The holiday season provides so many opportunities to make pretty food! If red and green make you feel all warm and tingly inside, you are in luck today :) I was lucky enough to receive a sample of Enjoy Life sugar cookies, and have been having a wonderful time incorporating them into all kinds of desserts. We're big fans of the Enjoy Life brand around here... everything we've tried has tasted delicious, and the texture is just right, which can't be said about every allergy-free brand of food.
I know there is a large faction of cooks out there who are adamant about using only "real food" in their dishes, but I'd like to make a pitch for moderation on that point. I completely agree that many processed and packaged foods contain unhealthy ingredients, but I'm finding that there is a real surge of new companies that are creating healthy and allergen-free foods that I would be a fool not to take advantage of.
Cooking absolutely everything from scratch is tiring. Very tiring. Burnout is a real possibility, and if your choices are use shortcuts or give up altogether, I vote for using the shortcuts. There are certainly companies out there whose products I don't feel comfortable eating (gluten-free breads full of chemical substitutes, for example), but I was very happy when I read the ingredient list on the Enjoy Life cookies: Brown and white rice flour, buckwheat flour, millet flour, palm oil, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, honey, natural flavors, vanilla, salt, baking soda, xanthan gum, sodium acid pyrophosphate (the acid in baking soda), and rosemary extract.
Enjoy Life products are free of wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish, casein, potato, sesame and sulfites, and are made in a dedicated nut- and gluten-free bakery. If they're made with healthy ingredients, are allergy-free, taste good and allow my family to eat a wider range of dishes, what's the problem?
And now, let's eat :)
Candy Cane Parfaits
3 cups rice milk (or coconut milk)
1 cup sugar (your choice)
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 tsp salt
1 package GF sugar cookies (I used Enjoy Life vanilla honey grahams)
1 jar sour cherries (sugar should be the only other ingredient)
1 tsp vanilla or 1/2 tsp peppermint flavoring
red decorator sugar, if desired
To make the pudding layer, combine rice milk, sugar, arrowroot starch and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring often, then let cook one additional minute. Remove from heat and add either vanilla or peppermint flavoring. Set pot right in fridge to cool for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, crumble the cookies into fine crumbs. When the pudding is cool, layer cookies, pudding and cherries in parfait glasses. You may want to also add red decorator sugar, but remember that many of these contain harmful artificial colors (check your local health food stores for options). Store in the fridge and serve cold.
Note: Decorator sugar tends to bleed colors into your food, so if you do decide to use it, eat your parfaits right away before they turn all pink.
Shared with Passionately Artistic and Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Gluten Free Wednesday at The Gluten Free Homemaker and What's Cooking Wednesday at Turning Back the Clock and These Chicks Cooked at This Chick Cooks and Success U at The Stuff of Success and The Homemaking LinkUp at Raising Homemakers and Link and Bake Christmas Recipes at Joy of Desserts and The Homestead Barn Hop at the Prairie Homestead and This Week's Cravings at Mom's Crazy Cooking and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free and Crazy Sweet Tuesday at Crazy for Crust and Show Off Your Stuff at Fireflies and Jellybeans and Creative Juice at Momnivore's Dilemma and Pennywise Platter at Nourishing Gourmet and Weekend Wander at While He Was Napping and Wellness Weekend at Diet Dessert and Dogs and Anything Goes at Bacon Time and Farmhouse Friday at LaurieAnna's Vintage Home and Allergy Friendly Friday with Cybele Pascal and Seasonal Inspiration at Crumbs and Chaos and Sweets for a Saturday at Sweet as Sugar Cookies and Weekend Wrap Up at Tatertots and Jello and Christmas in the Kitchen At The Picket Fence and A Themed Baker's Sunday at Cupcake Apothecary and Fusion Friday at Jane Deere.