Cookies for Everyone! and a Giveaway

School just started yesterday for Braden (third grade already!), and we will soon learn what allergies are accounted for in the class.  So far, I know there is at least one child with a peanut allergy. But I’ll be well taken care of if I want to take cookies to class, no matter how many allergies there are, thanks to the new cookbook from Enjoy Life Foods, Cookies for Everyone! All of these recipes are gluten-free, and free of the top 8 allergens: wheat, milk, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish, as well as sesame and sulfites to round out the Canadian top 10.  There are even options given to make most recipes corn-free or potato-free.

I just love when a cookbook gives weight measurements.  It is so much easier to make sure you have the right amount of the ingredient then trying to make sure you’re scooping or spooning the same as the author.  Cookies for Everyone! has weight measurements for all the dry ingredients (in grams – much more accurate than ounces).

Throughout the book there is some great information about food allergies, including personal stories and little facts (like on little note papers).  For instance, did you know that the FDA is now identifying coconuts as tree nuts?  I find it interesting, and a little strange, since I think of coconuts as a fruit.

According to page 221, and taken from the Food Allergy Initiative, “Since 1960, the odds of having food allergies have grown from 1 in every 100 children to 1 in every 20 – thus, there is likely to be a food-allergic child in every classroom in the United States.”  Braden’s first grade class beat that, with 2 severe peanut allergies, a chocolate allergy, and a citrus allergy.

I do have to disagree with something on page 36.  In discussing the various types of gluten-free flours, the author says that tapioca flour and tapioca starch are different, and to never confuse the two.  In all my reading and ingredient-buying, I have never heard of such a thing.  Every other source I’ve seen says they are the same thing.

I really like the way the book is formatted.  Each recipe has a corresponding picture, but it is just the cookie against the white background of the page.  It makes for a very clean look, with a few exceptions.  There are a few cookie pictures that have powdered sugar, crumbs, or chocolate shavings sprinkled around the cookie and I always feel like I need to brush them off the page.  :)  But I love it.  Carter, my 3 year old, says “I like your new cookbook.”

So, how do these cookies turn out, without any of the top allergens and without any xanthan gum?   (I don’t think there’s any xanthan gum used in this book.)

Well, Andy conducted the first cookie experiment, the Easy Eatin’ Oat Drops, which is sort of like the infamous no-bake cookies.  The ingredients and directions are a little different, and Andy wanted to see if it would help cook the oats better.  However, this recipe was designed for sunflower butter and Andy used peanut butter.  It didn’t really work.  If you want to make this one, follow the ingredients exactly.

Carter helped me for our second experiment: Chocolate Chip Harvest Cookies.  I was amazed at how simple the ingredients were, with the exception of superfine sugar (we ended up finding extra fine sugar in the coffee aisle).  It was when I was making these that I realized there’s no xanthan gum in the recipes.

My cookies stayed in the exact same shape as I had placed the dough on the sheet.  When it was time to add the chocolate drizzle, I found myself having a hard time.  I added just a bit of shortening to thin the chocolate, to make it drizzle in a thinner line.  Also, I found that you just need to let go and make a mess.  If you move the spoon continually, instead of stopping and starting at every single cookie, it will look much prettier.

Chocolate Chip Harvest Cookies

Andy said the cookies were not sweet enough and he really liked the chocolate on top.

I think Andy’s eaten too many Cocoa Pebbles.

Everyone else agreed with me that the cookies were not too sweet, but sweet enough.  Now imagine a 3 year old’s angelic (at the moment) voice: “I like these cookies.  I like sugar in these cookies.”

These cookies had a cakey texture.  On the second day, the texture had changed a bit, and Melissa described it as biting into a powdered sugar donut.  It felt (and tasted) a bit like powdered sugar, and how it dissolves as you bite into it.  My dad enjoyed them, even after I informed him that they had pumpkin in them (he doesn’t like “surprise” ingredients).  I don’t think you can bite into one and say “that’s pumpkin!”  It is more of a very subtle undertone.

My third experiment was the Hearty Chocolate Chippers.  These are pretty excellent, are fairly nutritious, especially if you use the brown rice flour (whole grain) and not the white rice flour (just starch).

I used Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil when making these.  I’m not sure if it affected the way they baked (and/or if my oven was off that day – it’s been known to happen), but I found that the 25 minutes in the directions was too long, and 15 or so was about right for these.  They held together really well, if cooked long enough (I did the last few for 9 minutes, and they did not hold together very well).

I’m not even going to tell you how many I’ve eaten.  Let’s just say I’ve had my daily allotment of 1/2 cup of gluten-free oats…

Wow.  If you’ve managed to make it through that long post, then you deserve a prize!  Well, at least a chance to be entered for one.

Would you like a copy of Cookies for Everyone!?  Leave me a comment about multiple allergies – how do they affect your life (or do they not)?  Just to be clear, you do not have to have multiple food allergies to enter this contest.

For me, I have a very close friend whose daughter has a milk allergy and her son is allergic to cinnamon, and they sometimes come over for dinner.

The contest closes at 9:00 pm central on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009.  Good luck!

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23 Responses to Cookies for Everyone! and a Giveaway

  1. angela says:

    I have celiac and lactose intolerance. One of my children can’t eat potatoes too often or he gets hives and my husband can’t handle acidic foods or he gets sick. Its an interesting combination. The husband also recently was told to avoid wheat, dairy and eggs. After two months without his beloved eggs he tried them again and sure enough they made him feel like he had a severe case of food poisening. It is interesting but what I’ve learned the most is that having food allergies doesn’t mean you need to feel deprived!

  2. Mary Wood says:

    Well, I have Celiac, which does have a major affect in all aspects of my life. I also have a bit of dairy intolerance, but seem to manage with lots of soy. Thankfully there are a ton of resources and help out there for those of us who are new and learning the ropes. I think the worst is the accidental ingestion of gluten, as miniscule as the amount may be. Since going gluten free I have done my best to not slip up. I am finding cooking to be much easier then other aspects. My biggest problem has turned out to be Drs and Pharmacists who don’t understand of “forget” to check with the manufacturer or before perscriping things. I have learned a lot, and in some cases more than I ever wanted to learn about technicalities and slacking. I will never take someone’s allergy lightly after this. I truly think that until you are personally affected, or someone very close to you, most just won’t get it.

  3. julie b says:

    well I have celiac disease–but I am intersted in winning this for my fiend and her son (13) who has to have everything taken out of his diet right now and is slowly adding it back in, he would love to have some cookies and I think this book would be perfect for him. he is just now adding back in some of the GF flours.
    and some oher things, but still can not have any eggs, dairy, nuts, or many other things.
    She is at a loss right now for desert things that he can pack in his lunch I want to make him happy because he is like a son to us.
    julie

  4. Marilee says:

    I am allergic to wheat, peanuts, almonds, and coffee. One of the little girls in my daughter’s playground was just diagnosed with several allergies, including soy, diary, peanuts, and tree nuts, and her grandfather has celiac. I would love to have some go-to recipes that we can use this winter when we get together so that she feels included. I was diagnosed as an adult, and can only imagine how much more excluded a little one must feel when it’s sometimes hard for me. I look forward to checking this book out!

  5. Michelle says:

    I am allergic to soy, gluten, and certain fruits. I was diagnosed with the gluten allergy December of 2008 so it hasnt even been a year yet. Most of the time I deal with my diet restrictions really well but when I want something sweet that isnt chocolate it seems impossible to find it unless I make it myself. This cookbook would be perfect for me. Thanks for blogging. It really helps those of us out there struggling with allergies.

  6. As a wife and mother dealing with multiple food allergies in one household and reduced income, it would be a blessing to win this great book. I love to try new recipes and can’t resist the smile on my little boys faces when I make them something that is safe for them.

  7. Megan says:

    My daughter who is three has severe food allergies. She is allergic to Milk, Soy, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Lobster/Shellfish, Mustard and an assortment of others. We make almost all of her food from Scratch and she loves enjoy life cookies but they do become expensive and baking the cookies would be a much better alternative for us. Especially since she will be starting preschool in two weeks. I never want my daughter to feel different then any other child so I do try my best to make sure at all times the foods she eats are as similar to ours as possible! She is at a point in her life where she does not understand why she can’t have the food that her friends and those around her are eating. I believe this book would make things a bit brighter for her when she goes to school. Thank You for blogging! It is nice to hear other stories out there who are dealing with similar situations to ours. It is not an easy life but even the smallest things like a cookbook and a blog are helpful!

  8. Tara Wolfe says:

    My young son has severe food allergies to milk, eggs, pnuts, treenuts and coconuts. Even though I had to quit my job so that I could stay home and make sure he was safe…everything that these allergies have “made” us do or change has been a blessing. Can food allergies be a blessing? Well, when they cause your life to take a different path that allows you to enjoy your son, eat healthier and save money on eating out….then yes they do. My husband’s cholesterol levels dropped greatly, so no need for medication. My husband and I have both lost weight and are in better shape. But the main reason I’m glad this has happened to us, I get to stay home with our son and enjoy every minute of him. Oh sure, I’m scared to death that he will have a reaction again. But God has given me the resources and drive to help our son. I have even introduced many neighbors, friends and family that you don’t have to eat full fat, tons of cholesterol and all that bad stuff to enjoy the foods you love. Food allergies can change your life, but you have to focus on the good things it can change. If not, it will drive you insane.

  9. Jaime says:

    My 1 year old is allergic to soy, wheat, eggs, dairy and peanuts.. It has changed the way the whole family eats and I am always looking for new recipes to try!

    • Cassandra says:

      Congratulations, Jaime. You are our winner!
      Send your name and mailing address to delightfullyglutenfree at gmail dot com, and I will have the publisher send your book.

  10. Emily says:

    I have Celiac Disease and I think (for the most part) it’s changed my eating and cooking habits for the better. I’ve been forced to try so many different foods that I probably wouldn’t even know about! My nephew has several food allergies including peanuts and eggs. This would be a fun book to share with my sister-in-law!

  11. Randi says:

    We recently have learned that our daughter is anaphylactic to walnuts. We have cut out all tree nuts and we are avoiding peanuts. She eats peanuts without issue but I have read that peanuts can cause eczema and she has eczema…so we will see.

  12. Stacey says:

    My three year old is allergic to wheat, eggs, soy, and tree nuts. He is starting preschool next week and the teachers have not met a child like my Jason. I will pack a snack for him when he goes, and obviously he cannot have the same snack as the other children. There will be days when he has to provide snack for the other children. How cool would it be to bake some cookies! The other kids would probably love it too! Jason has taught my family alot about our food and we are all a little healthier for it.

  13. Veronica Burns says:

    Our 4 yr. old has dairy allergies. I would like to have some great recipes for treats for her. She’s a real trooper with passing up ice cream, chocolate, cookies,.. that her brother and sister are having. She is aware of the effects dairy has on her ears. This cookbook would be great!

  14. Rebeccah says:

    My one year old has several “undiagnosed” allergies (as of yet, as we save up for testing), but for sure eggs, dairy (including goats milk products), avocados, and some fruit. DH is gluten free, but won’t admit that he has a true gluten issue. :) During this pregnancy I’ve started showing symptoms of both egg intolerance and dairy intolerance. Boy howdy! I’m always experimenting with ways to both tempt our palettes…and keep the budget low! Treats have basically been non-existent for the past two years, ever since DH went truly gluten free. We’d love the chance to experiment on some yummy cookies!!! :) Maybe we can convince our friends that gluten free isn’t all bad.

    ps. found your blog through a link on crockpot365…I LOVE finding help, encouragement, and ideas on this allergy-free journey!

  15. Wendy says:

    My daughter who is now 3 was tested for a dairy, egg, and beef allergy at age 1. The beef and egg have been easy to avoid, but the dairy is always such a challenge. She has always been on soy products and those have been a god send:) Her beef is definitely the worst of the 3 as she gets contact hives or hives from beef being cooked in a house she is in. We learned that the hard way:( I would say our biggest challenge are birthday parties. She can’t have the cake or frosting so I often have to make something for her. I freeze cupcakes and just frost a few to bring with me. Not a big deal, but as she gets older I will hate for her ever to feel left out.

  16. Melody says:

    My daughter and I are Celiacs, and combined we are Top 8 free plus corn. It was challenging at first, but of course like anything, we learned to adapt. For us, traveling is the most challenging…making sure you have enough food, or know where to stop should you need to. I am proud of how my 3 year old asks about new things, inquiring if they are safe!

  17. Claire says:

    I’m only wheat intolerant (“only”!!) though I often have dairy issues as well. I’ve tried to use these in a positive way – I’ve been baking almost like a scientific experiment, made more fun with blogs and with a certain cookbook (“Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache”) and gradually got there. Lots of the things I make now are not only lower in fat, wheat-free and almost healthy, but they taste damn fine too and even those gluten-eaters love them!! The best thing I’ve done this year? Well, I don’t know, it was either the chocolate brownie from a secret recipe from a friend or the white chocolate and blueberry blondie which used carrot to form the structure!!

  18. Jen Pogue says:

    My oldest son was diagosed with multiple food allergies at 10 months of age (all of the common 8 foods and then some). He is now 6 years old, and is starting first grade this Monday, in public school. How does food allergies affect our lives? It changes everything, from friendships (many friends distanced theirselves from us, and many never include us at cook-outs or birthday parties assuming my son would put stress on them…I’m guessing) to holidays (big meals with family), to simple trips to the grocery store (my son is so allergic to wheat that when he was younger his eyes would get red and water just going down the bread aisle at the grocery store). You just never consider a grocery store as being a dangerous place to be in until you have a child with food allergies. It is very hard to explain to people that have no food allergies or intolerances just how life changing it is. BUT, it is not all bad; there are many blessings in disguise. It has forced our family to eat homecook meals around our supper table almost every night, and we’ve changed how we travel. We bought a small camper to have a “traveling kitchen”, and camping vacations are truely the best way to enjoy close family vacations. We appreciate so much more, and are more involved in all aspects of our sons life because of it. And another blessing…people like you, that share your talents with others, you make our lives easier. Thank you. I can’t wait for this book. The few allergy cookbooks I’ve tried have been disappointing in that they may exclude milk & eggs, but then use wheat or vise versa. Finally having recipes that exclude all 8…WOW!! I just can’t wait. Thank you!!

  19. Christine says:

    I make antibodies against gluten and casein (so no wheat or dairy for me!)

    I suspect dd will end up having a lot of the same issues I have had based on her headaches and skin rashes. They have not been bad enough yet, that I have totally made her give up everything, but I try to limit the gluten she gets at home. Plus we keep running into more and more friends who are cutting out one or more of the top 8 from their diet. This cookbook looks like a great resource to have.

  20. Violets says:

    Discovering food allergies/intolerances has set us free in many ways, but sometimes it’s still stifling. We’re different. We’re “weird”. I was accidentally cc’d in an email requesting that someone bring an alternate snack to an afterschool activity on my day because “you know”. Ouch.
    I know that sometimes my daughter gets excluded because it’s easier than trying to include her. And I know that there is plenty of gossip about our weird allergy family. And sometimes that gets to me.
    But seeing my daughter dancing after a birthday party (instead of holding her head as she vomits) and the multiple successful birthday parties we appear to have thrown make it worth while. And the biggest compliment came from my skeptical brother who finally risked a bite of a gluten free cookie at the last party. His face registered shock as he declared “These taste almost real!”

  21. Allana K says:

    My 3 year old was just diagnosed with Hereditary Fructose Intolerance. On top of living with Celiac disease, we must eliminate all fructose from her diet. This includes every fruit, most vegetables and every sugar and sugar alternative except dextrose. We struggle daily to find something new and exciting for her to eat. The thought of being able to find something that is considered a dessert for her to eat makes me teary-eyed.

  22. Danielle says:

    My one year old is allergic to wheat and eggs. We are getting him tested for Celiac disease next week. We have already started him on a gluten free diet and have decided to go GF as a family. So I was so excited to find your site. Thank you for the wonderful info as it has been a challenge and overwhelming task of knowing what to feed my son and now the entire family. I would love this cookbook so my son can enjoy some cookies again! Thank you!

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