At this time of year, we all tend to get overly spoiled with countless offers of baking, confections, candy, and other yummy holiday treats. But if you’re gluten-free, it’s hard to be able to partake in these indulgences.
Especially when it comes to attending fun events like cookie exchanges!
In light of this, we want to provide you with some ideas on what to make and take to your next holiday party—recipes that are simple, festive, and above all? 100% gluten-free. Wow your fellow party-goers and help change the stigma of gluten-free!
Here you go:
Gluten-Free Holiday Rice Krispy Squares
Super simple, but super fun. Minimal effort to add a fun and festive twist to mom’s homemade Rice Krispy squares! (Image from Baker’s Beans; recipe adapted from them, too.)
· ¼ cup coconut oil
· 2 cups gluten-free marshmallows
· 1 tsp. vanilla extract
· 4 cups holiday Rice Krispies
· ½ cup dark chocolate (over 70% cocoa)
· 4 peppermint candy canes
1. Melt coconut oil in large stainless steel pot over medium heat.
2. Add marshmallows, and stir until melted.
3. Add vanilla.
4. Turn heat off, and add Rice Krispies. Stir quickly until well combined.
5. Pour mixture into a greased (we use coconut oil!) 9x13 baking pan, pressing down and smoothing top with a spatula. Let cool.
6. Melt chocolate then drizzle over top of squares.
7. Crush candy canes and sprinkle on top of the chocolate while it’s still warm.
8. Let cool, then slice and serve!
Gluten-Free Holiday Bliss Balls
Bliss balls are ideal, because you can use whatever ingredients you want. Gluten-free? No problem. Vegan? Easy-peasy. Looking for high protein? You got it. Basically, they’re called Bliss Balls for a reason. (And these ones are Christmas-coloured—image and recipe adapted from Vegetarian Comfort Foods.)
· 2 cups rolled oats (make sure they’re gluten-free—sometimes oats can be cross-contaminated with neighbouring wheat crops)
· 1 cup chopped pistachios
· ½ cup dried dates
· ½ cup dried cranberries
· ½ cup almond butter
· ¼ cup warm water
· 1 cup shredded coconut
1. Combine all ingredients except coconut in your food processor and process until well-mixed.
2. Using a small spring release ice cream scoop, make two-bite balls. If mixture needs a little bit more moisture, add more warm water, one tablespoon at a time.
3. Roll in coconut. (Or matcha. Or sesame seeds. Or finely chopped goji berries. Or whatever!)
4. Place in container between layers of parchment and refrigerate for at least two hours. Enjoy!
Vegan AND Gluten-Free Gingerbread Men
A totally awesome twist on a holiday classic. Because what’s Christmas without gingerbread cookies?! This image and recipe are straight from Minimalist Baker (thank you, Dana!).
· 1 flax egg (see method for instructions)
· ½ cup brown sugar
· ¼ cup almond butter
· 3 tbsp. molasses
· ¼ cup vegan butter, softened (like Earth’s Balance Buttery Spread)
· ¾ tsp. ginger
· ½ tsp. cinnamon
· ¼ tsp. nutmeg
· ¼ tsp. salt
· ½ tsp. baking soda
· 1 ¼ - 1 ¾ cups gluten free baking/pancake mix
1. In a large mixing bowl, prepare flax egg by mixing 1 tbsp. ground flax with 3 tbsp. water and letting rest for 5 minutes.
2. Add softened butter, molasses, almond butter, brown sugar, salt, spices, baking soda and beat on a low with a mixer, or vigorously whisk.
3. Add gluten-free flour to the wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. Stir until well combined. (Your dough should hold its shape when pressed, but not feel dry.)
4. Cover and chill dough for at least one hour; preferably overnight.
5. When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
6. Carefully roll out dough to a little thicker than 1/8 inch between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment/wax paper, generously sprinkling the bottom layer and the top of the dough with white or brown rice flour before rolling. You don't want it too thin or they'll be too crisp.
7. Remove top sheet and, working quickly, dip your cookie cutters in rice flour and cut out shapes. Next, lift the plastic wrap (with all of the dough) and place it on a baking sheet or large plate and freeze for 5 minutes to let them firm up. This will make them easier to transfer to your baking sheet for baking.
8. Next, use a lightly floured spatula to carefully transfer the cookies to a baking sheet, working quickly. Leave 2 inches for spreading.
9. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until they appear only slightly browned on the edges. They'll continue firming up as they sit on the pan. Let rest on the pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
10. Once cooled, decorate with frosting or sprinkle with powdered sugar. I think a perfect, simple frosting option is piping on a mix of 2 cups icing sugar, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1-2 tablespoons almond milk. Just make sure it's on the thicker side so it doesn't run.
11. Store covered at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer term storage. The batch should make between 25-35 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutter.
Gluten-Free Mint Nanaimo Bars
Okay…this one is a little more complicated, but we feel confident that you guys can handle it. (Or just stare at the picture, because it’s mouth-watering!) Holiday-inspired nanaimo bars—need we say more? (Recipe modified from The Inspired Home.)
· ½ cup butter
· ¼ cup coconut sugar
· 5 tbsp. cocoa
· 1 egg, beaten
· 1 ¼ cups gluten-free graham wafer crumbs
· ½ cup finely chopped raw almonds
· 1 cup unsweetened coconut
· ½ cup butter
· 2 tbsp. and 2 tsp. whipping cream
· 1 package organic, gluten-free custard powder
· 1 cup icing sugar
· 1 tsp. peppermint extract or 2 drops of food-grade essential oil
· 3 cups fresh spinach, juiced
· 5 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 ounce each)
· 2 tbsp. butter
1. Melt first 3 ingredients on top of double boiler (if you don't have one, use a metal or glass bowl on top of a saucepan).
2. Prepare crumbs, coconut, nuts in a metal or ceramic bowl.
3. Add egg (or egg substitute) and stir to cook or thicken.
4. Remove from heat and combine cocoa into the dry mixture, then press into an ungreased 8x8" baking pan (glass or ceramic).
5. Place in freezer.
1. Juice 3 cups of spinach and set aside.
2. Cream everything else (except peppermint extract) together carefully, beating with full mixer or hand-mixer until light.
3. Add spinach juice and peppermint extract, then beat for another 1-2 minutes.
4. Add second layer to pan and spread out to equal thickness with a spatula.
5. Place back in freezer.
1. Melt all squares of chocolate with butter over low heat, stirring frequently.
2. Once cool but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
3. Slice and enjoy!
And there you are! Try these gluten-free recipes, and let us know what you think. And in the meantime, if you’re hungry and looking for an awesome breakfast or lunch or snack or whatever, check out our new online menu.
Happy gluten-free holidays!
xoxo The Polly Fox