Kids With Food Allergies Celebrates 11th Birthday
By Kathy Przywara
When my almost 19-year-old daughter developed multiple food allergies as an infant, I thought I could handle things on my own. I started hanging out on an online newsgroup. In early 2000, a member named Lynda Mitchell posted about a new Yahoo Group for Parents of Food Allergic Kids (POFAK). But I was still doing okay on my own. When my son came along and was allergic to even more foods, I was soon out of my league. I decided to check out the POFAK Yahoo Group in June 2000. I remember thinking, “I found my tribe!”
Over the years, many members came and went, but there was always a core group ready to share tips, a recipe or a shoulder to cry on. Recipes were king! There were not a lot of “specialty” products back then. Tried and true recipes for cooking from scratch were like gold. Sharing a recipe meant knowing a child would have a safe treat or a family would have a tasty dinner. It meant feeling “normal.”
In 2004, Lynda had the vision to start Kids With Food Allergies (KFA), which would have support forums, recipes and other resources. Many of us from that core group on POFAK became the volunteers that would help launch KFA on February 28, 2005. I was excited to work with a team of volunteers to organize a new collection of recipes. A searchable recipe database just for food allergies was mind blowing at that time! And 11 years later, Safe Eats ™ is still the best place to find allergy-friendly recipes.
KFA is a now division of a larger organization, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Lynda Mitchell is AAFA’s Chief Operating Officer and I am the Community Manager for AAFA’s asthma and food allergy communities. Our organization has grown so much, but we always celebrate KFA’s humble beginning. We remember how it began with a vision and a dedicated group of volunteers.
So, how does KFA celebrate its birthday today? Nowadays we have many more allergy-friendly food choices. Allergy aware companies like So Delicious® Dairy Free offer convenient products for people with milk allergy and more. This year, I am celebrating with an allergy-friendly skillet cookie topped with dairy-free ice cream and caramel sauce!
The gooey chocolate chunk cookie can be free of the top 8 allergens. It can be baked in two 5-inch cast iron skillets or one 8-inch skillet. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, use any 8- or 9-inch round pan. While the cookie is baking, make a super easy caramel sauce using So Delicious® Dairy Free French Vanilla Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer. Making candy can be intimidating, but this one doesn’t even need a thermometer. Top the still warm cookie with scoops of your favorite safe ice cream─I used So Delicious® Dairy Free Turtle Trails─and warm caramel sauce. Dish up the yumminess, pass around the spoons and dig in!
3 oz dairy-free margarine, softened
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
2 Tbsp applesauce
1 Tbsp So Delicious® Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour mix¹
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup dairy-free chocolate chunks²
Preheat oven to 350°F
Prepare your pan(s) by lightly oiling. You can use two 5-inch cast iron pans, one 8-inch cast iron pan, or any heavy 8- or 9-inch pan. I set my pan(s) on a parchment lined baking sheet to make it easy to move into and out of the oven.
Measure out dry ingredients into a small bowl. Stir to combine well.
Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add applesauce, milk alternative and vanilla. Mix well. Add in half of the dry ingredients and mix. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until almost all combined.
Stir in chocolate chunks and mix until combined. Do not over mix.
Spread dough evenly into pan. Be sure to spread it to the edges and smooth the top.
Bake 20 minutes for 5-inch pans. Bake 30-35 minutes for 8- or 9-inch pans. Cookie will be puffed up and golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Top with scoops of your favorite So Delicious® dairy-free ice cream and French Vanilla Dairy-Free Caramel Sauce (recipe below).
- I use a "light" gluten-free flour mix such as Kathy P's All-Purpose Rice Flour Mix.
Or you can use:
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup potato starch or cornstarch
If you do not need to avoid wheat/gluten, replace sorghum flour, all-purpose gluten-free flour mix and xanthan gum with:
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Use any chocolate chips or chunks that are safe for you.
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
2 Tbsp agave or brown rice syrup
1/2 cup So Delicious® French Vanilla Coconut Creamer
1/2 tsp vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pot with tall sides.
Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Continue to boil over medium-low heat for 10 minutes stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Pour into glass jar or other heatproof container. Immediately wash the pot.
Cool slightly before using. Refrigerate unused portion for up to 5 days. Rewarm gently before using.
Candy can be intimidating, but this easy recipe doesn't even need a candy thermometer.
Be sure to us a small diameter pot with tall sides. The syrup with bubble up. You want to keep it at a boil for the entire time. Adjust the heat so that it doesn't boil over, but keeps boiling.
Do not stir while the caramel sauce is cooling or your sauce will become grainy.