Tag Archives: dessert

Gluten-Free Glazed Spiced Pumpkin Cookies

pumpkin cookies

My favorite season hands-down, is Autumn. I love the crisp air, homemade soups, and I especially love pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING – coffee, pie, pancakes, you name it. Seriously, if they made pumpkin flavored shrimp, I’d probably try it (and that’s saying a lot because I HATE shrimp).

So a couple of weeks ago when the temp actually dipped below 75 (I live in Missouri – we really don’t start getting cool whether til November) I got a hankering for pumpkin baked goods. These were amazing, and a big hit with the boys. When I asked Z if he wanted me to put a couple in his lunch box for the next day he responded, “Yes. I’ll take five!” Yup. They’re that good. 

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (if you can have dairy, you can use butter)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg or egg replacement
    Z eats cookie

    Lil Z revels in the deliciousness of his cookie.

    boys wanting cookies

    Manimal and Z ogle the glazed pumpkin-spiced cookies but know that mom won’t let them have any until they eat their dinner.

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup dairy free milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk/dairy-free milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl. In a separate bowel, cream wet ingredients together and mix into the dry ingredients. Mix well, and spoon tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. While the cookies are baking, prepare the cinnamon glaze. Apply glaze to cooled cookies and enjoy!


Weird Birthday Cake and Bad Butter Replacements

Weird Cake 2Z Weird cakeLast week was Lil Z’s birthday. He is off dairy again, so I tried to figure out how to make his cake without butter (while not running back to the store to buy an expensive butter replacement like Spectrum Organic Shortening or coconut oil). One thing any PIC and allergy mom knows is that cooking and baking often is just fits of trial and error.

Using sunflower seed butter instead of butter was definitely an error. It turned the cake green (so weird), and the cake was dense and heavy. Granted, gluten-free baked goods used to be dense and grainy, but not anymore, especially not Betty Crocker GF cakes.

I was able to mask the fact that Z had a friggin’ weird birthday cake by telling him it was a dinosaur cake, and he’s 5, so he bought it.

Z alligator hat

Lil Z wearing his “dinosaur” hat.

How did I pull this off? Well, luckily The Hubs just happened to buy dinosaur cake decorations the night before, and I had gotten Z an alligator hat to wear instead of a party hat (which for some reason Z and I both thought was a dinosaur until The Hubs whispered to me, “You do realize that’s an alligator, not a dinosaur, don’t you?).

Anyway, the weird green cake was turned into a positive and a good lesson was learned: Sun flower seed butter is NOT a good butter replacement. Stick with Spectrum or coconut oil.

Sunbutter Crisps – Hodgson Mills Gluten Free Cookie Mix

Hodgson Mills Cookies 2The other day I was excited to discover Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Cookie Mix, 12-Ounce (Pack of 6) at Walmart. It was a pretty good price – under $3 a box, which is pretty cheap for gluten-free anything.

I brought it home, thinking I would prepare it without eggs and butter, so it would be totally Top 8 free; however, while I was at work that night, The Hubs apparently decided to be father of the year and bake the boys cookies. Well, he made them with Sunbutter and canola oil Hodson Mills Cookies(which is what I would have done) but he also used eggs… sigh. Oh well. The next time I get this mix, which will be soon, I will make them with flax to see how they turn out.

These were amazing. AMAZING. I love crispy cookies, and these were just that – crunchy and crispy, and they didn’t taste gluten free at all. If you can’t have eggs, use an egg replacer, or make your own using a tablespoon of ground/milled flax seed and 2 table spoons of water (mix them together and let them sit for several minutes til they are goopy like an egg).


  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sunbutter (we use Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 large egg or egg replacer (see above)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 box HM GF Cookie Mix

blend the wet ingredients together and add them to the cookie mix. Stir until well blended. put rounded spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 14-15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown and have crispy edges.

The ingredients in the box are: Brown Rice Flour, Sugar, Tapioca Starch, Amaranth Flour, Cornstarch, Baking Soda, Xanthan Gum, Flake Salt.

Easter and the Case of the Exploding Diaper

Manimal EasterYesterday was Easter and we had a fun Easter-egg hunt at church and one in our backyard.  It was a great day.

Last night was… not so great. Manimal clearly is still intolerant to dairy and soy, and his waking every two hours last night proved that.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have a plan for keeping Manimal away from all the candy with dairy and soy (namely the Tootsie Rolls, which he can open by himself). On top of that, saying, “No, no, that’s an ouchy in your tummy,” doesn’t work on him like it did for Lil Z, the ever-present rule-follower. Unlike his brother, Manimal is a risk-taker, so regardless of what we tell him, he does what he wants when our backs are turned.

By 10 a.m. yesterday, Manimal had already ingested several Tootsie Rolls. by 1 p.m., his pants had erupted onto the living-room floor and his belly was distended (The Hubs thought one of the boys had spit chocolate onto the floor, but to his disgust – it wasn’t chocolate). After that, we were conscientious of making sure Manimal didn’t get any more dairy or soy, but unfortunately his big brother was not so conscientious of where he left his Easter basket, and Manimal took full advantage of Lil Z’s forgetfulness.

Z dumps basketBy bedtime both boys had trouble falling asleep (it was a combo of food coloring, sugar overload, and excitement from a fun day); however, Manimal had even more trouble falling asleep than is normal, I’m sure because his tummy hurt. Unfortunately, he woke five or six times last night to be held as he battled painful gas and acid burps (it was a blur, so I am foggy on the exact number of times he awoke).

The lesson learned: have a better plan for situations like this. Immediately remove offending foods from sight and and/or reach and hide them. Feed them to older children in secret. This is the tactic that we do at our house with Cheetos – Lil Z can eat them during Manimal’s nap time when Manimal won’t feel left out or upset that he isn’t able to eat them.

I am hoping that Manimal sleeps better tonight, and I am thankful my children don’t have life-threatening reactions to offending foods. We’ve already had a diaper explosion this morning, and I am assuming I will deal with more today. I have also been seeing the bloody-blister diaper rash forming on his bottom, and have been trying to get ahead of it by treating with with lots of ointments… but I will save the topic of diaper-rashes for the next post.

boys with baskets

Lil Z, The Hubs and Manimal act goofy after a rip-roaring Easter Egg Hunt.

Safe Candy – just in time for Easter!

Candy collage

Lil Z’s first Easter was tough. We weren’t sure what he could have, and at that point we were still slowly introducing foods into his diet. The only commercially-made sweets we let him eat that Easter were Peeps and Starburst Jelly Beans.

Below is a list of Top 8 and gluten free candies that we let our boys have. I didn’t include candies with soy oil or soy lecithin, even though for many allergy sufferers they are safe (because they don’t have soy protein in them). I felt like Lil Z and Manimal had trouble with soy oil/lecithin when they were really little, but now it doesn’t seem to be a problem, at least in small doses.Unfortunately, all of these candies are jam packed with food colorings which bother my children (hello tantrums and insomnia!).

Please read and double check ingredients before giving your child any foods. This is not a comprehensive list, it is just a great place to start. I found a wonderful Web site today that had a breakdown of allergy ingredients used in a lot of mainstream candies. It’s worth checking out!

Top 8 and Gluten-Free Candy Options:

    • Peeps (most of them)
    • Smarties products, including candy necklaces
    • Star burst Original Fruit chews
    • Starburst jelly beans, GummiBurst
    • Mike and Ikes
    • Hot Tomales
    • Swedish fish – Red, Assorted and Aqua life
    • Life Savers hard and soft candies
    • Sweet tarts
    • Heide Gummi Bears and several other Hiede products
    • Jolly Ranchers
    • Dum DumsSpangler Candy Co. said the following about Dum Dum Lolli pops: There is a trace amount of soy oil in the lubricant that we use in our cooking kettles. This soy oil has been refined, bleached, and deodorized and all of the proteins have been removed.

FREE allergy-friendly cookbook!!!

enjoy life e-cookbookHey, I wanted to share this FREE cookbook that Enjoy Life Foods has put on their Web site. It is a free download that is full of Top-8 and Gluten-Free recipes that I am excited to try.

I already own Enjoy Life’s Cookies for Everyone!: 150 Delicious Gluten-Free Treats that are Safe for Most Anyone with Food Allergies, Intolerances, and Sensitivities and it not only has great recipes but also tips on things like egg-replacer and how to stock an allergy-friendly kitchen. It is a must for anyone new to gluten-free and allergy-friendly cooking (as well, and anyone who wants good cookies…).

I really enjoy most of the products made my this company because I never EVER have to glance at the ingredients. And that’s a nice change…