So, I now think I've got it. And, I plan to try it this weekend. I think the trick may be powdered sugar. So, I've found corn starch-free powdered sugar at Miss Robens and I've learned that shortening likely won't do. Cocoa butter should be used, but my kids can't have it. So, there's a similar butter called Mango Butter. I'm shopping for it now. So, I'll use mango butter, powdered sugar and carob. I'll let you know.
OK -- I'm about halfway there. I tried a second round of chocolate easter candy and it's OK, but not great. I'm using carob powder, sugar and organic palm shortening. I also tried using Ghee. But, the main problem is the cane sugar does not dissolve. I'm heating it and pouring into candy molds. That part works. It cools and pops out of the forms. But, the candy is grainy because of the sugar. So, I'm going to try another round using powdered sugar (corn free). The other problem, but not as crucial to me, is the candy melts easily. So, it needs to be stored in the fridge. I don't think the kids care about that. It'd be nice to get it to hold its form out of the fridge also. Maybe another base -- like palm or coconut oil? We'll see.
Tried a yeast substitute in a bread recipe the other day. It worked -- about 50%. I used some baking soda and lemon juice in place of a yeast packet. It was the recipe for Tom's Bread, commonly found on the web and in this blog. The bread raised about half of its intended height. Still, it worked and I ended up with a loaf of bread that I could slice for my kids. They loved it. I plan to keep tinkering with yeast subs to see if I can get more raising out of them.
You read the headline correctly -- cactus cookies. Actually, I made cookies over the weekend that use cactus nectar as a liquid sweetener. They're awesome and the kids loved them. See my previous post on replacing corn syrup. This stuff really works.
I must confess that I don't know what to do about Easter, which is coming soon. My kids cannot eat chocolate. So, I use carob powder instead. But, now I'm faced with the king of all chocolate holidays -- Easter. I have promised myself that I will learn how to make one chocolate candy for them by Easter using the carob powder. I'm reading recipes online and in cookbooks and trying to figure out how to convert. Remember, we also can't use milk, butter or corn syrup. Looks impossible, right? I don't think so. We can use palm shorterning and agave nectar -- see the previous post. In fact, a trial run of a taffy-like candy over the weekend didn't turn out too bad. The kids love it. It's a cross between taffy, tootsie roll and hard candy. I want to make mold candies, like an Easter bunny. That's my goal.
If you've ever tried to make candy at home and your kids can't tolerate corn, then you've likely come across this problem: corn syrup. It's found in many candy recipes, including chocolate treats. Here's an alternative you might consider. Sweet Cactus Farms makes an agave nectar -- from a cactus plant. It's sweet, organic, kosher, gluten free, dairy free, nut free and it absorbs slowly enough into the body that it's even OK for diabetics. I bought an 8 oz. bottle for $5. That's retail. Find it wholesale for $4 through a co-op or other supplier, including the manufacturer's website.