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Gluten, a protein found in most grains, is a trigger for some health issues. Within our circle of friends is a couple who both have celiac disease. So we did some research about gluten-free baking for our family’s annual holiday cookie party. We’d never want our loved ones to feel left-out while we’re all merrily munching. So we got creative in the kitchen and learned some valuable lessons along the way.

We’ll share some tips with you to help avoid first-timer fails. Plus, we’re giving you our personal favorite holiday baking recipes to try!

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Treats Are Healthier With These Gluten-Free Flours

There are several gluten-free flour options. We always bake with the healthiest choices: almond flour, and coconut flour.

Almond flour, made from ground and skinned almonds, offers a lot of added benefits. Besides being gluten-free, almonds are low in carbs and high in nutrient content. Almond flour is also known to reduce “bad” cholesterol and insulin resistance.

Coconut flour may have the most carbs of the gluten-free flours, but it’s the lowest in fat. It’s also rich in fiber and omega-6 fats and has a milder, less noticeable flavor compared to almond flour. Coconut flour can also help stabilize blood sugar and contributes to heart health.

Flourless Holiday Baking

Many holiday recipes don’t need any flour. These recipes use alternate ingredients to create gluten-free holiday goodies. Flourless baking is helpful if we’re baking for friends and family on specialty low-carb diets as well.

Tips for Gluten-Free Holiday Baking

  • Always keep a close eye on the oven. Baking with almond flour or coconut flour can affect baking time. Gluten-free recipes use lower temps and longer baking times. Watching for color or texture changes is the best way to tell when they’re ready.
  • Adding flavors with extracts and spices helps mask the flavor added by almond flour.
  • Store almond flour and coconut flour in air-tight containers. Keep them in the freezer or refrigerator to prolong shelf life.
  • To keep baked treats from getting soggy, move them to a cooling rack immediately after baking.

Our Favorite Gluten-Free Holiday Cookie Recipes

We can’t wait to bake our holiday cookies. We’re making these special recipes for our gluten-intolerant loved ones this season. Try them for yourself, or as a special treat for someone special to you.

Soft Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies with Holiday Frosting

Try these soft sugar cookies that taste just like the traditional recipes. They’re not only gluten-free; they’re also paleo-diet-friendly without
frosting.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Servings: 12-15
Ingredients – The Dough

  • ⅓ cup coconut oil (melted and cooled)
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar or cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg (room temp works best)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 ½ cups packed fine almond flour
  • Optional: The Buttercream Frosting

  • 4 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-3 drops of festive food coloring (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, then line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Set it aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the coconut oil, sugar, honey, and vanilla and almond extracts. Stir or process until well combined, or for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt before mixing to a doughy texture. Allow the dough to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Hand-roll the dough into golf-ball-sized portions. Next, flatten each ball onto the parchment paper with the bottom of a glass.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, and then remove and transfer to a wire cooling rack.
    If you’re making frosting while the cookies bake, it’s simple and quick. Beat the softened butter, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar for about two minutes. Add coloring if you choose and mix until saturated.

Once cooled, frost and decorate these delicious holiday snacks!

Dreamy Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Sea salt is the real secret to these amazing peanut butter cookies. For cookies that have so few ingredients, these delights don’t lack anything in flavor!

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 Minutes

Servings: 18

Ingredients

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (chunky or creamy both work)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar or cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
  • Coarse sea salt (for sprinkling)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Relocate the racks to the upper and lower third of the oven.
  • In a medium bowl, combine everything except the salt. Mix until well combined. Then spoon 1 tablespoon portions about 1 inch apart onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  • Flatten the cookies using the tines of a fork to form a cross-hatch pattern on the tops. Then sprinkle a pinch of coarse salt over the top of each cookie.
  • Bake until the edges turn golden brown, or for about 10 minutes. Switch the baking sheet position about halfway through the bake time.
  • Finally, transfer them to a cooling rack when they’re finished.

That’s all there is to it. Simple, delicious, gluten-free cookies perfect for
the holidays.

Keep Experimenting With Gluten-Free Baking

Don’t limit yourself to cookies. Try searching the web for recipes that feature almond flour or coconut flour. Your guests will look forward to your moist and flavorful flourless cakes. Start your holiday morning with gluten-free muffins using the healthiest alternative flours. Whatever you do, don’t stop experimenting with your baking. Happy holidays!

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