Friday, December 26, 2014

Cinnamon Bread (Gluten and Top 8 Free)

We love to have a delicious breakfast on special mornings like Christmas or Easter, but I don't want to be stuck in the kitchen on those mornings whipping up all the fixins.  So I try to find something that can be made ahead of time that still tastes delicious when it comes time to eat.

In that past I have made Monkey Bread which has been a big hit.  This year I adapted a recipe I had for cinnamon bread to make it safe for my kiddos with food allergies.

Cinnamon Bread

1 1/2 c gluten free flour
1/4 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 envelopes of Rapid Rise yeast
2/3 c warm rice milk (I microwave it for 1 min)
2 Tbsp milk-free butter, melted (I used Earth Balance Soy Free)
2 Tbsp oil
1 egg replacer (I used Ener-G)

Cinnamon Mixture

3/4 c light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp milk-free butter, softened

1 c powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp rice milk
1 Tbsp milk-free butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla

Spray an 8x8 baking dish with oil.  Mix batter ingredients together and pour into baking dish.  Let sit for 10 minutes while you make the cinnamon mixture.  Combine cinnamon mixture ingredients using a fork.  Top batter evenly with cinnamon mixture.  Using your finger or a utensil, poke the topping into the batter.  Place the dish into a COLD oven.  Set oven for 350ยบ and bake 25-30 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes.  Combine icing ingredients and drizzle over warm bread.

I made the bread the night before and just warmed it up on Christmas morning.  I made the icing fresh in the morning to drizzle over the warm bread.   It was ah-maz-ing!  And so simple!

Christmas morning breakfast includes OJ as a treat!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

SunButter Cookies (Top 8 and Gluten Free)

Rollout sugar cookies have never been my favorite thing to make.  There is a lot of prep time involved, but they are so yummy to eat!  So I usually suck it up and make a batch or two of allergy-filled cookies each year to share with co-workers and neighbors.

I want to make safe cookies that my kids can help make and eat, but finding the right combination of ingredients to make top 8 and gluten free rollout cookies has been a challenge.  When I got this recipe card from SunButter for rollout cookies, I thought I'd give it a try.

I had to make some modifications to meet our family's dietary needs.  The ingredient list is as follows.

1 c shortening (I used Spectrum)
1 c SunButter
1 c sugar
1 c firmly packed light brown sugar
2 eggs (I used Ener-G egg replacer)
1 tsp vanilla
3 c flour (I used gluten-free flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda

When I made this dough, and it was pretty dry.  My guess was that I was lacking the liquid from the eggs due to using egg replacer.  So I added a small container of applesauce (about 1/3 c).  This did the trick.  

I usually chill my sugar cookie dough before rolling it out, but this recipe didn't call for that.  Even thought the dough was soft, I gave it a try without chilling (which significantly shortens the prep time).  It was a little difficult to handle, and my kids couldn't manage it.  But with careful rolling of dough and transferring of cookies, they turned out pretty good.  The kids got to press the cookie cutter into the dough to make the shapes, and they seemed happy with that this year.  But maybe next year I will chill the dough for a bit first to see if that makes the rolling and transferring easier.  


My food almost never turns out like the picture shown in a cookbook, and even less often when I've had to make modifications to the original recipe.  This recipe is no exception.  The edges are not as pretty and the cookie is not as full as the the picture shown on the recipe card, but the cookies still taste delicious.  (Also, the frosting job is not as meticulous as shown, but it is a thousand times more beautiful since it was done by the hands of children)  


All in all, these cookies were a success.  Easy to mix, somewhat difficult to rollout/cut, easy to bake and frost.  The frosting is a simple mixture of powdered sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and rice milk.  Since we are avoiding artificial colors, we used natural food coloring and sprinkles from India Tree Nature's Colors.    

I can't keep these little hands away!

Fudge (Free of Dairy, Peanuts, Gluten, and Eggs)

Fudge is one of my all-time favorite Christmas goodies.  I only make it at Christmas time, but I make at least 3 batches each year.  

Of course, regular fudge is filled with all kinds of allergens, so my allergy kiddos have never had the opportunity to try it.  I have made an attempt or two over the years at making safe fudge for them, but each trial has been a complete failure.

When I found a container of safe marshmallow creme at Whole Foods this fall, I snatched it up thinking ahead to another attempt at fudge. 

I also recently found a container of powdered rice milk.  Another rare find!  I have often seen the powdered soy milk, but this was the first time I had seen the rice milk variety.  

Getting ready to make some Christmas fudge

With these key items in my pantry, I was well armed for another attempt at safe fudge making.  And the results were ah-maz-ing!  It turned out perfectly!  I used the recipe I have been using for years that I got from my stepmom.  With a few substitutions, it was an easy modification.

This time around I used vanilla for flavoring, but the add-ins are endless.  Mint will be the next flavor I make.  Maybe also a Sunbutter variety, or the brandy/cacao fudge I had growing up.  How about some crushed peppermints on top?  I'd love to hear your favorite flavor! 

Fudge can be tricky to make, and I've tried and failed on many occasions.  But now that I have all the tricks down pat, this safe fudge came together quite nicely.

Chocolate Fudge

1/2 c milk-free butter (I used a stick of Earth Balance Soy-Free)
2 1/2 c sugar
5 oz milk-free evaporated milk*
7 oz container marshmallow creme**
2 tsp vanilla
2 c safe chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life chocolate chips - you'll need more than one bag)

Line an 8" square dish with foil and spray with oil.  In a large saucepan, combine butter, sugar, and evaporated milk.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, and stir in marshmallow creme until smooth.  Mix in vanilla.  Add chocolate chips, and stir well until melted.  Pour into greased dish and allow to cool to room temperature.  Score fudge into bite sized pieces.  Refrigerate until firm.  Remove foil and cut through scored lines with a large knife.  For best results, store in refrigerator. 

*Evaporated milk is milk with 60% of the water removed.  To make milk-free evaporated milk, I simply used powdered rice milk and added only 40% of the water that the instructions called for.  With the brand I had, I used 3 Tbsp powdered rice milk and 5 oz water.  Whisk until smooth.

**I used Ricemellow creme which is free of eggs and artificial colors.