
 
 
  
 
  
 

Dama Bakery

Serves Ethiopian and French pastries in Vegan and Gluten-free varieties.

1505 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA

  
 
 
 
  
 
 

 

Whole Foods sells “Safe For School” Nut-free cookies in their bakery section.

  
 
  
 
 
 
  

The Westbard Giant in Bethesda sells Nut-free cupcakes. According to one shopper, you can usually find them in the freezer located in the bakery (not the regular freezer section), but they are sometimes displayed in the bakery section. They carry a label stating that they were made in a nut free facility.  Convenient!

  
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 

 For even more Vegan bakeries located in and around DC, check out the list at VegDC.com and Urbanspoon.com.

 

Girl Scout Cookies Allergen Reference February 24, 2016

Thanks-A-Lot Girl Scout Cookies

I remember being a Brownie.  To me, selling Girl Scout cookies was kind of intimidating.  I didn’t like going door to door and asking people to buy things.  There wasn’t any opportunity to set up a stand with friends in my town.  I might have been braver in that case:  you know, power in numbers.

 

As an adult, I want to support those adorable, little Girl Scouts who are sometimes nervous just like I was.   Which is why I hate having to say no due to food allergies issues.

 

So, I did a little research in the hopes that it helps you all make good decisions and allows you to support your local Brownies and Girl Scouts… by buying delicious cookies!  Now that I’m armed with some information, our family may try some ourselves this year!

 

Girl Scout cookies are made by one of two manufacturers:  ABC Smart Cookies or Little Brownie Bakers.  To find out which manufacturer bakes your local Girl Scout cookies, you must contact your local council:  locate your council here.

 

Here is the 2017-18 list of Girl Scout Cookies and known allergens. 

Screenshot 2018-02-01 17.50.33

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While Little Brownie Bakers do not list ingredients lists for their cookies on their website, their allergen statement looks thorough.  All it should take is a quick peruse of the ingredient list on the box to determine whether the box is safe for your family.  Here’s their allergen statement:

The allergen statement clearly states the top 8 allergens contained inside each package. We encourage consumers with food allergies to check the ingredient statement on each package for the most current ingredient information because product formulations can change at any time.

If the allergen in concern is not listed below the ingredient statement, we are confident that the product is safe for consumption. Please trust the labeling. We do use a may contain statement for peanuts and tree nuts when the product is produced on a line that shares equipment with another product that does contain peanuts or tree nuts. Scientific evidence has shown that consumers with peanut and tree nut allergies can have a severe reaction to amounts that are below the current detectable limits based on existing technology.

For this reason, we have chosen to warn consumers allergic to peanuts and tree nuts of the potential for extremely low levels by using a may contain statement. The equipment is thoroughly cleaned in between processes and we follow Good Manufacturing Practices in all of our facilities. Beyond the top eight allergens, all ingredients are declared within the ingredient statement. If you are concerned about a specific ingredient, please review the ingredient statement to determine if it is part of the product formulation.

 

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ABC Smart Cookies, the Girl Scout’s other cookie manufacturer, also seems food allergy savvy.  They produce gluten-free cookies in a certified gluten-free facility and have a well-educated allergen statement which reads:

 

Over a decade ago, ABC partnered with Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN™) to learn more about life-threatening food allergies and the impact of ingredient labeling and allergen warnings. We have also worked with the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program in association with the University of Nebraska to review our sanitation, handling, and training procedures.  ABC adopted what is known as “product-specific” allergen labeling. Product-specific labeling enables the allergy-affected consumer to make an informed decision based on information specific to that particular product.

Product-specific labeling requires strict compliance to good manufacturing practices to prevent cross contamination such as:

  • Segregation of known allergens from the general production environment
  • Color-coding of storage units and utensils
  • Curtained-off production areas
  • Designated lanes for transportation of known allergens
  • Swabbing and testing of allergen shared equipment

In addition, we call out all allergens on our packaging, order cards and web site and provide specific warning if a product is made on a line that also produces product with a common allergen such as peanuts. ABC’s proactive approach to allergens is an example of our commitment to producing the best quality Girl Scout Cookies possible for the millions of valued consumers who support Girl Scouting every year.

 

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A quick review of ingredients show that all of the cookies were egg-free; Thin Mints, Cranberry Citrus Crisps, Lemonades, and Thanks-a-Lots are nut-free; several were vegan and therefore dairy-free; and at least one variety was gluten-free.  Check out their sites and I think you’ll find, like I did, that Girl Scout cookies are far more food allergy-friendly than you think!  Now, get out there and say YES! to some Girl Scouts.  You’ll make their day!

 

 

Girl Scout cookies

 

 

Need to Whip Up a Last Minute Dessert? Dairy-free, Egg-Free and Maybe Even Gluten-Free Cookies November 26, 2014

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve realized my amazing dessert plan is too elaborate or altogether unnecessary for a big meal like Thanksgiving.  If you find yourself in a crunch (or if you’re just in the mood for a classic with a twist), check out this recipe originally posted in 2011.  The delicious hints of pie spice and pumpkin are reminiscent of a traditional Turkey Day pie but the chocolate makes it sooo much more satisfying!  My mouth is watering just remembering how good these were.  I barely have time, but I might just have to work these in tomorrow…

 

 These cookies are adapted from a recipe I found that was already egg-free (a great start!). But I’ve tweaked it to be dairy and nut-free and included a reviewer’s suggestion at the bottom for making them gluten-free as well! This recipe produces a ton of cookies, so invite the neighbors over about 5 minutes after they’ve cooled to help you chow down.
 

Ingredients (**see bottom for gluten-free substitutions**):

 
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free margarine
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour** (see below for gluten-free substitution)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

 

Cream the sugar, shortening, pumpkin and vanilla together. Mix until light and well combined.

 

Mix the flour, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture. Mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

  

Drop by teaspoons onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes or until set. Let cookies cool on a rack.

 
Makes 4 dozen cookies.
 
**To make them gluten-free, one reviewer commented that she substituted the following for the flour:
  • 2 cup rice flour
  • 1 cup soy flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  

I am thankful for these cookies!

 

Fill Them Any Way You Like – Egg, Dairy and Nut-free Hammantaschen Cookies February 23, 2013

You don’t have to be Jewish to love these fruit or chocolate filled cookies.  Take a peek at this post from 2012 and try this delicious recipe.  PS: Making Hammantaschen is a great activity for the kids on a rainy or snowy day!

 

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Even if you don’t celebrate Purim, this time of year is just a fabulous excuse to make these delicious fillable treats.  I mean, any holiday whose representative food is a huge cookie is going to be a good one!

 

Turns out that hamantaschen is really easy to make dairy, egg, peanut and tree nut-free!  Hamantaschen literally meaning “Haman’s Hat”, so called for the shape of the hat worn by the ultimately defeated villian of the Purim story.  They are triangular-shaped cookies, filled with anything from chocolate to jam and anything else you can think of.

 

I’m excited to share this recipe and can’t wait to hear how you fill and adapt these delicious cookies!

 
Adapted from the fabulous blog, A Shiska in the Kitchen
 
  • Substitute for 2 eggs:  1/4 cup applesauce and 1 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer combined with 2 Tablespoons water or soy milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 to 5 tsp water (if needed)
  • Nonstick cooking oil spray
 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. Before you begin making the hamantaschen dough, choose and make your filling (see below) and have it on hand to work with. Hamantaschen dough dries out quickly if left to rest too long, so it’s best to have everything ready to assemble when you start.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, canola oil, orange zest and vanilla.
  4. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet, using a large wooden spoon until a crumbly dough begins to form.
  6. Knead until smooth and slightly tacky to the touch. Try not to overwork the dough, only knead till the dough is the right consistency. If the crumbles are too dry to form a smooth dough, add water slowly, 1 teaspoon at a time, using your hands to knead the liquid into the dough. Continue kneading and adding liquid until dough is smooth and slightly tacky to the touch (not sticky), with a consistency that is right for rolling out. It can easily go from the right consistency to too wet/sticky, so add water very slowly. If the dough seems too wet, knead in a little flour till it reaches the right texture.
  7. Lightly flour a smooth, clean surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Scrape the dough up with a pastry scraper, lightly reflour the surface, and flip the dough over.   If you prefer a crisper, more delicate cookie:  Continue rolling the dough out very thin (less than 1/8 of an inch thick) – just make sure that the dough is still thick enough to hold the filling and its shape! Lightly flour the rolling pin occasionally to prevent sticking, as needed.
  8. Use a 3-inch cookie cutter (not smaller) or the 3-inch rim of a glass to cut circles out of the dough, cutting as many as you can from the dough
  9. Gather the scraps and roll them out again. Cut circles. Repeat process again if needed until you’ve cut as many circles as you can from the dough. You should end up with around 35 circles.
  10. Place a teaspoon of filling (whichever filling you choose) into the center of each circle. Do not use more than a teaspoon of filling, or you run the risk of your hamantaschen opening and filling spilling out during baking. Cover unused circles with a lightly damp towel to prevent them from drying out while you are filling.
  11. Assemble the hamantaschen in three steps. First, grasp the left side of the circle and fold it towards the center to make a flap that covers the left third of the circle.
  12. Grasp the right side of the circle and fold it towards the center, overlapping the upper part of the left side flap to create a triangular tip at the top of the circle. A small triangle of filling should still be visible in the center.
  13. Grasp the bottom part of the circle and fold it upward to create a third flap and complete the triangle. When you fold this flap up, be sure to tuck the left side of this new flap underneath the left side of the triangle, while letting the right side of this new flap overlap the right side of the triangle. This way, each side of your triangle has a corner that folds over and a corner that folds under– it creates a “pinwheel” effect. This method if folding is not only pretty– it will help to keep the cookies from opening while they bake.
  14. Pinch each corner of the triangle gently but firmly to secure the shape.
  15. Repeat this process for the remaining circles.
  16. When all of your hamantaschen have been filled, place them on a lightly greased baking sheet, evenly spaced. You can fit about 20 on one sheet… they don’t need to be very spaced out because they shouldn’t expand much during baking.
  17. Place them in the oven and let them bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, till the cookies are cooked through and lightly golden.
  18. Cool the cookies on a wire rack. Store them in a tightly sealed plastic bag or Tupperware.
  19. Eat and enjoy!
 
For the Prune Filling:
  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • ½ cup plum jam
  • 2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
  • ¼ teaspoon orange extract or 1 teaspoon orange zest
For the Poppy Seed Filling:
  • ¾ cup poppy seeds
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup dark raisins, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
For the Apricot Filling:
  • ¾ cup dried apricots
  • ½ cup mixed dried fruit (apples and pears, not prunes)
  • ½ cup apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
For the Apple Filling:
  • 2/3 cup peeled and cored McIntosh apples, diced into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1/8 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped raisins
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

To Make the Prune Filling or Apricot Filling:

1. Purée all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

To Make the Poppy Seed Filling:

1. Pour boiling water over the poppy seeds and set aside for 15 minutes. Drain and grind (or put them in your food processor with the honey, brown sugar, raisins, and lemon rind).

To Make the Apple Filling:

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Put in a blender or food processor and pulse for a few seconds to make mixture a little moister and easier to use.

NOTES

If your dried fruits (prunes, apricots, raisins) have become hard, soak them in warm water until soft but firm.

 

Costco’s Getting More Allergy-Friendly September 25, 2012

Need a safe snack to send to school?  Have a class party, soccer team to feed, play group snack to contribute to?  Check out what I found during one recent trip to our local Costco!    Has anyone tried these products?    I can only vouch for the School Safe Banana Chocolate Chip bread snacks which are delicious and perfect for school lunches/snacks.  They are nut-free and freezable (bonus for shelf life!).  My son loved the bread, so naturally I’m curious how the other snacks taste.

 

Note:  The popcorn was gluten-free but made in a facility with nuts.

 

 

Allergy-Friendly Purim Hamantaschen Cookies March 6, 2012

Even if you don’t celebrate Purim, this time of year is just a fabulous excuse to make these delicious fillable treats.  I mean, any holiday whose representative food is a huge cookie is going to be a good one!

 

Turns out that hamantaschen is really easy to make dairy, egg, peanut and tree nut-free!  Hamantaschen literally meaning “Haman’s Hat”, so called for the shape of the hat worn by the ultimately defeated villian of the Purim story.  They are triangular-shaped cookies, filled with anything from chocolate to jam and anything else you can think of.

 

I’m excited to share this recipe and can’t wait to hear how you fill and adapt these delicious cookies!

 
Adapted from the fabulous blog, A Shiska in the Kitchen
 
  • Substitute for 2 eggs:  1/4 cup applesauce and 1 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer combined with 2 Tablespoons water or soy milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 to 5 tsp water (if needed)
  • Nonstick cooking oil spray
 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. Before you begin making the hamantaschen dough, choose and make your filling (see below) and have it on hand to work with. Hamantaschen dough dries out quickly if left to rest too long, so it’s best to have everything ready to assemble when you start.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, canola oil, orange zest and vanilla.
  4. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet, using a large wooden spoon until a crumbly dough begins to form.
  6. Knead until smooth and slightly tacky to the touch. Try not to overwork the dough, only knead till the dough is the right consistency. If the crumbles are too dry to form a smooth dough, add water slowly, 1 teaspoon at a time, using your hands to knead the liquid into the dough. Continue kneading and adding liquid until dough is smooth and slightly tacky to the touch (not sticky), with a consistency that is right for rolling out. It can easily go from the right consistency to too wet/sticky, so add water very slowly. If the dough seems too wet, knead in a little flour till it reaches the right texture.
  7. Lightly flour a smooth, clean surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Scrape the dough up with a pastry scraper, lightly reflour the surface, and flip the dough over.   If you prefer a crisper, more delicate cookie:  Continue rolling the dough out very thin (less than 1/8 of an inch thick) – just make sure that the dough is still thick enough to hold the filling and its shape! Lightly flour the rolling pin occasionally to prevent sticking, as needed.
  8. Use a 3-inch cookie cutter (not smaller) or the 3-inch rim of a glass to cut circles out of the dough, cutting as many as you can from the dough
  9. Gather the scraps and roll them out again. Cut circles. Repeat process again if needed until you’ve cut as many circles as you can from the dough. You should end up with around 35 circles.
  10. Place a teaspoon of filling (whichever filling you choose) into the center of each circle. Do not use more than a teaspoon of filling, or you run the risk of your hamantaschen opening and filling spilling out during baking. Cover unused circles with a lightly damp towel to prevent them from drying out while you are filling.
  11. Assemble the hamantaschen in three steps. First, grasp the left side of the circle and fold it towards the center to make a flap that covers the left third of the circle.
  12. Grasp the right side of the circle and fold it towards the center, overlapping the upper part of the left side flap to create a triangular tip at the top of the circle. A small triangle of filling should still be visible in the center.
  13. Grasp the bottom part of the circle and fold it upward to create a third flap and complete the triangle. When you fold this flap up, be sure to tuck the left side of this new flap underneath the left side of the triangle, while letting the right side of this new flap overlap the right side of the triangle. This way, each side of your triangle has a corner that folds over and a corner that folds under– it creates a “pinwheel” effect. This method if folding is not only pretty– it will help to keep the cookies from opening while they bake.
  14. Pinch each corner of the triangle gently but firmly to secure the shape.
  15. Repeat this process for the remaining circles.
  16. When all of your hamantaschen have been filled, place them on a lightly greased baking sheet, evenly spaced. You can fit about 20 on one sheet… they don’t need to be very spaced out because they shouldn’t expand much during baking.
  17. Place them in the oven and let them bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, till the cookies are cooked through and lightly golden.
  18. Cool the cookies on a wire rack. Store them in a tightly sealed plastic bag or Tupperware.
  19. Eat and enjoy!
 
For the Prune Filling:
  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • ½ cup plum jam
  • 2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
  • ¼ teaspoon orange extract or 1 teaspoon orange zest
For the Poppy Seed Filling:
  • ¾ cup poppy seeds
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup dark raisins, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
For the Apricot Filling:
  • ¾ cup dried apricots
  • ½ cup mixed dried fruit (apples and pears, not prunes)
  • ½ cup apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
For the Apple Filling:
  • 2/3 cup peeled and cored McIntosh apples, diced into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1/8 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped raisins
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

To Make the Prune Filling or Apricot Filling:

1. Purée all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

To Make the Poppy Seed Filling:

1. Pour boiling water over the poppy seeds and set aside for 15 minutes. Drain and grind (or put them in your food processor with the honey, brown sugar, raisins, and lemon rind).

To Make the Apple Filling:

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Put in a blender or food processor and pulse for a few seconds to make mixture a little moister and easier to use.

NOTES

If your dried fruits (prunes, apricots, raisins) have become hard, soak them in warm water until soft but firm.

 

Dairy-free, Egg-free (Nut-free) Icing February 5, 2012

For my Super Bowl layer dip, I decided to go FAN-atical and make it into a football field.  In order to “glue” together the pretzel goal posts, I used this allergy-free icing recipe:

2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup warm water

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

 

Sift sugar and cream of tartar into medium bowl.  Gradually add water as you beat with electric mixer until smooth and stiff.

 
 

Could that be any easier?!  And, you can use them to decorate cookies as well!  Mmm….

 

Gluten-Free at HomeGoods January 18, 2012

HomeGoods comes through again!  They had a smorgasbord of gluten-free products.  Here are just some of them I saw on just ONE day!

 
 

image

image

image

Gluten-free products at Homegoods

 

Look What I Found at the Market: Dare Foods – Peanut-free and Progressive! January 11, 2012

I am forever on the look-out for a Marshmallow cookie that is not only nut but also dairy-free.  I grabbed every box in the aisle and while I didn’t find a milk-free Mallomar, I stumbled upon these cookies.

 

As it turns out: Dare cookies, as well as many of their other products (such as crackers, etc) are made in a peanut-free facility. Yay!  And, they seem to label for, or the potential cross contamination of, sesame seeds and sulphites (which is not required by U.S. law – Thank you, Dare Foods!).

 
 

I plan to familiarize myself with their family of products.  Taking peanuts out of the picture?  Well, that’s certainly one less thing for us to think about!

 
 

http://www.darefoods.com

Chocolate Chip

 

A Review of Milk Substitutes December 29, 2011

If you missed the October 2011 Cooking Light issue, you may have missed some important information.  They ran an article breaking down a variety of milk substitutes and how they faired as substitutes in baking recipes.  The folks at the magazine tested each substitute by inserting them into chocolate pudding and blueberry quick bread recipes  — I’m guessing at a 1 for 1 ratio — and evaluating the results.

 

In short, it looks like the testers at Cooking Light felt that soy milk was their best substitute for baking. (Thank goodness — something readily available!)

 

Read the full run-down at Meet the Milk Substitutes, Cooking Light, October 2011.

 

glass-925858_1920

But if it’s nutritional content you’re interested in, you’ll want to read Self Magazine’s article, Almond, Soy, Rice and Other Milks: The Nutrition Comparison, to see how your favorite milk substitute stacks up.  Once again, soy milk most closely matches cow’s milk in protein and potassium.  Whatever you’re favorite “milk”, be sure to buy an enriched variety to get extra nutrients such as vitamin D and calcium.

 

What is your favorite milk substitute and what’s your favorite way to use it?

 

Mine is dunking chocolate chip cookies in coconut milk. Mmmm….  My son loves cereal and vanilla soy milk.

 

Allergy-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies November 17, 2011

It’s that time of year again!  Yes, time to give thanks, enjoy time with loved ones, blah, blah, blah… But more importantly, it’s time to eat!  One of the greatest benefits of the cooler weather is the smell of warm pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  Mmmmmmm, I’m already salivating just thinking about it!  These cookies are adapted from a recipe I found that was already egg-free (a great start!). But I’ve tweaked it to be dairy and nut-free and included a reviewer’s suggestion at the bottom for making them gluten-free as well! This recipe produces a ton of cookies, so invite the neighbors over about 5 minutes after they’ve cooled to help you chow down.
 

Ingredients (**see bottom for gluten-free substitutions**):

 
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free margarine
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour** (see below for gluten-free substitution)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

 

Cream the sugar, shortening, pumpkin and vanilla together. Mix until light and well combined.

 

Mix the flour, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture. Mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

  

Drop by teaspoons onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes or until set. Let cookies cool on a rack.

 
Makes 4 dozen cookies.
 
**To make them gluten-free, one reviewer commented that she substituted the following for the flour:
  • 2 cup rice flour
  • 1 cup soy flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  

I am thankful for these cookies!

 

Food Allergy-Free at a Bargain November 2, 2011

Have you been to a TJ Maxx recently?  While perusing the home section of the Maxx, I noticed something interesting:  allergen-free goods!

 

Check out, what I saw the other day:

 

Organic, allergy-free Lollipops from Home Goods:

 

And, don’t forget to check out Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and Home Goods’ sister store!   Who doesn’t like a bargain?!

 

 
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