Gayle Rigione, Allergy Force
Allergy-friendly Holiday Cookie & Treat Recipes
I have a secret to share. I'm not a baker at heart. Baking was always my mom and my sister's domain.
But then life throws you a curve ball that challenges you to become the best version of yourself that you can be.
As life would have it, I was gifted with a child who was severely allergic to multiple foods. When my son was diagnosed with food allergies as a toddler years ago, allergy friendly cookies, pies, cakes and other goodies were rare finds at bake shops. So I baked (and baked and baked from scratch) through the years — every birthday, holiday, school party, team party, milestone celebration.
So, from non-baker, I've grown into the baker I never aspired to be.
In this post, I've curated some amazing holiday cookie and treat recipes I've found in my social media, inbox and internet wanderings over weeks past. Eager to share. **
Sweet tooth anyone? Happy baking!
Allergy Friendly Cookie & Treat Recipes for the Holidays
Allergic Living: Chocolate Peppermint Bark
This tempting holiday treat — Chocolate Peppermint Bark — caught my eye so I had to include it in this list of allergy-friendly treats to try. There's nothing better than chocolate with peppermint. Or is it peppermint with chocolate? Allergic Living also has helpful suggestions for allergy-savvy ingredient substitutions.
Allergy Awesomeness: Soft, Roll Out Sugar Cookies
In our house, there is a raging debate over soft vs. crispy sugar cookies. I stand steadfast in the 'soft' cookie camp. One of our favorite holiday traditions has been gathering family from near and far to bake and frost sugar cookies. As the kids get older, it's harder to gather everyone, but when we pull it off, it's pure, sugary joy. Try this recipe for soft, roll out sugar cookies from Allergy Awesomeness.
Allergy Cookie: Growing Heart Grinch Cookies
Delight in these Growing Heart Grinch Cookies from Allergy Cookie. They're inspired by the Dr. Seuss Classic 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' that remind us of the importance of inclusion, generosity of spirit, and forgiveness — these cookies are sweet on many levels.
Allergy Dragon: Gingerbread Cookies
My son recently informed me that he's 'over' sugar cookies and wants to make gingerbread cookies instead. What can I say? He likes spice! We're going to switch it up a little this year and try out this Gingerbread Cookie recipe from Chef Martha Morgan at Allergy Dragon, along with our sugar cookies. Bonus — this recipe can serve double duty for gingerbread houses with a tiny adjustment!
Eating With Food Allergies: Fudge, Rocky Road & Lots More
Eating With Food Allergies serves up a medley of cookie and treat recipes here. I was super excited to see recipes for allergy-friendly fudge, nut free rocky road and cornflake wreaths that are almost too pretty to eat.
Everyday Allergen Free: Jam Thumbprint Cookies
Everyday Allergen Free's founder, Amanda Orlando, pours a lot of love and ingenuity into her recipes, and often a dash of laughter. For me, it's not Christmas if there isn't a thumbprint cookie with jam somewhere along the way. Try these.
Grateful Foodie: Chocolate Clusters
I sometimes get intimidated by recipes with too many ingredients, but this Chocolate Cluster recipe looks super user friendly — not too many ingredients, simple & quick assembly, eye pleasing result that looks like you fussed (a lot!). According to Caroline Moassessi, the one and only Grateful Foodie, you can dress them up with a flute of champagne, or dress them down with a scoop of sorbet.
My Berkeley Kitchen: Cardamom Snowball Cookies
I admit the idea of the delicate cardamom spice used to flavor these Cardamom Snowball Cookies sprinkled with ground rose petals grabbed me. Shahla Rashid, foodie extraordinaire behind My Berkeley Kitchen (and co-founder of The Zestfull), always seems to find a a way to put a twist of excitement into foods so they not only taste good, but are beautiful and good for you, too.
Nora Cooks: Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
I discovered Nora Cooks when I was looking for a foolproof chocolate cake recipe (minus eggs and dairy) to replace a Wacky Cake recipe that had let me down too often. Many of Nora Cooks desserts work for my food allergic son without too much adaptation (you can change up the non-dairy beverage ingredient to one that works for you), and are top notch in terms of flavor and texture. This Chocolate Crinkle Cookie recipe looks amazing and I'm betting it won't disappoint.
The Zestfull: Cocoa Truffles
This recipe from one of my favorite allergy-friendly foodies & content creators, Kortney Kwong Hing (co-founder of The Zestfull), called to me. What do I love about these cocoa truffles? Their simplicity. Just 4 basic ingredients, 15 minutes to prep, and 5 minutes to cook and you have rich, chocolatey morsels that look like you actually fussed (for hours). Check out The Zestfull's helpful article on baking with gluten free flour, too.
Wishing you and your family joy (& cookie)-ful holidays!
Now that the world has caught up with the food allergy epidemic, allergy families have more options for buying allergy-friendly baked goods and easy-to-use baking mixes than ever before. (Take a look at Spokin's guide to allergy-friendly bakeries, or if you like to bake with mixes, take a look at Hungry Harry's and Kate's Safe & Sweet offerings, too!)
Allergy Force is not an affiliate of any companies or websites or creators highlighted in this article. We believe in their work and their commitment to making the food allergy space safer and easier for families. We are proud to shine a light on them.
About the Author: Gayle Rigione is CEO and Co-founder of Allergy Force, the food allergy app. She’s also an allergy mom. She’s lived the heart stopping moments when her son ate the wrong thing, second guessed reactions and spent the night in the ER. These experiences inspire her to create tools for people with food allergies that make life safer, easier. Whatever you do, do it with a full heart. Audentes Fortuna Iuvat
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Credits: Thank you MBR Imaging and Wix Media for use of the images