Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Happy Easter - the "sneaky" bunny brought a few treats ;)
Last Easter was a food-allergy disaster. The youngest obviously did not have candy, but my then-two-year-old daughter had both mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and a chocolate bunny, and her cheeks broke out in a horrible rash. Her mood totally changed and I was determined to not repeat the same mistake as last year.
However, I also worry about being too cautious and vigilant about sugar, so I decided that if they were going to have sugar and chocolate, it would be as un-processed as possible with a little bit of nutritional value.
I used the same "baskets" they had last year with the little plastic eggs, and shredded colored construction paper in our paper shredder. I put little ziplock snack bags full of dried cranberries, papaya, pineapple, and raisins from the Whole Foods Bulk Food section in the little plastic eggs. Then I stayed up late and baked some Easter Sugar Cookies and Chocolate Biscotti (at the request of my husband). The kids liked the dried fruit and sugar cookies...we let them decorate the sugar cookies with coconut frosting (no dairy) Easter afternoon. The kids didn't like the Chocolate Biscotti, but my husband did!
Easter Sugar Cookies (adapted from "Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook"):
2/3 c. shortening (Spectrum palm-vegetable only)
3/4 c. sugar (I used natural cane sugar, a less-refined, less-sweet version from Whole Foods called "Florida Crystals")
1 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 2 T. rice milk
1 t. vanilla
1 c. quinoa flour
1 c. oat flour
Beat shortening & sugar with an electric mixer until well-mixed, then beat in egg replacer and vanilla. Then I mixed in the baking powder and flour with a wooden spoon. I shaped the dough into a ball and chilled for about 30 min. Then I rolled it out, using more flour if necessary, cut out my egg and bunny shapes, and baked at 375 degress for about 7 minutes (watch carefully, how long you bake will depend on how thick your cookies are). I tried to make mine at least 1/4 in thick, because any thinner they'll be too crispy or fall apart.
I love the coconut frosting from "Vegan with a Vengeance." It uses shortening, coconut milk, powdered sugar, and shredded coconut. Yes, we used food coloring - though I know this isn't always considered "safe" - it was a fun special treat.