baking with food allergies & sensitivities

One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is the holiday baking! For the past three years, I have devoted entire days just to bake. I was determined this year to find recipes that would cater to my nutritional needs (i.e., gluten free, egg yolk free, soy free, etc.) but that still tasted good! With the help from a few blogs, I succeeded and would love to share my finds! 

Gluten Free Florentines
I adapted this recipe from oh she glows. I followed the recipe exactly with the exception of substituting real butter for non-dairy butter and maple syrup for brown rice syrup. I also used Enjoy Life soy free chocolate chips since these are the ONLY ones out there without soy lecithin. I love the flavor from the orange zest and the crunch from the almonds in these cookies. And they just look fancy. Always a plus. They freeze well too! 

Chocolate Walnut Squares & Peanut Butter Cups
On the left we have chocolate walnut squares. I used egg whites instead of whole eggs, and they turned out great. I also used melted coconut oil and palm sugar. They have lots of healthy ingredients but don't taste like a healthy treat... they are amazing frozen! 

And then I made peanut butter cups (using Enjoy Life soy free chocolate chips). Super easy with only three ingredients, and they are also fabulous as a frozen treat! 

Frosted Sugar Cookies 
Last but not least: SUGAR COOKIES. My absolute favorite Christmas treat. I had low expectations for these, considering they don't have a lot of extra flavor to compensate for the gluten free flour. I used this recipe from kumquat (one of my favorite GF blogs). Instead of making her gluten free flour mixture, I used Bob's Red Mill GF all purpose flour. I also used 3 TB egg whites instead of a whole egg. I tasted the dough, and it definitely tasted different... Not bad, but different. But after they were baked, they were SO GOOD!!! I was (and still am) SO excited. Even Brian approved. They taste just as good as regular sugar cookies to me! 

I used my normal glaze icing which is roughly: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 TB light corn syrup, 1 TB milk. I didn't spend as much time as I normally do decorating them with different colors of icing. Instead, I just used white icing and sprinkles. 

All of these cookies are good enough to take to parties or to share with company. I wouldn't even feel the need to tell them they're gluten free because they taste so completely normal. My goal this Christmas was to make treats that were "okay" for me to eat so that I wouldn't be tempted by "not okay" options. 

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