Last week, I attended a very special event in New York City, hosted by Mylan, makers of the EpiPen, which has just marked its 25 year anniversary. Over the past 25 years, food allergies have become epidemic, now effecting 1 out of 13 children in the United States. Two of those kids are mine. So, I have a vested interest in learning all there is to know about advances in research, and new recommendations in the management and care of food allergies. (more…)
I’m posting this recipe for dairy-free, egg-free sugar cookies well before Valentine’s Day so you have a couple weeks to play with rolling and cutting them out with your kids. They are also gluten-free, and nut-free too, which means they’re a great all-purpose recipe for folks trying to come up with safe, allergy-free treats for school Valentine’s Day parties!
Sugar cookies are a particular favorite of mine, so I jumped at the opportunity to come up with a new recipe. In the past, I’ve made recipes for Rolled Maple Sugar Cookies, rolled brown sugar cookies, and plain old sugar cookies made with granulated sugar. I wanted something more tender this time around, so I opted for confectioners’ sugar, which gives these cookies that sought-after melt-in-your mouth feel.
Palm oil shortening stands in for butter, my go-to superfine brown rice flour mix replaces wheat flour, and Ener-G replaces the egg.
To be sure they are truly kid-friendly, I gave the cookies a test run at my son’s play date with Oliver, who has no food allergies. I served the boys the cookies, without revealing they were special. Oliver ate four, and then asked if he could bring two home: one for him, one for his sister. Success!
Melt-in-Your-Mouth Allergy-Free Sugar Cookies
A family favorite, these beautiful cookies are “buttery” and tender. Plus, they’re vegan, so you can have a taste as you mix. Bake them unadorned, dress them up with sanding sugar, or go all out and decorate them with icing for a truly festive treat!
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (Wholesome Sweeteners makes a corn-free variety)
- 1 cup Spectrum Organic Vegetable Shortening
- 1 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 2 Tbsp rice milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend or my Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (Authentic Foods makes a corn-free variety)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- White Icing, optional (recipe follows)
- Decorating sugar, optional (India Tree makes all-natural dye-free sugars)
1. Combine confectioners’ sugar and vegetable shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium speed, until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
2. Add egg replacer and vanilla extract. Mix well.
3. Measure flour, using a large spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup, then level it off with the back of a knife. Whisk with the xanthan gum, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
4. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating on medium-low speed, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, until thoroughly combined. The dough will begin to ball in the center.
5. Lay out two sheets of parchment paper. Divide the dough evenly between the two sheets of parchment, using a rubber spatula to get it all out of the mixer bowl. Mold dough into two disks. Cover with a second sheet of parchment, and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Put rolled dough on baking trays or cutting boards and chill 1 1/2 hours in the fridge; don’t chill much longer or it will become brittle.
6. Preheat oven to 350°F.
7. Remove dough from fridge and let rest 5 minutes. Remove top sheet of parchment and cut out cookies into shapes with your favorite cookie cutters. Transfer to parchment-lined baking trays.
8. Gather up remaining scraps of dough and mold into a disk. (You may need to work it a bit with your hands to make it pliable again.) Roll to 1/4-inch thick between two sheets of parchment. Roll and cut until you’ve used it all. Bake unadorned or sprinkle with decorating sugar.
10. Bake cookies in center of oven for 10 minutes. Let cool on baking tray for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.Let cool completely before icing.
Frosts about two dozen cookies
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 4 Tbsp rice milk (add more as necessary, until smooth enough to spread easily)
- Decorating sugar (India Tree makes all-natural dye-free sugars)
1. Combine confectioners’ sugar and rice milk and mix until smooth. Ice cookies, then sprinkle immediately with decorating sugar. Let rest a couple hours until icing sets.
2. Store in an airtight container. These also freeze well.
Melt-in-Your-Mouth Allergy-Free Sugar Cookies
© 2011 by Cybele Pascal
(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)
SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns beforeconsumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.
Yes, this cake is allergy-free. Really. But nobody would ever know it. I created this recipe for my son Monte, whose birthday is February 6th. He was supposed to be born on Valentines Day, and was almost named Monte Valentine. However, he came 8 days early, and was named Monte Lovell (which means “little beloved”), which he finds equally embarrassing. Monte loves Red Velvet Cake, fittingly, so this cake is a tribute to him. My little beloved.I encourage you to bake this cake. What better way to celebrate Valentines Day this year, than with an Allergen-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Red Velvet Cake that can be eaten by all your favorite sweethearts? I promise, it’s to-die-for. Eat it and weep.