'Peanut Allergy Princess' is the story of one mom, one Princess with food allergies (to peanuts and brazil nuts) and our journey through the stress of life with food allergies. Here you will find many recipes, tips on living (and enjoying life) with food allergies, thoughts from a mother of 3 kids (The Brothers and The Princess) and insights into our life. Welcome!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bars

Christmas can be a very hard time of year for kids (and adults too!) with food allergies. With all the holiday parties, neighbor treats and goodies that are passed out everywhere -it seems,  there is often so much that isn't safe to eat. Being that The Princess is still young, we haven't yet had to deal with her feeling left out because she can't eat the treats that are brought, given, etc... It also helps that most people in my neighborhood know that we (my family) are trying to be more health conscious and eat less sugar (I think some people think I am anti-sugar!) and processed foods in general and so we don't get many treats brought to us - which annoys The Brothers sometimes. Maybe one day they will be grateful. But that is another story. 

I have a friend who has told me that her daughter sometimes has a hard time with her allergies and the restrictions that come with them, especially around the holidays. Every time the door would ring, she would hurry to answer it, hoping that just one time it would be something that she could eat. But, it usually wasn't. Of course my friend would have safe treats available to give her daughter so she wouldn't be completely left out, but that just isn't the same, especially for a child.

In case you have experienced this as well, I am coming to the rescue. My next few posts will be Christmas "treats" that (most importantly) are safe, but are also delicious! All the non-allergy folks will be wanting to eat them too.

This first recipe is a twist on my basic egg-less sugar cookie recipe. We love sugar cookies here at our house but they can be time consuming. Baking them in "bar" form makes it so much faster yet they are still just as delicious. Smashed candy canes on top add a festive holiday look. Plus, sometimes it is super fun to smash things - especially if you are a bit stressed by your holiday schedule and need to hit something!

*Note: these are NOT healthy in any sense of the word. I'm sure you can sub out the white flour for whole grain flour (like wonder flour or even spelt flour) but I haven't tried it yet. I also used butter and straight up refined sugar when making the ones pictured, but coconut oil and raw sugar would work just as well. In my defense, I took them to a Christmas party at our church and I wanted to make sure they would turn out. One day I will try and 'healthify' them.

Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bars

1 1/2 cups butter (or coconut oil)

1 1/4 cups sugar (or raw sugar)

3 Tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 9 Tbsp. water

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3 oz. cream cheese (or tofutti, if there is a dairy allergy)

5 1/2 cups flour

3 tsp baking soda


3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup butter (or coconut oil), softened

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 to 2 Tbsp water (or non-dairy milk)

1/2 tsp peppermint extract (optional)

3-4 peppermint candy canes, crushed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray bottom of 9X13 inch pan (or line with parchment paper); set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (trust me, you will want to use one for this), cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in flax seeds mixed with water, vanilla, and cream cheese; mixing well after each addition.

In separate bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Gradually add to the dough in the stand mixer.

Spread evenly in prepared dish, smoothing top. Bake until light golden brown or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Place pan on wire rack to cool completely.

While bars are cooling, make frosting.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar until almost granular. Gradually stir in vanilla and water (adding more water to reach desired consistency). Add in peppermint extract, if using. Beat until smooth and fluffy.

When the bars are completely cool (I had to put mine outside in the freezing cold to hurry up this process; don't worry, they were covered! The frosting doesn't spread well if they are warm at all),  cover them in icing, sprinkle with crushed candy canes and cut into bars.

Recipe inspired by The Busty Baker


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