I can’t even believe 2020 is almost over. In one way it seems extremely fast, but in others, the time has crept by. It’s a weird dichotomy for sure! But even more so, I can’t believe we are about 3 weeks away from Christmas so now it’s time to think about making some easy gluten free cookie recipes for Christmas gift giving.
2020 has been a heck of a year, but one silver lining is that instead of going at breakneck speed into 2021, the newest restrictions are mandating we slow down.
Typically, Christmas time always makes me want to bake but I just don’t have time to. This year, however, my son who’s about to graduate in May and go off to college told me the one thing he wants to do for Christmas is bake. So this year, I will be baking for sure. Without all the parties and travel, I thought you might be in that same place, too.
Gluten Free Cookies, Candies, Pies and More
While the title says Gluten Free Cookie Recipes, I got a little carried away. So instead, it is all the holiday inspired gluten and grain free baked goods on my website. Oh, and I also included tips on how to turn them into gifts. Enjoy!
Putting this post together made me realize I don’t have a traditional cookie recipe on my blog at all. I will have to remedy that. These need to be refrigerated due to the texture but for local peeps they can make a super yummy gift.
- Paleo Magic Cookie Bars – are even better than the classic and waaayyy healthier. The caramel component can be a standalone gift if you make it and package it in a pretty jar with a little spoon.
- Edible Protein Cookie Dough – While they are not actual cookies, with the edible cookie dough craze, make and package it in a decorative bowl with a spoon and you may just be a Christmas hero. Alternatively, roll them into balls as directed and package them in a little candy box with festive paper liners. Feel free to dip them in chocolate to make them extra special but wait to package them after they are fully set.
- Gluten Free Millionaire Bars – These are super rich but definitely gift-worthy! There are multiple steps (photos for each) much like the Paleo layer bars, but they are well worth it.
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars – These could be classified more as a soft granola bar but they are delicious and healthy for even snacks or breakfast.
Whichever flavor you make, the coconut butter glaze is addictive! Wait for the glaze to harden then package individually in little bakery boxes or together in one big box. They just cannot be stacked. Probably not the best option for shipping.
Brownies & Blondies
This category is clearly my favorite because they are one bowl and done. Make all four, cut into 1″ squares and give an assortment as a gift or assemble a brownie board (AKA brownie “charcuterie” board) at your small, socially distanced gatherings. They need to be refrigerated like the cookies, so not shippable.
All well-liked flavor combos, these healthy-ish, more traditional candies can be modified to fit any dietary needs. Use any nut butter instead of peanut butter, any nuts instead of almonds and for the chocolate, use HU brand for no refined sugar or soy, Target Simply Balanced for budget-friendly and no soy, or Lily’s brand for stevia-sweetened. Possibly shippable if not going to a warm climate like Southern US.
Pies and Tarts
These aren’t as readily giftable unless you give them the baking dish as well. If so, find a bakery box at a craft store and place it in that or carefully wrap with cellophane and a bow. They do need to stay refrigerated, so shipping is out on these as well.
- No Bake Chocolate Silk Tart which is decadent and easily serves 12. You can also make this in silicone muffin cups or standalone paper muffin cups to give as drop-off gifts (no mailing these!)
- Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake – this is grain free, but not dairy free. If you tolerate dairy, try and find organic cream cheese to make sure there are no antibiotics or hormones (most standard dairy says this, but they still sneak some in.) If you do not, I’m sorry I don’t have any vegan cheesecakes on my website at this time, but there are tons out there.
For each of these, make sure you include plenty of packing material. You could make a Christmas Morning theme box with all three of these.
- Marshmallows and Hot Chocolate – Super Shippable! The ultimate homemade gift…homemade marshmallows (way easier than you think and so much healthier) and hot chocolate mix with no refined sugar or dairy. Gift instructions included in this one! This is the most likely candidate for mailable gift in this list.
- Paleo Granola – Definitely shippable! Feel free to make it your own recipe by adding other fruits or switching up the nuts. Walnuts and Pecans, as well as coconut, should be included in the base however as this is what makes it truly taste like regular granola. Package in little bakery bags or mason jars.
- Pumpkin Spice Bread – A classic, but this one also has a Maple Walnut Compound Butter that puts it over the top. Make one large or 2-3 mini loafs and make sure each recipient gets a little of the compound butter either in a parchment wrapped roll or a 4 oz mason jar. If you’re shipping this, include the recipe for the butter instead.
How to Enjoy Gluten Free treats and Still Reach Your Health Goals
Looking at this list, I realize I have lots of treats on my website! These are all made with healthier ingredients, but I have to remind myself they are “treats” not food.
I stick to my normal plan of protein, veggies and healthy fats at every meal so I’m not starving and ready to eat every sweet thing in site. I also try and keep stress under control since cortisol upswing from stress causes you to crave salt, sugar and fat. When there is something around I want to eat, I have a bite of these things when I REEAAALLLYY want them rather than eating them because they are just there. I heard someone say they count to their age before indulging to give themselves time to decide if this is boredom, a craving or emotionally driven desire or if we simply just want a treat.
I would love to hear your holiday baking favorites. Come over to my FB page Healthy Happy Real and post them.