Gluten Free

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats

Flour-free cookies for sensitive Santas


Gluten free Christmas cookiesI recently decided to go gluten-free and, most of the time, it doesn’t really bug me. I don’t mind skipping the starchy foods I used to rely on for the easy quick-prep meals that characterized my diet. Of course, there are those little things I miss now and then, like whipping up a plate of fluffy pancakes on Sunday morning, or sinking my teeth into a really good slice of crispy thin-crust New York pizza.

But at this time of year, I’ve found myself only missing one thing: Cookies. When Thanksgiving ends and the holiday season officially begins, seemingly earlier than the year before, the pumpkin pies and cranberry scones disappear in favor of brightly decorated reindeer-shaped sugar cookies and wide-eyed smiling gingerbread men.

If you’re anything like me, you may be worried that your family won’t want to give up their usual holiday cookies in favor of gluten-free treats that you can enjoy. But here are some delicious alternatives everyone will love—so make sure you have extras!

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Gluten free peanut butter cookiesI can honestly say that these flourless cookies are the peanut-butter-iest I have ever tasted. These soft, chewy cookies are so delicious, no one would ever guess how easy they are to make.


  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients with a rubber spatula or spoon until well combined.

Using your hands, roll about a heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, and leave space for the cookies to spread.

Use a fork to push a crisscross pattern onto the top of each cookie. Do not flatten all the way. Sprinkle the top of each cookie with a pinch of each type of sugar.

Bake for about 12 minutes. The cookies will still feel extremely soft to the touch, and will darken just slightly in color. After removing from oven, allow the cookies to cool for at least 15 minutes before handling them. They’ll firm up as they cool.

Recipe adapted from Gluten Free Blondie

Makes about 20 cookies

Healthy Sugar Cookies

Gluten free Christmas cookiesJust because you’re gluten-free doesn’t mean you can’t break out the cookie cutters this year. Nothing says Christmas like a plate of colorful, candy-cane shaped sugar cookies, and this delicious vegan recipe fits the bill!


  • 3/4 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter substitute


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well.

In a medium  sauce pan over low heat, melt the vegan butter, then stir in vanilla and milk. Pour dry into wet and mix again.

Roll out into a sheet, then use a cookie cutter to make shapes.

Bake for 9 minutes. They will look very underdone when you take them out, but that’s ok!! Just let them cool for 5 minutes before touching. (I know it’s hard!)

These cookies will keep at least four days, in a lidded plastic container.

Recipe adapted from Chocolate-Covered Katie: The Healthy Dessert Blog

Makes about 1 dozen cookies

Inside-Out Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

Chocolate pumpkin cookies

If you’re not completely ready to let go of fall, these Inside-Out Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies may be just the thing for you. They’re soft, rich, pumpkin-filled, and vegan—you can’t go wrong!


  • 3/4 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 330 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and sugar and whisk well to blend. Add the maple syrup, almond milk, vanilla extract, and vegetable oil and mix until a dough forms.

In a separate bowl, combine all other ingredients to make the filling.

Using about a heaping tablespoon of dough, roll into a ball and then flatten. Place a little scoop of the filling in the center and fold up the sides of the dough. Form into a ball.

Bake for 10 minutes. They should be a little undercooked when you take them out. Let cool 10 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Chocolate-Covered Katie: The Healthy Dessert Blog

Makes about 1 dozen cookies

Photos by Alena Molozanov

Dori is a senior and communications major, with a concentration in global journalism, at Drexel University.


  1. YB says:

    Sounds deliciously inviting, cannot wait to try them!

  2. Sara says:

    I’m not really an experienced baker, but I had great fun making coconut-flour sugar cookies for a gluten-free friend’s Valentine’s Day. They were tasty, they had to be cut with another flour for structure–coconut crumbles–and I’m not sure we got the ratio right. The holiday rush may be no time to experiment, but I would be very interested to read about someone else’s successful non-wheat-flour cookie baking.

  3. chris says:

    gotta try the peanut butter cookies!

  4. Allen says:

    Peanut butter would be delightful to try. You should package them for sale.

  5. Just made these, they are delicious. I love to eat Chocolate Cookies Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

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