Allergy-friendly Hot Chocolate and Nutmeg Cut-out Cookie Recipes

Whether you’re making cookies for Santa Claus, or a holiday party, these spiced sugar cookies are sure to please. Pair them with a steaming mug of milk-free hot chocolate and you’re all set for a festive treat that will please kids and adults alike!

Nutmeg Cut Out Cookies

Milk-Free Hot Chocolate

  • 1 T. plus 1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups vanilla-flavored rice beverage
  • 1 T. plus 1 tsp. molasses (not blackstrap)
  • Dash of salt

Place all ingredients in saucepan, over medium heat. Stir often to be sure cocoa powder dissolves. Serve hot.

Nutmeg Cut-Out cookies

COOKIE:

  • 1 cup milk-free margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 T. water, 1 1/2 T. oil, 1 tsp. baking
  • powder, mixed together
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • dash of salt

FROSTING:

  • 4 T. milk-free margarine, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 T. confectioners sugar
  • 2 T. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

In large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat margarine and sugars until creamy. Beat in vanilla extract; and water, oil, and baking powder mixture. Beat in flour, nutmeg, and salt. Knead dough into a ball. Cover and chill overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide dough in quarters. Roll each quarter out, 1/2-inch thick, between 2 pieces of wax paper. Cut out dough with desired cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 11 minutes, or until done. Cool on wire racks. Frost with Cookie Frosting and decorate, if desired.

FROSTING:

In medium bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, combine all ingredients until smooth. More water or confectioners sugar may be added, 1 T. at a time, until desired spreading consistency is achieved.

These recipes, along with more than 150 others, are available in our Holiday Cookbook – available for just $12.99 on our online store

6 Tips for Celebrating the Holidays with Food Allergies

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It’s that time of year when holiday parties fill the calendar. Whether you’re a guest or hosting a party yourself, food allergies shouldn’t hold you back from seeing family and friends during holidays. Here are some tips that could help alleviate worries and allow you to enjoy celebrating the season.

RSVP – ASAP! Be a great guest by contacting your host as soon as your invitation arrives. Start by communicating gently and by educating others; remember, your host is hoping to plan the “perfect” holiday party or meal.

Discuss your concerns about food allergens, the possibility of cross-contact, and how you can best create a safe environment. Talk to your host or hostess about asking guests to wash their hands after eating if allergen foods are present. By having an interactive conversation about food allergies in general, you have an opportunity to educate without offending your host.

BYOSF (Bring Your Own Safe Food). Offer to bring safe food so that you know there will be something there that you or your child can eat and your host doesn’t have to worry about separate food preparations. Share dishes that would be allergen-free and a delight for everyone attending. If you are inviting guests to your house, ask them to contribute non-food items such as cups, napkins, or their own beverages.

Ship ahead. If you’re flying to visit friends or family, you may want to make some simple allergy-free foods that travel well and ship them to your host ahead of time.

Start the trend. Include an ingredient listing card with your food contribution to the party. Also, add an ingredient card to all food gifts you send out from your kitchen. If you are hosting, keep all labels from the food you prepare in case one of your guests has a food allergy as well. This is a great opportunity to raise awareness at a party and with friends.

Tag-team to keep an eye on young ones. Plan ahead with your partner or another adult to divide the task of supervising your young child. Create a signal for silently alerting each other to switch. With designated “on duty” times, your child will be supervised, and each adult will have time to socialize. This keeps little hands away from allergens that may be out (such as a bowl of chocolates or nuts).

The rules. Go over “the rules” for parties with your kids in the car so that the most important safety rules, such as not eating a food unless he or she has checked with you first, will be fresh in their minds when you arrive.

As always, be sure to ask about ingredients, check labels when possible, and carry medications with you in case of a reaction.

Happy Holidays!

Thinking Outside the Gingerbread Box

By: Gina Clowes, Director of Education, FARE

In our family, we don’t have a ton of traditions. Although I like things orderly, I was never one to insist on things being done the same way year after year.

One of the silver linings of this mindset is that I can think outside of the box pretty easily, which came in handy when my son Daniel came along with multiple food allergies. During the holiday season, delectable gingerbread houses seemed to pop up everywhere,  and with allergies to seven of the top eight allergens, 90% of the ingredients weren’t safe for him.

I wanted a decoration that my son could help build, but also one that would not pose a danger if he decided to sneak a piece during the holiday festivities (something that was guaranteed to happen).

As I perused the baking aisle, the flour, buttery frostings, nuts, coconut, marzipan, puddings, cookies, and piecrusts were all off limits.

So I switched my focus to what he could have and as I did, the sugar cubes caught my eye. I knew that we would build an igloo and we started that night! Daniel and I had a blast wedging each little sugar cube in place over the frosted bowl and placing the little gummy pine trees in place. It was adorable and my son was really proud of our creation. I hope you enjoy it too!

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Icy Igloo!

An allergy-friendly alternative to a gingerbread house.

This igloo is an adorable alternative to the traditional gingerbread house. And the kids can help make it!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cake board (purchase from a party supply or craft store)
  • A bowl (ours was 6 inches wide and 5 inches deep)
  • Safe white icing (about 2 cups)
  • One box of sugar cubes
  • One ice cream cone
  • Pearl sugar (or white snowflake sprinkles)
  • Spearmint leaves
  • 4 large white gumballs
  • Fruit roll-ups or taffy
  • Safe sprinkles and jimmies
  • Gummi penguins

First, put a few tablespoons of icing in the center of the cake board. Spread it around a little wider than the bowl. Turn the bowl upside down into the icing so that it is secured onto the cake plate.

Frost the bowl generously with about a cup of icing. Beginning at the bottom, place the sugar cubes all around, going row by row until you reach the top.

Using a serrated knife, gently cut the narrow end off of the ice cream cone, and then cut that in half, vertically. The remaining shape should be like a “C” and you may discard the rest of the cone. Place a tablespoon of icing on the cake board, in front of the igloo, and place the piece of cone, open side down, to form the entrance of the igloo. Place a piece of blue taffy or fruit-roll up inside the entrance. Frost and cover with sugar cubes. (You can also use an empty paper towel holder for the entrance.)

Spread the remaining icing in the area around the igloo. Decorate with gumball snowmen, penguins, or other safe decorations. Sprinkle everything with the pearl sugar, pressing it into the icing that surrounds the igloo. And it’s done!

4 Frozen Recipes for the Fourth of July

Fire up the grill, fill up the kiddie pool, and put your apron on, because it’s the Fourth of July! Here are a few frozen treats to keep you cool while you enjoy a barbeque or marvel at a fireworks display – all free of the top eight food allergens!

GranitaPineapple Strawberry Granita

  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Purée strawberries in blender or food processor; pour in pineapple juice, blend and set aside. In small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and let syrup cool, about 20 minutes. Whisk pineapple-strawberry mixture into sugar syrup and pour into to a shallow metal pan. Place pan in freezer, mixing with a fork every 30 minutes until frozen, about 2-3 hours.

Orange Juice Slushie

  • 1 cup rice beverage
  • 1 (6-oz.) can frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 60 ice cubes, divided

In a blender, combine rice beverage, orange juice, vanilla extract, and sugar. Add 20 ice cubes and blend until ice is well-blended. Add another 20 ice cubes; blend again. Add remaining ice cubes and blend until the mixture is as thick as you want it to be.

Decadent Dark Chocolate Raspberry Sorbet

  • 2 1/4 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup plus 7 T. sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cup plus 6 T. cocoa powder, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup milk-free margarine, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. raspberry extract

In large saucepan, whisk together 1 1/2 cups water, 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, and salt. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Let boil, whisking frequently. Let boil, continue to whisk for 45 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in remaining cocoa poweder, sugar, margarine, vanilla and raspberry extracts, and remaining water. Whisk well.

Transfer mixture to a blender, and blend 15 seconds. Chill mixture overnight and then freeze it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Blueberry Ginger Sorbet

  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. ground or fresh ginger
  • 1 (16-oz.) package frozen unsweetened blueberries

In a small saucepan over high heat, heat water, sugar, and ginger, stirring until sugar dissolves. In blender, add blueberries and water mixture. Blend thoroughly. Pour into freezer-safe container and freeze overnight, or until firm.