Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Top Three Favorite Allergen-Free Holiday Treats

A friend on Facebook brought up the subject of Holiday baking and it made me think I should catch up with this blog by doing a quick post with three of my favorite holiday cookie recipes. I never cared about baking before being diagnosed with multiple food allergies and most of the year I do not do much of it, but Winter in Portland isn't the same without some fresh baked goodies to share. Obviously, if you do not have food allergies or sensitivities, these will be easy to make with regular ingredients.

Happy Eating!

1) Rice Krispie Treats
Easy to do using a butter substitute like Earth Balance Soy-Free Spread and gluten-free crispy rice cereal (there are several good brands, like Erewhon and Nature's Path). Thankfully most marshmallows are okay for me to eat! I make these throughout the year and everyone loves them.

Here's a fun blog post with an easy to follow recipe and visual comparison between the two cereals by "Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom": Gluten Free Rice "Krispie" Treats

2) Ginger Molasses Cookies
My favorite cookie pre-allergies was always Snickerdoodles. Huge cookies with a crackly sugared outside and soft inside, they would make me swoon. I still love Snickerdoodles and the blog that has this and the next recipe has a recipe that is very good here, but these Ginger Molasses Cookies blew my socks off so hard that they're now my favorite cold-weather all-purpose cookie. I love them so much that I don't even want to share with anyone else!

The only substitution I had to make to this recipe was to use powdered egg replacer. The cookies turned out looking almost EXACTLY like the photo and they were so good when eaten warm.

3) German Jam Sandwich Cookies (Hildebrochen)
Another "Beyond the Wheat" cookie recipe (she did 12 different cookie recipes for Christmas last year!) that is astoundingly tasty. This is a little more labor intensive, but the ingredients couldn't be simpler. These were good the day of, but even better the day after. They keep very well and I'm sure would freeze great if you can hold off devouring them long enough to do so! I did half with an all fruit black raspberry seedless jam and half with an all fruit apricot jam and both were very tasty, though the raspberry was my favorite. The glazing of powdered sugar really helped finish these little cookies off, but I only glazed the tops.

I had to substitute both the butter and the eggs in this, but had zero difficulties. The biggest key to success with these cookies is to let the dough chill long enough before rolling it out. Two hours minimum! The first time I made these I did not cut out the center on the top cookie; the second time I did and it made the cookies much prettier. Either way they're very tasty.

Note: I used Pamela's Ultimate Baking & Pancake Mix for my 2009 holiday baking, but I've since decided that I cannot tolerate the powdered buttermilk in this mix, so I'll be trying out other mixes this holiday season. I have a feeling that Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Baking Flour will be the most affordable option that also bakes up well and there's the bonus of them being a really awesome local company!

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