School is starting, the holidays are fast approaching and it’s time to start thinking about big-batch desserts that can win over bake sale customers, PTA members and family and friends at festive celebrations…without triggering any allergic reactions. Indeed, food allergies are a major thing—per the CDC, 6.2 percent of adults and 5.8 percent of children in the United States have one—and they can be life-threatening, too, so it’s best to steer clear when you’re serving up dessert for a crowd.
As for what foods can trigger such an unfortunate turn of events, Monica T. Kraft, M.D.—a professor and medical practitioner in the allergy and immunology division at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center—tells us that the top eight most common food allergens are “cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish…[and that] sesame is also being increasingly identified as the ninth most common food-triggering allergy.” With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the tastiest allergy-friendly cookies, so you can bake up something sweet, delicious and safe. Just remember that cross-contamination is always a concern when dealing with food allergies and that any of the following recipes that contain chocolate are only allergy-friendly if you carefully review the label to ensure they are dairy and soy-free. (Psst: These baking chips fit the bill.)