So…have you ever had cookies turn green a day after you made them? I have, and here’s the simple lesson I learned about allergy-free baking:
Cookie Success: Easy, Yummy, Allergy-free Treats for Grandparents’ Day
Just this last spring, my in-laws were visiting so that they could attend Grandparents’ Day at my oldest daughter’s school. The school had asked families to bring cookies or other desserts. Of course, to make sure there was an allergy-free option for my kiddo, I signed up.
I turned to one of my favorite blogs, Chocolate Covered Katie, to find a fun recipe. There was a super easy recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies that Izzy wanted me to make. I had all the ingredients on hand, so it was a no-brainer. 🙂 We made the cookies; they looked just like the blog photos (woo-hoo!), and were dee-lic-ious. I packed up a box for school the next day and happily crossed that accomplishment off my to-do list.
The next morning I labeled the box as “allergy-free” and proudly gave the box of cookies to Izzy to take on the bus with her. The cookies STILL looked fabulous, by the way. It was all I could do not to eat them! 😉
The grandparents were leaving town after visiting Izzy at school, so I said my goodbyes and headed off to my part-time job for the day.
The Green Surprise
When I got home that evening, Izzy told me all about her special day with Grandma and Grandpa and told me she loved her cookies. In fact, she asked to have another one right then! Since dinner was still some time from being done, I relented (they are fairly healthy cookies, right?) and secretly planned to have a cookie while making dinner myself. 😉
Imagine my surprise when I opened the container and WALLA! THE COOKIES WERE GREEN! I don’t mean like a slight greenish cast or a trick of the light here. THOSE LITTLE GEMS HAD TURNED A DARK, MOLDY LOOKING GREEN. I was shocked! Could they be moldy already? That’s not even possible within a 24 hour period, right?!?!?
I yelled to my husband…”AAACCCKKK! LOOK AT THESE GREEN COOKIES! WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH THEM?” My husband was just as flabbergasted as I was. Then, my thoughts turned to the school. “Izzy,” I frantically asked, “were the cookies green at school?” I pictured grossed-out grandparents and kids pointing at the weird or decaying “allergy-free” cookie option on the dessert table. I was mortified.
Of course, all Izzy said was: “They still taste great, Mom! Can I have one now? I LOVE them! They are like MONSTER COOKIES!” She was utterly delighted and still begging to have one for an after school snack.
Thank You, Google. 🙂
Thankfully, my husband kept a level head and did what any calm, problem-solving person would do. He consulted the internet. And lo and behold, after asking me what ingredients were in the cookies, he consulted the FAQ page of the official Sunbutter product site, which reads:
My cookies turned green, what happened?
When substituting SunButter in your existing recipe, you may have to reduce the baking soda/powder by about one-third. The chlorogenic acid (chlorophyll) in sunflower seeds reacts with the baking soda/powder when baked, causing the green color when the cookies cool. This is completely harmless! Depending on the recipe, a splash of lemon juice may also help. You can also check out our tried and tested SunButter recipes.
Yes folks, Sunbutter (sunflower seed spread–our peanut butter substitute) was the culprit. After cruising the inter webs, I found a few more pages discussing the subject, and honestly felt a little sheepish that we didn’t already know this fun little fact. 🙂
On the flip side, you don’t have to use sunflower seed spread in this recipe…so if you can use another nut butter alternative, you can avoid the green surprise. Also, the cookie recipe I used alternatively suggests using oil in place of a nut butter, so we may be using that option in the future. However, Izzy does like the Sunbutter flavor and insists that the green, monster cookies are the coolest thing ever. Who knew! 😉
I’m sharing this story so you all can learn from our mistake! And hopefully, you can enjoy a laugh over our monster cookie episode, too. Food allergy cooking and baking is quite the adventure, isn’t it? 😉
Did you know that baking soda/powder reacts with sunflower seeds, causing a green color? Do you have a funny “green story” to share?