Friday, September 17, 2010

Divvies Cookbook

Part of the fun about having a blog is when a publisher contacts me and asks me if I would be interested in reviewing their cookbook. Generally, I only like to offer favorable reviews to books that I truly enjoy. There have been some that have been sent to me that I have not liked for a variety of reasons... maybe the food wasn't very good, too many ingredients, too complicated or not appealing enough to the majority of my readers. So I was particularly happy when I was asked to take a look at the new Divvies Bakery Cookbook.

The first time I heard of Lori Sandler was when she was on Martha Stewart a couple of years ago. At the time, I had just decided to take on the enormous task of baking everything for my daughter. Like Ella, Lori's son has multiple food allergies. She decided to take action and a beautiful business, emerged. It is an inspiring story for those of us who often feel overwhelmed by a challenging situation.

Treats and childhood seem to go hand in hand. It is almost like a rite of passage; getting to eat goodies. Think about it, so many of BIG events when you are a kid are centered around sweets and treats. Holidays like Christmas, Easter, Halloween and birthdays are all about cake, cookies and candy. Play dates, bake sales, school events and on and on. When you have a child that has severe food allergies, suddenly this "fun" is kind of a nightmare. No one wants their kid to miss out but we still need to make sure that no one ends up in the emergency room. That is why I try so hard to help my own daughter by baking anything and everything that any other kid might take for granted. And thankfully, there is a growing industry and mountains of resources for making this possible.

The Divvies Bakery Cookbook is divine! All of the recipes are nut free, egg free and dairy free. (We happen to also have to avoid wheat so not all of the recipes worked for us. But after some tweaking, we can make it "Ella" safe... Hello rice flour mixes! Hello xanthan gum!) There are over 70 delicious recipes to choose from. We have tried several over the past few weeks. Our favorite is Andrea's Granola Bars... OMG! They are so good!

Earlier this week I had a dinner party at my house and decided to make some of the Divvie's Oh Fudge! No one that attended my party has food allergies but I thought it might be fun to test it on them to see if they noticed any difference from the kind that is usually made with sticks of butter and cups of cream. Everyone gobbled it up. My husband who happens to be lactose intolerant was thrilled. He absolutely loves it. I made mine with marshmallows and chocolate chunks on top. The recipe calls for using Divvie's special chocolate chips. But I substituted with another brand and the results were fabulous.

We also made the fondue last week and the kids were in nirvana. I served it with a platter with fruits and rice crispy treats. Each child had a small bowl of the chocolate, for dipping.

Fondue Fun!

Here is the recipe for the Oh Fudge! (reprinted with permission from the publisher). Try it! Get the book! You will be glad you did. As with this recipe, most of the desserts in the book are simple to make and ingredients are easy to obtain. As a mother of two young children, I am so thankful for that!

Oh Fudge!

Recipe from the Divvies Bakery Cookbook. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

2 ¼ cups sugar

½ cup dairy-free margarine

½ cup Silk dairy-free liquid creamer (or coconut milk creamer)

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 cups Divvies semisweet chocolate chips (2 ¼ cups for real chocoholics)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

The toppings (optional):

Mini marshmallows

Peppermint candies, broken into bite-size pieces or smaller

More chocolate chips

Line a 9x9 inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil by placing two long sheets perpendicular to each other so that they stick out of the sides of the pan, pushing the paper into the corners of the pan. This will make removing the finished fudge much neater.

Heat 2 cups of the sugar, the margarine, liquid creamer and salt in a saucepan over medium heat on stovetop. Stir constantly.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the chips and stir for 2 minutes until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

Pour the melted fudge into prepared pan. Press marshmallows and/or peppermint or chocolate chips onto the top of the fudge, if desired.

Let the fudge cool in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours until solid. Remove the fudge from the pan by lifting the ends of the parchment paper. Place the fudge, still on the paper on a flat countertop. With a very sharp knife, cute the fudge into 2x1-inch pieces.

Makes 18, 2 x 1-inch pieces


Anya said...

Is it 1/2 c dairy free margarine or 1 cup? You indicated 2 sticks which would tell me 1 cup, but you wrote 1/2?


Heidi Miller said...

Thank you so much for catching that, Anya! Sorry for the confusion. The recipe calls for 1/2 c dairy free margarine. Or, 1 stick.

Sorry again for the mix up. I corrected the recipe above!