Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Gingersnaps

Hope everyone has recovered from the Thanksgiving Holiday! I finally am…after my entire family was hit with the flu, not once, but twice, I have to say it has been a challenging few weeks around here. But all the while I was dreaming of getting back into the kitchen to do some hard core baking.

After making my brother-in-law’s favorite cookie last week, the Molasses, I realized I haven’t posted my other favorite Molasses-type cookie; the Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Gingersnaps. And believe me, they are a snap to make! Unlike most Gingersnap cookie doughs, this one doesn’t need the chill time in the fridge. It’s also not overly-spicy, a big bonus when making them for small kiddos. If you like more or less kick, adjust the ginger measurement according to your taste. But leave the cinnamon measurement as is.

They are wonderful right out of the oven with a cold glass of Soy or Rice Milk, but they are also fabulous as gifts. Make them as an easy dessert for Hanukkah this week, or make double batches to freeze for Christmas gift-giving (perfect for teachers, school nurses, or principals). Here’s to many, many more days of baking ya’ll!!

DAIRY, EGG AND NUT FREE GINGERSNAPS

3/4 c. dairy free vegetable shortening

1 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce

1/4 c. molasses

1 tsp. good quality vanilla

2 1/4 c. unbleached all purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 T. powdered ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. granulated sugar for rolling cookie balls in

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the shortening, brown sugar, applesauce, molasses and vanilla until thoroughly combined.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon with a wire whisk. Add to shortening mixture and mix until combined. Use a small cookie scooper to divide 1-inch balls of dough onto prepared sheets. Take each mound of dough and roll in your hands until it forms a ball, then roll in granulated sugar. Place back on sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until lightly browned. Cool.

Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with DF Cream Cheese Frosting

Are you on the list to bring a treat for your kid’s Thanksgiving class party? If so, this treat is your answer. My Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Dairy Free Cream Cheese Frosting is perfect, and I promise it’ll beat anything you’ll buy at your grocery store.

I always love to bring a little assortment of treats to my kids’ class parties, along with some fresh fruit kabobs. I find that little nibbles of cookies and bars travel best, and are less messy. But this time I’m in the mood for something very decadent. I’m thinking I’ll bring these unbelievably yummy cupcakes in miniature versions. They’re a little messy (thanks to the cream cheese frosting) but SO worth it. I also plan to make these cupcakes Gluten Free for the class parties, thanks to my newest favorite Gluten Free Flour Mix (see my previous post). Hope ya’ll enjoy them as much as we have!!

Happy Baking Everyone!!

DAIRY, EGG AND NUT FREE PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH DAIRY FREE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Cupcakes:

1 stick dairy free margarine (I use Fleischmans Unsalted)

3/4 c. granulated sugar

2 T. water

1 1/4 tsp. vanilla

1 c. pumpkin puree

1 1/2 c. unbleached all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. salt

Frosting:

1/2 container dairy free Tofutti Cream Cheese Frosting

1 T. soy milk

1/2 stick dairy free margarine (I use Fleischmans Unsalted)

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2-2 c. confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin cups or 24 mini muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dairy free margarine and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the water, vanilla and pumpkin puree, and thoroughly combine.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt with a wire whisk. Add to pumpkin mixture and combine thoroughly.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups with cookie scooper. Bake 18-20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely.

To Make Frosting:
Combine dairy free cream cheese, soy milk, dairy free margarine and vanilla until smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, and add up to 2 cups if you desire a sturdier frosting. Chill 30 minutes before using.

When cupcakes are cooled and frosting is chilled, either dip the cupcakes into the DF cream cheese frosting or use a small butter knife to frost. Keep chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.

Some tricks and treats, including my Gluten Free/Vegan Pumpkin Bread

What a week it has been! As room mom for three classes, I found myself in a sea of must do’s all week; treats, projects, and then the usual sickness to throw everyone for a loop. Let’s just say it has been “crazyland” around here, as I am certain it was for so many of you!

Halloween itself was actually a piece of cake (pun intended) this year, as I think we’ve really gotten the whole trick or treating thing down. John trick or treated with his best buddy, and I let him have his freedom to roam the neighborhood. He knows he isn’t allowed to eat anything until he gets home. He also knows he can only have three types of candy, and so does my other children. So my other three children were happy to trade all their Skittles, Smarties and Starburst with John in exchange for his candy. One rule; no peanuts, peanut butter, etc was allowed. Those types of candy were immediately thrown out. Then I made my annual Halloween deal: Trade your bucket of candy with mom for a $10 gift card to Target. Everyone bit, and I collected the buckets. They all stuffed their faces with candy for a good 30 minutes any way, so when I start to see them get sick to their stomachs, that’s when I make my move. No more Halloween candy (for the record, I donate 80 percent and keep 20 percent for me. Remember I am a sweets freak….and I LIVE for Halloween candy. The kids don’t know; I eat it all when they are at school.:)

Of course, I’m always on guard, with a medicine kit nearby at all times, etc. but sometimes you just have to let go and have some fun. Though any mama who has a child with food allergies will tell you, it ain’t easy.

Finally, here’s a treat I made Saturday for one of my fave bands in the whole world, The Dandy Warhols. They were in town Saturday and I happily obliged to make them some Dairy, Egg and Nut Free (Vegan) treats with a twist; Gluten Free. Ya’ll know I don’t always make gluten free treats because our diets are so limited as it is, and if I don’t need to take wheat out I won’t. However, I will need to make it every so often for a class treat, etc. and I am very happy to do so. I asked some good friends for their favorite gluten free flour mixes (including the fabulous Cybele Pascal who was so darn sweet with her advice) but eventually I turned to one that my friend Colette gave me; it worked very well with my base recipes and I loved that it only had a few ingredients. (I was in a rush and just picked out a couple flours at my local market) Here is the Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread I made for the band, and honestly it tastes EXACTLY like my version with regular old flour: Enjoy!!

GLUTEN FREE/VEGAN PUMPKIN BREAD

Gluten Free Flour Mix:

1 1/2 c. brown rice flour

1 c. white rice flour

1/2 c. potato or corn starch

2 tsp. xanthan gum

Mix all together with a wire whisk and store in freezer. Makes three cups, exact amount needed for pumpkin bread recipe.

Pumpkin Bread

1 recipe Gluten Free Flour mix (3 cups flour)

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

2/3 c. dairy free shortening

2 1/2 c. granulated sugar

4 T. Water

1 (15 oz.) can pureed pumpkin, canned

1/4 c. orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray two 8-inch loaf pans with dairy free baking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the shortening and sugar. Add the water, pumpkin and orange juice, and mix well.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg with a wire whisk. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and combine thoroughly. Pour into the prepared loaf pans and bake 50-60 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean.

** May be frozen, wrapped tightly in saran wrap and foil, for up to two months.