Happy Valentine’s Day and a special new treat….

I love Valentine’s Day. It is the perfect escape from the dreariness of bitterly cold winter days. There are only two things I ask for every year, a bouquet of my favorite flower, tulips, and chocolate in any form. And I really mean any form. I don’t care if it is a decadent molten chocolate cake or a twix bar from the gas station, I LOVE CHOCOLATE. So when I developed my newest chocolate recipe, I had a moment of silence in appreciation for its incredible deliciousness. What is it you ask? A rich Banana Chocolate Cupcake with Creamy Chocolate Frosting. My kids went crazy for them and ate every single cupcake in about an hour. Even my banana-hating daughter loved them, and that’s saying a lot because she always turns her nose up at even the slightest whiff of a banana.

The recipe is featured below and I hope you enjoy it as my special treat to you and your fabulous little kiddos!! I also wanted to share some links of my favorite tips and websites. This is not an all inclusive list, and will share some more of my favorites in the weeks to come. Happy Valentine’s Day to you all…you truly make my life a lot sweeter! Muah!

FAVORITE LINKS TO VISIT:

Awesome food allergy mama Gina Clowes on her 10 Things to Know about Food Allergies in Classroom: A must-read for any parent or teacher with kids in school.

Allergy Apparel: I really dig this entire website…all the epi holders are cool, the tees are cool and I especially love the baking accessories. Check it out.

Divvies: What can I say, I adore this brand and really wish their product was stocked in every grocery store in America! I could order something from their site every day, just for ME, and eat tons of it. But I refrain.

The New Nut Free Mom; A Crash Course in Caring for Your Nut Allergic Child by Jenny Kales: This ebook is available on Amazon and I have yet to read it, but will soon because anything Jenny writes is enormously helpful, insightful and downright awesome.

Cybele Pascal; The Allergy Friendly Cook: OK, I really love Cybele and am especially loving her brand spanking new website! She also has a new book coming out this year so be on the look out! What a huge service Cybele has done for all of us food allergy mamas in her cooking expertise.

More links to come in the near future…I promise. ;)

CHOCOLATE BANANA CUPCAKES WITH CHOCOLATE FROSTING

For Cupcakes:

1 c. mashed banana

½ c. room temperature water

¼ c. dairy free “buttermilk” (1/4 c. soy or rice milk mixed with 1 tsp. white vinegar, let stand 5 minutes)

ÂĽ c. vegetable oil

1 tsp. good quality vanilla extract

1 c. unbleached all purpose flour

Âľ c. granulated sugar

1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1/3 c. dairy free chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life or Divvies)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 inch cupcake pan with paper liners. Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the mashed banana, water, dairy free “buttermilk”, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.

In a separate medium bowl  combine the flour , sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt with a wire whisk.  Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide the batter evenly among the paper cups. Bake 20-25 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely.

CREAMY CHOCOLATE FROSTING

1/2 c. dairy free margarine

ÂĽ c. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 T. soy or rice milk

½ tsp. good quality vanilla extract

2 c. confectioner’s sugar

Combine the dairy free margarine, cocoa powder, soy milk and vanilla in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the confectioner’s sugar, a little at a time, until combined. Turn mixer on medium-high and mix for 3-4 minutes or until creamy. Frost cupcakes.