Allergy friendly gingerbread recipe

Despite our daughter’s allergies I want her to experience all the things that other children do including baking. Of course this means we need to be extra cautious and she can only bake with the ingredients that suit for her so regular cookies which include butter and eggs just won’t work, her hands would get just swollen and itchy plus the risk she would eat the mix scares us as we do not want to use the adrenaline pen unless necessary.

Last week I felt like Finnish Christmas cookies which are gingerbread biscuits. I googled a lot to get the best recipe, the most allergy friendly one but I could not find a good one so I decided to try my own. It worked super well, so here you go. If you want to do some dairy and egg free gingerbread biscuits for allergic kids this recipe is great. If you want to bake them just for some other reasons preferring vegan/dairy free diet this works perfectly then too! You cannot tell they are dairy and egg free!

My little daughter absolutely loved baking the biscuits!

gingerbread

Makes three oven trays of biscuits:

3/4dl (a bit less than 1 cup) dark syrup (treacle syrup in the UK and in OZ)

1 dl (1/2 cup) sugar

Gingerbread spice: 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground cardamom, 1 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp ground ginger

125g dairy free margarin (I used sunflower margarin in the UK, in Finland you can use Keiju dairy free margarin.)

4 1/2 dl (2 1/4 cup) white flour

1 tsp no-egg powder mixed with 2 tsp water (You get this from Waitrose or Ocado in the UK and from Punnitse ja Saasta store in Finland. This is ORGRAN Australian product so available anywhere in OZ.)

2 tsp baking soda

1. Prepare the gingerbread spice

2. Cook syrup, sugar and dairy free margarin with gingerbread spice in the sauce pan until nice and shiny brown.

3. When the liquid is nice and brown take it away from the heat and mix in the no-egg.

4. Mix flour and baking soda together and add into the syrup mix.

5. Knead well.

6. Use flour when baking if needed.

7. Bake for 6-9 minutes in 175 celsius degrees.

ENJOY! Works well with blue cheese like Stilton on top -this is a Finnish style to eat them 🙂

Chewy double chocolate cookies -Suklaacookiet

ImageYesterday I asked from my dear Aussie husband what he fancies as I felt like baking. He responded straight away by saying chocolate cookies but chewy not crunchy ones. Well that was an interesting request. I am not a big fan of cookies myself and definitely not chewy ones, I like crunchy ones so I had to start hunting the recipe from the internet. I ended up trying Nigella’s recipe and it turned out to be really good. I hope you enjoy these tasty cookies too 🙂

12 cookies:

125g dark chocolate

2dl (1cup) white flour

1/2dl (1/4cup) coco powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

125g butter

1dl (1/2 cup) soft brown sugar

1/2dl (1/4 cup) white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

50-100g dark chocolate chunks

1. Preheat the oven to 170 celsius degrees.  Mix flour, baking soda, salt and coco powder together.

2. Melt 125g chocolate.

3. Whisk butter and sugars until creamy. Add the melted chocolate.

4. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.

5. Mix with the flour mix.

6. Add chocolate chunks and mix well.

7. Form approximately 12 cookies on the tray.

8. Bake for 18 minutes.

ENJOY!

Kysyin eilen ihanaiselta Aussimieheltäni mitä hänen tekisi mieli, sillä olin leipomistuulella. Hän tuumasi hetken ja totesi, suklaacookieita, mutta sellaisia sitkeitä ei rapsakoita. En itse ole mikään suuri cookieiden ystävä, joten minulla ei reseptiarkistossa ollut sopivaa ohjetta. Lähdin siis metsästämään internetistä sellaista. Päädyin Nigellan reseptiin ja sitä hieman mukaillen leivoin seuraavalla ohjeella suklaacookieita. Olivat super hyviä!

12 keksiä:

125g tummaa suklaata

2dl jauhoja

1/2dl kaakajauhetta

1 tl ruokasoodaa

1/2 tl suolaa

125g butter

1dl ruskeaa sokeria ( intiaanisokeria)

1/2dl valkoista sokeria

1 tl vaniljatiivistettä

1 muna

50-100g suklaapaloja

1. Lämmitä uuni 170 asteeseen. Sekoita keskenään jauhot, sooda, suola ja kaakaojauhe.

2. Sulata 125g suklaata.

3. Vatkaa sokerit ja voi vaahdoksi. Lisää sulatettu suklaa.

4.Vatkaa sekaan muna ja vaniljatiiviste.

5. Sekoita jauhoseos sekaan.

6. Lisää suklaapalat seokseen.

7. Muotoile n. 12 cookieta uunilevylle.

8. Paista 18 minuuttia.

Dairy free Anzac biscuits

KuvaI know it probably have become self evident that i love Anzac biscuits. My biggest challenge has been lately to replace all the dairy products with something else. I guess I have already mentioned my baby girl’s allergies. Well, whilst being on holidays in Finland which by the way has one of the most amazing health care systems you can possibly imagine, I got my baby allergy tested. It turned out that she is allergic to milk, soy, eggs, peanuts, sesame seeds plus something was detected regarding wheat and oat. This means that my diet for the following half an year whilst I am still breastfeeding should be dairy, egg, soy, gluten and nut free. Of course an occasional consumption in small amounts can be ok but still I wouldn’t risk it as if she gets a reaction nobody sleeps in our household.

Sadly I have noticed that UK does not provide the same level of replacements products as they do here in Northern Europe. We have such a fantastic selection of oat and rice replacements products for milk. We have oat and rice ice cream, we have several different flavoured oat yoghurt (even home brands produce these!!!!). I have gone through all the UK online stores and haven’t found oat yoghurts, rice creams or ice creams!!! Also in Finland we have lots of allergy friendly baby food otherwise like in the UK. So if anyone of you have an idea where I could get these please give me a hint!

I also have to admit that first time in my life I have seriously questioned my choice of living in the UK. Number one reason being health care, number two special dietary products for me and my tiny baby girl. I will always remember one of my clients who said to me just before I went on my maternity leave  ”Pia, I have visited Finland. It is the most amazing country in the world (this gentleman had traveled EVERYWHERE!). Before you can go and start your maternity leave, please explain to me what an earth are you doing in the UK? is it the bloody husband of yours who brought you here?”. Well as much I have enjoyed living in the UK health care and good quality food have become rather important to me lately. I still don’t know the answer to my client. Finland is amazing and I am so proud to be a Finn, somehow I just ended up in the UK. My husband did not drag me 🙂

I guess after my baby’s allergies have become milder and I can eat normally again I will be happy in the UK again. At the moment I, however, feel that it is a compromise not the best option I could have chosen if I am purely honest. I just have to make most of it now.

So, I placed an Ocado delivery with all the special products I was able to find (not many, but enough). This is quite tough time for me as I love good food. Giving up from all the things I love to eat has made me rather down. I have lost so much weight too and it does not seem to go up as easily as when eating pasta, cheese, cream and butter. Luckily here in Finland I have been eating so many berries and gotten nice carbs from there!

Below you can see my previous Anzac biscuit recipe modified for dairy and gluten (low gluten) free diet.

2dl porridge oats

2dl desiccated coconut

1 3/4dl  dark rice flour

1dl caster sugar

100g dairy free margarin

2 tbsp golden syrup

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1. Heat oven to 180 celsius degrees. Mix oats, coconut, flour and sugar in a bowl. Melt the margarin in a small pan and stir in the golden syrup.

2. Add the bicarbonate of soda to 2 tbsp boiling water, then stir into the golden syrup and margarin mixture.

3. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the butter and golden syrup mixture. Stir gently to incorporate the dry ingredients.

4. Bake in batches for 8-10 mins until golden.

THE SECRET IS When taken away from the oven pour golden syrup on the top of the each biscuit to add the flavour!!