So I have talked to enough food allergy moms out there to know that we all think the same thing- food allergies are the WORST! It is a hard and scary thing knowing that your child might have a reaction to something that seem so harmless to so many. My sisters and I used to play a game, we would ask each other “If you could only eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?” My answer was always the same, “Nuts!” There are so many varieties, so many things you can do with them, roast them, salt them, make nut butters, sprout and dehydrate them for extra crunch… the list goes on and on. So it was a terrible surprise to me to learn that my oldest son is allergic to many nuts and peanuts. He has the terrible fortune of continuing to develop sever reactions to things that he was not allergic to before. For example he passed his peanut test with flying colors at the doctors office, and one year later he had developed an allergy to them and he needs to avoid them now. When we introduced all the nuts to my son we did it through nut butters. As he began developing allergies to nuts that were in the nut butters, he began refusing to eat them. So I had to get creative in how I make sure my son eats the nuts that he does not have allergies to everyday. The solution to my quest has been nut cookies! Through trial and error with muffins and breads and brownies- cookies seem to be the thing that he will still eat almost everyday. I let him pick out what he wants in his cookies so that he will be excited about them and this time it was M&Ms.
So this is how I make M&M nut cookies to try to help my son not develop allergies to the two nuts he has left, almonds & pecans. I previously was making cookies with nut oils thinking that was enough to help him get a daily dosage, but recently found out that it was not and he developed more allergies.
The last batch of cookies I made were big and thick and my son wanted NOTHING to do with those “fat cookies”
Therefore, I have moved on from the nut oils to adding ground pecans and almond flour in place of some of the regular flour in the cookies. I used my basic chocolate chip cookie recipe as the base for this recipe. I find that adding some sugar to the pecans before you start grinding them with a mortar and pestle helps them to not become a paste.
I started by creaming my butter, sugar and brown sugar in the mixer until it was thoroughly mixed.
Next, I added my eggs one at a time and then cranked up the speed on the mixer to whip some air into the dough and let it go until the mixture is significantly lighter in color and texture. Then I mixed in the vanilla.
Afterwards, I added the ground pecans and almond flour. I mixed to make sure everything was combined and then added in my flour, baking soda and salt. My last batch of nut cookies were big and thick (The way that I love cookies) and my son wanted NOTHING to do with them because they were “fat cookies”. So I scaled back my flour in this batch so that they would spread and be thin cookies for him.
Finally I mixed in the mini M&Ms. The dough is much softer then I usually have it but it worked perfectly for the type of cookies I was trying to make – thin but still chewy. Finally I scooped the dough with a small OXO cookie scoop onto parchment lined trays and baked them in the 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
The baking time turned out to be longer than I was anticipating for such a small scooped cookie, but I think the addition of the nuts added some moisture to the dough, which took a little longer to bake. In the pictures below you can see how they look right when I pulled them out of the oven and then when they had finished baking on the cookie sheet when they were finally cooled.
The verdict on these cookies from my son is that: He likes to try to eat just the M&Ms out of the cookies, but will eat almost a whole one each day. It isn’t perfect but I feel like I am doing something to try to help him from being allergic to everything. Food allergies are a scary business.
M&M Nut Cookies
- 1 cup room temperature butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 room temperature eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup ground pecans
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 bag mini M&Ms for baking
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper
- Cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar together until well mixed.
- Add the eggs one at a time and then crank up the speed on the mixer until they are significantly lighter in color and texture
- Mix in Vanilla
- Add pecans and almonds and mix till combined
- Add one cup flour, baking soda & salt- mix until the flour disapears
- Add second cup of flour and mix until the flour disapears
- Add in bag of M&Ms and mix until combined
- Scoop cookie dough onto parchment lined sheets with small OXO cookie scoop
- Bake for 15 minutes or until you can move the cookie without it break apart
- Cool on cookie sheets to finish the baking process
- Feed to your child everyday and pray that they don’t develop more allergies!
Final thoughts: I know that not everyone’s food allergy experiences are the same but having had to epi pen my son before I would do anything in the world to help him from having to go through that again. I am doing my best but it is a full time thought in the back of my head as how to protect him and keep him safe. Unfortunately, my younger son is also reacting to foods he is learning to eat, so we keep going to the allergist and keep trying to help them out. I keep checklists on my counter making sure I am feeding them the correct dosages of allergen everyday, it it a lot of work, but it is hopefully worth it for their futures.
Also, please always check with a parent or caretaker before feeding a child food. It may seem like a pain in the rear end , but that one extra step is SOOOO appreciated.