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No dairy

shanaz's picture

No dairy (post #63284)



I am always excited to see the Holiday Baking issue, but my excitement was dampened this year because my 14 month old son can't have any dairy, and, because I am still nursing, neither can I. Does anyone have any good cookie or other Holiday goodie recipes that don't contain butter? I would be very grateful.

Shana and Gus (14 month old cookie monster)

Gretchen's picture

(post #63284, reply #1 of 39)

There are non-dairy "spreads". I'm not sure if Smart Balance is non-dairy. You might try a recipe using one of those products and see how they come out.


ashleyd's picture

(post #63284, reply #2 of 39)

I did a quick google for "no butter" cookies and got over 1700 pages, the first few of which definitely looked interesting so that might be worth a little time. Also you might look for oil cookies (using olive oil mostly). Milk is easier to sub, just use soya milk or even rice milk (but you knew that anyway!). Be wary of using non-dairy "spreads" for baking (in fact for cooking in general) unless they specifically state that they can be used for that, their structure just does not hold up (same with Splenda granules).

“In victory, you deserve <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Champagne, in defeat, you need it.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

meow's picture

(post #63284, reply #6 of 39)

This is an AWESOME recipe for molasses cookies. I've made it twice in the last month.

Molasses Oat Bran Cookies

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg or 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute

1/4 cup molasses

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

1 1/2 cups rolled oat

1/2 cup oat bran or wheat bran

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 cup sugar

1. In a large bowl, mix the oil, egg, 1 cup sugar and molasses and mix very well.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, oats, bran, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and cloves.

3. Stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture until well-blended.

4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (This is for easier handling).

5.Heat oven to 375°F.

6.Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray or line with parchement.

7.Shape dough into 1" balls and roll in the 1/4 cup sugar.

8.Place 2" apart on the cookie sheets and flatten the cookies with the bottom of a drinking glass, dipped in sugar.

9.Bake at 375F for 7-10 minutes until cookies are set and tops are crackle-y.

10.Let cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet, then remove to a cooling rack to cool comletely.


Singing Die Zauberflöte in English is like eating at the Olive Garden.

shanaz's picture

(post #63284, reply #12 of 39)

That sounds great! Thank you!

AmyElliesMom's picture

(post #63284, reply #13 of 39)

I usually use Fleischmann's margarine, corn oil, no salt in place of butter when I bake as butter is too expensive for me. It really tastes good, and no one has ever been able to tell the difference in my baked goods. Especially cookies and such which are so flavorful anyway!

Good luck with avoidind a full on allergy!


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shanaz's picture

(post #63284, reply #15 of 39)

Thanks for all the great suggestions!

DeannaS's picture

(post #63284, reply #16 of 39)

For what it's worth, I used to always use stick margarine in my baking. It's how my mom did it, so I didn't know any better. It's only been in the last year that I switched to all butter baking.

I'm not sure if you'd want to make these, as nuts are allergenic, too. But, if you know that nuts aren't an issue, you can try these. (They're actually "lower carb" and from a diabetic cookbook, but they're tasty.)

Chocolate Expresso Drops

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans were suggested, but I only had walnuts and those worked - I think I'd toast them a bit next time)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T dark rum (I forgot to add this and they were fine)
3 t. instant expresso powder (I used decaf instant coffee cause caffeine is bad for me)
whites of 3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 300 degrees & line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Put all ingredients except egg whites in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.

With processor running, slowly add egg white until you get a sticky thick batter.

Drop by teaspoons onto parchment paper. (They don't spread a whole lot, so you can put them pretty close together.) Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, turning pans at the half-way point. Cool for a few minutes (until you can handle them) and then peel them off the parchment.

They are super tasty frozen.

"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists." - Joan Dye Gussow

meow's picture

(post #63284, reply #17 of 39)

They really are an amazing cookie recipe. We have inhaled two batches and even my crabby FIL loved them!


Singing Die Zauberflöte in English is like eating at the Olive Garden.

shanaz's picture

(post #63284, reply #18 of 39)

These were delicious! Everybody loved them.



meow's picture

(post #63284, reply #19 of 39)

Oh, I'm so happy to hear you say that! :-) :-)


Singing Die Zauberflöte in English is like eating at the Olive Garden.

Sackville's picture

(post #63284, reply #21 of 39)

There are a couple cakes I can heartily recommend. The pic on the first one isn't great, but trust me it is very tasty!

Orange and Almond Spanish Cake --

Hazelnut Torte --

courgette's picture

(post #63284, reply #24 of 39)

My son had the same thing-he was 6 weeks old when we finally figured it out. Later when he was a few months older, he got eczema which was exacerbated by dairy and acid and egg white mainly. He has mild asthma as well. He has just this week started eating cereal with 2% milk for the first time. Up until now he used isomil baby formula-I tried many times to wean him to soy milk but he wouldn't go for it.  He'll be twelve in Nov.

 Apparently most kids outgrow this type of allergy around age 5-6. We're at the extreme end of the spectrum as usual. Good luck. It does become second nature.

shanaz's picture

(post #63284, reply #25 of 39)

It is difficult, but I agree, it is becoming second nature. It sure makes you careful about ingredient labels though.

Its good to know that there are other families out there who have successfully dealt with this.

Since you're on the Fine Cooking forum, I assume you get the magazine. Do you modify recipes so that your son can eat them? I'm amazed at how many of the recipes contain dairy. Not that I ever minded before now, and I certainly miss it myself!

courgette's picture

(post #63284, reply #26 of 39)

Some things we stopped eating altogether, others I changed. I used chicken broth in some things as a sub for milk.  Our favourite potato scallop I make with a veloute sauce.  He could have tiny bits in baked goods so cookies were OK . We used margerine for years (I used butter when I stopped nursing!) I nursed him as long as I could-he weaned himself at about 18 months.

I'll think about the things we did-but I probably won't post for a couple of weeks-we're off to China tomorrow evening and I'm messing around here instead of ironing and packing!

Gretchen's picture

(post #63284, reply #7 of 39)

I agree with Ashley about the "spreads" not holding up reliably but Tracy has posted that Smart Balance does indeed do all right for grilling sandwiches, for example.


soccermom's picture

(post #63284, reply #3 of 39)

Hi Shana,

My youngest DD had bad rashes aggravated by dairy and other things; although she drinks soy milk, eventually we found that she could have baked goods because the proportion of dairy was small. However, if your son can't have any dairy (do you mean eggs too--if so, that may be more difficult), you could use solid margarine in place of butter. Taste won't be as good, but he won't know, and you could just add more vanilla for your own taste. I've heard that you can substitute an egg whites for a yolk but haven't tried this myself.

Does the dairy pose a problem even through your breast milk? He must have a severe allergy. Has he been tested for other allergies?





shanaz's picture

(post #63284, reply #4 of 39)


Eggs are ok. He doesn't have an allergy, yet, its still considered a sensitivity. He wakes screaming and "wired" at 2 in the morning if either of us consume any dairy, even if its only a tiny bit in store-bought bread. Hopefully if we just avoid dairy all together for a while longer he will be able to tolerate it when he's older. For now we're making our own bread (which has turned out to be fun anyway). I've been substituting oil for butter in bread recipes and they've worked fine, I just got worried when the Holiday Baking issue specifically said that nothing really subs for butter.


soccermom's picture

(post #63284, reply #5 of 39)

Yes, that sounds severe! My DD did eventually outgrow many of her allergies (no fruit, tomatoes, acidic foods at the beginning). She started yogurt at about 5, and is ok with that and some cheese now (her pizzas were pretty boring for awhile: bread and pepperoni LOL) but she's still on soy at age 7. I'll keep my fingers crossed for your son.

Nothing substitutes for the taste of butter, but marg will be acceptable too.






shanaz's picture

(post #63284, reply #11 of 39)

Thats encouraging. He wasn't able to tolerate tomatoes at first either, but in small amounts they are ok now. Potatoes are still out. I had ruled out pizza because of the cheese, but maybe I should try it w/o cheese. Things start to look better the longer I'm off dairy.

soccermom's picture

(post #63284, reply #14 of 39)

Not being pushy, and please take this in the spirit it's intended, but you may want to try to keep him away from as many allergic foods as possible, especially when he's this small.

Even if he's in child care, the first three years (less if he's a second or third child) are the ONLY time you'll have complete control over his diet. By avoiding all foods that bother him, you have a better chance of getting him over the allergies for good. Tomatoes didn't seem like a big deal at the beginning, but they are in many foods served to children, and we're glad she's over that. We had kept her off them for about 4 years; a struggle to remember at the beginning, but it became second nature.

The other thing is a 14-month-old doesn't usually know what he's missing--unless he has an older sibling!






iguana667's picture

(post #63284, reply #10 of 39)

I believe there was a question in the Q&A section of the Holiday baking issue about substituting margarine or shortening for butter. The answer was that stick margarine made an acceptable substitute for baking as it has the same water content. Spreads and tub margarine would not work as they have much more water. Shortening has no water, so does not sub well either. So, I think stick margarine is your best bet-- just read the ingredients carefully as some might have added milk products for flavor. Good luck with the dairy and the feeding!

BarbaraK's picture

(post #63284, reply #8 of 39)

You can't munch on them like you can a "regular" cookie, but meringues don't have any dairy. (They do have a lot of sugar, though!) You can dress them up, folding in nuts or chocolate chips (if those are okay). You could also do "sandwiches" with melted chocolate or fruit preserves in between.

You might check out some kosher cookbooks. If a dessert is to be eaten with a meat or chicken meal, it can't have any dairy products. So look for what are called "pareve" desserts or cookies.

Marcia's picture

(post #63284, reply #9 of 39)

Your cookies won't taste quite as good, but any stick margarine marked 'pareve' is completely dairy free. This is a symbol for kosher cooks who cannot mix milk and meat and they are very strict about it.

The cookies made with margarine will be very good anyway, just not perfect. We have food sensitivities and allergies in our family, too, so I really sympathize and wish you good luck.

butterscotch's picture

(post #63284, reply #20 of 39)

I have a wonderful recipe for cranberry bars--filling is cranberries cooked with honey, chopped dried apricots, and a little spice.  Top and bottom crust are rolled oats, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, and a little butter.  Margarine could easily be substituted for the butter, I believe, without any significant loss of flavor.  I will post if you're interested.  Also, along these lines, I recommend a simple recipe called "apple brown betty bars" that is available on the Epicurious web site--a shortbread crust, topped with apple slices, bread crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.  I made this recently using butter, but, again, I see no reason why margarine couldn't be substituted.  I think at least one of the Epicurious posters who reviewed the recipe tried it with margarine and liked the results.

shanaz's picture

(post #63284, reply #22 of 39)

The cranberry bars sound great. I'll try the apple recipe too, we've got lots of apples right now!

butterscotch's picture

(post #63284, reply #27 of 39)

Shana:  I was wrong about the name of the apple recipe. It's called "apple betty squares".  But I was right that some Epicurious poster had success making it with margarine.

Here's the cranberry bar recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family has.  It's from Ken Haedrich's book "Country Baking".

Cranberry Apricot Bars


3/4 cup unbleached flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup rolled oats (not instant)

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

big pinch salt

7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature

1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts


2 cups fresh cranberries

3/4 cup water

1 1/4 cups dried apricots

1/2 cup honey

1/4 tsp. ground cloves or ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees--300 degrees, if using glass pan.  To make the crust, put flours, oats, brown sugar, and salt in mixing bowl and toss with your hands to mix.  Add the butter and work mixture with your hands or a pastry blender until mixture is damp and clumpy.  Set aside 2/3 cup of mixture and add chopped walnuts to it.  Reserve flour-nut mixture.    Press unreserved mixture into pan and bake for 30 minutes.  Cool on a rack.

Meanwhile, make the filling:  Place cranberries and water into medium-sized non-aluminum pot .  Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cover.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and cook at gentle boil, uncovered for 3-4 minutes more.  Mixture will be visibly thicker but still quite moist when cooking is finished.  Scrape cranberry mixture into bowl and cool to body temperature.  Increase oven temperature to 350 (325 if using glass pan).  Scrape cooled filling over crust and spread it evenly.  Rub walnuts into reserved flour mixture, then spread reserved mixture over evenly over fruit.  Press it very gently into the fruit. Bake 25 minutes.  Remove pan to rack and let cool completely before slicing into bars.



deejeh's picture

(post #63284, reply #28 of 39)

Cranberry Apricot Bars

These look delicious.  Are they baked in a 9" x 13" pan?



butterscotch's picture

(post #63284, reply #29 of 39)

I will go out on a limb and say that this is the best recipe for anything I've found in the last 5 years.  They are scrumptious.  As for the pan size, the recipe I posted specifies 8" X 8" or 8 1/2" x 8 1/2".  I always double the quantity and bake in a 9" x 13" pan, which works great.

butterscotch's picture

(post #63284, reply #30 of 39)

Oops! I re-read the recipe and noticed that I inadvertently omitted the pan size.  As I said in my last post, for the recipe as printed, use 8" x 8"--for a double batch, 9" x 13".

deejeh's picture

(post #63284, reply #31 of 39)

Thanks, Butterscotch - I believe I might bake these tonight, since I don't have the new Baking issue to choose a recipe from :((