Growing up one of my favorite treats was something that we referred to as “pie crust.” I don’t exactly know how we landed on that name since actual pie crust is only made up of flour, salt, shortening and water and this is so much more. Anyways, I still call it pie crust. My grandma and mom would usually make it for us out of the scraps of pie crust that were left over after she made the pie. This has been one of the easiest recipes to convert to an allergy-free, vegan recipe. The only special things that you need to purchase to make this recipe is allergy-free butter (Earth Balance: soy-free) and allergy-free shortening (Spectrum).
This recipe is super easy to make and when you have a fun heart-shaped cookie cutter, it makes this dessert perfect for Valentine’s Day!! I always try to make holidays special for my little men and this one is no different as they can’t participate in the usual Valentine’s Day treats – candy, cupcakes, baked goods without the risk of an anaphylactic reaction. Valentine’s Day often gets overlooked mainly because it’s not associated with candy nearly as much as Halloween, but it needs our attention just as much if not more. Did you know that a recent survey showed that as many as one in three parents report that their children with life-threatening allergies have experienced anaphylaxis on Valentine’s Day? AND less than half of the parents talk to their food allergic child about the risks posed from physical contact related to Valentine’s Day (kissing). Don’t forget to talk to your kids about their allergies and remind them of the dangers. Mylan Specialty, the makers of EpiPen, issued a press release about the study and encourage parents of food allergic kids to engage in a pre-Valentine’s Day dialogue about their allergies. Check out their press release for dialogue advice and to see more results from the survey.
- 1 cup All Purpose Flour
- ½ tsp Salt
- ⅓ cup Shortening (Spectrum)
- 3-5 TBS Ice Cold Water
- Allergy Free Butter (Earth Balance: soy free)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt and shortening. With a fork, mix the shortening into the flour and salt until it crumbles into little pieces.
- Add 3-5 TBS of ice cold water and continue to mix until the dough forms a ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the dough. You'll need an even number of hearts (top and bottom).
- On the bottom heart, add a couple dabs of butter to the center being careful to leave an outer rim free.
- Sprinkle about 1 tsp. of sugar on top of butter and sprinkle cinnamon on top of sugar.
- Add the top heart and using a fork, press the edges together all the way around.
- Using a knife, cut two small slits in the top to allow the inside to breathe.
- Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes or until slightly brown
Be sure to read all of your labels. I have found many spices and other products (i.e. garlic powder) that includes additional ingredients like soy.
Known Allergy Information (containing the major 8): Wheat
If you are going gluten free, substitute a gluten free flour mix. Here is my favorite gluten-free substitute.
**Disclaimer: Please note that every child’s sensitivity to their given allergen(s) varies. Some of the items that I use do contain “natural flavoring” and “spices” which is hard to determine if it is 100% allergy free. You should always check with the manufacturer to confirm that your child can have their product(s). The products that I list are items that I’ve been using for awhile and have proven to be safe for my boys (their allergies are dairy, soy, egg, peanut, tree nut, fish, shellfish and sesame).**