When you or someone you love has a peanut or tree nut allergy you may struggle to find chocolate treats. As I was shopping for Valentine’s Day treats for my mom’s treat box to mail to her, I came across Sixlets. We had a phone conversation about them just the day before because I bought pink ones for baby girl’s upcoming birthday party. My mom said she had never seen any so when I found them in the dollar bin at my local Target, I had to add them to her Vanlentine box. I also bought a bag for Baby Girl because it is safe for her and chocolate flavored. (Hey, beggars can’t be choosers, right?)
What I found amusing is the wording of the allergy label, “Made in a facility that does not process nuts.” It was the first time I had seen a label with that particular wording and I read it several times because it threw me off. Usually, I see “Made in a Peanut Free Facility” or “May Contain Peanuts or Tree Nuts.” It seemed peculiar to me but it just points out that there is really no standard format for allergen labeling by the FDA when it concerns cross-contamination. Many manufacturers include a warning that the facility does process allergens but it is not required to do so. The FDA requires labeling only if the product contains an allergen as an ingredient. So for now, I am thankful for all those companies that include allergy advisory labels.
And Sixlets are pretty tasty too!
Yesterday I posted my experience with Pillsbury Gluten Free Cookie Dough. Today, I will talk about my experience with the Pillsbury Gluten Free Pizza Dough. When we were nons (a non allergy family) I would make a kick-butt BBQ chicken pizza using Publix pizza dough. If you haven’t tried it and like to make homemade pizza, I implore you to try Publix’s pizza dough which can be found in the refrigerator case in the bakery. It is more than just a conduit for cheesey, sausey goodness. The Publix dough is tasty, soft and bubbles up nicely. Dare I say that it is better than many frozen pizza crusts out there that can taste a bit like cardboard. In short it is yum, but like 99% of things sold in any grocery store bakery my daughter, who has a peanut and tree nut allergy, cannot eat it. Those pesky warning lables always remind us that anything in the bakery may have come in contact with peanut and/or tree nuts and we always err on the side of caution. After buying Pillsbury’s gluten free cookie dough and being happy with it, I was happy to see Pillsbury has gluten free pizza dough. I made a cajun shrimp pizza with a creamy white sauce and the topping was delicious! The kids liked the crust especially my non-allergic son but my husband and I were not crazy about the crust. It was hard on the outer edges and gummy toward the center. The dough had a sweetness to it that I attribute to the tapioca starch, brown sugar, and rice flour which was somewhat pleasent but the texture was too much for me and I just ate the toppings off the crust.
In all fairness, it may be user error on my part. I used a pizza stone and the directions did not address the use of one. Also, the dough is very sticky out of the tub, reminiscent of cookie dough. The directions instruct you to oil your hands, the surface you roll the dough on and the dough itself. Perhaps I overdid it on the oil. The dough warms up quickly and gets even sticker then. It was unworkable at one point and like normal pie crust, I balled it up and put it back in the fridge to chill. Perhaps that rendered the death knell.
I might try it again, if I had a coupon. These gluten free products are not cheap…they run in the $4.00 – $5.00 price range depending on your region and store for a 15oz tub. I would not use the pizza stone this time and I wouldn’t re-chill the dough which means I would need to work quickly. Like I said, the kids enjoyed it and that would make it worth it. Perhaps mini pizzas for the kids would be a fun way to go.
It is worth a try and perhaps you’ll have better luck with it. If you try it, let me know how you like it!
It seems that now in virtually every Wal-Mart, Publix and Kroger one can find gluten free items in the most mundane of grocery stores. Our favorite and most trusted companies have begun manufacturing gluten free products for our ease and enjoyment, like Pillsbury’s new gluten free chocolate chip cookie dough and pizza dough. This became pretty important to me when my then 17 month old daughter was diagnosed as having a peanut and tree nut allergy. It has been a whirlwind learning experience (that is never over) and requires constant vigilance to read labels and ask questions. I am sure that at times I do look like Mad Eye Moody to our family members, waitresses, and whomever else tries to feed my daughter. What I have learned in the last year and a half is that many times, gluten free can be safe for peanut and tree nut allergy sufferers. This is not always the case so I highly recommend that with all products you must still read the label! With Lydia’s allergies I thought it would be nearly impossible for her to ever eat a chocolate chip cookie. If you or a loved one has a peanut and tree nut allergy then you know that chocolate in most of its normal encantations is made in a factory that also processes peanut or tree nuts. That means no chocolate chips. It was heartbreaking for me. My first word was “cookie” then “dada”. Priorities, I know! When I found the tub of gluten free chocolate chip cookie dough in the refrigerator section at the grocery store my heart skipped a beat and I really think I held my breath as I read through the ingredients and allergy warnings. As luck would have it, there were no warnings and that little tub found it’s way into my buggy and into my refrigerator. I have bought these cookies twice now and am pretty pleased. Are they a Nestle Toll House? Not exactly, but they are yummy and my nephews at Christmas ate up almost a whole batch and never seemed to notice. At Christmas, so much of what is a holiday tradition is not safe for my allergic girl and it was nice to have out a holiday treat that was safe for her and that the nons (what I call us with no allergies) enjoy as well. They can seem a bit grainy but overall the dough makes good cookies. They fooled my very picky nephews and were all gobbled up at Christmas. Depending on the size of your cookies, it makes just over a dozen. I usually use a cookie dough scoop or a tablespoon for drop cookies. My mom baked them this last time and was able to shape the dough into a log and slice the cookies, which gave us a bigger yield. I recommend that you try the gluten free cookie dough from Pillsbury and would love to hear how you liked it.