I am scheduled to speak October29th at Sunny Bridge Natural Foods. The topic will be a Hosting a Gluten Free Halloween. As I have been planning what to discuss and demonstrate, I came across certain items that would need substituted in order for the food, snack or treat to be gluten free. As I came upon each hurdle, I went in search of its gluten free counterpart.
The replacements were not always 100% exact but always creative. In searching, I found several products I had not seen, tasted or thought to use in that manner before. One such item that I wanted to replace was the Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, a flat, round, chocolate cookie that was being used to make a witches’ hat brim. The gluten free cookie I found to work perfectly was the Alpine produced by Caveman Cookies. It is a round chocolate cookie which can be flattened easily to make a perfect circle. It is not hard but instead rather chewy due to the 100% natural “Paleo” ingredients of honey, hazelnut and almond meal and toasted ground carob.
My next challenge was trying to find a gluten free “tombstone”. Keebler Vienna Fingers or Pepperidge Farms Milano cookies are great for this if you are making gluten laden Halloween treats. But since we need gluten free, Schar Chocolate Dipped Cookies will fit the bill. Their 1-1/2” x 2” rectangular size is perfect for writing R.I.P on the back and then prominently placed on top of a graveyard themed gluten free cupcake or dessert.
Then came the hazelnut truffles coated in white chocolate and decorated like Dracula. The suggested Ferro Roche truffles are not gluten free but Lindt Lindor White Truffles are by nature. However, if you are not comfortable with the company’s allergen control program to reduce the risk of cross contamination then you may want to opt for a truly gluten free truffle such as the ones made by ChocAlive. This company uses only quality, organic, live ingredients making for a decadent delight.
Finally, I needed to replace a variety of licorice which typically has gluten. For example, some of the treats I wanted to make were using black laces for things like “spider legs”. Being a licorice lover myself, I knew it was available but I wanted to compare brands and prices. The first site I searched, Licorice International, had 4 pages of gluten free licorice. The large selection wasn’t the most surprising find but rather a true Halloween treat, licorice shaped like black cats. I definitely do not consider these to be bad luck. They will literally be the topping on the gluten free cupcake!