Allergy-friendly brownies that are gluten free, egg free, cake-like and so chocolaty good that you won’t even miss what is missing.
When I was growing up, I was fortunate to have a couple of friends with parents that became like my Second Parents. They were the kind of folks that welcomed every child that came into their house as if they were their own flesh and blood. Often, they’d take me to school, feed me if I were hungry, help me with my homework, and even make me do chores if I were around during the time that their own kids were doing chores. I was so blessed to have these homes away from home. I often fantasized that I would have the opportunity to welcome my future children’s friends into my home in much the same way.
Little did I know how often I’d have that very opportunity.
Having a house full of sons often makes our house the Place to Be. I’m thankful that I have many an opportunity to bring other kids into our
chaos fold, feeding them, helping with homework, and driving them to and fro.
But mostly feeding them.
When you’re as prolific a baker as I am, word tends to get out that there’s a pretty good likelihood of warm chocolate chip cookies or other sweet treats, coming out of the oven at the Comfortably Domestic house.
I love all the kids that come through my door as if they are my own, but I have an especially soft spot for a boy that I’ve taken to calling Son #5 or 5th Son. He’s calls me his Second Mom. Son #1 and 5th Son have a friendship going all the way back to the first grade–the year we moved across the street from his family. He and my oldest boy have been best friends ever since.
Lucky for me, 5th Son is the sweetest kid around. He’s incredibly smart, kindhearted, has the best/quirkiest sense of humor, and a monster sweet tooth. In short: he fits in perfectly around here. It didn’t take 5th Son long at all to realize that our house held a seemingly endless supply of baked goods. His mom, my BFF Julie, jokes that 5th Son my biggest (baking) fan. In fact, it is not unusual for him to walk in smiling, give me a big hug, and ask if I’d happen to have baked anything that day.
Little did I know that he needed something allergy-friendly.
Which is why I’ve been worried about him. A few years ago, 5th Son started getting violently ill for no apparent reason. When it became clear that he had something more than a propensity for attracting every stomach bug in the tri-state area, his parents diligently took him from doctor to doctor for a myriad of tests in search of a diagnosis. After nearly two years of being poked and prodded in search of an accurate diagnosis, they were told that 5th Son had a condition called eosinophilic eshopagitis, or EoE. EoE is an inflammation of the esophagus, caused by food allergies. In 5th Son’s case, causes cyclical vomiting for weeks on end.
His treatment is an extensive elimination diet for a period of several months, and then reintroduction of one food at a time, monitoring symptoms for a few weeks afterward, and if the vomiting hasn’t returned, an esophageal scope to check for improvement. In short, 5th Son needed an allergy-friendly diet. He has to eliminate the Top 8 Food Allergens–milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish from his diet, plus 7 or 8 more foods that they suspected were a problem.
To say that it has been a long and arduous process would be a gross understatement.
My poor 5th Son has been sick and I haven’t been able to bake him anything to make it all better! I never bake with nuts because of our own food allergies, but throw no wheat, dairy, or eggs onto the pile, and I was stumped as to what kind of treats that I could bake for him.
I needed something allergy-friendly that I could work with! Needless to say, I couldn’t wait until he was given the ‘all clear’ for dairy products.
Give me some butter, and I can bake up a tasty treat! Butter is my medium.
After many failures, I developed an allergy-friendly brownie, free of nuts, eggs, wheat gluten, and soy.
Real Talk: I’ve never felt more triumphant in the kitchen in my entire life.
My post-baking Happy Dance was extensive.
I may or may not have tried to Moonwalk.
I felt victorious at having baked up an allergy-friendly brownie that is rich, cake-like, and ubër chocolaty.
Most importantly, I made 5th Son a happy boy, baking something to satisfy his sweet tooth. And without making him sick. Moments like that are worth every kitchen failure in the world.