The Holiday Guide to an Allergy Aware Cookie Swap
With the holiday season in full swing, many of us find ourselves with a full calendar, and perhaps a few hours blocked off for holiday baking. Whether you’re bringing tins of cookies to a school, a family gathering, or a friend’s house for an afternoon party, there is sure to be someone with a food allergy who is looking for a safe treat. Here’s a few pointers for a safe cookie swap.
Start with a Fresh Slate
We know we need to wash bowls, cutting boards and knives to remove bacteria from things like raw eggs and meat, but we also need to deep clean these items to rid proteins that cause allergic reactions. Be sure to wash cookie sheets, spoons, mixers, and rolling pins with warm soapy water. Rinse well and allow to air dry. If you are using a porous surface, like a wooden cutting board or rolling pin, wrap it in plastic wrap to prevent cross contamination. Line cookie trays with parchment paper to prevent sticking, and to make sure your cookies bake on a sterile surface. Also, bake your allergy aware desserts first, and once they’re stored, move on to the rest of the baking.
Read the Labels, Check Them Twice
You can never be too sure what’s in a package, so be sure to check the ingredient label and ‘contains statement’ before each baking session. Manufacturers can change facilities (add nuts to their lines), alter a recipe, or add ingredients at any time, so even if you have used a product in the past it is important to double check the label. If you are baking for someone with an allergy, ensure all your ingredients do not contain that allergen and are not processed on shared equipment with the allergen.
Opt for an Allergy Aware Brand
It can be hard to find sweets that are free of peanuts and tree nuts and that don’t come from a factory that processes these ingredients. Brands like Enjoy Life are free of the Top 8 Allergens (wheat, egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, soy), making them a great choice for add-ins like chocolate chips, or for a sealed ready to eat cookie.
Get Your Swap On
Just as you swap veggie stock for chicken, you can swap ingredients in your baked goods. Try sunflower seed butter in place of peanut butter, rice milk chocolate chips in place of milk chocolate, or canola oil in place of butter. A quick internet search can provide simple conversions to make allergy aware baking a breeze.
We hope these tips help ensure a safe cookie season for all. Cheers to happy baking!