Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Cookies He CAN Eat

Unfortunately, I can’t give my kids many of my favorite Christmas cookies from when I was a kid … peanut butter kisses, gingerbread cookies, fudge, or sugar cookies. Most of the cookie recipes call for an egg or two (or evaporated milk or cream cheese). I could use the Ener-G egg replacer, but for some reason I haven’t used it much.

But I am happy to say that I do have some yummy recipes to share with you. Big Guy, Little Guy and I made both of these cookies this weekend. (Thanks to my sister-in-law for the butterscotch shortbread recipe! We’ve been enjoying it for 2 years now.)

Butterscotch Shortbread

½ cup margarine, softened
½ cup shortening
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Beat butter, shortening and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour and salt. (Dough will be dry and crumbly; use hands to mix completely.)

Roll dough into rectangle, 15 X 7 inches, on lightly floured surface. Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares, or use cookie cutters to make shapes. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 25 minutes or until set. (These cookies brown very little, and the shape does not change.) Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Note: I don't have the patience to frost and decorate these after dealing with all the work of cut-outs, so I sprinkle green and red sprinkles on them before they go in the oven.

The next recipe, Holiday Oatmeal Cookie Brittle, was new to me. I found it on the Quaker Oats Web site when I was looking for info for my last blog entry, Ghiradelli Chocolate Chips (which happen to be dairy-free). I did use white chocolate chips for the marble effect, even though they contain some milk. I know Big Guy can tolerate that little bit of milk and I decided to give it a try for Little Guy. There are so few white chocolate chips in it and I don’t expect Little Guy to be eating large amounts of these treats.

(That is the strange thing about food allergies. Every person is so unique. It’s not always black and white … although for some people, it is black and white—any bit of the allergen can have severe effects.)

Another idea to make these cookies look fancy/Christmasy if you want or need to skip the white chocolate chips is to use other decorations, such as red and green sprinkles. The chocolate chips are really the main source of sweetness.

Holiday Oatmeal Cookie Brittle

2 cups Quaker oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small pieces (I used Miracle Margarine)
1 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (12 oz.) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup white chocolate pieces

Edible gold dust (optional) (No, I did not use this stuff.)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line two large cookie sheets with aluminum foil.
2. In large bowl, combine oats, flour and baking powder. Add butter. Beat on low to medium speed of electric mixer until crumbly. Add powdered sugar, brown sugar, water and vanilla. Beat on low speed until dough forms.
3. Divide dough in half. Place one-half on one cookie sheet; flatten with lightly floured hands into 13 x 9-inch rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. Repeat using remaining dough and second cookie sheet. (The Boys LOVED this part!!)
4. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until golden brown, rotating cookie sheets after 12 minutes. Remove cookie sheets to wire racks.
5. Sprinkle 1 cup dark chocolate pieces evenly over each large, warm cookie. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes. With spatula or knife, spread softened chocolate evenly over cookies. Sprinkle white chocolate pieces evenly over smooth chocolate on both cookies; let stand 2 to 3 minutes. With the tip of a knife, run through the white chocolate pieces, dragging them into the dark chocolate, making marble-like streaks. Sprinkle with gold dust, if desired. Cool completely. (Refrigerate 15 minutes to set chocolate, if necessary.)
6. Remove large cookies from cookie sheet and peel off foil. Break each into 24 pieces. Store tightly covered in a cool place.
I will stay on the look-out for Christmas cookie recipes that are okay for people who allergic to dairy, egg, peanut and tree nuts, but I’d also love to know if any of you have any recipes to share!!!

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