spritz cookies

to try:
from http://pacificoutpost.wordpress.com/2008/12/01/spritz-cookies/

Adapted from a recipe for cookie press cookies from Martha Stewart: I subbed in Earth Balance for butter and canola oil for egg yolks (2 tablespoons of oil per each large egg yolk the recipe called for). To make the dough festive, I divided it in half and mixed in green food coloring to one half and red food coloring into the other half. I topped the cookies off with some sanding sugars before popping them into the oven.
I could not believe how easy these cookies were to make, or how easy the cookie press was to use. Literally, just point and shoot! I can’t believe that for all this time I have been missing out. Now I want to make spritz cookies every day … just because I can. One trick that I did develop was to use two cookie sheets, but only put one in the oven at a time, so as to chill the other. I had found with my second batch that the dough coming out of the press did not stick to a hot cookie sheet. As one batch baked, I let one sheet cool over my sink and stuck the dough and press into the fridge to let it chill. I found that this system worked quite efficiently for me.
My secret for perfectly done cookies is to pull them out of the oven before they look done. If you leave them in until they start browning they are, in my opinion, already too far gone. I know that some people enjoy the crispiest cookies the best. Admittedly, I am not one of them. For these types of cookies, in particular, I enjoy a nice crisp outside that yields easily to a soft inside. To achieve that effect, I timed these cookies at exactly 10 minutes. I sacrificed the first batch by letting them go for 12 minutes, which resulted in very crispy browned edges and bottoms. They did not end up the trash, though – I set those aside for the extra crispy lovers among us to enjoy. I did not, however, put them out for all to see!
Spritz Cookies
Adapted from this recipe by Martha Stewart
Makes 6- 8 dozen cookies

1 ½ cups (3 sticks) Earth Balance (325 g Vegan Becel or other suitable butter substitute)*
1 cup (220 gr) white granulated sugar
4 tbsp (60 mL) canola oil
3 ¾ cups (470 g) sifted all-purpose flour*
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
Colored sanding sugar
*Note: if using pastry flour: 480g and 335g becel)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the Earth Balance and sugar until light and fluffy. Add canola oil and mix, then add flour, salt, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
2. Fill a cookie press with the dough, and turn out cookies 1 to 2 inches apart onto a non-oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle cookies with colored sanding sugars.
3. Bake until the cookies are lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes. To ensure even baking, rotate sheet halfway through the baking process. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool.


Chocolate glaze



2/3 c. dairy free chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life or Divvies)
1/4 c. dairy free free margarine (at time of update, Becel Vegan seems ok if not contaminated with previous use)
1 1/2 tsp. light corn syrup


Fill a small saucepan with about 1/2 inch of water and bring to a simmer. Place a glass Pyrex bowl over the simmering water (being sure not to touch the water) and add chocolate chips, margarine and corn syrup. Heat until melted, stirring constantly. Cool slightly and use in Shortbread Cookie Recipe.

Cinnamon Buns

Adapted from OASG (Lori M. with tips from Karen):

This is really easy and I double the recipe since they go quickly.   It’s hard to stop at just one. If doubled, I find it easier to split the dough in half when rolling it onto the counter.


140 g margarine (milk-free, soy-free, gelatin free) (at time of update, Becel Vegan seems ok if not contaminated with previous use)
200 g brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
225 g flour
20 ml (4 tsp) baking powder
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
104 g (½ cup) shortening
1 cup rice mil


In a small bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.
Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles small crumbles.
Stir in 1 cup rice milk all at once.
Roll onto floured counter top and knead 10 times.
Roll out into a rectangle (ish) – about ¼ inch thick.
Spread with butter mixture all over.
Roll up like a jelly roll.
Cut into 1” slices.

Tip: make the first cut in the middle, then divide each half in half,
and divide those quarters into thirds.

Place into greased muffin tins.

I use individual silicone muffin cups.

Bake at 450 for 15-18 minutes.

Peanut-free Satay Sauce

Here is an amazing sauce that was suggested for use with chicken, beef, rice, rice wraps, stirfry, and anything else you would serve with satay sauce, recommended through OASG:


1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce substitute (1/4 c molasses + 22 ml balsamic vinegar)
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp (37 g) brown sugar
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp oil 1 green onion, minced
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup SunButter


With a whisk, mix all the ingredients except the SunButter in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and let boil for 1 minute. Add the SunButter and bring to a boil again, whisking until the sauce thickens. (Not really necessary – it’s already pretty thick!) Serve warm with whatever you like.


shortbread cookies



1 c. 225g Vegan margarine (dairy free, soy free, gelatin free)
3/4 c. 143g granulated sugar
2 1/2 c. 280g unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
Optional: coloring paste (3-8 toothpicks worth)
Topping: Dairy Free Chocolate Glaze


Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the dairy free margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together and is fully incorporated. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured board to 1/4 inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter or other shapes. Place on baking sheet and bake 20-22 minutes or just until very lightly golden on top and bottom of cookie. The cookies shouldn’t have any brown color to it.
Once cooled, drizzle with or dip into dairy free chocolate glaze.

Tried variation in a double recipe: added vanilla, 2 tsp egg replacer, approx 1/4-1/2 cup flour, 2 tsp dairifree, and used 3 parts margarine and 1 part Coconut Earth Balance.


Rolled Buttercream Fondant

adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/rolled-buttercream-fondant/
Yield: 3 pounds. (1/3 of the recipe can cover a 9-inch round one-layer cake)


1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners' (icing) sugar
Food coloring gel or paste from Cake Craft (important note - they have since been bought out by Chefmaster, unsure if their products are allergy-safe)


In a large bowl, stir together the shortening and corn syrup.
Mix in the salt and vanilla flavoring, then gradually sift (don't dump) in the confectioners' sugar until it is a stiff dough. If you are using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment. Otherwise, knead by hand. If the dough is sticky, knead in more confectioners' sugar until it is smooth.
Optional: Add food coloring paste with a toothpick and knead thoroughly.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


  • Prepare a few days in advance and refrigerate.
  • Very messy - wear apron and nitrile gloves when kneading!
  • The more you knead, the better and smoother the texture. 
  • Don't be tempted to add too much powdered sugar because its more prone to cracking. It takes practice
  • Be very accurate on measurments to get the right consistency.

How to get it on the cake

  1. Leaving it to chill for at least 2 hours can help avoid the greasy texture.
  2. If not already colored, add food coloring paste with a toothpick and knead thoroughly.
  3. For the fondant to stick to the cake, you have to put a thin layer of frosting on the cake first.
  4. Roll out on a clean surface that has been dusted with confectioners' sugar until it is 1/8 inch thick or thinner if you can.  Roll the fondant between sheets of wax paper and then reverse roll it onto the rolling pin with a layer of wax paper on the fondant.  You can rolled it off the roller and then peel the wax paper off. 
  5. Drape over frosted and chilled cakes and smooth the sides down, or cut into strips to make bows and other decorations.
  6. If final effect is too greasy, brush with powdered sugar 

Buttercream icing

adapted from: http://www.wilton.com/recipe/Buttercream-Icing


1/2 cup palm oil (hard to find in Canada, can also use solid vegetable shortening)
1/2 cup vegan dairy free margarine (at time of update, Becel Vegan seems ok if not contaminated with previous use)
1 tsp clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' or icing sugar (approx 1 lb.)
2 tbsp liquid of choice (espresso, mango juice, rice milk, water, etc)
Makes: About 3 cups of icing.


In large bowl, cream palm oil/shortening and margarine with electric mixer. Add vanilla.
Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
Add liquid of choice and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.


  • Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
  • For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
  • For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2-4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or liquid of choice.
  • For stiff consistency, replace margarine with an additional 1/2 cup palm oil/shortening.


Chocolate Egg-Free Dairy-Free Nut-Free Cake

Adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/egg-free-dairy-free-nut-free-cake/detail.aspx or use original source: http://www.food.com/recipe/vanilla-eggless-and-dairy-free-vegan-cake-216376 and add cacao + choco chips

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Ready In: 50 Minutes
Yield: two-and-a-half 8" pans, or one 13x9x2 pan
Servings: 15-22

"This chocolate cake is so good, you'll never miss the dairy products! Check at your health food store for nondairy chocolate chips."

3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
2-1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (milk-free)
2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda (or 2tsp baking soda + 2 tsp egg substitute+ 4tbsp H2O+ 1 to 2 tbsp salba, 1/4 cup apple sauce)
3/4 cup and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (or 1 & 1/4 cup oil)
2 tablespoons and 1-1/2 teaspoons white vinegar (or reg vin + cider vinegar)
2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups cold water
1-1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (milk & nut free)

Note: Ingredients above were scaled up to serve 20. The directions below still refer to the original recipe yield (8).
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Mix well with a fork, then stir in oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract. When dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened, pour in cold water and stir until batter is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

Vegan Vanilla Cake (eggless and dairy free)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Serves: 6-9
Yield: One 8-inch cake

"This is a simple yellow cake that is easy to make and very tasty. It can also be cut into slices and served with fruit."

Heat oven to 350F
Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl:
  • 188 g (1.5 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 245 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • ½ tsp salt
Mix wet ingredients in small mixing bowl:
  • 1 tsp egg substitute + 2tbsp water + 1 tbsp salba and (optional) 1/8 cup apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pour wet into dry and whisk until no lumps appear and batter is smooth.
Remove from mixing stand.
Add 1 tablespoon vinegar, stir about seven times, and quickly pour into pan.

  1. Prepare cake pan: Line 8-inch round or square cake pan with parchment paper and grease bottom and sides of the pan. Then flour the pan.  Can also use silicone cupcake molds.
  2. Bake around 30 minutes, until cake begins to pull away from sides and/or toothpick inserted in the center pulls out clean.
  3. Let sit for ten to fifteen minutes, invert, and cool on rack.


food recall: milk in Solo Fruit brand Dark Chocolate Sorbet

uh-oh...  :(
hopefully they'll fix the production not adjust the label...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: CFIA Webmaster
Date: 2011/9/24
Subject: m-l : 20110923b - Allergy Alert (milk) / Alerte à l'allergie (lait)

Le texte français suit le texte anglais.

A recall has been added to the CFIA's Food Recall Report.

Class 1
Reason for Recall: Allergen - milk
Product(s): Solo Fruit brand Dark Chocolate Sorbet
Recalling Firm: Solo Fruit Inc.
Distribution: This product has been distributed in Quebec
Product details are available at http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/2011/20110923be.shtml

Milk Allergy - http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/labeti/allerg/milklaite.shtml
Modify your email options or unsubscribe - http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/util/listserv/listserve.shtml


Un rappel a été ajouté au Rapport sur les rappels d’aliments de l'ACIA.

Classe 1
Raison du rappel : Allergène – lait
Produit(s) : « Sorbet Chocolat noir » de marque Solo Fruit
Entreprise effectuant le rappel : Solo Fruit Inc.
Distribution : Ce produit a été distribué au Québec.

Vous trouverez les détails sur le produit à l’adresse suivante : http://www.inspection.gc.ca/francais/corpaffr/recarapp/2011/20110923bf.shtml

Allergie au lait - http://www.inspection.gc.ca/francais/fssa/labeti/allerg/milklaitf.shtml
Modifiez les paramètres ou annulez votre inscription - http://www.inspection.gc.ca/francais/util/listserv/listservf.shtml


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issues public advisories and email notifications for food recalls for all high-risk food recalls (mainly Class I) when the product is available for sale or could be in consumers’ homes.

All other recalls (Class II and III), and food products that are sold exclusively to restaurants, are posted on the CFIA’s Food Recall Report. Email notifications are also available for all allergen recalls.

Food and consumer product recalls are also available at www.healthycanadians.gc.ca.

L’ACIA publie des mises en garde et envoie des avis par courriel sur les rappels d’aliments à risque élevé (principalement ceux de la classe I) lorsque le produit est en vente ou pourrait se trouver chez les consommateurs.

Tous les autres rappels (classe II et III) ainsi que les produits vendus exclusivement aux restaurants sont publiés dans le Rapport sur les rappels d’aliments de l'ACIA.  Les avis par courriel sont offerts pour tous les rappels d’aliments contenant des allergènes.

Les rappels d’aliments et de produits de consommation sont aussi diffusés sur le site www.canadiensensante.gc.ca


anaphylaxis at daycare

Due to an unfortunate series of misunderstandings, the daycamp offered Lucas a fudgecicle (with modified milk ingredients) last Thursday.

He started vomiting (a lot, reportedly) and got a red puffy face, so they gave him benadryl (which we've told them was ok for MINOR reactions when allergens weren't actually known or suspected). They also called to inform me (but neglected to say he had milk). Since it was close to pick up time anyway, I choose to go get him to comfort him at home.

When I arrived, Lucas was flush but playing with his friends. They pulled the box out of the trash and I zoomed right in to where it said "modified milk ingredients" in the main ingredients. I whisked him off to the hospital, and ran carrying both children from the car to the ER on the hottest day on record. "Anaphylaxis" I told the nurse, ignoring the queue. I must not have been in good shape, because she asked "You or them?" Other nurses came in right away, relieved me of the kids and guided me to a gurney to recover.
Regaining composure momentarily, I was brought to see Lucas plugged in to oxygen, IV and a bunch of monitors. Again. I was out-of-my-mind furious at the daycamp for being so negligent and careless despite all our awareness-raising efforts and trust I had in the staff.
The daycamp operator listened to what I had to say, conducted a quick investigation and convened an emergency board meeting to decide what to do.
No single person was responsible for the popsicle, but his assigned instructor was the last in line and was reprimanded partly for not double-checking the ingredients, and mostly for not recognizing the severity of the reaction or troubleshooting its cause for appropriate treatment.
The center's food policy is still being discussed - there is resistance among the members as to whether they should stop serving any food at all to anyone (saving everyone from any possibility of error) or just isolate Lucas by never giving him anything.
In the short term, we had signed him up for this week and intended to have him return, but he's had a fever and has stayed home most of the time. Perhaps tomorrow, so he can enjoy the (hopefully food-free) last day of the summer camp.


Interesting that our pediatrician used Lucas as a case study in allergies this morning, going through all the steps of the "allergic march", from constant gastro-intestinal issues as a baby, to eczema and asthma. She also recounted the anaphylactic reactions he had after vaccines at 12 and 15(?) months in surprising detail.

Though I questioned her ability to manage emergencies at the time, I acknowledge she knows a lot about allergies now, and appreciate that she cares to share that knowledge so others can benefit from that experience as well.


lamb challenge at home - success!

Lucas wanted to try our last dish of Mother Hen's frozen lamb baby food the other day. Since we always have epipens around and our schedule was clear that night, we agreed with cautious optimism. He enjoyed it, finished the disch, and lo and behold, didn't react at all!

Long live Mother Hen, and thank goodness for their products!


egg challenge

results are, well, encouraging, sort of.

Baked 1/3 egg (white and yolk) into a dozen choc chip muffins last night.
L had one, liked it (mostly because of choc chips, even if still a bit mushy inside, possibly not completely cooked).
An hour and a half later, tummy cramps and rather voluminous vomiting. No breathing issues, no visible hives, no noticeable swelling. Half an hour later, more spirited vomiting. When done, we gave him a spoonful of Benadryl and he slept well through the night (with baby monitor and occasional spot-checks, of course).

encouraging in that only vomiting, not anaphylaxis, and is willing to try again.
also optimistic about future options: yolk and white separately, and fully baked-in.
however, we do have a slight reservation in that exposure can sometimes increase the allergic response in very allergic cases (which optimistically we aren't anymore) and the quality of life and peace of mind will be worth it.


coconut chicken

sounds like an interesting meal option to try next time I have a can of coconut milk open:
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 fl oz (1/4 cup) coconut milk
2 tbsp fresh, whole wheat breadcrumbs
2 tsp shredded coconut

Marinate the chicken breast in coconut milk in the refrigerator for a few hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 deg F (190 deg C).
Combine the breadcrumbs and coconut in a bowl.
Remove the chicken from the coconut milk and shake off any excess liquid.
Coat the chicken thoroughly with the breadcrumb mixture.
Pour the remaining coconut milk marinade into a small oven-proof dish and place the chicken breast on top.
Bake in the oven for around 45 mins until cooked through.
adapted from: http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com/can-babies-eat-coconut.html


chocolate icing

basic recipe thanks to M&M

3 tbsp butter substitute
3 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp hot water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups icing sugar


near-incident at a school event

School organized an outdoor event (winter olympiad) and, unbeknownst to us, had a hot chocolate station to help keep the kids warm. My wife found out because she happened to be there, and inquired about the ingredients. "Oh they're safe, we checked." Good thing my wife double-checked, as one of the main ingredients was "modified milk ingredients" and there was a "may contain traces of eggs" warning.
She called me to whip up some home-made hot chocolate and rush it over to the school, then told the office she wanted to meet with the principal to discuss.

One week later without news, I dropped in at the VP's office, who apparently was just about to call me. She had the box with her and didn't realize "modified milk ingredients" was milk. (?!) She also hadn't read far enough to see the egg warning. (??!!)
After a "friendly" little chat, I sent the P and VP an email reminding them of the seriousness of ingredient-awareness for all people with allergies, of the board's anaphylaxis policy, and offered to help them meet the policy's requirements for prevention planning in the next week or two. I hope they'll take me up on that offer.


Vegan Banana Maple Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from original recipe at http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2010/02/banana-maple-oatmeal-cookies.html.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Prep the egg subst

  • 1 tsp ground chia seeds or 2 tsp egg replacer powder or 2 tsp. ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons water
In a small mixing bowl, combine the chia seeds (or egg replacer or flaxseed) with the water and set aside until thickened (no waiting is necessary if packaged egg replacer is used.)

Prep the dry mixture

  • 1 cup regular or quick oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dairy and nut-free trail mix
Mix the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Add the raisins.

Prep the wet mixture

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Add the maple syrup, vanilla, mashed banana, and lemon juice to the egg subst and combine well.

Combine and bake

Pour into the dry mixture and stir well - but don’t overmix. Drop 18 heaping tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Flatten each cookie slightly with a fork. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until bottoms and sides are lightly brown. Cool for a few minutes on a wire rack before serving.


Servings: 18
Yield: 18 cookies
Because they contain no fat, these cookies are softer the day they are made and chewier the next day. If you prefer them soft, warm your day-old cookies in the microwave for a few seconds.


Media Advisory - Consumer and health advocates to call on PM to listen

from http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2011/01/c6957.html

Media Advisory - Consumer and health advocates to call on Prime Minister to listen to people at risk of life-threatening reactions, not just brewery industry on proposed food labelling regulations

TORONTO, Feb. 1 /CNW/ - Stalling by the federal government and last minute opposition by the powerful brewery industry are putting important proposed changes to Canada's food labelling laws at risk. The proposed regulations will make it easier for millions of Canadians affected by food allergy and celiac disease to know if there are ingredients in food or beverage products that could hurt, or worse, kill them.
As a result of this challenge to an important government initiative in support of public health, medical professionals, allergy groups, consumer activists and concerned Canadians are calling on the Prime Minister to show leadership and place the public interest over that of a private industry. They will be countering arguments in favour of an exemption to the regulations for the brewery industry and releasing important new information in support of passing the proposed regulations.


      Laurie Harada, Executive Director, Anaphylaxis Canada
Jim McCarthy, Executive Director, Canadian Celiac Association
Dr. Charles Frankish, Allergist


oatmeal-rhubarb bars

adapted from original recipe posted at: http://www.astray.com/recipes/?show=Oatmeal-rhubarb%20bars and review at (http://www.vegalicious.org/2009/06/17/review-rhubarb-oat-bars/)

Yield: 24 Servings

1 cup (225 gr) Sugar
2 teaspoons Cornstarch
1 cup Water
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • Combine sugar, cornstarch, water and vanilla; cook till thick and clear (probably >20 minutes). 

Crumb mixture
1 cup (110 gr) All-purpose flour
¾ cup rolled oats
200 gr (1 cup) Brown sugar; packed
115 gr (½ cup) safe margarine (e.g., vegan becel or lactose-free celeb); unsalted if possible
4 cups Rhubarb, cut in 1/2" pieces
  • Crumb mixture:  Mix flour, oatmeal, brown sugar and butter until crumbly. 
  • Press half of this mixture into greased 9" pan. Add rhubard.
  • Pour sauce over rhubarb. Top with other half crumb mixture.
  • Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.
  • Allow the cookies to cool overnight and solidify (else they are more like a crunch or crumble and should be eaten in a bowl).
Note : for the sauce, can use a bit less brown sugar, a bit less sugar, and add a teaspoon of ginger.