Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Morning Glory Muffins

Most people have their favorite version of The Morning Glory Muffin. Different varieties may include carrots, raisins, pineapple, coconut, apple and even nuts. Of course, mine doesn’t have nuts, but it doesn’t have¬†too many of the other ingredients either. Once again, I am guilty of keeping my recipes simple. Yet, this particular one is easily adaptable to fit your family’s likes and dislikes. My son doesn’t care for coconut or pineapple so I omit it. My daughter isn’t crazy about raisins but will tolerate them in small numbers, hence my scant addition of them in the recipe.

But your family might love all these things so please, by all means, add or remove what you want from the recipe. It won’t turn out exactly as mine, but it will come out pretty close. I also decreased quite a bit of the oil and sugar in this version, because there’s nothing worse than a heavy, greasy and overly sugared up muffin. I love that these muffins are full of flavor yet not too heavy. They have the perfect balance of sugar and spice. The other thing I love about them is that¬†they taste even better the day after you bake them. In fact, they last several days tightly covered, making it the perfect breakfast muffin on busy mornings or as a lunchbox treat.

Happy Baking everyone!

DAIRY, EGG AND NUT FREE MORNING GLORY MUFFINS

1/2 c. canola or vegetable oil

1/2 c. soy or rice milk

2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 T. water

2 c. unbleached all purpose flour

3/4 c. brown sugar, packed

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. shredded, peeled carrots

3/4 c. shredded, peeled apples (I use Granny Smith, but any variety will do)

1/2 c. raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12-cup muffin tin with dairy free baking spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the oil, soy milk, vanilla and water with a wire whisk. In a medium bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt with a wire whisk. Add the soy milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Stir in the grated, peeled carrots and apples until completely mixed. Stir in the raisins.

Use a cookie scooper to divide muffin batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake 18-22 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely and store in an airtight container for several days.

Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Oatmeal Fudge Bars

I am so excited to post this recipe; it has quickly become one of our favorite bar cookies, OK, MY favorite! A traditional Oatmeal Fudge Bar recipe has lots of butter, eggs and sometimes milk in it. My version has none of that, but it tastes like it should. It’s rich, fudgy, chewy and full of oats and chocolate.

As many of you know, I love recipes that my kids can make by themselves in the kitchen with just a little help from me. I’m all about tactile activities, and this one is perfect to do with kids of all ages. You don’t even really need a mixer to stir the oatmeal mixture. Simply stir together using the back of a wooden spoon. Use your fingers to press the dough into the prepared glass dish, and spread the fudge layer with your hands too if you wish. This dish signifies everything I love about baking in the kitchen with my kids because it is literally a hands on project that yields deliciously kid friendly results.

As a side note, I have to apologize for not posting as often lately. Between baby Michael’s crazy schedule and all my other kids schedules things have been super nutty (no pun intended!). It seems that every time I get online I have to get off for one reason or another. But I want you to know HOW MUCH I appreciate all your super sweet, thoughtful and touching comments. Many times I have been moved to tears through your kindness and support. I LOVE hearing how much you and your families are enjoying the recipes…it means a lot to me. I get great joy out of creating new delicious recipes that you can bake in the kitchen with your kids and for your kids. Our food allergic kiddos deserve the world, and it is awesome that they are enjoying all these childhood favorite treats. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And now that I think Michael is finally turning a corner and becoming less fussy I hope to post more like my usual schedule. Update on¬†Michael; he has terrible, and I mean terrible, eczema. In fact, looking at him I am reminded¬†of those early months when John was a baby. The dry, scaly head and face, excessive scratching and peeling. It’s terrible. We’re going to the doctor tomorrow. But I am convinced he has some sort of allergy too, just like John, There are so many similarities. I’ll keep you posted on that.

In the meantime Happy Baking Everyone!!

DAIRY, EGG AND NUT FREE OATMEAL FUDGE BARS

OATMEAL LAYER

1/2 c. dairy free shortening

1 c. brown sugar, firmly packed

1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 c. old fashioned or quick cooking oats (I prefer old fashioned but use whatever you have)

FUDGE LAYER

1/2 c. unbleached all purpose flour

1/4 c. granulated sugar

1 1/2 dairy free chocolate chips (Enjoy Life or Divvies)

4 T. dairy free margarine (I use Fleischmans)

1 T. water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8 inch glass Pyrex baking dish with dairy free baking spray. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use a medium bowl with a wooden spoon) combine the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add applesauce and vanilla and thoroughly combine. In a small separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Add to shortening mixture and stir well. Stir in oats. Reserve 1 cup of oatmeal mixture for topping. Spread the rest into the prepared glass dish using the back of a spoon or your fingers. Set aside.

Make Fudge Layer: In a microwave safe bowl combine the chocolate chips and dairy free margarine. Heat in the microwave 20 seconds at a time until the chips are just melted. Add 1 T. water and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. In a small bowl combine the 1/2 c. flour and 1/4 c. sugar with a wire whisk. Add the chocolate mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Spread the fudge layer over the oatmeal layer. Sprinkle top with the reserved oatmeal mixture and spread with the back of a spoon or your fingers. Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns – whether you associate it with Good Friday or the catchy nursery rhyme, it’s¬†a deliciously warm and sweet bread that EVERYONE must try. Traditionally for many Christians, Hot Cross Buns are eaten on Good Friday. The piped icing in the shape of the cross is said to symbolize the crucifiction of Christ. It is the perfect little bun to complement an Easter dinner.

My version is Dairy, Egg and Nut Free, of course, and can be adapted to fit your family’s personal tastes. Some recipes call for the addition of dried cherries or cranberries, or even candied fruit peel. It can also include any assortment of spices including cloves and ginger. But I happen to like mine with just a little cinnamon and nutmeg, and a healthy dose of currants or raisins.¬†

As with many yeast bread recipes, you’ll need to add just enough flour to make a soft pliable dough. Add too little and the dough won’t hold, add too much and your dough will become tough. I call for 3 1/2 -4 cups of flour in my recipe; add only a¬†little at a time to ensure your dough is perfect.

Don’t be intimidated by the fact that this is a yeast bread; it is SO easy! Even the placement of the crosses are easy. You can either cut crosses in the dough before baking, pour the icing mixture into a zip lock bag that has the corner snipped off and pipe directly onto the bun, or even take a little teaspoon and drizzle the icing right on.

My kids LOVE this little bread, and even say it reminds them of a warm and gooey cinnamon roll. They are so yummy, so easy and perfect for Easter. I hope you all have a wonderful Passover and Easter holiday!!

Happy Baking!

DAIRY, EGG AND NUT FREE HOT CROSS BUNS

3/4 c. dairy free buttermilk (3/4 c. soy milk mixed with 3/4 T. vinegar, let stand 5-10 minutes)

1/2 c. vegetable or canola oil

1/3 c. brown sugar

3 T. water

3 1/2-4 c. unbleached all purpose flour

2 pkgs. active dry yeast

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. salt

2/3 c. currants or raisins

Icing for crosses: Mix the icing ingredients together in a small bowl until it is easy to drizzle.

1 c. confectioners’ sugar

1-1 1/2 T. Soy or Rice Milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, gently heat soy buttermilk, vegetable oil, brown sugar and water until it reaches 110-115 degrees (about a minute or two). In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment combine 2 cups flour, yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and flour. Add soy buttermilk mixture and mix on low for one minute, scraping dough sides so it is evenly incorporated. Slowly add the remaining flour, 1/2 c. at a time or until dough is soft and pliable. Use a rubber spatula to stir in currants or raisins. Place dough into a bowl sprayed with dairy free cooking spray. Cover and let rise 1-1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch down, cover and let rest 10 minutes. Divide into 16 pieces and form smooth balls. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper 1 inch apart. Cover with a clean dishtowel and let rise 30-45 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 375 degrees. At this point you can either cut a cross into the top of each dough ball, or simply put into the oven. Bake 13-15 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool slightly and pipe on Icing mixture over the cut portion of the dough, or pipe the icing in a cross pattern.

Cool completely and serve.