Having a chronic medical condition can be daunting and scary for anyone, but for children it can be overwhelming. For my youngest two on strict exclusion diets (and the many others I know on similar or worse) and with many eating-related symptoms they often need to feel they have some control in their lives. Some like my youngest son refuse to eat, some comfort eat, some eat non-foods, some just bottle up their feelings and suffer in silence. But food can STILL be fun, it's just a lot harder to achieve and needs a bit more inspiration.
With so many "can't have"s it's vital they feel they have some say in what they CAN have, so we decided to tackle an essential part of children's diet - BISCUITS lol !!
I've long stuck to my favourite shortbread biscuit recipe which is here. It works fairly well, you can alter the fat and the flour to suit but is a little dry and crumbly. It doesn't always hold together well for decorating either, which (as my twins pointed out earlier) is absolutely essential. Or so they thought.
So, today we tried an alternative. "Animal Cookies" (or any other cutters your choose tbh) from Antonia Savill's book "Allergy Free Cooking for Kids".
2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
300g gluten free flour mix
1/2 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
185g safe margarine
130g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 heaped teaspoon gluten free baking powder mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons cold pressed sunflower oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons water
Preheat Oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5
Mix the arrowroot, flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
Cream the margarine, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Beat the baking powder, oil and water mixture into it and gradually blend in the flour mixture.
Roll and cut your cookies, and transfer to non stick baking trays. Bake for approx 8 mins and allow to cool on wire racks after.
I have to say, although more complicated to make the dough was much easier to use and the children enjoyed actually being able to roll it out and cut their favourite shapes. Older brother was even caught in the act of stealing some cookie dough and was really surprised it was gluten free - and still tasted good!!
I did have to add flour to roll the dough before cutting however, as it was a bit sticky to work with before that. I suspect this didn't help our finished result which was sadly pretty dry. The biscuits broke less, but when it comes to taste, my recipe won.
I wouldn't discount either however, as enjoying making something you are safe to eat is really important, and the twins preferred handling the dough in the new recipe. It tasted really good when "raw" too! They can decorate them with safe icing tomorrow and can admire their efforts - but neither was keen on the hard, dry taste.
Looks like I will be making some more of mine tomorrow then!!!
This is my "Recipe of the Week" because sometimes playing with your food MATTERS! :)