These Gluten Free Christmas Cookies are made with simple and gluten free ingredients for easy to make recipes with allergy-friendly options perfect to give for cookie exchanges, leave out for Santa, enjoy with a hot cup of cocoa, and more! Bake them all or pick your favorite.
- It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas
- What’s the Difference between Gluten Free Cookies and Regular Cookies?
- Tips for Baking the Best Gluten Free Christmas Cookies
- Basic Ingredients You’ll Need for Easy Gluten Free Christmas Cookies
- Helpful Tools
- The Best Gluten Free Christmas Cookies
- Storage and Preparation
- Common Questions
It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas
Here in Utah temperatures are falling, stockings are being hung, and smells of cinnamon and ginger fill the air. That can only mean one thing. Yep, the holidays are here, ya’ll! So, what better way to kick off the season than with a complete round up of the best gluten free Christmas cookies? Whether you’re looking for a classic cookie or something a little more quick like a no bake bite, or anything in between, I’ve got you covered with gluten free cookies everyone will enjoy. Be sure to make a list and check it twice, because you won’t want to miss out on any of these easy gluten free Christmas cookies!
What’s the Difference between Gluten Free Cookies and Regular Cookies?
Good question! In the past, gluten free Christmas cookies (and cookies of all kinds) have gotten a bad reputation for being boring, bland, and dry. However, I’m here to right that wrong, because it couldn’t be any further from the truth! In reality, the only difference between gluten free cookies and traditional recipes are the ingredients used. If done right, the taste should remain largely the same, if not even better. To create gluten free Christmas cookie recipes, you’ll want to swap out any gluten-containing ingredients such as wheat flour with gluten free alternatives, which you can learn more about here.
Tips for Baking the Best Gluten Free Christmas Cookies
Of course, all of my recipes are easy to make. However, I know for those unfamiliar with gluten free baking, getting started can be a bit of a daunting task. So, to help you out, I’ve gathered 5 of my best tips to help you create the best gluten free Christmas cookie recipes every time!
- Measure Accurately. As I’m sure you’ve heard, baking is a science. So, to ensure that your Christmas cookies come out perfectly, I highly recommend using a food scale to measure ingredients by weight rather than volume which is prone to human error.
- Use Room Temperature Ingredients. Allowing all of your ingredients to come to room temperature allows them to easily incorporate with each other, preventing lumpy cookie dough and uneven baking.
- Chill the Dough. To ensure your cookies spread evenly, chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for baking. This also allows for the fat to bake into the dough and is the secret to creating flaky textures and buttery flavor.
- Use an Ice Cream Scoop. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop and form the dough into evenly sized cookies to ensure they all bake evenly.
- Let your Cookies Cool. Although it’s tempting to grab a warm, freshly baked cookie, do your best to wait for them to cool! Gluten free cookies fresh out of the oven are very fragile and liable to crumbling.
Basic Ingredients You’ll Need for Easy Gluten Free Christmas Cookies
Of course, every cookie recipe is different, but there are a few different gluten free ingredient staples you can count on using when making gluten free Christmas cookies of all kinds including a variety of flours, binders, and pantry staples!
Grain Free & Gluten Free Flours
Depending on what kind of cookies you’re making, you will most likely need to use at least one of the gluten free flour alternatives below. However, each flour gives a different texture. So, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully and make proper adjustments if you swap out the flours!
Almond Flour – Perfect for gluten free and paleo cookies, almond flour is made from finely ground almonds and can be used to replace traditional wheat flours.
Coconut Flour – Gluten free and paleo, and made with healthy fats, coconut flour is a great option for a wide variety of baked goods.
Gluten Free rolled oats or Oat Flour – Similar to almond flour, oat flour is an easy way to replace gluten-containing wheat flour without heavily altering the taste or texture of traditional cookie recipes!
Gluten Free Rice Rice Flour – Gluten Free Rice Flour is a great gluten free flour alternative that results in perfectly spongy cakes, cookies, and more.
1:1 All Purpose Flour – An easy to work with blend, 1:1 gluten free flour can replace regular wheat flour with ease in everything except those recipes containing yeast.
All Purpose Gluten Free Flour – Unlike 1:1 gluten free flour blends, all purpose gluten free flour is made without xanthan or guar gums, making it a super versatile option for nearly any baked good.
Binders & Egg Replacers
For gluten free recipes and those that have been made vegan or without eggs, there needs to be something that holds the ingredients together. That’s where binders come into play!
Arrowroot or Tapioca Starch – Used somewhat interchangeably, these starches function as binders in egg-free Christmas cookie recipes. They also provide volume for that soft, fluffy texture everyone loves!
Flaxseed or Chia Seed – When combined with water, flaxseed can be used to replace the eggs in cookie recipes. It also acts similarly to gluten and adds moisture and softness to cookies.
Extra Cookie Components for the Best Texture
Of course, the primary ingredients of whatever gluten free cookie you’re making are crucial to the recipe’s success. However, you don’t want to skip over the details either! Incorporating the ingredients below will result in enhanced flavors, improved textures, and more!
Nut or Seed Butter such as Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, or Sunflower Seed Butter – Not only are nut and seed butters delicious and can be used to add flavor to cookies, bars, cakes, brownies, muffins, and more, but they can also be used as a replacement for butter and even eggs in recipes! However, nut butter is typically comprised of 50-60% fat whereas butter is made up of 80-85% fat. As a result, additional fat usually needs to be incorporated. Not only does nut or seed butter add flavor to your cookies, but it can also help increase the moisture content and create a creamy texture.
Baking Tip: When substituting nut or seed butter for butter, use a 1:1 ratio of nut butter and oil. For example, if a recipe calls for ½ cup of butter, you can use ½ a cup of nut butter combined with ½ a cup of melted coconut oil instead.
Baking Powder – Without getting too nerdy here, baking powder adds carbon dioxide to your cookie batter, allowing the cookies to rise and spread. Read more about how it works here.
Baking Soda – Due to the fact that baking soda is alkaline, it causes baked goods to rise when it encounters an acidic ingredient such as sour cream, buttermilk, or brown sugar. When this happens carbon and oxygen combine to form bubbles of carbon dioxide responsible for the rise. It also helps cookies spread as they bake. Take a deeper look here!
Coconut Palm Sugar or Brown Sugar – Depending on what type of gluten free Christmas cookies you’re making, brown sugar plays a wide variety of roles. Light brown sugar is used more commonly than regular brown sugar and is an acidic substance. It can help some cookies spread, keep others from spreading, contribute to a soft texture, or even create a crunchy cookie, depending on how it’s used in conjunction with other ingredients. Take a look here to learn how it interacts with all your favorite cookie recipes! Looking for an unrefined sugar substitute for brown sugar? Use coconut palm sugar instead! It has a caramel-like flavor similar to brown sugar but is made from the sap of the coconut tree.
Granulated Sugar or Monk Fruit Sweetener – Neutral in flavor, granulated sugar is most commonly used simply to contribute to the sweetness of cookies and enhance the other flavors without being overpowering. Or, use a Monk Fruit sweetener for an unrefined-sugar substitute suitable for a wide variety of diets including paleo, vegan, and more!
The Best Gluten Free Christmas Cookies
These recipes come in all shapes and sizes from standard cookies to balls, bites, and more, but one thing is certain. They’re all guaranteed to taste great!
- Nutty Maple Glazed Cookie Bars – A cross between a cookie and a dessert bar, these Nutty Maple Glazed Cookie Bars are gluten free, paleo, vegan, refined-sugar free, and full of nutty flavor for the easiest dessert you’ll ever make!
- No Bake Chocolate Covered Cookie Truffles (Vegan Option) – These No Bake Chocolate Covered Cookie Truffles are made with just 5 ingredients, rich in flavor, and full of crunch for a satisfying treat ready in minutes.
- Mocha Almond Fudge (No Cook Recipe) – Made with unrefined sugar, this mocha almond fudge is so rich and indulgent, you’ll never believe it’s a vegan no-bake recipe.
- White Chocolate Peppermint Rum Balls (No Bake) – Fun and festive, these White Chocolate Peppermint Rum Balls are a no-bake dessert made with vegan ingredients everyone will love. There’s a non-alcoholic version, too!
- Almond Flour Cookies (Vegan, Paleo) – Egg-free, refined sugar-free, and grain-free, these almond flour cookies are so delicious you won’t believe they’re healthy!
- Flourless Candied Ginger Molasses Cookies – Delicious and chewy, these Flourless Candied Ginger Molasses Cookies are a healthier take on a classic recipe with all the same flavors you love.
- Sugar & Spice Almond Flour Cookies – Made with healthy fats, natural sugars, cinnamon, and almond flour, these Sugar & Spice Almond Flour Cookies are the perfect paleo and low carb recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth without guilt!
- Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies – These Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies have been given a makeover with gluten free and vegan ingredients and contain an optional spike of Amaretto for a fun twist on everyone’s favorite Christmas cookies!
- Mexican Hot Chocolate Sugar Cookies – More than your typical sugar cookies, these Mexican Hot Chocolate Sugar Cookies are loaded with Mexican Hot Chocolate, cinnamon, cocoa, and a pinch of chili spices to create a recipe you’ll want to make again and again!
- Brown Butter Snickerdoodles – Gluten free, grain free, egg free, and super easy to make, these Brown Butter Snickerdoodles are a must-make cookie recipe for the holiday season! Did I mention you can eat the dough?
- Peanut Butter Blossoms – These Peanut Butter Blossoms can be made nut-free and dairy-free for a festive cookie everyone can enjoy!
- Vegan Cranberry Almond Molasses Cookies – Made with whole food ingredients, these Vegan Cranberry Almond Molasses Cookies are a simple and festive recipe perfect for parties, snacking, or even an on-the-go breakfast.
Storage and Preparation
If you want to prepare your cookie dough ahead of time, it can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days before baking.
Then, for the best results, I recommend storing leftover gluten free Christmas cookies in an airtight container or sealable bag at room temperature for 3-5 days. Or, for long-lasting cookies place them baked or unbaked in the freezer for up to 12 months.
Yes! Christmas cookies are a great dessert to prepare ahead of time. Check the instructions of each recipe to find specific preparation and storage tips.
In general, cookies will have set edges and be lightly browned when they are finished baking. Once removed from the oven, your cookies will continue to cook and set. So, don’t worry if they look underdone! Just make sure the center isn’t doughy.
Depending on who you ask, everyone will have a different answer. However, there are a few cookie recipes most commonly associated with Christmas and the holiday season such as gingerbread cookies, molasses cookies, peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and sugar cookies – all of which you can find recipes for above!
I hope you enjoy these gluten free Christmas cookies! Do you have any favorite holiday cookie recipes I left out? Let me know in the comments below. Happy holidays!