Favorite Indulgences from a Food Allergy Mom

At my house, two of my three kids have food allergies. We try to manage meals and treats with a severe egg allergy, a milk allergy, and a wheat sensitivity. There’s no doubt that when you have food allergies to contend with, there are often a lot of sacrifices in flavor, and there are some things that you just can’t have. But, over the years, I have found some indulgences that taste awesome, whether you’ve got allergies or not! AND they manage to be allergy friendly, too. Here are a few of my favorites…

Indulgences 3
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free. Sorry, NOT nut-free and the chocolate chips I use are not soy-free.)

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
¼ cup apple sauce (Note: You can also use 1 egg instead of the applesauce. These very soft cookies are a little firmer with egg.)
½ cup Kirkland Signature brand chocolate chips
Note: This brand is only available at Costco. They are dairy-free, but you’d never know it from the taste. In fact, my mother-in-law had been using them for a long time and had no idea they were dairy-free! So, don’t worry when you buy the giant 5 pound bag. You’re going to want these cookies often enough to make it worth it. If you’re not a Costco member, you can sub any dairy-free chocolate chips. Or if you are not dairy-free, use whatever your favorite brand is.

Stir together all ingredients. Drop spoonfuls/scoops onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350. Let the cookies cool on the pan for several minutes before removing. That is, of course, if you manage to not eat all of the dough straight out of the bowl (which is totally safe, because there are no eggs). The dough is kind of irresistible, so…good luck with that!

Devil’s Food Cake

(Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)

For this one, start with a box mix – Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake. It’s pretty good if you follow the regular directions, but we’re going to make it awesome and indistinguishable from a cake that has all the good stuff in it.
1. Follow the directions on the box mix, including the really long mixing time. Except, you will make the following substitutions and addition:

a. The box mix calls for 3 eggs – substitute ¾ cup of applesauce.
Even if you don’t have an egg allergy or a vegan in the house, do this anyway. It is much moister with the applesauce than with the eggs.

No worries if you or your kiddo find the batter too tempting - there are no eggs in it! This little kiddo was devastated that we had to bake the batter and make cake. She wanted to eat the whole bowl of it!
No worries if you or your kiddo find the batter too tempting – there are no eggs in it! This little kiddo was devastated that we had to bake the batter and make cake. She wanted to eat the whole bowl of it!

b. The box mix calls for 1 stick of butter. Substitute 1 stick of Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine if you have a dairy allergy in the family.
c. After it’s thoroughly mixed, stir in ½ – ¾ cup of chocolate chips.  Just like with the cookies, I use Kirkland Signature brand because they are dairy-free but taste great.

2. Bake per the directions on the box.
3. Ice the cake with Pillsbury’s Cream Cheese Icing, which is one of the only kinds of store bought dairy-free icing that I have found that actually tastes good. I also love the irony of something that calls itself cream cheese, but is dairy-free.
4. Enjoy a moist and delicious cake that no one will ever guess is gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free.

Birthday cake that our whole family could enjoy!
Birthday cake that our whole family could enjoy!

Gluten-Free “Pizza”

(Gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free)

This is actually a recipe for pizza dip rather than regular pizza. But, when you can’t have regular pizza because of the crust, it’s a pretty great crustless substitute. It was a family favorite in my husband’s family long before we had to worry about making gluten-free foods for my son. I make it for parties all the time and there is never even a single bite left.

1 8 oz package of cream cheese (softened in the microwave)
1 jar of Ragu Pizza Sauce
¼ cup of very finely chopped onion
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
pepperoni sliced into quarters
any other pizza toppings of your choice
Fritos Scoops

1. Spread the cream cheese across the bottom of a 13×9 pan. You can soften the cream cheese in the microwave to make it spread easier.
2. Spread the sauce on top of the cream cheese.
3. Spread the onion into the sauce.
4. Sprinkle the cheese over the top.
5. Place the pepperoni and any other toppings piece by piece.
6. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes until cheese is melted and gooey.
7. Try to wait long enough to not burn your mouth before scarfing down the deliciousness with some Fritos Scoops.

Laura is a mom of three who works full-time from home as a Development Director for a children’s charity. Laura grew up in Maryland, spent her 20s living in Southern California and South Carolina, and has spent her 30s and now 40s in Iowa, moving to Iowa City in 2010. Laura loves dancing, reading, baking, and music. She and her husband Ryan started dating in college (gasp – over 20 years ago!) and they have been sharing life’s adventures ever since. Their biggest adventure is, of course, parenthood. With three kids, the action is non-stop - which is just the way Laura likes it.


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