I’m gearing up to go to my son’s new school and talk to the teachers about food allergy awareness today. We’ve implemented a great policy in our elementary school for grades K-3 and are rolling it up to our school for 4th and 5th graders this year. Almost 10% of the kids in 4th grade have severe food allergies, most of them are allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. This large increase in food allergic children is a scary trend that is occurring everywhere.
I am so grateful to live in a community which is supportive of this initiative. However, I realize the idea of having to inject an epi-pen into a child (or even just the idea that they can have a life-threatening reaction on your watch) must be a scary concept for a teacher. It’s terrifying for me too. I’ve already sent Allergy Home’s presentation for teachers and nurses as well as their many other wonderful resources to our school administration. My goal for today’s talk is to help the teachers at our new school understand when to give an epi-pen and ultimately to assure them I’d rather have them do so than not, in the event that they suspect my child is having a life-threatening reaction or has knowingly eaten one of his allergens.
I’m a little stressed because the last time I had a talk like this with the teachers at our K-3 school, I became somewhat emotional. It was pretty embarrasing. I hope I can keep it together for today’s talk. I was always a pretty good public speaker in my former life as a Human Resources professional. I gave quite a few speeches and used to handle training and development for managers. But, once I start talking about food allergies and the potential for one of my children to have a life-threatening allergic reaction, the raw emotion sets in. I realize I am literally putting my kid’s lives into their hands at school every day. I want them to know I genuinely appreciate the enormity of their responsibility as educators.
These Mexican chocolate cookies are a direct result of stress-baking. You get it, don’t you? I had such a funny talk with my mother-in-law yesterday. She was telling me how she was cleaning her house all day, even scrubbing down the doors. I told her that sounded like pure torture to me. She said it was relaxing. I totally didn’t get it. But, here I am, baking at 5:30 am and finally feeling a little bit of my anxiety over today’s talk begin to dissipate.
I mean, look at these beauties! Perfectly rich and delicious flourless chocolate cookies with a bit of mexican spice filled with tiramisu mascarpone cream…pure satisfaction! You don’t even have to fill the cookies if you don’t want to. They are super easy to make. I saw a recipe on Food 52 this week and couldn’t wait to make my own version. I’m feeling better already. Wish me luck today!
- 2¼ C confectioners sugar
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp Starbucks Via, instant coffee
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp Mexican chili powder
- 3 egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 container Bel Gioioso Tiramisu Mascarpone (optional)
- Heat oven to 350 and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper
- Mix all of the dry ingredients together
- Add the egg whites and vanilla. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix until fully blended
- Stir in the chocolate chips
- Drop batter by rounded tablespoon on a parchment-lined baking sheet, 1 inch apart
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until the tops of the cookies crack
- Remove from oven, cool completely (at least 20 mins) and gently remove the cookies from the parchment paper. Store in a sealed container until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, spread tiramisu mascarpone on the bottom of half of your cookies and place the other half of the cookies on top to make your sandwiches