Thursday, February 5, 2015

{Allergy Free} Hot Chocolate Cookies

These are my favorite cookies ever. Eat them straight out of the oven for the gooey marshmallow and warm chocolate drizzle. These are heaven. I actually had to kick everyone out of the kitchen so we would stop eating them. Both trays of cookies were gone in seconds. 

Hot Chocolate Cookies

1/2 cup Earth Balance
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp egg replacer whisked with 2 T rice milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup flour blend
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 T hemp milk
marshmallows cut in half (you need 1/2 of a marshmallow for every cookie) I used 12 marshmallows.
1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
2 tsp Earth Balance

Cream butter and sugar well.
Add egg replacer mixture and vanilla extract.
In separate bowl mix flour blend htrough baking powder.
Slowly add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just blended.
Add in milk and mix.
Chill dough for 30 minutes (don't skip this step or cookies will spread while baking).
Roll doughs into Tablespoon sized dough balls and put on cookie sheet.
Gently press thumb in middle of each cookie.
Bake for 7 minutes.
Pull out of oven and place 1/2 of a marshmallow in each center, return to oven, and bake for 3 more minutes.
While cookies are cooling melt the chocolate chips and Earth Balance in microwave for 30 second intervals. (If this chocolate seizes up, melt some more Earth Balance and slowly pour into the chocolate while stirring until the chocolate is smooth).
Pour chocolate into ziploc bag, snip the tip of one corner, and drizzle across cookies.

I ended up with 24 cookies. It was not enough! Next time I will double the recipe.

Adapted from A Latte Food

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Day Banana Bread Made Me Cry

It's silly actually. However, banana bread was one of my absolute favorite foods right after cheesecake and lasagna. I rarely get to eat those foods anymore, much less make them in my own kitchen. I miss them lots and lots. But Little Bee is worth more than my favorite foods so I plod forward in our allergy journey trying to forget my favorite foods of the past while finding new ones.

A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend on the phone and somehow my secret love of banana bread came out. I don't even remember what was said. I just made a passing comment about one of my all-time favorite foods and then we moved on.

Last weekend our friends came over to play at our house. They brought their van full of kids with lots of noise and laughter. As they came through the door the mom quietly handed me a small bundle, "I knew that nuts were not safe so I didn't use any." I stood looking at the small foil-wrapped gift, bewildered. Then I looked at her in total confusion. She laughed and said, "It's banana bread that I made today."

Then it dawned on me. She remembered our totally random and very short discussion about banana bread and she secretly brought me a gift. And she made it nut free so I would feel safer while eating it.

I grabbed the still-warm loaf and hid it on a high shelf in the kitchen.

After our friends left and our kids were in bed, my hubby and I brought out the sacred loaf and some paper plates. He cut me several slices and we hid in our bedroom to eat the contraband.

I had not had banana bread in at least 5 years. It was ridiculously good and worth every minute of the later clean up when I scrubbed counters and wiped away every trace of crumbs.

The next day I ate the rest of my little loaf. And I sat in bed and cried.

It may have seemed like a little loaf of banana bread but it was actually much, much more. It was a friend who, although she does not fully understand our allergy issues, has compassion on another mom and her crazy secret desire for banana bread after 5 years. It's remembering one little comment. It's simple friendship. It's just the little things that mean so much to an allergy mama who feels guilty for craving the unsafe allergy foods.

Yes, banana bread can bring you to tears. It's so good to have friends who have compassion even on this crazy allergy mom.
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