My kids haven't manifested any allergies yet, thankfully, but Roo has several friends who have significant dietary restrictions. I know it's a constant struggle to find foods that my own kids will eat so I can't really imagine how difficult it would be to cook for kids without nuts, eggs, or dairy. When Kelly Rudnicki's second son was diagnosed with multiple severe food allergies, as well as asthma, she began her quest to learn as much as she could about allergen-free cooking. Her blog, The Food Allergy Mama, features tons of recipes and helpful information for other parents to learn from.
Kelly recently published The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book, a compendium of recipes that are completely nut, egg, and dairy-free. These recipes are as tasty as their allergen-laden counterparts but they make it easier for kids with allergies to share in the holiday feasting. There are familiar gifting items like pumpkin bread and gingerbread kid cookies as well as more elegant fare such as a dairy-free cheesecake. (It should be noted that these recipes are not gluten-free.) One thing she stresses is using quality ingredients: "I'm a real stickler about the vanilla I use. There are some ingredients you can't go cheap; this is one of them. Nielsen-Massey's is top of the line. Get the good stuff, and you'll see a real difference in your baking results," Rudnicki said.
Impress your family with these donuts on a chilly morning!
Apple House Cinnamon Doughnuts
Courtesy of The Food Allergy Mama's Baking Book
Yield: 12 doughnuts and 12 holes
Vegetable oil, for frying
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla extract
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons Fleischman's Unsalted Margarine, melted
4 ½ - 4 ¾ cups Gold Medal Unbleached All-purpose flour
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup soy or rice milk
Cinnamon sugar, for rolling
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
In a large, heavy pot, heat 2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil until a candy thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375ºF.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the applesauce, vanilla, and ¾ cups flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt with a wire whisk. Add the flour mixture and the soy milk alternately to the applesauce - margarine mixture. Add more flour, if needed, to make a smooth and not-too-sticky dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Knead for about 1 minute, and roll out to a ½-inch-thick circle. Dip a doughnut cutter into flour, and cut into the dough. Remove the trimmings and reroll, repeating the process.
Slide a few doughnuts into the hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pot. Fry until the doughnuts rise to the surface, about 2 minutes, and turn over with metal tongs to fry the other side. Doughnuts should be golden brown on both sides. Lift out the doughnuts with metal tongs and drain on paper towels.
Mix together the ½ cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Place the cinnamon - sugar mixture in a brown paper lunch bag. Place the warm doughnuts, one at a time, in the brown bag, and shake to coat. Shake off excess sugar, and place on a serving platter. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.
Note: If you don't have a doughnut cutter, use a 3-inch biscuit cutter instead. To make the doughnut holes, use an empty, sterilized round medicine bottle without the cap. Poke the hole in the middle of the circle, and down the hole will pop. This is a time-tested trick Rudnicki learned from her mom.
To enter and win a copy of The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book and a 2 oz. bottle of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla, please comment on this post with your favorite holiday baked goods or food allergy story.
Entries will be accepted through December 8th and I'll pick the winner using Random.org. US readers are eligible.
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Disclosure: I received a copy of The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book and a teeny adorable bottle of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla to facilitate this review.