Why does gluten-free baking have such a bad rap? Sure, it can be boring, bland, and utterly tasteless; but on the flip side, it can also be exciting, flavorful, and just as well crafted as any other dessert made with traditional wheat flour. And when it comes to gluten-free Christmas cookies, let's face it -- tradition tends to trump special dietary requirements -- leaving those with intolerances without many choices.
The key to success when it comes to baking something gluten-free isn't some big secret, but it does take a little practice to get right. Unfortunately, the Internet is flooded with plenty of subpar recipes, and it takes only one or two misfires to make even the most avid baker a little skeptical.
In our opinion, having the correct flour blend for the job is essential to successful gluten-free baking. By combining three different flours like we have done here, this cookie has a very pleasing mouthfeel without compromising the taste and texture whatsoever.
Having a well-stocked baking pantry will definitely make this recipe more doable, as there are a fair amount of ingredients involved. But we promise you, the results are pure magic -- and will likely have you and your holiday guests declaring, "I can't believe these cookies are gluten-free!"
Gluten-Free Fruit and Nut Christmas Cookies
Makes 2 dozen cookies
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- 1 cup millet flour
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup + 1/2 tbsp golden brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup + 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup sultana raisins
1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cream butter and sugar together in a bowl, until light and fluffy. Once well combined, add one egg at a time, incorporating until completely smooth.
3. In a separate bowl, combine all your dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine all your dried fruit, nuts, and coconut.
4. Add flour mixture to the egg and sugar mixture. Combine well, then add fruit and nut mixture, and mix well.
5. Using an ice cream scoop, weigh out cookies to around 50g each. (They don't need to be perfect, but try to keep them the same size for an even bake.)
6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat, and evenly space 6 to 8 cookies per tray. They will spread a little, so make sure not to crowd them. Flatten the tops gently with the palm of your hand.
7. For a more decorative finish (optional), wash tops with egg, and sprinkle with a few slivered almonds.
8. Bake cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, until sides are golden brown. Let your gluten-free Christmas cookies cool on a wire rack, and store in an airtight container for up to one week.