Jeanne Rudnicki of Rockford alerted me last month to her daughter-in-law Kelly Rudnicki, whose food allergy cookbook and Web site were getting national attention.
Kelly Rudnicki's food allergy cookbook and Web site are getting national attention.
“The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book” was released this year by the Wilmette, Ill., mom of four (soon to be five) children: Chloe, 9, John, 7, Matthew, 4, David, 3, and a boy due in February.
She says John is the only child in the family who has food allergies.
“When my son was diagnosed shortly before his first birthday, I searched everywhere for the perfect birthday cake recipe that was dairy-, egg- and nut-free,” Kelly wrote in an e-mail. “The cake I made was a disaster and had no taste. It became my mission to make my own recipes that not only my son could safely eat, but that I would want to eat as well.”
The self-proclaimed sweets addict says her favorite recipes from the book are for Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pumpkin Bread and Carrot Cake. Her kids each have their favorites, too.
“Since I love to eat sweets it was a true joy to write this book,” she wrote. “I loved developing recipes and have my children taste-test everything. All the kids in my neighborhood also tested and enjoyed my recipes, and none of them have allergies.
“Some recipes were easier to get right than others, and some were downright failures. But I think my background as a journalist helped me to be tenacious enough to keep working on recipes until they were absolutely perfect.”
The cookbook includes large photos with most recipes, as well as lists of Kelly’s favorite allergy-free ingredients and baking tools, tips on baking and hosting parties with children who may have allergies, and ingredient substitutions.
Kelly has appeared on WGN-TV in Chicago to promote the book, and her Web site, foodallergymama.com, was a “Web site we love” in FamilyFun magazine’s September issue.
She says response to the book so far has been “overwhelmingly positive. I get e-mails and comments posted on my blog every day saying how these recipes have changed their family’s life. ... I’ve even had a few parents write me to say they never thought they’d see the day when their children would get to eat a doughnut.”
She’s now developing new recipes for foodallergymama.com and thinking toward the next cookbook.
Contact Kelly at email@example.com.
Some recipes from “The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book,” reprinted with permission:
Chocolate Chip Cookies
2/3 cup dairy-free shortening, such as Crisco, Earth Balance or Spectrum Organic
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon best-quality vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the shortening, sugars, applesauce and vanilla until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Add the flour mixture to the shortening mixture, and stir until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Use a cookie scooper to place the batter onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely on the baking sheet. Yields 2 dozen cookies.
(adapted from Jeanne Rudnicki’s recipe)
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 15-ounce container creamy soy nut butter
6 cups crisped rice cereal
2 cups dairy-free chocolate chips
Spray a 13x9x2-inch baking pan generously with dairy-free baking spray. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, boil the corn syrup and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the soy nut butter until thoroughly combined. In a large bowl, combine the cereal and the soy nut butter mixture, and press the batter into the prepared baking dish.
Place the chocolate chips into a microwaveable dish and heat on high 45 to 60 seconds, or until melted. Using an offset spatula, spread the melted chocolate over the batter. Let the mixture cool completely at room temperature, and cut into 1-inch squares.
Tip: Add more rice cereal if you like a crunchier bar, and less if you want your Snickeroos to be chewier. Yields about 36 squares.
Rockford Register Star